After graduation I attended Jersey City Jr. College and graduated in 1954. My interest in airplanes led me next
into the Air Force for 4 years traveling to Texas, California, and 2 years in Japan. japan's culture, drive for
education, and respect for one another helped reinforce my interest in learning, and concern for others. It was
there that I set my goals in life. I would do something constructive in life, and employment that would benefit
others, and hopefully help change their lives for the better. I completed my education at Fairleigh Dickinson
University in 1961.
Before starting my career, I decided to see Europe. With dictionaries in hand I traveled alone, third class from
Lisbon, Portugal to Spain, France and ending up in Rome, Italy. I wanted to learn as much as I could from the
people, and I figured the best way was going 3rd class. Each part of the trip was a challenge, whether it was
trying to communicate, getting lost two times in the middle of Portugal and Spain ,or sitting on hard wooden
seats for 13 hours in a train with 12 poor Spanish travelers. They wondering who this person was sitting with
them, not speaking their language and carrying a suit case. Most of them had their things tied up with cord.
This was the time of the Dictator Franco. No wonder they were suspicious. Lesson number one learned. After I
tried to tell them why I was there and my interest in them: it turned from resentment to friendship by the time
we reached our destination. What a workout with my broken Spanish; b ut I did learn. My other interest was
to reverse any negative feelings that they may have had against the Americans. The book , Ugly American ,
came out in the 50's. It made me want to try to correct that image.
What changed my life was as follows. While passing through Torino,Italy I visited my cousin, who was
attending medical school. He introduced me to his sister-in-law. I didn't go to Europe to meet anyone, as I was
content with my relationships at home. But something very unusual happened. Call it fate. For some
unexplained reason, Elizabeth and I related to one another immediately. We married in September 1963. The
surprise was that Charlie Reilly was our photographer. We had two sons, Bill and Mike. They are happily
married, successful, and gave us six wonderful grandchildren.
I found the occupation that fulfilled my goal by working for the Social Security Adm as a Field Representative for
36 years. I was responsible for all the facilities,organizations corporations and the public outside the office in
Eastern Bergen County. I was able to meet the poorest individuals to the CEO's of the largest corporations.
Public information responsibilities allowed me to make speeches to all age groups and participate on radio and
TV. In the end I was able to help many people receive the benefits they needed. Many times it was the
difference between surviving and not.
I do remember some of those days at St Michaels. Running on the track team in all seasons of the year. The
teachers: Sr. Francis, Mr Furlong, Mr Howe, Ms Landers and all of the other teachers who dedicated
themselves to make sure we were educated and prepared for our future ahead. I remember driving my 1937
and 1939 Dodges and the 1929 Ford to school and taking the sisters to Newark over the cobblestone road
bouncing up and down there in the back seat. They had fun and we all laughed.
I retired in 1996 after 40 years with the Government. We took a trip to Paris and then through the Provance
area. I was able to take that trip before I was laid up for the next 5 years with severe osteoarthritis,
degeneration of the neck and other complications. Maybe I still have time to do something. The only reason I
mention this is that I was checking how each of you were doing in your life by reading the SMHS Spotlight
Archives. I saw Mike Down's Spotlight. He had a wonderful life . But in paragraph 3, who did he remember?
Me! I had a good laugh, and I'm still smiling. I didn't think anyone really remembered me. Now I know how my
neck problem started. I never knew that. Thanks Mike, for the remembrance, and for smiles it gave me.
134 Cedar Street
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
Birthday - November 11