MY LIFE’S PROGRESSION – Part One (click the pix to read more)


(NOTE: Much of what I will be covering in this “Featured” area will be excerpts from my biography that can be found by clicking on the link (banner) in the header of this site.)

Here is where it all started – well, after my first year and a half in Salem/Roanoke, Virginia! We moved to the southwestern part of the Commonwealth of Virginia where my dad found employment near the end of the “Great Depression”. I had two brothers and one beautiful sister.


Big Stone Gap, VA is a small town of around 6,000 residents in the mountainous southwest area of the Commonwealth, near Bristol. It was a great place to grow up; kinda “sleepy”, but with a very low crime rate and everyone knew everyone else! We were pretty much secluded; NOT backward, just sheltered from many of the undesirable traits found elsewhere. It was first a “bedroom community” for the “officials” working for the mines and the railroad.


Although small, we had many people from the area who reached fame and prominence; US Senator, writers and folklorists, even a Governor. Actor George C. Scott was from a community just 20 miles away. Y. A Tittle, NFL football player of the ‘60s, 30 miles. Francis Gary Powers of “U-2 plane crash in Russia” fame was from the area. And I am from there!


Many of my classmates have doctorates; one was a Superintendent of Schools in the Washington, DC, area, and yet another close friend is Professor Emeritus of Law from a University in Richmond, VA, and she  is regularly invited to teach at several universities in Europe, including Ireland and Germany. I barely made it out of high school!


We did have quality education in our (County) school system. Many of our teachers came to us from other states so we did get a flavor about “the outside world”! And, the curricula was well-rounded; no holds barred!


Because of its small size many of the young people are forced to leave the area searching for employment. Less than 20% of the people raised there remained there. But, another 10-15%, after somewhat satisfying careers elsewhere, migrate “back to the Gap” for their retirement years. That substantiates the phrase: “you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy”!


I was fortunate to have “found Christ” at a very young age while a member of the Episcopal Church there. That formed the foundation of my “spiritual life” that was to be further enhanced in later years.


Now, move on to Part Two – Germany

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