a Retrospective | Turning Points

I first shared this personal list in 2011, October 17. It’s been a while since my master list has been updated, so I offer this dated one as a sneak peak at my experiences, my values, that form me.

Turning Points:

  • The day my 2-year old bro, Rick, directed traffic on the French highway
  • The day my bro, Rick, and I realized being 13-months apart wasn’t so bad after all
  • The death of my 3-year old bro, Norman, a pioneer in pediatric open-heart surgery
  • My “Nanny” taking care of us while Mom and Dad got away for a while
  • The day my youngest bro, Michael, was born and we found out he wasn’t a girl
  • The day I said no to my Mom with Dad unexpectedly home for lunch, ouch!
  • The day we chucked mud balls into the neighbor’s bathroom window, ouch!
  • Learning as a 3-year old that playing doctor with the girl next door was not a good idea
  • Being a trusted neighborhood newspaper carrier at age 9
  • This 11-year old flutist consoling my adult “jam partner” after her husband committed suicide
  • Meeting Senator Hubert H. Humphrey in his Capital office at age 12
  • M.L.K. marching on Washington, DC and giving his “I have a dream” speech
  • Collecting and giving the Washington, DC marchers food and bedding and welcoming them to our city
  • The assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • The assassination of Martin Luther King
  • Nearly drowning in the Glen Echo Public Swimming Pool
  • The 1964 New York World’s Fair
  • Summer 1964 vacationing at the Catskill Mountain Lake Hotel, a living ‘hommage’ to Dirty Dancing
  • Holy Redeemer Elementary School, Kensington, MD
  • Teacher Sister Rose Bernadette taking noticing of a quirky kid
  • Michelle Nys and Mary Anne Clark awaking the sleeping lion
  • Michael Toussaint being a great childhood friend
  • Sadly losing the best choir director ever in 1965 simply because he was Gay
  • Summer vacation in Germany and our last visit with my “Opa”
  • Vatican Council II throwing the baby out with the bath water
  • Dad leaving us for a tour-of-duty in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Mom learning to drive, scary!
  • Moving to Sacramento, CA from Kensington, MD 3-months before the family joined me
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hilliard being wonderful “parents” for 3 months
  • Christian Brothers High School, Sacramento, CA
  • Teachers Br. Thomas, Br. Ed, Br. Claude and Mrs. Frascinetti
  • John Morton and Tom Santiago being great high school buddies
  • Summer vacation in Fullerton, CA and our last visit with my “Grandpa Lee”
  • The day I realized my Dad was more than ten $20 bills on the buffet
  • My parent’s finally divorcing
  • The day my Dad sold me his nearly new 1968 VW Bug for a promise
  • Carl Keech teaching me that friendship has no age limit
  • Diana Trumble teaching me girl “friends” are about more than a kiss
  • LaVonna and Charles Trumble trusting Diana, ok me
  • My early career with McDonald’s Restaurant
  • Greg Kuster telling me his sister was, well frankly wrong headed
  • Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church Youth Group
  • Nick Gladysz teaching me to relax and how to be a friend for life
  • John Zimlich bringing me to my senses about love
  • Randy Langan teaching me to laugh
  • Dawne Leslie Wood saying YES and never wavering
  • Robert and Lois Wood trusting me with their daughter
  • American River College, Sacramento, CA
  • Professor Whitmer and Professor Williams
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • Professor Art Sherman hiring me as his test writer
  • The day I learned politics trumps pragmatism, particularly in local government
  • The day Ken Kruger validated my dream to be an educated, professional working stiff
  • Carl Seymour being there every time I call, even months later
  • Sacramento Employment and Training Agency
  • Norma Johnson trusting me, a slightly obsessive-compulsive white guy
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Sheila Wright (now Vickers) picking me off the ground, regularly
  • The birth of my kids, Michelle and Robert
  • The birth of our “adopted” kids, Allyson, Nicole, Stacy, Nick and Michelle
  • The amazing strength of character and kindness of all our kids
  • Carl Andonini teaching me government bosses are blind to invention and genius
  • Cullinet Software, the best job I ever had
  • Debra Stacuzzi showing me Boston and more
  • The day the doctor’s told me my Mom had ALS and three months to live
  • My bro Michael taking Mom home to Germany and caring for her for 2 years, wow
  • Jim and BJ Wagner teaching me that family can be your best friends too
  • Sierra Photocopy Services
  • Shane Balkowitsch being a loyal and exceptional young co-worker
  • Shane Balkowitsch tracking me down years later to say hey, wow!
  • The day my kids celebrated their acceptance into the OC High School of the Arts
  • The day my daughter, Michelle, announced she was going to be a teacher, not a psychologist
  • The day my son, Robert, announced he was going to be a professional dancer, not a soccer layer
  • Each of the days when the kids announced they were engaged
  • Each of the days when the kids went through with it and wed wonderful partners
  • Realizing our children’s spouses and new families considered us family
  • Each of the days my godchildren married their sweethearts
  • The day we buried Dad at Arlington National Cemetery
  • The day my grandson, Matthew, was born
  • The day my grandson, Anthony, was born
  • The day they diagnosed me with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome
  • The day Dr. Harward, vascular surgeon extraordinaire concurred
  • The day the Law Judge reversed 5-years of Social Security admin hell
  • The day Mayor Pulido gave the OC High School of the Arts a permanent home
  • Today, as I awoke six feet up and ready to rock and roll


  • Fort Huachuca/AZ (Army Brat)

Baby Years:

  • Fort Huachuca/AZ to San Antonio/TX to St Louis/MS


  • St Louis/MS to Verdun/France to Kensington/MD

Teen Years:

  • Kensington/MD to Carmichael/CA

College Years:

  • Carmichael/CA

Adult Years:

  • California including Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Sacramento, Anaheim, Los Alamitos, Running Springs, Lake Elsinore and Aguanga


  • USA, Germany and France


  • Philosophy, Psychology, Research Methodologies, Applied Statistics & Business Management


  • Project Management, Information Systems Management, & Certified Compensation Professional


  • Government
  • Private Sector
  • Laborer
  • Crew Leader
  • Manager
  • Personnel Officer
  • Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Consultant
  • Business Executive
  • Community Volunteer


  • Humanity
  • Family
  • Constructive Conversation
  • Children’s Education and Maturation
  • Art and Arts Education
  • Photography
  • Bettering Community
  • Systems Improvement
  • Conservation and Sustainable Eco Systems
  • Refurbishing and Repurposing
  • Writing
  • Self-Actualization


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