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Memories Of A Pathfinder

Part 3, New Roads From Old Paths -- 07/21/03

My July 2003 trip to Chicago took a long time to plan. I guess in some ways, I was waiting all my life. I met up with many old friends I hadn't seen in years, including, Mitch Markovitz who I haven't seen since I graduated in June 1968 from Bowen High School! I knew what pictures I needed to tell my stories in this series and I thought a lot about the wording I would use for them.

Here are some collections of pictures and stories that along with the previous parts help convey a sense of journey, this pathfinder's way through life up until the point where we moved to San Diego, California.

In December 1967, my family moved from the home where I spent The Early Years to the one shown above located on the extreme south-side of Chicago, in a neighborhood called Hegewish. I was a Senior at Bowen High School and instead of changing schools to the new District I lived in, I just kept going to Bowen.

My last year of High School was the best of the four spent there. In particular, the last four months of my Senior year represent the time I first had a serious romantic relationship.

Our favorite music groups were: The Delphonics, Jose Feliciano, The Turtles, Archie Bell and the Drells, Grass Roots, Classics IV, Paul Mauriat, Mason Williams, Simon & Garfunkel, Young-Holt Unlimited, and American Breed.

The picture below is where she lived at the time.

On my birthday in April 1968, she gave a me a Honer Harmonica. My Senior yearbook contains a passage from her; words she meant at the time, but have since become meaningless.

I still have a record she gave me as a gift on September 2, 1968.

For most of us, the first time in love while powerful in its impact, is not ever-lasting. We await another who fills out our life further down the road.

Up until about the time I was 21, I often spent time at nearby Chicago beaches. One of my Desktop Backgrounds is of Calumet Park Beach. The next six photos are of Calumet Park Beach at 95th Street and Lake Michigan:

The following two photos are of Rainbow Beach at 79th Street and Lake Michigan:

I remember when those waters were fairly clear in the years before water pollution became a big problem in the Great Lakes.

The Bob and Jack's Pizza business is a very popular family-owned enterprise. It is now located on 102st Street and Ewing Avenue on Chicago's south-side. Bob and Jack's was originally located on 87th Street near my childhood neighborhood. I still think it has the best pizza in the world. I stop in and visit them whenever I'm in Chicago.

The pier shown above is located at 99th Street and Lake Michigan in Calumet Park Beach. When Scott Soti got me started in Scuba Diving back in June 1967, this is one of the places we used to come. The water was reasonably clear then.

The next two pictures are of the pier itself. About 30 feet to the right of the first image, there was a sunken barge that sank around 1927. I'm sure it's buried in the sand by now, but it was exposed on the bottom until about 1969. It had a big bronze propeller that somebody finally sawed off and took as a souvenir.

In October 1969, I met up with Bill Artus who by now also lived in Hegewish. We renewed our high school friendship and became best friends within days. Both of us dropped out of college for similar reasons and we spent months talking about who we were and who we wanted to become.

One of the first things we started doing together outside of work hours was play tennis at the courts shown above in Mann Park. When the cold weather arrived, we moved to the inside building shown below.

We started hanging out in the wood-shop there, guided by the late Joe Nassidy who passed away in 1972. We also started playing ping-pong there after making our own paddles in that wood-shop. We played a hundred or more games there over the next three years. [View a Quicktime video of one match.]

We also started bowling in the former Hegewish Lanes that has since been torn-down and replaced by a Senior Home. One day in 1970, he and I bowled 30 games against each other. I think it took a year for my thumb to return to normal function after that duel. By the way, Bill almost always beat my butt at bowling. I think it was his natural athletic ability and laid-back style that got the best of me. :-)

Bill and I became almost like brothers. We bought motorcycles and drove all around the city of Chicago in 1970-1971. Bill took me to his property in central Wisconsin where I met his Dad (shown below). [View a Quicktime video of one day in August 1972 there.]

Within a few years, his Dad and I would also become best friends, later he was my Best Man at my wedding in 1973. I considered him a second-father to me.

Bill and I took a long car trip to California and back in January-February 1972. That was the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico, the Arizona desert, and the Los Angeles area. The many trips I took from Chicago out to the Western States over the next 25 years, owe their origins to that initial trip.

When I recently traveled to Chicago, I met up with Bill and the other guys one night for dinner. We had a blast and I got some of my "best friend" fixes from both Bill and Angel Rodriguez on that trip.

Mann Park is also the place where I met the next young woman with whom I had a serious relationship. She lived across the street from the Park. She was different from the young woman in my first serious relationship and she taught me to be a more open individual during our 18 months together. She also introduced me to really great Mexican food in June 1970.

The Mexican Inn pictured above at 95th Street and Ewing Ave., was my first introduction to that cuisine back in 1970. We used to go there often and talk about things while we ate. The Mexican Inn is considered another Chicago south-side classic restaurant. After I married, I introduced my wife, Sherry to Mexican food (at a different restaurant), and later when our daughter was born and old enough, she learned to enjoy it too.

Fast forward from the early 1970's until 1979. Sherry and I had worked our butt's off during 1977-1978 to save $9,000 for our first home, shown above. We loved that house in Berkeley, Illinois. It was only a two-bedroom 1,000 sq. ft. house, but it was ours from May 1979 until July 1988. Our daughter was not yet three years-old when we moved into it.

My computer hobby turned career started in that house in 1980. Our daughter grew up in that house until the age of 12. Sherry started her clown business there in the early 1980's and our daughter and Sherry were the clown team, "Dotty and Dotty's Dot" from 1982 until 1985.

I worked with two of the first Apple Lisa computers (shown below) back in 1983. That was the year I entered the Apple Developer Program and attended the first Developers Conference that April in Monterey, California where the Lisa was shown publicly for the first time. Each Lisa cost about $9,000, the purchase made through me on an informal consulting arrangement. While it was pretty cool to work on a windowing system, the software was fairly limited by today's standards. The best applications I enjoyed using were LisaDraw and LisaCalc. Those were the forerunners of successful vector-based drawing and spreadsheet/charting programs that emerged for the first time on the Mac two years later.

We sold our first home in July 1988. We moved to Mesa, Arizona and then back to the Chicago area. In May 1990, we moved into the Naperville, Illinois house shown below. That house was 2,400 sq. ft. and stood on a 1/3 acre lot. It was a beautiful home. Our daughter went to high school in Naperville and spent her first year at college while we still lived there until 1995.

I was the founding partner in 1993 of, EveryDay Objects, Inc. (logo shown below), and we held our first and subsequent startup meetings in that house. Much happiness in that home over the years we lived there. Our daughter matured into a young woman before our eyes.

I used to catch the train to Chicago near this Naperville Park location above.

I used to ride my 21-speed mountain-bike around town. One of my favorite places was the River Walk and in particular, the bridge and fountain location shown above. I used to get strange, psychic sensing whenever I went there. I never figured those sensing's out, but they were quiet strong.

After our daughter went off to college the house seemed empty for Sherry and I. We decided when I left A.T. Kearney, Inc., that we would find a warm place to live. We explored Arizona again, but this time we ended up in San Diego. It has been an excellent place to live these past seven years.

Sherry continued alone in clowning until 1996 when we moved here to North San Diego County, California, then she retired from that hobby.

On July 9, 2003, I placed my Honer Harmonica on the fence in front of Bowen High School shown above. I left it there in approximately the same spot where my first romantic partner had told me something important the day before I graduated.

I took care of that musical instrument over the years, it's still in excellent shape. Up until about 1990, I used to play it whenever I felt sad or withdrawn. I decided to leave her gift there, hoping someone would find it with the message I left inside of it.

I came back a few hours later and her gift wasn't there. I hope whoever found that harmonica enjoys it as I did for the past 35 years and that they play only happy tunes on it for the next 35 and beyond.

I decided to use the relaxing and scenic picture above as my final picture for two reasons: One, I have always been interested in fishing in a river, but have never done it because no one ever showed me how. The other reason is that it is taken at the Fox River in Geneva, Illinois. One of my Desktop Backgrounds is this picture. The Larson family used to enjoy going to Geneva to stroll the downtown streets and eat in the great restaurants there, especially the ones right along the river near where this person is fishing...

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Don


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