What I'm Doing Now
I am now in a ‘work optional’ situation, but still trying to contribute to society in many ways: hiking, skiing, motorcycling, shopping to keep the economy vibrant, showing up at the gym to inspire the youngsters, traveling, writing my blog and keeping this website active. It's not quite the same as it used to be when my advice was valuable (actually no one wants my guidance anymore) and there are few young people to whom I can relate. So you'll have to forgive me for being straightforward with my opinions, please no more 'wussification'.
What I Used to Do
I was a principal at McCleary-German Architects (MGA) in Houston, TX for 32 years, retiring in 2008. I helped make this company the 'best little bank architect in Texas'. It was my privilege to design hundreds of buildings and interiors, some of which are still standing today. Tons of different types, such as offices, apartments, shopping centers and of course, banks and thrifts. My partner and roommate at Rice U., and whose father founded our company was Dale McCleary (ret).
Had lots of beautiful clients, who hired MGA and trusted us to make their dreams real. These were companies, but they were real people. Joe McD, Ken K, George M, Elvis W, Ron C, Joe M, Malcolm D, Renee B, Steven B, John R, Clinton D, Stanley P, Bob F, Carolyn W, Chip B. And for sure, Tom McCleary who created his company the way he wanted and then (Dale and I) changed it. (Thanks to all those people and many more who helped me grow up.)
Yes, I used to write business articles and speak at seminars. Once served on 'boards', such as the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Interior Designers, received 'Awards' such as the Texas Society of Architects Honor Award.
Education - yes I have more than one degree. Most from Rice University. Then more enlightenment from the guys who worked for me: Dave L, Scott C, and Eric B.
Military - Seven years serving in the U.S. Navy. Surface fleet and Aviation.
Wish I could get that chance again, to be an officer in the Navy. In the Pacific Ocean, getting to drive (and even dock) a 2,200 ton destroyer. In the air, to take off, fly and then land on a carrier, a multi $million jet airplane. Oh, yeah.
After a year on a small destroyer, my skipper encouraged me to apply for flight school and I reported in late '67. Receiving my wings in April ‘69, and getting married in the same month, the Navy graciously offered me a choice of Vietnam or Beeville to train future aviators in ‘advanced jets’. In the Navy, I flew 1,283 times, accumulated over 1,800 hours, 23 carrier landings and made friends for life. See ‘Airplanes I Flew’.
Is where I grew up. Population 60,000, one high school, very provincial. Lots of money from oil, we had the best public schools in Texas, lots of culture for a small town. ‘Oil Bidness’ dominated everything. Parents moved there (from Oklahoma!) to bring up their kids in a place with values. Met my ex-wife in Odessa, 20 miles away. Excellent place to grow up.
Is where I went to college and made a career in architecture. Excellent place to earn a living.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Is where I live now, moved here in 2008. I choose ‘the Springs’ from my priority list of seven possibilities in three states: New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. It’s positives still outweigh the negatives by a large margin. Excellent city to retire to if you’re active.
Other cities on my radar:
Fort Collins, Castle Rock, CO. Santa Fe, NM. Austin, TX. Northern California.