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I guess my life doesn't fit into the average nutshell. So that you may get a feel for the way I have lived, I need to give you a brief description of my childhood.

I was born November 25, 1945, in Lodi, Ohio, which is a small farming community just outside Akron. My father was a long distance truck driver, my mom drove a city bus in Akron, and we were very poor. After my birth, the family moved to Akron, where I lived until 1957 when we moved to Westboro. My dad was the ultimate motorhead; in other words, if it didn't have wheels and an engine, he wasn't interested in it. When he was home on the weekends, we spent every Saturday night at the car races, and when I was twelve he and I built our first soap box race car and for the next three years I competed in the annual soap box derby. He also made arrangements for me to drive a quarter midget at the local speedway. During the summers, I would go with him on long hauls in his truck, leading to a wanderlust for travel and thrills that I have never been able to shake.

By 1957, my parents had built up a small truck leasing company. They were offered the opportunity to open a truck repair garage and truckers' motel in Southboro, so during the summer of '57 we moved to Westboro.

My involvement with cars never waned. I helped out at the trucking company and garage, working on and driving trucks long before I turned sixteen. In fact, my dad bought a 1950 Ford for me and we turned it into a mild custom which my parents let my friends, who had their driver's licenses, drive me around in. I sold the car before I even got my license.


My dad and me in front of his truck - 1946


My mom and the bus she drove - 1946


I'm in my mom's first car. My dad bought it for her for $50.00 and she was so proud of it. I actually fell out of that thing when she went around a corner too fast and the door flew open!


When I reached high school, shop was the only class I really wanted to take, but they insisted that I take college courses. I was not happy with my classes at school and quit trying. My parents even sent me away to military school (Fork Union Military School in Virginia for my freshman year) in an effort to get me straightened out, so by the time the senior year came around, I was behind in science and I was held back.

At the beginning of the year I was told that if I brought up my science grade that I would be able to join the senior class after the Christmas break, but that I would not be able to have senior pictures taken, be included in the yearbook as a senior or be able to participate in any senior activities prior to that time. I became very depressed and embarrassed, so I quit and went to night school at Milford High School while working at my parents' business during the day. By the time Christmas came around, I had brought up all my grades and had in fact gained one subject, so I went back to Westboro High School and tried to get reinstated. During a conference with the principal and guidance counselor, I was told that I was a "troublemaker and possibly the most worthless young man they had ever known" and they would not let me back into school.

I went back to Milford High School and finished school getting a GED. After being refused entrance back at Westboro High, I became very rebellious and started hanging around with the wrong crowd. To be honest, I didn't think anyone from my class wanted to associate with a failure like me. This was a very sad part of my life, but I made it. I had to work all day, and then go to school from 6:00 till 10:00 Monday through Thursday. I think my determination to prove the administration at Westboro High wrong was the only thing that kept me going.

During this time, many rumors circulated about me going to Florida and getting married. Those were just rumors derived from the fact that while visiting friends in Miami, I was involved in a motorcycle accident where my passenger, a married woman, was seriously injured. Now you know the rest of the story.

Since I only received a GED instead of a regular diploma, my hopes of going to Ohio State ended, so I opted to go to the brand new Quinsigamond Community College. During the summer of 1964 my girlfriend became pregnant (now how did that happen?) and we got married in September of '64. I was 18 and she was 16 which was definitely a recipe for failure. During this same time, I started racing, first with my Corvette, then graduating to a fuel dragster. This kind of lifestyle didn't help make the marriage any stronger. We had a daughter in '65 and during the summer of '66 we separated. Since I no longer had any military deferments, I was drafted into the Army in October of '66. Early in '67 my wife and I were divorced and I immediately remarried, not a very smart move to say the least.

During my time in the Army, I continued to race cars whenever I could get leave. I was discharged in 1968 and returned to Westboro.

Upon my return home, I found that the old Joe's Jenny gas station had closed and was available for lease. I thought this would be a perfect fit for my lifestyle, so I started up a new service station. During this time I also took on a line of motorcycles and began racing them along with my dragster.

My U.S. Army picture - 1966

In 1969, my second daughter was born. Since I was still infected with a wild streak and only really wanted to race cars, the business failed and I sold it in '71 and moved to northern California where I would be able to race year round. As luck would have it, my wife became homesick, so we moved back. Shortly after the move, my wife and I separated and I moved to Keene, New Hampshire, where I opened a garage. We were divorced in 1972 and I got custody of my daughter who came to New Hampshire to live with me.

My racing continued at a professional level and I traveled throughout the country racing my own car and driving for others. While driving for a drag racing team in Toronto, Canada, that also raced boats, I got the chance to pilot a hydroplane on Lake Ontario. Although boat racing is not really my thing, I can tell you that going over 100 miles per hour on the water is quite a thrill.

In 1974 I became the first driver in drag racing to qualify for a national event in each of the three professional categories, Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock. This was chronicled in numerous car related magazines and newspapers. My thirty seconds of fame came in September of '74 when I had a fairly serious crash at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and was featured on ABC's Wide World of Sports. After the crash at Indy, I decided to give up driving at that level and I returned to Keene where I went back to college, utilizing the G.I. Bill, and finished with a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Psychology.

Late in 1974 I also remarried (some people just don't learn from their mistakes) and we had a daughter (#3 in case you have lost track) in 1978. The motorcycle bug hit me once again and I began racing a Harley at the local hill climbs. I also built a stockcar to race locally. While shoveling my driveway for the third time during the infamous "Blizzard of '78," I began thinking that since I didn't skate, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile or enjoy anything even remotely connected with snow and cold weather, wouldn't it make sense to move south, and when I put my shovel and snow blower away and looked at my race car just sitting there covered up, I made the decision to move to Florida right after daughter number three was born.

In June of '78, I sold the race car, my Harley, and packed everything we could into a U-Haul truck and headed south. We really liked the Tampa Bay area, having vacationed there several times, so I looked for work there first. I found a job as an Inmate Counselor with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Racing was still in my blood, so I built another stockcar and got back into it on an amateur level, only racing locally. I also got involved in classic car cruising and restored a '65 Plymouth Barracuda.

In 1980 my parents retired and moved near us, and in 1982, daughter number four was born. It didn't take long for me to realize that working inside was not for me, so I went to the Police Academy and became a Law Enforcement Officer. The Sheriff transferred me to patrol duty and so began my 23-year career as a Deputy Sheriff. I did all the usual assignments including detective, undercover narcotics, dignitary protection and administrative duty, finally retiring as a Division Commander in 2001. During my time with the Sheriff's Office I was able to take advantage of a very liberal education reimbursement policy and obtained a Masters of Criminal Justice degree from the University of South Florida.

With President George H. W. Bush in 1989


With President Bill Clinton in 1994


Shortly after my retirement, I was contacted by Ron Allen, WHS 1967. (How many of you remember Esther Allen's dance classes at the elementary school, girls on the left, and boys on the right?) Ron had started a drug screening laboratory a few years previously, then sold it, and now it was for sale again. Ron, his son-in-law, and I purchased the lab in Worcester in early 2002. That has been a very successful venture, and in 2008 we purchased another lab in New Haven, Connecticut. We now have more than 100 employees and collection sites throughout New England. Ron and I are silent owners and his son-in-law runs the operation. Our labs service the industry, government, insurance and the medical communities, offering a full range of blood, hair, urine and saliva screening for all types of substances.

In early 2003 the empty nest syndrome set in, and my wife, not so politely, asked me to remove myself from the premises. Now, hold on to your seats, I tied the knot again (#4 if you are keeping count) in 2005 and after you meet her at the next class gathering, I think you will all agree that I got it right this time.


With my wife Pam in 2008


So, how do I keep myself occupied now? I do some business development, and man our vendor's booth at trade shows and conventions, which I also do for a K-9 contraband detection company out of New York City. Three days a week I watch my 17-month-old grandson, go to classic car cruise-ins two or three nights a week, and car shows or races on the weekends. My wife and I belong to a resort and spa north of Tampa, are season ticket holders for the Florida Orchestra, and do volunteer/fundraising work for several charities. My wife is preparing for the Breast Cancer 3-Day where she will walk 60 miles over a three-day period, so I am training with her, which means working out and walking seven days a week. We live about a half mile from the Gulf of Mexico so we often walk to the beach to watch the sunset.


My 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo (first year of production).
It was a 1 owner with 60K miles and no modifications. I'll probably keep this one stock.


March 22, 2008 with Diana W Edwards at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida


I had lunch with Phil F on March 5, 2009 in Tampa


With my grandson in March 2009


If you have made it this far, I want to thank you for taking the time to share in this little part of my life's story. Believe me, I have only scratched the surface of all I have done. I feel very lucky to have been able to do almost everything I have ever wanted and experience things most people never have had the chance to. I have a wonderful family and six beautiful grandchildren with another on the way. My oldest daughter lives on Cape Cod with her three children and owns an appliance repair company. My next daughter lives in Worcester with her two children and is a physician credentialist for the Fallon Medical Group. I have two daughters living near me in Florida. The older has one child and one on the way and is a MSW who works for the Sheriff's Office as a Child Protection Investigator. My youngest daughter is single and trains and shows horses for the largest Quarterhorse farm in Florida. My dad, who was my best friend, passed away at age 90 on Father's Day 2001, and my mother still lives nearby.

Here is something very few of you knew about me. Remember all those new cars I used to drive? Everybody thought my parents bought them for me. Well, they did, but there was a catch. When I turned 13, my parents had me work at their motel and truck garage, usually every day after school and most weekends. I was paid $1.00 per hour to work in the garage and $2.00 for every room I cleaned at the motel (about $60.00 a week average). My mother opened a savings account at the Westborough Savings Bank and matched every dollar I earned with deposits. When I turned 16, I had enough money saved to buy my first new car (actually, the Impala and the Corvette were both low mileage demonstrators that I got really good deals on) and paid cash for every one after that. This turned out to be a very good business lesson, as I have never financed a car since.

Now for the best part, something that most of you will not believe, some of you will be shocked and others may be intrigued, but all of you will be surprised. No, on the other hand, if you want to find out what I am talking about, you will have to ask me at the next class gathering. See you then!!!!!!






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This page added 3/16/09
Last updated 9/10/11



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