How long have you lived at Chateau Bothell Landing?
Oh, we’re into our ninth year.
Where did you live before you moved to Chateau?
At Trilogy. 1500 homes, a seniors’ over 55 community.
Tell me a little about your life story.
I was raised in Bremerton, Washington, in 1936. I grew up in the throes of World War II. And I remember all the newscasts going on about World War II, and Bremerton is a navy town. The population Bremerton grew from 15,008 to more than 80,000. It was a time of a lot of change.
The 50’s was what I consider greatest generation we ever had. It was a very peaceful time to grow up. And then along came the Cold War in 1952.
My education was challenging because when I went to college, I’ve always been a Renaissance man. I could not decide what to major in. I went to college for four years then I went in the Army. I served for years. I made it to the rank of captain through Officer Candidate School. Graduating in artillery and ended up as a General’s aid where I learned a lot about politics.
I was in the military for four years with a full year in South Korea. Korea was still decimated from the Korean conflict in 1959. In the 80’s the Seoul Olympics happened, and I saw a huge change from the 50’s. I couldn’t believe it.
Then I spent two years in Texas after Korea. Yeah. I finally came back and went to work for Boeing. So military, to Boeing.
You had an extensive career in computers. How did you get involved in this field?
Back in 1962, when I first hired in the Boeing Company, I conducted cost and schedule analysis, which meant that I basically had old fashioned accounting paper, which looked like an Excel spreadsheet. We created all the balances manually with calculators. We had 10-12 people who punched buttons all day trying to get numbers to add up. It was a lot of manpower and labor cost.
I said there’s got to be a better way to do this. These were 1962 computers. It was the very beginning. It was all a card punch system. In those days, when computers were new, Boeing computers were for engineering purposes only. They didn’t recognize business systems as a true business need.
I was continually fighting for the right to be able to find a computer to work on business systems. My lead boss wasn’t entirely on board. I knew that we needed a better way to do something. And I finally convinced them. I found a friend of mine in engineering, who was doing wiring diagrams with the computer, and he knew a programmer. This approach was surreptitious. He helped me develop the first software with engineering budget (later forgiven.)
I managed to actually put together a system that cut way down the overtime. It was an innovative system. There were very few computer classes to go to, so a lot of it was self-taught. However, I finally got a job title that allowed me to do this computer work, officially.
You’re one of the first specialized computer workers for businesses for business systems. Which is a huge thing.
I became the project head. I designed the project and I started hiring programmers to do the program for me. That’s how I got into it – I retired from Boeing in 1995. I went to work directly from Microsoft, in the Visual FoxPro Studio software and had been my goal to develop software I really like to use. Remember that. I did that for my retirement. In 2004. I had an extensive career.
What are what are some of your other interests besides computers?
In the 1980s I started doing photography professionally. We landed the Santa Claus contract at Factoria Square in 1980. Did that for five years. We shot a lot of pictures. I finally had hired two photographers to work for me while I worked at Boeing. I would also come back and work in Factoria Square once in a while. We did like 120 weddings during that same time. From 1980 To 1995. We basically had our own photo studio. We tried video, but we found video to be not very profitable. People expected an NBC production for $100 and was very thankless.
For our Santa photos, all of our Santa’s had real beards. We raised the standards for the Bellevue area. Many of the other photo studios were very low quality and we raised the bar.
What are some of your favorite subjects in photography when you’re doing it for your own fun?
Bev, my wife, is a watercolor artist. We have her paintings displayed at Chateau Bothell Landing and in our home. She used to go on a Cannon Beach every year for watercolor school and I would go along. And I documented the whole city of Cannon Beach. Took pictures because I think it’s fascinating go through a city and capture a specific moment in time. I’d go back 10 years later and do the same thing again.
Anything else? That you’re a fan of or like to do?
I took historical videos of some of our oldest church members. We started documenting family history. The church has been around for 30-40 years. And we wanted to document their lives and interest in the church. We did really high end videos. I did about 20 of those in a short period of two years. Two hours long. I learned how to do video editing. I use Adobe Premiere. I really love doing the video editing. All kinds of crazy stuff.
What’s your favorite part about living at Chateau?
It’s a big place. There’s a lot to do – as much as you want to do. I’ve enjoyed assisting with various technology projects at Chateau because it takes almost every talent that I’ve had and puts it in one project.
Do you have like a favorite food?
Breakfast. I like to cook my breakfast. I take whatever is left over from dinner, and make an omelet. An omelet is it’s a blank canvas to throw everything in. Yeah, that’s my favorite food. I love a lot of food from around the world. Asian food. Middle East. I love the herbs and spices of cooking.
Anything life advice you could offer?
Challenge a boring day. Where people most people see as a problem – what I see is an opportunity.