A: I was… born in Pueblo, Colorado, on October 14, 1929, and lived mostly in California. I went to school in Pittsburg, California, and graduated from high school in 1947. I went to work on automobiles and became a body shop foreman for Cadillac/Pontiac. So, I worked on cars.
Q: Did you go into the service?
A: Yes, I served in the Air Force and went to Korea for a while, but I got out pretty quick. I was a courier for Air Force Headquarters, so I had to get top secret clearance. I ran back and forth to Seoul with important papers.
Q: Did anything scary ever happen to you while you were doing that?
A: They tried to bomb the bridge that I crossed every day, but they never did hit it, so I was lucky there. We tested equipment overseas and actually we started testing rockets over there [in Korea]. And then I lived in Florida for a while where they were building rockets as well. They developed the moonshot and all that stuff while I was there. They had a hanger there that held a B-36 bomber.
Q: Is this top secret?
A: Not anymore.
Q: What did you do after the Air Force?
A: I moved back to Pittsburg, California and went back to work for the Cadillac/Pontiac body shop.
Q: Did you get married?
A: Yes, I was married. My wife’s name was Doris Davenport.
Q: Where did you meet her?
A: We met in high school where we both played in the band; I played clarinet.
Q: Did you stay there?
A: Yes, we lived in Pittsburg then moved to the mountains when I retired from the body shop. We lived up in Bear Valley. We separated and she passed away just a few months ago.
Q: Did you have children?
A: We have four: 3 boys and a girl, and they are all lawyers! I have some grandchildren, too.
Q: How are you related to John Muir?
A: I checked out my family tree and that’s how I found out that I’m related to [the naturalist] John Muir; the family tree revealed that I’m also related to Roberts Burns, the poet.
Q: Were you surprised?
A: I didn’t think I would be related to that many famous people, so yes, I was.
Q: Are there any lessons that you have learned about life?
A: I’d say I just try to get along with everybody and have the best life I could.
Q: What do you like to do during the day now?
A: I mostly watch TV — but I also go visit my relatives.
Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: I mostly like adventure stuff, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, some of the popular movies that are out now.
Q: What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you?
A: Probably the things I like, I like having fun, visiting people and doing stuff. I like food.
Q:What’s your favorite food?
A: I like watermelon. I like pie, too, but it’s hard to get.
Q: What would you say is the best part about getting older?
A: Probably getting to know all the different people all along the way.
Q: What is the worst?
A: Probably knowing that someday I’m not going to be here, and I’d like to be here as long as I could.
Q: What was your favorite thing to do with your family?
A: We loved going camping and waterskiing. I liked to go to Lake Shasta. Doris and I used to go over to Reno and gamble a bit at Harvey’s; never won very much, maybe $150.
Q: Do you remember a particularly difficult time in your life?
A: Probably when I lived in the mountains and had to come down here.
Q: What was your happiest time?
A: I don’t know, probably when I was traveling around when I was in the Air Force and then when I lived up in the mountains. I had lots of friends up there we’d go fishing a lot. We caught trout and salmon.
Q: Tell us one lesson you’d like your grandchildren to learn from you.
A: Go out and enjoy life and have as much fun as you can.