Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1951 into a loving, happy, working class family, I am just one generation removed from the cotton farm. My grandparents were still dirt farmers when I was young, and for years I would help them bring in their cotton during picking season. During visits to my grandmother’s farm, she introduced me to old time southern gospel music, and I learned to play a harmonica. Later, this would figure prominently in my life.
I spent my childhood enjoying music, playing with other nearby children, exploring the vast woods that lay to the north of our neighborhood, reading, playing sports, swimming in the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, and just having fun for the most part. I was always popular at school, and I did well there.
Attending public schools at Westside Elementary in Memphis my first two years, I later transferred to Frayser Elementary before moving on to Frayser Junior and Senior High School. I consistently made good grades, held elected office through most of the years, and was chosen by my class mates as “Best All Round” my senior year. Later, I attended the University of Tennessee before joining the Operating Engineers Union in Memphis.
A few years after marrying, I enrolled at the University of Memphis. I worked my way through undergraduate as a student worker in the Admissions Office. My major was Sociology, and I graduated Cum Laude. My senior year, I received an academic scholarship from the Center for Manpower Studies, which eventually led to a graduate assistantship. In graduate school, I majored in Industrial Systems Analysis, completing my Master of Science in 1981.
At the Center for Manpower Studies, I helped write a federal grant for the City of Memphis. During my second semester in graduate school, the City hired me to work directly for them. I continued with them for nearly six years. In 1983, I was laid off from the City because of reorganization. I spent the next two years as a househusband caring for our infant son.
Upon returning to the job market, I held a variety of positions over the years including piano tuner, bartender, retail clerk, wood worker, club manager, and recording studio session player. For thirteen years I taught blues harmonica through the College of Continuing Education at the University of Memphis. During my time in Conway, Arkansas, I was partner in a computer-based communications business, Global Gateways. Our company implemented satellite technology to gather, collate, and distribute Fidonet (pre-internet) electronic mail packets for most of Central Arkansas. I also worked as a piano player in one of the top oldies bands in Central Arkansas.
Moving to Houston in 1998, I sold roofs, garage doors, and fences for Diamond Exteriors, a Sears authorized contractor. In 1999, I received my State of Texas Life and Health Insurance license and began working for Bankers Life and Casualty Insurance Company as a sales agent, eventually moving up to Agent Developer. In 2002, I formed my own insurance brokerage and began selling independently, which I continue to do today.
Among my personal interests are music, literature, current events, politics, computer technology, church, youth ministries, and cooking. I am licensed by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and as a Eucharistic Visitor.
Happily married since July, 1971, I first met my wife in 1959 when I was a second-grader.