I grew up on our family's farm located in NE Ohio's Summit County. In the middle of my last high-school year I asked my parents to give their permission for me to enroll, as a 17
year-old minor, in the US Naval Air Reserves "weekend warrior" O-2 training program at the Akron, Ohio Naval Air Station. I graduated near the top of Hudson Township's 1951 class of forty-seven students. After spending part of that summer on active training duty I commuted from home to Kent State University and to NAS Akron. The following summer my Navy Squadron flew an east coast logistical air wing based at Norfolk, VA Naval Air Station. I have fond memories of flying at 17 - 20 years of age in these Navy propeller-driven airplanes: PBY, SNJ, SNB, TBM, and R4D.
The Navy enabled me to transfer to Ohio State University and occupied my time again throughout the following summer. By December of 1955, at which time I earned my Bachelor of Science degree, the war in Korea had ended. More importantly for me, education and developing personal convictions precluded my pursuing a military career.
I went to work within a few days of graduation with a "Q" Security Clearance from the Atomic Energy Commission in a laboratory at Battelle Memorial Institute within walking distance of the college. An avid reader, by 1960 I no longer considered an academic or military career nor a lifetime spent working in the confines of a laboratory. I took a job in Ohio with Lever Brothers Company, a large consumer products marketing firm that offered a two-year in-field sales-training program. After the two years I was promoted and transferred to New York City where I eventually participated in the introduction of new products.
I resigned from Lever after six years to triple my income, switching from marketing consumer products to industrial sales. By 1968 I had become one of the nation's top producing truck-body salesmen, selling to major truck-rental companies. After learning the techniques of successful distributor marketing I moved on to become regional sales manager of a company for a couple of years and then the general sales manager of a division of a publicly traded company. I drove the business into a profitable position within my first full quarter's accounting period.
In 1976 I decided to go into business for myself and to return to my mid-western roots. In the course of a year I built an early Century-21 real estate franchise into the SE Ohio region's leading office in all areas: recruiting, listings, sales, and profit. Bored with that business, I began to study the way that personal financial products were marketed, especially "savings-type" or "money-back" life-insurance. These were financial contracts that I could never fully comprehend.
After sending away for The Consumers Union Guide to Life Insurance and reading it carefully, it became obvious to me that accurate information was needed from other than the industry's trained salesmen and their clever General Agents. I then studied several books on the subject, including Norman F. Dacey's What's Wrong with Your Life Insurance, G. Scott Reynolds' The Mortality Merchants, the classic chapter #13 on life-insurance in Venita Van Caspel's Money Dynamics, and Randal A. Hendricks definitive study, "A Legal Analysis of the Sale of Life Insurance", [The Houston Law Review 810 (1969)]. I decided to recruit and train a marketing organization that would accurately inform consumers, enabling them to make financial decisions in the interest of their families rather than in those of already financially bloated life-insurance companies. I met and joined forces with a couple of older highly successful and experienced sales executives, the men who introduced the marketing of mutual funds to the American public. Together, over the next several years, we worked with the progressive insurance companies for which they designed products my own company marketed.
In 1980 I wrote and self-published Financial Recovery. Advertised in full-page ads in "Life Insurance Selling" magazine, where it received a favorable review, thousands of copies were bought by individual agents and agencies across America where it helped to create substantial industry changes. From 1980 to 1985 I built, owned, and managed a company that became one of the top volume diversified brokerage agencies in America, marketing selected financial products nationally including tax-deferred single-premium annuities before the tax-law was changed from FIFO to LIFO effective Aug. 14, 1982 and selling attractive unregistered tax-sheltered investments before the IRS eliminated them with TEFRA. Before the personal computer age I struggled to learn how to program the TI-59 in order to provide responsible agents throughout the country a means of calculating and presenting replicable and accountable financial product analyses for their clients at the point of sale.
I made the stupid mistake by entering politics. A couple of friends and I picked a slate of state-wide candidates after helping the fledgling Libertarian Party regain Ohio ballot access.
I myself ran for the Ohio Senate, campaigning on rejection of the state income tax, repeal of the federal income tax, and audit of the Federal Reserve System. I put a sign on the back of my motorcycle's seat that read, "Stop the Federal Income Tax". It got a lot of approving honks. In retrospect I realize how politically naive I was at the time. I did relatively well at the polls but unexpectedly generated personally destructive and formidable enemies.
My brilliant younger brother Bob, a PhD geologist living in Florida, had for years been encouraging me to move south. In January 1986 during a particularly cold Ohio winter I relocated to Sarasota, Florida, a community which I love today as much as I did the first day I found it. I hope to live peacefully here to age 100 among interesting neighbors.
P & L objectives of financial corporations constitute a conflict of interest with savings and retirement interests of working men and women. It is obvious today that corporate government and
crony capitalism have triumphed over democracy and the American people.
In April of 2005 I published at BigEye.com The New American Slavery, written by Jolly Roger and containing the information, "This economy is going to crash like a freight train." Before home values plummeted I unlocked millions of dollars of what I referred to as "phantom equity" and put it into the pockets of hundreds of senior homeowners in Florida by means of then "controversial" reverse mortgages. Although I no longer originate reverse mortgages myself, I refer persons who inquire about reverse mortgages to someone who has been in the business for more than a decade and who I know provides honest and capable advice and service.
As others my age I miss those who were close to me and have departed life, especially my brother and a special lady. I greatly enjoy meeting new people and value a few friends I have made locally over the years. Personal time is spent reading, listing to WSMR (streaming online worldwide at www.wsmr.org) - the amazing classical music station to which I am proud to contribute as a "founding member". I also write columns as a freelance journalist for publication on progressive web sites such as
VeteransToday.com. I earn a modest passive income with a few selected marketing companies and my online advertising business. I budget time to exercise at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's fine HealthFit facility, and love being a "fair-weather sailor".