|This is when I DID have hair! Helmet wearers- beware!|
My Dad was stationed at Ft. Benning just before the Korean War. I attended 1st grade at Baker had Ms. McKnight. I came back to Ft. Benning just before my Dad retired. Baker had become a high school and I was a senior in the calss of '62. The classroom I had in elementary school was the same classroom I had as a senior! (The blackboards were still at first grade level on the walls, but the desks had changed.) I took ROTC and was on the rifle team and enjoyed the special relationships known only to Army brats which develop when you don't grow up in the same neighboorhood your entire life. Upon graduation, I went to North Georgia Military Colege but found I was not prepared for college. When my Dad retired the family moved to St. Petersburg, FL. We stayed in St. Petersburg, FL for several years and then moved to Clearwater, FL. about 30 miles north of St. Petersburg. My Dad opened a restaurant called Seven Steers (a franchise) and we all got our fair share of the work load! Later, the franchisor closed and my Dad changed the name of his restaurant to Chief Charley's. It served the community fo more than 20 years. He passed away in 2003 after seeing the Tampa Bay Bucs go to the Super Bowl! I attended St. Petersburg Junior College and Florida Presbyterian College until I got an itch to work all the time. About that same period the Vietnam War got ramped up and my brother and I were drafted on the same day! We went to Jacksonville, FL for induction and then to Ft. Benning (amazing how this place always pops up in my life!!). We stayed at Benning just long enough to go through the uniform issue, haircut, testing, etc. routine and then we were shipped off to Ft. Riley, KS for Basic with the 9th Infantry Division. My brother and I finished basic and returned to FL for leave. He remained with the 9th Infantry Division, went through AIT and then went to Vietnam. I went to Ft. Ord, CA for AIT and was told I had been selected for OCS. After AIT in CA I learned that I would be returning to Benning for Infantry OCS in Class 13-67. I finished OCS in 2/67 and was assigned to the Adjutant General's Office (Col. Perna) as Assistant AG for the Infantry Center and School. After going to VietNam (the first time for 16 days)I went to Thailand and then back to Vietnam. When I was relased from the service I got serious about college and graduated from St. Petersburg Junior College and then attended the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg/Tampa. I earned my BA in Accounting and thought about being a CPA, but decided that was NOT my thing. I continued to work in the restaurant business with my family until I found a new interest in life...computers. I spent many years in the computer field, earning those important certifications and doing my own thing. My wife, familily and I moved to Charlotte, NC in 1992 where I worked for Bank of America in the netowkring department. I found working for a big organization going through as much turmoil as they were as they expanded was not for me. I left and did my own thing again for several years. One day I was riding along on the interstate, going from one client site to another and received a call from a recruiter at Compuware Corporation. She asked me if I would like to talk about working for them. I went for an interview, received an offer and have been there ever since. A great company!! My wife, Sheryn and our three daughters (Lisa, Christine and Kendra) live in a small community north and west of Charlotte called Denver. It is on the shores of Lake Norman, a large man-made lake. Our home has a sitting area across the front, facing the lake from the side of a hill (yup! rocking chairs!!)and the boat is just a stones throw away. I work from home and make a couple of trips a month to visit prospects and clients and am fully involved with the children (15, 13, 9). I love life!! My ambitions are all intact...family, good job and peace. UPDATE: My wife left a note on my nightstand almost a year ago saying she "lied" to me because she wanted a house, a nice car and children. I looked like the kind of guy that could give her those things...now she had them and I could leave (and by the way, continue to support her). I was crushed! Guess alcohol and abuse of anti-depressants got the best of her. The girls are really suffering and it has been all I can do to get back on my feet and stay positive. Good thins I had sound values and a sense of perspective from my Dad, the Army and BAKER!! I think I'm going to make it!
Skeeter's e-mail address: Contact information for Skeeter Baker Lions only
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