A view of Lake Pend Oreille from the mountainside northwest of Sandpoint, and just west of the Airport. My home is just below this viewpoint.
Until 8th grade, my glasses had no measurable impact on my sight. I could not read the blackboard from the front row, so I sat at the back and used a "reading machine" in the closet to read books. I very clearly remember telling my teachers about the prospects for getting a new kind of glasses from Dr. Feinbloom in New York City that would enable me to see the blackboard for the first time. They were not impressed. The photo does not do my actual glasses justice - they were worse than what you see for this poor fellow.
I was born in Poughkeepsie, New York on October 25, 1946. My early years were spent in Milton, NY
and later in Wappingers Falls, NY, both near Poughkeepsie, NY, about 70 miles north of New York City. I was the 3rd child, and have a brother Bob and a sister Kathy. We were all brought up as Christians - believers in Jesus Christ as Lord.
As a child, I was taught that my eyesight limitations would not prevent me from doing anything I wanted to do (I was "legally" blind - which means my vision was worse than 20/200). My parents were very careful raising me to think of myself as "normal" and capable. This was extremely effective, and I thank God for their insight.
My interest in music started early. I spent many hours listening to my dad's collection of 10" LP's from the Musical Heritage Society: Bach, Beethoven, Brahmas, Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel, and other greats. I fell in love with many great classical pieces that I still love today. I also took piano lessons for a number of years.
My visit to New York City was amazing: for the first time, I could actually read the letters on the eye charts! With some help from the Lion's Club of Poughkeepsie, my parents were able to afford the very expensive glasses I needed. Unfortunately, the glasses were over an inch thick. This did not help me in social circles in high school.
In spite of a rough start in 7th grade, and the status as a "social outcast" in high school, my grades improved steadily until I was on the high honor roll by the time I graduated.
In 1962, we moved to Rochester, New York, the home of Eastman Kodak and Xerox Corporation. I spent 2 years in Penfield High School, and graduated in 1964. I applied to the University of Rochester, and was accepted into their Electrical Engineering program.
During my high school years, I had many interests. My love for photography started there, with a Kodak Instamatic camera. My interest in electronics blossomed in 9th grade, and I built many tube-based electronic devices. My science fair project in 12th grade was to build a complete AM radio station, WPBC (West Penfield Broadcasting Company). This was a carrier-current transmitter, like used on college campuses. I set up broadcasting after school for 2 hours, and sold local advertising at $0.60 per minute. I even broadcast from the front window of the local drug store for a week! The 1963 photo above is taken from the local Penfield newspaper, showing me in my basement broadcast studio. My Heathkit oscilloscope and multi-meter can be clearly seen in the clipping.
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