Born in Fort Wayne, December 10, 1952 my family purchased Broadview Florist and Greenhouses in 1957 when I was only 4 ½ years old. We moved into the three-bedroom apartment above, where I currently live with my wife. My daughter and mother-in-law live in the houses on either side of Broadview so we have our own little “homestead” here on Winchester Road. We have been through four major floods; 1978, 1982, 2003 and the last one was January 2004. The greenhouses were under water each time but not the florist or our homes.
As I grew up I went to only three schools; Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst High. I was a big fan of the drums after watching the drummer in a band at a wedding reception…My mother always knew where I was, sitting in a chair watching the drummer the entire night. I took lessons after that and became a pretty good, professional drummer. I was also the drummer in the stage band (big band) at Elmhurst High School for three years. I played my first professional job when I was only 13 years old and continued to play professionally until I was 28 years old. After that I retired from music and devoted all of my time to the greenhouse business.
I never was formally trained in this business but had a real passion for learning everything I could by reading books on the subject. I also watched Jim Crockett’s Victory Garden on PBS-Television which gave me the idea to start up my own news TV segment on a local news station. Every week I gave pointers on how to garden and care for plants on the news, and I did this for 11 years. Next I turned to Talk-Radio, WGL where I had a one-hour “question and answer” program that ran for 15 years, and only ended because the station turned from “talk” to music.
Over the last 14 years I have been flying airplanes. I started October 15, 1996 and have flown to many destinations over these many years; to Florida, New Orleans, Asheville, NC, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago and to my favorite place, Mackinac Island, Michigan. Truth is, I took up flying just so that I would not have to drive to Mackinac Island ever again, and I haven’t. I now own my own plane, a Cessna 172 Sky Hawk but in the beginning I belonged to a flying club that owned 3 different airplanes; a 172 Sky Hawk, a 182R Sky Lane and a Cherokee Piper (low wing), all of which I could fly.