I graduated just before my 17th birthday and
headed off to UC in Berkely, supposedly to study electrical engineering.
Somehow, this course had been planned for me, so I went. The photo titled
"Oxford Hall" was taken in late 57 while I was living at Oxford hall, part
of the student coop.
I didn't fit into UC well at all, and even worse into Berkeley, so in late
58, my roommate and I transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where we
thrived. My advisor pointed out I was getting much better grades in math
than EE, and I graduated in Math in 62. I worked my way through Poly as an
engineer and technical director at KSBY, Channel 6.
I enlisted in the AF about 3 days ahead of my draft notice, and became a
2nd Lt communications officer. I spent a year in Alaska at a small
fighter base just below the Arctic Circle, and the photo "Campion" was
taken in Feb 64 on the way to a little party to celebrate my promotion to
"Real Lieutenant." As a 1Lt, I went to command an airborne combat
communications team in the two Vietnams and Laos in spring of 64. We
were there for a little over 3 1/2 years, and I came home a Captain at the
very end of 67 with a few injuries and a small load of scrap metal. The
photo labeled "Bien Hoa" was taken on the evening of my last day in
Vietnam, in brand new clothes for the trip home. The grin probably gives
away that I was really ready to try out something else in the AF besides
On return, I married Andrea Traxler [Class of 62?], and was assigned to
NASA in Houston working on trajectory planning and guidance analysis for
Apollo. It's the only time I've been paid to do mathematics. Our first
daughter was born there. Next assignment was to an airborne radar project
at McClellan AFB in Sacramento, and our son was born there. In mid 72, I
got notice of another 18-mo combat tour, and shortly after, was offered a
discharge and reinstatement of my reserve commission. More combat wasn't
all that attractive to me and we liked the N. Cal. area, so we decided to
start over as civilians. We became foster parents, taking kids about the
same age as the two we had made, and ultimately adopted two of them, a
girl and a boy.
I began working as a systems and software engineer at a few companies, the
last one being Science Applications International Corp. from which I
retired in 2000 while I still had some mobility left. In 76, we bought 5
acres north of Auburn and have been here ever since. Our kids grew up
here with horses, dirt bikes, and baseball in the pastures, and they are
now scattered in Reno, Las Vegas, and NYC, with one [and 3 grown
grandsons] here in Auburn. The last photo was taken on our deck at the
end of 2005. We're taking the kids to Cancun this Christmas to celebrate
our 40th [anniversary, not kids].
"Fred and Andrea..... Nov 2005"
I started in Ham Radio at 13 while at SG Jr HS as KN6DGW, and still hold
the call sign K6DGW. I was able to get much more active after I retired,
and lately have been pretty active in operating contests. Andrea is a
horticulturist and has domesticated a couple acres [my job is to bury
white pipe for her], and I get to live in a botanical garden.