Tell us a little bit about yourself and/or your family.
I grew up on a small family rice farm near Stuttgart, Arkansas. Yes; there were lots of ducks back then; right out the back door. I also fished, trapped, and hunted other things besides ducks and we raised honey bees. Sharon and I were married almost 50 years ago Dec 2, 1967 and we have two grown children; Tonya and Zachary and two granddaughters; Molly Kate and Chloe. Prior to joining Magnolia River, I worked at Plough Inc., South Central Bell (Memphis, TN), BellSouth Services and BellSouth (Birmingham, Al) and retired in 2004.
What brought you to Magnolia River?
Ronnie’s father and I knew one another while working at BellSouth and I hired temporary folks to work for me from the company he helped to start after he retired. He called and wanted to know if I was interested in going back to work after a year of retirement. I talked with Ronnie and David and they agreed to let me work as a contract employee to help for a while. I’ve been helping for over twelve years now.
Tell us about your job at Magnolia River.
I’m currently working as a field supervisor for Spire in Alabama tracking their projects to ensure the tie-ins are completed in a timely manner, so their objectives/goals are met and exceeded. I began as an Inspector and then became the manager of the Birmingham Inspection group.
What do you enjoy most about working for Magnolia River?
Beginning a new career, learning about the cast iron replacement program, working with some great people, hiring new employees and watching them develop their skills and understanding of Inspection activities.
What’s one thing that people might be surprised to find out about you?
I survived combat in Vietnam. I joined the US Army at seventeen (’65-’68) and served in Vietnam for one year with the 101st Airborne Infantry in combat. I was awarded a Purple Heart, two Army Accommodations for Valor, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, a Presidential and Meritorious unit citation. I also made one parachute jump and had the privilege of meeting John Steinbeck. I extended my tour for another 1 ½ years as a door gunner on a helicopter gunship with the 334th Armored Helicopter Company in combat. I was awarded a Purple Heart, sixteen Air Medals, a Distinguish Flying Cross and a Meritorious unit citation. Also, survived two hard landings (crashes); one from pilot error and one from friendly artillery fire.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy backpack hiking and have section hiked 1500 miles on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mt., GA to Salisbury, CT with 690 miles remaining from CT to the end in Maine. I just finished a two-week hike for 70 miles to finish the remainder of the state of NY and most of CT. I’ve been a US Forest volunteer since 1993 helping to clear fallen trees from ice and snow storms, tornados and hurricanes with a chain saw and other maintenance activities on 54 plus miles of the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail in the Shoal Creek District of the Talladega National Forest of Alabama.
What type hobbies do you have?
My most active hobby is backyard gardening a 15’ x 30’ area with raised beds. I currently have carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, but grow over 22 different vegetables during the year. I’m also a collector of mostly US stamps and coins.