|Checked back into Camp
After spending “all me bloomin’ life" at Hyde Bay in the summers – literally from birth in Cooperstown until it’s closing, life without Hyde Bay was difficult, but very rewarding.
Following graduation from Yale and the Navy ROTC, I entered the Navy Nuclear Power Program and our nation’s Submarine Force. I met Kathryn at Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge Maryland and we got married in 1973. My Navy career stretched for 26 years, 1 month and 17 days – but who’s counting?
I served as a junior officer on USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN 658) (Gold); USS L Mendel Rivers (SSN 686); Engineer Officer on USS Lewis & Clark (SSBN 644) (Blue), Executive Officer of USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and returned to USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN 686) as her Commanding Officer. Shore duty included the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, Staff of Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion, and Deputy Commander, Submarine Squadron FOUR. I was also Commanding Officer of Submarine Training Facility, Charleston, and Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science, NROTC University of Notre Dame, where I retired in 1998. Pretty sure that I would not be very good working for someone else, since I had spent 1/3 of my Naval career in Command, I decided that I didn’t want to work for a ‘beltway bandit’ (defense contractor!) and took a year off.
I was seriously considering retiring, but fell into another job I love!
I had helped plan a cruise for a bunch of retired Submariners which Kathryn and I were going on to celebrate an anniversary, when the friend that was putting it together passed away from a heart attack. Since his family wasn’t interested in his business, and I had a vested interest in making sure the event went right, I decided to start my own company as a home based travel agent, making use of some of the skills I had supposedly learned after 26 years in the military and an MBA. The rest is history. I have been very successful in this non-job. I don’t take vacations – just lots of business trips and have succeeded in becoming one of the top agents in the country for my particular business demographic!
Along this life journey, we had two wonderful kids – Kate, married to Dan Narsavage and living in Boise Idaho, and Josh, married to Janine Morris and living in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
After having served the country and the public for so many years, I stay involved in the community as a district leader in Kiwanis International, and in Knights of Columbus, Naval Submarine League, Navy League of the United States, and United States Veterans, Inc.
Cooperstown is in my blood as that is home. Mount Nebo is still in the family as it will be passed down from Pickett to Pickett in perpetuity. A bunch of us – Hurricane, Jolly, Fat Pierre – try and return to Cooperstown every year – with sporadic success; probably not as diligently as the Lynn’s. Durbar is a highlight as we recall what tremendous impact Hyde Bay had on our formative years.