After looking over all the twists and turns that Frances and I have taken over the past fifty years, the one missing ingredient seems to have been either a a road map or a civil engineering degree. The Road map to get us there more directly and the civil engineering degree to help with the detours. In any event, we both agree that life has been interesting.
Upon graduation, I went straight to Harvard Business School, a refuge for those of us who couldn't seem to pick a vocation. I doubt if I could have been accepted at HBS in today's competitive world- and besides what's wrong with being lucky.
After two years, I joined Sylvania Corporation as part of their manufacturing group in Salem, Mass. One year later, Uncle Sam suggested that I join the Navy. It was the sub-chaser fleet with training in Miami and five great months with Frances before being shipped overseas. We had been married the day after ... graduated from Midshipman School. Some questioned the wisdom of getting married before going to war, but we never had reason to regret it even though it meant being apart for 21 months.
I served four years, mostly in the Pacific, became skipper of a 110 ft. wooden hull boat and after 21 months at sea was transferred back to the States and to a 15 months old baby whom I had never seen. Nancy was the first of six superb kids including Charlie (Amherst '67), Beth, Holly, Susan and Martha. Two years in Miami teaching at Sub Chaser School concluded my service and I rejoined Sylvania, resuming my career in manufacturing.
After three years, one of the officers whom I met in the Navy wanted me to come out to Indiana to help him run a lamp business that his father owned. We went out there for three years, returning to join Polaroid Corporation in 1953, settling down in Wayland, Mass. I spent 12 years at Polaroid in manufacturing, a fascinating tour of duty with a company that was guided by the inventive genius of Edwin Land. I was fortunate to be asked to coordinate the development of pack film there, and took over the responsibility for the manufacture of pack film in the last few years of my stay.
For a variety of reasons we decided to join the Peace Corps in 1966. We served in Ecuador for 111/2 years and then took over the Directorship of the activities in the Dominican Republic for two years. Then back to Washington where I served as Deputy Director of the Latin American Region and then the Director for a short period.
My departure from the Peace Corps marked the start of a period which has been the most pleasant that we have had. My daughter Beth, Frances and I joined hands to form a corporation called Stockton, Inc. This business, started in 1978, has grown substantially over the intervening years until we are now located in Bethesda, occupying 4,000 sq. ft. of floor space, and strong enough to permit us to retire leaving Beth as President.
Frances and I are retiring to Florida along with our sixth child-a lovely 25-year-old retarded lady- and we hope to play golf, enjoy the beach and do some fishing. The sunset into which we will be fading is almost visible.