The crown jewel in my body of work as a writer is the two-volume, 1,200 page book I've painstakingly compiled on my maternal line genealogy. It tracks my dirt-poor great-grandparents who immigrated from Germany to America in the late 1800s; their 7 American-born blue-collar children; their subsequent 21 grandchildren (many of whom made it to white-collar status); and my generation of 65 great-grandchildren. The book features profiles written from personal interviews with many of the 21 grandchildren, an interview with the youngest of my great-grandparents' 7 original children (he was age 96 at the time), photographs, census record and more. Each of the 7 branches of the clan was given a copy of the book, and I write and distribute periodic updates on recent births, deaths, etc. to keep things current. And of course, several family tree charts, photo albums and such complete the project. I've flown all over the country to meet and interview family members I never knew I had. In term of time, money and effort it's been a major undertaking; but well worth the trouble.


I don't look like the trucker type, but I actually have my California Class C commercial license to drive big-rig trucks. Passed the written and road tests and everything! I just thought it'd be a cool thing to learn - and certainly a challenge. I haven't driven since my hard-fought triumph at the DMV, but wouldn't be adverse to it. I need to brush-up on my road skills. But from an organizational and paperwork standpoint at least, I'd make a superior driver who takes things slowly and puts safety first. These kind of blue-collar jobs are the backbone of our country. I admire professional drivers.

I have more experience driving buses with my California Class B license and have driven the big 45-passenger Metro-sized buses for events at the Hollywood Bowl, LA Marathon, Rose Parade, and at concerts at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I've also driven 24-passenger shuttle buses on a variety of assignments, including the Ford Theatre, Pasadena Showcase House of Design and local churches. I also have a California Class M license to drive motorcycles (used to have a Kawasaki Eliminator 600), as well as the standard Class A license for autos.

Driving gives me something a little more mobile to do than my other professional pursuits such as teaching, office administration, hosting a television program, and writing. It gets me on the road and out in the world among the commuting public - a nice change of pace!