I was born on November 2, 1958 in Methuen, MA. My mom (who passed away a couple of years ago) was a native New Orleanian, and my dad was a New Yorker who worked for Raytheon in Boston. They met when Daddy was in the Air Force and stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi. While the job was a good one, Mom couldnttake the snow and the cold. About three my sister Beth was born inOctober of 1959 (my kid sister, Bridget, was born in 1967), Mom told Daddy she was moving back to New Orleans and he was welcome to join her. So, the family packed up and moved to Metairie. My folks rented a house on Bonnabel for a year or so, then bought a small place on Dream Ct. in Old Metairie. We stayed there about six years, when my parents wanted something bigger. They sold the house and we lived in an apartment for about a year and a half while they looked at whether or not to buy or build. They settled on house in Whitney Heights on Clifford Drive, two blocks from the lake. (My sister Beth currenly owns the family house and lives there now.) Both of my parents are gone now; my mom passed in 1995, and my dad in 2004.
Momma was a teacher and school principal, at J.C. Ellis Elementary in Metairie. I went there for first through fourth grades (after going to Kehoe-France for kindergarten). Momma moved Beth and I when I was in fifth and Beth in fourth to St. Angela Merici, figuring it would be easier to get us into Catholic high schools if we were attending Catholic grammar schools. I attended St. Angela for fifth to seventh, and went to Brother Martin High School in Gentilly starting in eighth.
It was at Brother Martin that I began the period where I toldpeople that I “slept” in Metairie, but I “lived” in Gentilly. I never considered Metairie my home neighborhood because I didn’t do much there. I was always at school for an extended period of time inthe afternoon, participating in extracurricular activities, etc. I really began to appreciate how much Gentilly was a living, dynamic neighborhood, as opposed to the boredom of suburban Metairie. It broke my heart to see the Gentilly neighborhood destroyed by the lies of the Army Corps of Engineers.
After Brother Martin came four years at the University of New Orleans (a no-brainer college choice, since Daddy worked in the Physics Department as manager of the Electronics Shop). I graduated in the spring of 1980 with a BA in Secondary Education (Social Studies).
I spent the summer after graduation working for the Orleans Levee Board Police as a radio dispatcher, and was seriously considering becoming an OLB cop when a job opening came my way at Redeemer High School. Redeemer was the school that resulted from the closures of St. Joseph Academy (Momma’s alma mater, btw), and Redemptorist High School from up in the Irish Channel. The Redemptorist Fathers decided to close their school, but the parents and faculty didn’t want to let it go. The Archdiocese made a call that Remptorist was worth saving, so they gave the St. Joseph’s campus to them and closed the all-girls schoo lcompletely. The name of the school changed because the Redemptorist Fathers had discontinued their affiliation. Anyway, with the addition of the young ladies from St. Joseph’s, the size of the Redemptorist/Redeemer student body almost doubled, requiring additional teachers. I taught at Redeemer for four years, working at Radio Shack as a salesperson in the evenings. In 1982, I married my college sweetheart, Helen Ann Vigo, and we lived in half a double in Gentilly (not far from my work, a single bus ride for Helen to get downtown, and very close to her parents house).
By the end of the school year in 1984, it was obvious to us that I was going to have to make a career move if we were going to buy a house. I worked full-time for The Shack for about a year after leaving teaching, and part-time teaching computer classes. While selling computers, I regularly got offers to do programming, setup work, training, etc., from Shack customers. These offers, combined with meeting other computer professionals in the area, prompted me to leave the Shack and become a consultantfull-time. Thats how Seashell Software was born. I did consulting/training/programming/web work on my own or sub-contracted to various companies from 1984 until 1997. In the summer of 97, Igot the proverbial offer-I-couldnt-refuse, working as an analyst for Pan-American Life Insurance Company. The money was a good offer, enough to make me give up the freedom of working for myself .When the corporate-level mis-management of Pan-American came to a head in early 1998, it was clear that my job (which basically consisted of new project developmet for the actuaries of the Group Insurance line of business) would be one of fthe ones cut. I returned to self-employment, doing a mix of network support and training, and shortly connected with a company in the Boston area that was a training provider for DIgital Equipment Corporation, and maintained that relationship when Digital merged with Compaq. That connection has led to most of the travel-training I do.
Currently, most of my training work is for EMC, specifically their Symmetrix line of storage subsystems. I’m able to teach a number of other things for EMC, as well as for Hitachi Data Systems. My consulting gigs range from taking care of the point-of-sale systems for our restaurants, T. L. Starke’s, all the way to working with Symmetrix users.
Additionally, I am a Master Mason and a member of two Lodges in the New Orleans area: Albert Pike #376 and Kosmos #171. I’m also a 32nd-Degree Scottish Rite Mason.