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Why am I doing this?
The Early Years
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Country Gentleman
Ysleta High School
After High School
The Military
Married Again
The Family Grows Up
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Single Again
S*x and Dr*gs
Time to Move
Beautiful People
A New Phase
Biting the Bullet
Con Artists I Have Known
Things I Know to Be True
My Frustrations

Time to Move

Sally was moving up and becoming a hot property for Hilton Hotel. She was the only woman and black to ascend to the position of General Manager of a major hotel.

She started out as a Room Clerk at the Washington Hilton and worked in 10 Hilton Hotels around the country, progressing through the ranks as Front Office Assistant Manager of the Beverly Hilton, Director of Sales of the University Hilton near USC, Resident Manager of the San Francisco Hilton and finally; the bench mark of the industry; which is General Manager of the Tarrytown Hilton in NY.

Eventually, years later, she crossed an upper management bigot and got railroaded to a miserable, hopeless property in Seattle, overrun with gangs and prostitution and she was hounded into resigning. She now sells real estate in northern California and is married to a very nice guy.

I was also beginning to work myself into a corporate position with SynerGraphics, a division of TransAmerica, in San Francisco. Sally and I both were called to San Francisco at the same time so we broke up the apartment arrangement in West Hollywood and moved to San Francisco into separate places but still remained friends. We were both really tied up in our new assignments. Sally became the Resident Manager of the San Francisco Airport Hilton.

SynerGraphics wanted to greatly expand their service bureaus and get a competitive edge on all the other microfilm service bureaus. I had designed SynerGraphics’ flagship microfilm recorder five years earlier; but they had only purchased a half dozen and they were difficult to repair because my company had gone out of business.

They wanted to open 40 offices around the country using new state of the art microfiche cameras. They wanted me to get one of the manufacturers to make a special model for service bureaus such as us. We not only got Bell & Howell to build the machine we wanted, but added some features we had capitalized on in my old machine, variable character sizes. We also got them to give us the source code for their computer so we could modify it to use the new features. For the next five years, I would rewrite the code to double the features and the same time I doubled the throughput speed. We became the envy of the trade. I was flattered by the fact that competitors would hire away our operators and get them to steal the code for their computers. It was industrial espionage but we couldn’t do much about it without rattling our customer base.

After nine years, our division was sold to Anacomp who had acquired the original company, DataGraphics, that I started with 20 years before. After a year with Anacomp, I found the politics distasteful and went to work for super straight Bank of America where I stayed for the next 19 years.

My last act at Anacomp was to offer for sale to Bank of America the software I had written for the Bell & Howell microfiche recorders for $22,000. With permission from both sides, I accepted the offer when I moved to Bank of America and installed the software in the 24 machines the bank owned, thereby saving the bank replacement costs for a period of 15 years. The new models introduced by Bell & Howell still could not come up to the performance level of the old machines using my software. The software was never recompiled and it ran error free for a total of 18 years until the equipment was replaced by online technology. My first task at Bank of America was to try to save one and one half million dollars in converting paper printing to microfiche. I hired a group of people I trusted, also disenchanted with Anacomp, and together we racked up savings of 18 million dollars in 18 months.

I went on to become one of the key people in selecting personal computer and printer technology for the bank until my retirement. In the spring of 2000, the last Bell & Howell microfiche recorder was retired and we had a memorial lunch with the team I brought to the bank in 1981. My software had run error free for over 18 years. My old boss and mentor, Roger Blue from SynerGraphics, came and we had some grand old memories. In retrospect, it was very humbling because there is nothing left of that accomplishment that took about 25 years to achieve.