Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Dave was born in Washington state, and raised in his family's home area of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. His father worked in the Montreal mine, an underground iron mine that was a major source of employment for the region. Dave had a wonderful childhood in the small towns of Ironwood, MI and Montreal, WI. In 1959, Dave's family was to discover what "out-sourcing" was all about - decades before the term was used. It had been decided that iron ore was cheaper in South America, and in 1959, the Montreal mine was closed. (A similar event is describe beautifully in Bob Dylan's song "North Country Blues.) The miners and all the businesses in the area who depended on the miners were devastated. In August of 1959, when Dave had just turned 12 years old, the family of six, and Grandma and her dog, all piled into a Chevy pickup with a camper shell and headed for California.
While the family stayed with Dave's grandparents in the Imperial Valley, his Dad took a donated 1951 Mercury to San Diego to look for work. He found a job as a parking lot attendant at the old Home Federal Savings building at 7th & Broadway. It didn't pay much, but he had medical insurance for the family.
Like most poor kids, Dave didn't know how poor the family was. A special night was Tuesday's, when his Dad would bring home a can of soda for each of the kids. Furniture, cars and clothes were mostly gifts from better-off relatives who were buying new and didn't need them any longer.
In 1965, Dave, and the woman who would become his wife 43 years later, graduated from Morse High School, and attended San Diego State. Tuition was $50 a semester. He did very well the first semester, but, truth be told, partying got the best of him, and by his third semester his grades had plummeted. A decision had to be made. In the spring of 1967, Dave volunteered for the draft. He attended helicopter school in Virginia and in February 1967 headed for Vietnam and his year with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in I Corps, between Hue and Quang Tri. He has lots of stories.
After returning home, he received a BA and did graduate work at is now SDSU. He also taught classes there. But he wanted to wander and explore. He went to Europe, Hollywood, had jobs in maintenance, warehousing, truck driving, construction and more. Finally he signed on with San Diego Superior Court, from which he retired in July after 19 years.
He has known his wife Patty since they were at O'Farrell Jr. High. They dated in high school, where Dave was voted "Most Talented" and Patty had the "Best Figure." In 1967, Dave asked Patty to marry him. But it was "No." Forty years later, at a high school reunion, they met again, and 3 years after that she changed her mind. She finally said, "Yes." It's been great ever since.
He had enjoyed politics from the sidelines since the Kennedy/Nixon battles in 1960, and as a man of the middle and lower middle class all his life, watched as his people were being battered pillar to post and were blamed for, and asked to bear the full burden of the cost for the largest economic collapse since the Great Depression. He decided it was now time to find out if working men and women would support one of their own for Congress. We are going to find out.