Sarasota High School represented some of the happiest days of my life.
I worked at Marable's Market (now Morton's Market) so my extra curricular school activities were somewhat limited. Ted Morton, the manager, became a good friend, confidante, and mentor. I would visit with him every time I went to Sarasota. Unfortunately, Ted passed away last year and so did my Dad. So, my visits to Sarasota will be much less frequent.
Another reason, SHS was so important to me was that I was in love! I dated Lorainne LeGette from 9th grade through graduation. After graduation, we went different ways and I was the one to break off the relationship. I have always regretted the way I handled it, and I have nothing but warm feelings and best wishes for her.
Three days after graduation, I left for Washington, DC with Bill Holt, Dick Stickney and Jim Canfield to make my way as an Electrical Engineer through a work study program that I earned through Capt MacLean's drafting class. Some time after we arrived, I became very concerned about getting my draft notice. I knew John Wayne and Chesty Puller would not be happy if I was drafted into the Army. So, I joined the Marines! They sent me to Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa and Vietnam. The Marine Corps is the greatest fraternity in the world, and they say there are no "former" or "ex" Marines. In fact, I am the commandant of our local Marine Corps League. Not bad, from Corporal to Commandant, and it only took 50 years!
While I was in the Corps, I married a gal that I only knew for a few months, and then I shipped out. Should have known it wouldn't last, although we did try for 14 years.
After three years of active duty, I stared my civilian career with American Airlines in Cleveland, Ohio. They kept promoting me - which was great - however, every other promotion involved a move. In 22 years, I served them in Cleveland, OH, Columbus, OH, Oklahoma City, OK, Washington, DC, New York City, Dallas, TX and Chicago, IL. It is kind of hard getting a degree when you keep matriculating in different schools. I had so many Freshman English classes, I could have taught it - without notes! Finally finished my studies at Trinity College in Chicago. American asked us to return to Dallas, and the timing was not good. I knew if I said no at the level I was at, I would not be asked again. So, we negotiated a package, and I have done a ton of things since then. Consulting, owning franchises, running a ministry and retiring twice. I now work with my son.
In New York (36 years ago), I met my new bride, Donna Marie. She introduced me to her best friend and he soon became my friend. He was born over 2,000 years ago, but doesn't look a day over 33. His name is Jesus Christ, and I'll be happy to tell you about him anytime. Donna has been a blessing to me and our family from Day One. We have been truly blessed with two great kids and 3 (so far) grandkids.
Our son, David Guy Mitchell, lll graduated from LaGrange College and started a business specializing in fire/water disaster restoration of furniture and cabinetry.
It is now the largest operation of its type in Georgia. David and his wife have blessed us with granddaughter #2 - Caroline Preiss Mitchell. David lives about three miles from us.
Our daughter, Jennifer Ashley graduated from the Medical College of Georgia and just received her Masters in Nursing. She is now a Nurse Practitioner. She has blessed us with Granddaughter #1 - Charlotte Rose Heavin and our first grandson - Mitchell John Heavin. Jennifer lives about three miles further than David. So, we get to enjoy our kids and grandkids a lot.
As they say - LIFE WAS/IS GOOD!