BIO Index

Tom Riffe


I would like to preface this by acknowledging what a great class you guys were, from the Bio's I have read the talent was wide, deep and awe inspiring. It has made me appreciate even more my time there, my classmates and the education, which over the years I came to realize was truly first class. I am sorry that I lost track of so many wonderful and talented people. This makes me regret even more my probable absence from "our" 50th re-union.

After graduation I attended Western Kentucky University where for two years I majored in partying, laughter and fun, much to my parent's dismay and depleted bank account. From that "educational experience" I went to Miami, a grocery clerk by day and a beach bum 24/7. Seriously broke, humbled and tired I returned to Sarasota where I worked for First Federal Savings and Loan with the newly installed computer system as a lowly clerk and started the painful - for me - process of growing older (not sure I have ever grown up) and facing reality. All too quickly Uncle Sam sent me the dreaded letter and after brief stints in South Carolina and San Francisco I volunteered to go a country I had never heard of, Viet Nam. I arrived there Christmas 1965 and remained for ten years - I could relate lots of war stories but then I would have to hunt you down and kill you. The War over, I returned to the U.S., ending up in Frankfort Kentucky, my ancestral home, where I still reside.

I was employed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky ending my State Government career in 2001 as the Chief Information Officer for the Cabinet of Health Services. During most of that time and for several years afterward retirement I also coached several High School sports. Sometime between 1965 and now I managed to get married and divorced a few times, be a dad to five great kids (his, hers and OMG Surprise ours). I would like to say I was a great dad and a good teacher but with seventeen (yes, 17) grandkids I apparently failed in teaching sex education, or maybe they just didn't listen to the "do as I say, not as I do" speech.

Now ten years retired my life is spent either waiting on or dreaming of the girl of my dreams, playing golf, in the gym trying to turn back the clock, trying to decipher the mysterious world of thoroughbred horses (my Kentucky heritage as a child on my grandfather's horse farm), the stock market or Texas Holdem. As you can tell I am a total derelict, but life is great.

While I would like to be in Sarasota, see everyone, re-new friendships, kindle new ones, satisfy curiosity J J J, and share memories, May is a difficult month schedule-wise for me. If you happen to be in the Bluegrass State or catch me in Florida (Orlando or Bonita Springs), don't hesitate to contact me, til then thank you for the good memories of SHS and for sharing all the years between then and now. May God bless and keep you.

Your Friend and Classmate
Tom Riffe