BIO Index

Mike Schall

Most of the '61 SHS grads only knew me as "Oh, you were the basketball/baseball player or the guy that had the '57 Chevy convertible", because I moved to Sarasota in October, 1960, after the start of our senior year. Although short-lived, my time at SHS spent with this very exceptional class has afforded me some great memories and life-long friends such as Steve Byers, Bob Watson, Adrian "Smokey" Garrett, and many others.

The next four years were spent at MJC and FSU, where I graduated with a business management degree, but didn't have a clue as to what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn't want go to work and I lacked life-goals, rather, my only interests were still sports and girls. My first job was with Florida's largest bank in Miami where I married my girlfriend from FSU. In the late 60's, I moved back to Sarasota where my parents still lived and took a position as stockbroker with the country's 2nd largest NYSE firm. During this time frame I got divorced and married again, but was still searching for happiness and a greater meaning for my life. My solution at the time was to buy out the Bifano's restaurant and adjoining pool hall located on Ringling Blvd., and to open the first Disco lounge on Florida's west coast. I named it "Behold the Turtle", taken from the expression "behold the turtle who makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." It was simply called The Turtle.

It was at this stage of my life, following another divorce, that my life made a 180 degree turn. My search for life's meaning led me down the scary path of new age religion and the supernatural. I grew up attending church on Sunday's and when I drifted from those solid biblical teachings, I paid the price.

I had a supernatural experience that scared the Hell out of me and turned my life to one of meaning. In a terrifying instant I was aware that the Bible meant what it said, and have since spent the rest of my life in learning and attempting to walk the walk.

I didn't know where to start with my newly found resolve, but God provided the details. I re-met a girl named Judie (from Manatee HS) who, since we dated years back, had 4 kid's and was also divorced. We got married and I formally adopted the 4 children, aged from 4 to 14. Of course no one gave this a chance of working out. I was lovingly advised by friends and family that you don't go from a single club owner to married with 4 children. But, not only were we able to make this new family work out, we additionally took into our home about 20 other kids that had need of family life, love and direction. Some stayed with us a day or two, others a year or two. We are still together today, but only after a few years of separation and by the grace of God. I sold "The Turtle" at a loss, and for the next 20 years of child rearing I worked for a regionally owned stock brokerage firm. The "kids" ages today range from 39 to 49 and we all still love one another. However, a new stage of my life began in 1998.

I felt a clear calling from God to serve Him full-time by writing about my previously mentioned supernatural experience that scared the Hell out of me and brought Jesus into the forefront. This was another bad financial decision, and caused Judie and me to separate while I completed two books on the subject of eschatology the biblical study of end-times and prophecy such as found in the Book of Revelation.

Judie and I are back and have lived together in St. Petersburg since 2009. For the past 8 years I have attended Faith Baptist Church on Fruitville Rd., serving as a Deacon, member of the Board of Trustees and an adult Bible study teacher. A little over a year ago I had a heart attack and actually "flatlined". This added to my experiences of the supernatural and my memory of it was that I didn't want to return from this paradise, but was persuaded to do so by "2 men" on the other side. After my healing from this adventure, I have been working on a revision of my book, and will seek to get it published ASAP.

So that's the short version of the typical X-jock bar owner from SHS turned Bible teacher and author. My life has been and still is very interesting. I'm learning everyday.

Mike Schall