I had few friends prior to moving to Bynum. Other than my brother (Larry) and sister (Sandra), I had few playmates. But, when we arrived at Bynum, my world grew 10 times over.
My first friends at Bynum were the Brewer brothers ( Kenneth, Wayne( Cooney) and Gary). They introduced me to guys like Donald Gamble (Doodle Bug), Lindon Dourgh (Yogi), Melvin Chamblis (Monkey), Billy Horn (Honkey) and David Watts (Day-Day). These were friends you never forget.
If you noticed, most of us had strange nicknames. Mine was sometimes just Wheels. I guess it was from my last name.
To get initiated into the social life at Bynum School for a boy was tough. Bruce Jansen and some others tried to get me and Joe McCaig to fight because we were the smallest boys in our class. But . we both turned on Bruce and beat the crap out of him. I was accepted!
My life at Bynum was a mixture of a tough home life and the joy of so many friends and the opportunity to see how other people lived and grew up. As the local paper boy, I got to know almost every family in every house in every area . Smiles, warts and all. This was some education.
I left Bynum to go into the service where I went to school for 3.5 years of the 4 years I was in there. I then came home and went to work at Chrysler Engineering in Huntsville, with more school. I also started dating my wife Susan Price (Wedowee head cheerleader) during that time at Chrysler.
After getting laid off at Chrysler, I was offered a job at IBM programming analog computers and designing circuits. And . More school. IBM had a very good system of schools where they brought in visiting professors and you took college equivalent classes in quarters. I attained the equivalent of a masters in electrical engineering through the company program. I married Susan soon after going to work for IBM.
We were transferred to South Florida where we lived for 28 years and raised 3 beautiful kids, William Jr., Gerald and Melissa. William Jr. and Melissa attended Palm Beach Community College and Gerald went to Florida State (where he now works as a network engineer and his wife is the school registrar). William Jr. works for Werner in Atlanta. Melissa and her husband, Lt. Col. James Laffey, live on their ranch in Stockdale, TX with 4 kids and various collections of goats, donkeys and horses.
After attending night school for 4 years at IBM for my equivalency, I became the lead power design engineer at Boca Raton. My professional life exploded into things I never dreamed of. I became manager of several technical areas in IBM and eventually was the world wide manager of computer power systems. My home time was divided with working with my employees all over the world. My patent portfolio grew to an impressive size. It was a dream job.
My dream job took a heavy toll on my health and I suffered a massive heart attack in Florence, Italy. I then had to come home and undergo quadruple heart by- pass surgery. My private doctor and the company doctor informed me that no more globe trekking for my fragile body. So I retired and started my own company, WRW, inc., a consulting company. It was a fascinating experience. My contacts all over the world were willing to actually pay me to tell them how to run their business.
We sold our home in South Florida and bought a money pit near LaGrange, GA. It is now all in shape and we just love having friends and family to come and stay with us. It is our dream come true. The welcome mat is always out.
My business is in its closing phase now. My last client and I will not renew contracts and I will be just another old man that lives with a beautiful wife wondering just how did I luck out and get here.
This trek from the Bynum Paper Boy, to the Engineer, to the Rocking Chair Intellectual has been quite a trip. I once stood at the fountain in front of the Buckingham Palace and watched the Queen on her balcony and thought You are no better than I am in my country. I also stood on the street from where my grandfather came from (Salzburg, Austria) and thought Its pretty but not as free as Bynum. I was once flying over Russia and thought My country made it possible for us to fly over this place. My circuit designs are now on the surface of the Moon, Mars and Venus. Some of my circuits enable navigation of large aircraft. I was one of the original team that developed the IBM PC. I became friends with some of the most interesting people in this country, Canada, Mexico, Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Russia, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Ireland and Jamacia.
Ive seen it all and experienced it all but, it comes up short of the joy of walking with Mr. Walker (Santa Clause) at Bynum. Sometimes you have to travel the universe to appreciate the beauty of a sunrise.