July 2, 2020 at 9:57 am #947MickParticipant
Born in San Jose in 1962, oldest of six in a Brady Bunch scenario: I have a brother, a sister, a half-sister, a stepbrother and a stepsister. Three blondes, three brunettes. Any resemblance to the Brady Bunch ends there. Parents divorced when I was six. Attended public schools through sixth grade in what a pre-woke society would call a white trash area, moved in with my Dad and Stepmonster when I was 13, attended Catholic schools from seventh grade through college.
Great-granddad Felix left Wisconsin at age 14, traveled to Idaho to join his brother Claude (yes, a French family) who was a logger. Got a job as a gofer at an auto dealership that sold both Fords and Buicks under the same roof. Became GM at age 19, bought out the place from the owner at age 21. Owned radio stations and auto dealerships in the Northwest, around Spokane. Didn’t want his son Jerome (my grandfather) to become a wastrel at U of Idaho, so he applied on Jerry’s behalf without his knowing to The Farm. Hence, Granddad was class of ’42 at Stanford. Met Grandmother, Edith Patton, also at Stanford. He was a French/Irish Catholic, she was Anglican/Episcopal. Her father told him to stay away from Catholics because they fought and drank and swore. Oddly enough, the two fathers got along extremely well, and respectfully referred to each other by “Mr. (last name)” their entire lives.
Edie & Jerry were married in 1941. Six months later, on Dec. 8, 1941; Granddad was in his Monday a.m. Japanese Economic History class, taught by a Japanese national. Said prof arrives late, states that he thought Japan was in the right in the dispute over rubber, oil and other things, but that Japan had chosen the wrong way to express it. My dad was born in March, 1942. Grandpa Jerry graduated and joined the Navy, working in the Pentagon as a computer operator, feeding punchcards into large IBM machines.
Post-war, Jerry opened a cannery in San Jose. One of his best friends was Tom Seaver’s dad and fellow Stanford alum Charles Seaver. They were both in the dried fruit business and Charlie introduced raisins into breakfast cereal. Jerry’s eldest son, my father, spends a year at Bellarmine, then three years as Bob Berry’s wideout at Willow Glen High, where they were in the process of winning 43 straight games, until they lost to a Bill Walsh-coached Mission San Jose football team. Felix, Jerry and Steve were all Willow Glen residents, and I still live in Willow Glen today, though I have an apartment in Washington DC, where my law firm is located.
Dad moved us to Santa Cruz and I attended a high school formerly named Holy Cross, renamed as Marello. I graduated in 1980, the school closed down in 1986. It was two blocks from the lighthouse, Steamer’s Lane and the Red, White and Blue beach, the local cove that served as a topless beach. Might still for all I know, I haven’t been down there since 1981.
I met Mrs. Mick at Santa Clara. I was from a large Catholic family, no one had ever attended a Catholic university before. I had half a dozen family members at Stanford, a few at SJSU, Ole Miss, San Francisco State. Dad was recruited to Cal by Coach Pete Newell the year that Cal won the NCAA basketball championship, then did not offer my Pops admission, because he had C’s and D’s on his report card. Dad resented his failure to gain admission to Cal and regretted his transition from Bellarmine to Willow Glen HS, so public education of any stripe was off the table for me.
Anyway, Mrs. Mick and I graduated in 1984, married in 1987. I started selling for accounting, consulting and law firms and have done that ever since. Mrs. Mick taught in public schools in Palo Alto Unified until our first son was born in 1991, second son in 1995. Both attended parochial school in Willow Glen, not because I necessarily preferred parochial schools but because our house was redistricted into a miserable public school. One of the teachers had been the most prolific druggie in my high school.
Both of my sons played volleyball and were elected student body president at Bellarmine, then played at Princeton. My older son was the MVP of the largest volleyball tournament in Southern California (35 teams) when he was a junior, then he was recruited by Harvard, Stanford, Princeton and UC San Diego. UC-SD’s coach promised playing time, but was kind of a jerk. Stanford said he would be the seventh and last guy recruited, and the assistant coach (who also doubled as son’s club coach) said he would never get off the bench and would still be expected to invest 40 hours a week in volleyball. Harvard needed five players, but could only guarantee two middle hitters, my son played outside hitter. Princeton recruited him as an outside and that was all she wrote. My younger son played for a year, then retired because of back and knee injuries.
My older son is in private equity in Santa Monica. My younger son works as a product manager for Nvidia. Both sons, coincidentally, date women who are UCLA alumni and also in technology.
I worked for accounting firms until Enron fell, Arthur Andersen cratered and PricewaterhouseCoopers didn’t need me anymore, thanks to Sarbanes Oxley. I transitioned to law firms in 2005, and am currently the Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at my fourth law firm.
If you want to contact me privately, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 6, 2020 at 10:26 am #1100LegendKeymaster
Cool background story. Sounds like you have a lot to be proud of.
Sic transit gloria mundi (so shut up and get back to work)
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