They say you can never go home, which is especially true in my case since I was born in 1928 in a town called Signal Hill, located in the Panhandle of Texas. No need looking for it on a map because the only thing that exists there any more are a few crumbling foundations and some rusting pipes sticking out of the ground. It was founded in 1926, grew to 12,000 people in four years and was completely gone in four more. The last building standing, the old bank, was torn down and the bricks salvaged in 1934.
It was founded by a land promoter who envisioned a place for the new oil rich from the Texas Panhandle to build their mansions, as he had seen in Signal Hill, California. However, greed got the best of him and the $200 lots ended up being 25' wide by 80' deep. Pretty hard to build much of a mansion on a lot that size. The only thing the buyers had going for them was they got the mineral rights when they bought the lot. Most of the people who bought lots started drilling for oil even before they set up a tent or built a shack to live in. When all the holes started coming in as dusters, they just picked up and left. My dad put our two room house on skids and dragged it three miles with a team of mules to a section of land he had bought for a dollar an acre a mile east of Stinnett. I was one of six members in the smallest class to ever graduate from Stinnett High School.
I learned to fly while in high school and soloed an airplane on my 16th birthday. I was born just three days too late to be drafted for WW-II which put me at the top of the list for Korea. I wanted to fly but couldn't pass the eye test so based on a degree in journalism, they put me in the engineers building runways. I was drafted into the army as a private and came out two years later as a Master Sergeant.
I married Freda, the light and love of my life, and together we have three wonderful and successful kids; two doctors and a legal eagle. After getting our kids well on their ways in life, I decided to leave the pressure of a management position with a major retail company and celebrated my 50th birthday by retiring. This would allow me to do the things I had always wanted; to write, fly airplanes and gliders and travel. In retrospect, while I don't make the money I could have had I stayed with the company, I feel better and know that I'm far healthier than I was 20 years ago. In the process, I've been able to travel to many places in the world, had between 150 and 200 magazine articles published along with six books and we truly enjoy life.
I bought a bicycle to use as transportation so I wouldn't have to move our motorhome when it was parked and found just how much fun it was to rediscover what I had lost the day I became old enough to get a driver's license. My touring bike has carried me to many interesting places but mostly it has brought me into contact with some of the nicest people around. No longer do I associate friends with what they do for a living but for our common interest.
I try to live life to the fullest and my motto is not to leave anything in the glass when I die.
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Copyright © 2000 by Jim Foreman