I'm a former newspaper reporter/columnist, Akron Beacon Journal, and a retired, accredited public relations counselor. When I'm not writing the aforementioned book, I do freelance PR.
First influence. "You're a chip off the old block" some used to call me. The “block” was my now late father. As a reporter, he often took little me along on his beats. As an editor, and I a high school newspaper sub-editor, he had me with him when covering stories such as a derailed train carrying soldiers, and a flame-seared house where a distraught man had unsuccessfully used a bomb to kill his divorcing wife and their baby.
Second influence. Kent State University School of Journalism where the Akron Beacon Journal’s managing editor taught the “nuts and bolts” of newspaper reporting. I did two internships, one at a weekly newspaper, the second at a daily. The editor at the daily used a red pencil to mark changes to my copy. I’ve never forgotten that red, red and how that pencil-wielding editor helped shape my two careers. Again, he was my dad. And his most enthusiastic cheerleader as well as mine was his wife, my mother.
Third influence. This is my late brother, a submarine officer and commander, and program manager for the Tomahawk Missile testing/development/successful launch. Thanks to him, I dived on a submarine and wrote about it for the Akron Beacon Journal and, later, when he had command of a submarine, I again spent a day diving, traveling underwater and surfacing. The seed was planted: Someday I’d write a book about the high quality food prepared aboard a submarine as being the highest morale booster for crew as they travel beneath oceans in “sharks of steel.”
A recent visit on a nuclear fast attack submarine, where lunch included steak, shrimp and freshly baked rolls reinforced my goal of using recipes and menus to educate the general public about The Silent Service which, by the very nature of its missions, receives little fan fare.