Collected Tales from our Life's Journey's




Howard Hawkins


unique achievement

Eastmoor: Memories on my route

From Eastmoor HS, there was a short hop to Capital University where I completed studies in Aerospace Studies (AFROTC), Accounting, and completed courses which took me to a bachelor’s degree and a commission in the USAF.  Activities included the concert band, the last of the school’s marching bands, and a charter member of Students for the Advancement of African American Culture.  Military service led to assignments which were solely in the continental USA.  As a Squadron Supply Officer, Material Facilities Officer, and Social Actions Officer my assignments were the kind that kept planes flying and airmen fit to perform their assignments harmoniously.  After an honorable discharge, I found my first civilian job with a pharmaceutical retailer in New England.  I wasn’t there for long, but it was important that I met my future wife there while she was a student at Simmons College.  

Rushing ahead, there was a long stint I had with the federal agency which enforces the bulk of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  My assignments were in Ohio and I retired in Cincinnati.  Married life to an old friend didn’t last long and we went our separate ways from Cincy.  It seems that we weren’t ready to settle down.  I was determined to jump back into ensemble groups such as the Cincinnati Brass Band, Cincinnati Civic Orchestra, and Cincinnati Community Orchestra.  As if that wasn’t enough, I found that I loved to kayak on the Ohio River and various lakes in Ohio’s state parks!
Favorite Ohio moments: performing in the Cincinnati Brass Band to augment the brass of the Cincinnati Pops under the baton of Erich Kunzel in Music Hall and Riverbend amphitheater.  Participation in several Paddlefests on the Ohio River and operating a kayak livery on the Ohio River.  

Wanderlust after retirement put me on a Bucket List adventure via Amtrak on its Empire Builder route from Chicago to Seattle, Seattle to San Diego, and returning to Chicago via Texas!  Highlights of that unaccompanied adventure included my first multiple-day stays in Seattle and San Diego.

Hurricane Irma led me to evacuate my home in Naples, FL and the living was easy for a couple of nights in Orlando where the happiest people in the world seek refuge.  When I returned home, Naples and Marco Island cleaned up from the mess and my house escaped serious damage.  A neighbor who stayed in her home through the heavy winds said that she’s had it with sheltering in place through these things.  A handful of roof tiles blew off of my place and insurance paid for a complete replacement of the entire roof so I couldn’t have been happier!  

One close call from Irma was enough to cause me to reconsider my options about staying in Hurricane Alley.  In less than six months, I sold my home and found another one in the Las Vegas neighborhood of Winchester. My friends in the Naples bands and my neighborhood friends are missed, but one close call from a hurricane can make a big impression!  The big tree that fell away from the house instead of onto my bedroom had to be a good sign so I was not going to test my luck with future storms!  Cambier Park concerts, Naples Philharmonic concerts,  Brass Elements ensemble performances and master class events in southwestern Florida schools were pleasant memories.

Life in Las Vegas is never boring!  Anyone who has been there can confirm.  I moved here simply because it had a more affordable inventory of homes and I was considering places from Seattle to Santa Fe to San Diego!  I’m not a gambler so Las Vegas has impressed me with its natural beauty and the constant redevelopment of the metropolitan area.  Giant hotel/resorts are fascinating with their public areas, decoration, and shows.  I’m known for the pictures I post from these areas.  I’m not looking for a job here because a job would disrupt my periodic trips to other places around the region and that includes state parks and national parks which are spectacular!

Growing old is grand!  It’s rewarding to stay in shape for the challenges along the way.  We all have some sort of challenge and predicting the future is worse than trying to beat the house in the casinos.