I was born in Augusta Georgia in 1943. Within a year my father, a special agent in the FBI, was transferred to Denver, where I grew up. My childhood was routine. I did make it to Eagle Scout. And I came to love hiking in the Colorado mountains where I scaled a few peaks. When my dad was transferred to Washington, D.C. in 1961, I tagged along. Four years later I graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in zoology.
While in college, I was lucky enough to win a summer stint as a student trainee at the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office. By 1965 I was hired on as a full-time oceanographer. I spent a good portion of the rest of the 60s at sea on Navy research ships working in the Atlantic Ocean from north of the Arctic Circle to south of the Equator and many seas in between.
In 1970, with the birth of my first child, David, and the desire to stay home with family, I retired as an oceanographer. Before long I was realizing what I had dreamed of since childhood—producing events. I put on a Medieval Faire in the countryside of Maryland in September 1970 and a gourmet fair in Washington in March 1971. My daughter, Jennifer, was born during that event. The next year, we moved to California where I put on another gourmet fair in San Francisco in December.
In 1973, with my then brother-in-law, I went into the art and craft fair production business and by November that year we put on the first Harvest Festival in San Francisco. Over the next 17 years we grew the business to where by the late 80s we had Harvest Festivals in every major city in the West and beyond out to Texas, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We presented more than 20 Harvest Festivals every fall in those years, often with two or three happening the same weekend. My son Benjamin was born in 1974. And in 1986 my son Zachary came along.
I can’t say I was that physically active through those years. Yet, I did do some mountain climbing so I guess I was somewhat fit. I climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest peak in Africa) in 1987, a 20,000-foot peak in the Karakorum Range in Pakistan in 1989 and to the summit of Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere) in 1993, the latter two with my son Dave.
I sold my half of Harvest Festivals in January 1990. Then I spent most of the rest of the 90s “retired.” During those years, I attended Sonoma State and San Francisco State Universities and received a MA in geography. I also wrote a novel and lived in Portugal for three years.
In 1998 I returned to the festival production business. My good friend Steve Haimovitz and I put on the first Sacramento Arts Festival in November. Three years later Steve retired from the festival but I’ve continued to produce it—the 20th annual will be this November 3-5 at the Sacramento Convention Center. Through the years I also put on other festivals throughout California. For the past six years I produced the Healthy Living Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near San Diego. I sold that expo in May.
I now live in Ventura California with my partner JoAnne Hunot, who is a full-time artist. We first met way back at the first Harvest Festival in 1973 and have now been together for 11 years. My four kids and five grandchildren live all over the map but I visit with them as often as possible. I still put in a number of hours a week managing the Sacramento Arts Festival. But now, after selling the health expo, I have the time to write the Generation Fit blog! And I have more time to swim, bike, run and lift weights. I plan to participate in a couple of triathlons and two half marathons this summer and, if I can stay injury free, the full Ventura Marathon in October.