August 1st of this year marked my 30th anniversary of my first day with the North Carolina Fisheries Association. My title was Executive Director when I started and I remember the night I was hired by the Board of Directors at the Holiday Inn in Washington, NC when one of the Board members commented that he wished they could keep an Executive Director around for awhile, “for maybe 3 years or longer.” At the 10 year mark we had a reorganization and my title was changed to President and also took on the mantle of Corporate Secretary.

Effective April 1st of this year I stepped down as President and the Board brought on Glenn Skinner as Executive Director, with my title now being Director of Government Relations. Just recently the offices of NCFA moved from New Bern to Morehead City, so over time things do change.

As I was looking through boxes at the office in preparation for the move things slowed to a crawl as I was flooded with memories looking at the articles and news stories in the files and the many photographs of the various events. Many of the people in the pictures have passed on, but the memories remain. We were involved in so much with articles in print and TV and radio interviews constantly.

Back in the day, a 30 year anniversary with an employer wasn’t uncommon. Next month, Pam and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary, and again that was not uncommon a few years ago.

Experience is great, especially if it’s combined with a good memory. Doesn’t mean much if one has lots of knowledge based on that experience but can’t remember it! I’ve found though, that sometimes it’s just better to shut up and not dampen the excitement, as “been there, done that” only goes so far.

What the heck happened? I’m writing an article from an old guy’s perspective! How could that be? My hair was dark brown and all of a sudden it’s as white as snow. I could actually put on a Santa suit and not use a fake beard.

Dad, Bernie, and I just finished the milking and chilling out in the barn watching the cows eating hay as Dad liked doing, yet Dad sold the farm almost 50 years ago.

Did you read what I just wrote above? Pam and I have been married almost 49 years, yet we just got married! My uncle, Fr. Paul Schill, just got a speeding ticket on the way to our wedding. It just happened, yet he’s almost 90 and now in a retirement home.

I just had supper after a Marine Fisheries Commission meeting with Billy & Janice Smith, Murray & Marion Nixon, Jule & Nancy Wheatly, and Linny Perry but they’ve all gone to their eternal reward. I was just sitting on a plane with William Ellis Smith as he was telling me about his idea for a half percent program for fishermen, (ya know what I mean), but William Ellis died 26 years ago!

I’m single and milking cows but have a wife, 4 children with their spouses, 10 grandchildren, a granddaughter in law, and a great-grandson!

I mentioned to our Tradewinds Editor that I didn’t know if my article would be based on fiction or a romantic novel. It’s actually an epiphany.

I’m a senior citizen! How did that happen?



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