May 17, 1999

I left the Islands on about 8 March, 1962 after spending 40 months in
VW-14/AEWBARRONPAC. My wife Marcia had already gone a few days ahead and
was waiting for me at her uncles home in Concord California, just a
stones throw from Treasure Island.  She was very pregnant with what
turned out to be our first son, Darren who was born at the end of March.
After a few days at T. I., and release from the Navy, we bought a car
and headed north to Everett, Washington, a small town just north of
Seattle. I had a job in Seattle with Boeing when I joined the Navy so I
knew that I could get work there as soon as I told them I had returned
from active duty. At that point, there was little chance of furthering
my education with a kid on the way (perhaps I was too lazy to work and
go to school) so I began work with Boeing as an expediter working on the
Minuteman Missile program. During my three year tenure with Boeing, our
second child Dean, another son, was born.

During the summer of 1965 I went to work for a company in Everett called
Western Gear Corp. This company built heavy machinery for ships such as
steering engines, anchor windlasses, and some oil pipe laying equipment
for several large oil exploration companies. There, I moved through a
range of positions, Expediter, Master Scheduler, Engineering
Administrator, and finally Sr. Program Manager.  I spent a total of
seven years with Western Gear and I must say that for the most part they
were enjoyable.

In about 1972, a close cousin of mine who was working in the insurance
business in Phoenix, Arizona convinced me that I would make a good
salesman so after selling the house we were off to Phoenix in early

Phoenix was a modern, progressive city with lots of greenbelts, parks,
flowers and color everywhere and we all liked it immediately. My
uneasiness to move proved prophetic however and I struggled mightily to
make it in the insurance business. I didn't really like selling and I
had a difficult time making cold calls and building a client base
without knowing anyone in the area. I gave the insurance business my all
for a little over two years but it became obvious that the family would
starve if I continued the struggle much longer. I began looking for work
with which I was more familiar.

I was hired in July 1975 as the Production Planner buy a small
electronics manufacturing company called Omni Spectra, later purchased
by MA/Com and still later purchased by Signal Technology.  I say the
Production Planner because this company had no Production Control or
Planning department at all so they were looking for someone to build it
from the ground up. During the next 21 years, the company grew from 65
employees to about 750. My positions there were Master Scheduler,
Production Manager, Business Center Manager and finally Director of
Materials, a position I held until I left the company in June, 1996. The
products we built were electronic jammers for most of the fighter
aircraft used in the Air Force and Navy and more recently, power
supplies for communications/TV satellites.

The reason for my early retirement (I will be 60 in July) was just plain
burnout. I had worked for this company for many years, been through all
the ups and downs and just didn't want to go through any more of those
cycles. Marcia and I had been talking for a while about the possibility
of my retiring early so in June 1996 I gave notice of my intent to
resign and left the company where I had spent the past 21 years.

We had read quite a bit about retirement in Mexico and decided to give
the Guadalajara area a try. It was a great move on our part. We've been
here in Lake Chapala for almost three years and it is everything we had
hoped. The weather, the cost of living and especially the people of
Mexico are just fantastic. We will probably spend the rest of our days

Chuck Sparks