Life starts happening and I was growing up fast . . . or so I thought, anyway.


I met the vivacious Marta Lydia Quinonez de la Roca while managing Dyke Ichiho's Mobil Service, a Mobil station near where she attended classes for English. Dyke Ichiho and Ronnie Kumeda were my Automotive Mechanics mentors.  They were also like surrogate dads to me at the service station.  They knew more about repairing cars and building Hot Rods than anyone I'd ever known then or since. They introduced me to Snap-On tools, and they helped me build up my own collection of them.  I have most of those tools to this day.  They also introduced me to Bento Box Lunches (dutifully prepared by their respective, very traditional wives every day for them), and I've loved those wonderful little Japanese box lunches to this day.

 

Marta was from Guatemala and after we decided to get married, I flew to Guatemala City, the capitol of Guatemala, where we were wed in a beautiful old Catholic Cathedral. Our drive through the city after the wedding was punctuated by machine guns fired by revolutionaries holding the local State Police Barracks at bay. We drove beneath the bullets as we crossed town to the Reception Party.  I've recently reestablished contact with Marta (we hadn't spoken to each other in over 15 years), and its been wonderful talking to her again.  Its easy to see how our daughter Nancy has turned out as wonderfully as she has.  Nancy looks more and more like her Mom with each passing year now, and they're both beautiful women in every way.    

 

Returning to L.A., I landed an Arco Service Station of my own on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Avenue, in Santa Monica, CA--Ocean Arco Service. I jumped at it, since I was a new husband and father. It was my first  dream shot at the age of 21 and it was a lovely beach setting overlooking Santa Monica Beach and its famous Pier. It was a surfer's dream.  I'd hit the early break, then open the station and work till 10 at night. I'd head for Howard Rumsey's The Lighthouse Jazz Club by the Hermosa Beach Pier for an hour or so before heading back home again to Marta and our lovely daughter Nancy, who has remained my dearest love, best friend, touchstone, and advisor. I worked 14 - 18 hours days and still managed to go out of business 2 years later. I learned a lot, licked my wounds, decided management just wasn't for me at that point in my life and went back to parking cars for a bit. I met a lot of fascinating people, learned a lot about both running and ruining a business, and did a lot of good work for a lot of very interesting clients.

 

 

I'd coped with The Draft two years earlier by joining the Marines on a delayed enlistment that I couldn't complete after marrying Marta (discharged honorably, Semper Fi ), so I put some thought to entering the military again.  I approached the Air Force, and was soon in Basic Training in Texas. Six months later and two stripes on my sleeve, I packed up for Honolulu, Hawaii, to be what was called a Computer Operator back in those days.

 

 

In Hawaii, the separation took its toll and after an attempt to get back together, we saw we just weren't making it. Marta returned to L.A to be with Nancy and I continued my Air Force Career. I moved through the ranks in minimum time and was exposed to just about every type of computer technology the Air Force offered--which was an incredible amount, indeed.

 

A year later I met and married Nancy Marion Helm of Wisconsin. We had a lovely Garden Wedding in Hawaii and a year later I obtained custody of Nancy (my daughter) and she lived with us in Hawaii. The three of us made a go of it for another two years, until Nancy decided to end the marriage, leaving me with Nancy as a single parent. That's when I decided to finish my degree, start running, and get serious about my life and my career.

 

The Journey Takes Shape

I learned a lot, licked my wounds, and decided management just wasn't for me at that point in my life

Phone: 603-883-8248

Cell: 603-682-4074

Email: DNyhagen@aol.com

At Home on the Net | The Journey Begins | The Journey Takes Shape | The Journey Evolves | Calendar | Events of Interest | Links to My Other Pages

Life:  There Is No Spoon . . .