I’m just a simple down home country boy who grew up in the farmlands of Southern Illinois. I’m the oldest of six children born to Carroll and Carlotta Lanahan. At the age of six, I had my first rifle and shotgun – a Savage .22/.410 over and under. Squirrels, rabbits, coons and possums didn’t have a chance!!
Being known as a ‘Master of Run-On Sentences’, it’s pretty obvious that schooling wasn’t too much of a priority in my life – especially when I could spend days out hunting and fishing, and nights and weekends out on a lake or in a tent somewhere under the Southern Illinois stars. As such, I joined the local Boy Scout Troop (Troop 79) in the mid 1960’s and since the Boy Scouts required a merit badge for pretty much everything other than ‘Grammar’, I was able to become the very first Eagle Scout in Maryville Illinois.
I graduated from High School mid-year my senior year (I hated school so damn much that I got through it as fast as possible). I always let all my grandkids know that I graduated 43rd in my class……………… I REALLY HATED SCHOOL!!
On 10, Feb. 1971 at the age of 17, I joined the U.S. Navy and eventually became an “Engineman” on two individual Diesel Electric submarines. It was on the first of these underwater suppositories (USS Sailfish SS-572) where I met two of my lifelong friends – Ronnie Slack (a Torpedoman) and Russ “Bogie” Bogar (a fellow Engineman). Bogie left us a few years ago, but there isn’t a day that goes by when me and Ronnie don’t bring him up in a conversation – especially over a glass of Irish whisky. For the next seven years I sailed the Orient, spent time in the South China Sea during Viet-Nam, played underwater Cold War games with the Russians, and helped train new Navy Ensigns as a Chief Engineer on one of the Surface Warfare Officer School training vessels.
In 1977, and with an Honorable Discharge, I continued in my profession as a mechanic working for various Caterpillar Tractor Company’s marine division dealerships up and down the West Coast. I spent 15 years working as a local and remote Cat mechanic with the majority of that time working at, opening and managing remote shops throughout the state of Alaska. Of course hunting and fishing were mostly top priorities especially when I would travel to many of the remote villages and bays to either fix or repair a broken boat, generator set, or piece of heavy equipment. It was during this time that I was able to perfect my ‘Rube Goldgerg” techniques on how to get things fixed with nothing more than a rock and stick.
In 1992 with a worn out rock and a busted stick I decided that I had just about as much fun as I could stand working for Caterpillar dealerships and took a position with the Department of Interior as a Maintenance Worker in Alaska on a National Wildlife Refuge for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. I even had my buddy Ronnie fly up to Kodiak to spend a couple weeks and fly out on a bush plane to help me drink a lot of whisky and repair a remote cabin site out in the bush. For the next 20 years I worked my way through muck and mire of various field stations along with a 7 year tour in the Washington D.C Headquarters office managing the National Facility Management’s Maintenance Program, I retired in 2012 with 27 years federal service as the Regional Chief of Facilities for the US Fish & Wildlife’s Southeast Region.
I consider myself somewhat of a naturalist and now live in Middle Georgia with my wife (of 40+ years) Connie and my little buddy Griffin. Connie and I have two sets of adult twins, and 13 grandchildren. My days are spent managing our 15 acre “mini” Wildlife Refuge, building guns and ammunition for hunting deer and turkey, or just shooting targets on our property. I also enjoy brewing up a batch of homemade Muscadine wine using fruit from the wild grape arbor behind the house. Even though I stay busy most of the day, there’s always time to cool off in the pool or relax at the outdoor bar & grill behind the house.
I believe in God as my Creator, His Son Jesus as my Savior, and in the humor and patience He must possess in order to allow for the continued survival of his human race. I talk directly to GOD every day since He’s my buddy and He does talk back to me. I am neither a Democrat or Republican, but more a Free American Patriot who believes in and supports our Constitution as written. AND….. I believe in ALL of Gods 10 Commandments even though I’ve broken 9 of them (I might be an ass, but at least I’m a faithful one!). I’m not a supporter of organized religion, organized sports, or anything “organized” that tends to financially benefit from holistically orientated hype. I despise politics, politicians, political agendas, thieves, morons, liars, warm beer, wet toilet paper, and the ignorant bitches on the ‘View’. I will always salute the American flag, and I despise anyone who has never served and disrespects the freedoms that I as a veteran served for to protect – especially when they throw their belief’s and ideas into my face. I love spending time in the outdoors hunting, fishing, or just watching Gods greatest gift to humans……… Nature…..
Having earned the moniker of “Politically Incorrect” even after the many “Sensitivity Training” sessions that I was forced to attend while serving as a supervisor in the Federal Government is a testament to my stubborn Irish heritage and a tagline that I’m proud as hell to possess.