日本在住歴約40年のRon McFarlandと外資系勤務が長い齋藤信幸が、それぞれの海外体験を語ります。

Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.2 Ron-sanの青春

2019-11-24 10:24:48 | Ron's Life Story





So, here I was, a high school graduate with no academic skills whatsoever except for maybe typing, and the US Army just loving to draft a athletics type like me and sending me off to Vietnam to fight in the war.

As I could not possibly get into any 4-year university at that time, I enrolled at the local community college and signed up for the minimum required basic classes to get a student deferment from the Vietnam War Draft that was in affect at that time.

It took me two semesters to get into a regular college English class, but I got there. Along the way, I learned that I had a lot of interests and having a simple non-thinking, repetitive job in Sacramento would probably not satisfy me over a lifetime.

As my reading, studying skills and discipline improved, I generated a strong interest in business subjects, particularly dealing with the management and motivation of people. Years later when I think about it, I got very good instruction at that school and in spite of it taking me three years to finished a 2-year Associate of Art Degree, it was well worth it and laid the groundwork for a solid academic direction. That same explorative nature I had as a small child was now redirected in a wealth of business subjects.

Through high school and right through attending that junior college I had a lot of part-time jobs. As a matter of fact, at my 35-year high school reunion I found Barbara Bennan whom I had a part-time job with. Together we worked in a Chinese restaurant when we were in high school. She was the waitress and I was the bus boy. I also was a forklift operator, a wood and lumber salesman and a telegrapher for the local railroad. The typing skills I picked up in high school got me the railroad job, and I’ve been using it ever since. Looking over my education, I recalled that I had classes on many subjects, and it turned out that only one out of 10 would be helpful and the others useless, but the one that was helpful was so useful and beneficial that I can’t complain. It did take work though to find the valuable subjects for me.

After three years at American River Junior College in Sacramento, I transferred my credits to a big 4-year school, San Jose State University. My confidence was still quite low as to me surviving in a 4-year school, so I decided to go down to San Jose and take a few summer school classes to reduce the shock of adjusting to a higher level of education.

From the age of 16 years old starting with a newspaper route, I always had part-time jobs here and there. But, to insure my survival at San Jose State University, I decided to use up savings and do nothing but study that summer as well as my first semester there.

Well, not only did I survive, I learned that the worst was behind me, as I was starting to love the subject matter and my discipline to study started to come more second nature.

The only problem was physical inactivity. I got fat, had headaches and my savings in the bank was going down all the time.

So, I decided to go out and get some kind of part-time job, which would keep me active and stabilize my finances. I got a job as a security guard at a refrigeration plant. You can’t get a more boring job than that! For insurance reasons and safety, this refrigeration facility needed security guards around the clock as a person from the local bar may wonder over to a freezer (which is the size of whole warehouses in which fork lifts can drive in and out of) walk in and freeze to death. I had to walk around the facility once an hour and had to clock-in at various locations. It took about 15 minutes per hour. There was also a weigh scale in the facility for trucks to weigh their produce, as they brought it into the storage areas. So, I weighed trucks the rest of the time. I worked from four in the afternoon to mid-night, and really had nothing to do about 45 minutes of every hour. The average person who took a job like that was about 60-65 years old. It was a mindless job, but for me, it was ideal, as I could study and get paid at the same time! I did that for about two years and came out of college with not only a degree, but also a bank account that was relatively healthy.


私が、初めてアメリカに行き、最初に感動したのは、ハンバーガー点Carl's Jrで飲んだオレンジジュース。







Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.1 Ron-sanの生い立ち

2019-11-17 08:24:40 | Ron's Life Story

Ron McFarlandは、当協会の理事。








In this book, I would like to take you through a global journey, my journey over the past four decades. It is a journey not only of travel, but human interaction and understanding. If we can better understand each other, we can learn ways we can be helpful to each other. If we help each other of issues that are greatly needed a great deal can be achieved. If we try to be helpful in areas where there is no need, nothing will be achieved. In some cases, it could even be counter-productive.

Therefore, I dedicate this book, any my life for that matter, to this going of expanding global interaction and understanding.

Chapter #1:  THE EARLY YEARS


Starting life like any other child, I was born in San Francisco on March 1, 1948. I was there the tune of six months, as the family then moved to Grass Valley, California. My father worked for Bank of America at that time, and he was transferred to a bank branch there.

Elementary School Picture

That is really where life started for me. We had a nice house, big yard and bigger German Sheppard dog, Skipper. We were in Grass Valley only about four years, but some memories always come back of my time there. One was my strong desire to wonder in the woods behind our house. I would be playing in the back yard and for no reason at all would wander out the back gate and toward the woods. There was a large pond up an unpaved street in the back of our house, and I loved going up there and watch the ducks and birds play around in the pond. After going up there repeatedly, I gradually learned the terrain quite well. After a certain period of time had passed, Skipper and I would widen our domain a little further into the woods. As time passed, I had a good feeling of all the nice little hid-outs and play areas in the hills around our home. It would scare my Mother to death when she would loose track of me. Many times, with Poison Oak all over my arms and legs, I would wander home after exploring the area. I was no more than four years old at the time, and that desire to explore is something that has stayed with me all of my life. For me, those adventures were more valuable than materials things. The desire to explore has led to me travel the world over from the US to Europe, to Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. As of the current count, I have been to over 80 countries worldwide, many repeatedly.

At the age of about 3-4 years old, my father’s Air Force Reserves unit was activated, and he went off to Japan during the Korean War. Interestingly, he went to Misawa Air Base in the northern part of Japan. I visited that exact area over three decades later.

When he came back, things were never the same. My parents divorced, and my Mother, sister and I moved from Grass Valley to Sacramento, California. My father was transferred to Sacramento and my mother wanted us to be close to our father. To make ends meet, my Mother took a secretarial job at the State of California right in Sacramento.

After a very short time in Sacramento, my father was transferred to the Bank of America Head Office in San Francisco. So, the closeness to our father did not stick. I was 4-5 years old at the time, and would only see my father occasionally when he was able to get up to Sacramento.

As I look, back now at my parents, I always wonder why they were ever together. My father comes from a broken family in the Mid-west. He did not grow up in a happy family, and when he went away to do military service during World War II, he never returned for any time to his home town and direct family. To my understanding, all communication stopped with his family, or more precisely faded out in the preceding years. By the time I came along, there was simply no family contact on my father’s side at all.

My mother grew up on the poorer side and a very well to do extended Jewish family in Miami Beach, Florida. My grandfather traveled a lot, so, my grandmother was pretty much responsible for raising their four children on her own. My mother was the second oldest of the four children. She didn’t like the competition, the pressures of the religion applied by my grandmother and all the financial concerns. So, when my father came along during World War II, she was happy to make an exit from Miami. So, with the divorce of my parents, even my father himself was 90% gone on his side of the family, and there was only a weak, distant link on my mother’s side of the family.

So, here I was with my mother, sister and a very distant family on my mother’s side in the East Coast of the United States. We lived on Gladstone Drive in Sacramento, CA. The street name is not important, but the community created there for me was. I was able to build a semi-extended family with our neighbors.

There was the Osegueda family just next door. They were a very tight Mexican family with five children. I was always closest to the oldest son, Art, simply because he was about my age. Art’s father was “Big Sal”, and he was big. I can still picture him around the house mowing the lawn, washing or repairing the car, or barbequing for the whole family. Having that family around me was very helpful in my growing up years.

There was the Irish’s. They were the sharpest family on the block with a strong matriarch in the mother, Marcel. Chuck, the father, was an executive for the local newspaper in Sacramento, and all the children (four in all), were destined to go far. Here again, Chuck was another father figure in my life.

There was the Sollom’s, a family with nothing but girls, until the last one was a boy after I entered school. I had nothing to do with him because of the age gap. That family too had a great impact on me. It gave me the grounding as to what a whole family should look like and what is possible.

These families were very much a part of my early parenting role models. This is particularly true of the fathers, who were willing to play catch with me or invite me over for a barbeque. In those days, air conditioning was not so common, and we would often barbeque outside to get out of the overheated house in the evening.

I was a sports type in those days and nothing much else. My mother was a book reader and a wiz with the English language. My sister was more of an artist and creative thinker. So, there we were. We were three very different people in the same house.

My life was Little League Baseball, mud football and nothing much else. I did command quite good respect from my teammates and coaches. Even today, I still have strong pictures in my mind of many of those coaches, their leadership and guidance.

Right up and through high school, I was just floating and wander along with no idea where my life was going. Outside of basic mathematics subjects, I was pretty poor in the three “R’s” (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic). One thing I could do was talk. I used to collect Bill Cosby standup comic records and memorize the stories. Then, I would go to school and literally present the recording verbatim to the girls in the school to make them laugh. Even in those days, I thought I had a skill of motivating people and changing moods. Other than that, coming out of high school and had very poor study skills. That was when the Vietnam War was at its peak.

High School Picture