My Job & Hobby

I've been a full time entertainer since 1978.

I was fortunate to grow up going to casino shows in Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. My mother always took us to the big headline shows of the day. I learned how to build a show from watching the greats - from Sammy Davis Jr. to Victor Borge.

I was a graphic artist and going to College when I landed my first full-time music job at Great America in Santa Clara, California. The following Summer I was at Knott's Berry Farm. While living in southern California, I did my infamous Gong Show appearance playing Dueling Banjos.

There was a few years on the road before ending up in Orlando, Florida. Since 1982 I've done thousands of shows at Sea World, Walt Disney World, B
oardwalk and Baseball, Cypress Gardens and Universal Studios.

I was the opening act for Rodney Dangerfield, Jonny Rivers, Ricky Skaggs, Emmy Lou Harris and even some of the Lawrence Welk stars.

More recently, I was a headline entertainer on the Holland America Cruise Lines for over three years. After big cutbacks in the cruise industry, I took a year off to pursue other interests including Odd'l Rockets. I'm back doing shows again.To see a short show video - Click HERE
 
Currently playing as many as ten instruments in a show - Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica, Musical Saw, Bones, Bagpipes, Theremin, Accordions and even a musical Turkey Baster.
I learned years ago that an audience was most interested in something they haven't seen before. Locally, I've got a reputation as the "go to" guy for the unusual.


Next to entertainment, Rocketry has been close at hand.

I'd had a fascination with space since seeing the first Mercury Redstone launches on TV. 
I built too many plastic models as a kid, but they just sat on a shelf. In seventh grade, I remember looking over the shoulder of a soon-to-be best friend as he paged through an Estes Catalog. I was amazed that you could build a Midget two-stage rocket for $1.25! My first rocket was the Centuri Javelin ordered through this ad in a comic book for $1.50.

We couldn't get black powder engines by mail order in California then, the fireworks code was very strict. So I built plenty of static rockets. We finally got the proper permit after the Assistant State Fire Marshall of California inspected my Grandparent's 150 acre artichoke ranch. 
We drove 1 1/2 hours to one of the few hobby stores that carried engines. I still remember the sight - dozens of new bagged kits hanging on wallboard pegs!

I entered contests and more contests. I never won the Estes Design of the Month but I did win a $25.00 gift certificate signed by Vern Estes. I still have it.
My big win was first place in the 1972 Centuri Photo Design Contest. First prize was a Rupp Scrambler Mini Bike valued at $150.00. That win got me noticed by the Centuri organization.
On a southwest vacation we made stops at both Estes and Centuri. We took the tour of the Estes plant and were lucky to get a "behind the scenes" tour of Centuri from Larry Brown.

I was in correspondance with both Estes and Centuri. I met Centuri designers at my first NARAM in 1975, held here in Orlando, Florida. We flew on the same property that would later become Universal Studios.
I stayed in contact with Centuri and attended the next two NARAMs.

I recieved a phone call from Centuri that I was being considered for an R & D position. I had a good background in rocketry, graphic arts and pre-press production. I was 19 years old at the time.
In the end the job went to Jeff Flygare. He was a good photographer and more experienced working with the NAR organization.

At the time I was dissapointed and left rocketry for a career in entertainment.




Today I'm building and flying rockets again and enjoying it more this second time around.