I started out teaching TEFL at Hor Wang school just north of
Bangkok. At the time I lived in a house on Soi Aree Sumphan Saam
with Mike Schmuecker, Sam Sorich and Jim Barber from our group.
I wasn't adjusting to the culture well. Despite being in Bangkok,
a big metropolitan city with lots of western influence, It was
rather lonely at first. I didn't have very many Thai friends because
of the language barrier. On top of that I didn't like teaching
kids. I wasn't a very good disciplinarian when the kids got out
I decided to quit Peace Corps after less than a year of teaching.
I guess Peace Corps figured they had a lot invested in my training
so they offered me a job working with a group of volunteers traveling
around Thailand giving TEFL training seminars to teachers from
"teacher training colleges". We spent three month's
at a time in Songkla, Phitsanulok and Chaingmai. I found teaching
adults much more to my liking and I liked seeing different parts
After that program ended I joined Mike Schmuecker and Dan Curry,
another volunteer from a later group...at the Bangkok municipality
near Democracy Monument...working on educational television programs
for kids...a sort of poor man's Sesame Street.
When my two year tour was up I decided to re-enlist. I really
liked living in Thailand by then and I enjoyed working in television..
Mike Schmucker and Dan curry left. Bob O'Keefe, from a later group,
took their place. Our offices were moved across the river to Thonburi
where Bob and I spent the next two years working on TV programs.
I found the job to be fascinating, creative and fun. Plus my
Thai coworkers were about my age and by that time my language
skills were good enough to be able to enjoy their company. We
hung out a lot at work and went on trips together on weekends.
One of those young people I met was Dim, my future wife, who also
worked for the municipality writing scripts for their Social Studies
programs. At the time we were just good friends. She helped me
out in my English programs and became one of the characters on
By the end of my fourth year in Thailand I was totally adjusted
to living in Thailand. Thailand had finally become "home".
I liked my job in television and I enjoyed the people I worked
with so much I even considered staying for another two years.
However, I realized that I couldn't make a career out of being
a Peace Corps volunteer so I made plans to return.
At that time my parents were living in San Jose, so I went to
live with them and enrolled in San Jose State.
I recall the culture shock I got trying to readjust to life in
America after living in Thailand for four years.
Eventually I readjusted...and got a BA...in Television. (1973-75)
I landed a job at a small television station in Salinas California
and worked there for 8 years as a commercial photographer. (1976-1983).
I didn't have a car and got around town on a bike. I was in pretty
good shape back then. I saved up money and put a down payment
on a small house.
During that time I began corresponding with Dim. I hadn't seen
her in 6 years. She was still living in Bangkok but the Educational
Television programs we had worked on had long since been cancelled;
she was working as a teacher by that time. We wrote back and forth
over a short period. One thing led to another and she came to
the U.S. and we ended up getting married in 1979.