Although I am not of German extraction, Opa, German for grandfather, is what my grand kids have always called me. They started calling me this many years ago to distinguish between their grandfather on their mother’s side of the family and myself. I have always enjoyed responding to this “familiar” tag name — hence, the title for this weblog.
Because I have not been able to be with my grand kids much as they have grown over the years, they are ever most in my mind as I write and post stories and op-eds.
I’m Kent Garry, a seventy-two year old male American WASP, who has been married to the same woman now for forty-seven years, the former Natalie DeBeauford from Weatherford, Texas. I have three grown sons, one of whom has produced three grandchildren for me, and one great granddaughter.
I taught multiple subjects to secondary-grade students in private schools for two years — math, science, English, history. I then taught World Geography to public school freshmen in Waxahachie, Texas for five years and Economics and Advanced Placement Macroeconomics to seniors for three years. As a “swan song” career for me, I loved teaching despite all the political issues involved and frustrations that politicians throw at educators. The rewards came from seeing the kids grow intellectually. However, I retired from the classroom four years ago so that I could be available to help care for my darling, little great granddaughter.
In addition to my BS in geography from the University of Utah, I have an MBA from Oklahoma City University.
In June of 1988, I retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after twenty-two years of active duty in the United States Army. I was a Field Artilleryman, a helicopter pilot, and an operational tester of new weapons systems. The later vocation occupied the last ten years of my military career and twelve years as a consultant for the Department of Defense and defense industries after retirement. Yes, I saw combat in Vietnam. While in uniform, I was also stationed overseas in both Korea and Germany.
I enjoy participating in various ministries and missions associated with our local congregation of the United Methodist Church. I like reading and sharing my thoughts with friends, others’ poetry (I have no talent for writing it myself), cooking, digital photography, traveling, good movies, and playing golf — although I’m no good at this either. Lately I have become a news junkie and enjoy political debate.