Edited by Barney R. Massaged by Grammarly
Messed with by me. All mistakes are on mine.
She broke a promise, a date, and my heart. It was the Saturday after Easter it was also our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party.
I am Richard, Rich, Jacobson, 49 and am a very successful inventor, writer, and OTC stock trader. My wife was Susan (Sue) Williams-Jacobson, 46 and was the owner of the most successful real estate company in the West Michigan area. We have two living children, Richard (not junior) 22, and a college grad currently in OCS in the Navy; and Carol 20, a junior at the University Of Michigan studying pre-law with the intention to go to law school. We lost a second son Jack, to SIDS when he was 6 months old. He would have been 18. We are probably considered rich.
I met Sue at a mixer sponsored by the ROTC while I was in college. She was a freshman, 19, and a member of a sorority that was aligned with the ROTC house. I was a senior, just turned 22, and getting ready to start my commitment to the Army. At the time, the military was downsizing, and I was only going to be going to basic training and the specialized training school for my military occupation. I had hoped for flight training, but my eyesight was not good enough when corrected for even helicopter pilot training. I was assigned to the equivalent of IT for that specialty. It made sense because my major was electrical engineering and my minor was computer programming. After my training I would be assigned to a ready reserve unit.
The mixer was during the third week of the fall semester. The designed purpose was to have the ROTC students integrate with the ‘normal’ campus scene. Sue was there with her sorority as a newly minted member as hell week had just ended. There was a local band at the party that played a mixture of jazz, rock, and pop music. I was not then and am not now a great dancer, but my mother taught us to dance when we were starting high school so I could make some moves without embarrassment.
I asked the young lady to dance, and we ended up dancing several times. She said her name was Susan Williams. She explained that this was her first time away from home. She also said that I was a good dancer (???) and a good conversationalist. As the night wore on we talked about a lot of different things. She seemed interested in my military duties, and I was interested in her likes and dislikes.
I got her phone number at the sorority house, and we dated for the rest of my senior year. She was aware that after graduation I would be gone for about nearly nine months for active duty training. Because of my commitment and her schooling, we did not make any long-range plans.
I kept in touch with Sue through phone calls and letters. About six weeks into my basic training I had a long weekend pass. Sue came down to the base and we enjoyed the time together.
After basic training, I had a ten-day ‘delay in route’ (shorthand for a free vacation) before having to report for my advanced training. Sue and I spent almost all of my waking time together. We really did not do anything special; just enjoyed each other’s company. I asked her to marry me and she accepted. We planned to wait until after her junior year to marry but felt we could wait. I gave her a nice but not gaudy engagement ring.
I was in AIT for about four months when my father died. He had been sick with a failing heart for several years. He had a fatal heart attack. I was on compassionate leave for the funeral and to assist my mother with the estate business when I was involved in a car accident. I was in the hospital for ten days. The drunk that ran the stop sign died.
Because of a severe concussion, a broken ankle, and a whiplash neck injury, I was discharged from the military. They felt that a surgically repaired ankle would not allow me to participate in the physical requirements of military life. As I had spent less than six months on active duty, I was not eligible for any military benefits.
An ambulance chaser talked me into suing the other driver’s estate, and I got a large seven-figure settlement from his insurance and a large property of thirty acres and a big nearly new house on the city’s outskirts.
Sue had visited me often while I was in the hospital, and when I got out, helped me with my rehabilitation. The concussion caused some balance problems, and the ankle was in a walking cast for eight weeks. She helped keep me steady when I was unstable.
We talked a lot about our future, and Sue admitted that she was not cut out for college life. She decided to drop out and took some courses at the local community college to study for a real estate license. When she passed her license test, she was hired by a small real estate firm in the city.
Once I had healed and my balance problems subsided, I was hired to telecommute by a machine design company in California. Other than the interview, finally product test runs, and the sales conventions, I worked from my house in Grand Rapids. I was allowed to patent all of my designs and improvements.
We got married in June and took our honeymoon in Wisconsin at the Dells. We saw all of the natural sandstone formations. On the trip back we stopped in Traverse City and enjoyed the downtown and the Grand Traverse Bay. That started us on the path that lasted for the next twenty-five years.
Like all marriages, we had a lot of arguments over the years, mostly about the kids or money. I wanted them to be grounded in the idea that earning things they wanted to make them more valuable to them Sue wanted them to have anything they wanted. We generally compromised; they had to earn the big things but got the small things just by asking.
We also had all of the normal emergencies. Rich hurt himself by riding his bicycle into the street and was bumped by a car. The bones healed, the road rash cleared up, but the small scar through his eyebrow over his left eye gave him a devilish look.
Carol was the consummate tomboy until she hit her teens. Then her worst injuries were numerous broken hearts. They were good kids, and we tried to give them the space to learn from their mistakes while trying to keep them safe.
We managed to last through the kids, the dramas, and the catastrophes of married and family life. We were approaching the silver anniversary of or marriage. Then came the missed date.
After a couple of years, I wound up buying a large part of the business. Sue advanced in the real estate firm to where she finally bought it. The kids were normal kids.
I started writing because my kids told me I was a great storyteller, and they started recording and transcribing my stories when they were in high school. When they had a fair amount of stories built up they contacted a literary agent and he came and offered to represent me and get me published. The first company he went to offered me a great contract and the only thing I insisted on that they did not offer upfront was that the copyright and secondary (movie) rights belonged to me. They agreed, and when they heard some of the kid’s recordings, wanted me to read for the audiobook versions.
The stock trading started when I sold my share of the company and licensed the patents to the new owners. They were a little upset when they discovered that the company did not own the patents. After some serious negotiations and an adjustment of the price; they bought the business.
Because I did not have any definite goals, I was bored; so I took a couple of online courses in stock trading and tried my hand at what is commonly called day trading, but I was looking at longer turnaround times and much lower stock purchase prices. That made any losses less costly and wins generally bigger. I traded ‘penny stocks’. The OTC market had thousands of small and medium-sized companies that had stock prices of $5.00 or less per share. I had an average of twenty percent winners, and the actually made the trading very profitable.