About Me & My Family

08/31/15

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Howdy!

After living in beautiful San Diego since 1973, I still consider myself a Texan.  There's a saying, "Ya dance with the one what brung ya."  While I was born in Chicago and lived there off and on for several years, it was Texas and its kind folks that "brung me to the dance."  I have long ago lost my Texas accent, but will slip back into a drawl upon hearing the warm comforting sound of anyone who can manage to pronounce "Yes" in two syllables and "You all" in one.

Hi, my name is Mel Moy.  I used to go by "Melvyn" until I realized that I was actually living up to the nerdiness that name implied.  By the time I got to Graduate School, I decided "Mel" would be a better handle.  Oh, I was still a nerd, but why advertise it?  Guys like Mel Torme, Mel Brooks, Mel Blanc, and Mel Gibson made "Mel" a better name to go by.  When was the last time you heard of anyone admirable named Melvyn or Melvin?  I bet we all had the same epiphany. 

After a long career spent first as a university professor, then as a government research psychologist, and finally as a manager of information technology services at a large defense research laboratory, I retired--ostensibly to straighten up my office at home.  I'm pretty good at this retirement thing.  I never once got up and said I wish I was going to the office.  I do miss my colleagues, though--and the paycheck too.  My office at home is still a hopeless mess.

As luck would have it, I married a young woman named Janet who was also from Chicago .  While giving our children ample care and attention at home, she still managed to put in many years working as a Registered Occupational Therapist for various hospitals and school districts in the area.  When she saw how much I enjoyed retirement, she promptly decided that was for her too.  That threw my financial projections off a bit.  The way I figure it, though, my astute investments will take care of us if 8-track tapes make a comeback.

We have a son, Stacey, and a daughter, Robyn.  Stacey graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy as an aerospace engineer.  He started his naval career as a surface warfare officer but was eventually selected for training as a Navy SEAL.  Following that, Stacey spent a significant part of his career as a naval officer working in Special Warfare.   (My wife thinks his penchant for danger and action resulted from my taking him to see "Conan the Barbarian" when he was much too young.  I think it's because we never let him have even a toy gun as he was growing up).  Stacey left the Navy in 2004 and was recruited by the FBI.  After just a few years he became a Supervisory Agent working out of FBI Headquarters in DC.  While working full time at his job, Stacey managed to earn a Masters degree from the prestigious Naval War College.  In addition to that, Stacey completed the executive training program at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.  After a two year stint in the Bay Area, Stacey is continuing his career climb with a high level promotion back to FBI Headquarters in DC.  Outside of work and study Stacey spends much of his time keeping physically fit, shooting qualified, and catering to his beloved Bruce, a Siberian husky. 

Our daughter Robyn graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in economics.  After graduation, Robyn started in DC working for US Airways, but moved to Ft. Lauderdale in early 2006 as a manager of route planning with Spirit Airlines--an independent, upstart, low cost airline.  Spirit Airlines led the airline industry in the practice of ala carte pricing to offer the lowest fares.  They shocked everyone by charging for carry-on luggage.  In 2008, Robyn and her then fiancÚ relocated back to San Diego--one of her goals in life.  She continues to work for Spirit Airlines.  This was a risky decision in these difficult economic times.  However, Spirit not only has allowed her to telecommute with periodic trips back to Florida for meetings, but has promoted her to senior level management.  We keep our fingers crossed that this arrangement will continue to work to everyone's satisfaction.  Ever since she was a little girl Robyn always talked about someday becoming a "business associate" like all those Japanese businessmen in suits we saw whenever we went out to a restaurant.  Robyn used her travel benefits to the max.  We never knew where she might be headed on any given weekend.    Robyn married Bill Platt, a gentleman from West Virginia she met while working at Spirit Airlines in Ft Lauderdale.  They currently live a handy 15 minutes away from our house, but are looking to purchase rather than rent.  Over the last several years, Robyn and Bill have given us the greatest gift of grandchildren.  We now have a grandson Bryson (born 2011) and a granddaughter Brooke (born 2013).  Like all grandchildren, they are the loves of our lives. 

Unlike their father, both Stacey and Robyn have decided to lead honest lives by not becoming chronic students until finally forced out into the cruel working world.  As you can tell, we are very proud of both of them.

I started out  studying to be a hard scientist (chemist), but realized that spending hours upon hours by myself in a laboratory was not very satisfying.  I liked interacting with people.  So I redirected my focus toward mathematics and cognitive psychology.  This added to the time I spent in school taking required preliminary courses.  After what seemed an eternity I eventually completed my doctoral studies at the Univ. of Wisconsin (Madison) and accepted a position as a professor in the Psychology Department at the Univ. of South Dakota.  It seemed like a natural thing to do.  I'd been a teaching assistant at both the Univ. of Texas and Univ. of Wisconsin for several years.  I always liked college teaching and would have continued to do so if an opportunity hadn't come up the next year to take a great research position with the Navy in beautiful San Diego.  The opportunity, the location, the weather and the salary was too attractive to turn down.  So my life as a Californian began in 1973.  My parents had already moved to San Francisco several years before that, so there was even more incentive to move west.  My fellow faculty members and students at the University of South Dakota were wonderful, but I've never regretted my decision.  I thought I might return to academia someday, but that never happened.  Working with the Navy made it possible for me to see and experience things I would never have been able to do otherwise.  Since I was always a civilian, I got to experience much of the upside of the military experience and very little of the downside.

Janet and I  still manage to take a vacation every now and then.  It does seem odd to travel away from a location so many people set as their vacation goal.  However, we do make it a point to get together once or twice a year with some old schoolmates, John Shockey and Dr. Charles Jackson, who have been friends of mine since junior high school in Houston.  Sadly, we have lost two other dear members of our group, Tommy Sellers, in 2012 and John's wife Marilyn, in early 2015.  We miss them very much.  When we get together, the thought of both of them is foremost in our minds and hearts.  Our group is evenly scattered geographically from the East Coast to the West Coast.  Talk about keeping it real.  Referring to ourselves as The Armadillos, we've remained in close contact all these years--first maturing and now aging together.  Just before Marilyn passed away we completed a long anticipated river cruise on the Danube. It was a lovely and happy memory for us all.  I envy myself for such precious friendships.  If good friends like these are the currency of heaven, I'm a wealthy man. 

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This site was last updated 08/31/15