I’ve made a lot of moves in life, thirty-two as noted in “My Life by the Numbers Part Two” (Post #2434). The first such move was changing neighborhoods between 5th and 6th grade. I already had been moved, with few belongings, from the adoption home to the Elkhart Indiana, Carolyn Avenue address, but this next action would take me away from my childhood friends, grade school, and familiar surroundings where I grew up. I was about to become a Beardsley Bomber instead of a Rice Krispie. 

I don’t remember a truck coming to pick up our things, or even a sadness about leaving. Many of our familiar neighbors had already moved to “nicer” neighborhood and ours was just across town. I got to pick my room, while my parents finally had a bedroom of their own after sacrificing their comfort on the fold-out couch in the living room. We really needed more space as a family of four. I let my sister have the bigger, corner room with two windows, while I for some reason preferred a smaller space. Maybe it was because I kept a messy room, so it was that much less to pick-up. 

I had to take the bus to school, so I met the new neighbor kids at the stop near our new house. A couple of them were older and bullies, so it wasn’t always pleasant to board. I was used to either walking or being dropped off by my parents. I was also pretty shy, short, and skinny with ears that I had yet to grow into. Everyone at the new school seemed bigger and stronger, and I was in fact too small to play basketball, whereas I had made the team at Rice the years before. I don’t remember ever talking to a girl, now separated from my first crush, Mary Lee Herzberg. I did, however, meet Tim Steffen who has become a lifelong friend. He was more confident and scrappier even with braces on his teeth. My parents were concerned about his fragile stature, a misnomer they would laugh about for years to come. 

Since I was destined to move a lot in the future, this major life change was probably a necessary learning experience. I had some newfound independence from my parents, learned to make friends or tolerate teasing, and somehow adapted to the new school, surroundings, and teachers. I would only be there for a year before moving on to yet another school and Northside Junior High. Finally, it was on to Elkhart High where I would be reunited with the friendships I made at Rice as well a those from Beardsley

I wouldn’t move again until it was time to go to Albion College four years later. I settled in Seton Hall East and then the Sigma Chi Fraternity before transferring to Indiana University midway through my sophomore year. Once again, I packed my bags, left friends behind and moved into Cottage Grove apartments with high school classmate, Alan Harper. We both moved back to Elkhart for the summer, adding more roommates the next year at Colonial Crest – Buzz, J.D., and Murph. Eventually, my wife to be moved in and life became a blur. Marriage and a child were soon to come, along with more moves from apartment-to-apartment, and eventually into the Eagle Lake House, then on to Coverdale Lake. New jobs, friends, and responsibilities soon came to pass. 

The next thing I knew I was in Fort Wayne, living with my mother-in-law in Woodcrest, before my wife at the time and I rented another apartment of our own at Winchester Woods next door to the Clarks. A year or so later, I had accumulated enough trade dollars to afford a nicer place at Candlelight. Without letting the grass grow under my feet, our next transition was to Indianapolis and related moves from the Signature Inn, followed by Pickwick Farms, and ultimately Christiana Lane, while working for WIBC Radio.

Divorce followed next and a new phase of life began with the promotion to a WISH-TV marketing position. Next door with a view from my new office was the former site of the Suemma Coleman Adoption Agency, my first home before these first 17 moves. However, I was only half-way there in terms of relocating. We had just bought a condo at the Jamaica Royale on Siesta Key with a retirement plan in mind, but our separation changed all those dreams. My ex-wife got both the condo and house in the settlement, while I happily arranged for Marriott hotels, apartments at River Run, that smelled like tacos, and Lantern Woods before moving in with my fiancé at her home on Linden Court in Fishers. 

We bought our first home together in Zionsville after eloping to the Bellagio in Las Vegas, compromising on my commute to Lafayette’s WLFI-TV and hers to WISH-TV. It was my first station to manage, while she continued her responsibilities in National and Local Sales. Soon, we would be partners in running WAND-TV in Decatur, Illinois, yet another need for a moving truck. Like previous transitions and more soon to come, we were in temporary corporate housing at both another Signature Inn and Twin Oaks prior to buying #1 Kenwood on Lake Decatur. This turned out to be a mistake as the Illinois real estate market collapsed, the station was sold, and I found myself without a job. More moves!

We traveled the long road from Austin to Portland, following my wife’s job promotions, and eventually to Florida retirement, but not until after making double house payments, selling the Decatur home for much less than we paid, staying in four more apartments, multiple hotels, struggling with moving companies and storage needs, until now finally settled where we are today in Venice. Was #32 the last move? Probably not, but I’ve come a long way, encompassing life in six different states, from Elkhart, Indiana’s Carolyn Avenue to our current Islandwalk Florida neighborhood. Along the way, I’ve made many friends/acquaintances that might not have been possible without that first childhood moving experience.