My intent in this Retrospective is to highlight my life experiences, most of which, it seems, have emanated out of work related activities. This doesn’t mean there has been no play, quite the contrary, having fun and doing fun things has always been a major part of my life. But it does seem that my zest for life and what it has presented is inextricably connected to what I do and have done for a living at the time and to maintain my love for just “doing”. My attitude has always been if I can’t have fun doing what I do, then I don’t want to do it. And, while it has been true that some employment and business opportunities have been more fun than others, learning and gaining knowledge is a passion with me, which usually brings some good with whatever bad there is. I was born under the Zodiac Sign of Leo, and the Chinese sign of the Horse, dictates of which seem to run true when viewing my life experiences. LEO LIKES: Speculative ventures; Lavish Living; Pageantry and Grandeur; Children; and Drama. DISLIKES: Doing things safely; Ordinary, day-to-day living; Small-minded people; Penny-pinching; Mean-spiritedness.The Chinese sign of the Horse says: People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, (this may leave me open to question) and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much. They are wise, talented and good with their hands. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. Leo and the Horse seem to sum up a prediction of my life experiences quite nicely.My story begins in St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth Minnesota, where I was born on August 4, 1930 and christened William Robert Effinger. My Grandfather Frank Effinger was a retired farmer and a custodian for St. Clements Church in Duluth. Grandmother Florence was the housekeeper for our Parish Priests. There were eleven children in the Effinger Family: Earl, Leon, Clement, Francis, Paul, Robert, Lawrence, Elva, Marie, Veronica and Neomi.My father, Francis, was a proud and hardworking railroad man. My mother, Myrtle, was one of thirteen siblings, orphaned at the age of five when her mother died in childbirth and her father was killed in an accident while driving a truck for the construction company he worked for. My mother was a homemaker, excellent seamstress and baker of all things good until the untimely death of my father when I was thirteen, which forced her into becoming the breadwinner for my brother and me, until I turned sixteen and struck out on my own. Since the earliest days of my childhood, I have been afflicted with the driving need to accomplish something—anything, just so I’m doing. Earning money for my effort has always been the by-product, never the primary goal. My mother never understood it, and as the years have progressed, few of my friends and family have either. Before the age of ten, I delivered the Duluth News Tribune, washed the windows of local retailers, mowed lawns in the summer and shoveled snow in the winter for neighbors. I collected and sold scrap metal, bottles and paper, using my earnings to buy marbles to increase my collection which was often augmented by my skill at playing “keeps” marble games with my playmates. Quite often I purchased flowers for my mother, or model airplane kits to build, fly, and hang from my bedroom ceiling.Unlike many of my childhood friends who were required to give what they earned to their mother or father, my parents never asked for any of my earnings. What I made was mine to keep and do with as I chose, with some guidance from my mom. Saving was never an option with my parents. Even working two jobs, my dad was only able to keep us in the essentials for everyday living. So, I set out to live every minute and enjoy the life my parents never had, nor could afford, buying all of the toys I could accumulate along the way.