Michael Lynn Collins, Class of '67

I really don't remember too much about my high school and college days, that was such a long time ago. Like most of my classmates of '67, I was a military brat. I started at Baker as a sophomore at the ripe old age of 14. I mention that only because I only rode the bus for about the first week or so of school. Just long enough for me to learn my way back and forth. After that I was kid on the little red Honda always racing to and from school until I turned 16 and traded 2 wheels for 4 wheels. I really shouldn't say traded because to this day I still have a motorcycle, a red BMW at that and my racing, well, that is now done with a white modified Miata at SCCA autocross events. Something about the difference between men and boys being the price of their toys comes to mind now. Unlike most of my classmates I didn't make close friends easily, a fact that has not changed to this day. I can still picture the faces of Bob Copland, Ben Hacket, Susan and Linda, and I recognize the names of several others on the list.

I left Columbus shortly after graduation and spent 2 years at the OU after which Uncle Sam decided he needed my help. I never did like walking much, so rather than be a ground pounder in sunny southeast Asia, I joined the Army under one of their infamous "we'll promise you anything" packages in Military Intelligence. I spent the next 6 months or so in various parts of South Carolina, Arizona and Massachusetts. My father had spent my senior year in Viet Nam and I was determined that I wasn't going, at least not if I could help it. When it came time for me to pick my assignment, the rumor going around was Europe was full, so if you asked for Europe they sent you to Viet Nam and Japan was a 50/50 chance. So I opted for Okinawa and spent the next 12 months on the south end of the Island listening to the Chinese at a place called Torri Station, followed by 6 months on the north end of the Island at a Marine base called Camp Swab. You talk about fun, try being the only Army guy stationed at a Spit and Polish Marine base, your hair can never be short enough, and if you don't like to walk there is always the opportunity to run. After six months of tdy with a few good men, it seems that there was sudden shortage of MI types in sunny Viet Nam and I received orders to proceed directly toooooo, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

I don't remember much about Viet Nam. I remember it rained a lot and it was muddy, and when it wasn't raining ;it was hot and muddy. I don't remember how long I was there. I remember that when it came time for R&R (that's Rest and Recuperation for you civilian types) there was a shortage of MI types and I would have to wait. 2 years, 9 months, 22 days is what the form DD214 said, I later figured it out to be 2 years, 9 months, 21 days, 8 hours and 15 minutes of bonded servitude. I returned to civilian life to grown long hair and begin the readjustment process. 2 years later, I was 26, recently married and employed as a Director of MIS for a small shoe company in the big city of Elba, Alabama. I moved with my new bride to Birmingham where I stayed for the next 6 years. In 1980, I was recruited by Schering-Plough and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1981 I was divorced. She wanted kids I didn't. In 1988, I married Becky and Lisa Helton of England AR. No, I am not Mormon; Becky's the mom and Lisa is the 13 (going on 30) year old daughter. Boy do I hate KIDS. In 1990, with Lisa out of the house by 2 years, we adopted Jason age 14 and Melissa age 17. Boy do I really HATE KIDS. In 1991 I left Schering-Plough to spend more time at home. In 1992, I opened a small Consulting Company specializing in providing innovative, cost-effective computer solutions for small to medium size companies.

My week days and most nights are now spent setting in front of pc chasing technology and my weekends when I get one is spent knee deep in 56 degree water of the Little Red River with a Fly Rod in my hand chasing Arkansas brown trout

On November 9, 1996, Lisa (my freespirit) made me the grandfather of Gabriel. Melissa (my mortgage banker) is a Junior at the University of Memphis working on her CPA, and Jason (my engineer) is a Junior studying architecture at Christian Brothers University. Boy do I REALLY HATE KIDS.

May, 1998

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