More Detailed Biography of
Dan M. Davis
Just wanted to add some more detail to the abstract length bio on Pix and Bios page.
After leaving Cheyenne, I went up to the University of Colorado and started in on a BA degree of unspecified major. My heart was not in it, but I gave it a try for two years. Both summers were spent working on the Cog railroad on Pike Peak with Doug Sheldon, Chuck Remmel and Jim McCammon. We had a good time, drank an ocean of beer and generally caroused as teen-aged boys are wont to do.
My grades having gone south, the Dean "suggested" I take a break, so I moved to Chicago and got a job at Abbott Laboratories as an engineering technician working on extracting antibiotics from the fermentation fluids. It was a "draft-deferred" position, due to the need for critical pharmaceuticals by the DoD. Worked there until December of 1966, then thought I should "do my bit," so I quit, moved back to Colorado and enlisted in the USMC. They were the only ones who said they would they would send me to Viet Nam for certain and that sounded like the right thing to me.
Served four years in the Corps: Southern California, Pensacola, Washington DC, Viet Nam (I Corps), North Carolina, and Thailand. Got off active duty in 1971; the Corps issued me an Honorable Discharge as a Staff Sergeant (E-6). The only two aspects of being a Marine in which I was in any way acceptable were drinking and shooting. I still stand for the playing of the Marines Hymn.
See more detail in my Military Bio 1 or pictures of my tour in Nam 2. All of my best times were in the service. I still hear, daily, from buddies I served with in Viet Nam and shipmates from the Naval Reserve.
Went back to Chicago and to Abbott Labs. Then, I proposed to the girl I had dated while in the Corps, Linda Schaeffer from Takoma Park Maryland. She had degreed in French at the University of Maryland and worked at the language school where I was sent to learn Vietnamese. We got married in August of 1971 in Takoma Park and spent our honeymoon in Quebec Canada. On a break from Abbott, I had gone by Boulder and asked them if I could get back in; they took me without much hesitation. So Linda and I drove straight to Boulder, just in time to get hit by an early snow, which would have been in September of '71; welcome to Colorado!
Second time at CU was better. I completed a little over 110 semester hours in two calendar years, 20 plus hours a semester (27 one time) and 12 or so each of the two summers, graduating in August of '73. It was easy this time. If you go to class, read the book, and turn in your assignments, ... they give you a good grade. Took the ATGSBs and got admitted to the CU MBA program, where I should have stayed, but I also took the LSATs and got a 750, so decided to go to law school instead. Our Daughter Laurel was born in Boulder in 1974. I received, but did not deserve, a JD in December of '75 (The yearbook for my Law School class had a picture of me studying in the library, the caption noting that they took that picture because it was the only time anyone had ever seen me there.).
Got admitted to Colorado Courts; Federal District Court in Denver, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and, just before I left the practice, the U.S. Supreme Court. My two and a half years at CU law school and then nine years practicing in Colorado Springs were the worst years of my life. Only good thing is: I didn't get shot, sued or disbarred. Truth be told, I probably deserved all three. When I left law to go to Martin Marietta in 1985, I was surprised how many of the lawyers in town called to ask me if they could get a job up there too 3.
Andrea was born in Colorado Springs in 1977 and Corinne there in 1980. All wonderful kids. Linda worked at several agencies caring for disabled children, usually as an editor or writer. My work at Martin started with three years on a classified project, then there was an offer to go to California to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Moved out here and lived in La Cañada near Pasadena until our girls got out of High School.
I had gone over to Denver and joined the Naval Reserve in 1973 as a CTI-1 (E6, Cryptologic Linguist), and picked up a commission in '75 , retiring as a Commander in the early 90's. Here's an old picture with my Wife, Daughters and Mother, from ~1990 when I took over one of the Denver units. Wasn't much of a Navy officer either, but ... I drank well and got to do duty in Japan, Italy, England, California, DC, and Florida. It really was a major part of my life.
Moved from JPL down to Caltech in Pasadena to take over Assistant Director position at the Center for Advanced Computing Research, and stayed there until 1999, when I got a better offer from USC to be the Associate Director for Strategic Development. Went there for two years doing project development, then was asked to ramrod the proposal for the management team out at the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC); we won so I had to move out there for a year, as I had been proposed as one of the key personnel, Director of Management and Finance. USC beckoned again, so I moved back to LA abou June of 2002 as Director of the JESPP project, a large simulation research effort, and have been here ever since, first as an employee and now, after age 65, as an independent consultant. We lived for a decade in Culver City, close to my job at the Information Sciences Institute. ISI is an IT research lab in Marina del Rey, just north of LAX, with a staff of ~450. It is a division of USC, one of the nations's top ranked universities (23rd in 2012). In the Summer of 2012, we moved to Long Beach.
I have remained in high performance computing (HPC) and have published some technical papers4, something I really enjoy (Who wudda thunk it!?!). Had non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2002, but was one of the lucky ones and beat it without much trauma. My oncologist is fond of saying, "You will die from something else." We won the new proposal on which I was working, so we were to run MHPCC again, but after a couple of protests, the Air Force cancelled the project. I am working on some new initiatives for The US Army TRADOC and I still do strategic development for HPC in the Department of Defense and in other government agencies.
"Those who can't do, teach;
those who can't do and can't teach,
do business development with the 'Gubmint'."
Linda sings in the Pasadena Master Chorale5 and has done choral work, appearing on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the California Philharmonic, the Pasadena Symphony and many others. Some of the internationally known venues in which she has sung include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Canterbury Cathedral, and Disney Hall, singing under the batons of Antal Doráti, Gustavo Dudamel, and Grant Gershon, among others. She earned a masters degree at USC in Communications Management and runs her own editing and writing business. Linda and I travel, e.g. on a recent cruise to Alaska, we hit our 50th state together. We have also done Europe and Japan, which is our favorite, so desu. We enjoy the LA Phil and the Hollywood bowl concerts and frequent all of the local museums: Getty, LACMA, Norton Simon, Huntington, ... It is a wonderful place for the fine arts.
Our girls are all prospering, Laurel has two degrees from UCLA and runs her own education counseling6 business. Andrea has had our grandson and two granddaughters and she is on leave from the Smithsonian, having gotten degrees in Art History from UC Davis and University of Chicago. Corinne has a degree from USC and just moved up to Seattle to start a career up there at the University of Washington. My Wife and all three of my Daughters got degrees from finer universities than I did. Andrea still lives in DC where her husband, Garth Baer. He was an IP lawyer at one of the big firms.(Finnegan), but just took an appointment as an Administrative Law Judge with the US Patent and Trademark Office. They live up on "the Hill," so I get to see them when I am in DC on business. They have three children.
Life under the palm trees is fine and I get to go visit with Jim and Joannie McCammon up in Grass Valley from time to time.
God has been better to me than I deserve.
1. Military Biography of D M Davis, unpublished personal reminiscences
2. Dan Davis Tour of Duty Photos, Vietnam, April 1969 - April 1970
3. For a more statistically relevant view of endemic dissatisfaction amongst practitioners of law, see, Shiltz, P.J., (1999), On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 871
4. Linked Publications List of D M Davis.
5. Participation by-audition-only choral group, The Pasadena Master Chorale.
6. Next Generation Leaders, a Culver City educational counseling business..