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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
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28 February 2012

Greg Collins


Well, as of 1338 (Eastern Standard Time) today, I became 58 years old. I was taking a nap at that moment, so I didn't notice any great change. In essence, a non-event. But, to be honest, I have been, lately, mulling over the passage of time and what I've seen during my half-century plus on the blue marble. If nothing else, it's been an interesting ride. At the risk of boring the readership, I provide the following highlights:

-I've been to all 50 states in the USA and 27 countries; during all of this, I've lived awhile (more than one year) in Virginia, the D.C. area, Southern California, Montreal, the Philippines and the Tokyo area.

-my stepfather was, alas, a true-to-life "flim-flam" man... a con-artist. This goes toward explaining the above... many of those locations were brought on by this, and I have lived in many of those locales but only for a short time (getting up at midnight and "blowing town" with all you can pack in one bag).

-during all this, I learned (taught myself as I was so "mobile") to play the guitar. Began at 7 years old, and have been able to, relatively, master the 6 and 12 string guitars and the 10 string cittern. Something I've been able to keep with me all along.

-began Tang Soo Do training in 1968 and, though hampered by events, managed by the mid '80's to achieve 4th Degree (Master) ranking in that. Also achieved degree ranking in Tae Kwon Do (3rd), Hap Ki Do (1st) and Kum Do (1st).

-managed to graduate from Fork Union Military Academy, after attending since the 8th grade (my parents decided to leave me in one place at that point) in 1972. Just found out that 12 of my class mates are no longer with us- that out of a class numbering 89. Sad stuff.

-dropped out of Virginia Tech in 1973; heavily into student radicalism and some other extra-curricular activities. Anti war, pro labour. Joined the Communist Party in '72 while a student at Tech.

-worked for AMF Incorporated as a metal finisher from '73 until '76. Rose to journeyman ranking fairly quickly and, in '76, was making $13 per hour- quite high for the time. Was able to buy my first car... a Mustang 2 Ghia- black on black, four on the floor!!! A "chick magnet".

-joined the Navy in '76 for no other reason than to get back to Japan (loved it there- was there in '66 through '67). Mission accomplished- my first ship was the USS Kirk FF-1087 out of Yokosuka. Stayed from '77 until '80. Returned to states and shore duty with something I picked up... my first wife (from the Philippines).

-volunteered, and was accepted, to recommission the USS New Jersey BB-62... first marriage on the rocks; shore duty sucked. Stayed aboard until wounded in Beirut on 1 October 1983.

-discharged from the Navy on 31 August 1984 after a fairly long stay at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda. Continued recovery on an out-patient basis at the D.C. VA Center.

-returned to college, on the G.I. Bill, in 1985 and, in 1987 received a degree in Commercial Art/Photography "Summa Cum Laude" (3.96 average). Here, I met my current wife who was engaged in the same course work.

-came to the house I now occupy in 1988. The middle of nowhere in the rocker between Charlottesville and Richmond, and where I was born in 1954. Full circle, it seems.

-worked in the advertising field from 1988 until 1999. At that point, the owner of the firm I'd been with for nearly 5 1/2 years decided to engage in some extra marital fun and, as it goes, the business was part of the divorce settlement. When I got there one morning, there was a chain and lock on the door.

-as a stop-gap measure, I became employed in the prison system that year. It was supposed to be temporary but I suppose I got lazy/disenchanted/disheartened/whatever. Anyway, here I am. It was also during this time that, while tasked with an art job from the Irish Republican Socialist Party (leftist comrades), I began my journey into collecting.

-and so, in 2012, this is where I am. Of course, this is only some of the high (or low) lights... an over simplification of a life to date.

Nowadays, it seems one of few focuses in my life is the collecting, which is fine. I believe the "caretaking" of history to be a noble pursuit, and it continues to give me a great deal of pleasure. One of the aspects that I'm very motivated by these days is the collecting of a new, yet unrecognized, country- the PMR- and watching, through both study and collecting, how a country grows from an abstract idea to statehood. Exciting to be "on the ground floor" of this avenue of collecting.

Until Next Time,
Take Care,


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Greg - now, that was all a surprise. Good reading and I admire your tenacity
in following your goals. You should have mentioned Logo Designer for GMIC.



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Thanks, Mervyn!

Thought I'd check out the pin sales before I get too "uppity" about the logo (most here probably already know I designed it)... I've found that kind words are always nice, but the proof of the pudding is when someone is willing to throw their money at it. Remember, the degree was in "Commercial" Art...


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Happy birthday, I´m just behind in age (57), but very much in your diverse and colourful life...My god I could be a snail in respect to your mobillty, here in Spain!!!
Congartulations for the badge design...Looks very beautiful (and pretty "oldie")

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I forget to say that my birthday was 02/28/1955, so, the same day, next year... ;)

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Thanks, Hipnos! And a very Happy Birthday (belated) to you! By the way, I was in Madrid at the tender age of 6 (1960).


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