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Monday, July 31, 2006

Paul Gibson

Paul Gibson found the website and checked in. He did not walk across the stage with us at graduation but he went to EHS until our senior year. Here's Paul's update:

I left Enid High just before our senior year because my life was nothing like what I'm sure everyone assumed it was. I left and married a woman with children, which I had only just met during the summer of my junior year. She was ten years my senior and Oklahoma wasn't the greatest place to build a career and support a family so we moved to California.

During my marriage I was fortunate enough to acquire my GED and land a great job working for a national fast food chain based out of Fullerton , CA. I quickly climbed the ranks from Night Manager, Manager, Opening Crew Manager, to District Supervisor and since the company was doing well I used my free time and extra income to attend CDI (Control Data Institute) where I received a computer programming certification.

Back in the early 80's there were very few good programming jobs and Bill Gates had not yet released an Operating System for any personal computer. It was about this time my marriage ended and finding myself single I chose to leave the food service industry. This is where I started my second career as a computer programmer, as a side note the average citizen in the US has three totally unique careers in their lifetime.

So I took a job working for a large pharmaceutical company as a Data Entry Operator. I excelled in my work and was quickly promoted to a position preparing and publishing New Drug Applications for submission to the FDA. It was at this time the first PC's were coming out in the work place. Our company was using VAX Digital Mainframes and Digital was offering a version of VMS (the VAX operating system) for PC. I was more than fascinated and spent all my free time learning all I could about PC's. Oh and I met and married a great girl whom I had been seeing after my divorce.

So, I left the world of COBOL and RPG and went to work for (Gibson Research), no relation. Although it was cool being a Gibson and working there. I spent two years there and moved on to a company called State of the Art; they designed, sold and supported Accounting software. I entered the glorious world of Technical Support. I was able to get myself assigned to a developers project to design a Job Costing and Materials Management module for the MAS*90's accounting product. This pretty much allowed me to write my own ticket at State of the Art.

While I was there I was scouted and recruited to head up a Development effort for a new company in Tacoma, Washington. The move was too much for Julie, my second wife and so we divorced. She wanted to stay in California and went on to work in Television and Motion Pictures and I moved north to Washington. Unfortunately for me the principles could never figure out what they were doing and the company folded a short twenty months later.

Although it was not a total loss, it was during this time I met my partner Tim. He convinced me that with my talent for computer systems I should go to work for the government. So I did. I went to work for the Pierce County Information Technology department and designed several computer applications that keep the County government on track to this very day.

After the Y2K non-event I actively sought out and accepted a position with Microsoft; were I worked with the Chief Data Architect to create Microsoft's global Technical Support Server system. It was one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on. When that concluded I went to work for and was looking to make my first true Million dollars. However, Al Gore had other plans, he lost the election and my company laid off 58% of the work force, which included me and lost out on my stock offerings. Argh!!!

So with Tim's urging and support I once again went back to work for the government. This time I accepted a position with the Federal Government working for the Department of Environmental Protection. We were relocated to West Virginia and I thought we would probably stay there for the rest of our lives. Then on 9/11 just 45 miles from where I was working Flight 93 crashed. My department was swallowed by Homeland Defense and my life changed.

Tim and I moved back to Washington sold everything we could and opened the store we were going to open when we retired. Indoor Reef will be four years old in January 2007 and I have never been happier. We aren't loaded but each year it gets better and that's all that matters.

Here is my contact information. I really look forward to hearing more from you and everyone I grew up with.

All the best.

Paul Gibson

(I've added Paul's email to our email section. If you would like Paul's contact info send me an email and I'll get it to you)


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