Rich Griffin Rich Griffin from the 45th reunion

Pat Gayman

Mailing Address:

     905 Wynnmere Walk Ave.
     Ruskin, FL 33570-2065

Phone: 813-695-4364
Rich Griffin
Updated: May 17, 2018

2018 - A New HomeWell ladies and gentlemen, at 73, I bought a house for the second time in my life.  It is a brand new house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

I closed yesterday and I have until the end of the month to get moved.

Next time you are in Ruskin, FL, stop by and say Hi.

Spouse:  Erma J. Griffin


     Richard Jr.

Well here we are, 40 years and counting. On the onset, I need to ask for your forgiveness on two counts. One I am sorry for being so late with this “bio”. Bill Sever has been sending me e-mails and even a phone call or two. Too, I am truly sorry if this BIO starts to sound like a police report. For the past 18 years, everything I have written has been in the line of duty.

Well let us get started. After graduating High School, I joined the Air Force. I did my basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. Talk about a culture shock. I never saw so many people from so many different places. I also learned very quickly, the best way to survive was to keep your mouth shout and do what they said.

After basic, I got my first train ride to Rantoul, Illinois where Chanute Air Force Base was. I say "was" because it is my understanding the base is closed now. I spent 18 weeks there and learned everything there is to know about aircraft instrument systems. At least that is what I was lead to believe.

After graduating tech school, I came home for about 30 days on my way to Kadena AFB, Okinawa. I have to say, that was truly an eye opener. I had many first time life experiences there. After 18 months on the rock, I thought I knew it all. I made it for the most part with everything in tact.

My next duty assignment was Amarillo AFB, Texas at Amarillo. That was a short stay but long enough to meet my first wife Linda and buy my first car. The wife lasted longer than the car. The Air force closed Amarillo and I was sent to Laredo AFB also in Texas. Linda’s father was also in the Air Force and he was sent to Thailand and his family moved home to San Antonio, TX. About 150 miles of the straightest roads, you have ever seen north of Laredo. That worked out O.K. because that gave me a better chance to convince Linda to marry me. We got married in 1968 and moved into a house 150 years old right on the Rio Grande. The stories I could tell about that place. Unbelievably, it was government housing.

In 1969 my son Richard Jr. was born. Right now, he is 6 ft 4 in and about 150 lb. He looks nothing like me. Thank God. He is married and has four kids. Chris & Evan (twins) Donielle and Latrail.

Later in 69, we were transferred to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. North Carolina was really a learning experience. I found out first hand what the KKK was all about.

We were transferred in 1972 to Anderson AFB, Guam. My second overseas assignment and my first with the family. This assignment brought many good things. Of which was my daughter Adrienne born in a Navy Hospital in 1973. Adrienne is married to an Air Force member and was stationed at the Seymour Johnson AFB the same base her mother and I were at before she was born. She has two kids Mikal and Tatianna.

In 1974, we moved to Malmstrom AFB, Montana. That was a good assignment. I was able to go home a lot. I was even able to attend the 10-year class reunion.

In 1978, Linda and I parted company. She went to San Antonio and I came here to Tampa, Florida. I was stationed at Mac Dill AFB. I became the summer and every other Christmas Dad. I spent my remaining time in the Air force at Mac Dill with an exception of one year in Korea. I retired in December of 1985 giving me 21½ years total active time.

In December of 1985, I married Erma my present wife. Why she married me, I am not sure.

In May of 1986, I started working for the Florida Marine Patrol. I guess the best way to describe this job is, we do on the Saltwater of Florida what the Highway Patrol does on land. We work boat accidents, enforce resource laws in state & federal waters, pollutant spills, drug interdiction, and my favorite boating safety. This is a law enforcement job but we do not kick down doors and that stuff. The majority of people we take to jail are for Warrant arrest, BUI’s, and DUI’s.

Along about 1995, everything took a nose-dive. The great state of Florida thought it could save money by combining two agencies. The Game & Freshwater Commission was combined with the Florida Marine Patrol. Well as it turns out, neither job is being done very well in the coastal counties. Well anyway, that is another story.

My plan was to retire in December of this year, however last month I had a chance to take an early retirement so I took it. As of today, I am retired and drawing two retirements.

I really plan to be at the reunion however, who knows what can happen.

In closing, I am very saddened about our classmates that have left us. I meet Vicky Johnson in Germany back in the 70’s and spent a day with her. I thought she was doing very well at the time.

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