Jim Ravan for NH

I lived my earliest years around Pacolet Mills, South Carolina when it was still a struggling textile mill town. My relatives all worked in the mill and some of them lived on the long stretch of Mill Hill; my sister roller skated there and I rode my cousin’s tricycle.

After his stint in the Navy during World War II, Dad worked a few jobs and learned the machinist trade. He couldn’t get that kind of work at home, so he answered a local ad for jobs in far off Akron, Ohio. He left in 1951, landed a job, worked most of a year until he had enough money, then called for the rest of us – my mom, my older and only sister, and toddler me – to move north as well.

We moved around Akron while I was in elementary school and finally settled in the suburb of Portage Lakes. We lived several years in a lake front house that Dad fixed up; the screened-in front porch was about four feet from the lake. We had a boat, running water inside, and a mortgage for the first time. Before that we had always been renters.

Since Mom got up at 4 am for her job, she insisted I get a job, so I took over the paper route around my house. I learned a lot about responsibility and money management. I even saved enough of that to buy a row boat of my own. Man, I loved that thing!

We moved to another house nearby about the time I started high school. This one not only had inside running water, but an inside bathroom as well. It was quite the luxury.

After high school, I got a scholarship to the Ohio State University. Although I started in (Honors!) Physics, my degrees are Bachelor and Master of Arts because I transitioned to being a music major. Then when I graduated and the world asked “what can you do, young man?”, I answered “music”, and the world replied “yes, but what can you DO?”. Turns out, I had learned to program computers in college, so I replied “well, I learned how to program computers”, and that was that.

Because of the computers I had worked on, I got a job at Akron University writing COBOL programs. Then I was hired at B. F. Goodrich – Akron was the “Rubber Capital of the World” back then – to work on graphics and database management. Goodrich sold a piece of that project to Cullinane Corporation on Route 128 outside Boston. Later, Cullinane sold that to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) where I was the first employee of the new Database Software Group. And in 1980, still working for DEC, I moved to Nashua to work in the newly-opened Merrimack facility.

I spent my entire professional career working in the high-tech industry. It taught me many things: how to work hard (I’ve slept under my desk many nights over the years), how to meet a deadline, how to  plan, how to craft achievable plans, how to work with people, and how to lead them.

And that’s me.

If you vote for me, you’ll vote for this impoverished kid’s hard working adult self, someone who doesn’t give up when the work gets hard, someone who works well with others, and someone who works until the job gets done… And someone who knows the meaning of the term “public servant”.

Please consider casting you vote for me on November 7th.