I was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1947. My father, who had flown transports over the “Hump”( the Himalaya Mountains) in World War Two, was recalled to the Air Force when the Korean War broke out. He decided to make it a career and we were transferred to Denver in 1955. That was this flatlander’s first view of the mountains and I knew where I would want to live. In 1958, my father went to Vietnam for a year as one of the early advisors. When he returned, we went to Ft. Worth Texas for two years, Salina, Kansas for two years, and then in 1962 to San Bernardino, California.
I graduated high school in San Bernardino in 1965 and spent the next few years at various colleges in California. I ended up in San Diego working as a ramp agent for the old National Airlines. In 1972, I was drafted and spent two years in a Field Artillery battalion in Nuremberg, Germany. After the service, I went back to San Diego and worked three years at the VA Regional Office and went back to school. My wife Adrienne and I were married in 1977. That same year I went to work for one of the largest grading and paving companies in San Diego where I rose to the position of Chief Dispatcher.
In 1985, we decided to leave Southern California and moved to Salome, Arizona, where we bought a home next door to my wife’s elderly parents. I originally took a part time position as a clerk at the Salome Post Office. To help make ends meet, I also worked part time as a bookkeeper, tax preparer, and worked at the local water company handling billing and collections. My wife worked as a clerk at the local Justice Court. I also joined the Salome Volunteer Fire District serving as a volunteer firefighter for the next 7 years. In 1986 I was appointed to the vacant Secretary-Treasurer position of the Fire District by the board of supervisors. In 1988 I was elected to a full four year term. I also worked a year as the gin clerk at Anderson-Clayton’s McMullen Valley gin. In 1990, I applied for and was appointed to the position of postmaster at the Bouse Post Office, 30 miles up the road. In 1992, I applied for and was appointed Postmaster of Ajo.
I served as Postmaster in Ajo for 17 years, retiring in October of 2009. My wife worked as a public safety specialist at the Pima County Sheriff’s Office in Ajo, retiring in 2004. We had bought a time share in 1991 in Flagstaff and had decided that was where we wanted to retire to. In 1998, we bought our first home in Pinewood and bought our current home in 2004. We moved here permanently in May of 2010 (after the big snow of that winter). It took 50 years, but I finally had my home in the mountains.
Besides serving on the board of the Fire District, I also serve on the board of the Sanitary District, belong to Firewise, and work as a volunteer tax preparer for AARP Tax Aide program and the IRS’s Vita program. We prepare free income tax returns and provide tax counseling for seniors and lower income residents in the flagstaff area.
Richard L. (Dick) Drinen
I was born in 1937 to Delmer and Pat Drinen, in San Diego California. In 1939, we moved to Phoenix when my father was transferred there to manage the American Optical Co. office. In 1946, Dad bought the retail optical operation from American Optical, and called it Phoenix Optical. I became a partner in 1955 and worked in the optical lab between semesters while going to college. We later merged the company with McLeod Optical, and in 1978 sold the business to a national firm, Benson Optical. I worked for Benson until 1988 when I left that industry.
I graduated from Arizona State University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. That same year, I enlisted in the Arizona Air National Guard. In 1961, when the Soviet Union built the Berlin wall, my Air Guard unit was mobilized by President Kennedy. We were stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany where I worked as a supply sergeant. We returned to Phoenix in August, 1962. The following year I received a direct commission to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, Supply Officer.
Upon leaving the optical business in 1988, I worked several periods of active duty with the Air Guard at State Headquarters, Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA). From 1989 to 1994 I was hired as a federal civil service technician with the Air Guard at DEMA. I retired in April of 1994 at the rank of Colonel.
The following year, I went back to work at DEMA as a state employee, assuming the duties of Personnel Director. In July of 2000, I was chosen to be the Personnel Director at Camp Navajo, a DEMA facility west of Flagstaff. That was when I moved full time to Munds Park, living in my parents’ home. In 2001, my wife Sue and I built our home on the lot next to my parents’ home which I had owned for many years. During the years I worked at Camp Navajo, I assumed more duties. When I retired in the spring of 2004 I was in charge of Personnel, Information Technology, Security and Logistics.
Since moving to Munds Park, I have been involved in many activities. In 2002 I was elected to the Pinewood Sanitary District Board of Directors, and served as the Chairman of the Board for over 16 years. I’m currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pinewood Fire District, President of the Pinewood Property Owners Association (PPOA) and Treasurer of the Munds Park Trails Stewards (MUTS).
Sue and I have 6 children, 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and one great-great. One son and his three children live in Phoenix and our other son lives in Doney Park. We have daughters living with their families in Alabama, Washington state, New Hampshire and Virginia.
Being able to retire and live in Munds Park is a dream come true for Sue and me. My favorite hobbies are hunting, fishing and camping so living in the North Country is a big advantage for us. In the mid-1950’s I hunted deer in Munds Park with my brother Larry and two other brothers, Paul and Larry Eskew. The next year they staked out the right of way for I-17, right through where we had camped the year before. Sue and I really enjoy working around the house and improving the looks of our property with lots of trees, roses and other flowering plants.
I was born and raised in West Virginia. I have a BA degree from Alderson-Broaddus University, an MD from West Virginia University Medical School, and an MPH from Medical College of Wisconsin. I initially planned to practice internal medicine but was drawn to the practice of occupational medicine and preventive medicine. In that practice, I have cared for employees with various injuries as well as exposure to toxic chemicals, noise and other risks from the work place. For 35 years or so, I have worked with public employees like firefighters to promote their good health and assure their ability to work safely in a hazardous setting.
My husband is also from West Virginia but fell in love with the southwest as a youth. We moved to Arizona in 1995. He and I first bought a home in Munds Park in 2003 and spent nearly every week-end here while we were still working. Retirement brought us both here full time in 2014. We are active in Munds Park Community Church and support our community through the country club, fire auxiliary, Sanitary Board (where Mike is a member of the board) and NAU. This is home.
Barb and her husband Bob have been full-time residents of Munds Park since 1999. Since that time she has been involved in numerous community activities. She is the past president of the Pinewood Fire Department Auxiliary and Beta Sigma Phi. She currently serves on the Pinewood Property Owners Association (PPOA) Board and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). She helped establish an emergency shelter in Munds Park. And helped staff the shelter during the 2010 winter blizzard.
Barb and Bob have been married for 47 years and have two sons and three grandchildren. She is originally from the mid-west, but moved to Arizona in 1969. Barb spent 30 years working for the Safeway stores as a meat cutter and union steward. Bob is a retired plumber.