Podcast Host, Blogger, and Historian
Hanford Site | 1967-1995 | Chemist & Analytical Lab Manager
Cold War Patriots is delighted to introduce you to our February 2021 Everyday Patriot, John A.!
When John A. says he has ‘driven a train and flown a plane’, he means it; literally.
John is a doer and an achiever. In addition to driving a train and flying a plane, John has also logged over 280,000 miles on his motorcycle, traveling throughout the northwest with his wife Ruth.
John was born in Spartanburg, SC. After high school, John attended Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC. John met his wife Ruth at Livingstone College. Folklore says Ruth pursued John with vigor until she caught him!
John put himself through college by working the graveyard shift, 11 pm – 7 am, during the school year as a textile weaver. On school holiday breaks and during the summer John worked as a bricklayer. John graduated, receiving a BS in Chemistry. John was hired right out of college by the Hanford Facility in Richland, Washington as a Chemist. John worked at Hanford for the DOE for the next 28 years!
John worked as a Chemist, and then as a supervisor. He then worked as the Equal Opportunity Coordinator and then as a Sr. Specialist in Labor Relations. In his final years, he returned to chemistry as a Lab Manager. During his time at Hanford John also spent 28 years volunteering as a Benton County Deputy Reserve Officer. John also served as the volunteer Deputy Coroner for Benton County.
Ruth’s successful pursuit of John resulted in their marriage. In truth, it took 3 years for John to convince Ruth to even date him! They have been married 55 years and they were blessed with 2 fabulous children. Their son graduated from West Point and now owns a State Farm Insurance Agency in Phoenix, AZ. Their daughter received a bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College and 2 master’s degrees from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. She is now an accomplished Assistant Principal in SC. John and Ruth have 6 grandchildren! A grandson who graduated from West Point this past June 2020. They have another grandson currently attending West Point, and a third grandson who graduated from Auburn University this past August 2020. They also have a grandson who is attending Arizona State, and he will graduate in May of 2021. Their oldest grandson studied biology at the University of SC and is a heavy equipment operations manager in SC. Their youngest grandchild, a granddaughter, is attending junior high in Virginia.
John currently writes a blog called amazingblackhistory.com. John focuses on telling the mostly unheralded, under-researched, and unpublished stories of Black History, and the many contributions they made to society. Black History is an integral part of both American and World History. The reason for John’s Blog is to highlight the vast amount of black history that has been excluded from the interwoven fabric of American and world history. This endeavor keeps John going as he feels it helps society overall. John wants to extend an offer to everyone to follow his blog. Especially during the month of February, as February is Black History Month. During February of 2021, John will be posting every day with an intense focus on black inventors, scientists, and medical achievements.
John has uncovered inventions that we use every day, scientific discoveries that have made our lives better, and medical miracles that will surprise many!
John also gives quarterly presentations at the Library in Spartanburg, SC. Some of John’s presentations may be viewed using the video link posted at www.amazingblackhistory.com.
John also has his own show on Blog Talk Radio; it plays every Thursday night (7 pm eastern/4 pm pacific) for one hour weekly called ‘The Road to Success’. John’s show is intended to help empower all people to take back their lives and become the best that they can be. John believes people have great capacity, and that there is great unrealized potential within each one of us. John works daily to unleash that potential in everyone. John’s overarching interest is in motivating and inspiring all people to become all that they can be. Questions can be emailed to [email protected].
John was asked, “What do you get out of giving?”:
- I have realized that I cannot give back as much as has been given to me. I have received a lot along the way. Much has been given to me from people I never expected.
- I believe that there is goodness within all people. We need to look inside of people, within their hearts, and within their minds, and at their abilities. We can motivate them, and we can encourage them.
- I have been a substitute teacher for disabled children, they have inspired me, and they have taught me a great deal. While they may have limitations, if we closely watch the human struggle, they show us that we can each accomplish far more than we ever thought we could.
- I get far more out of my giving than I can ever get back.
John’s greatest fulfillment comes from watching others achieve things that they never thought they were capable of doing.
John’s aspiration is to write a book or two, to reach a wider audience, and to have a greater impact.
From John’s 28 years working at the Hanford Facility, he learned that he was capable of far more than he ever thought that he would be able to do. Perseverance and digging in allowed him to compete with the best of the best who arrived at Hanford from larger more prestigious colleges. John has always been an avid and vocal proponent of the Tuition Refund Program! He encouraged many of his peers and those individuals he managed to take advantage of this wonderful benefit that the DOE offered to their employees.
John has many wonderful memories from his time at Hanford and they all involve the people! John gained so much from watching the folks he supervised, grow, get promoted, or move to other departments into positions of greater responsibility. He would become overjoyed when employees received their diplomas, ultimately getting to do what they truly wanted to do with their lives! John also gained a great deal from the individuals he was able to help while volunteering as a deputy on the Benton County Sheriff’s Department.
John and Ruth live in Richland, Washington, but they have been spending a great deal of time staying in their family home in Spartanburg, SC. John is a client of PCM in SC and has a wonderful PCM Case Manager, Michelle, and a great nephrologist, Dr. Barry Gorlitski.
Final closing thoughts:
“Get up in the morning with a plan!”
“Set goals, set objectives, and work on them in a planned manner. Have a strategic plan for what you want to do and put action to it!”
“Having and pursuing a life purpose is key!”
You can listen to John’s podcast “The Road to Success”
on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm EST on blogtalkradio.com.
Also, be sure to check out his blog at amazingblackhistory.com.