OK, here goes. I have had so many good things happen in my life that I find it difficult to concentrate on any one thing.
I thank God for inventing glasses. Without them I would not have been able to see since the age of five.
I was one of the original “4 eyes”.
I thank God for allowing me to have the best teachers in the world…from the first grade on. My favorites were Ms Majioski in 3rd grade, Ms Robinson in 4th grade, Ms Beasley in 5th and 6th grade at Dowling Elementary. For some reason, I can’t remember my football coach at Dowling, but he was also an extremely positive influence. He was a great father figure.
There were so many fantastic teachers at Bonham Jr High School who were outstanding role models. Coach King probably had the most positive influence on me. Even though I was small and slow, he felt that I could be a great football player some day. Most of Jr High School is a blur except when JFK was killed. That took the air out of almost everyone. I was in English class around 11 am when the teacher came in with tears in her eyes and told us that our President had been shot.
Permian High School started for me as a sophomore. For some reason, I chose to take Latin (something in my brain said that would be good for a medical profession)…Wrong…everything is in English in Dental and Medical schools. I did take typing and was proud of my 50 words per minute on a manual typewriter.
My junior year at Permian, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the ’65 State Champion team. I had a little helmet problem that caused two pretty big holes to develop on my forehead. It was OK though, because it made me look tougher than I really was…lots of blood. Coach Mayfield and his crew did a remarkable job with a rag-tag group of teenagers.
My senior year at Permian, all of us were disappointed with not going to the playoffs. However, life goes on. A lot of us got scholarships to play football in college. I chose Rice University because of the education potential. And I really liked the head coach; however he retired that year and we inherited a “not so good coach” who stayed at Rice for the 3 years I was on the varsity team.
I chose to concentrate on GPA at Rice instead, for 2 reasons. The lottery system began because of the Vietnam War. I was#17 and they were taking up to #70 or so, I believe. At the end of each semester, I appeared before the draft committee in Odessa ; and I showed them my grades andkept my education deferment .
I met my wife-to-be, Sue, during football season after a game at a pizza place near the campus.
It was the luckiest day of my life. We bonded immediately. We got married on November 6, 1971…my father at the wedding said, “I’ll give it 6 months.” I finished my courses in December 1971 for graduation with a degree in biology and a minor in microbiology.
I was accepted to University of Texas Dental School in Houston and began in June 1972. I studied more in the first 3 months of dental school than in all my other education experiences combined. After that, it all got easier and I graduated #5 in my class of 120.
I found a dental practice in Tulsa, OK that was for sale in 1976. Dr. Thomason and his wife Flo had taken the practice over from Flo’s father (Dr Boltey) in the 1940’s after WW2. Dr Boltey had started the practice in Tulsa around 1910. I had a legacy to uphold. Many of the patients were in their 70’ s and 80’s and had only been to the two previous dentists during their lifetime.
Something worked out correctly, because I ran the practice for 32 years and retired in 2008. I passed the practice on to a young man whom I mentored from the age of 13.. He and I met in karate classes, and he pressured me at that time into selling my practice to him when he graduated from dental school in 12 years.
When I was 35 or so, Sue and I had some marital problems. We were in the process of trying to work them out…we knew we had to do more together, and we considered taking classes together (dancing, bowling, aerobics). We couldn’t make a final decision but we knew we wanted to stay together and work things out. And then came home from work one day and she said, “I’ve signed us up for 3 months of karate lessons. 8 years later Sue had her 4th degree black belt and I had my 5th degree and I had 2 professional fights in the ring (2 and 0) and Sue had one (exhibition) fight. We never fought at home anymore…sparring with her was like fighting a bumble bee. You couldn’t cover up enough to defend yourself. She is the love of my life.
Sue and I just celebrated our 46thAnniversary in November. She is still the best part of me.
I retired at the end of 2008 and life could not be any better. I have a very productive veggie garden every year. I do my own yard and landscaping work. Sue and I usually workout for 2-3 hours every morning. I play golf with my brothers’ in law once a week. We call ourselves the ORG’s (Old Retired Golfers).
When people ask me how I was able to retire as early as I did, I tell them, “One wife and no kids!”. Actually, I started planning for retirement when I was 28.
OK, now you know a lot about me.
How about sharing your life story?
Paul Boyd Strahan, DDS
aka…Dr. Strahan (my least favorite) , Boyd, Just Paul, and Paul(my favorite), and some others probably.