A brief Bio

published on

Well, after being retired for about 7 years I finally have enough time to start crossing off bucket list items. This one is a double header. I wanted to tell my story so my grand kids and maybe great grand kids would know a bit about their heritage, and I wanted to take up a hobby. So my new hobby is photography. I never have done much in the creative world and photography seems to be a great way to get creative. My focus is to be birds in flight, but I have to learn a lot before I get good at that. I think I will alternate posts with some of my images and with some of my life story.

I was born in Boston on January 9, 1947 to Esther and Frank Berman, the children of immigrants from what is now Ukraine. My dad had come back from WWII in 1946, got married to his longtime sweetheart, and a year later I was born. My dad was from Boston and my mom was from Quincy, the city of Presidents, just South of Boston. I wound up in the NAVY in 1967. I was supposed to be a musician, but during boot camp, while playing in Chicago in a cold wet January I got pneumonia and the NAVY decided they and I would be better off if they sent me off to learn about computers. It was a good change for me. I knew nothing about computers, but no one else knew much either. Here is an interesting article about what I was supposed to be doing. NAVY NTDS. Unfortunately my Dad was in a very bad car accident but the NAVY nicely transferred me to Washington D.C. so I could be closer to my family.

Joined the NAVY to see the world. I was stationed in North Chicago, not to be confused with the North part of Chicago, then Mare Island in Vallejo California, then Washington D.C., then Norfolk Virginia where I met my wonderful wife and when I was finally discharged in 1972, we moved back to Massachusetts. This time we lived in Boxboro and I went to work for Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard MA.

At DEC I started as a WorldWide support engineer and traveled all over the world, many more places than I ever saw in the NAVY. Our son Art was born in 1974, and then David in 1977 and we moved to Shirley, MA., then to Groton MA. In 1990 we moved to Hong Kong which interesting and fun and came back to Groton in 2000. 35 years after starting at DEC I got an incredible early retirement offer so I retired. It wasn’t DEC anymore anyway, DEC was bought by COMPAQ which in turn was bought by HP so I have an HP gold badge. After two weeks of retirement I was bored out of my mind and was lucky enough to get a job at Red Hat, a pioneer in commercial open source software, especially Linux.

I had a great 7 years there winding up a VP of marketing, but got restructured out of a job. Another company after that, then a few years consulting on my own (Wish I had started that many years earlier), a bout with cancer, some open heart surgery to correct a congenital deformity, kids got married, had grandchildren, wife had some medical issues, and now Fran and I are happily settled in Oxnard California where the weather and the view is perfect and the Mexican food and Seafood is to die for. And I finally have the time to play - hence this blog.

I am on the technology committee for my HOA where we are working on access control and video surveillance, am on the Channel Islands Neighborhood Council where I am mostly interested in water quality in our harbor, and as I mentioned, I have taken up photography and will post some of my pictures soon. I didn’t write about my (lack of) education or work history on purpose because I googled myself and found thousands of entries about other Joel Bermans and only a few about me so I am rather insignificant it seems.