Ever since Bruce can remember he wanted to do two things: join the Navy and write a book. Although born in Miami, Florida, he never really grew up in any one place. His father was a traveling salesman and his mother, two sisters, and he moved around the country every few years until he was old enough to join the Navy and see the rest of the world. As an enlisted man, Bruce used the G. I. Bill the first eight years of his career to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Florida International University in his off duty time. After graduation he applied for Aviation Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an Ensign prior to getting his “Wings of Gold.” Flying search and rescue helicopters for the next twenty years was the marbling in the cake according to Bruce, and he’s proud to say that there are at least nine souls still alive today because he was there then.
As a commissioned officer he continued his education earning a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University that was necessary for a Navy sub-specialty code he needed for advancement. Later, while stationed at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Bruce proposed to his brown-eyed girlfriend and he and Cora were married in the old stone church James A. Michener wrote about in his novel, Hawaii. He likes to say that he’s been married twice—his first and last—to his bride of thirty plus years. “Truth be told,” Bruce says, “if I had known marriage would have been so great I never would have waited so long.”
Three years after being promoted to Commander the Navy began downsizing and Bruce put in for a voluntary retirement after twenty-seven and a half years of service. The following December Cora developed breast cancer. On a whim he suggested that when she finished her radiation treatments they sell everything, buy an RV, and travel the country. Much to his surprise she said, “Yes,” and for the next eleven years they became adult dropouts. He continued writing the great American novel, while she kept busy quilting as they traveled around the lower forty-eight. Then, twelve years ago, they settled in the San Juan Islands, which is the longest he’s ever lived in one place.
The Handy Andy Tool Kit Bruce got for Christmas when he was four years old has had quite an influence on his life and he remembers it as one of his favorite gifts. He’s always liked tools and working with his hands and spent a considerable amount of his off-duty time volunteering with different church groups and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity building and repairing low income housing. Every summer that they passed through Reno, Nevada in their RV, Bruce worked for Handyman Connection doing the same sort of thing, only this time for pay, because as he says, “It cost a lot of money to live that cheap.”
Swimming has always been part of Bruce’s life along with a variety of outdoor activities such as biking, golf, scuba diving, and hiking. He believes in God, finishing what he starts (even bad books and movies), and lives by Thomas Edison’s axiom: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Bruce has a strong sense of right and wrong and pretty much lives by the Do unto others…Golden Rule. He is extremely community minded and has been designing and building sets for stage plays at the local community theatre the past nine years.
Bruce has been writing for more than twenty-eight years and thus far has finished nine novels, one novella, two stage plays, several short stories and an uncounted number of poems. His novel, Mortgaged to Death was one of four finalists in the first annual Poisoned Pen Press mystery writing contest and he was a non-rhyming poem winner in Writer’s Digest annual writing competition for two consecutive years.