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About Bob Holden

Since 1979, our most valuable and important customer continues to be YOU.

Bob Holden

Welcome to my little corner of the Internet. You've probably arrived because you are curious about me, so here is a little background.

Early Years

Born and raised in the post-war San Fernando Valley (aka "The Valley"), I enjoyed a "Wonder Years" lifestyle and environment of the upper middle-class suburbs where many fathers worked for high tech companies like Litton, Hughes, Rocketdyne, and GM, or else provided services for those businesses or their employees. Back then, you pretty much ALWAYS knew where your Mom was, and likely also knew where your neighbor's Mom was too. Doors and windows weren't locked shut when you went to bed at night, and usually not when you left on a two week vacation either. Not that there weren't petty crimes from individuals with less than honorable upbringing, or even some famous cases that garnered national attention, such as Frank Sinatra Jr. being kidnapped and held in a local home not more than 5 blocks from where I lived.

The local elementary school was brand new (and still standing) and a whole group of us grew and learned together, continuing on to Junior High and High School, making lifelong friends in some cases. Some moved to other local schools for various reasons, school boundaries, or in some cases expulsions for various school policy infractions, and some of my friends even managed to try out ALL of the High Schools in the area in that manner! Back then schools had two semesters a year, an "A" and a "B" semester. "A" semester started in September and ran through late January or early February, and "B" followed immediately after and continued into graduations in June. Many times you had the same teacher in Elementary School, sometimes you had one teacher for A and another for B. Junior High School you had "periods" of about 50 minutes each, with different teachers all during the day, and an additional 20 minutes for Homeroom. In Elementary school, parents actually participated in the PTA, and held carnivals or other events each semester to raise money to help the teachers by providing teambuilding and allow students to blow off some steam on the school grounds.

For technology, we had TV, KNXT (2), KNBC(4), KTLA (5), KABC (7), KHJ (9), KTTV (11), and KCOP (13). All were Black and White, and if you didn't like that, you could buy a piece of plastic that was stained blue at the top and green at the bottom, paste it over your TV and you then had color. TV time was limited, especially by the rumor (or fact, I was never quite sure) that you could get sterilized by sitting too close to the TV. But parents were also quick to tell us to "Go outside and play!" so we would go outside and ride our bikes around the neighborhood endless times, depending on how old you were and how close it was to dinner. First was "Stay on the block!" then we were allowed to travel further. The best of times were to be had experimenting in physics, for example, one of the older boys and his friends got together and built a wooden box with bicycle wheels that was powered by a sheet sail, and later powered by a car battery and a starter motor, where speed was controlled by tapping the electric cables on the positive post of the battery, effectively providing PWM, Pulse Width Modulation by hand. Us littler kids would ride our bikes down the street to the critical intersections and signal if the coast was clear for a run to be started. I was the first on the block to have a skateboard, made by a Mr. Giblin from a piece of wood, and his daughters unwanted roller skate, the metal kind where you needed a skate key to attach it to your foot. He nailed one skate to a 1x6 and then told me to have at it. It was great fun until I hit a small pebble and went flying headfirst into a low rock wall. I still have the knot on the top of my head. When I woke up a minute later, I was a bit more careful on my later attempts.

Other fun was playing street baseball in the spring using baseball bats and a tennis ball, "left field was closed," so you didn't hit Mr. Stampers car or tear up his dichondra lawn. In the fall, tag football was king. Summer was always begging to swim at neighbors houses, or just

Growing Up

I was born in the West San Fernando Valley of Southern California and lived there for 45 years. I did the normal kid things, had a paper route, worked for Jack In The Box, Duke of Bourbon Liquors, several San Fernando Valley Landscape and Irrigation businesses, and in addition to having fun, I

I graduated Canoga Park High School despite having ADD(Attention Deficit Disorder) and not quite fitting the acceptable scholastic stereotype in order to be considered a successful student. However, I did not want to stop learning and in 1970, I attended Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, CA and took classes in a somewhat new field of Systems Analysis, which would turn out to be my life's work.

My studies were interrupted by an unlucky draw in the Selective Service draft, putting me in a position of either becoming what I thought of as "cannon fodder", or taking life by the horns and choosing to volunteer for the draft, which turned out to be a very good choice in hindsight. To make a long story short, I served 2 years in the US Army in various Administrative positions while managing to stay stateside during the Vietnam "war" learning and working at duty stations such as Fort Lewis, WA, Fort Ord, CA, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, and Fort Carson, CO. My last duty assignment was a dream job of Testing Examiner at the Armed Forces Qualification Tests given at the Armed Forces Entrance Station located on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, only a few miles from Hollywood, CA, and jokingly referred by all that worked there as "Fort Hollywood."

Upon my release from active duty, I returned to Community College and began focusing on Small Business, Systems Analysis, Physical Sciences, and Ceramics Arts studies, thinking that there was a market for hand crafted pottery items. Unfortunately, although I was receiving VA Benefits for school, it wasn't quite enough to make ends meet and I found myself looking for a job in the Ceramics Industry. I finally found one at Mayco Colors, in Chatsworth, CA and started out in the Shipping/Receiving department, hoping to work my way into the formulating end of the business. In the evenings, I began to teach myself how to program computers in this newfangled programming language called BASIC.

Alas, sometimes what WE want isn't in the Big Plan, and is thwarted by others, and I started looking for additional money, first starting out as a part time order picker for Sunset Trading Company in Van Nuys, a laid back company which wholesaled fresh juices, breads, and other food products from companies such as Escondido Juice, Foods For Life Bakery, Bill Bakers Ojai Bakery, Kowalke Sprouts, Garden of Eatin', Mountain High, Continental Yogurt, Ojai Valley Salsa, Nemo's, Hain, and others you would probably recognize, but were new companies back then.

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