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My Journey to Becoming a Dentist

Well, moving out of the 20th into the 21st century involves a few changes…1) coming to terms that your VHS tapes are not going to sell at the garage sale, 2) there is nothing you can do under the car's hood except add washer fluid, 3) beanie babies have not retained value like we thought they would, and 4) everybody blogs!

So here I am, 67 years old and at step 4.  Step 5 involves figuring out how to not "butt dial" when you put your phone in your pocket, and I haven't a clue, so I am going to stick with 4 for a while.

It was suggested I begin with the riveting story of my road to becoming "Dentist to the Stars".   A tale of intrigue and mystery and to be truthful, quite a bit of good luck! Grab your 32 ounce Red Bull and see if you can make it through to the end.

My daddy was a dentist for over 39 years and I was fortunate enough to have a great role model in my life.  He returned home from the war in Europe, became a very respected dentist in our community and was married to my mother for 66 years until her passing. He always made my two sisters and I a higher priority than work, and always kept his sense of humor, even when times were hard.  We celebrated his 95th birthday this March.

 
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I grew up in Lake Tahoe (great place for a young boy).  Did all the things you would expect of such a remarkable (and humble) person.  Student body president, best grades in the class (there were about 30 of us so that's not saying too much), masterful cross country ski team racer…the Stein Erickson of the alpine slopes (he was the guy that used to do the first flips on skis - he however landed on his feet)!

Then I went off to the University of Nevada-Reno where I goofed off too much, got not so good grades, got a 4-F for my hearing from the Army ROTC physical meaning I couldn’t follow my first dream of joining the Air Force like my daddy. Now I couldn’t get Uncle Sam to pay for the graduate school I had planned on…(this was during Viet Nam -- everybody in the dorm wanted my draft card) I looked really good in uniform, too!

So, I buckled down and graduated with a bachelors in Zoology, a minor in Chemistry and moved to Washington to re enroll in college at UW.  Pulled down good grades and was accepted at UW School of Dentistry (it is a superb dental school, 100 slots and over 1400 applicants at the time), it was highly worth the wait!

I learned from some of the best in the world but was very disappointed in how little was taught about orthodontics (my dad's favorite part of dentistry).  So I signed up for 3 years of orthodontic training after graduating and opened my first office in Bellingham as a general dentist. 

Now, we all know you are not supposed to date your staff, so I dated my assistant's sister Rose instead (That's OK. Isn't it?).  And so..........

and then we got these..............

 
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and then I caught this.............

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and Kelsey caught this.......

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Photo by Kaemere Photography & Design

and we are living happily ever after.