His heroes were the confident Green Hornet type of superheros who fought for truth, justice and the American way in the idealistic world of his childhood. Because of the draft, Darrel joined the army, became a military policeman then took advantage of the GI Bill that paid for college following his service. A great turnaround with that opportunity for an education occurred in him, and he at first graduated with a Police Science major, which was later modified to include Business.
After being a city policeman/sergeant/detective for many years, he recognized that what he was doing was for only young men and he was getting older all the time.
So he reinvented himself, moved 2200 miles across our great country and became a businessman. When he later retired, his natural gift went dormant for a long time. What he had painted on him by God when he was born is leadership ability. Men will follow him anywhere.
This job, this temporary job is one he did for thirty years. The products have not changed significantly. The procedures for their installation (irrigation systems) have not changed significantly. He was hired to implement this job, i.e. smooth out all the wrinkles so impatient and frustrated people could manage to work as a team to get the job done as efficiently as possible.
The really interesting thing I've been able to witness in coming to California with this man is the crash course learning that went on for the first few weeks. The electronic world changed impossibly since he was in business. The Veteran's Administration's tools have changed, though their techniques have not. The amount of traffic has multiplied as well. The California freeway system is entirely different than the one in Georgia. He knew nothing about procedures for a cemetery, especially a hallowed ground one of military men whose lives have been lost in the service of our country.
Three weeks later, he's implemented electronic devices he didn't know existed. VA procedures were expected but not explained. Forget help with the freeway system--the HOA lanes, the HOV convertible lanes, exits, rush hour and local driver techniques. Cemetery procedures are extremely sensitive and tearing holes in the ground is a very insensitive job done in this environment. Significant under-researched facilities were on location. No phones, no office, no cell reception, no restrooms.
Darrel started over. None of the men knew him. He's ancient compared to them. Now 19 men and one woman either call him "dad" or "boss" and all of them designate him to get all the answers for them from the others.
Life is good.