Kenneth D. McNicol, Jr.

McNicolI was born November 1, 1937, in Redlands, CA.and raised in various locations in California, attending seven different schools during my first 12 years of formal education, graduating from high school in Lone Pine CA (32 in the graduating class) in June 1955.

Not having anything better to do one day in July 1955, I joined the Air Force. Had to get my dad to sign for me because I wasn’t 18 yet. Went to Parks AFB for Basic Training, then to Scott AFB for Electronics Technician School. I was stationed in Japan (15 months on top of a mountain way up north on Hokkaido), and on top of a mountain near Gallup, New Mexico, where, having nothing better to do in July of 1959, I re-enlisted.

Bought a new car, got married, went to the AF Security Service, applied for OCS, went to Scotland where we had our first child, was accepted to OCS (3rd time), and went to San Antonio to become an officer and a gentleman.

Graduated OCS in June 1963, went to Comm./.Electronics school at Keesler AFB, then to McClellan AFB, CA, where I had a couple of interesting jobs. From there to Vietnam (1965, ’66, ’67—’65 at Pleiku and ’66-’67 at Phan Rang). After Vietnam, went to Torrejon, Spain for four glorious years, then back to the US and Keesler AFB for Staff Officers school. From there to George AFB, where I was the Commander of the Communications Squadron for two years. While at George, we had our second child.

From George, I was assigned to TACCOM Area at Langley AFB, in Virginia. While there I talked my way into another command job at Homestead AFB, where I was Commander of the Communications Squadron for two years. Then one day in July of 1976, having nothing better to do, I retired from the Air Force. and moved back to Southern California.

During much of my career in the Air Force, I was also driving race cars, and got to be a minor celebrity. The Air Force was never really sure what their policy on that sort of thing was, but they seemed to think it was OK for me most of the time. I was a marginally successful driver, and after leaving the Air Force, and trying my hand at retail sales (I managed two Radio Shacks for a couple of years), I decided to give full-time racing a shot. Great timing, right in the middle of the oil crises, when all the auto manufacturers were cutting their racing budgets and it was almost un-American to “waste” gasoline on a race track.

In 1981, I was forced to get a real job and went to work for a trucking company. Eighteen months later, I was the general manager, and 18 months after that, I left to open my own trucking company. I was still doing a little racing and owned several race cars that I rented/leased to budding hot-shoes with lots of money.

In 1985, I sold my trucking company to my partner and rented race cars exclusively for a year. In July of 1986, having nothing better to do, I opened a sign company, and sold all my race cars, race equipment, and contracts, etc. I retired from active racing in 1990, got divorced in 1993, got married in 1996. We bought our first house in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico in 1997. We enjoyed Mexico so much that we started spending more and more time there, and less and less time in California attending to business. We got further invested in Mexico and in early 2002, decided to sell the sign company. That sale was completed December 31, 2003, and we are now drawing a little bit of Air Force retirement, a bit of Social Security, and clipping coupons from the sale of our business interests in California.

Both of my kids are successful in their own endeavors, and both live in Southern California. My wife has a daughter from her previous marriage, and she also lives in So Cal.

We are truly “fair weather “people, love the sun and the water and the beach, and carefully allocate our time between Mexico and California to take advantage of the best of all those things. We have a small boat in Mexico which we use to entertain ourselves and the occasional guests that find their way to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

Life is WONDER-FULL, and I’ve had a BLAST!!