Alberton Senior Spotlight: Dick Darne

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Name: Dick Darne

Family: Married to Patricia for 50 years. Six children, raised two nieces, and has 3 grandchildren

How long have you lived in Alberton? I moved to Alberton in 1979.

Graduated High school: 1957 from McLean, Virginia.

What did you do after High school? I went in to trade schools and became an instructor for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. Basically worked in that my whole life after going through the apprentice program.

Favorite subject or teacher in school and why? Ireally loved history and government classes, my seventh grade teacher Mr. Geier was a paratrooper who got shot down in Sicily in WWII. He had some stories to tell.

What was your first car? A ’40 Ford Coupe, I bought it for $100. It didn’t last long though; I hit some black ice in it and wrecked it down an embankment.

Growing up did you get an allowance, if so how did it work? Never had an allowance, you had to go hustle if you wanted to make some money. Go cut grass, buck some bales, or pick up pop bottles and take them to the depository. Two cents a bottle…they added up after a while.

Who was your best friend growing up? Favorite things you did together? My cousin Freddy, he was a year older and like a brother to me. I didn’t have any brothers. The woods were pretty wild close to where we lived; we’d go fish the Potomac River and hunt. When you were young you had a good imagination, you didn’t need much to have fun.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I don’t know if I ever had a certain job in mind, growing up we’d play that we were detectives or cowboys. Just wanted to make a living.

What other jobs have you had? First job in high school was at a pizza place, it didn’t pay well but you got free pizza. I also worked at a gas station, back then they’d pump your gas, check your tires, and start squeegeeing your window before you even came to a stop. It was hard work but you got to meet a lot of interesting people. I’ve also played guitar and sang in a bluegrass band for many years, the Gravely Mountain Boys.

What would you say the “American Dream” was for your generation? My generation was fed a lot of fear and propaganda. But overall I guess we wanted to do something meaningful, have a job, and raise a family on one income, put a roof over your head.

Do you remember your first date? Can you tell me something about it? Can’t recall what my first date was, I didn’t have a car my senior year, but most likely you’d go to the drive-in movies, or to a drive-in diner. Even after getting married my wife and I would go the drive-in movie and down in front of the screen there was a playground for the little ones, once it was bedtime they’d fall asleep in the back seat.

What’s your favorite technological invention that occurred in your lifetime? I do love my I-phone. Not for social media though, that’s the worst thing ever invented. But I do like to text, and have my email, read books through Kindle, use it for GPS. It can be nice, but don’t let it run your life.

With Veteran’s Day this past week do you have any friends or family in the military that you would like to recognize? My son John was in the Air Force, and my coffee buddy, and fellow Albertonian, Paul Manson was a genuine Vietnam Vet.

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