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SPOTLITE

Bill Smith

Auburn, Alabama

      I spent my youth in Hopewell, Virginia. After graduating from high school I became a cartographic draftsman with the State Highway Department in Richmond. A couple of years later, I decided that wasn't what I really wanted to do when I "grew up."

      I then enlisted in the Air Force and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet program, which led to an Air Force pilot rating and a commission. My first assignment was in B-47's (medium bombers) and later I transitioned to KC-135's (air refueling tankers). I was in tankers through the Viet Nam era. After serving just over ten years in the USAF I took a discharge after once again deciding that wasn't what I really wanted to do when I "grew up."

      During the time I was in the USAF I married Anna, we had two sons, and we both completed a number of evening college courses. After the discharge, we went full-time to college. Anna studied French and Psychology and ended up with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I completed a Ph.D. in Economics and Statistics, and subsequently completed a number of graduate level courses in computer science. We enjoyed school, and that experience led me to discover what I really wanted to do when I "grew up."

      Anna and I both became university professors. I spent most of my 28-year university career teaching statistics, operations research, and computer science. In 1998 I was eligible to retire, and did so. Anna retired two years later. We moved to Auburn, Alabama in 2002. Our younger son is a professor at Auburn University, and our other son is an industrial engineer for a fiber optics manufacturing company in Atlanta.

      I have been solving cryptograms since 1999. I also enjoy some of the number puzzles (I have been addicted to word arithmetic and cross sums for a long time). I spend a great deal of time with amateur photography, woodworking, and working with computers (I have about a dozen computers). I exercise by walking four or five miles each morning.

      I am quite settled with being happily retired and don't expect to make big changes in my lifestyle during my remaining years.

     

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