I am Paul E. Esquinaldo Jr. I am quickly approaching the Fall season of life and am looking forward to spending a few years with my Grand Children. Hey, everyone has to have goal !!!

Overall, life has treated me kindly. I grew up in Key West before the snowbirds changed our life style. Progress? Nope, I donít think so.


Back then, the island had inland mangrove swamps that provided great playgrounds for a group of young kids. My friends and I grew up in the same neighborhood. Our brand of mischief got no worse than riding our bicycles through the DDT fog released from Mosquito Control Trucks that invaded our neighborhood. Safe? No. Stupid? Yes but it allowed us to vent excess energy in harmless ways. We exercised our muscles and flexed our imaginations. We survived youth had fun doing so.


During the Cuban Missile Crisis I remember riding bicycles to the beach. We watched the military digging trenches, stretching barbed wire and erecting Hawk Missile Launchers. Yes, we knew the United States of America was in conflict with Cuba but we never realized the severity of the situation. Concealing ourselves from the roving jeeps carrying men and a very large .50 caliber machine gun was fun.

Our televisions were black and white RCAís that displayed three channels (NBC, ABC and CBS). There were no remote controls so we watched one channel much longer than I do now. Strange how with 200 plus channels I canít find anything to watch. Innocence and simplicity, that is the best way I can describe my youth in Key West, Florida.

I graduated from the high school and was hired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Before leaving the island, my Dad took me to Miami and negotiated the purchase of a 1970 Dodge Challenger RT. To my Dad, it looked like a small compact car. To me, that car was a 383 c.i., Ram Aired, Posi-Track, Slap-Stick monster with air conditioning. I paid $4,200 for the car, $2,400 cash and financed the balance. My payments were $77 a month. Damn that is sick !

Background: The FBI hired approximately 4,500 high school aged kids each Summer. Less than 2,000 remained by September fewer than a couple hundred stayed through the end of the year.


The FBI moved me to Washington, DC, placed me into an apartment they monitored VERY closely and taught me the fine art of Fingerprint Identification.

I first saw my future wife when I stuck my head out of a 10th floor window and saw her head projecting form a 9th floor window. Kathy was employed as a Data Input Operator with the Bureau. We dated for a year and were married the next. She was and still is my soul mate (I may not have been hers but this isnít a perfect world is it?). We donít get along but Iíve not found better.

We couldnít afford a home in the Washington DC area so after four years with the Bureau, I accepted a position with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

We moved to Edmond, OK (my wifeís place of birth).


I began my career with OSBI as a Fingerprint Technician and later became one of three Crime Scene Investigators covering the state of Oklahoma. I was on call 24/7 every three weeks. I was accepted as a Fingerprint Expert by the courts in over 120 cases which varied from burglary to multiple homicides.

My daughter, Desriee, was born the year I earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting form Central State University. Shortly thereafter, I left law enforcement and began the life of a ex-crime fighting pencil pushing bean-counter (no I donít wear a cape).


I joined the ranks at Ralston Purina as a Cost Accountant in their Consumer Products Division. My only complaint about Ralston is the transfer-for-promotion policy. When it came time for me to move up, they wanted me to move to Davenport, Iowa. I rejected the offer, left the company and moved to CMI, Inc as a Senior Cost Accountant. Instead counting dog and cat food for a living, I began counting production inventory, raw materials and work-in-progress.

My move to CMI, Inc was a bad decision. Two years after I got there the company discovered itself in a severe financial crisis. Long story short, CSI decided to compete with Lufkin in the production of oil well ďpump jacks.Ē No way that was going to happen. Lufkin is a freaking CITY with company owned forges and milling facilities. Lufkin doesnít assemble pump jacks, the CREATE them from scratch, duh.


I was hired as an Assistant Controller by the Benham Group, an Architectural / Engineering firm in Oklahoma City. Another great company. Ok, so I got stupid again. While visiting my family in Key West, I was offered the position of Director of Finance with the local electric utility.


I accepted the position, I moved to Key West, Kathy and my daughter remained in Oklahoma. My salary doubled, I was back on my beloved island and though life was great. I did not realize the position would cause my divorce, alienate me from my daughter and nearly cause me a nervous breakdown. Word of caution, never work for a small man with a Napoleonistic psychological condition. The last two years of six with Keys Energy were pure hell on Earth. During my six years with this company I supervised the departments of Accounting, Data Processing, Personnel and Warehouse. I presented (and successfully sold) five bond issues totaling over 137 million dollars on Wall Street.

I next became the City Clerk and Treasurer for a medium sized city with a population nearing 60,000. I was responsible for Accounting, Personnel, Management Information Service, Warehousing, Risk-Safety Management, Accounts Receivable for the Municipal Water Utility, the Municipal Golf Course and the Municipal Auditorium. I had fourteen direct reports and a staff exceeding 180 people. These people were great but I hated the politics. I hated the political camps. I hated the political back-stabbing. I detest political intrigue and agendas.

I spent six years in that pressure cooker before I returned to my native island where I remain to this day. Iíve been employed by Cooke Communications, LLC as their Accounting Systems Manager for the past ten years. Good people and I get a feeling of accomplishment.


I am a World of Warcraft addict and a recovering Ever-Crack addict. Iíve played Ultima Online, Everquest, Everquest 2, Age of Camelot, Shadow Bane and World of Warcraft. I plan to try Age of Conan next. Iíve been a photography freak since my sophomore year in high school and I love computer languages. I ride a cruiser motorcycle and belong to the Latin American Motorcycle Association.

I had fun during my youth. I was agile and fast. I was naive and trusted everyone. I achieved a brown belt (3rd dan) in Shobukan Karate. I loved fast cars, faster bikes and even faster women. I built a hotrod from the ground up. I was a roofer. I developed lots of memories.

My divorce changed me. It changed my outlook on life. I lost the two most precious people in my life and it rocked me to the core. My life became all about career and keeping a professional facade. Since my breakup with Kathy, I've met one woman I could have loved but I wanted to hold on so tight that I drove her away. I stopped trying and sought refuge in career.

I have many acquaintences but very few friends. Trust comes very hard for me.

I converse with three of my friends on a routine basis. Lisa lives in Massachusetts, David lives in Oklahoma and Allen lives in Florida. Conversations with Lisa keep me sane while David helps me remember the good times we shared many years ago. The very high speed boat rides shared with Allen remind me that I am alive. Allen trys to make me see the joys of marriage but to no avail. Honestly, I'd be poision in a marriage. I am dead set in my ways and I've become too selfish to make a marriage work. And then there's the trust problem.

Iíve been ankle deep in blood and gore, Iíve managed large diversified departments. Iíve produced huge budgets and Iíve set Ad Valorem Taxes. I've made financial presentations on Wall Street and endured politics, pressure cookers, and madmen. Iíve witnessed mismanagement and stupidity and most importantly, Iíve met a bunch of terrific people along the path.

But, you know, Iíd trade it all to have played a bigger part in my daughterís life. But that water has already passed under the bridge. I hope to make amends by playing the part of an involved granddaddy.

More to come later (God willing).

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