We grew up on ranches in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Both our families taught us the value of working hard and helping others. They also taught us how to celebrate the good times, work through the tough times and how to love others all the time. Our small town USA was Boise City, Oklahoma in Cimarron County, which to this day does not have a traffic light in the whole county. This football captain and rodeo queen were high school sweethearts who decided to venture out on their own individual paths for college. Tom was a student at Oklahoma State University and Vivian attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
After our first year apart, we married in August 1967 and made our first home at Panhandle State College before returning to OSU the following year. We both had opportunities to travel with family and on 4-H and school sponsored trips. Back at OSU, Tom was recruited by the Southwestern Company to sell Bibles and health books door to door during the summer. The sales training we received each year taught us valuable lessons on working with people, sales techniques, negotiation, and setting goals, record keeping and running their own business. Tom’s love of people and what he was doing resulted in he and his teams receiving Top Honors for their work. He was in the ROTC and served in the National Guard. During these years we lived in various places in Oklahoma and Texas, in Anaheim, CA and also Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. During those years we most enjoyed the times when we were able to get our toes in the sand and we were mesmerized by the beauty and power of the crystal blue surf.
In 1975, we settled in Norman, Oklahoma along with our two children. In the beginning while Tom got his real estate license, he worked on the clean- up crew for a local builder. Vivian worked in the Cleveland County Property Assessor’s office. The next year Vivian got her real estate license and eventually we became broker owners of 5 Better Homes and Gardens offices in central Oklahoma with over 100 agents. We survived the Oil Bust of the 80’s and remained top broker agents in the area for 25 years.
In 1989, Tom had a listing on an industrial building in Norman. The owner told Tom that if he sold the building, he would give him a weeks stay at his condo on the beach in Florida. That’s how we made our first trip to Clearwater Beach and fell in love with Sand Key and the surrounding beach areas. We stayed one week at South Beach 4 and our balcony allowed us to see the beginning construction of Ultimar I. Tom bought an aerial view post card of Sand Key and said one day we are going to live there. That post card stayed on his bathroom mirror until the day we began our move from Oklahoma to Florida in 1998.
It is hard to believe all that had changed here and in our lives during the following years. We’ve been blessed with 4 awesome grandchildren who love to come visit us at the beach. And we are honored to have so made new friends over these years we have been here…..celebrating life’s victories and crying together during the tough times. Living here on the beach and helping others make their dream of living here too brings us pleasure on a daily basis. When we drive over the 3 new bridges the views are unbelievably majestic. Working with people, learning what their dreams are and helping them find the perfect property brings us an energy that keeps us going and going. We truly love living and making a living right here on the beach. Each day truly is another day in paradise.