I was born in Detroit, the car capital of the world. When I was 3 or 4 years old, the guy across the street – then probably a little over 40 – drove a new 1957 t-bird. You know the kind, with the little porthole window. I said to my parents, “Wow, that’s cool. I want one”. They told me the owner was a dentist and if I wanted to drive a car like that I would have to become a dentist. I said ok. And from that point on, for the next 25 years, I made it my goal to become a dentist. I would like you all to know that it was my dad who was the biggest influence on me. He was an immigrant who came to America on a boat from Italy. A kid who learned to cut hair on a soapbox in a Southern seaside town in Calabria when he was a kid. He come here when he was 18 years old and served in the US army in WWII. He spoke English with quite an accent, lived the American dream: married a beautiful Italian gal he met after arriving in the states, built a new brick house with detached brick garage, bought a new car and 35 inch black and white TV. He bought land and built a beautiful barber shop. He had “tutto”, which means “everything” in Italian. My dad died at 65 while I was two years into dental school. He worked 6 days a week from 8am to 6pm. He collected 1 social security check posthumous. I still have lofty goals for myself and honor him in all my work. My mother was Italian also, but born in the United States. She would tell me that I could do and be anything I wanted. Along the way, with her influence my father started a barber shop in Dearborn, Michigan. She, like most people, loved nice things. We had everything … and most of it broke down. Not being rich, my dad and I would fix it ….the washer, the dryer, the dishwasher, the faucets, the hot water heater, the garbage disposal, the TV, the toilet, the car, the furnace, the fireplace, the stove, the toaster, the roof, the sewer, the lawn mowers, the gate, the locks, switches, lamps, you name it, we fixed it. Well, most of the time. Then we would fix it again. We learned a lot out of necessity. We never had to fix the fridge, just the bursting line to the ice maker. Damn, we did have to fiddle with the icemaker a number of times. Oh well, you get the drift. We even made our own Christmas tree lights. One of my earliest and fondest memories during the late fifties and early sixties is soldering miniature bulbs from Italy. To this day if I solder anything, the smell reminds me of those evenings with wires and bulbs and testers. It was developing these skills with my dad that allowed me to create Dental Air Force.