My Skillman Girls: Ashelynn 1, Jessica 31, Peyton 3
My Newest Skillman Girl: Jaedyn (Born Jan. 28, 2013) being held here by big sister Peyton
Jessica is the granddaughter I raised with my late wife Elaine. The youngsters are Jessica's daughters.
Bio on Donald Ray Edrington
Why would anyone read this?
Well — who knows... Maybe we dropped out of the same school.
I've been working on a book called "Shy Guy from Hollywood High," which tells about some of the funnier things that have happened during my life. However, I am not — nor ever have been — part of the Hollywood "entertainment industry."
My dad, Donald Edrington
Dad: Donald Edrington — Mother's Maiden Name: Marian Stiles.
Mom left dad when I was very young, so I have no recollection of him, but was told that he was a truck driver and that his brother Cecil was a Greyhound bus driver.
I have no pictures of my mom, nor do I know whatever happened to her. However, this painting I found online resembles her very closely. I also had no pictures of my dad till just recently when I got a call from Charles Edrington, who turned out to be my half-brother. I had heard that my dad remarried and had a child with his new wife, but I had no details until Charles called.
I got the call in October 2007 from Charles, who said he had decided to look up our last name on Google to see what might come up — and that he found this site. Charles went on to tell me that our dad had a taxi cab business in Santa Rosa, CA up until he passed away in 1973.
Dec 14 - Born Donald Ray Edrington in Santa Rosa, California.
I'm guessing that I must have been about two years old in this picture.
Parents divorced. Mom married William Potter. We lived in Berkley and Oakland.
The only thing I remember about Bill Potter is that he was a painter on the Golden Gate Bridge. Every evening when he came home from work his white coveralls were speckled with the orange colored paint that was used on the bridge. I remember him saying that it was a permanent job because he and the others in his crew would start at one end of the bridge and paint until they reached the other end. By then, he would say, the first part of the bridge would need repainting and so they would start all over again.
Mom divorced again, and married Bryson Perry Hall who opened a silk-screen-printing shop called The Little Bohemian Art Studio in
I never saw this gentleman again after he and my mother divorced in 1943. However, I heard from two women in December of 2004 who wrote to tell me that he had recently passed away at age 88. His niece and his widow described him in glowing terms as being the kind, considerate man I remember and to whom my mom was briefly married.
They also sent me some pictures of him, one of which is displayed here. I feel badly that I never got to see him again before he passed away. He was quite a guy!
Mom divorced again - later married Bob Pavillis, who worked as a waiter at
The Original Pantry restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles.
Bob was another extremely nice guy with whom I got along very well. Sadly, my mother was not able to maintain a relationship with him any better than she had with her first three husbands.
I went to Eliot Jr. High School (Altadena) -
Virgil Jr. High School (Los Angeles) and LeConte Junior High School (Hollywood). Mom divorced Bob Pavillis.
Also became life-long friends with Carl Von Papp.
More about Carl below*
and how we each bought our first computer in 1977 - the Radio Shack TRS80 Model 1.
On my way to Korea
I hitchhiked to Cuba, to dance the mambo and try out my high school Espaņol.
While in Cuba, I accidentally stumbled onto a radio show featuring
the country's most popular female singer, Celia Cruz.
My attendance at this radio broadcast (believe it or not!) resulted
in my being invited to appear on a Spanish language TV talk show in January of 2002
(exactly 51 years later).
I was flown to Miami to be on the Marta Susana show, and am
still shaking my head in amazement that they spent over $1,000 for my ten-minute appearance on the show.
If you don't know who Celia Cruz was, this story will have very
little meaning — however, if you are among her leagues of world-wide admirers,
you might find the tale rather intriguing.
Sadly, Celia Cruz passed away on July 16, 2003.
She will be missed by me and millions of fans throughout the world.
Went to Mexico City, thinking I'd become a freelance cartoonist, and mail in my drawings.
Ran out of money — came back to Orange County and looked for signpainting work.
1959 Married — moved with Elaine and her two kids to Fullerton, where we started a small sign shop called Hi-Fi Signs.
Elaine and I later changed the name of the business to Banner Sign Co.
and moved it to larger quarters in Anaheim.
I had a part-time employee whose regular job was at a nearby bank. Alfredo Quintero's job was to maintain the bank's
huge main-frame computer, which occupied a specially-built room in the basement.
Alfredo was from Colombia, and helped me with paperwork and bookkeeping chores for which I had no aptitude.
We lost touch when the bank transferred Alfredo out of the area. However, 40 years later Alfredo found a story
I had written about him on this site and immediately called me from Miami. In November of 2006 we met for the first time in four decades, and got to catch up on old times.
Became friends with Bob & Beverly Layton, a couple about whom I would love to write a book, if only I had the time. Anyway, here are a couple of amazing "Bob Stories" which I think you'll enjoy.
Began going to the Fallbrook Assembly of God church (now called Living Waters Christian Fellowship) where I helped out with the Sunday School Transportation Ministry.
Began taking flying lessons at Fallbrook Airpark from
Harry Aberle after Dr. Fred Jackson suggested that flying back and forth
to my business in Anaheim would not only be cost-effective, it would be fun.
(Harry's wife Yvonne is seen here cutting off my shirt-tail after my first solo flight.)
Sadly, not long after that, Dr. Jackson's twin-engine plane crashed, killing him and a friend — while Harry lost his life in a home-built that crashed while taking off from Fallbrook Airpark.
When I saw an ad for something called a "microcomputer" at my local Radio Shack, I couldn't wait to take a look. The TRS-80 Model I had 4 kilobytes of RAM, and a monochrome monitor that displayed 16 lines of 64 characters (capital letters only).
There was no disk drive — programs and data were stored on standard audio cassettes, which were recorded via a portable recorder/player. The computer came with two game programs: craps and backgammon, along with a manual on how to write your own programs with something called BASIC.
I just had to have one. My wife thought I was crazy.
(Click for more about this.)
*Unbeknownst to me,
Carl Von Papp (my buddy from junior high school) had also bought a TRS-80 Model I.
Carl and I were also among first to sign up for something new called CompuServe. They claimed to have an exciting new thing called "Email" which one day brought the local SWAT team down on Carl.
(OK — it wasn't actually the SWAT team, but it was a surprise visit from the Bellevue Police Dept. at 5:00 in the morning.)
Hired my amazing daughter-in-law Alana Fugnetti, who quickly learned to take over the management of the whole business.
About the same time, Alana's husband Dennis Fugnetti (my step-son) began his own business in Santa Ana, CA: MIAD Photography.
I began to spend less time with our business — thanks to Alana having taken over its management — and worked part-time for Radio Shack to learn more about computers.
Taught adult Spanish classes part-time for Palomar College.
Worked part-time as a bilingual teacher's aide with severely handicapped pre-schoolers at Fallbrook Street School in Fallbrook, CA.
Took a CNA (Certified Nurses' Assistant) course at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, CA, to learn more about working with the disabled children.
Received a CNA certificate, but had to quit working with the children when an elbow injury made it difficult to lift kids in and out of wheelchairs, and onto diaper-changing table.
Worked part-time doing computer-aided ad layouts for the Fallbrook Enterprise.
Lost Elaine, my wife of 41 years. But I take solace in knowing that she is with the Lord and out of pain.
Wrote an updated version of Don't Be Afraid of Your PC! (2nd Edition) complete with illustrations.
Spent most of 2001 writing and giving PC presentations at computer clubs and other organizations with the help of Mary Janese Hanson.
In January of 2002 I was invited to appear on a TV talk show in Miami,
regarding my accidentally having met Celia Cruz in Cuba in 1951.
(For more details, see above.
1951 — On my way to Korea...) (TV talk show appearance in Miami).
Spent a delightful two weeks in Staten Island, New York, with Mary and her sister's family (Maureen and Joe Thompson along with their three children Megan, Joseph Jr, and Brendon).
Also visited with Joe's parents Wetzel and Patty Thompson, who took us on a fun tour of the island as well as a trip to Manhattan and back on the Staten Island Ferry.