Dave was born in Washington State, and raised in his family's home area of Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. His father worked in the Montreal mine, an underground iron mine that was a major source of employment for the region. Dave had a wonderful childhood in the small towns of Ironwood, MI and Montreal, WI.
In 1959, Dave's family discovered just what "out-sourcing" was all about - decades before anyone had coined the phrase. It had been decided that South American iron ore was cheaper and in 1959, the Montreal mine was closed. (A similar event is described beautifully in Bob Dylan's song "North Country Blues.) The miners, and all the businesses in the area who depended on the miners, were devastated. In August of 1959, just after Daveâ€™s 12th birthday, the family of six, plus Grandma and her dog, all piled into a Chevy pickup with a camper shell and headed for California.
While the family stayed with Dave's grandparents in the Imperial Valley, his Dad took a donated 1951 Mercury to San Diego to look for work. He found a job as a parking lot attendant at the old Home Federal Savings building at 7th & Broadway. It didn't pay much, but it did provide medical insurance for the family.
Like most poor kids, Dave didn't know how poor the family was. A special night was Tuesday's, when his Dad would bring home a can of soda for each of the kids. Furniture, cars and clothes were mostly gifts from better-off relatives who were buying new and didn't need them any longer.
In 1965, Dave and the woman who would become his wife 43 years later graduated from Morse High School, and enrolled at San Diego State. Back then, tuition cost a grand total of $50 a semester. His first semester went well, but his grades quickly took a back seat to his social life, and three semesters later he found himself kicked out of the institution. A decision had to be made. In the spring of 1967, Dave volunteered for the draft. He attended helicopter school in Virginia and in February 1967 headed for Vietnam and his year with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in I Corps, between Hue and Quang Tri. He has lots of stories.
When he came back home, he re-enrolled at SDSU and finshed off his BA, before doing graduate work. He also taught classes there, but he wanted to wander and explore. He went to Europe, Hollywood, had jobs in maintenance, warehousing, truck driving, construction and more. Finally he signed on with San Diego Superior Court, from which he retired in July after 19 years
He has known his wife Patty since they were at O'Farrell Jr. High together. They dated in high school, where Dave was voted "Most Talented" and Patty had the "Best Figure." In 1967, Dave asked Patty to marry him, but her answer was "No." But fate threw them back together at their 40th reunion, and 3 years after that she changed her mind. She finally said, "Yes." It's been great ever since.
He had enjoyed politics from the sidelines since watching the Kennedy/Nixon battles in 1960 as a young teenager. As a man of the lower and middle classes all his life, he watched as his people were battered pillar to post. He cringed as his people were blamed for, and asked to bear the burden of, the largest economic debacle since the Great Depression. He decided that it was high time for the working men and women to support one of their own for Congress.