I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1934 in the middle of the "Great Depression." We were poor, but really didn't know it, as everyone else that we knew were in the same boat. As my dad was an alcoholic and could not be relied on to keep his job, my mother and younger brother, Larry lived with our grandmother, aunt, and cousins.
I have heard some contemporaries born in this era say, that they never had a room of their own until later in their life. Well, I can top that one, as I never had a bed of my own until I was 14 years-old and had moved to Florida. I slept with my mother, my grandmother, my aunt or a cousin, and sometimes on a pallet on the floor.
My mother worked in a hosiery mill earning about twenty-five cents an hour, and I began my career at age seven, selling papers and shining shoes on the streets of Chattanooga. I quit school after the tenth grade in Florida and followed my girlfriend to California, when her parents moved there to breakup our teenage romance. I lived at the YMCA in Pasadena, California and had a job in a creamery when in 1953 we eloped to Las Vegas to be married. We will have been married sixty-three years on March 31st, 2016, and have three children and seven grandchildren. They all live close by us in Southern California. I am a born again Christian and the Lord has blessed me and my family, getting us through many challenges.
Career wise, just to mention some of the things I have done, I have been a milk man, an encyclopedia salesman, a professional baseball player, a newspaper advertising salesman, a newspaper executive, a publisher of my own weekly newspapers, community magazines, and an international metaphysical magazine. I have been a television producer, owner of a television facility, a motivational speaker, and the founder and president of a thoroughbred racing stable. I have written three autobiographical books. My first book, "Memories of a Chattanooga Street Kid," was a regional best seller in Tennessee and covered my childhood up to age thirteen. My second book, "The Memorable Fifties," began at age thirteen when we moved to Florida, and I met my wife of 63 years, in junior high school. My third book, "Driven By The Passion To Own Race Horses," was released last July in Newport Beach, California. All three books were written from our two-bedroom apartment overlooking the Back Bay and the ocean. The home-page picture is the view from our back yard.
I am still very active with my thoroughbred business and still manage my "Live Your Dream Racing Stable." Information on my books is available on my website: www.donpalmenterprises.com, www.lydrstable.com and www.chattanoogastreetkid.com. Or, you may contact me directly by clicking on the contact me button.
I am currently trying to raise the needed capital to make a movie of my life encompassing the content in my three books. My wife keeps telling me, it's time for me to slow down! However, it seems that the more I try to slow down, the faster I have to run. I still have things to do, people to see, and goals to achieve. I believe that's what keeps one young. You have to have a reason to enjoy seeing the sun come up in the morning, besides just existing.