Since retiring in 2011, Gerald Nicks has traveled extensively in thirty cities in nineteen countries in Europe and has come to love Europe and its culture. In summer 2016, he spent three months in Paris with his partner in crime, Janiece, where they both tried very hard to be oh so Parisian!
He faithfully studies German and French and dreams of the day he will be completely fluent. His most recent passion is a desire to share with others his excitement and love of Europe along with modern methods to travel there inexpensively – but not cheaply! While traveling, he developed his way to get the maximum bang for the minimum buck.
Nick, as all his friends call him, considers himself a citizen of the world and the planet Earth to be his home.
Nick earned a BS with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Psychology. To sum of these two fields and to paraphrase René Descartes, "I think, therefore I am, or at least I think I am." He is a secular humanist who believes that there is nothing supernatural in the universe; there are only natural things that we don't yet understand.
He was also very interested in Computer Science and had he taken a few more classes, would have garnered another undergraduate degree in that field. For some perspective, this was back in the days of FORTRAN, COBOL, Assembly Language programming, and punched cards that had to be handed in to the keepers of the mainframe to run a program. He earned a MS degree in Industrial Technology and won the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 1988. He attended the University of Michigan in 1966 and was graduated from Eastern Michigan University.
From 1968 – 1972, Nick earned his Journeyman Toolmaker status after a four-year apprenticeship program at General Motors and during the same period earned an Associate of Arts degree from Washtenaw Community College. He began working as a Numerical Control programmer for F. Joseph Lamb Corporation in 1979, and then in 1984 as a Manufacturing Engineer and CAM (computer aided manufacturing) specialist for Tecumseh Products, a Fortune 500 company, at their corporate headquarters.
He also served there as the manufacturing representative on the four-person Corporate Steering Committee. From 1985 – 1987 he served on the Advisory Committee for Monroe Community College for their Industrial Technology Department. He was a Senior Member of the Computer and Automated Systems Association of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and became certified as a Manufacturing Technologist in the SME.
In his last employment experience, Nick had an award winning career with McDonnell Douglas Aerospace as a Senior Consultant and with EDS, Electronic Data Systems, as a Senior Application Engineer. He retired from the corporate world in 2001, 30 days after 9/11, and was self-employed as a licensed and certified Real Estate Appraiser and real estate investor until retiring for real in 2011.
Gerald Nicks is the father of an extremely beautiful and intelligent daughter and proud grandfather to three adorable grandchildren who live in Vermont. Besides his passion for traveling, particularly to Europe, he has been a fitness buff who goes five days per week to the local Senior Center and enthusiastically participates in every sitting yoga, aerobics, line dancing, and Zumba class offered.
He has had a life-time love affair with Chess with his most memorable event the winning of both first place and the best game award in a tournament (restricted to non-masters rated under 2,200 USCF) in Ann Arbor, MI. He was an enthusiastic and happy electric bass player for No X Cuses, a local band from Southeast Michigan, for some 25 years and also enjoyed playing a Fender Stratocaster guitar in his misspent youth. His love of music goes back to fourth grade and in both the Junior High and High School Bands he played first chair clarinet. In tenth grade, he won a scholarship to the prestigious Interlochen Music Camp and was transported by his supportive band director to play with the Ann Arbor Community Orchestra in West Park during its summer performances. Nicks loves ballroom dancing of all styles but his favorite dances are the Hustle, East Coast Swing, the Cha Cha, and the Rumba.
While traveling through Europe, Nick developed a habit of writing a daily journal. He has been bitten by the writing bug and now works very hard at becoming a better writer. His first book, My European Adventures, is currently available in both print and ebook formats. He is currently writing a fictional novel based on real events called Willow Run Wrangler and he hopes to complete it in 2018.