A little back story to start. In November 1989, I put my pregnant wife on a plane to go back to Japan to give birth to our first child who just happened to be a boy. No we did not want to know before hand as she was a late life first pregnancy and certain health issues could arise. But we were well prepared to deal with that if it came. Instead God blessed us with a very healthy baby boy. I was actually on the phone with my wife when her water broke and they had to rush her to the hospital. About 23 hours later I got a call from my sister-in-law telling me congratulations I was a father of a baby boy.
We had moved to the PNW because there was a special school he could eventually attend in conjunction with his regular public school. It runs on Saturdays only but based on the Japanese school year which means only one month summer break. More on that later.
I was struggling to get employed and established in those days so they did not get to come back till he was about 9 months old. Once here he and I played with a lot of his toys and one of them in particular were the Japanese train toys with tracks that could be put together in various combinations including rises for bridges. Well as things go with young kids he had some ideas but no idea how to make them work. So I would help him with his ideas about how bridges would look, straight rigid or maybe a suspension bridge. I tried and tried after a time to get him to do it on his own but he would not. Always had to have Daddy do it for him.
Fast forward to spring 1995 and my wife is pregnant again and ready to head back to Japan for the birth of our second which turned out to be my daughter. Well things being what they were I had not really settled into a good career job and the ended up having to stay one for a few years before coming back. During that time and since I was not with them my son started making his own bridges. When I was finally able to go and get them he showed me some of what he had done. I was floored. All that time I thought he was not necessarily paying attention, I was very wrong. He had been and very astutely. Some of what he had done on his own and at such and early age was simply beyond belief. It was then that I realized he was not blowing things off, he was just sucking information in like a sponge. When I was not there to help him he would have his Mom take him down to the bridges around the city and just sit and study them. Hence his ability even at that young age. Also I had one day told his Mom when I had come home from work and saw what he had been working on that we had a genius on our hands. Now she tried to down play it but I knew he was very intelligent. Ultimately when he graduated from Georgia Tech with his BS degree in what they call Highest honors which equates to Magna C*m Laude in other univerisities she finally had to agree with me. Sorry I can’t put the word in as it is actually written because it matches a profanity word that is not alowed.
Upon returning to the states he was already in school as he started his first couple of years in Japan so he was very far ahead of American public schools when he got here about 3 years ahead. We tried with the teachers to get him help so he could maintain his level and not lose it. They were not willing so we took it on ourselves at home and got him enrolled in the Japanese school. That did two things, kept his math and science education well advanced over the public school system and developed his Japanese language abilities.
WHen it was finally time to get him into middle school we were successful to get him into one particular one from which he could attend one specific high school that had an International Baccalaureate program which is much more advanced than other advancement programs. It had much stricter requirements. So through high school he was often taking courses in advanced calculous, biology, physics, chemistry as well as in English, History and other liberal art type courses.
When he graduated high school at the public school having come out top in the IP program class he even had his English teacher sign his year book. What she wrote was very comical. She said, "To the only student who does his math and physics homework in English and still gets an A there and the other classes as well. While doing all of that I finally convinced him to see if he could get into Mensa. He finally agreed and we got the hard copy of the initial test and I proctored it to make sure there was no hanky panky. Actually I knew already he would do very well. We sent it in and in less than a week he got a request to go in and take the official test at one of their local testing facilities. A week later he was in Mensa.
Finally time to go off to college. He tried at many of the big name tech universities as he was going for an aerospace engineering degree. A couple accepted but one in particular turned him down, MIT. They paid dearly for that as he worked on a research project that eventually won out over the MIT entry. Anyway he blew through college but took 5 years to do it as he spent every summer doing intern programs at various firms even at JPL one summer and one at the University of Tokyo where he was mistaken as a PhD doctor while he had not even gotten his bachelor’s degree yet.
Upon graduation he was accepted at the Univerity of Colorado at Boulder for his PhD. Yep he got to skip going for his Masters. Now he had to take some Masters level course as a part of it but no big deal for him. But before he started on his thesis after all the course work was done he go antsy and went looking for work. He tried one company but the people were not likely to succeed and he saw that and left. He tried a second company and realized while he loves aerospace he is also interested in many other types of cutting edge technology. Eventually he married and moved to Tokyo where he finally got his dream job as an investigator for an investment firm that supports high tech start up. It was right down his alley. He would check out the base line concepts of the company, what there business plans were and would assess the people to see if they had what it takes to be successful. Often times his reports on various companies made or broke whether his firm would attempt to finance them.
Shortly after getting on with them he came across a start up called LEOLABS. Their business was to develop phase array radar system across the globe and track not only satellites in low earth orbit(the LEO part of LEOLABS) but also defunct satellites and space debris form previous collisions and left over parts from launches down to 2 cm in size and track all that to provide real time data to the many governments and private companies now that are launching things into space to avoid destructive collisions throwing millions of dollars of R&D and production down the drain.
For my son’s part in their development through his investment firm they allowed him to be the one who would sit on the board of directors representing my son’s firm. Yep he is on the board of directors.
So with that back story this is a nice piece done by Bloomberg on that company.
To say I am proud of him is an understatement. Problem is I can no longer wear button down shirts as my chest puffs up and blows all the buttons off. God has been so good to my family in so many ways from my childhood to my wife to my children and their successes. I am so grateful for all he has done for my family.