Sons follow dads’ career footprints

Ann Cousineau

Sons follow dads’ career footprints Boys will be boys.

Dads will be dads.

Times may not be like they were when “Father’s Knows Best” and “My Three Sons” were hit television shows (1954-1972), but the bond between sons and dads is still a strong conduit for fathers to pass on their knowledge and experiences.

While a lot of children leave home and start lives for themselves far from their hometown, the Indian Wells Valley appears to have quite a number of sons who have broken with popular trends and made their homes here, where they grew up. In some cases, they have become the current generation working in the family business.

The News Review caught up with several young men who shared memories and thoughts about their fathers, along with prized traits they hope to pass on to their own children. (None of these men was yet born when the above-mentioned family sitcoms were aired on television.)

The Bachmans

When he was growing up, Michael Bachman Jr., now 32, was known as Michael and his dad, Michael Bachman Sr., was called “Mike.” The senior Mike just turned 58 years old.

“I was like most kids that want to be like their parents, especially boys who want to be like their dads,” said Mike Jr. These days he’s still watching how his dad does things and learning alongside his father in the Bachman Family Dentistry offices in Ridgecrest.

“I decided to go into dentistry after working a summer or two in my father’s office,” said Mike. “I always liked working with my hands, and interacting with patients. My dad let me observe and help around the office. I learned a lot back then.

“I have to laugh now when I look back… I wonder why I wasn’t bored. He let me observe day-to-day activities. It was new and exciting for me, I guess.”

One of the reasons behind Mike’s choice to follow his father into dentistry has to do with the lifestyle that came with that profession. Mike has four children and he’s enjoying the time his work allows him to spend with them.

“Growing up my dad was always able to be coach our sports teams, and take us camping and fishing. He made time for us. We liked that he had the freedom to determine his schedule. That’s one of the reasons dentistry appealed to me, too.”

Mike Sr. is still working a pretty full schedule, his son said. “Working with him is great. It’s nice that I still have him around to ask questions and learn. He’s easy to work with and we have a great working relationship.”

The Aulds

Bryan Auld, 39, assistant principal at Burroughs High School, is the son of Bruce Auld. Bruce, who will turn 65 next month, remains a familiar face in the Sierra Sands Unified School District. In recent years he has worked as a consultant, managing construction projects in the district.

“I grew up around education. It’s what conversation was about at the dinner table. In the summers we prepared bulletin boards in classrooms. It’s what I was accustomed to and was comfortable around,” said Bryan.

“Education is the family business for us, not just for my wife and me, but also for my mom and dad, sister, aunts and uncles, cousins — we’re all in the family business. My dad has been a role model for many things, and specifically in my career,” he said.

“When it came to choosing a profession, I always had an inclination toward education, but originally considered law and was a history major at UCLA with an education minor,” Bryan said. It eventually came to making a choice between teaching and law.

“I realized that to be the kind of lawyer I wanted to be, I would have to live a city life. My wife, who at that time was my fiancée, had just accepted a teaching job in Ridgecrest. When a teaching job came open here, I took it,” he said.

“I try to emulate my dad’s strengths: humility, diplomacy, integrity, optimism and having a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude. He was always willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. The trait I admire most is his passion for helping others.”

Bruce and Bryan worked a lot together during the construction project at Burroughs. These days, Bryan still sees his dad just about every day, “when he comes by late in the day to water the volunteer garden he planted outside my office at school.”

The Lowens

Ryan Loewen, 34, has been working at Loewens for several years now. Roger Loewen, in his 70s these days, is still putting in more than a full day at work with his son.

“In 2007, I moved back here and I’ve been working with him ever since, handling advertising and sales. It’s been good because we both have our own skills that we bring to the table. He brings his experience and I bring new ideas from college and things acquired in my youth,” Ryan said.

“I admire my dad as a hard worker. He comes in hours before everyone else and leaves hours after everyone else goes. He works hard and loves his work. I love my work, too, but not that much,” he said with a chuckle.

“There are a couple of things I enjoy about working here. I like the good family environment we have here with all the employees. I also like that we have built a strong Christian foundation for our customers with music and how we interact with them.”

The Charlons

After Ryan Charlon finished college, his dad, Gary Charlon, suggested he move back to Ridgecrest and pursue a career in the family business, State Farm Insurance. At the time Ryan figured the experience and education would be priceless, regardless of whether he stayed in the insurance and financial services industry.

“The wealth of knowledge I’ve gained over these last seven years has helped me become the person I am today and has allowed me to grow personally, professionally and spiritually,” he said.

Ryan, now 31, said he’s been won over by his dad’s commitment to personal and professional growth and his genuine love and compassion for people. Gary Charlon is 59 years old.

“I have to admit, this world can be hard at times and owning a business is never easy, but he always is able to hold a positive attitude – no matter the circumstances because that’s what great leaders do,” Ryan said. “For those who know my dad or for those that don’t, if you ask him how he is doing he will always respond, ‘Incredible.’

“I’m glad that I was able to witness my dad take an opportunity, work at it very hard, create many lasting relationships along the journey, add value and touch lives in so many ways and ultimately offer his children the same opportunity.”

Story First Published: 2013-06-12