Like real-life characters drawn from a Steinbeck novel, Joe Ziemer's parents departed Oklahoma after the Second World War. With their possessions tied to a 1938 Plymouth Coupe, Kelly and LaWanda joined the wave of emigration from the poor land to the Promised Land.
Along with thousands of Okies, they traveled 1,800 miles on Route 66, looking for jobs, dignity, and a future. They went west on the Mother Road, all the way to the end of the line, to the Golden Land of California.
Joe was born in 1948 and spent his boyhood years in sun-baked Bakersfield. B-Town was a tough oil and agricultural town populated by roughnecks and dreamers, where fighting was an accepted way of making friends. Though the area's temperature was hot as hell, Joe has cool memories of riding the Killer Kern River well before whitewater rafting became a sport.
When he turned thirteen, the family moved south to an even hotter area in the steamy tropics, to an even tougher oil town, to Maracaibo, Venezuela, where Joe and his sister Paulette were the only blondes in the country.
Five years later, Joe graduated from Riverside Military Academy in Georgia as Superior Cadet. He then joined Los Hippies, a rock band in Maracaibo. The group performed early Stones and Beatles music, which was so much fun to play. Plus, it was an ideal way to meet girls. The U.S. Army lassoed Joe in 1968, assigning him to the top-secret Courier Service in Washington, D.C.
After completing his military obligation during the turbulent Vietnam era, Joe enrolled in College of the Redwoods (C/R), where he was honored to serve as Student Body President. Additional studies at the University of California at Davis brought a B.A. in Social Psychology and appointment as a Regents Scholar.
Joe has assisted broadcasters for forty years, supplying transmission systems to radio and TV stations. In 1996, his Indiana firm won a prestigious Exporter of the Year award. The job has taken him to over one hundred countries. From his travels, Joe says he sees no difference between extreme left and extreme right governments. In both cases, the people suffer terribly.
Passionate about free speech, Joe was Editor of Radio World International Newspaper from 1984 to 1989. He has written several journal articles.
Joe is happily married to Roxanne (married way over his head) and is proud to be the father of five children: Donovan, Jamie, Kris, Joey, and Megan.