Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.
“Been There, Done That” is a regular column in the Current spotlighting Marblehead seniors.
Name: Dave Dragan
Place of birth: Everett
How long have you lived in Marblehead? Nine years. We moved here because we wanted a good school system for our granddaughters (who live with him).
What is your fondest childhood memory? Going to Hampton Beach for 10 days every summer. We’d rent a cottage and just run loose. We’d hit the penny arcade, go swimming and sit on an old inner tube and just float.
What jobs have you had and what was your favorite? I served three and a half years in the Navy, from 1958-62, in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean, I joined the Army from ‘62-’65. Later, I served in the Army National Guard from 1980-1996. I worked at Transitron Electronic testing diodes and transistors. Then I worked at GE in Lynn for almost 35 years where I did a little bit of everything, including test mechanic and technical writer. After GE, I worked at Lockheed, where I wrote instruction manuals for jet engines. I think that was my favorite.
What’s the biggest change you’d seen in the world? Technology. I’m tethered to this thing now (pointing to his cell phone). I even have it hooked up to my hearing aids. I use it to play games like Sudoku.
What’s your biggest accomplishment? My family. I’ve been married for 52 years and have two kids and two granddaughters. I love them.
What moment in history is most vivid in your memory? 9-11. I lost a co-worker on that first flight. She was at GE and we knew her from line dancing in Salem.
What piece of advice do you have for young people today? Get a good education in something that makes you happy. If you want to be an electrician, be an electrician. If you want to be a plumber, be a plumber. And then stay with it.
Dragan works 20-plus hours a week at the Council on Aging, serving lunches, driving vans, setting up for classes and events and more. In fact, so many people ask him, “Dave, can ya…..” that his nickname is now “Kenya.”