Photo by Frank Prager
Nick Howes has pursued careers in the military as well as public media over his lifetime.
Some people take a straight and narrow course through life. Others go on a journey which takes in more scenery. At the age of 65, Alton resident Nick Howes has taken a path that has allowed him to experience many different aspects of the world.
Raised in the Alton area, Howes enlisted in the Army at the age of 18 soon after he graduated from Alton High School. After training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, Howes was stationed as a combat engineer in Korea for 10 months. He notes while there was not an active conflict with North Korea at the time, the situation was still tense.
“It was right after the Pueblo incident,” he explains, pointing out he was stationed very close to the demilitarized zone.
Howes volunteered to go to Vietnam and served there for a year and a half after leaving Korea. He was stationed in the city of Long Binh, the headquarters of the U.S. Army. He was stationed there at the time President Richard Nixon visited the base.
After leaving the Army, Howes got his a degree in journalism at SIUE and eventually returned to military service, stationed as a stenographer at the Army Air Defense Command in Darmstadt, Germany. During his second tour in the military, he was also stationed for a while in Turkey as well as Fort Polk, La.
Returning to school after his second tour of duty, Howes completed a degree in radio from Lewis and Clark Community College, which set the course for his career over the next 25 years. Always drawn to media and communication, he worked for five years at WQRL radio in Benton, Ill., as news director, two years as a correspondent for the Southern Illinoisan newspaper, then for 18 years as news director at WNSV in Nashville.
Howes says his time in media was fun and went by quickly. He says he learned a lot about the industry, noting how much technology changed during the time he was in the business.
“By the time I retired everything was computerized,” he said.
Howes retired last year and moved back to Alton to be with his fiancée, Marty Spadaro. Remaining active, he still pursues a myriad of hobbies and pastimes. He has a keen interest in hauntings and the paranormal. He notes he went on a haunted tour of Gettysburg National Cemetery several years ago.
Howes works out with friends at Alton Senior Services and dabbles on eBay and Amazon, selling books and other items. He says he has plans to do a radio program on the Internet in the future.
Some people manage to find an almost infinite variety of interests in their lifetimes. Nick Howes has found a way to become engaged in a variety of occupations and pursuits throughout his life and continues to this day to stay active in a broad range of pursuits.