Howard (Skip) Martin

Toccoa Falls Academy-Class of 1965

Toccoa Falls College- Class of 1970

I was enrolled in the Academy by my parents in my junior year of High School. Those two years of High School turned out to be the best years of my high school experience. The atmosphere was so close and comfortable to me and I fell in love with Toccoa Falls during that time. I met many friends with whom I’ve stayed in contact with through the years. I also played the piano for the Academy men’s quartet which we called the Greenbriars Quartet. I was elected as the TFYF president in my senior year and enjoyed interacting with the student body in our weekly fellowship.

After High School, I had no idea which direction to go in life, so I stayed on and enrolled in the College. I graduated from College in 1970 with a degree in Missions. During this time, and in the Academy, I worked for the school in many areas, but mostly in the grounds, maintenance, and transportation departments. I also worked part time for several companies in the local area, such as Scott Construction Co., Wise Construction, Toccoa Casket Co., and Davis Transfer. I found that I had a great love for working with heavy equipment, trucks, buses, etc. and became one of the drivers of the School buses and transported students on many of the school functions.

After my college education was completed, I realized I had to finally think about getting a real job and exploring life in the real world. Since I had worked for Davis Transfer, they offered me a full-time job driving moving vans delivering and picking up household goods all across the country. I made several runs to California and all over the country staying on the road for 3 months at a time in some cases. I also worked for several other companies and finally ended up in Central Florida where my parents had settled into. In Orlando, I worked for a company driving dump trucks to construction sites during the expansion of Orlando right after the opening of Disney World. This was in 1972 and I met the young lady who would become my bride who worked in the office of the trucking company. Robin Thomas and I were married on June 1, 1974. We’ve had a wonderful life together and raised two delightful children, Josh (35) and Lindsay (33), who, along with their spouses, continue to make our life meaningful.

In June of 1973, I decided to change occupations and was hired as a police officer for the City of Orlando, FL. I worked as a police officer until 1980 and enjoyed this work very much. During this time, along with the help of the City of Orlando, I earned my Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. I thought I would retire as a police officer, but felt that I had somewhat hit a dead-end in my career as far as salary was concerned. I went back to trucking through the Teamsters Union and stayed in that career until 2005, when I had to retire due to disability.

Since retirement, I have been a stay-at-home husband and have enjoyed doing many things that I never had time to do while working. Working around the house keeps me busy with an acre of yard to maintain and the general maintenance of a home. I also enjoy boating, fishing, and riding my Harley. Robin and I have also found out in the last month that we will be grandparents next year. We are excited about that since it will be our first.

Toccoa Falls remains a great part of my life as I have re-connected with many of the people who I knew from those days. Especially with the advent of social media, I have enjoyed keeping up with their lives and families after all these years. I feel like Toccoa Falls provided the groundwork, along with my parents’ up-bringing, that have kept me on the straight and narrow path and kept my life focused on the really important things in life like God, family, and all things positive and good.