David E. Steiner
Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon
David Steiner, from the beginning
"All personal websites are inherently narcissistic and this one is no exception."
A career that encompasses both the United States Air Force and Theatre scholarship is fairly heterodox by any standard. But Sophocles was a general, so I'm in good company. I was a Master Navigator. Air Force navigators officially became an extinct breed in June 2005. New graduates from training are Combat Systems Officers. Some will still navigate, but they will not be Navigators but CSOs.
Navigators have always been regarded by the DOD hierarchy as second-class citizens. The new designation doesn't sound like a step up. But in fact navigators of just a few centuries ago are, as a group, among the most important humans who ever lived. Pilots have existed for a little over 100 years, navigators for many thousands of years. In the western world for several hundred years maritime navigators have been called "pilots." Our planet would be a very different place without the navigation skills of the likes of Goncalo Cabral and Bartolomeu Dias, Christopher Columbus, the Pinzon Brothers, Panfilo de Narvaez, Vasco de Gama, Pedro Cabral, John Cabot, Juan Ponce de Leon, Ferdinand Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni da Verrazzano, to name just a few. In many ways they were my teachers. If we do not destroy ourselves, navigators may very well stage a comeback as we voyage into our solar system and beyond, to the stars. It's a great tradition, and a fundamental part of the human impulse, to go, to see, and to know. I was honored to be a part of it.
All homepages are inherently narcissistic and this one is no exception. I created it in 1996 because I was a freelance teacher and needed a communication tool to my students (all done with Social Media these days). From 1983 to 2006 I taught in the Education, Theatre and Communication departments at The University of Colorado at Boulder. Before that I taught part-time at five other colleges and universities for 20 years. I have again retired, this time for good. As you can see, I'm an older person, and this picture was taken at the end of 2014. You can see more of me in the Family section. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.
There are airplane pictures in the Air Force section as well as on the EC-47, C-119, and C-130 pages. If you're really looking for airplanes, I suggest the Air Force Museum site.
I have a house in the mountains near Estes Park and a condominium near Denver. We have two sons. The older is a Ph.D. microbotanist and Global Regulatory Manager with a bio-tech company in the research triangle in Raleigh-Durham. He recently received an award for his role in developing a hybrid corn seed developed to resist several worms that reduce yields. He is married and has three children. Our younger son, Richard, is married and has been the Vice President of Digital at Turner Classic Movies for 15 years. He has two children. We are very proud of both boys.
Granted, it's not a particularly distinguished career, and a somewhat anfractuous one, but I have modest goals. In April of 1967, my wife Mary and I sat down and asked ourselves what we wanted to be doing in 25 years, and we decided being a retired lieutenant colonel teaching part-time at the University of Colorado and obstetric nursing part-time at a local hospital (Longmont United) would be nice. That's exactly what happened. Mary retired 32 years later, in March of 1998 and was appointed by then Governor Romer to the Colorado State Commission on Aging and was reappointed by Governor Owens. She suffered a stroke in 2001 and such misfortunes change lives in ways difficult to predict. She died in 2013. Much more about her on this page.
I have written a column for a monthly journal in Colorado since 1985, the Allenspark Wind, and a collection of my columns was published recently and is currently out of print. A third edition is in the works. In 2009 I was selected by the Denver Post to be a members of Colorado Voices, a panel of 16 writers from around the state who write four columns for a year and whose work the Post will consider ever after. I have been enjoyed that experience and I’ve had one or two pieces published in the paper every year since and a few more for the Post’s blog