I have known Bill Miranda for a number of years now and every time we see each other he has that big ole smile on his pleasant face. Mr. Bill, as I call him, possesses a bigger than life personality and that’s what people like about him. We finally carved out time recently for an interview, so without further ado please meet Mr. Bill.
Military High School
William A. Miranda was born July 2, 1943, in New York City’s famous Manhattan Island where he grew up graduating in 1960 from Bordentown Military Institute, a private high school in Bordentown, New Jersey. It’s noted that this military high school was shuttered in 1973 due to immense unpopularity of military schools following the Vietnam War. Having received military training, coupled with his Father serving with the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-17 Bomber Communication Technician in the Philippines during WWII, Bill possessed a high regard for our military. Growing up with so many WWII Veterans within his community, and his Dad having never met a Veteran he didn’t respect, Bill knew his destiny was sealed. Bill’s three half brothers, Peter, Hector and Edwin served in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army.
Bill grew up in a modest and proud family environment and after his Dad urged him to attend military high school he sought contributions from Bill’s large extended family members to cover expenses. At an early age, Bill learned the value of possessing a strong work ethic and in high school he earned wages by washing dishes and waiting on tables in the school’s mess hall. Bill said with a big smile, “I achieved a high rank in military school and I’ll never forget leading our cadets into our mess hall and then waiting on their tables, which was both amusing and humbling”.
United States Air Force
Bill could not wait to join our military, hence he enlisted January 17, 1961, with the U.S. Air Force just months after high school gradation. Bill took Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base at San Antonio, Texas, and Electronics Technical Training at Chanute Air Force Base near Chicago, Illinois. Following a leave of absence, Bill was assigned to Loring Air Force Base in Northern Maine with the 27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. While at Loring, Bill purchased his very first car, a 1949 Ford Sedan for $50. Loring was one of the Air Force’s largest Strategic Air Command bases until it closed in 1991 as military installations consolidated once the Berlin Wall fell. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 27th Squadron sent one third of its F-106 Delta Darts armed with nuclear missiles but thankfully, President Kennedy’s blockade ended that crisis.
Minus Forty Degrees!
During 1961’s Labor Day weekend, Bill and his fellow airmen were issued every conceivable cold weather clothing item which confounded Bill. He wondered if they were being transferred to the North Pole or another frigid area, but little did he realize that the frigid region was right there at Loring. A month later, temperatures rapidly plunged to minus forty degrees on the flight line and Bill was shocked as he had never been more miserable. Loring Air Force Base was an isolated boring facility so much so that to pass his off-duty time he spent as much time as possible in Loring’s library. At least it was kept warm. It was there that he became motivated to pursue joining the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, so Bill applied and was accepted June 5, 1962.
Air Force Academy
Bill enjoyed being an Air Force Cadet and he excelled making the Commandant’s top 10% honor list. Bill’s 2nd Squadron was selected Honor Squadron and was chosen to dedicated the academy’s new chapel and new football field at Falcon Stadium. Proudly, Bill explained that his 2nd Squadron was the very first unit to march across that new football field. As Bill spoke about his first year at the academy, he suddenly became very emotional explaining that for some bizarre reason he got it in his head that he wanted to resign. Bill said, “This decision was the biggest mistake of my entire life and I regret it to this day. My parents were terribly upset and disappointed as I had let them down”. Our Academy Commander, Colonel Victor J. Ferrari, a WWII combat Veteran, spent hours trying to convince Bill to stay. The Colonel knew that Bill, at age 19 years, had a tremendous military future and he just hated to see Bill throw it away. Nevertheless, Bill left the Air Force Academy April 4, 1963.
Bill finished his four year service with the 539th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at McGuire Air Force Base near Trenton, New Jersey, and was Honorably Discharged January 16, 1967. One week after returning home, Bill inexplicably received his Army draft notice. Stunned, he took his Honorable Discharge certificate to New York City’s induction station thinking this would be cleared up in a New York minute. However, two hours later draft board officials finally corrected its oversight realizing that Bill enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 ½ never signing up for the draft. It’s noted that Bill married at an early age, however as that union fell apart his young wife trashed most of Bill’s military memorabilia.
Bill, using his G.I. Bill, attended Nebraska University and graduated March 1968 with his Bachelor of General Studies with an Engineering Minor. Afterwards, Bill was promptly hired by IBM in Manhattan and two years later he transferred to their Culver City facility where he worked for two more years. The next twenty years, Bill worked in various executive positions with three different Fortune 500 Companies, which included a stint in Paris, France. In 1982, Bill’s friend Al Scura sent him an LA Times real-estate advertisement titled, “Come Home to Valencia”. Bill and his family instantly knew that’s where they wanted to live so in January 1983 they relocated to Awesometown where they live to this day. Simultaneously, Bill left the corporate world to become an entrepreneur owning several businesses over the years.
The Money Man and The Actress
Back in 1971 while working for MGM and visiting their studios, Bill spotted a gorgeous young woman and as they passed each other, they both instinctively eye balled each other. Virginia thought he was a “money man” and Bill was convinced that she was an actress. Bill shyly said hello, they chatted briefly and they were soon dating, which led to their wedding January 27, 1974, at Marina Del Rey. They’ve been married 44 years and they have one daughter of whom they are very proud. Bill said, “Eva is our joint venture and Santa Clarita educated at Meadows, Placerita and Hart High School. Eva earned her UCLA Bachelor’s Degree and her Master’s at Loyola.”
Since 1989, Bill has volunteered on a host of local community programs such as Single Mothers Outreach, Family Promise, Sterling Canyon Seniors Assisted Living (now Sunshine), SCV Chamber of Commerce, and as celebrity waiter at various senior charity events. Several years ago, as a component of his service oriented nature, Bill was motivated to become a Santa Clarita City Councilman. Bill said, “I became concerned that a few misguided folks could easily destroy everything that has made our city a great family oriented community”. Mr. Bill, I salute your excellent service to our country and our community, you have overcome a humble beginning in life and a regrettable career decision, but to achieve your American Dream. God bless you and your wonderful family.