Born in Weed, Calif., William "Bill" Alves spent his formatives years between Yreka and Ashland, Ore. World War II found him training to be a deck officer in the US Navy. After World War II, thanks to the GI Bill, he earned his bachelor of science degree from Southern Oregon University and his master of science in education at USC.


In 1953, while still teaching, he met and married Alieen, another teacher, in Oxnard. He went on to serve as both an educator and school administrator in five different school districts throughout California. By 1963, with his little family, he arrived in Hesperia as a teaching administrator. He also ran the Hesperia Recreation and Park District during summertime in the early 1960s.


He says it's surprising today how many former students remember when he was principal at Joshua Circle Elementary School.


Retiring from education in 1977, he attended Lubleau Real Estate School and the Anthony Schools. After earning his real estate license, he joined the staff of Blunt Realty and became an active member of the Victor Valley Association of Realtors. By 1985, he had earned his broker's commission and opened Bill's All-Star Realty in downtown Hesperia.



Q: What do people not know about your job?


A: Real estate is a dynamic, constantly changing, computer-driven profession today. Nearly every day, there are new skills, strategies and regulations necessary to learn or even to re-learn.



Q: What is the best thing about your job?


A: In real estate, being helpful to buyers and sellers makes everything worthwhile.



Q: Tell us about the one thing you want to accomplish in life.


A: Thankfully, it is nice to have accomplished many, many useful as well as fun things, throughout a long and still very busy life. They all hold special memories.



Q: What is the source of your values?


A: I strongly believed in teaching my young children how to use carpenters' tools. I also believed in the importance of water safety skills. Therefore, with materials purchased from the old Don Oakes Lumber Company, I built a detached double garage. Under the protection of the garage, I built a 17-foot, run-about boat from marine plywood. Unexpected bad weather on an early boating trip caused us to construct a 9-foot, slide-in-camper, sleeping five, to complete everything my family needed for successful boating.



Q: Who is someone who has had a big influence on your life?


A: During World War II, a big influence on my life were the instructors in the US Navy's Deck Officer V-12 Training Program at various colleges and training stations throughout the USA.



Q: What is your favorite quotation?


A: As a retired educator, I especially appreciate Benjamin Franklin's adage, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."



Q: What motivates you?


A: The need to pay bills on time would motivate anyone, wouldn't it?



Q: What is your secret to a happy, satisfying life?


A: It helps to have an active sense of humor. Oh yes, and I believe I married the right woman 58 years ago. She also believes she married the right man.



Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?


A: Like most parents, I am proudest of my three children: Ray, James and Carol Ann, as well as my six grandchildren.



Q: What book had a significant impact on you?


A: Because retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and my Siskiyou County relatives all lived on cattle ranches, I particular enjoy reading (and re-reading) her biographical book, "Lazy B," which tells about growing up on a cattle ranch out in the southwest.



Q: What are five things you can't live without?


A: One needs a good job, the ability to pay the bills and a good song. As an outdoorsman, I find duck hunting in autumn and trout fishing in the spring to also be very special.



Q: What words of advice do you have for younger generations?


A: Any educator would remind young people to study hard in school, to enable America to keep its leadership in the world.



Q: Which three people, living or from history, would you like to have at a dinner party, and why?


A: Having taught social studies in junior high school in the late 1940s and early '50s, I would find past president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, past president and former general Dwight D. Eisenhower and, of course, retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, fascinating to converse with.



Q: What is your favorite movie, and why?


A: As a trained baritone singer, my wife and I always enjoy viewing the full-length operas sometimes presented at the UltraStar Theater in Apple Valley. It is nice not to have to drive clear down to Los Angeles just to enjoy an opera.



Q: Tell us about a special vacation.


A: August 1953, we honeymooned in south Lake Tahoe. Would you believe at dusk, we would walk, hand-in-hand, down the middle of Highway 50 with nearly no on-coming traffic? (Trout fishing was good in the nearby streams, too.)



Q: If you had three wishes, what would they be?


A: Like everyone else in the world, I wish for peace in the world, for jobs for everyone wanting jobs and for a stable government.



Q: What is your favorite guilty pleasure?


A: Having played football at Ashland High School (go, Grizzlies!), I always enjoy watching football on TV, especially this time of year.



Q: Tell us about your first car.


A: My first car was a venerable gray 1937 Ford two-door sedan. Really fantastic on gas-mileage, it had a 60-horsepower, 8-cylinder engine and a three-speed stick shift on the floor. Today's drivers would probably consider it a "gutless wonder."



Q: What is your favorite sports team, and why?


A: As a graduate of USC, of course my favorite teams are from USC! Fight on, USC!



Q: What's the best thing about living in Hesperia?


A: Long-time Hesperians know that its citizens are the best thing about living in Hesperia always.



Q: What is your earliest memory of the city?


A: How many people remember only three elementary schools in Hesperia (Joshua Circle, Juniper and the Ruth E. Sumney School), instead of approximately 23 schools today? Instead of today's beautiful library building, how many remember the beloved county bookmobile, operated by librarian Miss Brown, that used to arrive in town weekly?



Q: Describe a special memory of the city.


A: In the 1960s, the Hesperia school district would hold a Halloween carnival at Juniper school to "keep the kids off the streets" on Halloween night. As that time, the vice principal of Juniper, I would find myself very busy.



Q: Tell us about the charities that are close to your heart and why.


A: Long-time readers of the Hesperia Star know that for nearly 20 years, I have been the chairman of the scholarship committee of the Hesperia Elks Lodge #2646. Through both Hesperia Elks and Hesperia Kiwanis, hundreds of students have received scholarships and financial support for post-high school education.



Q: What's your favorite place to eat in Hesperia?


A: It's always fun to visit the various eateries in Hesperia. Having made friends with most of them, we like all of them.



Q: What new businesses would you like to see in Hesperia?


A: It would be great for all of the businesses already in Hesperia to continue to be successful.



Q: If you could change one thing about Hesperia, what would it be?


A: For years, there used to be two swimming pools in Hesperia one at Lime Street Park and one at Timberlane Park. Now only the aging Lime Street pool is left. It is high time for Hesperia to have more public pools because water safety continues to be important with the aqueduct still running through Hesperia.



Q: Tell us one thing most people don't know about you.


A: I created "Songs & Sketches," performing music with my artist wife Alieen, and various accomplished accompanists. From the 1960s through the 1980s, I would sing a song while Aileen drew a picture in chalk about the song. We would start out together, and all finish together. You are right: It was not as easy as it appeared.


Who would you like to see profiled in an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a line at Editor@HesperiaStar.com.