This book is not only the story of my life but the story of my family ancestry beginning with the immigration of the Hermes Family from Germany to Lavaca County, Texas in 1859. It tells the story of the hardships they suffered and the successes they achieved during a time when there were few conveniences. They built their own houses, churches and schools and being farmers and ranchers, they lived a rugged life requiring hard work and having few comforts. Their trust in God and their desire to be prosperous Americans with a better life than the one they left behind , drove them to do whatever was necessary to succeed. it is also the story of my humble beginning as an under exposed "country boy" and the difficulties and challenges I had to overcome to reach my goal to become an architect and businessman in a highly competitive and sophisticated urban social environment that I knew nothing about. It exposes my missteps, failures and regrets, both personally and professionally, that I had to overcome to reach those goals that I dreamed about when I was just a teenager. This book talks about my many adventures, misadventures and achievements and the many friends at all levels of business and society that I have been fortunate enough to accumulate and know. I wrote this book to document the history of the Hermes Family in America and as a foundation for those that come after me. It is a completely honest and critical assessment of my personal life to the extent that my friends say I told the story "warts and all". It also reveals the challenges I faced to transform myself from an under exposed "country boy" to a successful and engaged urban businessman and community leader. It exposes the mistakes I made in my personal life because I often lost sight of the values I learned as a child that were intended to guide me through my life. I allowed my ambition and desire to prove myself to the world and my need to overcome my inner feeling that I did not fit in that world, to corrupt my lifestyle. Those deviations and my selfishness cost me my marriage and did damage to my children and their needs for a fully functioning family life with feeling of confidence and security. They became the victims of my weaknesses and abandonment of the principals I learned growing up in a very wholesome and healthy family environment. I paid the price for my diversions with my own feeling of guilt and shame. After the accidental death of my oldest son in 1986, and with the help of the Lord, I changed my lifestyle and since that time have done everything in my power to rectify my life and correct the wrongs i perpetrated on my loved ones. I have experienced things in my life that i never dreamed were even possible when I was a young boy in a trance while picking cotton on a boiling hot Texas summer afternoon dreaming about what I would be when I grew up. I stumbled many times but always managed to bounce back. "Hard lessons are great teachers"! This book is my desire to share with others the good and mostly self-inflicted bad experiences, in hopes that it may help others to find a way to overcome adversity in their life and to never lose sight of their goals. My motto has always been, "stay true to your goals and they will stay true to you and most importantly, never give up".