About Hal Hannon
Hal Hannon is a recognized bridge expert and former newspaper columnist. After having been kidnapped with his siblings by his father following a Canadian divorce proceeding, Hannon spent his early years in Texas where he was orphaned at fourteen years of age. This split him apart from his siblings requiring that he make his own way in life. During those formative years he worked a variety of jobs and by nineteen years of age found himself in Topeka, Kansas attending Washburn University.
Hannon met his future wife in Topeka at a bridge tournament. Shortly after, they were married and moved to California, following her parents there. His wife and he raised two children, a girl and a boy, who have gone on to find successful careers. Their daughter landed in the golf business and their son became a university professor and author.
During the two decades when their children were growing up Hannon and his family moved from state to state as he started construction companies and other businesses. He would run them for a year or two and then sell them to move to yet another state and repeat the process. It was a good living and those experiences gave Hannon a strong sense of self-reliance.
In the course of his twenty plus married years, Hannon also worked as a New York Stock Exchange licensed broker, worked for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was the principal of a Christian high school, owned two art galleries specializing in 17th and 18th century graphic art, and as well, founded two golf club companies based on five utility patents that he had authored.
An avid golfer who at one point averaged four under par, Hannon was preparing to join the U.S. PGA Senior Tour on his 50th birthday when heredity entered his life. He suffered a major heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery, ending what had been a life long dream. With no health insurance available in the U.S. because of what at that point became a pre-existing heart condition, Hannon returned to his native Canada where he could depend on its health care system.
Having left his grown kids behind in California who were already well on their way to their career of choice, and having left his then ex-wife as financially well off as he could, Hannon landed, almost broke, in Vancouver’s east side with all its drug problems. As he had done all his life, Hannon quickly assimilated into his new conditions, eventually meeting a young lady with a drug addiction who quickly became his roommate and friend.
Within two years, his roommate’s addiction created problems with the security of their living situation and they moved to Victoria. They resided together for the next twelve years until she was able to overcome her addictions and find an industrious man more age suitable with whom to share her life. Hannon and her still talk almost every day and Hannon is delighted with the opportunities she is now creating in her life.
It was during the fifteen year period in which they lived together in the drug troubled areas of Vancouver and Victoria that Hannon developed an instinctive sense of drugs, of addiction, of drug dealers and of street life. Additionally, his relationship with his roommate during those years and with his roommate’s friends from the corner strolls ingrained in him the painful trip most of these ladies took to arrive at their corner, touching his heart.
It was also during this time period, fighting against slum landlords for the disadvantaged, that a friend of Hannon’s roommate came to him confessing a murder, and put Hannon in a position of having to risk the enmity of many of the street friends he had acquired over the years. As those who know Hannon would have expected of him though, he did not shy away from what he considered his duty. Instead, he worked with the police to see to justice for the victim’s family, even testifying in court against the murderer.
After having done his duty in violation of the “street code”, and despite having been attacked with a weapon twice, Hannon did not back away from those on the streets. He kept up an active presence earning the respect of many and the grudging respect of others. He can often be found today near one of the shelters offering somebody his help in their recovery, a ride to court, or to the hospital, or even a warm meal. Hannon says it is his hood as much as anybody else’s and he will not be chased away by those who condone murder.
Hannon attributes his time in the hood for allowing him a sad expertise about the “street” that touched his heart about the plight of the marginalized in our society. He says it is that fifteen years that pulled his book, Breaking the Code, kicking and screaming from his gut and that has driven him to share his insights and wisdom with you in his blog.
At sixty-eight years old now, Hannon is still very active in his pursuit to make a difference and is a scheduled featured speaker at high schools. In his book, he shares his expertise about the nightmare of drugs, about the perils of street life and about how to avoid the pressures that attempt to draw our youth into those elements. He has also presented to police about understanding and interacting with the the street community.
Hannon says that he doesn’t know where all this will lead, but that he will count himself successful if he is part of saving even one teenager or in changing the attitude of even one person toward the street. He says God took golf from him to replace it with an even better dream and he is grateful for the life he has now.
He begs you to please read his blog daily and share it with your friends and children.