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David Random, Portsmouth, NH

“Rocket Man,” author and former advertising executive David Random is a renaissance man in many ways.

How long lived in the Seacoast area?

I spent my professional career in Boston. When I moved to the Seacoast I first lived in Rye and then, about 10 years ago, I moved to Portsmouth.

What did you do prior to retirement?

After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art in the 1960’s I went on a career in the advertising business as an art director and creative director at Boston and NYC-based ad agencies doing TV commercials and magazine ads. The last 15 years in that field (until my retirement in 2003), I started and ran my own ad agency in Boston with two partners.

How do you view retirement?

For me, retirement is when you are comfortable not making money so you can pursue your hobbies. One of my many part-time hobbies is antiquing, which inspired me to create Steampunk rocket ships made from repurposed and vintage artifacts of similar vintages. I have a large studio in the Mills at Salmon Falls in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, where I have a collection of completed rocket ships and carefully organized antique parts that I’ll use for future creations.

Several years ago, my rocket ships drew the attention of a local film maker. The resulting 15-minute movie Rocketship, which can still be viewed at, received numerous awards in New Hampshire and throughout the country and was featured on Virgin Airways in-flight movies for almost a year.

Here is a short video about David's rocket making process.


I’ve also written several books—two compilations of short stories about my childhood (“Gullible’s Travels”) and my time in advertising (“Defying Gravity”) and a crime novel (“Connected”). Clearly, I don’t sit idle very often!

What aspects of being a Village member do you find most helpful or enjoyable?

I was drawn to the Seacoast Village Project because it was a way to connect with people. It was both a chance to reconnect with people I knew before and to meet new people.

I really enjoy volunteering and find it truly rewarding. When you give, you get. It is like a circle. My most memorable (non-Village) volunteer experience has been on my annual medical mission to Central America where I perform puppet shows in Spanish to teach kids good oral hygiene.

If you were to encourage a friend to become a Village member what would you tell them?

The Seacoast Village is a network, a community. . . Making connections within a community is huge. It doesn’t just happen. You have to engage. And becoming a Village member is a fun and easy way to do that just that.

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