|Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the
pains of stupidity.
-- Frank Leahy
|I'm a Late Boomer who grew up in
the suburbs of deepest Orange County, California during those
lazy hazy crazy days of the Vietnam war.
My earliest memories are from the 1950's.
I'm an only child. My father was a car salesman and my mother was a housewife.
When I was a kid I wanted to fly jets, solve the war, make my dog happy, keep my dad from yelling and my mom from drinking. I was successful at none of these.
Because of my surroundings back then, I have certain sensitivities, but I turned out okay for the most part. Some impressions, however, are indelible.
When I was in high school, a suburban life was the antithesis of what I wanted for myself. I envisioned instead a series of great adventures involving aircraft, bonfires, and women who'd swoon beneath my manly knowing squint.
Some options, swooning women for example, may never present themselves. Even if you wait. For a long long time. But if a man is resourceful, a Plan B will then swing into action, because happiness does not come from flailing wildly in hopes of striking whatever opportunity may hang in front of us. No, dear reader, life is a series of choices. We summon our resources. We review and select.
I've been a lot of things. My most recent former occupation was as a full-time father for thirteen years. These days my daughter is going on fourteen and life is different. I am a photographer now, leaving behind my full-time duties as a father. Before that I was a TV writer. Before that I drove a meals-on-wheels truck for a school district. Before that I was a dishwasher in a mental hospital. Before that I was a warehouseman. Before that I drove an aviation fuel truck at an airport. Before that I worked at a YMCA. Before that I dug ditches. In between some of these jobs I'd go down into Mexico to work on a small banana plantation, which was the most fun of all.
Also every once in a while I'd get on a theatrical stage. It's a fun thing to do, I never took it very seriously, and I used the experience more as away of running into some remarkable people (keep in mind that "remarkable" is one of those versatile words, like "special"). This is a good thing if you're a writer.
One night, twenty-six years ago, I went to the first reading of a play a friend of mine had written. One of the actors there was an exceptional woman. Funny and beautiful, she ignited something powerfully irrational in me. I married her eight years later. We've been through a lot of changes.
It's a long story.
Now I'm almost forty-eight years old and I'm done with explaining myself. A man can go through many changes over a lifetime and I've gone through more than my share, many of them profound. The notions a man has of himself certainly evolve as he grows older. It can be painful and thrilling and drenched with love throughout.
There are, of course, many other things for you to know about my wonderful self, and you will if you spend some time on these pages. But for now, just let me apologize for the spasm of ego, and leave you with the words of James Russell Lowell: