My father worked for the US Army civil service and we traveled quite a bit as a result. When I was six, we left Colorado and went to live in France for two years; traveled the North Atlantic in mid-winter aboard the U.S.S. Buckner. We flew back across the Atlantic on board a DC 7 aircraft; propeller driven, it was noisy and slow and 12 hours on board was tough for an eight year old. The crew kept me distracted by taking me to the cockpit to watch the radar scope. Today it takes seven hours and, by comparison, is silent as the Vatican Library.
We left Colorado for Virginia when I was nine and returned three years later. It may be that three years that solidified my interest in the history of places; we visited Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestown, civil war battle sites, traveled to Washington D.C. and many other historical places. I loved it.
We arrived in Washington State in 1965, three years after the World’s Fair but before today’s major north-south route, I-5, was open.
We took a brief jaunt to Hawaii, living in Honolulu for about a year before returning to Washington. I learned a lot about the beauty of the Islands, and a lot about racism. When I returned thirty-odd years later, some things had changed a bit.
We returned to Washington and I made it to junior college where I decided I wanted a career in performing arts and met the first love of my live. We planned to marry and have successful lives in the performing arts. That dream lasted almost through the two years I spent living in South Korea with my family exposed to a completely different culture. I turned twenty-one in Korea. I met a woman who became a significant addition to my life in Korea. I got into retail in Korea. I learned about life some there too.
I came home a year before my family; it was the first time I had been completely separated from them, I was on my own. I never lived on the street but I slept on a beanbag chair in a friend’s Capitol Hill apt., learned to live off of Oriental noodles and the occasional toast, eggs, mushrooms and oat meal and looked for work. A few months later, the woman I met in Korea came to live with me. We got our own apartment, a yo, (basically an upholstered camper pad), two cups, two plates two bowls and two sets of flatware. Eventually we moved uptown by acquiring a platform rocking chair from Goodwill.
I got hired by a large retailer as a security officer and so ended the dream of a life in the theater.
I spent 20 years in Loss Prevention, working my way from the bottom to mid-management. I learned about the law, I learned about people, I developed my second career choice – to become a police officer. I became a reserve deputy in Snohomish County. I worked my day job eight hours, then went out on the road all night for eight hours, got some sleep and did it all again. Eventually I met another woman, a former police officer, and we spent 7 years together. During that time I lost my interest in law enforcement as a career.
Years ago I picked up a map of Washington and wrote down the name of all the locations on it, from the smallest point of interest to the largest of cities, with the intent of drawing them at random, going there and, hopefully, being fascinated. It was a great plan, but I only used it once or twice. Typical me.
In later years I have developed an interest in photography and the idea resurfaced. What I decided I didn’t want to do was a dry, travel log, here-are-the-facts, kind of project, yet, I wanted to present stories that entertain, tell some history and show them some what’s-there-now. I wanted to present photos of bits of places that drew my attention, whether it be the town hall, some abstract bit of junk will that caught my eye, or people who live every day in the place I just discovered. You can check out what I see at my Flickr portfolio. Let me know what you think!
Since my wife of 16 years and I live and work in the great Pacific Northwest, expect my subject matter to be weighted toward this geographical area. That said, I intend to include locations from all over the country in time; who knows where I might show up? And, everyplace is eligible for revisits, in an arbitrary fashion.
Next challenge? Can an old guy master the art of blogging and actually develop a following of sorts. You, gentle reader, will be the judge of that.