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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.

13 thoughts on “About

      • I find it hard to deal in favorites, there are so many possibilities! What is my favorite restaurant? Hell, I don’t know, which ever one strikes my fancy at the moment. Favorite move? Favorite…. That said, what I most often consider my favorite is Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath”. Right up there is Michener’s, “The Source.” Then there’s the “Hobbit” and the Tolkien trilogy. I read a little of everything, fiction and non, vampire books to Machiavelli.

      • I just finished Ken Follett’s second book, Winter World, in his 20th century trilogy. Found it pretty good; he gives good insight into what life was like in different parts of the world during WWII.

        I read Moon is Down several years ago and I think it’s my least favorite of his books I’ve read. Still, I did enjoy it.

  1. Not sure how I ended up at your site but thoroughly enjoy the visits, history and comments about places in Washington. Three friends and I cycled to Bucoda when I was attending college in Olympia in 89. You have a intriguing history. I was born in Washington and grew up in the Northwest living in the big towns and the little towns, and on the Colville Indian ReZ. My career as of the past 20 years has been a planner for small towns. I love them and their history. Have you read Hazel Wolf? How about a speaking engagement in Lynwood this spring????

    • Thanks for stopping by, even if it was unintentional. It’s been too long since I posted, but I’ve become immersed in the life of George France; each fact learned leads to a bunch questions. Going over his court case and his book has raised many questions about local – even State government. I Haven’t done any public speaking in a looooong time, but I’d be interested in discussing it with you.

  2. I was stationed in the Coast Guard at Yorktown in 72 when I was 17. You had to (got to!) cross the battleground there to get out to the base. I need to go back and visit with way different “eye”.

  3. I purchased a map out of the Virginian Grainger School in Okanogan, 1954 version of Cramm’s Superior Map of Washington. An interesting “take” on the state as towns are gone, merged, changed etc. Shows the “trunk” highway system.

  4. I have read many of your stories and papers written when you were in school and it always blows
    my mind where all of your wisdom comes from. Do not ever give up on your dreams of writing or
    or taking pictures. You are good at it and I see this as your future. Good luck.

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