I was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago by my parents, Jim & Kathy, along with my siblings, Debbie, Jimmy, Tommy, and Amy. My Dad was a painting contractor for the first half of his life, and then an antique dealer until today. My Mom was always teacher, and knew that’s what she wanted to be since she was a child.
I attended Lutheran schools from Kindergarten through High School, and then went to the University of Illinois, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1989, majoring in Marketing. I worked at the Daily Illini, and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. It’s also where I met my wife, Debbie, in 1987.
After graduation, I took a job with Lanier selling analog recording equipment for businesses in downtown Chicago. After 4 months, I moved on to being a construction Project Manager in Aluminum and Glass, putting windows and doors in many high-rise buildings downtown. Eventually, I specialized in public works projects, primarily window replacement projects for schools.
But, after nearly 7 years, I found myself looking for something more. And, in a series of events that is the subject of a novel I have partially written, I wound up moving to Colorado to become a ski bum, and make a living doing whatever it took to live in paradise. That turned out to be making macrame hemp jewelry while promoting the legalization of cannabis for food, fiber, and medicine. And the place that inspired me was Telluride, Colorado.
I invited Deb out to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June of 1997, at a time we were not dating, and 10 years after we had met, and surprised her with a marriage proposal. She accepted and moved to Telluride with me in September of that year. That’s when our journey together really began.
We traveled quite a bit to see our favorite band, Widespread Panic, even going as far as Paris and Amsterdam in 1998. And, our touring with this band led to many many friendships, inspirations, and the soundtrack of our life together.
We got married on a mountaintop in 1999, and soon after planned to move down from the coldness of elevated living back to the ocean in Charleston, SC. But, at the moment we nearly put our names on the dotted line to buy a house down there, we hit a crossroads, and struggled to find the reason we were leaving Colorado. After another year in Telluride, we founded a business selling goods on eBay, and decided to stay in Colorado but on the fringes of urban living in Fort Collins.
We eventually built a small business that did over $2M in annual sales, specializing in Home, Garden, and Pet products. We acquired a warehouse, had employees, and shipped thousands of orders worldwide.
But, ultimately, we made decisions to workwith people who didn’t have our best interest in mind, and we ended up in a business-ending litigation which gave me the opportunity to learn deeply about the use and abuses of our legal system. In the process, combined with the declining health and loss of my mother, I was encouraged by my dad to use my writing skills to be the foundation of a new career.
I’m currently writing on many topics, and this blog serves to demonstrate the variety as well the quality of my writing. But, more than anything, it’s the place where I’d like to take my activism to the level where it affects the hearts and minds of my readers to encourage positive change.
I believe that writing from the heart encourages openness in others, and that, in turn creates opportunity for ideas to change hearts, and then minds. I write mostly non-fiction about my journey through life, but I certainly am a storyteller who has an imagination as well. It comes out in my dreams, which seem to have a very real relationship to my waking life. I’m blessed with a memory and mind that can at least attempt to make sense of it all.
I thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I’m always interested in your thoughts, opinions, and criticism. And, since I’d like to make this a career, I am always interested in any opportunities to write for compensation. You can contact me through the form at the bottom of the blog.