There was school and then a stint serving in the United States Army Band for three years, one-year of duty in Vietnam. I never figured out whether it was our soldiers or the enemy that shot at us. So many critics! As a teen I studied ballet in San Francisco with the California Imperial Ballet Company and worked with the San Francisco Opera as a “super” (live scenery with small bits of acting). As you can imagine none of those professions paid well enough to buy decent coffee on a daily basis.

Following my military service I became a firefighter with the San Jose Fire Department serving twenty-eight years before retirement. The craziness of the work provided varying experiences along with many human interactions, good and bad. There were many times when you had to laugh and a few where it was hard to hold back the tears.

I spend my time writing, teaching Scottish Country Dance and Salsa Rueda. I play several instruments, recorder, harp, piano and percussion to mention a few, again not well enough to make a living at it.  I lean toward classical and some ethnic music, though my taste is a little on the eclectic side. A former firefighter described me as eccentric, which baffles me. I’m just your average man-on-the-street who writes, plays music and dances.

I started writing short stories online in the nineties, gaining approval by those reading them. I was encouraged to publish the things I wrote, sharing with others who would enjoy them. Humor and real life are always a part of my tales, life, being my teacher. Being exposed to different things from the norm has set me apart from most others, my encounters allowing me to witness the human experience, uncensored. Everyone has a special moment worth noting. Funny, sad, clever or ridiculous, their stories become a little bit of me.

A fellow firefighter made an observation, which I verified after several years in the department. People are usually naked during emergencies. It’s true; don’t ask me why.  [/su_column]
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