I grew up in New Jersey, North Carolina and Georgia. I was born in New Jersey, and have spent more than half of my life here in the Garden State. Thing is, I never thought of my self as a Jersey boy, even though by dint of location and time, that's me. The family's roots are in the mountains of North Carolina. Great people. Some of the best, hardest working, most principled and dedicated people I have ever encountered. They formed a foundation for me that could not be improved upon. So, born in the North with Southern roots, makes me something of a mutt, the happiest kind of dog.
My people are definitely the best part of my bio. Whatever we go on to do in our lives, as Merle Haggard sang it, 'the roots of my raisin' run deep', imprinting us with our sensibilities, our values and our sense of home.
I was honored to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam years, and the angel on my shoulder kept me out of the conflict, working instead at the Pentagon and later, in the General's information office at Ft. Gordon. The Army taught me how to speak North Vietnamese, but sent me to the Pentagon. Go figure. It was late and the war was winding down.
News, a trusted mentor once told me, matters to people. Entertainers, DJ's and the like are important, but the words and stories of the Edward R. Murrows, Charles Kuralts, and David Brinkleys of the world affect lives and the direction of the country. In a real sense, news is the information people need and can use. It was an honor to tell the stories of our country and our lives for broadcasting companies around the nation, from Georgia to Texas, Chicago to New York city, crowned by more than three decades with ABC and CBS news. At the core of it all was story telling.
I wrote a novel with Leicester Hemingway, who came and lived with us for a few months. We wrote in a daily collaboration that was very much a living creative writing course for me. My time in his company was too brief, but I remember Les fondly. That novel, by the way, still sits on a shelf. One day I'll edit it and try to get it published.
A Hole in the Apple grew out of a story assignment about the construction project of New York city's water tunnel. There really is an earthquake fault that runs through the city. The terror plot has not occurred, but could, though there are safeguards not included in the novel that should protect us. The sandhogs treated me well, and I am grateful It turned out to be a pretty decent tale.
Abraham's Knife, not yet published, also tackles a nettlesome issue. Peace in the Middle East. No, I do not pretend to suggest an answer - however - the story does lay out a sort of military, espionage, diplomatic adventure that begs a consideration of a simple question. Similar to the WWJD bracelets kids wore that asked, What would Jesus Do, as a reminder to make good choices in life - this story asks, "What would Abraham think of what his progeny have done? AND, what if he could tell us?
I'm working on a simpler novel about a young couple, in love and struggling to make it in an America whose economy has largely collapsed. It is not dystopian, but it's on the doorstep, and the challenges Jake and Maia face in the microcosm of a small town in Texas, might be reflective of a nation in trouble, in which the 'little guy' is increasingly under the thumb of those who hold power and wield it with little beneficence.
Todd and Adam are my sons, and I am proud of them daily. Rose, Tyler and Ryan are my grandkids - and as any who have been so blessed already know - the grand young'uns are scintillating bright lights in our days.
Melissa is my beautiful life partner and the love of my life. She and her two girls fill me with joy and new direction.
So, there's the bio. By the way, as you can easily see here on the web site, I've also been teaching people how to fly, from tail-wheels to aerobatics, for quite a number of years. We pilots revel in the freedom that flying gives, as we swaddle ourselves in the warm amnesia that being airborne provides: when the wheels leave the ground, the lingering issues or problems, untended details and hurdles stay there, on the ground. Flying is encompassing and liberating.
We really do "touch the face of God", and we are thrilled and thankful for the opportunity and the ability to do it.
Author, Purveyor of opinions and ideas, Teacher of Pilots.