Who Am I?

The old adage goes: “Write about what you know.” Well, I happen to know a lot about very many things (many of which are probably of no interest to some people; then again, many may be of interest to others of you). I’m an avid reader and learner. I’m opinionated and quite frank; I have a lot to say. I’ve written books (published author), I’ve exhibited my artwork (in Boston), I have lived overseas (Japan, and Korea); but, I’ve never written a blog before. So, I suppose, before I spring my blog on you I should probably give you some insight into my background so you’ll have an idea of my qualifications to write about what I write about. The NSA is probably also taking notes…

I was born ages ago (ain’t no spring chicken no more) somewhere in the northeast United States and was a dinosaur enthusiast as a little kid (at the time, I wanted to be a paleontologist). I started drawing then, too-—mostly dinosaurs (and Astroboy). At 8 years old I could name nearly every dinosaur then known (and draw them, too)…but then, I encountered Combat! on TV and shifted to being an ardent military fan. I read everything I could on the WWII German military (especially tanks) and everything I could find on the Roman imperial army (two concurrent interests). The only Saturday cartoon that interested me was “Johnny Quest.” At some point during this time, I also developed a love of the written word and music; I eventually wrote a novel and learned how to play piano and guitar (my father was a musician—a pianist/organist; he was also an asshole drunk, but that’s neither here nor there). Later I also became interested in First Nation (Native American) peoples like the Lakĥóta (Teton Sioux) and the Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne).

I studied German and Russian along with French and some Latin (love languages!). I joined R.O.T.C. in college and won a 2-year Army scholarship for my junior and senior years, earning a commission as an Army Second Lieutenant (tanks) upon graduation. During my Army service I eventually ended up in Korea where I married a Korean woman, had a daughter, and gained three amazing Korean nieces and a nephew. I also developed a malady that got me sent back to the US and then medically separated from the service after nearly 5 years of active duty. Life sucks (things were hell at that point; finding a job with a future and pay equivalent to my Army pay was no easy task for an ex-tank man, officer or not). With a family to support things were proving to be freaking tough. My language education was of no help (I thought) and I did not seem to be smart enough to actually figure out how to find a decent paying job that fit my many talents. Then I read an ad for a teaching position (English, and German) in Japan. I interviewed in Boston with the school’s owner and manager, got the job, and moved the family to Japan (i.e., escaping the circling creditors). My wife (Koreans had been ruled by the Japanese for some 60 years till the end of WWII–so no love lost there) was not thrilled about the country and she actually left me and my daughter after two months in Japan to return home to Korea; unfortunately, her father then cursed me by sending her back again.
We stayed in Nippon until the Japanese economy tanked a few years later. At that point I could either stay and look for another position somewhere, or leave. The wife was for moving back to Korea. So, the next 6 years I spent in Seoul where I worked for a time first as the consulting English editor for the Korea Stock Exchange’s International Department, then joined “International Sales Team 1” of a Korean conglomerate named KUMHO (Kumho Chemicals) as the only foreigner working at the company’s head office in Seoul (clearly, I have extensive experience living and working in both Japan and Korea). We eventually returned to the United States and I finally got divorced after 15 years of marriage (12 of those mostly a nightmare). While overseas and in the years following, I lost 3 family members/friends to suicide. I did a lot of research, wrote some books (historical military research works that make little money), played some music, then moved to North Carolina to get out of Taxachusetts.

Here in NC I stay very busy playing in two rock bands, one of which in particular (PROPHECY) is doing very well on the local music scene. I continue doing artwork and I am still writing (I will be contributing short articles to a local music scene newspaper and I am finishing a historical novel). I work full time as an editor.  And now, I’m ready to try my hand at blogging. Not quite the “nutshell” history that I hoped it would be, but that’s who you’re dealing with.

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