My parents were from Amarillo Texas. My dad came from a poor family and he was the youngest of 8. My mom was from a rich family and her father was a railroad man and her mom’s sister was extremely rich in oil and cattle.
Dad joined the Air Force Cadets and moved from Amarillo to Waco Texas and later sent for my mom and they married. I was their first child. At 10 months old I got polio. Never experiencing a life without crutches, braces, and surgeries, I really don’t know at exactly what age it dawned on me that I was “Not Normal”.
We lived in Spain for 4 years and that was the beginning of my enchantment of Spain both geographically and culturally. My father was extremely taken with the people and customs of the Spanish and it undoubtedly wore off on me as well. Part of his love for the culture also included the music, Flamenco music in particular. I guess the natural progression of his love for Spain was to have his son learn to play Flamenco guitar. Although I felt at the time it was a pain in the butt and I would rather be playing outside and doing “fun” stuff, as I grew up I realized that not only was it a gift to be able to play by ear but that I truly enjoyed the music. My lessons consisted of 2 one hour sessions per day with a professor that came to our house. I also received major corrective surgery on my left leg in Wiesbaden Germany during this time in an attempt the help me walk better.
After Spain we were stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin Texas for 4 years where my parents bought the house that they still live in today. Also at this time my father did a one year tour of duty in the Vietnam War. When he returned from the war we were transferred to RAF Alconbury , a shared US air base in England near Cambridge where I attended American schools from 7th through 11th grade.
The 4 short years spent in England involved some of the most memorable points in my life. I was elected President of my 10th grade class and established friendships that are still strong to this day. Each summer as a family we would travel back to the South of Spain where we had lived before, for vacation. My family would return to England and I would stay in Spain with our Spanish housekeeper/friend the remainder of the summer to continue my guitar lessons.
This was a difficult time in my life as I was thrust into a foreign land with only Spanish people and missed my friends and family. However, I soon realized what a profound impact this had later in my life. I had become a native Spanish speaker, a fairly good guitarist and learned about the history and culture of a truly amazing country.
After England we returned to Austin where I completed high school and college and started my career in “computers”. When starting college I had planned on using my Spanish background to become a translator or teacher, but somehow I ended up pursuing a career in information technologies. I credit my learned communication abilities with other cultures throughout my life for a relatively successful career.
I was married in Austin, worked in the IT field up until 10 years ago, have a beautiful son and daughter, whom are both very successful and am a proud “Gimpa” (as I like them to call me) of two beautiful grand daughters. I have since remarried a wonderful lady from Seattle whom I met on the Internet playing cards and we retired in Fulton Texas, a community that we are very proud to call home.
I had always loved the rivers and oceans from my travels in Spain, England, France and all three coasts of North America especially the Texas and Florida gulf coasts. Most of my US schooling and my professional career was in Central Texas and having vacationed many times on the coastal bend, the Rockport-Fulton area with its small town charm, laid back atmosphere and friendly residents, seemed to be right place to retire for me, my wife and our pets.
After living a short but relatively happy life I have become very passionate about the beauty and wonder that the Earth has to offer and am determined to do all I can to preserve its resources for future generations to experience it as I have.