About Me

(Mar•KAY•day•jo•LAY)

Who Am I? (click here)

I AM
• Sees The Stars Naked, Desertwalker of The Bear Clan

• Ironweed, king of The Crenshaw Bums

• Chollo Jook, honorary sheriff of the Valley Village Panhandler's Association

• Jolie Blond, poet laureat of the Hollywood Luddites

• Mudhead,scourge of St. Mary's U. Literate Anarchists Association, Delta Mu Delta division

• White Rhino, somnambulant waterworm #63

• Crusty The Stockboy, Arconian and American Legionaire, Post 322 and VFW Post 10


AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    I was born at 9 a.m. on a dark and stormy morning in Grand Junction, Colorado, the first child of a geological engineer and his wife, both Texans. Dr. Gould was the general practitioner who delivered me at St. Mary's Hospital and who tended to my asthma attacks, which often landed me in hospital oxygen tents.

    I was always struck by how much Dr. Gould looked like the pictures of Soviet Premier Krueschev I had seen on TV. I used to tell my friends that the guy on TV beating his shoe on the table was my doctor.

    A few years later, we moved to Fry Canyon, Utah, not far from Utah's 'Monument Valley'. Fry Canyon was not a real town. It was ten or twelve trailers parked in a dustbowl circle around the 'town' water well. Shopping was a two-hour drive over dirt roads through an Indian reservation. One of my neighbors was Jack Elam, who later went on to become a fairly well-known movie actor. As a neighbor, he was scary as hell and that experience caused me to fear and mistrust cross-eyed people ever since.

    My father worked as a uranium miner while I, still a preschooler, was befriended by an ancient Indian medicine man who told me stories from before time and showed me his magic stuff. The old gourd-rattler made me an honorary Indian (which didn't seem to please my mother much) but it wasn't until thirty years later that Great Elk of the Ohio Shawnee gave me my Indian name at a Los Angeles smudging ceremony for one of the Tuskogee airmen. I am Sees The Stars Naked.

    We moved back to the flatlands of Fruita, Colorado where I learned the joys of trampolines and that the bully next door, Rusty, could be made to behave himself by a well-placed punch in the nose. I joined the Cub Scouts.

    A few years later, we moved to a zinc mining town high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The mining town was quite a bit different from the deserts of Utah or the flatlands of grand Junction.
   
    The Colorado mining town, Gilman, was under several feet of snow most of the year and several of its streets abruptly ended in two-thousand foot drop-offs. Wildcats, bobcats and an occasional cougar were often seen crossing our main thoroughfare. I could look out of my bedroom window on to the mountaintops below and often see herds of deer and elk grazing miles away. The next mountain over later became Vail, Colorado, the famous ski resort. I remember it when it was nothing more than one old miner's shack.

    My father was an amateur archeologist. He took me on many explorations of mining ghost towns and Indian burial grounds. We also went hunting and fishing. I got a six-pointer once and caught lots of fish except when we went fly fishing. I never quite got the hang of fly fishing.

    Two major events happened to me in fourth grade. First, I won the Peoria Independence Day 100 yard dash against all the other boy scouts in the area, which told me I had finally outgrown or overcome my asthma.

    Secondly, my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Durfee, suspected I had special academic gifts, brought some testers down from Denver, tested me, and skipped me from fourth grade to fifth grade and giving me sixth and seventh grade level projects occasionally. The Minturn School district had no programs for gifted children, so mostly I just played out in the snow during fifth grade while the other kids tried to catch up with me.

    The next year we moved to the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania where I met Quakers for the first time and saw an amazingly close meteor fly over my neighborhood. I also met actual hillbillies and learned that the English language has many dialects.

    A few years later, we moved to a lignite strip-mining operation in East Texas. We were chased by a few tornadoes in Ohio during the car trip south. The tornadoes came close enough so that we had to take shelter under a highway overpass. That was the first time I ever saw flying farm animals. The awesome power of those tornadoes seemed like God's own breath to me; the ruach or neshamah.

    In high school in Marshall, Texas, I was a mile runner in track, editor of the school newspaper and founder of the school chess club. I worked after school in addition to my scholastic activities, first as a newspaper boy and then as a Dairy Queen cook. I pretty much lived a Norman Rockwell childhood.

    I signed up for the army a few months before I graduated high school and was sent to basic training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana a month after I graduated. I was offered Officer Candidate School based on my entrance exam scores, but accepted the Defense Information Journalism School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison instead.

    The Department of defense journalism school was an inter-service academy, so I barracked with Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps classmates. I graduated at the top of my class and was given the choice of going to the war college in New jersey or getting an assignment overseas. I hadn't lost anything in New Jersey, so I chose the overseas adventure and was assigned to Korea.

    During my first year in Korea, I was promoted in rank twice and rose from field reporter to editor-In-Chief of the brigade-level military newspaper. My reorganization of 'The Gauntlet' won me Eighth Army's 'Green Eyeshade award' for excellence in journalism and I was chosen to work with Pacific Stars N stripes in Tokyo, Japan. At that point I was an international foreign war correspondent for the army with all of Pacific Asia for my 'beat'.

    My second year overseas was not so productive. i caught some sort of jungle rot, was treated with massive dosages of systemic steroids and was eventually med-evacked to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas for disability retirement.

    During my nine month hospital stay at Brooke army Medical Center, I brought my Korean wife in country and bought my first rental property, a duplex just outside the army post. We had been living in the condemned, fire trap barracks the army provides for its disabled soldiers during the year-long outprocessing gauntlet, but I decided to prove to my Korean wife that America did indeed have indoor plumbing.

    The Department of Defense, after years of observation and thousands of dollars worth of medical testing, evaluated my medical condition as 30 percent disabling. The VA, after a five minute cursory paramedic evaluation, rated me at 10 percent.

    I thought the VA would be satisfied with that insult, but when I got a job with the U.S. Post Office as a mailhandler, the VA sent the postmaster a letter stating that I was too disabled to work in any capacity for any government job and cost me that position. That was a great disappointment to me. I'm sure I would've been Postmaster General by now . . . but considering current events, maybe that VA backstabbing was a good thing.

    Both of my children were born at B.A.M.C at Ft. Sam Houston and I bought several more rental properties before the seventies were over.

    In the eighties I attended St. Mary's University in San Antonio under the Disabled Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Chapter 31, becoming the oldest editor-in-chief of the university newspaper in 1985. In the army, I had been one of the youngest editors. The irony didn't escape me.

    I was on the school''s dean's list and was inducted into Delta Zeta delta, the business honors student fraternity. I dropped out of the university and became a civil service aircraft mechanic for Kelly Air Force Base. A year later, I moved to Los Angeles to work as a magazine graphic artist for twice the aircraft mechanic pay. A year after that I was a magazine editor in Canoga Park for another substantial salary increase.

    I taught myself computer pre-press color separation and tried that career path for several years, but discovered that I didn't like being cooped up in a cubicle all day. I stumbled into driving entertainers to their business appointments and found that I had a certain affinity for the work. I drove various entertainers for more than five years and have written 476 pages of a book about the experience.

    Unfortunately, the work dwindled and I became homeless for eighteen months, living in my car, under a bridge and in a Russian dog house among other places. From that experience, I have developed an "Urban Nomad" tour package of the Los Angeles homelessness experience that I hope to market to travel agencies.

    For the last thirteen months, I have been living in the Motel Marquis, a quaint little ramshackle place with colorful characters to observe.

    Three weaknesses of mine are (1) procrastination (2) obstinance and (3) lack of flossing.

    I have many strengths. Spelling is one. My verbal S.A.T. scores were very high. My most recent English placement test at El Camino community College were in the top ten percentile in the country, but most importantly, I move fast for a fat man when I want to and am a quick learner. I can and have performed dental surgery on myself without anesthetic, can go days without food or sleep, chew rocks and wrestle lions.
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