I am me. That doesn’t tell you anything. The short answers are annoying aren’t they? Who I am is defined by what I do, or accomplish. The person me, is defined by the reaction I get from others. The short answer is I ain’t anybody special, except to a few.
I am an old guy learning how to manipulate modern-day tools, like the world-wide web. I was born in El Paso Tx. and raised in northern California. I was in Golden Gate Park for the free concerts during the summer of love. That was in 1967, for all you youngsters that didn’t know when that was. I didn’t go to Woodstock, as I thought it might get crowded. I’ll always regret not going, as Woodstock turned out to be the biggest rock concert ever. I even had a ride from San Francisco to the concert.
In the mid 70’s I became tired of crowds, and California started to feel like a keep out zone to me. In my brain I saw a map of the golden state with barbed wire fences around it and signage stating “Keep Out No Trespassing”. I got out!
I learned carpentry in the Job Corps, but wasn’t really interested in being an apprentice for 3 years, so I decided to plant trees. I worked for a company located in Bend Oregon, and planted trees all over the west coast. From New Mexico to Washington state, mostly up in the mountains, I planted trees. Hoedad, planting bar, and augur became the tools of my chosen trade.
In 1977 I found a small rural place to live. Everyone drove old beater pickups and flat-bed trucks there, and the big city was safely 25 miles from me. That place was Whidbey Island, in the Puget Sound, in northern Washington state. While on Whidbey, I got involved in the logging industry, primarily doing tree topping and view trimming. I also ran heavy equipment doing land development. Loaders, backhoes, dozers and excavators became my favorite toys.
In 1988 my world began to change. I met a woman. Actually I have had many girl friends over the course of time. So, you know where this is going. I got married. That was truly a big step for me, as I was a confirmed bachelor. With marriage came kids, and responsibilities. My wife had 4 children in a previous marriage, and then another one with me.
In 1990 an article in a newspaper in L.A., told the tale of a quiet little rural place up in Washington state. Only 25 miles north of Seattle, a paradise just waiting to be developed. That year over 6000 new homes were built on the south end of the island, where I lived.
I spent my life moving northward, trying to avoid the crowds and the BMW attitude. That attitude I am referring to is ” I’m better than you, Me first, You don’t count”. So as well as tying the knot in a real relationship, we decided to move to a more rural area. That new place was in Sandpoint Idaho.
We bought 40 acres on the Pack River. The property was terraced and wooded. It was at the very end of a dead-end road, and super private. The only problem with the move was, no power, no running water except in the river, and the employment situation was terrible. Logging was being phased out, as the trees were getting farther from towns. Sandpoint was gearing up to be a destination stop, and tourism was to replace logging as a way to make a living.
I love living in the woods. Pictures taken of me looked like the elusive shots people have taken of the Sasquatch. I enjoyed the privacy. The closest neighbors were 3/4 miles away, and were hidden behind a screen of evergreens.
So who am I? I’ve spent years culturing a frightening look, to help keep other people at a distance. Mostly that worked. I am as reclusive as I am able to be, considering as a human being I still have to deal with others.
I want to believe most people are inherently good, and I see great acts of kindness and unselfishness sometimes, although mostly I see nasty, angry people who have the attitude, ” I want to know about you, but I really don’t want to know you”. I guess that is to be expected as so many deviants seem to be among us.
I am a “red necked, reclusive hippy”. Who are you?