Who Am II am, I acknowledge, a white heterosexual man, and can only offer myself as such. I take no particular pride in my membership in this unfashionable group, nor do I consider myself in any way its spokesman. I do, however, ask you to note that this membership confers on me a certain usefulness in that it leaves me with no excuses and nobody to blame for my faults except myself.(Stolen from Wendell Berry because he has said it so well.) I was born on April 11, 1943 in California - my only excuse is that I was overly dependent on my mother at the time. However, she did have the good sense to move me to Sulphur Springs Valley, AZ when I was three. I attended schools in Bisbee, Douglas and a two-room schoolhouse in Double Adobe; finally graduating from Douglas High in 1960.
I had worked all four years while in high school (as a pin boy and pin chaser in the Douglas Bowling Lanes) and continued the pattern by working my way through college. I first attended Chaffey Junior College in Alta Loma, CA then transferred to and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1965 with a BS in Business Administration.
I volunteered for the U S Army - I was psychic; I received my draft notice while I was in Basic Training at Fort Polk, LA. From there I went to Army Finance School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN. After completion of the school I joined the 104th Finance in the Dominican Republic in 1966. When we return to the USA I was stationed with the 104th at Fort Devons, MA with a 90-day temporary assignment to Fort Hamilton, NY. I then volunteered for the 41st Finance Section (a 3 man unit) and was ordered to Viet Nam in June 1967 where I was attached to the 7th Finance in Cholon. I took my 5 day R & R in Bangkok, Thailand and was also lucky to be selected to escort a money shipment from Okinawa, Japan to Viet Nam, which gave me an additional R & R.
After discharge from the Army, I worked for Valley National Bank in Phoenix, AZ for 14 years. The first 7 years as a staff accountant doing internal and external report preparation and as the assistant budget officer. The second 7 years I was an internal auditor of departments and subsidiaries. I then moved on to First Trust Bank in Ontario, CA as their Controller for two years. I was then promoted to Senior Vice President and made responsible for all non-Branch operations until I quit in 1990.
I waited until I was 36 years old before I married but it was not long enough. This is the only mistake that I have made in my life that I really regret making. We separated in 1987 with the final divorce effective in 1988. I made a decision in 1984 that I have not regretted and it has lead indirectly to all that has followed in my life. That decision was to buy a bicycle and begin to ride once again. The saying that you never forget how to ride a bicycle does not apply to 41-year-old fat men, or at least it didn't apply to me. I truly had not forgotten how to ride but if you had watched me those first few days you may have questioned my sobriety. I went from that very shaky start to doing bicycle tours.
1985 - Almost Across Arizona Ride, 500 miles from Grand Canyon to Nogales, AZ
1986 - Baja, 1000 miles from Rosarito to Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico (quit smoking just before this tour.)
1987 - Trans Texas Tour, 1000 miles from El Paso to Orange, TX
1988 - Australian Bicentennial Bicycle Ride, 700 miles from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia
1990 - Across America, 4000 miles from Anacortes, WA to Bessemer, PA (a crash ended my tour)
1991 - Western Tour, 4800 miles from Flagstaff, AZ to San Francisco, CA by way of the Rocky Mountains, Canada and Pacific Coast
1992 - Natchez Trace, 500 miles from Natchez, MS to Franklin, TN
I became a wanderer in 1990 when I quit the First Trust Bank job and road my bicycle across America. A new mindset was instilled on that ride and I haven't look back with any regrets since that time.
I have worked for myself, done seasonal or part time work and two brief periods of full time employment since 1990 with my focus on wandering this world physically and mentally rather than acquiring money and things.
This website was started as a way for me to send my Long Letters to friends without sending a lot of long e-mail messages. I started it in Japan where Internet connect time was very expensive and continued that practice after returning to the USA. I have added the letters that I wrote starting in 1996 because they were available, I have also reconstructed Journals for prior trips from materials available. I then added the pictures that I took over those years and linked them to the Journals.