Thursday, May 12, 2005

My Life Thus Far

So I was born almost 52 years ago in the mostly working class town of Bay City, along the Saginaw Bay in Michigan. Firstborn kid, firstborn son. Our family would eventually include one girl and two more boys. My father worked as a crane operator most of his life, while my mother stayed behind to tend us and our home.

Of course, I don't recall much of my toddler years. I remember hiding a pair of crappy underdrawers in the bathroom. Found my father's razor and tried to shave once. That wasn't too cool. I went to kindergarten and first grade at Bush elementary school in Essexville.

Then we moved about two miles down Nebobish Street which put us in Bay City. I went to Woodside Elementary School, but don't remember much there either. I think I won a spelling contest once. That was pretty cool. Then I went to Washington Junior High. Kinduva tough place. Our science class saw one student get into a shoving match with the teacher. I read later that this same student ended up going to prison for attempted murder or something like that. I was happy to leave that school.

High school was better but I didn't have the fun that kids do in high school on TV and the movies. I thought high school was boring mostly. Except when a race riot closed the school early one day during the turbulent 60s. I was never much of an athlete, so I didn't plays ports. I didn't have a girlfriend so I never went to dances or the prom. And I wasn't that smart either, so I didn't graduate with honors. But I did like to write and I was editor of the high school newspaper. That was kinda cool.

College was more fun. I went to Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, which is about an hour's drive from Bay City. I stayed in dormitories all four years. We got pretty wild. Once the police came to our room and said we were all under arrest because we were shooting fireworks at the girl's dorm. But they let us go after we gave them the leftover fireworks. I should mention that the drinking age was 18 back then.

So I graduated with a bachelor's of science degree, though my major was journalism and my minor was English. Anyway, I started work at The Alpena News for what was then minimum wage, $3 an hour I think. I lasted a little over two years there before I decided I didn't like reporting. Too stressful. I had to do things like try to talk to victims of violent crimeand their families. That wasn't fun. And it didn't pay too well either.

After quiting the paper, I went back to school at the University of Michigan to get a teacher'scertificate. And after three semesters, I was certified to teach. But I'd already decided I didn't want to teach either. That was too stressful also. There were some freshmen I student taught that I wanted to maim or something. They gave me a hard time. But I had a job at the University of Michigan, so I kept it. They even made me a supervisor. A fellow worker of mine was a lady named Wendy. She was funny and liked me a lot. She was pretty cool. A year after we went out for the first time we were married.

Marriage was hard the first year, but we eventually learned to get along. Proof of that was the birth of our first son Greg. I was 28. Three years after Greg was born, we had another son, Scott. Scott was more ornery as a baby. He cried and screamed a lot. We didn't have any more babies after Scott. Anyway, day care was too expensive.

We moved from apartment to apartment after we were first married. Then when Greg was born, we bought a home in the suburbs for $53,000. We could see the lights of the high school football stadium from our bedroom. Greg thought that was pretty cool. He fell out the window when he was three after he climbed on our bed to see the football lights. He was okay though.

Our boys did the usual sports when they were little: t-ball, soccer, baseball. They also did a lot of wrestling which was my idea. Wrestling was the only sport in gym that I didn't stink at. I wanted the boys to learn to wrestle. It's a character builder. They liked other sports better. Greg became a pretty good soccer player and Scott ended up winning a varsity letter for football. Watching them play was pretty neat for me and Wendy even when they didn't win.

We didn't have any major events raising our kids. They were a little better than average students. A couple times the principal or a teacher would call when they misbehaved. Mostly for Scott. Like when he tried to pass fake money in the school cafeteria. The boys both played in the marching band too. Greg played the saxophone, Scott the drums.

Eventually we moved into a bigger house, which had two bathrooms, not one like our old house. It was in the same school system, though. After graduating,Greg went on to Central Michigan University like I did, Scott to Michigan State in East Lansing. They're still in college. All this time, Wendy and I changed jobs a few times. Both of us were supervisors, me for longer. But eventually we took other jobs that were less stressful. (You see, I don't like stress) I've worked for the university for about 23 years, Wendy for 25. We can both retire in two years.

That pretty much brings me up to date.