I'm the black sheep of my family. Barely able to read I did poorly in school. Fortunately I enjoyed working as a ditch digger and generally laborer for my dad. I would have enjoyed a career in heavy machinery, but I fell in love with the girl that made my lunch at Chucks Big Burger.
Kay was the summa cum laude book worm that volunteered as an office aid in Stell Jr High School in Brownsville Texas. I knew her from my many unrequested visits to the office and also through her little thug brother. So at the disbelief of my parents and teachers I packed for college.
It was that year my dad Carl
died. That broke me, and I still miss him. I loved
traveling with him on his business trips into Mexico. He
was not a great conversationalist nor was he the "let's play catch"
kind of dad. He was a Peacemaker and Fearless, with a wisdom about life
that kept him cool when surrounded by chaos. Dad understood,
you had to love yourself in order to love others. He was, and is,
my role model.
Some 30 years ago, Kay and I were on our honeymoon, camping on the shore of Inks lake in Texas. The tent door was only five feet from the lake and we laid in bed enjoying a gentle breeze and listening to the waves lap at the shore. It was one of those perfect moments when you're enjoying life and looking forward to sharing it forever with the person beside you. All it needed was a song. And what do you know, as some ducks leisurely passed by, Christopher Cross's "Sailing" fills the air. We looked out far across the lake to see a dozen sailboats lazily making tacks on water. A summer camp was serenading us over their loud speaker system. It was a beautiful moment. Then someone screwed it up with: "BOAT SIX, PUT YOUR KEEL DOWN!".
College taught me that professors are typically not as smart as they want us to believe and most lack any worldly applicable talent. But I passed, and got my name on a piece of paper that said Computer Science. That in turn led to years of IT work mingled with some teaching and failed entrepreneur adventures.
We have one son; Carl, named for my dad. When you only have one, it's a crap shoot. If my mother had only given birth to me she might be a lonely bitter old woman, but fortunately she has four and the oldest; Saint Andrew, dotes on her while being true to her fundamental religious beliefs and expectations. Fortunately, our son Carl has done well even if somewhat spoiled as the only child. Unlike many of his peers, Carl was raised so that he could leave home and function on his own. While he was young, we lived for a year in Bogota, Colombia and another in Tema, Ghana where I taught school. A very enjoyable experience and a great way to teach Carl that Phoenix Arizona did not represent planet earth.
Back in the US, I became an Oracle Database Administrator which I enjoy but it's about as exciting as watching paint dry so I augmented it with Scuba, then an ROV, then a couple of submarines. Meanwhile Carl trained as a Fireman/Medic, joined the National Guard at 17. And was nearly killed by an IED in Iraq. He survived, and is raising his own family now. Mission Accomplished!
I then fell in love with the idea of a sailboat. More specifically, a sailing work boat for charter, diving, search and recovery, oceanographic research, and general sailing about. I easily sold the idea to Kay and we built the house and shop specifically for completing the submarine and then building the sailboat.
However Kay and I came to the realization that our passions followed different paths. She likes teaching and digging in jungle mud for Mayan artifacts. And my passion is a sailboat on the ocean. So Kay and I divorced in 2015, which is the best deal for both of us. We ended a 90% wonderful and 5% rocky marriage. And after the child rearing is done, I highly recommend divorce over fighting to stay married and sacrificing happiness and freedom. And don't worry about the money. Money is a poor substitute for happiness.
So now I feed my passion and I'm out to make the rest of my orbits around the sun: Awesome. For now that's building the boat and working with people who have the same lust for life, creation, exploration, and adventure. Fair wind and following seas.