words make a difference
Like every child in America, I had to answer that commonly repeated question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Over the years into high school my answers included president, scientist, archaeologist, farmer, animal trainer, jungle explorer, baseball player (catcher), and President. In 4th grade when my best friend, the wild haired, tall, explosive Richie Loftus, beat me for class president, I gave up politics for a long while. From 6th grade on, however, I always wanted to be a poet.
What I did become was a wrestling coach, museum curator, high school biology teacher, college professor, land developer, property appraiser, licensed construction contractor, conflict mediator, journalist, short story writer, land use consultant, adviser on housing and land reform to the government of Kazakhstan, Spanish translator, business organizer in Russia, president of three statewide environmental groups, and economics researcher for World Bank and USAID projects, and a few other things.
I have published many poems but never a book full. I will not give up on becoming a poet. I have tried hard enough that I learned long ago that every word counts, no matter what I’m writing. I look back—and ahead—and call my behavior ‘dining at the smorgasbord of life.’ The feast continues. I’ve finished a science fiction novel being published by the Swiss science publisher, Springer. I am working on an illustrated journal and a biography of the 18th century biologist Georg Steller. I have an idea for a drama or movie. I’m pushing a novel idea for large scale affordable housing here on the Oregon coast.
If nothing becomes reality, I will be content to sit here overlooking the waters of a broad tidal river and its marshes, watching what seems to me “The Greatest Show On Earth”. When the feast is over, I’ve left instructions that I be put in the ground and a tree planted on top, and somewhere this obituary: