I was born in Bemidji, Minnesota in 1944. Bemidji had the dubious distinction of being known as the “Ice Box” of the nation and the home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox. At an early age I made it my mission to get out of northern Minnesota. I was raised by a series of well meaning relatives and foster parents. I was a ward of the court. Due to my situation I attended a different public school every year, sometimes two. Consequently I was a poor student at best and upon graduation at eighteen my only real option was joining the US Army (1963).
The Army and I got along very well. I had three square meals a day, a place to sleep and a set of rules to live by. After basic training and AIT, I attended the NCO Academy and Parachute School. I was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and as Private First Class on jump status I was making a whopping $130.00 a month. I was in tall cotton at nineteen years old. I played baseball one summer for the Division and wrangled a job as cadre at the RECONDO SCHOOL. In the next six years Vietnam came along where I served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Sep) and the Prince of Wales Light Horse Troop. During my enlistment I was Infantry, Ranger (LRRP), and Airborne. I was decorated and served both in the enlisted and officer ranks.
I returned to the world and finished up my bachelors degree at the University of Minnesota. As a student I took a full time job with the Minneapolis Star and Tribune as a copy boy. I worked my way up to crime reporter and did photography for the Wednesday picture page, a regular feature of the Star. I was also a stringer for UPI as a sports photographer, mostly shooting Viking football games. After graduation I served on the faculty of Shattuck School for one year.. Shattuck School is still the second oldest continuously operated private military boarding school in the United States, est. in 1866. So much for playing Mister Chipps.
I returned to the University of Minnesota (1973) and served on the faculty for four years. Over a six pack of beer a friend of mine and I wrote a grant proposal to then HEW for a one million dollar grant. How crazy is that? Then the 60’s were a crazy time and we got the money.. The grant was to advise and work with disadvantaged students. The university wanted the money and part of the deal was that they had to make both of us faculty with our own offices and parking places. That was very cool.
Concurrently I authored numerous fiction and nonfiction works published photographs in a number of publications, I even got a photo of Billy Martin in Time Magazine. I did a stint as editor of a regional magazine The Twin Citian and also edited a number of University of Minnesota publications. I wrote a novel Walk The Heavy Miles, published by a small press with a first run of somewhere around a hundred copies. The New York Times best seller list was not in my literary future.
In the mid 70’s I made a radical life change (now it’s called suffering from PTSD) and became a hunting/fishing guide, itinerant cowboy, PRCA bronc rider and team roper competing in rodeos in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana. Within ten years I acquired a 3,600 acre ranch, an outfitting business in Colorado and a winter ranching operation in Arizona. I sold the outfit fence posts and all in 1989.
I moved my wife, son, a dog and two cats to Key West, Florida to live on a boat, the Dixie Chicken. I spent the next ten years fishing the big blue and took jobs with private military contractors, personal protection, merchant mariner, park ranger, veteran service officer (The job worked out well as I was as crazy as most of my clients) and as a dock master.
In 2000, I retired one hundred percent disabled from the military and moved my family to Delray Beach, Florida. Upon retirement I turned my full attention to writing. I have written and published a number of fiction and nonfiction stories and published my first novel Slip Time. My second novel Ten Good Horses is now being published and I have a third novel The First General Order, which will be coming out before the first of the year.