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I imagine I must have been born in Rooster Rapids Oregon, November 30, 1967. A Sagittarious Fire Sheep the astrology folks might say. Turmoil might have said my background probably explains who I am.
My parents met at a civil rights march in 1963. They were both disallusioned college students at the time. They were full blown hippies by 1965 and disallusioned hippies by early 1966, so they headed for the wildness of Alaska. When the Alaska winter proved to be too much for them they used some money my mom had inherited to buy some acreage in Rooster Rapids. They were living in a Tipi on the acreage when I was born.
You won't find Rooster Rapids on a map. It is in a remote part of the Rogue River watershed in Southern Oregon. The locals were prone to growing illegal crops so avoided describing the area with any word that could be found on a map. I am still uncomfortable disobeying that particular cultural norm.
I spent my winters as a child in Rooster Rapids. While I learned to love the outdoors, as an only child I found it boring. So I read alot. Summers were better. Dad and Mom would head to Alaska to find work. Dad had friends with a fishing boat so we often spent early summers in Dillingham on the far west coast when the salmon were running. Later in the summer either Dad or Mom or both would look for seasonal work, usually somewhere between Juneau and Ketchikan where the winter trip back to Oregon could be done on the ferry in their camper van.
I did manage to graduate from high school. Despite moving around a lot since I was a voracious reader I didn't find progressing in school that difficult.
At 18 I left home. I have stayed in touch with Mom and Dad but their lifestyle built around what I percieved to be rejection of a government and culture that did not conform to their standards didn't interest me.
Initially I mostly worked as a dishwasher, bus boy, or gardener, with occasional short stints as a fisherman. Eventually I graduated to bartending and occasional jobs as a short orger cook which sustained me for my college years and into the first years of my efforts to become a writer.
I guess you can read the book for the rest.