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At this writing, I’m seventy years old. Some might think this is an age where one really shouldn’t be launching a writing career. But maybe it’s a better time. It has been a long life – a long, eventful and revealing life. Maybe others could have come across what I did without living it, but, even if that is so, there still seems to be a value in actually doing it.
My most important years were spent in San Francisco – forty of them. Those included attending law school at the University of San Francisco, time as a longshoreman and, at the pinnacle of my ambition then, as the Administrative Assistant to Harry Bridges, President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Still, the center of those years was my thirty two years as a practicing trial lawyer, beginning April fool’s Day, 1971 and ending in January of 2005. It was on this latter date that the California State Bar placed me on “inactive” status. I am breathless walking from one fence line to the other on this little plot of earth, but also when I realize that in those thirty two years I appeared and handled cases in jurisdictions all around the country and outside California, from Rhode Island and New York to Montana and Arizona. When I finally threw in the towel, my wife and I returned to the Portland area, where we had attended high school. There, we settled into a failing little farm and took to raising two Labrador pups. Finding farming very hard and hunting season short, I spent some time mulling over and writing about my practice as fiction. After all, being in San Francisco from 1965 until 2005 was like trying to enjoy a good bottle of wine and some pasta in the middle of a battle field.