OK, I’m sitting here wondering how to introduce myself. I have to do this, you know. I can’t simply hold forth in the public arena without some bona fides being shared.
I’m really nobody special except to my friends and family, but I’m pretty unique in that I’ve had a lot of really interesting adventures and experiences in my life that few people have had. I’m 68, have two sons, who, along with their wives, love me a lot, five grandchildren who love me even more, a great life partner and I live in the mountains above White Oaks—oh, and my ex-wife still likes me too!
Some of the experiences I draw from: I taught elementary school for 13 years (nine of those in a school I began and administered in Cerrillos/Madrid back in my hippie days—I gift ed it to the community and it thrived for another 23 years.
I lived in a dome I built south of Santa Fe, for 14 years with no water, phone or electricity, raising my boys, teaching at my school and learning coping skills I never thought I’d need—the part about no services, wasn’t by intent as in “living off the grid”—but life sometimes sends you interesting stuff to deal with. I also performed with a melodrama troupe for fun.
In 1984, back at the beginning of “The Epidemic,” I helped start two AIDS organizations—back then we’d get a client and, on average, had about six months more or less to get them hooked into whatever services they needed and then helped them prepare to die. I stopped counting when I got to 300.
Those years taught me a lot about life and death. I used to be pretty shy but suddenly this job thrust me onto the public stage—I was on television . . .