I was born in 1951, in Louisville Kentucky, and attended school there until the beginning of my eigth grade year when my dear Mother said so long to my alcoholic father, and we moved back to her birthplace in Laurel County Kentucky to live with my Grandparents.

I loved Laurel County, and still do.   I spent many summers there.  Often taking the Greyhound bus… a near six hour ride in those days before the Interstate Highway System opened that country up.  The driver would let me off onto Highway 25, about 3/4 of a mile from my Grandpa’s place (they won’t do that anymore), and I’d walk the rest of the way.

My Grandpa’s place was about a half mile from Levi Jackson State Park, a stones throw from the Laurel River, and less than four hundred yards from the Wilderness Road, the early gateway into Kentucky where over two-hundred thousand settlers, after coming through Cumberland Gap, flooded down into what was then called the meadowlands, now known as the bluegrass.

I am descended from some of the earliest settlers to come into Kentucky.  Many had fought in the revolutionary war and received land grants from the then benign federal government in appreciation for their services during the revolution.  They  migrated from the Carolinas, and Virginia where there families had already lived for generations.

A few of my ancestors came to this country with land grants from the King of England for services rendered to the crown, but most came here as indentured servants, in search of a better life for themselves and their families once their indenture was complete.  For those that don’t know.  An indenture is a form of slavery that one voluntarily submits to for a specified period of time.  During ones indenture, the fruits of your labor accrue to your master, but when the indenture was over, you were a free man, able to own property and make your own way.

The majority of these men and women were of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  Protestant transplants to Ulster from Wales and England in the 1600’s to help civilize the wild Irishmen, they were pushed off their rented lands about a hundred years later,  and many of them emigrated to the thriving seaboard of America.  As they earned their freedom, they pushed westward into the wilderness where lands were plenty.  For the most part they lived isolated, independent lives free from the edicts of the King, whom most despised, and away from the landed gentry of the seaboard.  They were independent minded, self reliant subsistence farmers that had little use for those that might tell them how to live.

I am a product of these people, and have many of their qualities…  A healthy suspicion of government, a strong drive to succeed at any goal that I set for myself, an independence of character, a strong streak of contrariness that on occasion borders on orneriness, a love for family and community, and a desire for self expression.

I have more degrees than a man needs, my highest being a Masters Degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Columbia University, and currently work in Boston, MA (the birthplace of American Liberty, or so they say).  I reside in Vermont with my wife and oldest friend, Linda, and daughters Catie and Maggie.  And, oh yeah, let’s not forget the three dogs.  Jake, Finn, and Dixie and our cats Abbie and Jack…  Let me tell you, my life is rich, traveling with this crowd.  Friends and family… that’s what its all about folks.