I zigged when I should have zagged. Maybe that should be the title of my memoirs.
I was born in Madrid, Spain in 1947 to an American father and a Swedish mother. My dad was a spook (OSS) in Spain during WWII. He met my mother, who split her time between Sweden and Spain, where her father, a Swedish engineer, had a company selling agricultural motors to a country that was recovering from a civil war.
During my first 18 years we lived in Spain, England, Morocco, and the Philippines and I studied in British, Swedish, Spanish and American schools. It was a bit confusing.
Something happened when I was about 12, that dictated the course of my life, so to speak. I turned in a writing essay in English to my teacher. The next day she called me in and berated me, for having spelled “attack” in three different incorrect ways throughout the essay.
“You will never be a writer.” She said.
She dismissed me before I could tell her I spoke 3 languages and English wasn’t my mother tongue. I took her at her word however, but I never forgot how upset I became when she told me.
In 1965 I decided to go to the United States and join the U.S. Marine Corps. (The reasons, I may talk about in a book someday.) I went to flight school and graduated in ’67 as a 2nd Lt in the USMC and a Naval Aviator. Not having read American newspapers in Europe, and CNN not having been invented yet, I did not know anything about Vietnam, other than the French fought a war in Indochine when I was young. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I was going to be spending the next 13 months “in-country”, as they called it. As you may surmise, I survived my tour of duty, no thanks to me (there is another book here someday).
After my discharge from the USMC, I went to Andros Island in the Bahamas and spent a year diving with Archie Forfar and his guests. (Maybe a book here too) When my money ran out, I went to New York City to visit my friend David Weir, and mooch a few meals from him till I could figure out the next chapter of my saga. David was a stockbroker and he managed to land me a job at a desk next to him in Bache & Co. in Manhattan. The plan was to be a stockbroker until I could find my true calling.
It took me 40 years of traveling around the world, to discover that my English teacher was wrong. I love writing. I always have. Fortunately I now have a wide gamut of life experiences to draw from in my new career (and spellchecker too). Along the way, I fell in love with cars, boats, and planes. Oh, and I should not forget women. I love women. I have been married 3 times and have four wonderful children, a daughter and three sons.
A few years ago I was living in Los Angeles and my life changed dramatically. I had a small stroke, got divorced, and left L.A. The following year, while visiting San Miguel de Allende, in central Mexico, I met a beautiful Canadian lady and convinced her to marry me.
Keep coming back, it gets better.