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Charlotte

Born in Charlotte, NC in the early seventies. Remember very little besides swim meets, and running feral in the woods of Park Road Park (later bisected and tamed by Park rd.) I remember owning a Green Machine; the SUV of BigWheels, and the terror of the neighborhood. It was my pride and joy later to be callously disposed of by my parents without my knowledge. I remember Jumping in leaf piles in the fall, sucking honeysuckle from plucked blossoms in spring, digging in the mud all summer, and snowball fights in crunchy, ice-glazed snow in winter. Attended Raggedy Ann and Andy Day Care Center, 1979-1983. My first best friend Michael Powers and I met there somewhere in '80-1. We dug many holes in the sandbox together, leading to my first confrontation with Authority over my right to dig said holes, considering that I had my mother's permission. My argument was rebutted and we were not to dig holes, as we would be a bad influence on other children who did not have there mother's permission to be digging holes. Mike and I still chat. He's now in the Navy defending us against "Them."

Winter Haven

The next several years are more of the same, conflicts with petty authority, being a dork nonetheless, Moving to Winter Haven, florida in '83 then Sarasota, FL in like '87 or something. In the interim I had continued to play (at) soccer and started Boyscouts. Built a box car derby car on advanced theoretical aerodynamic principles (later discovered to be completely, diametrically wrong, a shame I have never let myself forget). Started sailing somewhere in there. Camped a lot, and learned what never to do with a fire by much study. Also trained to shoot things, ride horses, camp in the woods with nothing, but mostly ending up camping in the woods with a lot of things, summer camps, lots of skiing, knee boarding, tubing down precisely 73 degree crystal clear rivers, and surprisingly not once getting eaten by an alligator.

Speaking of alligators, I might also mention my first business venture: selling salvaged golfballs, salvaged from water hazards around the course, where my friend Robert, who always made me look cautious and circumspect, and I would swim. There were several resident gators and known issues with copperheads. The runoff from the golfcourse made these ponds ecological disasters. Fully cognizant of these risks (we really were... just not with the reality of "dead"), we fished through often knee deep muck with our toes, occasionally cutting ourselves on glass and seashells, to recover golfballs. These we would then sell at the golf tees, diversifying our inventory with patented golfball specific cleasing products (which in itself was an ecological disaster, I learn in retrospect) which we ourselves used on our very owh stock. Seasonally we would sell three different sizes of pinecones. The most expensive being the "top leaf" baby pinecones which have to be actually harvested from the tops of trees. Due to low overhead, we turned a profit in our first quarter of operations and never once ran a deficit in several years of operation. We had a letterhead and everything.

Sarasota

In Sarasota I completed my Eagle Scout award, and was also in Sea Explorer Scouts. Sailed every weekend. Played intramural beach volleyball on Siesta Key beach, notorious for its "world's finest" sand. That stuff is like powered sugar, and in my travels I have never seen its equal. The feel of its crunch as I walked along the surf, alone on junior prom night after partying all night with my friends; beneith a near full moon, with a thunderstorm flashing on the horizon...

It was also at this time that I started sneaking out of the house at night and hanging out at pool halls. Strangely, it never occurred to me to ask for a beer. I guess that's why they didn't mind me hanging out at midnight with, in retrospect, a rather sketchy crowd. But I was just there to learn to play pool. I had bought a book and everything. Final note: I never did get a car at 16 like most kids, but somewhere around '88-9 I got kicked off the schoolbus for the last time and started riding my bike to school. I have been self-propelled ever since, moving from skateboard to rollerblades to mountain or roadbike as appropriate.

Charlotte, revisited

My mother was transferred back to Charlotte, so completing an eight year exile in Florida and in my senior year of high school, I transferred to East Mecklenburg HS where ultimately, I graduated--somewhere in the upper middle of my class. I skipped 21 days of school my junior and senior year of high school. As a senior at East Meck I was in Debate (at the insistance of Ms. Ross that I do Lincoln/Douglas style "values-based" debate.) and would often skip classes to go to the U. of NC, Charlotte library to do research. This was my first introduction to philosophy outside of a Monty Python sketch. It awakened a latent desire in me to know everything, and I am still chasing along that quixotic path. Since 1991 I have pursued a vigourous study of Analytical Philosophy, concentrating on Deconstructionism and Early Buddhism.

It was also at east mecklenburg that I met WiL and Beth. WiL came over to my house after school one day, having only been there once several months before, to check to see if I was okay after I had given blood and passed out. We've been best friends ever since. Beth introduced me to a solid 70 percent of the music I listen to, and made an artist out of me; years later she would bleach and style my hair into submission for the first time in its life.

Boone

I don't really remember boone...

On the Road to Seattle

After I successfully dropped out of school at Appalachian State University in Jan 1995. I embarked on a crazy, madcap adventure of which I will spare you the details. I moved to Asheville for a few months working fine dining, then took a train trip around the country. Back in Asheville, I helped found a short lived hippie collective, coulpa laps around the country by car, then I returned to school in Boulder, Colorado, attained a B.A. Environmental Design with a Concentration in Achitecture (a satisfyingly long title for a major), Moved to Seattle for a couple months in 1999, flew to India and Nepal for 10 1/2 months, back to the states, cross the country again, to Seattle where I worked for a flailing telecom startup doing Network Security Operations, Architecture and Firewall Management. I survived four rounds of layoffs. My last day was the Thursday between Friday the 13th and September 11th. I went to Thailand for a few weeks to regroup, and returned to Seattle. Which brings us to "recently."


 

 
All material contained herein, © Hudson Cress, 2003.  All rights reserved. All events are part of the elaborate illusion that is my reality.  I appologize if it occasionally strays too near the truth.