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Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve always felt grateful to have the privilege of living in what I consider one of the most beautiful places in the country, if not the world.  I’ve had the pleasure of living in several places throughout this country, and some pretty phenomenal places at that, I mean I spent 16 years in San Francisco!.  But I’ve always enjoyed coming home, and 8 years ago, finally “moving” home after years living in California.  I spent my childhood in Oregon, specifically a little town southwest of Portland called Molalla, named after the Molalla River, a tributary of the Willamette River. The Molalla River was named for Molala , A Native American Tribe that once lived in the area. I lived there as a young child, I remember it being a small town, , other than every 4th of July, we’d attend the Molalla Buckaroo Rodeo, and swimming in the river on hot summer days.  Molalla was a logging town, with a few thousand people..maybe.. but it was home, and not a bad place to grow up as a kid in the 70′s.

In 1980, my folks moved us to another sleepy little Oregon town, Grants Pass, a little further south, almost an hour north of the California border.  My Mom and Dad both grew up in Southern Oregon, and so to them, it was like going home.

Like Molalla, a river ran through it, actually two.. the mighty Rogue River, and the sleepy Applegate River, Both provided countless summer memories for a teenage boy and his friends.

Fast forward to 1982, I’m getting ready to graduate from High School, I’m engaged to a girl named Kitty, and am figuring I’d end up getting a job in a Lumber Mill, and have a kid or two.  Most of my High School friends ended up doing something pretty close to that.  For me though, I felt that something was missing, wasn’t able to really figure that out, but I felt that I needed to go, so I joined the US Navy and shortly after, realized what was “missing”.  I discovered that I might be a little Gay, ok.. a lot Gay.  I went home on leave, broke it off with Kitty and spent the majority of my 20′s figuring my stuff out.  Some 20 years later I’d eventually come out to her, to which she replied “Duh, I knew that when we were in High School”, sure would have been nice if you clued me in!

I spent my active duty enlistment in Portsmouth Virginia, at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, after I was “honorably” discharged (even before “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell) I moved to California, San Jose to be exact, the Family had moved there, my Dad was making good money as a Roofing Contractor, and well, I needed a place to live.  In 1988 after a very painful, yet rewarding period of self-discovery, I had an opportunity to move back to Oregon, My folks place, which they had rented out when they moved to California, needed some TLC after the renters had trashed the place, It was a perfect excuse for me to move away further away from my folks, and still not have to pay rent.  Now, this might not have been the wisest idea I’ve had, I’m a now 20-something year old Gay Man moving to what I used to call “Marlboro Country” where the likes of someone like me, just didn’t fit it… so back into the closet I went.  Remember, this was the late 80′s.. Gay wasn’t cool yet, especially in Grants Pass Oregon.

The Grants Pass Caveman Statue 

Something really amazing did happen during my time back home in Southern Oregon, I found what would become one of my life passions, of all things.. Performing Stand Up Comedy.  After a few co-workers and my Brother Dave poked me in the ribs with a stick, and said you should do stand up comedy, I gave it a shot.  There was a little Jazz club in Ashland Oregon that had an open mic.  My Brother and I wrote out my first comedy set while sitting in a Denny’s on the North end of Grants Pass, smoking cigarettes and drinking bad diner coffee.  I went up on stage, and.. had a pretty good set.. People laughed, I felt the rush, and instantly got hooked.  

One would think Grants Pass was the place to get noticed as a novice Comic..said nobody ever.. so I eventually decided my next move.. To Portland, not nearly as scary as Hollywood, and a lot better opportunity than I had in Hicksville.

So, off to Portland I went, and dove right into the Comedy and theater scene, which was pretty vibrant at the time.

  I spent 5 years in Portland,

performing Stand up, performing in Musical Theater, kissing boys, and working a day job here and there, basically living my authentic life.  after 5 exciting years, without going into the drama of it all, I ended up having a nasty breakup with an alcoholic ballet dancer and I decided to head south, it was the next logical move.. HOLLYWOOD!.. but then I got scared, the stories I heard about the cut-throat show-biz..and pretty much I didn’t know a soul.. so I opted for a safer, easier move, and moved to the San Francisco Bay where I had extended family and a couple of friends already but told myself, I would stay only for 2 years,and “Then” I would dive into Hollywood and become a STAR!!  16 years later, and only giving LA a shot for, and I kid you not, 30 days.. With no regrets in 2011 I moved back home to the Pacific Northwest, Seattle to be exact, where I live now with my amazing husband, and our furry little psycho-kitties, Finn and Jake.  I never did make a full-on “Living” as a comic, but I did well in San Francisco, and oddly enough found another career that would become my life’s work, which I am still doing to this day.  I still love to perform and do so every so often.  It was here in Seattle I think where two more passions would show themselves, Travel and food.. I mean, I have always enjoyed both, and certainly ate (obviously) before moving here, and did do some travel, but it was here and now, in recent years that I was able to experience more of it, and certainly developed a stronger appreciation for fine dining, the art of cooking and a healthy wanderlust.

I knew this country was breathtaking, the green, lush landscape, clean air, beautiful mountains, and stunning bodies of water from Alaska to Oregon, and now I get to explore it to the fullest, all I have to do is go outside, 10 minutes to a few hours drive and I’m in awe of what Mother Nature has done with the place.

From here, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves..

Lake Washington, I can walk to here from my house.

My Neighborhood, Madison Valley.

My Neighborhood in the Fall

Lake Washington and Mount Rainier.

Highway 520 floating bridge

A Majestic Bald Eagle,overlooking South Lake Union, Gas Works Park, Seattle WA.

South Lake Union, from Gas Works Park, Seattle WA

South Lake Union

The Seattle Skyline at night from the Puget Sound.

Seattle and the Puget Sound

The view from the Space Needle.

and since I mentioned it :)

a perfect shot in the middle of the Sound.

The Puget Sound near Bellingham Washington, off of the scenic Chuckanut Drive

More from Chuckanut Drive.

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.

San Juan Islands

San Juan Island

Did I mention Mount Rainier? (From Lake Washington

Bainbridge Island at Sunset

Mount Baker National Forest.

On the train to Portland, (can’t remember what river this is)

South Puget Sound

Point No Point Light House.

The Narrows Bridge, Tacoma, WA. 

Columbia River Gorge… and Mikey :)

Columbia Gorge, Eastern Washington

The Puget Sound, My Happy Place..  Thanks for visiting :)


Forest Buddha meditating between two white birch trees, grass, Broadview, Seattle, Washington, USA by Wonderlane