I have coffee most every morning at my “office” – a small table in a 1920s style restaurant and hotel called the Olympic Club in Centralia, Washington. Visitors assume I work there, some think I am the manager. I direct people to the bathrooms – the urinals in this place are a tourist attraction all by themselves. This is where I write. The chaos and atmosphere prepare me for the day, and everyone in town knows if you need to talk to me, just drop by the “Oly Club.”
Most don’t know that I have a master’s degree in business, and have run my own technology company for nearly twenty of my last forty working years. I won a national championship on horseback, raced sailboats, wrestled octopus, baby-sat a killer whale, and once was a cook on a salmon purse seiner.
I have read “A Soldier’s Burial” aloud over General Patton’s grave in Luxembourg, and said a prayer of thanks at the very spot at Margaret in Belgium where the German panzers were stopped outside Bastogne. I cried on Omaha Beach in Normandy and in the gas chamber at Dachau. I wear a silver Stetson and boots when I travel and answer to “Hey, cowboy!’ in several languages.
I have led an interesting life – married thirty-plus years, have three children, five grandchildren, and twenty-five foster children. I am now free to pursue my passion for writing – especially about the two great wars of the twentieth century. I cherish my role as “author-in-residence,” or that crazy guy at the table by the urinals – it depends on your perspective.