Before I get too deep into this biography, I want everyone to know that I am not only acutely aware of how pretentious it is to have a website with my name as the address, but also how pompous it is to be writing my own biography! Given the website-based world we live in however, I am forced to join the growing list of people who have a website.
It is a daunting thing to write your own biography. What do you write about? Do you try to make yourself sound more interesting than you really are? If that is the case, I'd say that I read Shakespeare, take long walks in the rain, and like cool jazz. But, not only would that be inaccurate, it would further add to the pretentiousness!
I could go the safe, traditional route, and state the basics; I was born in San Francisco on November 16, 1960. I am a 1978 graduate of Oceana High School in Pacifica, Ca. I earned a B.S. in Management, and am a representative for a pharmaceutical company. I've been married to my wife, Editha since 1987, and I can truthfully say that if given the opportunity, I would marry her all over again. We have two kids, Geoffrey and Lindsey. We live in Elk Grove, Ca., attend St. Peter's Lutheran Church, and have a dog and a cat.
Is that too basic? Perhaps I should expand a bit.
While I am admittedly uncomfortable with self-promotion, I am not shy. I believe that people should conduct themselves honorably, and represent themselves honestly. Too often today, people tend to behave in a cowardly way, not standing up for what they believe, and pretending to be something that they are not.
When people refuse to stand up for themselves and what they believe in, they cease to be an individual. I am Christian, believe in traditional values, am conservative, defend my beliefs, and encourage spirited debate with those of differing views. Too many people today segregate themselves into left or right cocoons, and stay there, never wanting to see or hear what others have to say. We may not agree with each other, but I'll always respect someone who can rationally defend their position. I guess you can say that I admire those who aren't afraid to confront issues head-on, and have little regard for those who hide in the shadows.
I am also the product of the San Francisco Penninsula. As a coastal kid, I didn't realize it at the time, but I was lucky to grow up where and when I did. I have great memories of playing in the coastal hills, and on the beach, often on the same day! Summer vacation for us was usually spent wearing a coat or sweatshirt, to protect us from the typical cold summer weather.
We played in the leftover World War II bunkers and gun emplacements that were built to protect the coast from Japanese invasion. We raced down hillsides at ridiculous speeds on flattened cardboard boxes. We explored canyons, old, deserted buildings, and the beaches. We fished, crabbed, and picked through the flotsam and jetsam that regularly washed up on the beaches. There was always a pack of us, and we routinely did unsafe things that would make a mother turn white today.
It was a different time, unique to kids my age. While the Summer of Love was going on in San Francisco, we were blissfully ignorant of social change; throwbacks to the same type of childhoods that generations before us enjoyed. We were probably the last generation of wildly adventurous kids. The last lucky ones who didn't have a care in the world. That is how I remember it at least. Nothing is ever really as good as you remember it.
I have a memory of my home town, Pacifica, that is still idyllic. That memory is tarnished now and then whenever I visit. It bothers me to see houses being built in the hills where we used to play, and the gun emplacements gone. I don't like seeing the old theater gone, where I spent countless hours. I confess that I don't like change, even though I am aware that it is inevitable.
Yet, whenever my memories become tarnished, something inevitably happens each trip, that restores my idyllic vision. Except for the houses on one hill, the coastal range still looks the same. The morning fog still hides the hilltops, and the beaches, with their colossal points remain unchanged. The sea air is clean, and the wind is always crisp.
My memory is further brightened when I think that my wife also grew up in the same town. While her childhood experiences were different from mine, she is also a child of Pacifica. Even though we live far from the ocean now, we are always called back to it, and Pacifica. It's part of who we are, and who we will always be.
I hope that I have done justice to my hometown in Saving Grace. I should point out that Saving Grace is simply a fictional story, not a history text. I've done my best to be accurate, but I am sure I have made mistakes. One mistake however was made intentionally. I am aware that the Sea Vue Theater was not built until 1953. When I learned that it had been torn down, it bothered me so much, I added it to the story. I also think that the Pacifica of my imagination might be a bit more exciting than the real Pacifica of 1938.
While the Reverend Hershey character in the book is fictional, the Little Brown Church is not. I am proud to say that I was baptized in the Little Brown Church by Reverend Harkins. That building is the foundation of my faith, and has always held a special place in my heart. Not everyone can recall where their belief took root, but I can.
I'd like to say that I am as good a person as Jake Brodie is in the story, but I'm not. Jake has the virtue of being a fictional character, and therefore, finds himself better suited to resist mortal temptations than we are. Like Jake though, I am an imperfect creation of our fallen world, a flawed person, constantly seeking contrition.
Everyday we are faced with a test; right from wrong. Everyday we fail that test. But, unlike those who have turned their back on God, we have a champion who saves us everyday. Jesus gave his life to save ours. I am often inspired by a verse from one of my favorite hymns, "Let All Things Now Living" :
God's banners are o'er us, His light goes before us, A pillar of fire shining forth in the night.
Till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished, As forward we travel from light into light.
I find it uplifting to know that no matter how alone we feel, or how desperate the situation, God keeps the darkness from us. Our only requirement is that we believe.
Now that I am getting to the end of this biography, I find that it has turned into more of a blog. Now, I feel even more pretentious than I did when I started! So for my first biography, how did I do?
It is my sincere hope that you enjoy reading Saving Grace. I put a lot of effort into it, and I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.
"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men"