about putting together this page,
I'm reminded of what they told us about writing our own service
resume at the end of Peace Corps service, something like "make
it good, don't hold back on the shameless self-promotion, because
in the real world it isn't often you get to write your own letter
of recommendation." So, following that thought now, I'm going
to carefully avoid all my bad points, like being an old guy who's
worried about his weight and struggling with great difficulty to
put his finances and love life options in perspective and make some
sense out of this chaos called life in which he, perpetually perplexed,
finds himself. (Uh oh, did I really say all that? I already broke
the rule . . . .) What the heck, people don't need to hear about
it, they know more than they want about struggle already from their
own lives! So following that old advice, and in the best spirit
of self-aggrandizement, I'm going to show only the best from here
on out. It makes me feel good to look at it that way, while dealing
day-to-day with the other stuff. If you wanta get to know the real
me better, you can e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This website is definitely a work in progress, & this is just
the beginning . . . .
a Montalbano, but also a Greer/McGregor/McKay. While grandparents
on my father's side came to the U.S. from Sicily (see documents
and Montalbano tourist data), on our Scotch-Irish mom's side
she said we trace back to officers in the U.S. Revolutionary War:
liberal mom coulda been a member of not just the Daughters of the
American Revolution, but the Colonial Dames! She also told us we
have Cherokee in our blood, which is a clear possibility, as the
"Trail of Tears" went right through Benton and Washington
Counties in Arkansas, where she grew up, and it ended not far from
there. Dad claimed that his side is a noble family that can trace
ancestry back to Charlemagne. While that's probably a bit of a stretch,
Dad did on occasion act imperial, or at least imperious.
I'm a California guy (S.F. Bay Area) who likes to write, read, play
music, study languages, hike in the Sierras,
swim and dive, ride bikes (mostly the motorless kind), and play
around with computers. Actually, the computer thing is how I make
my living now and since 1995, as a database programmer for the Genetics
Department at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. Before that, my primary
business was pretty much only playing music around the U.S. and
the world for 20 years--I'm a commercial/jazz trumpet player, singer,
and bandleader--oh yes, and raising my 2 beautiful kids, Maren
probably my most important occupation ever. My three big male role
models are Mohandas
Schweitzer, and Louis
Armstrong. The odds are pretty high that I'm the only person
in the world who has a Louis Armstrong-autographed copy of Virgil's
I'm also a great admirer of women . . . oops, that doesn't sound
quite entirely how I intended, huh? Yes, I do like women generally,
but also admire strong, positive, progressive-minded women. Some
writers I especially like are A.S.Byatt,
Barbara Kingsolver, Doris
Lessing (though I think she doesn't understand Satchmo very
well), and the great New Orleans mystery writer Julie
Right now I'm pretty obsessed with mastering the Thai
language . . .เราก็รักภาษาไทย
but you won't be able to see that right unless your browser has
Thai Language encoding enabled. Try Tools - Internet Options - Languages
- Add - Thai, and if that doesn't work, go to View - Encoding .
. . if you don't see Thai listed, from the View menu choose "More"
and you should get a list of languages again, including Thai, which
you will choose, won't you? Sorry it's so complex, but give 'em
a few years. Anyhow it means "I love Thai and Thailand a lotttttt!"
Some highlights of my music career so far have been
to play, however briefly it was to last, in Earl "Fatha"
Hines' last band, and indeed at that great man's final gig in
this world . . . and at his memorial service at Grace Cathedral,
in as the temporary leader of the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans
on the tragically sudden death of the powerful trumpeter Frank
in a big band backing up Ella Fitzgerald, and getting to hang
out with her backstage.
for, then backing up, the Temptations, with my own big band
the world as musical director
on Royal Viking Line cruise ships for a year
New Year's Eve and the first two weeks of 1992 with my own band
at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
in time, there were some lost years there in the 70s where I was
a hippie of sorts, smoked too much grass, and got deeply involved
in communal living & rock bands, bands, health restaurants,
schools, you name it . . . was director of an alternative high school
called Shasta, in Magical Marin County, for a year. Now that last
was kind of cool--we were just too broke. If my grant proposal had
gotten funded, I might still be there today, and . . .
oh, I almost forgot . . . just before my daughter was born
I ran away with the circus
for 7 months. I kid you not.
But before that,
in the wild and crazy 60's, were a couple of comparative literature
degrees from my beloved U.C.
Berkeley, (and I can't leave out my time with the Cal
Band!), two years as an English teacher in Peace
Corps Thailand, and the happiest year of my life, a year in
Europe where I turned 20 years old, which included a summer at the
Sorbonne and 9 months at a small liberal arts college high in the
Alps whose founding was inspired by the work and teachings of Albert
Schweitzer, called simply "Albert Schweitzer College."
Sadly, that wonderful institution is no more.
So far it's
been a very cool life, with periods of great, great difficulty.
Feels like I haven't peaked yet . . . !?!
For those who have visited the site,
the guestbook I had right here didn't seem to want to work right--but
now, I think I've got it figured out! to sign/read my new guestbook,
please click here . . .