When asked about myself I often reply, “If you look back at the footprints in the sand, it’s not surprising that you’re standing right here.”
The Bryan Chronicles.
I grew up in Waukegan, Illinois. I always felt the city slogan should have been “a great place to be from.” I’m really happy I grew up there and no matter where I live it will always be my true home. My parents were educators, my father taught honors English at Waukegan High School, was a retired military officer and a writer. My mom left teaching and stayed at home after my sister was born
When asked what I was like growing up, I typically say, “I was a handful.”
I was a real pain in the ass for my parents. Not in some criminal way, but I was overly inquisitive, extremely imaginative and highly energetic which meant they had to have a Herculean amount of patience.
I got into all sorts of mischief. I took my crib apart and there seems to be photographic evidence to prove it. Or like the time I took my stroller apart while I was being wheeled down the street by my sister, or maybe that time I fell into the basement excavation behind our house, or perhaps that time…
My parents strongly encouraged my sister and I to be free and independent thinkers and introduced us to art, music, theater, and film. I remember our Sunday afternoon ritual of watching Family Classics on WGN-TV hosted by Frazier Thomas. MOBY DICK, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE, BEN HUR, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, OLD YELLER and SINK THE BISMARK were just some of the classic films we watched. My mom’s parents had a small farm near Plymouth, Wisconsin, and when ever we would go to visit we would often stop at the Warner Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the way home to see films like MARY POPPINS or THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The Warner Theater was one of those grand movie palaces and it was always a treat to see a movie there.
I spent a lot of time with my grandparents at their farm and learned a lot there.
TO BE CONTINUED…