1. My father grew up as a farmer and became a salesman. He was a brilliant character actor and storyteller who aspired to be a person of the arts. My mother divorced him when he went to prison for molesting little girls. She eventually remarried a decent enough man who didn’t much care for her children. He was a businessman who eventually became CEO of a mutual fund. Those bare facts are the underground river in all my development, and likely influenced even my recent division of the nation into various tribes, each of which sees life quite differently (Arts & Humanities, Science & Technology, Business, Government & Union, God & Country are some primary American tribes)
2. I was also a character actor when I was young. Jacques Roux, the insane priest in "Marat-Sade," Nana the dog in "Peter Pan," and a host of other drunks, quacks, and clowns. I seemed to end up on the floor a lot. I never got to kiss the girl.
3. I met my wife on the first day of classes freshman year at William and Mary in 1971, though we did not start dating for several years. We discussed possible names for children on our second date. With all those ridiculously romantic Williamsburg backdrops available, I was nonetheless stupid enough to propose to her in my dorm room – bed unmade, laundry scattered on the floor. When my oldest son visited W&M he agreed that his dad had been a complete loser in this regard. When he proposed to Heidi, he was brilliant.
4. I love maps – could look at them for hours. I absorb them and carry them around in my head, which frustrates me when my driving navigators are looking at another part of the map – fifty miles ahead or behind what I am talking about now, and telling me I’ve got it wrong. My children all remember at least one time when I corrected them but they turned out right. They lie. They were looking at slightly different parts of the map and wouldn’t listen.
5. It puzzles me that I mention CS Lewis so little on this site. I am unable to get through any discussion about the faith without referencing him at least once, yet he barely comes up here. I have been at times a Lewis fanatic and he is never very far from my thoughts.