I STARTED LIFE IN LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA - HOME OF THE AMISH. & THAT FLAVORED EVERYTHING…
I was always a reader. Then, since the 7th grade when I discovered Punnett squares, I always considered myself a scientist. I was always a hard worker & I built houses as a carpenter before starting a driveway sealing business to help pay for college. At Boston University, I studied biochemistry & molecular biology while doing research in labs like studying the cochlear nucleus of gerbils & looking at the actin-binding functions of some aldolase isozymes. Though perhaps my best education was working at the Huntington Theater in the South End.
After school, I went to NYC to work in a mesenchymal stem cell lab at New York Medical College. Projects there involved the senescence of bone marrow stem cells & the renal effects of kidney stem cell apoptosis. I assisted in the discovery of a novel binding protein for the E2A protein using the Yeast II Hybrid system, co-authored three papers about this research & defended a poster at the American Society of Nephrology meeting.
But once I saved enough money, I hit the road. With my kid sister, we spent a year in India where she worked in Bollywood & I ended up as a writer on the March to Tibet: a four month protest march of Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople beginning in Dharamsala, going through New Delhi, and then on to the border. I wrote biographies of the marchers, articles for Western publications and one obituary for my friend. Because of India's laws against foreigners participating in political protests, I was arrested twice and finally deported.
Back in NYC, I made some money bartending while I spent my time on an existential crisis & a depression. To feel better, I spent the next years hitchhiking around the States. A nice pace of life with time to read in the woods & to listen to stories from your rides. Hitchhiking helped me to find the weird & interesting around this country: a burned out old hippy who preached a quiet & powerful two minute sermon on the love of the Virgin Mary, an ex-Marine who creates beautiful pieces of jade jewelry & of course, a Keourackian figure who shared his father's homemade sausage biscuit along with stories from a long life on the road.
Most recently, I spent four years on the road researching a graphic novel series about cannabis that eventually came to be based on Moby-Dick. I've completed 2 of the chapters - & now I’m working on the next 7.
Since then, I've gotten married, had a baby named Sofia, and started working in the CBD world as an educator. Life is good.