I grew up in the small town in the foothills of Southern Ohio. I can tell you, those days were rough. I mean really rough. Some of my memories are not pleasant while others are precious to me. The first memory I recall, and I often visit this one, was when I’m dancing around in the rain next to a dilapidated house, and barn. I have soap running down over my face, and my brother, my sister and my mom all look the same. We are dressed in our underwear, and we are taking a shower. There was no running water inside, and when it did run it ran rust red. The plumber had come out a few times, and Mom got help once from a friend who cut his hand pretty bad on the plumbing. I don’t know what the issue was nor did I know what to do about it. Mom was handling it. I was six years old, I was happy, and I was having fun taking a shower in the rain. This is a precious memory for me, but some of you might be wondering why we were taking showers outside if our water worked sometimes. Well, the water didn’t work most of the time at this house on Apple Road which sat on an open field between the Ohio River and the train tracks. We also were poor, dirt poor, in the sense of what poor really means.
Inside the flooring of the house had rotted out. As soon as you stepped through the front door, your foot went down over the edge of the door frame. The front room had no television, no couch; I think there was a chair in the corner, and carpet was laid over top the dirt floor. I recall having to sleep on a mattress on the dirt floor, well there was a carpet under us, and we had rats, lots of rats. I liked to read when I was young, and I use to open up books even at the age of six to see what was inside. Well one day at Apple Road, I opened a book and a dead stinky rat was inside. Gross! That was not a precious memory, but I still remember it.
It didn’t stop there either. We did get help from Mom’s family. My Uncle Ray and Aunt Alma, God bless them, had come out to get us from Apple Road, to move us out of there and put us into a proper place in New Boston, Oh. I heard from mom that years before Apple Road, when I was just a babe it was tough too – all those years of not having enough to eat, moving around from place to place. Mom told me one time we only had a few slices of bread, some peanut butter, and a little milk to feed us. I don’t know how long the food would last – but it sounded like it might be a week or more before she was able to get more money to buy more food. Well, her boyfriend decided to come over that day, I think he broke into the house because Mom wouldn’t let him inside, and he ate all our food. I don’t remember this at all – but I have the memory because my Mom told me. Thanks Mom, love you. I hope that guy changed his life around. I mean come on, taking the last bit of food from the mouth of babes? Really? I am not angry at this person, and I do hope he’s turned around and is helping others.
There’s more, much more – but I don’t want to let it all out here. Well, maybe one more. I remember when I between the ages of fifteen and sixteen. Mom had a hard time keeping work, we’d gotten off welfare the year or two prior. My mom was proud, and didn’t like the stigma of being on welfare nor did I when I got older, but I tell you it was better than where were now. Dead of winter, the electric shut off because we couldn’t pay it and temperatures in the low teens. It was freezing inside – so cold I could see my own breath, so cold that I shivered all over when I took a shower, the water was frigid. Thanks for Charlotte, God bless her, and Tom, for bringing over a kerosene heater for us to heat the front room. God bless them a thousand times. Truly loving people – and my mom’s family would have helped if they had known which they did eventually find out later when my Aunt Sharon came to get me and my mom the summer after my ninth grade year, and move us to Florida. God bless my Aunt Sharon a thousand times over, and her husband Ray. Love you all. I can’t say enough to the people in my life, those who helped us along the way: Uncle Ray, Uncle Lloyd, Uncle Mike, Uncle Bob, Aunt Sharon, Aunt Janet, Aunt Ginny, Charlotte and Tom, Aunt Linda, and so many others. If I didn’t name you, let me know, because I want to be sure I’ve thanked you all. People with loving hearts, a willingness to help, to give, and share. Love you all. I never forget, never. I am who I am because of all of you, and while I’m not perfect, I’m trying to follow your lead. And let’s not forget about Grandma, Mammaw we called her, my mom’s mom. The best and I am grateful for all she gave, and all she did, and all the love she had for us. She’s passed on, many years back and so have some of my other uncles and aunts but I know they are with God, and I love them all.
More about me:
I grew up in a small town in the foothills of Southern Ohio along the Ohio River. The hills with their wooded landscape and rarely traveled paths gave me space for my creative mind to create worlds to explore.
Raised by a single mother of three we learned to make do with what little we had. I gained through this beginning a different perspective on life which has pushed me to provide for my wife, Lydia and my two adopted sons from Russia, Alexander and William.
I’m passionate about creating technology focused science fiction with human elements. I am equally passionate about writing inspirational, fantasy, and supernatural fiction. It all appeals to me but for me it’s how people are, how they act with one another which amazes me . The stories we all enjoy is a bond we share. I wish to contribute to this bonding of souls across the entire world.