Brief Autobiography (2018)
I am a single (divorced 1990 from ex now deceased 2016) old man born in 1940, raised in south Arkansas, mostly in the town of El Dorado, 14 miles from the Louisiana line.
After Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma (where my father managed a Froug’s Department Store) I spent three semesters at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and transferred to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas when my parents moved back to Arkansas and I became an out of state student at Oklahoma – too expensive!
After not making the grades in pre-med, I debated over a profession in Social Work or with the church, with “helping people” my main goal all that time. A visit to a “real” male social worker in Little Rock overwhelmed with paperwork and a heavy caseload convinced me it would not be that! So I went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth (long before Paige Patterson ruined its reputation) and graduated with a masters in religious education, becoming a full-time youth minister in churches in Texas and Florida until I was asked to be the national consultant for the youth program of Royal Ambassadors, the mission education program for Southern Baptist boys in which I excelled.
I traveled the nation training volunteers for 6 years in that role during which
time I married a girl from Dallas and my last church there, Virginia Ann “Ginger” Hearn. Of course she did not like me traveling and after our son was born I went back to Dallas as a Minister of Education in a local church and she liked that even less. (Living in a “Glass House”) So after 2 years I went to Nashville as an editor of youth discipleship materials at the then Baptist Sunday School Board, which later became LifeWay Christian Resources. 22 years there in multiple roles, observing the “conservative takeover” that caused a diminished ministry & business. I was caught in one of the many “downsizings” and was given early retirement in 1999 at age 59.
The pension was less than half my salary and no Social Security for 3 more years! I was also now divorced, Ginger leaving me and two kids (one dying in ’97) for Texas in 1991, meaning I could no longer work for a Baptist church and who else would hire a 59 year old divorcee who had only worked for Baptists? But God opened a door for me to finally be a missionary (my desire/calling since high school) as the short-term Business Facilitator for the Southern Baptist Mission in The Gambia, West Africa for a specified 3 years, exactly the length of job needed to receive Social Security at age 62. Many stories about all of the above are included on other pages in this website.
I worked and traveled in West Africa for three years or through 2002 when I could get Social Security and returned to Nashville in full retirement. I tried selling nature photos for a while in arts & crafts fairs and galleries , but neither practical nor profitable! I enjoyed life living in downtown Nashville in row houses with mostly young adults, bicycling all over town until I thought I was too old and moved into McKendree Village, an independent living retirement center that took most of my money, making much travel more difficult. Plus I got tired of stepping over all the walkers in the dining room and hearing about ailments. I
ultimately decided to move my retirement to Costa Rica where I would live on a constant nature photography trip! BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! This blog documents that decision beginning in 2014 and many of the experiences since then. For more about my life, see both the Biography Books page and the Little Bios & Resumes page and all other subpages under About..
Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.
Nature photography with a major focus on birds is my main activity now. I travel to a new place in Costa Rica about once a month for 5-7 days at a time and have documented every one of these trips with photos herewith. Enjoy!
What an exciting life I have lived!