I was born and raised in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, on the Tennessee River, next door to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). I lived in the area back when Muscle Shoals was a big name in the recording business, somewhere between the late 1950s to the mid ‘80s. Fame Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound were the biggest recording studios there, you may have heard of them, although that was a few years ago.
I am a watercolor artist, photographer and writer. I have always wanted to be an artist, so I studied it in college, as well as music at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, also on the Tennessee River. But the Florence, Muscle Shoals area offered very little in advancement if you weren’t in the recording business or working for TVA, so I moved to Birmingham, Alabama and worked in a frame shop and pursued an art career. I then moved to south Florida and lived in the Florida Everglades and worked in Naples at a local frame shop there. I loved living in the Everglades, in a pretty primitive situation and I would love to go back.
My brother offered to let me live with him in Costa Rica. Since I wanted to see the rain forest and live even more primitively than I had in the Florida Everglades, I accepted his offer. I stayed there for 8 months, 7 kilometers south of Cahuita on the Talamanca coast. While I was there, I saw wildlife (a toucan, howler monkeys and a sloth) and insects I had never seen before, as well as the biggest tree I had ever seen, about 15 feet across, or so I was told. I fell in love with Costa Rica, in spite of all the creatures that most civilized people would be horrified with (was bitten by a scorpion three days before I flew out of San José), and I will always want to return one day.
After four and a half years in Oregon, trying to please people who couldn’t be pleased, I have decided to try a life in Columbia, Tennessee, where I have family. I still may try to make it to Florida or Costa Rica.