Monday, October 27, 2008

All you never wanted to know and more.

Well... I've had little luck with these things in the past. Its usually a bit like an old journal with about five entries and the rest blank pages. We'll see how it goes.
I guess I'll start with some background information.

I'm a family man first and foremost. Here we are:

Gibson, Frannie and Mitch

I grew up in Hudson OH, a small-ish, uppity, mostly quiet town somewhere between Cleveland and Akron. I spent most of my time in Hudson trying to stand out... as I was 6'4" with goofy hair and bizarre clothes, I did so with a good amount of success.

In High School I played Lacrosse, explored my fascination of music and spent entirely too much time drinking coffee at a local truck stop. I was lucky enough to see a good amount of live improvisational (hippie) music like The Grateful Dead and Phish. These musical experiences shaped the next several years of my life. I made some lifelong friends at this time with whom I try my best to keep in touch with.

We were at this show in Richfield Oh during the big blizzard of '93

In 1994 I moved to West Virginia to attend WVU. Unfortunately academics were pretty low on my list of priorities. At this time I made even more lifelong friends and learned a lot about myself. I was also able to develop my appreciation for the guitar.

After floundering around a few majors I decided to devote my energy to the one thing that interested me most, music. I studied jazz and classical guitar under Scott Elliot and was lucky enough to play in the WVU classical guitar ensemble and various jazz ensembles... with some very talented players.

Unfortunately graduation was not in the cards for me... yet.

I left school to enter the workforce. I moved to Dayton to work for my father where I eventually bought a small condo on Soliloquy Trail. Working for Dad at Maaco Auto painting I learned about the ins and outs of running a business and most importantly, I learned the delicate politics of dealing with employees and customers. Although I had achieved a certain amount of success in Dayton, I was not quite ready to settle down.

Around 2001 I moved back to West Virginia. I felt more at home in WV. Here I was able to play music with my friends which gave me a sense of identity. I got a job in a piano store, Keyboard World, where I was trained in the art of high-ticket retail sales. Keyboard World owner Ron Klientob was nice enough to send me to north Carolina to further study product demonstration and sales techniques at Kawai America corp.

At this time I was in a cool reggae band named Jahbone. I fully immersed myself in Reggae music and learned quite a bit about the music and culture. My roommate at the time had a home studio and our location allowed for all-hours practice so when inspiration struck we were able to maximize the experience.

After a while at Keyboard World I decided to try my hand at management. I became the General Manager of a small tanning salon in Morgantown. Out of character? a little bit, but I was able to further develop my leadership and problem solving skills and get some solid management experience. Managing a tanning salon was easy right? Not so much. We were located right on campus and saw a large volume of customers. I averaged about ten employees, most of which belonged to sororities. It's not easy to get a bunch of sorority girls to mop floors and clean bathrooms when all they are interested in is tanning.

Around this time I had the honor of playing with the Tom Batchelor Band. Tom was experienced in Roots, Rock and Reggae and had played with the legendary reggae band, Rasta Rafiki. In addition, Tom is a kind and nurturing teacher so this was a valuable musical learning experience for me.

Soon after playing with Tom Batchelor I met My beautiful wife Fran. We met on the cast of a community theater production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I played Chief and she played Nurse Ratchet. One day during a break we were walking to the Blue Moose to get coffee and she grabbed and held my hand. I was hooked.

Fran and I dated, and five friends and I co-founded a rock band named Thred. This was the first chance I had to really rock on guitar. Our music was primarily written by bassist, Adam Vanscoy. Lyrics were written by genius, and crazy man Brian Pickens. The music was rock, funk and dance oriented.

I also began working at the local brewery. The band practiced in the basement and was a hang out for us and our budding fan base. I really wanted to work with friends and was willing to start as a dishwasher. At the "Brew Pub" my work ethic stood out and I was soon moved to line cook status with some cleaning shifts on the side. The business was having tough times and was eventually taken over by Master Brewer, Ned Strauser. Ned believed in me and gave me the chance to bartend and help out in the brewery. Over the next two years I worked my way around the Brew Pub position by position ending up as the Night Supervisor.

It was at this time that Fran and I got married. We were married at Fran's home in Morgantown. It was a casual and easy-going wedding with friends and family... A real good time.

We honeymooned in Cancun. I think about it often, it was a beautiful trip.

Then came Gibbie.

All the floundering and soul searching ended with my marriage to Fran and the birth of my son Gibson. This is what it's all about for me.

So that's where I stand today. I'm back in school as an RBA with an area of emphasis in professional writing. I'm a full time family man. I'm no longer in a gigging band, but I'll have opportunities to play again eventually. I love learning and I love my family. I'm the luckiest man in the world.

Now that you know more than you ever wanted to and more about me, we can go on to some more normal journal type blog entries.

If you've read this far than you have already exceeded my expectations. This blog is intended mostly as a cathartic release for me... if someone wants to read it well that's great too.

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