Being born in Yakima, Washington provides one such as myself a very diverse set of perspectives about the world that surrounds us. I was raised on a small orchard operation, clawed out of the sagebrush by my Grandma. I grew up with cherries, apricots, peaches, and DDT. Life was good in Yakima. We even had kazoos back them. For me there is a small knoll nestled between 2 hills that I call the "center of the world." Unfortuneately, I only see the center of the world from a distance today.
It is in Yakima that I began some of my early experiments in soil/plant relationships. Every summer I had a garden. There is just something special about homegrown foods. While my plantings were a success my Mother was unable to grow anything. I remember that last house plant she bought. It was a small philadendron. My Mom was careful not to over water or under water. But it died anyway. In fact all of her house plants died eventually. They just could handle the extra table salt I was adding to the soil. I concluded from a repeated series of experiments that salt kills. I didn't tell my Mother about the salt until after I left home.
After Yakima I moved to Moses Lake, Washington. In this village I learned about sugar beets and row crops. I graduated from Moses Lake High School. Still in Moses Lake I attended Big Bend Community College. After Big Bend I attended Washington State University. At WSU I received a B.S. degree in Range Management with a soils option and a M.S. degree in Forest and Range Management. My studies at WSU were at the height of my ecological era.
By this time I was addicted to academia. I applied for a research assistanstship at the University of Kentucky and began work on my Ph.D. This research was the beginning of my physiological era. By this time my addiction to academia had completely taken over my life. And where am I today, that's right at Green River Community College, teaching biology and environmental science.
I still pronounce Wa(r)shington using the invisible "r" dialect common to some Yakimaians. I get up at 4 in the morning. I hate, 4 in the morning but that is a part of the farm that I can't shake. I have a loving patient wife. Boy, does she have a job continuing my training. I have children graduating from college. And now more than ever I am a lover of life. I can't make you love life as much as I do. But I sure can show you how. It is time to get excited about BIOLOGY! Join me in a biomanicological era.
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