When I was very young, we moved up to a farm in East Texas where my pop’s father lived. He was getting older and my father, the baby, wanted to make sure my grandfather had someone close by.
This turned into the home where I was raised – a little settlement called Cairo Springs. My pop’s family had attended a small one room school not far away which had a natural spring bubbling up from inside a tree trunk – Cairo Spring.
It was deep in the country at that time and I didn’t live close enough to town to play with my friends. Naturally, since we have family living all around – my formation was amidst the Stanley’s. We were a proud lot – much like the Texas Pride.
I remember some of my best times were camping back on the Neches River or going to the Lakes when my pop took time away from work – Iron Worker Local 125 – which wasn’t very often. But we loved the time together. Normally, someone from my mom’s side would meet us and camp.
School was as you’d expect – small classes with wonderful teachers who could swing a mean paddle. I still learned a lot in those small, hot rooms with tower fans – no a/c for us.
Early on my best friend was Kathy Franklin (since married to Rick Anderson). We told people we were brother and sister separated early in life only to find each other in the second grade in Buna, Texas, of all places. We remained friends for life.
Kevin Sullivan was next best buddy for a short time because he moved away after a year.
Eventually, David Schalchlin moved to town and we became best friends for life. We did everything together – some good and some bad. His father was a preacher, so I visited their church – which helped form my preaching style.
I ran track for a year in college, was injured, joined the Coast Guard, worked in the oil fields in East Texas, married and during my RCIA with my fiancé I fell in love with my faith once again.
Eventually, I was invited to inquire to the Diaconate. I somehow made it through seven years of formation and was ordained a permanent deacon February 12, 2011.
I was appointed Leader of Pastoral Care Ministry at Prince of Peace Catholic Community after ordination by Fr John Keller (one of the finest men I’ve ever known). My ministry style was completely formed under his tutelage.
I am the father of three wonderful children – Sarah, Aaron, and Rebekah – each very artistic. I, on the other hand, am not artistic in any way. After the youngest graduated, I found myself alone. My former wife found herself wanting to do other things.
It was my faith and the people of Prince of Peace who got me through that time. It didn’t hurt that I had two Golden Retrievers and a cat.
Ultimately, everything formed me and sent me here – to this blog where I get to visit and meet – electronically – all kinds of new friends.
When I am told to retire, I have every intention of buying a year-round RV and traveling. Maybe, I will continue to write if people are willing to read. If not, I will seek God in all the beauty that is this country.
This is who you are reading.