There was once a boy from New Orleans who thought too much about things and dreamed of traveling the world. He wanted to go everywhere, but he wanted to do so with a purpose, so he went to graduate school. That was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and led to a long love of the Great Lakes. This also led him around the world – Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Portugal, England, France … even Canada. He saw a lot of things and lived with a lot of people, from upper class socialites to people in shantytowns. Everywhere, he felt welcome, except in his own skin.
He did a lot of things in these places – mainly research and oral history – and he wrote about the things he found. But the academic career didn’t work out all that well. Something didn’t fit, and he wound up doing research for a big foundation in New York City. That was a nice move, and in this job he got to work with people all over the United States, one place he’d taken for granted during all those years of traveling abroad.
Funny thing was this – after he moved to New York and began going back to the Upper Midwest for the foundation research, he realized that he missed the Midwest. After Michigan, the jobs were in the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes Midwest and Iowa. And it was nice living there. All during the while, he had a son and discovered the joy of parenting, both with a good mom and then on his own when things changed. And then Hurricane Katrina wasted his hometown and going back there became painful.
By this time: Brooklyn was home. In the last year I decided to put it all on the line. I would become an entrepreneur. I am building a consultancy that works with storytelling, organizational development, and new media. I am building a non-profit organization and community that uses storytelling to bring people “the news” through the experiences of people who are living the big stories of our day. I am trying to write a book about the Wall Street crash from the perspective of people who were working there when it all came down.
truth and rocket science is an attempt to come to terms with myself and this story, albeit in a very oblique way. But that’s the best I can do. I welcome your comments and feedback and suggestions. My name is John, and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.