I created this video tribute to my family:
I was never that "popular" in school; I was not really accepted by the mainstream. When I was 11 years old, in the 6th grade, I started playing clarinet in the band; this began my life as a musician. By the time I was in high school, I was pretty good at it. I was principal clarinetist in the Houston Youth Symphony from 1971-1975, and was in the Texas All-State Band in 1975; I also won a bunch of medals at solo and ensemble competitions. I started playing saxophone in my high school jazz band in 1974, my junior year.
I graduated from Galena Park High School in 1975, and began my college career at The University Of Houston the following fall. I was a music major for three semesters at U of H when I dropped out. I thought that I didn't need an education, that I was going to become a rock star. I actually did play in some bands, but I never hit the big time.
In 1979, I started driving a cab, which was supposed to be temporary, but ended up being what I have done most of my adult life. I always knew that I had the potential to do more with my life. I still had this dream of making it as a musician
I went to Austin Community College and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Commercial Music Management. I looked for a job for a whole year, only to discover that all the jobs in the music business were in Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville. I would have to move to one of these cities to look for a job, if I found one at all, and that required something that I did not have—money.
I really am a good musician. I have a good voice and I am a good clarinet and saxophone player and songwriter, but music, like most of the fine arts, is a very difficult career in which to find financial success. I discovered that it takes much more than talent to succeed in the commercial music business. The music business is very corrupt and sleazy—there is a lot of drug use and other immoral activities. Work and play become one and the same, and very often success in the music industry depends on who you know, get high with, sleep with, etc. There are a lot of successful recording artists that are not even very good musicians, and a lot of great musicians who never make it because they refuse to compromise themselves.
I then decided to attend Southwest Texas State University as an English major. While in school, I discovered that I had another talent - writing. I have written several academic papers that I have posted on my web page. I graduated in August 1999 with a BA in English with a Psychology minor.
I am now a life-time member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and designed a web page for the SWT chapter. I was the SWT chapter president of Sigma Tau Delta my last year as an undergraduate.
I was married in 1984, and divorced in 1999—that's a long story. I have since met my soulmate, a very special lady named Dorothy, and we were married on March 17, 2001.
I was stricken with Parkinson's Disease in 2006, which rendered both of my hands virtually useless, ending forever my ability to play musical instruments. PD also affects my ability to speak; therefore I can no longer sing. I have had extensive treatment for PD, including brain surgery, and my symptoms have improved quite a bit. I bought a saxophone and I am using it for motor skill therapy.
I returned to my alma mater in September 2007, although the name has changed to Texas State University San Marcos. On May 12, 2012 I was awarded a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition.
On May 24, 2012 Dorothy and I successfully relocated to Brownsville, Texas.
You may be thinking "I thought he said this was going to be the short version." Trust me, there were a lot of things that I left out, or that I said very little about. I'm not into total catharsis with a bunch of strangers. I will continue to work on my web page and you can know me by my writing.
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