- English Professor: North Central Texas College. 1989-2019
- 30 years dedicated to the success of NCTC’s Denton County students (wherever in the world they may be), teaching and developing emerging online presentations of composition, creative writing, technical and business writing, literature across the media, research and documentation, the compilation and uses of bibliographic research, creative and innovative thinking.
- Petroleum Landman: 1978 to 1992
- Independent: 1978-79
- Mitchell Energy Corporation: 1979-1992
- Title and legal research, lease and trade negotiations, curative writing as required.
- Master of Arts: University of North Texas, 1988
- Creative Writing: Research on Emily Dickinson informing a screenplay with original music. Wild Nights! Wild Nights! (1988)
- Doctor of Philosophy: University of North Texas, 1997.
- Eighteenth Century British Literature from UNT. Research on the Welsh mythological influences on William Blake: Awen, Barddas, and the Age of Blake (1997).
- Stirling Institute of Arts and Humanities, Study Abroad in Scotland, 2001-2005.
- Bookbinder since 2008: Studied with Pam Leutz, Catherine Burkhard, and Laura Easterling.
- Genealogist since forever!
- Time Traveler: Working my way through more than 400 years of family stories–some of which I’ve had to make up in order to come closer to understanding the naked truth of it all.
- Farfarer: We fare far, Linda and I. We’ve put in a whole lot of travel to ancestral regions across Western Europe, Mexico, Canada, and all the ninety corners of Tejas. From where I was born on the Rio Grande at the foot of Franklin Mountain, to the Borders in Scotland and Dunn’s Farm in Northumbria back in 1634, and up to those ancient seaports among the Orkney Islands 5,000 and more years ago. We’ve climbed into the womb of Mother Earth at Maeshowe. We’ve looked up at ancient paintings to watch the Elohyim running among the cattle and lions and bears of Chauvet some 36,000 years ago.
Once upon a very long time ago, when the Ice Age locked up all the water in high mountains, we plied those seas with walrus hide boats and watched as the seas rose, century after century, shaping the coasts of the world we’ve come to know. We sailed the seas and populated a world.
My serious time traveling started in the desert outside of Canutillo one morning last century. I was looking out at the sun rising over the Franklin Mountains. Had me a cup of steaming coffee, milk, and honey in a big ceramic mug. I looked down and spotted shards of pottery in the sand around my blanket. I hardly knew the word “shard” then. I dug around, found dozens of pieces. A week or so later, I put them in a box and left the desert for Austin, where I finished a degree in English and Anthropology in 1977.
Then I headed for the Sangre de Cristo, then to Chaco Canyon. Then to Puye and Mesa Verde.
The time traveling escalated in 1978 when I started traveling Central and South Texas, doing title searches in Columbus, Texas, and finding mineral owners who weren’t already leased, wherever they might be. Courthouse research into family and land ownership history for oil and gas leases in South Texas. Over the next few years, I interviewed landowners all over Texas, West Virginia and Virginia, before ending up in North Central Texas, taking, trading, and curing the leases that became the Barnett Shale play in Denton and Wise County.
I loved deep-diving through dusty old courthouse records–the search through libraries–churchyards and old farm houses and swamps and rivers. I love interviewing people, hearing their family stories told in their own voices.
To ask where we come from is a fun question, whether you want to know precisely who begat who, or you want to explore the cultures that blended to bring you forth.
Sometimes we can come to conclusions and have some certainty about where we came from. We can make a story out of all that.
And sometimes we get a great story. Sometimes it will stun you, though.
And sometimes you run out of leads–or don’t want to go over to Frank Street, so to speak. But there are stories and a history behind haunted old Frank Street.
This is the stuff of legend!
Legends and lore might not get you into the Daughters of the Texas Revolution, but you sure can have fun around the Thanksgiving table with tales from way back in the last century!
It’s always about capturing the spirit of the age and finding your place in it.