Here I am. A 40 something year old white guy. A confirmed bachelor until just under a year ago. Raised in a less than typical 60's/70's family setting. Both parents with gypsy spirit would pack bags and move half way accross the country on a whim. A brother and a sister both younger than me. Spent much of my youth being babysat by mom's 7 brothers and sisters. That bunch consisted of hippies, poets, drug addicts and alcoholics, and very young vets screwed up by tours of duty in asian countries where they didn't want to be, and usually weren't wanted. When I was really lucky I was babysat by my paternal grandmother. She was a blessing. A devout christian and traditional home maker. She filled my childhood with memories of warmth, of lunches being prepared while humming hymns, of safety. The other side of the family filled me with memories also. Only now that I find myself a stepfather, getting drunk a week before my 15th birthday, on a beach in massachusetts, with my uncle isn't held with the same fondness.
As you can imagine such a diverse background as a child led to a just as diverse trip to adulthood. While I was growing up one of those aunts and uncles did the "back to the land" thing. Well sorta at least. Raising a pig and chickens with the garden, reading "The Mother Earth News" and driving a volkswagon bug made them the closest thing I had to homesteaders. Part of a summer spent with them was a catalyst of sorts in my life. Around this same time, dad decided he was getting back into hunting. He also discovered competitve pistol shooting. Now take a young teenage boy. stick a copy of John Shuttleworths "Mother Earth News" in his hand. Next stick a copy of "Guns and Ammo" in his hand. Let him find in that G&A a guy named Mel Tappan. At the same time put him at odds with his left wing mother. Then he discovers a guy named Kurt Saxon and starts reading.
After high school I passed on college. Got a good union job in a glass factory. Nothing like living home and making two bucks an hour more than your dad at 18. Needless to say such causes a little stress between a father and son. That job didn't last long, place went out of business along with many places like it in the early 80's. By then I was 20. Just as well, at that age having that kind of money was a waste. I just bought toys and drank what was left. The event of that plant closing did confirm to me my beliefs in modern homesteading and survivalism were on the right path. The decision then was made to learn as may skills as I could. I've had more jobs than I care to count. Thought it would be cool if I could build a house if I wanted. Did construction enough that I probably could. And with luck in the next few years I plan on doing just that. Worked as a machinist,even built a few prototypes in one place. Spent four years in a plumbing supply house, did side work with many of the plumbers that came in. Also worked part time as a bouncer in a seedy bar during those four years. Learned how to kick a few butts during those four years. Also learned how easy it is to get your butt kicked. Most importantly, learned how to get my butt kicked and still walk away from it. These days I find myself working part time in a small "home center"(We used to call them building supply houses) also doing odd jobs and handyman work.
Last may found me getting married. Having a wife and three stepchildren is an adjustment to say the least. We live on a urban homestead in a small western NY city. We raise, hunt or forage much of our food. Firewood for heat is gathered after storms or from our cities yard waste dump. We make cider both sweet and hard, make cordials, hand crank ice cream, bake bread and garden our entire yard property line to property line.
I use the name woodsrunner online. The term goes back to the era of the fur trade. It has several meanings. Generally it refers to somebody who makes his living and life from the woods or land. Woodsrunner's trail is the journal of my life. If you choose to be a regular visitor here, be prepared to think. Be prepared to be offended. I'm very good at offending people. If you're the person that thinks Al Gore is going to save the world from mankind, we're gonna talk and you're gonna be offended. If you're one of the blind followers of GWB and the war on terror, we're gonna talk and you're gonna be offended. As a matter of fact if you're the type that thinks big government, big business, or big anything is going to save anyone or anything, face it, you're gonna be offended. I'll leave you with a picture taken along my trail of life.