Bill Haenel

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On Me (About)

James

(If you want to know about what I'm doing now - and why wouldn't you? - the best source is LinkedIn.)

September 20th, 1970. A day to remember.

But not for me.

This is the day I was born. So other folks might remember it, but not me. Leastwise not in the sense that we normally think of when we consider "remembering".

Somewhere around the time I was three or so, I remember a yellow car, a bunch of monkeys and a big, red house. I also remember tht everything around me was darned huge. Seems like my bedroom was about the size of the inside of St Patrick's Cathedral. I'll bet that if I went back there now, it wouldn't seem that big at all though. There's a lesson there, somewhere.

When I was five, we moved to a half-house in Potsdam, NY. I guess it was a house, but I always thought of it as a half-house because it was attached to another half house, and together those two half-houses looked to me like one, complete house. Pthers undoubtedly called it an apartment, or maybe a "condo".

Some Flickr photos tagged "stlawrencecounty":

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In our half-house we had a cat. But not for long, as she, Sally, made me sick. This was my first experience with allergies. I really liked her a lot, but she had to go ecause it started to look like it was her or me, and I think that although I was undoubtedly a challenging child, my Mom thought I was a substantially better value than Sally.

Before and after Sally was gone, I had a few friends, I ate hot dogs, cold, and I watched TV and made my own cereal in the morning. I also learned to read by checking out the road signs in the car with my Mom. We spent a lot of time in the car, and I sincerely believe that I learned more in the car in my life than I ever did in school. In the car, you can really think, or discuss, or any number of things that you would normally have to do in the context of extreme distraction. But I digress.

 

We moved to Ogdensburg, NY when I was seven or so. I liked Potsdam, even though I put my finger in the electrical outlet one morning. It hurt, but I never thought the place was to blame.

Ogdensburg was interesting. I had a great red bike that my grandparents bought me, and I rode it everywhere. It was the greatest thing I ever owned. It was stolen, and I didn't ride it much after that, and then it was replaced and I rode the new bike even more. I rode all over town, and even rode to McDonalds on the other side of Ogdensburg. I was only supposed to go three blocks over to Green Street and no further. My curiosity got the better of me and I had my very first feelings of "freedom".

My unauthorized bike rides, combined with the time in the car, left me with an almost certain proclivity for travel. As I grew older I found a distinct love for going away. It never mattered where I was or where I was going to be next, just that I could go away once in a while. I loved, and still love, to disappear.

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