The metropolitan Kansas City area in 1895.
Born in the mid-1950s in Kansas City, Missouri. I know where I was when I heard that JFK was shot, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and when the WTC fell. I also remember when new 49-star and then 50-star flags showed up in my classroom. I thought we got new flags every six months, regardless.
Came out in 1975 and found myself working in the Kansas City baths in '76. Details on that will probably never show up in Ron's Log. After about a year of undescribed work at the baths, I got a better paying, very steady job in Iowa.
Iowa has many good points, probably more than Missouri has. It certainly has fewer bad points than Missouri, but Iowa does have one real killer of a bad point: winter. I know people who live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, most of Michigan, the Dakotas, Montana, Canada, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York all have harder winters than Iowa (sorry, didn't mean to ignore Wyoming and, possibly, Nebraska). I don't want to hear about it. Three winters in Iowa with a 1970 Toyota Corona were all I could take.
I arrived in Massachusetts on Christmas Day in 1979, whereupon I suffered terrible heartbreak. It has taken me years of effort, but I finally got a Schwinn Varsity out of the deal. After about a month in Massachusetts I had my own place in Boston, an apartment on Boylston Street, directly across from the Fens, just a block from the Ramrod. How convenient! However, I didn't take advantage of those resources very often
although I clearly remember once bringing a man home from the Ramrod and then splitting a Quaalude with him.
I volunteered every Friday night at the folding, stuffing and mailing of GCN, the old Gay Community News, when it was on Bromfield Street, across the hall from Glad Day bookstore. That was where I met most of my new Boston friends. Lots of 'em are still around and there is evidence some of them even read Ron's Log.
I got started bicycling as an adult in 1978 when a chiropractic student friend of mine advised me to get off my butt and do SOMETHING, anything. Got the bike and rode RAGBRAI in 1979. I went back and rode it again in '81, but I don't think I could tolerate the tedium of seven days of corn and bean fields, now that I'm used to New England. Now I've got six rideable bikes. There are two more in the basement that I need to donate to Bikes Not Bombs. In the last year, the Air Glide has pretty much replaced my Cannondale touring bike, as planned, but I've been really surprised that it's substituting very nicely for the Bridgestone RB-1 too! The Cannondale needs to go, I think.
I don't remember how I first heard about libertarianism, but I remember I found myself at a little Libertarian Party meeting in Bettendorf, Iowa, in the late 70s. I think it was just a meet-the-candidate night. The presidential candidate. I really got into reading about libertarianism for a couple of years. Subscribed to Reason magazine and bought Cato pamphlets. But I didn't read Ayn Rand until 1980. My boyfriend, knowing my interest, gave me a copy of Atlas Shrugged
. I started right out with the biggy. My boyfriend and I had a little acid party one long night when I was about two-thirds of the way through the novel. I remember lying on the bed trying to give him a plot summary. I'll tell ya, Atlas Shrugged
on acid is hilarious. I ended up laughing harder than I ever had before
From there I went through all her books. She was right about libertarian politics being only one facet of the diamond that is freedom
and it's the wrong facet to start with.
Took my first computer class around 1973. We learned some variation of Fortran. We used punch cards, and the big new thing was "time-sharing," which is so taken for granted now, that I'm not even going to bother to explain, if you don't know what it is. After I got to Boston I took several programming courses at Boston College: Fortran, Cobol, Basic, Pascal, along with some other computer courses. When I first started at BC the terminals had no monitors! We used paper only. Type a command on the printer and the computer would respond. No hope for a GUI there. After about a year of that we moved to a VAX. Had monitors, but still a command line interface. Didn't get my first PC at home until the early 90s. Used IBM DOS 7 until I grudgingly went to Windows 3.1 just so I could use better graphics software. From that I went to Windows 98 and 2000 (skipping over Win 95). At work I use NT 4.0.
I don't live out on the cutting edge, but if you do, please invite me over to see your toys.
Here's a late update: in 2003 I retired from my government job and moved to Palm Springs while trying to sell my Boston condo. Not long after that I found the house of my dreams in nearby Desert Hot Springs.