First I should tell you that I am de-emphasizing some things about my past that I am embarrassed about or is subject to a non-disclosure agreement.
I was born in the Isle of Lipari where my parents were moderately successful cuttlefish merchants. (It's true, even cuttlefish ink is used in Italian cooking). I lived my first ten years in modest luxury. The only real childhood drama that I had was a nasty series of ear infections and a undeveloped sense of morality that was caused by a lack of vitamin K.
Fleeing the revolution, my parents took me to Brazil where they had just purchased a Jatoba plantation. It was there that I learned to love books, engineering, and thrift. Unfortunately the family plantation was seized by the city council to make way for a new favela that was being planned.
To the USA, I was 16 and almost fluent in two languages. We landed in Miami and made our way to Estero Bay where our last family home was purchased. I do not know all of the details but there were an awful lot of Canadians in and out of the guest bedrooms. Just under a year later, a week before my 17th birthday, a black short bus pulled up and left with my parents. I still miss poor P&M. At the time of the abduction I was in the boathouse...um...reading. Yes, Reading, That is what I was doing.
17 years old and on my own. I had little else than the clothes on my back, the change in my pockets, and $37k in the bank. I had recently seen The Goonies and therefor felt a powerful pull to the west coast. I came to Oregon to start a new life with a new name.
I arrived in Portland and found work as a lumberjack before I even left the airplane. The stewardess had passed out applications an hour before we landed.
I loved my new job, driving to majestic old-growth rain forests that had been unchanged for a thousand years. then cutting them down. Many an evening were spent drinking micro-brews and roasting owls over an open fire. That is how I met my wife, my soul mate.
In the all the years since, I've considered myself very lucky to have the warm companionship and love of my pet rabbit, Mr. Clankers.