In 1959 my parents took me on a camping trip to Newfoundland, Canada. During that trip I went underground in a fluorite mine in St. Lawrence. The photo shows just how serious a seven-year-old boy can look, despite being a shrimp, trying to impress the miners—standing on either side of my mother. I wasn’t supposed to be underground, because I was obviously under sixteen. The mine superintendent broke the rules to allow me to visit a subterranean world generally known only by those who work there. When approaching the miners, working in the dark, with only headlamps to illuminate their work and world, I caused quite a stir when the men saw my light bobbling up and down at chest level. They didn’t know what to expect and when I came under their light beams, revealing a little boy in his yellow raincoat, it was a most unusual sight.
That visit had a major impact on my life that affected decisions when I was ten years older, which in turn directed a life trajectory that has been entertaining and somewhat unusual. We never really know how much a single event can affect an entire life, until we look back and gauge the changes wrought by our experiences and decisions. My blog of life outside of the bell curve serves to provide me a forum to relate a nonstandard life, which I attempt to capture in my memoir writing. The odd ducks of the world are often misunderstood, but we survive despite living outside the social norms.
My hope is to entertain and enlighten by relating the journey of a Baby Boomer through the latter half of the twentieth century and beyond. I’m sure some of you may relate to my story and some may scratch your heads. In any event, I hope to relate some of my memoir writing to paint the picture of someone who has lived outside of the bell curve, out of the normal standard statistical deviation, which I suppose makes me a deviant. Anyway, this is my departure point.