Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eccentric Geniuses/Geeks in the family

My family is composed of Geniuses, Geeks, and Nuttsos with a huge dose of eccentric added to the mix.

Let's see, who do I start with first.

Great Grandfather Poppy. I was lucky to be able to know Poppy growing up. I didn't realize for years how rare it was until I had friends that never knew theirs. Everyone in the family tends to live to their mid 90's. Now Poppy was the Eccentric Genius in the family. Think of Albert Einstein without all the crazy hair. He was a master in Morse code,Ham radio, Earthquakes, Seismology, and would build many items from just nuts, bolts, metal, and wires. This included home made earthquake sensors and machines, windmills, a grandfather clock, and several radios for starters.

When he was getting older and couldn't drive anymore he wanted a scooter.  Everyone in the family did everything to keep him from doing that because we all knew that he would tinker with it. We could just envision a call from the cops about him do 100 mph down the road. I learned so many things from him and cherish the memories of a workshop with the smell of oil, paint thinner, paint, and burning metal from the soldering iron.

Cousin Steven. He was in the Eccentric Genius Group. After he graduated school he left to work as a mime on the streets of San Francisco. He wrote a play there and had a long running show at an "Off Broadway" theater. He then went back to Hollywood and became an actor, writer for many TV shows past and present, and even had a series on HBO based on his play.

Uncle Chas. He was in the Eccentric Geek with some genius mixed in. He has traveled all over the world doing many different jobs and has seen so many things. He was actually in the right place at the right time to be a part of history. For example, he was in Saigon as a reporter during the mass exit, he lived in Grenada during the invasion, and  lived in Africa and worked with a president there until the president was exiled.

My parents. They were the Eccentrics period. They were what I called Middle Class Hippies. Had their parties and hippie beliefs but also had a regular job with a house and kids. They loved to travel and went all over the world.

My brother. He is the Eccentric Geek. He grew up as the typical Geek. He would spend hours in his room playing with computers. This was back in the really, really early days. Our first computer was a really basic DOS computer. It didn't do anything unless you programmed it to do something. He still has his original Commodore 64 computer along with original Star Wars figurines. He is a Dungeons & Dragon addict and of course is in the IT field.

My sister the Super Genius. She would make my life miserable with her perfect grades when we were growing up. She never had to study much and got an A as easy as it is for me to change a tire. She worked her way up the corporate ladder the old fashioned way with smarts, not with a college degree. Because of that she is highly respected and sought after in her field. She is super book smart but dumber than a doornail when it comes to basics like cooking. Good thing she married a man that knows the basics and can cook. He and I usually roll our eyes when she asks silly stuff like where do I go find the paint stuff. I would have to be on the cellphone giving her step by step directions while she is in Home Depot. Love her to death and would not change a thing about her.

Another cousin is in the nuttso category. He would jump from one thing to another. Kinda like a bipolar manic. He would suddenly move to Washington and start a doughnut shop. Then one day he would wake up, sell the shop, move to Utah, and start renovating a house in the middle of nowhere. Then one day he would sell it and disappear for a while. Then he would come back on the radar and start working on another project. He is different now that they have him on meds. I kinda miss the crazy side of him that I knew growing up. You never knew what he was up to and it was always interesting.

Me, I am the eccentric something in the family. Wild, crazy, creative, smart, funny, and love people. I am the one who has no problem shooting a 2-legged animal but will not shoot 4-legged animals.

Mom said that when I was born I hit the road running and I always kept everyone guessing and would surprise them with my crazy antics. When I got arrested, my parents just shook their heads, laughed, and said "Only you would do something like that!". Or the occasion when I was a toddler, I fed the dog one of my hearing aids and flushed the other one down the toilet. Mom was laughing and crying over that one. They say I kept life from getting boring and they actually look forward to what I do next.

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