I was born on December 12, 1968 (Frank Sinatra’s birthday) in Austin, Texas. I had one obvious abnormality, a club foot, and many others that only surfaced years later. I have been told that I slept so much as a child that my parents thought I was retarded – a view still held by many. Despite being a native Texan, I only lived there for a short time. When I was barely a year old, my parents and I moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, which I have called home with only a few interruptions ever since.
When I was four, I was expelled from kindergarten at First Baptist school, allegedly for kicking the teacher in the shins. I don’t recall this incident and believe to this day that it was because of my radical political views. In any case, I enrolled at Southfield School, where I went for the next thirteen-and-a-half years.
I didn’t do a whole lot in school, mostly because I was A) lazy, and B) shy. I’m still lazy in fact. I was relatively smart, though, and remembered everything I ever read, so I was able to meander along, minding my own business. I did do a little more once I got to high school. I was a page editor for our award-winning school paper (I myself never won an award, an oversight I’m sure), and I played football, basketball, and baseball. It’s no coincidence that the teams I started for had only one winning season and a combined record of something like 8-42. I did manage to pull in an All-District award for baseball, more for my bat than my pitching (atrocious) or my fielding (worse).
After graduation I went on the Washington & Lee University, a small liberal arts college in Lexington, Virginia. Here my insulation from the real world continued. My college career was short (only four years) and marred only by my graduation. Many of my more intelligent classmates managed to drag this out another year or two with cheap tricks like internships and semesters abroad. I took time to enjoy W&L’s many fine social institutions like Chi Psi and Sweet Briar. In June, 1991, the good times came to an end, as I was handed my diploma and ushered to the unemployment line.
I won’t discuss my brief and painful postgraduate career at Georgia Tech. Suffice to say it was about two months shy of a semester. So, I had to find a job. Since the job selling encyclopedias didn’t work out (I am not making this up), I decided to get a job in the computer field. I went to work for a company called First Image Demand Publishing (since renamed "Sweatshops R Us"), where they paid me far less than I was worth in return for my many hours napping in the back room.
I managed to escape one day when the janitor carelessly left the bathroom window unlocked, and immediately move to Dallas, The Concrete City. I worked on medical billing software for a company called SpectraClaim. During this period, I came to loathe insurance companies. SpectraClaim was, however, spectacularly mismanaged, and eventually I decided to seek greener pastures (right about the time I was laid off).
I got a job at CTX Mortgage Company, doing support for their branches in Florida. While the side benefits were great (I did an install in West Palm Beach in January, when it gets down to 80) I was developing sores on my ear from all the phone time. It was time to come home.
My first year back in Shreveport I basically did nothing. I was helped in this by the fact that 1) I was living at home, and 2) my boss at CTX forgot to turn in my termination papers for a month, so I kept getting paid. Nothing is more satisfying than being paid for nothing. Take my word for it.
But after a year Wing Commander began to get old, so I started looking for a full time job. My dad’s accountant knew some people in a building he owned who ran a computer company, so I had a talk with them. Shortly thereafter I became the fourth employee at Enterprise Computing Services. Although it’s had it’s ups and downs (ask me about the job in New Jersey), things have gone well, and we now (3 years later) we’re the biggest and best in town, with a staff of twenty.
About the time I started working at ECS, I met a beautiful blond Italian girl named Gina. She speaks no Italian, although her Russian is pretty good, which makes me suspect she’s a Soviet mole under deep cover, sent to keep an eye on me. I hope no one tells her the Cold War is over. We started dating, and 1 short year later my life tragically came to an end as I convinced her to take my ring, my name, and half my net income.
We now have a beautiful baby boy, Joseph Kirby Flip Wilson Powell. He is highly intelligent; in fact, he’s too smart for our good. There’s nothing he can’t get into except for things he can’t reach (yet), and he’s growing at the rate of 2.5 inches per day, even faster than bamboo. We’ve tried coffee and cigarettes, but that didn’t stunt his growth, so we stopped watering him. Now he waters himself.
New news: a little girl has joined the boy as part of the Powell family. We’re happy to welcome little Anne Elizabeth and we hope she likes it here.
Anyway, that’s the story of my life.