I have had a life-long love affair with words. As a child, I loved to sit for hours perusing through the Webster’s Dictionary, fascinated with how many words we have versus how many we actually know and use. But, as many times happens with adolescent boys, I soon found other interests that misdirected me and led me through doors I hadn’t then imagined. I also love psychology. The human brain and it’s sciences intrigue me. I always thought I would grow up to be a psychiatrist so initially I began college with a major in pre-med which would be necessary to take that path.
But, I wasn’t ready for college, not yet mature enough to appreciate where I was and what it had to offer. While in college, I and a friend started a little gun shop business. I would open the shop after I had finished my classes in the afternoon. That adventure let me to having adventurous conversations with police officers who were my customers and the next thing you know, I was wearing a blue uniform and carrying a gun for a living.
A few short years later, I was married and moving to a small town West of Nashville and wearing a similar brown uniform. I went from policing in a city of 80k to a rural county sheriff’s office with a total county population of about 25k. After a couple years, Governor Ned Ray McWherter initiated an innovative new program called the Governors Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force. I was immediately hooked, was hired as one of it’s first undercover field agents, and began my new career in Drug Enforcement.
Eventually, I would have the opportunity to take over another Task Force as it’s Project Director which is how I landed in Shelbyville. Prior to that, I had brought a son into this world, divorced, and started a side business building and selling PC’s. While working in drug enforcement, my early interests in psychology led me to seek numerous specialized courses in interview and interrogation methods as well as graphology which combined my fascination with words and my love of psychology. I re-entered a university and changed my major to Criminal Justice.
During those years, I saw and experienced a side of life that is perhaps unique but for the few who work in that world. On one hand, I had to hold myself to a high standard of ethics, on the other hand, I had to play the role of an unethical person. The dichotomy of those expectations along with the stresses of operating in the shadows – then managing and directing those operations – helped to create the man who write’s the words that you are reading today.
I also used the opportunity to become better trained. We had an enormous training budget which I used to my benefit. In a relatively short period of time, I attended more than 2500 hours of specialized and advanced level training courses in advanced level undercover operations, to interview and interrogation skills, police commander courses, firearms instructor, police sniper, police instructor, swat, bomb and arson, meth labs, you name it.
I also began development of a proprietary combat handgun shooting system. I would later go on to produce a military white paper on that system and teach it to both U.S. and foreign military personnel at home and abroad. I didn’t slow down long enough to realize it but I was developing diabetes.
Both my paternal grandparents had lived with it so not only was I familiar with it but I was probably also genetically predisposed to get it. My lifestyle of working late nights, eating fast food, and working undercover in bars wasn’t really contributing to a healthy lifestyle. My father died of cancer when I was a senior in High School so after I had begun to feel the effects of high blood sugar, I had convinced myself that I too had cancer. I was a very sick guy. My sickness contributed to high stress in my job and when an opportunity came my way to go into the private sector and make more money doing the same thing but as a business owner, I jumped at the chance. I became a licensed private investigator.
I have so many interesting and hilarious stories from those days, of course at the expense of those unwitting imbecile’s who graced the pages of my investigative contracts, and I hope to share a few of those along the way. I am a quick writer and a competent typist who can literally type nearly as fast as my mind can formulate the words. So, whatever pops up in my head at the moment is generally what I write about.
My diabetes led me to go back to law enforcement in order to be eligible for group health insurance. Working for myself, and still relatively young, I hadn’t yet made the connection between insurance and stability so I closed my full-time private investigation business and went back to work as a police detective sergeant. I kept my license and worked PI cases on the side.
Simultaneously, and during the Gov. Don Sundquist administration, I was appointed as a State Commissioner for the TN Private Investigation & Polygraph Commission. Five years later, our next governor, Gov. Phil Bredesen reappointed me to a second and final term to that commission and I was later elected by its members as Chairman of that body until I finished my second term.
Somewhere along that time I, for the first time, became a responsible dad. I was always a good dad, I thought, but my son moved in with me when he was 12 and I was finally doing the heavy-lifting of a real parent for a while until he graduated high school and moved off into the real world. Around that same time, I was offered an opportunity to work for a real estate development company as it’s operations manager during the hey-day of the real estate boom. I left the warm comfortable teets of government service once again to try my hand in the corporate sector.
For nearly 7 years, I made more money than I ever thought I would. Of course, I gained lots of new knowledge and expertise in other areas, made new friends and associates, and bagged new and different types of experiences which have further broadened my repertoire of ideas, some of which may leak onto the pages of my blog now and then. That job also prepared me for the full time job that I have now.
Moving forward, when the economy collapsed and the real estate market fell with it, my employers who tried their best to keep me employed as long as possible, ended up with no choice but to lay me off. They were incredibly generous and kind to me and I respect them so much. But, I was unemployed for nearly a year. While waiting for a new job, I went back to college full-time for a third time to work on my writing skills and a few other neglected things. My new college major; English.
Also during that same time period, I started a defense contracting business with some old LEO retired friends called Jericho Defense Corp.. Headquartered in Miami, FL, where two of the partners resided, we started with the intent of providing specialized firearms and hand-to-hand combat training for the DOD and in particular SOC. The combat shooting system I had developed earlier was the impetus for my participation in the company and my close friend and long-time martial arts sensei Rob had co-developed a fighting system that interlaced my shooting system with his fighting system.
That company took on a new direction after one of the partners had the idea to develop command & control software for autonomously operated drones. The drones would provide a high-speed mesh network in the battlespace for military applications. As the architect of that project, he and the team took that project to the moon and back and we really thought it would take us places. We demonstrated the system at Aberdeen and took it across the country with rave reviews from the highest of ranks. But, alas, one partner poisoned the entire project which left a bad aftertaste for the rest of us. We closed the company, sold the remnants and moved/sold that original training element to another company. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
One other important thing; I finally got married after being divorced for 16 years. My son was finally all grown up and living on his own and I fell in love with a very special woman named Emily, to whom I refer in many of my blogs. We began a life of adventure and world travel which gives me lots of new things to write about and she also got me into cattle farming, yet another hobby.
So, in the mean time, I accepted a position with Bedford County government as it’s county planner. I was also offered the Director position over the Codes and Zoning office and the I.T. Dept. which i accepted. Then, later and in my spare time (what little I have) I opened a gun range with another Jericho partner and old friend in Chapel Hill, TN.
So, you can see that I have a wide range of knowledge and experiences that I hope will allow me to tap into some remote kernal of wisdom or develop an idea which will peak the interest of at least one follower. Maybe two. If you like what your’re reading, please click the like button so I will at least know that someone out there is enjoying bits of what I’m writing about. That said, I’m not doing this for pay, it’s just a creative outlet for me that is meant for entertainment as much as it is for self-indulgence.
Nice to meet you.