Please allow me to introduce myself, I am a man of wealth and taste... wait no, that's not me, that's the devil (at least according to Mick Jagger).
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... no that's Luke Skywalker.
I am an enchanter. There are some who call me...Tim.... no that's not me either.
As far back as I can remember... no that was Henry Hill in Goodfellas.
Sorry, I mistook me for someone else... and that was Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) in Batman Returns.
Who am I? TWO-FOUR-SIX-OH-ONE... no, that was Jean Valjean.
It is I, Sydney Feldman... no that was some hitman in Grosse Point Blank crashing a high school class reunion.
John Jacob Jingleheimerschmitt, his name is my name too...
Now that we've determined several people who I'm not...
I was born in a small town in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains (Saranac Lake, NY) with a head of hair so blonde it was nearly white in the year of my nation's bicentennial. I was born into a sizable family of six. My eldest sister was a freshman in college. I also had 2 brothers and a sister in high school (a junior, sophomore, and freshman respectively), and then my other brother who, for twelve years, had been "the baby." A title he happily relinquished upon my birth.
The town I grew up in is located about an hour north of where I was born. It's best days had come and gone by the time I was born. Many say, and I tend to agree the turning point was when the railroad was taken out in the 1950s. While there were still vestiges of the town's heyday the signs of decay were starting to show. The town was also rather remote. The nearest major cities were Montreal, Quebec (about 70 miles north), Burlington, VT (about 100 miles southeast), and Ottawa, ON (about 100 miles northwest).
I've always been kind of mellow and laidback. I had a lot of acquaintances but only a small handful of friends. I've always been much more interested in the quality of my friendships than in the quantity of them. There are but a small handful of them I've kept in touch with all of these years. Although with facebook I have been able to re-connect with some old chums I'd fallen out of touch with. I've also, for much of my life been (according to those personality tests/quizzes) an INFP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving) chap.
When I graduated high school in 1995 I opted for a complete change of scenery. I enrolled at Albion College in Albion, MI-- over 600 miles away from where I'd grown up. I wanted and needed a fresh start and the change of scenery gave me just that. I did spend my first summer in college back in my hometown, but with no job prospects I was smart enough to not return the following summer.
For the next two summers I was a seasonal employee at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, OH. A job that despite the low wages and dull monotony I thoroughly enjoyed for the perks it provided (free access to the park when I wasn't on the clock during operating hours) and the people it brought me into contact with. People who go to amusement parks are generally in a good mood and that good mood can be quite infectious given the volume of people visiting the park on any given day.
I spent my final semester of college in Chicago participating in the Urban Life Center. I'd been to Chicago a few times before that and I loved the energy of the city. The Urban Life Center gave me a much deeper appreciation and familiarity with the city I never would have otherwise developed. My three months in that program passed all too quickly.
I moved back to my hometown for a few months after college. But with no real job prospects I opted to return to Cedar Point as a seasonal employee-- the idea being to try to get my foot in the door as a regular year-round employee of the park. After two seasons of that with no luck in obtaining a salaried position I moved to Elyria, OH and took a retail job in North Olmsted (suburban Cleveland) in part to be closer to the girl I was dating at the time. In the end that proved to be a poor decision on my part as that relationship fizzled literally within days of my relocation. And Elyria never got into my blood and under my skin the way Sandusky had. For about a year I spun my wheels and found myself stuck in a bit of a rut.
After about three to four months in Elyria I started corresponding via email, later phone calls with the lass who would someday become my wife... but that's another story.
In October 2002 I packed up my things and headed back to Chicago to have another stab at the other city that had gotten under my skin. I started a new chapter in my life that continues to this day. In the years since that fateful trip I've married, bought my first home, and become a father of a beautiful little girl.
To Be Continued (The 30 Day Meme: Day 2 - My First Love)