Yes, I’m from Indiana.

I was born here and raised here. I graduated high school in Indiana and attempted a higher education in the Hoosier state. However, I found my higher education inside books by Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, John Irving, and Henry Miller; as well as Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn. I also found it in records by the Beatles, the Kinks, Adrian Belew, Mother Love Bone, Screaming Trees, Metallica, Anthrax, Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, and Rush.

Education of the highest order in Northeast Indiana.

I also found a center around the dinner table with my parents. And pontoon rides with my mom and grandma Ruthie. I discovered the wonders of alcohol with my cousin Josh. And the horrors of a hangover with my cousin Josh. I found rock and roll with my brother, in our basement playing on a boom box while we shot pool in the hot Midwestern summers. I found I prefer a clean house to a dirty one because of my mom, and a clean car to a dirty one because of my dad. My uncle showed me the wonders of multi-track recording when I was 13 years old, and inspired me to get over my fear of dealing with strangers and start taking guitar lessons.

Hoosier living.

I played in front of a crowd of metal heads and guitar shredders when I was 16. It was a contest called Hot Licks. Out of 10 guys I came in 4th place. I won a compressor pedal and short-lived confidence. When I was 17 I played my first “gig” at the high school talent show. It was me, my friend Jason on bass, and another guy named John on drums. We played an original instrumental. I’m sure there were augmented ninth chords, distortion, and high volume involved. We didn’t have a name, so someone named us. “The Flying Mystical Cows”, or something like that. It was a relatively awful experience, but the next time was far worse. In a park, well above 90 degrees, and my amp stops working after 1.5 songs. There were tens of Youth Group members out on the lawn chanting “Magic! Magic! Magic!” as I stared blankly at my Russian-made amp head. They weren’t there to see us. They were there to see the Christian rock/funk band we were opening for.

Sweaty humiliation. In Indiana.

I got married to my high school sweetheart in Indiana. A community building with the Justice of the Peace in Winona Lake, Indiana, to be exact. It was sweaty, but not humiliating. We ate cake with family and drank with friends. I drank too much(of course.)  We built a house in the woods by the time we were 23 years old. “Our house, is a very, very, very fine house.” We had fun, just the two of us, well before we had any babies. Visiting Tennessee, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Chicago, and saw many, many, many concerts. I played in a band. It was fun, and sometimes it wasn’t fun.

Keeping it real in Indiana.

We’ve raised three really great kids in Indiana. We’re still raising them as a matter of fact. They still love us, so we must be doing something right. We still love them, so they must be doing something right. We’ve had three dogs. All miniature schnauzers. Two of them, Dieter and Helmut, are gone. Otto is a little over 5 years old and thinks he’s human. I think he’s human, too.

I was born in Indiana, though I hope I die somewhere other than the Hoosier state. Maybe on the moon, or skydiving from a heli-car. Maybe I die attempting to donate my brain to science in the year 2073. A last heroic act attempting to prolong the life of Hollywood’s most beloved space chimp, Sauron.

There’s more than corn in Indiana. There’s more than homophobes, too.

 

 

“Maturity is bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.” -Kurt Vonnegut

“Gosh you’re cute. Wanna buy a monkey?” -David Letterman

 


A song about an Indiana girl

 

 

 

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