Going as far back as starting out as a reporter for the “Eagle’s Nest” in ninth grade (which was a recommendation from an English teacher I had), and then rising to editor-in-chief in my senior year at Redlands Senior High School, in Redlands, California, journalism has held a special and deep attraction for me. I have worked for the past nine years for community newspapers in Cocke County, Tennessee. I have honed my writing skills and attention to detail at The Newport Plain Talk, where I currently work as a reporter covering crime stories, fires, vehicle accidents, and local politics.
My writing improved when I started working for The Greeneville Sun in Greeneville, Tennessee. That helped me write this memoir, which took me seven years to write, as I tried to be as accurate as I could be, often revisiting sites where I was homeless, and getting people’s impressions of me at that difficult period in my life so I could properly inform readers how my schizophrenia appeared to others.
My goal with writing this book is for people to see the hand of God in my life, keeping me safe, and finally becoming a part of my life in 2001, when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I want you in “Three Hots and a Cot” to witness God’s faithfulness to His promises, and hopefully thereby strengthen your faith. I graduated from the University of Southern California in 1978, a time when my mental illness was dormant. At The Newport Plain Talk, where I’ve worked full-time for over five years, several of my news articles won awards at the annual Tennessee Press Association contests. If I made more money, I’d join a local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
From a diehard liberal during my homeless period of six years, I began to face reality and now consider myself a conservative when it comes to most topics. I say “most topics”, because I’ve witnessed firsthand a lot of injustice by company owners and managers, particularly in the area of pay for their employees. As a born-again, or evangelical, Christian since 2001, I do appreciate the work and jobs I’ve had, which I firmly believe the Lord Jesus Christ acquired for me. I love Jesus, just as I love the other two members of the trinity: my Father God and the Holy Spirit. God rearranged and improved my thinking when He saved me 13 years ago. I currently teach the basics of Christianity to people in my church, Calvary Chapel Greeneville, who want to help out as volunteers; write intros and record them for my pastor’s program on the radio; usher; and man the café. (I’m not the only volunteer who helps out in these areas, as well.) I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. I’ve seen the Lord consistently answer my prayers when my desires are in sync with His will. I so look forward to the sermons of my pastor Gary Hall. His wife Isabel keeps me accountable.
I love good food and having people over for dinner at my house, which is located in the tiny town of Limestone in northeast Tennessee. In 2009, I moved into my new house, which I qualified for by having a low income, as perceived by the agency that helped me acquire it. I recall one local politician, a kind, elderly woman, who always called people in her district to get their opinions before voting in favor or, or against, a proposed law. Oh, if we only had more politicians who respected and represented the desires of their constituents! I’ve worked as a waiter on a part-time basis in local area restaurants for about seven years. In fact, I currently work at a Cuban-style restaurant in Jonesborough on Saturdays, in order to complement my salary at the Plain Talk.