Iam not a celebrity, a superstar athlete, a titan of industry or a successful politician. I am just an ordinary Joe who lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood in an ordinary city (Louisville, Ky.).
I was born in Carbondale, Ill. in 1961 and grew up in Louisville and Sycamore, Ill. I received a bachelor’s degree in history from Northern Illinois University in 1984, a master’s degree in history from Illinois State University in 1986, a master’s degree in library and information science from Indiana University in 1989, and a paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1990.
As you can see, I am a knowledge-junkie, but I must confess that I seemed to get dumber the longer I stayed in school. Since my marriage in 2007, I have been living with my wife and her elderly parents in Louisville. Living with my in-laws is like being a pirate on the high seas — it is always an adventure.
I have held many jobs throughout my lifetime.
I have de-tasseled corn, taught students in introductory American history courses, proofread an accounting textbook used for CPA examinations, cleaned and filed documents from the Chicago City Clerk’s Office, preserved photographs and memorabilia from Frank Lloyd Wright’s archives, purchased paper towels and toilet paper for businesses, digitized maps for the United States Census Bureau’s 2000 and 2010 Decennial Censuses.
Additionally, I have released people from the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Jail, handled complaints from people irate about being threatened with fines for not answering the 2007 Economic Census, and processed legal and medical documents from the Eli Lilly corporation. Currently, I am employed in the Geography section at the United States Census Bureau’s National Processing Center in Jeffersonville, Ind.
My interests include a passion for writing. For years, people have said that I should write for a living, and this blog will give me an outlet to express my thoughts. Even though I have not taught history or worked in an archives for many years, I still love studying America’s past and will always consider myself a historian at heart.
I enjoy reading, watching football and baseball games, horse racing, walks with the family dog, swimming, trivia and Scrabble games, and an occasional round of golf. I am a connoisseur of flea markets, dollar stores, and used book shops.
I am also interested in politics, Christianity (though I am not a Bible thumping fanatic), geography, foreign affairs, ultimate fighting, college basketball, and issues related to business and labor.
My blog’s main purpose is to give me, an ordinary Joe, a chance to get up on his soapbox and express his opinions. I want it to be as entertaining and informative as it possibly can be. However, always expect the unexpected because I never know what subject I wan to discuss. Also, since I intend my blog to be read by people ranging in age from 2-222, I suggest people who are interested in looking at naked women or reading dirty words to look somewhere else on the Internet.
Now that my blog is up and running, I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people.
First, I want to congratulate my high school English teachers, Sheila Munter and Carol Houseman Bruckle. I would have never developed an interest in writing if it wasn’t for your love of grammar and literature. If you are out there, I would like to hear from you. I want to reminisce about those glorious days of yesteryear when I had to pull all-nighters writing declarative essays and tortuous book reports on Homer and Shakespeare. Also, I am forever grateful what you did for me.
A posthumous tribute goes to my high school journalism teacher, Charlotte Hess. During her career, Hess taught such future reporters as Dirk Johnson ( he wrote for The New York Times) and Mark Vancil (he co-authored a best-selling book with Michael Jordan) as well as my sister and brother (they did not become writers, but my sister was the editor of the high school yearbook and adored Hess). Thanks to her, I developed a great appreciation for journalism.
To the speakers and instructors of the 2002 Kentucky Press Association Boot Camp, thanks. You have a good taste on what it is like to gather news and write on strict deadlines.
To the brains behind this blog, Jeff. Without your expertise in computers, this blog would not exist. Take a gigantic bow, bro.
To Jeff’s wife, Therese. You constantly made me laugh and gave great advice while Jeff and I worked on the blog. Take a gigantic bow, sis.
And last—but certainly in my mind, most—to my wife, Margie. You are such a wonderful spouse. Your encouragement and feedback—as well as your meals and kisses—have been invaluable. I know this sounds trite, but I love you now and forever. Everything I write on this blog is dedicated to you.
I salute you all!
Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day
“Thank you can be the easiest and the hardest words to say.”