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Gregory Cross

Before we get into the bio, I just wanted to let everyone know that Danny Trejo liked my painting of him!

When confronted with a bio I always wonder which "me" to write about. I have been so many things. I have been a logger, night watchman, writer, poet, columnist, reporter, travel log contributor, editor, and publisher. I had two successful careers which both spanned more than 20 years. I've travelled three quarters of the way around the world, having been to more than two dozen countries and 42 of the 50 states. I am master chess player, computer gamer, avid reader, and the list goes on.

But let's take it from the beginning. I was born when Eisenhower was the US President into a logging family in the Pacific Northwest. My mother told me I could climb a tree before I could walk. She also made me read I, Robot when I was 8 and I have been reading everything I can ever since. Along with school I worked around the logging operations as far back as I can remember, but more seriously when I was a teenager. I would also help load trucks on weekends and started working in a mill when I was 16. The upshot of it was that when I graduated from high school I took my high school sweat heart to Europe for the summer and I paid for it all. She rewarded me later by becoming my first wife.

I enlisted in the United States Air Force at the end of that summer to avoid being drafted. This was the beginning of a 20 year career. I was stationed all over the US and twice to Germany. After my second tour to Germany I was assigned to Air Force Special Operations and spent the next 10 years there. I am considered a Viet Nam Era Veteran because I never actually went to Viet Nam, but that was the about the only campaign I didn't go to. I was involved in almost every military operation from Granada to Somalia, many of which were so secret the civilain population never knew anything about them (and still don't).But the biggy came one night when I walked into work. The Chief handed me a legal pad of paper and told me to write down who was going with me. And that was beginning of my 8 months based in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. To this day, I am thankful that I was allowed to hand pick my own team for that war, it saved my bacon more times than I care to think about. Anyway, I retired from the Air Force after 20 years of active service during Clinton's Presidency.

After a short period of various jobs (I even sold Fords for a time) and marrying my second wife (my first wife couldn't handle the fact I was never home during my military service and had moved on a long time before) I started teaching electronic engineering at a college. This was my second career and I taught for more than 22 years. I taught all levels and numerous subjects. I would probably still be teaching except for two events. First, my wife became ill and, after a bitter struggle, she died. The second, about six months later, the school closed. We went on break after the end of the quarter expecting to come back as normal (I even had my class schedule, books, lesson plans and everything for the next quarter) but instead, the school closed with virtually no notice.

So, I retired. I began looking for things to occupy my time and to find a solution to my emotional turmoil, I suppose. I join a crotchet class, for example. Not because I wanted to crotchet so much, though I do like it and find it soothing, but to be around women. I had listened to my wife's constant chatter every day for decades and I just needed to hear women talking, I guess. I have produced four afghans and many smaller things since then, too. Then I heard about an art class which turned out to be working on a 60 foot by 6 foot mural for San Antonio's tricentenial and joined. I had never painted before and have been trying to learn ever since. I do youtube lessons, read art books and follow the step by step instructions, and even have paid for some online art courses. Then I read Carol Marine's Daily Painting in September 2018 and have been painting every day since then.

So there you have one version of me. A fairly thorough one, but I could rewrite this bio and not say the same thing and still have a true version of me. My biography would cover more than one volume, believe me. I could write an entire book about Desert Storm alone and have been urged to do so. Now I am starting yet another chapter, one entiltled Greg Cross the Artist. Heaven forbid.