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Auto-Biography: Chapter 2 - Teenage Years

My teenage years I wasn't super social, but I had a few closer friends. I was often seen as a geek, and was sometimes picked on. But when I used my geekdom to overrule school administrators, I became a bit of a hero. See, I would bring a 'police scanner' to school. My back pack had an antenna sticking up from it, and I would sometimes walk around with a electronic box with wires and circuits on it which in today's world would look like a bomb. I didn't really listen to the police scanner in class. Tho I would sometimes tinker with my circuits and work on new designs. I had also made friends with one of the school security guards and him and I would talk radio stuff. I also didn't get bullied too much tho, just gentle razzing from time to time.

One day I was pulled out of class, and brought to the princibles office. It seems that they heard I had found the schools security radio frequency and that supposedly was illegal. They wanted to take my scanner away from me and forbid me from having it. But I just so happened to have a full copy of the Canadian federal radio communications act, in my back pack. And opened it to a couple different chapters and paragraphs which were highlighted, ruling that in Canada it was every citizens right to monitor and possess equipment to monitor any radio transmission. I advised the princible that if he wanted to persue that avenue, that they would have to deal with a legal issue. They attempted to argue that the school rules prohibited them. But they only listed CD Players and Tape players / Walkmans.

In the end I was able to keep my scanner, and got a special note which allowed me to bring it to school. Seems that the school administration wasn't as prepared as I was. After that happened word traveled fast, and even some of the bullies would give me pats on the back for outsmarting the 'system'. I was a Softmore at the time, and had enrolled myself in Junior and Senior level technical classes, some of which I would actually end up standing at the front of the class and teaching some of the subjects and electronics - as I often had more experence than my teachers and they got tired of me correcting them.

In my Senior year I ended up taking a 'co-op' class which was like an internship. I was placed as a Technician at a radio station in Toronto, CFRB 1010, and Mix 99.9. Four days a week I would travel down there to work the full day. And then every Friday go into school to discuss what I learned. I did very well in that class, and on top of that was given a job offer before even finishing high school.

My parents began to split apart while I was in high school as my mom had found out my dad had been hiding a lot of debt and money issues from her. At that point it didn't really seem to bother me, because I already had my interest to focus on and was very self sufficient in just doing my thing. It turns out that part of the reason we moved from Thornhill, to Aurora was to help aleviate some of the debt. But that didn't seem to solve the issue as it turned out there was more hiding somewhere.

I was never involved in teenage school yard drama. Fighting over girls, or whatever. I was much too distracted by my hobbies for that. But once I began growing into an adult and working in the wild world of Radio, I began to explore more socially. Spending time in studio with various bands, and mixing them while they recorded was a unique thing for someone my age to be doing. Matchbox 20, Counting Crows, Sarah McLachlan, .... over 50 bands I worked with at that young age in studio. So yeah, that was an unusual career path for me, and I guess I was lucky. But I always just say follow your dream, and do what you do best and you'll get somewhere you want to be.

Later on, in my young adult life, as a volunteer responder, I ended up 'inventing' the idea of putting reflective yellow borders around traffic lights. It was implemented at the intersection I suggested it be implemented at. Now you see that idea being implemented all across North America. I know that that idea of mine has saved many lives, and prevented many would-be accidents. I indeed have smelt burning flesh. I have been on the scene of burn fatalities. Can smell that for miles it seems, and can't ever forget that scent. Stays with you long after you leave the scene too. Many of the scenes I worked, and some where I was first on scene at, were fatalities. Even meeting up with Terri one day we came across a fresh accident. I stopped to provide initial assistance to a woman who was bleeding. Someone was still stuck in the car too. Sadly too, I was often the first point of contact when family members arrived at a scene of a fatality. So that was probably the hardest part of that volunteer work. My 'speciality' was traffic safety and control, so while I was a first responder, I tended to be focused more on preventing further accidents on big scenes. Down here in the states I was a fire fighter for a short while and became certified as fire police.

Sometimes I think we have to see both the good and the bad side of life in order to respect what we do have. Life is fragile and we should always make the most of it and try to smile and be happy all along.

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