So after five decades of exploring life, how did I get to this point and create Manitou Movie School? In an effort to be as comprehensive and concise as possible, here is the long story in just under ten frames.
From six years old to graduation from Doherty High School in 1981, I grew up in Colorado Springs.
Although I was a decent three and half GPA student throughout those early years, it wasn't until my college days at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley that my inner academician began to shine.
Born in Pueblo, Colorado a third generation Italian-Sicilian-American, I now see how I hit the ground running with the challenges and opportunities of strong family, diverse community, deep history, and potent opportunity.
From one grandfather, perhaps involving some genetic mechanism but definitely through careful observation and instinct, I learned to be a father and homemaker. From my other grandfather, through the same means, I learned to be an inventor and explorer. From both of these men I learned to be a smart risk-taker who follows his heart.
Over the past ten years, with roots still there, I've written a number of articles for the Pueblo Lore, a publication of the Pueblo County Historical Society.
Throughout this period I was, in a word, a jock. In my family football was akin to religion and for nine years I played faithfully and moderately successfully.
But track and field was my most rewarding pursuit, winning a number of city championships in various events and a second place finish in the quarter-mile at the state Junior Olympics.
Two years in a row I won a Marine Corp. physical fitness contest. That's the closest I got to military service. Dig those Seventies socks!
I did ok as a wrestler too. Over the past few years I've come to love this sport the most as I watched my son Dominic pursue it with great success.
My final hurrah to teen competition was a city bodybuilding championship. This was after all the decade of Pumping Iron, when Arnold was the young man's idol. Where did that body go?
After a year of trial and error, I settled in the sciences where I majored in zoology and minored in chemistry. This pursuit appeared a good fit, winning awards as both Freshman and Senior Biologist of the Year.
I loved both the intellectual and social stimulation of college, the novelty, the variety, the heady atmosphere. I found my home here, so it seemed.
And back then it was cheap. My first year was just over a thousand bucks a term, and that was for the whole shebang--room, board, and tuition!
Hate to say this but higher education today appears mostly a racket. And that's unfortunate. Yet I still love its atmosphere and ultimate intent.
After getting my B.A. degree in 1986 I immediately got married and headed to Ohio for graduate school at Wright State University.
While the physique remains a mere hint, the fitness stuck.
Growing Up in Colorado Springs