My Story

My Story

I was born in April of 1971 and raised in Steubenville, Ohio: a small, blue collar, steel industry town on the banks of the Ohio River, roughly 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, PA.

…okay, actually I was born in Mingo Jct. and raised in Wintersville (home of Giannamore’s Pizza), but it was only a few years ago that Wintersville even got its own zip code distinct from Steubenville. Maybe you’ve never heard of either place, but chances are better that you’ve heard of Steubenville — birthplace of Dean Martin, Edwin Stanton (Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War), Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder, and a few other notables. Anyway, I may catch a lot of flak from Wintersville residents, but it might as well be part of Steubenville — they share a common border and you hardly know that you are leaving one community and entering the other… so I just tell everyone that I am from Steubie.

In 1989, I graduated from Steubenville Catholic Central High School and I continued my education at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. (Not a pre-requisite to attend these schools, but I am Roman Catholic). I received my B.A. in political science in 1993. Unable to secure a job in my field, I took a job with Marriott in the food service industry for the next two years. I had worked there through most of my college years and it was certainly better than unemployment. It put money in my pocket and gas in my car, and I made some lifelong friends in the process; but it really wasn’t the best way to put a poli sci degree to use.  (Of course, we can debate over what IS the best way to put a poli sci degree to use.  I guess if you ask 100 people, you will probably get 99 different answers… which brings up the obvious question: which answer would get mentioned twice? — But none of this is really important to the [MY] story).

After this brief stint in food service (it was a refreshing break from formal studying) I returned to school in the fall of 1995. I finally shook the dirt of Steubenville off my feet and moved to Toledo, Ohio, where I attended law school through the spring of 1998. I graduated with my J.D. degree from the University of Toledo, College of Law, in mid May of 1998. {You want to talk about some interesting characters… I could write a book.  But then, who would actually read it other than my family and friends?}

In the beginning of August 1998, I moved to a new apartment in Toledo. I forgot how much I hate moving. I wish someone would have reminded me beforehand. Of course no move is complete without the unexpected snags. Take it from me, reserving a moving van one month in advance and notifying the telephone company of the upcoming changes one month in advance guarantees NOTHING! Can anyone tell me what purpose is served by giving advance notice? Based on my experience, it serves no purpose whatsoever…  Have you seen the Seinfeld episode where Jerry had a reservation for a rental car which is not there when he goes to pick it up — and then he had that exchange with the woman at the rental counter?  True to life account of my August ’98 move! (Okay, so I wasn’t as much of a smart ass about it as Jerry was, but I also don’t get paid millions of dollars for my sarcasm either. If I did, do you think I would be making these feeble attempts here on a web page?)

This graphic pretty much sums it all up…

During that first week of August I was also offered a job with a small law firm in Sandusky, Ohio. (Coincidentally, just days after I moved to my new place… in Toledo…). But I couldn’t turn the job down (not a smart thing to do when you have student loans coming out the wazoo).*** So within two days of moving I started commuting to work each day. In October of ’98 I relocated to Huron, Ohio. The daily commute from Toledo to Sandusky and back was getting to be too much for me and my car. In April of ’99, I moved again (four apartments in less than 10 months) to a place in Sandusky.

So after all that moving, I stayed in one apartment for four years (a new record) and then I moved once again in April of 2003.  Couldn’t pass it up, still living in Sandusky, but in a better place with cheaper rent.  This was a great living space and I stayed there for a few years, but after I got married in October of 2005 (see Our Story) I moved in with my new family. We are going to look for another new larger house in about few years or so, but for now we are staying put. (Did I mention that I hate moving?)

*** If I hadn’t taken this job, I would have never experienced four of the most wonderful things in my life today: in chronological order: 1) my parish community, 2) my wife, 3) my daughter, and 4) daughter #2.  See Our Story for more details.

I am not sure what my future holds, or where life will take me from here, but I guess this is a brief description of where I have been. Comments? Questions? Advice?  Send it all my way! Whether you’ve been there before or not, I’m open to anything anyone has to say. Or you can leave a comment and let all the world know you were here!

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