Personal History : 1991 – 1992

1991 continued the depressive mess that was the end of 1990; it was a complicated time for me and was rife with stress and anger. Over the years I’ve come to terms with this era of my life though, and now just view it as a learning experience.

The most interesting part of this for me, is that 1991 felt like it took place over several years; things that happened weeks apart are remembered as being months apart.

I do remember that Queensryche had just released “Empire” and I played the album quite a bit in the truck while looking for a job.

Oh, Bush is still president though most of this period, but because of the bad economic situation and crazy unemployment numbers he loses to Clinton in late ’92.


In early January I located a room for rent and set about getting my ex and I moved.

My parents clearly don’t want me at home, but get equally upset when I tell them I’m moving out – so, to assist me, while I’m at work they take everything we own in their house / garage and park it all in the snow outside of the garage for us to pick up that evening.

There’s a reason I don’t talk about my parents much…

My ex and I start to settle in with our new roommates and that’s when PrarieTek starts layoffs. I’m told that I will have work through February and should start looking for other employment…

Our new roommates talk us into attending “Genghis Con XII” on February 15 – 17, 1991 at the Sheraton in Lakewood.

It’s mostly for my ex to run a game for a few people our roommates know, and me to get my mind off of the constant body blows I’ve been taking from life for the last six months or so. My ex makes friends with a very nice lady selling handmade fantasy garb in the dealer’s room and trades a couple of on-the-spot drawings for a circle cloak for me, with unicorn clasps. By the end of the show Sher, her husband, my ex, and I have dinner to discuss a business proposition; convention sales.

I explain the complexities of our situation and Sher and her husband offer us a spare room at their place in Aurora in exchange for my ex making art to sell and helping Sher make garb, and me helping run the business and getting the books in order. See, Sher’s husband worked full time for an airline and didn’t have time anymore to go convention hopping for fun and profit.

We take them up on this and a week later have moved from a tiny room in Longmont to a slightly larger room in east Aurora.

Shortly after moving in with our new friends, we and a half dozen SCA folks are piled into Sher’s Ford Aerostar van. The big pavilion is strapped to the top of the van and the rest of the space filled with stuff to sell, and we collectively made for the SCA’s Twenty-Fifth Year Celebration in Texas. This was March 21st through the 31st, 1991.

Once we got back, there was a few days pause and then Sher and I prepared to take off to I-CON on Long Island in New York for the April 19-21 1991 show. My ex stayed behind because she wasn’t interested in another cross-country trip so quickly.

When Sher and I got back from Long Island, my ex states she really isn’t all that interested in the convention thing and wouldn’t be participating. But, I was on the hook for the roof over our heads – so in early June Sher and I headed out once again to hit conventions in Louisiana and Florida. We wouldn’t be back until the end of July.

My badge from the New Orleans Science Fiction / Fantasy Festival

While Sher and I were in Long Island, my ex had hooked up with a couple of role players across town and was spending her time over there. When we left again for Florida she basically moved in with them.

When I returned I discovered that my wife had essentially left me, which was upsetting. But a couple weeks later one of the guys she’d shacked up with got mad and discharged a firearm in the apartment. She called in tears, terrified, and I rode to the rescue…

I had to tell Sher that I couldn’t really do the convention thing anymore because of my ex, and I spent what little money I had getting us another room with a couple of folks in an old house on Federal.

It was here that I worked probably a dozen different day jobs while scouring the Denver metro area for work. We were just barely scraping by and we ate more condensed soup than I’d like to admit over the next few months.

My ex went with our roommates to StarCon on September 27-29 1991 while I was working at a call center third shift, and she returned with yet more fans.

This was when we met Robin, Tad, Lynx, and  JJ.

This turned out to be fortuitous as both of our roommates lost their jobs and we all became homeless in November. That was the week we slept in the truck with all of our worldly belongings for a few days until JJ took us in for a week, and then Robin took us in long-term.

We spent the holidays with Robin and her two daughters Meagan and Kaitlin. My ex got the couch, I slept on the floor, and I continued to try desperately to get some work in the economic hellscape that was 1991.


For the first two months of 1992 I scoured the papers, made phone calls, and delivered resumes during the day and played handyman around Robin’s condo at night – fixing the dishwasher, the oven, the furnace, “herman” – whatever. My ex entertained folks in the evenings when the clan would gather in Robin’s living room for the next chapter of the game my ex was running.

Eventually my persistence paid off and I landed a job at EDCON across town. The job was working gravity and magnetic survey equipment on oil company seismic ships, which wasn’t too terribly different than running gravimetric and inertial systems on a submarine – something I qualified to do while on the 735.

It paid ridiculously well – like $60,000 per year in early 90’s money well – but it had a requirement of being at sea for 2-4 months at a shot. Of course, then I’d be off for 2-4 months at a shot so it wasn’t too bad in my opinion because that’s pretty much identical to submarine life…

My ex assured me that with Robin and the gang she’d not wander off again, so I took the job…

I got the job in mid-February and started training on the LaCoste and Romberg gravitometer while my passport was finished.

The extra photos for that passport… The early 90’s were pretty wild. 🙂

My passport came in on the 3rd of March, 1992, and on March 22nd I was on a plane to Mersin Turkey out of Chicago O’Hare.

I returned in mid-May and everything seemed to be okay. My ex was still in one piece, everyone else was still in one piece, and I had enough cash to get our lives back together.

I rented an apartment across the street from Robin’s condo just so that my ex would have someone close by to lean on if required. I also picked up an arrest-me-red 1988 300 ZX turbo to replace the truck.

Things were pretty amazing while I was on my shore rotation, but soon enough it was time to head back out; this time off the coast of Texas to a place called Garden Banks.

I left in July for a three month tour, returning in late October. In that time my ex had not only hooked back up with an old Navy acquaintance of mine from back in Connecticut, but had drained my accounts to buy him a new Honda and move him out to Colorado. She had also picked up these two hairless Sphinx cats that were ridiculously expensive both to acquire and maintain. I only ever saw them when I would evict them from the big octagonal waterbed we had…

Anyway, I discovered this news from Robin while I was at sea – and it ruined me. And by association ruined the data I was capturing because I couldn’t focus on the job… I returned to my ex being repentant for cheating on me again, but insistent on having an ‘open relationship’ where she could see other people while I was away.

Yeah – that didn’t work for me.

This prompts a lot of fighting and days of frustration and depression. I lose the job at EDCON, and in turn I lose everything else – and to help out my ex runs off with Mr. Right Now to California, leaving me in ashes.

Robin was kind enough once again to take me in and I spent another holiday season in her living room.

And that was 1992…