Though most of my extended family is from Missouri, I was born in Boulder, Colorado, at Boulder County Hospital. My mother lived in Boulder for a few years in the early 1980s, but we returned to Missouri early enough in my life that I don't have any recollection of living there. Still, it's a beautiful place that I still like to claim as my original home. We returned frequently over the years to visit family friends, and to explore Boulder Canyon and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
My grandparents on both sides lived most of their lives in various small towns in Iron County. When I was young, both maternal and paternal grandparents lived on opposite sides of Ironton, a quaint town on the edge of the beautiful Arcadia Valley. Upon moving back from Colorado, we lived nearby in Ironton for a short time.
Saint Louis, MO
My preschool years were spent crawling around in a four-family flat on Arsenal, half a block east of Grand and Tower Grove Park. I do have some memories from these years, including hot summer nights with the windows open and a fan on high, trying to piece together dinner that didn't involve turning on the oven or stove.
From age 5 to 18 I lived in a suburb on the far southrn edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area. It was just what you might expect: subdivisions, baseball teams, big box stores, and lots of TV. Most of my fond memories from these years involve my family. Pictured here is me with my brother, mother, and grandfather.
From 2000-2005 I was an undergraduate at Truman State University, a little-known but quite wonderful public liberal arts school in northern Missouri, a few minutes drive from the Iowa border. The permanent population of Kirksville was roughly 15,000, while the school had an enrollment of 6,000. Needless to say, it wasn't much of a traditional college town. But the town had character, and was small enough to make a car almost completely unecessary on a day-to-day basis.
During my undergrad years, I spent 5 months studying in England. Technically, I lived in Hampton Wick, a southwestern suburb of London that sits along the Thames River and is walking distance from Hampton Court Palace, home of Henry VIII.
In the summer of 2003, I lived in this small town about halfway between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan. Summers in Michigan are a dream, with their long days, relatively mild temps, and plenty of outdoor recreation at close access.
While there, I worked with students and faculty at Grand Valley State University on mathematics research, the result of which is my only published research paper to-date.
I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska in the summer of 2005, preparing for graduate school, which would start that fall. I lived with about a dozen other math students in the dorms, which were otherwise empty (as was much of this college town).
Long Island, NY
From 2005 to 2008 I lived in a few towns on the north shore of Long Island: Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, and Sound Beach. At the time, I was a graduate student at Stony Brook University. This part of Long Island is about 60 miles east of New York City (about 2 hours by train or car to Manhattan), but feels like a world away. The coastline is beautiful, and the east end of long island closely matches the expectations created by movies and literature of an idyllic, quaint stretch of small towns, farms, farm stands, and beaches.
Saint Louis, MO
We come to the present day. After leaving New York in 2008, I returned to St. Louis, this time planting my feet within the city limits for the first time. Over the years I lived in a few different parts of the city, including Dogtown and Old North, but I've spend the majority of my time in the city in the Cherokee / Jefferson area, at various apartments in Benton Park and Gravois Park.