The following is based on a true story.

I was born in New York City, raised there and on Long Island. At the age of sixteen and just graduated from high school, I lied my way into the Merchant Marine and shipped out on a tramp freighter bound for North Africa. A seminal experience, as the saying goes, which eventually provided the backdrop for The Coin of the Realm.

My seafaring itch scratched, I came home and embarked on what became a series of regrettable forays into several colleges—the regret was mutual, mine and the colleges’—then for a decade worked on-and-off as a musician, including a few years as a guitarist and songwriter in Hollywood. Between gigs and recording spurts, I wrote news copy and advertising copy, and that experience led to an award-winning career as a senior executive in the cruise and travel industries, principally in San Francisco, Hawaii, and New York. Finally I started my own consulting business, which I'm still operating today. My wife Barbara and I make our home in northern Arizona.