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I started life on March 28, 1959 in Bangor ME.  I spent my first few months of life in the hospital, as I was born with a minor heart defect.  At about 4 months old I was released and adopted by a couple who lived in Southwest Harbor Me who had 1 son at the time.

The same year  I was adopted, my folks adopted two girls, Linda and Donna, who were 7 and 9.  Within one year, they went from a family of 1 child, to a family with 4.  I cant imagine what the adjustment must have been like.

The house was now a little small for all of us, so Dad bought a house in Bar Harbor that was more to the size we would need. This house would remain special to us for many years. The house itself was bought for $12,500. It is situated on West Street which borders on the ocean.  Our backyard view was of Frenchmans Bay, and Bar Island.  As a young boy the house seemed huge, with its 25 rooms and 4 levels, I guess it was. I remember my Grandparents moved in with us, and lived on the top floor.

We also enjoyed a log cabin at Lake Mattewaumkeg, We had to travel 7 or 8 miles by boat to reach it.

In 1965 Mom & Dad expanded the family again, and adopted two more kids. My brothers Martin & Matthew, which were fraternal twins.

By my count, we now had 9 people living in the house, but I dont ever remember feeling crowded.  At five years old, I was able to travel around Bar Harbor by myself, something that I dont let my kids do now at the ages of 13 and 16, but 1965-66 was a different time.

Since we lived on the water, it was only fitting that we had a boat, and Dad felt so too. He converted a 38' lobster boat into a pleasure boat for us, and I loved it. We also had a sailboat and a boston waler.  Mom & dad used to put the playpen for the twins into the back of the boat, and I remeber it rolling around a few times in rough water.

In 1966, dad left his job as Assistant Director of the Jackson Laboratory and we moved to Michigan. Dad took over as Director of Labratory Animal Resources at Michigan State University. We lived in a small house for a while, but eventually found one to fit our family again.  So we moved to the other side of Lansing, to Waverly. My grandparents however, stayed behind in Maine.

This house had 16 rooms, an inground pool, and plenty of room for horses.  There were several occasions where I got to ride my horse in local parades, our entire family was even featured in a local newspaper section once.

When I was about 10, Mom & Dad made plans to take me to The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The plan was that I would be there for an extended period of time and have open heart surgery.  I spent about a month in the hospital, but they determined that open heart surgery would not help me.  I remember one doctor told me one day, that there was nothing they could do. He said that if I did not exert myself, restrain from exercise, and dont drink, I should be able to live to the age of  21 or 22!.  I sure am glad that they had no idea what they were talking about!  I am now almost 41, and my doctor tells me that my defective heart valve is noisy, but not a big deal.

When mom and dad were preparing to spend an extended amount of time in MN with me, they knew that hotels for that long would cost and exorbinant amount. To reduce the cost, they bought a travel trailer, and we became a family with a camper.  Mom & dad would enjoy trailer camping for the rest of thier years together.  There was one point we had 3 Airstream Trailers in the driveway!.

Around 1974, dad accepted a position at Bide-A-Wee association in NY, my older brother and two older sisters were now married with lives of their own, so only me and my two younger brothers moved to NY with them.  We lived in Westhampton Beach, which is a resort area on Long Island.  I finished high school their in 1977, and began my working career.  At the end of 1977, dad moved to Washington DC to work at the National Institue of  Health, I deceided to stay on Long Island.  I took up room and board in Smithtown, with a family that would become great friends with me over the next few years.

Continue with Mark & Becky's story

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