From now on Sundays will be a day for you to get to know me, I will try and be completely open with you and share with you my life, the setbacks, the triumphs, my thoughts, my beliefs and how I have grown.
If there is anything that I don’t explain in enough detail let me know and I’ll try and add it.
Some Sundays I will be publishing podcasts with interviews from interesting people or just me talking about something I find important, but mostly Sundays will be for this life story series. At least until it is finished.
To Begin before the beginning
A life story needs to start with the parents, if you don’t know where I come from, it will be hard to understand who I am.
My father was born in Berkeley and grew up in Piedmont, which is near San Francisco. His dad was in the Air Force reserve, he was not a serving officer after 1945 (he was an air base commander in the second world war in England).
Dad has always been very keen on technical things and was a shortwave listener from the age of 10, and had a pirate radio station in his room from about the age of 16. There were several of his friends who banded together and shared the same frequency to make it harder for the authorities to track us down.
After spending a year as an exchange student in Sweden (1969-70) he decided to actively resist the Vietnam War. He had already applied to be a Conscientious Objector (where you get drafted but do not do military service), but his final year of college he didn’t apply for my student deferment. That meant he got drafted. He got called to the Oakland Induction Center and told them he wouldn’t serve.
His Dad came down and met me before I went to the induction center to wish me well. My grandfather was totally against what he was doing, but he wanted to show his respect and love for my father.
He spent a couple years in the US after refusing induction, then got tired of waiting for the FBI to talk to me and came to Sweden, where he was granted asylum for humanitarian reasons.
Six months later he was accepted into Graduate School in Journalism, so he went back to California. When he was finished with school and had to write his thesis, he arranged to come to Radio Sweden and write about them. He just sort of stuck, and met my mom a couple of years later.
My mother is from Sweden and has lived almost her entire life in Sweden. After a little wavering she became a journalist which is why she was at Radio Sweden and could meet my father.
She studied a year in France though and speaks French fluently.
They moved in together only 2 weeks after they met.
My mother has been very successful as a journalist but has since then moved over more and more to editor and PR jobs. She worked for the Swedish Minister of Education for years and when his term was up many other ministers wanted her to work for them.
She started working with minority rights and has worked with magazines and on projects to help minorities all over the world. One project I remember was in Egypt where she wrote about a project to help educate men and women about female circumcision.
She is now in France working for the European Commission on with minorities.
This is the background from which I entered the world.
We will end this first part here and continue next week, stay tuned.