Who am I?
A few years ago I invited a Facebook friend of mine to help me with the cover Art for a upcoming book, in the process of defining who I am as an Author I had to choose, am I a cowboy, a pilot, an Idaho farm kid, a Marine, hunter, cattleman, horseman, blogger, author, a father and a husband; who is Brian Spaulding?
Actually I’m all of the above or have been at one time or another. The term horseman I use rather loosely as it is not a self imposed term. If someone calls you a horseman that’s one thing but to think of yourself as one is rather vain. I’m more of a student of the horse and a horse owner.
In my two current books the Author bio is different, something that I need to correct. In the first book the Bio states that I am a fourth generation Idaho Cowboy and that is true. In my second book it states that I have logged over 12,000 hours as a professional pilot, that is true also. So if I write a book on Brain Surgery next can I claim to be a ‘Brain Surgeon’? Nope, that isn’t true, and its not likely that I’ll write a book ‘Brain Surgery’.
I do need to settle on a single Authors Bio though and actually believe that we tried to do that sometime in the past as I saw it was a problem but to change the formatting it required more work than it was worth at the time, but just the same it will be corrected in the future.
But to answer my own question “who am I’?
My greatest role in life is as a husband and father and although I claim not to be a vain person my family is my greatest point of vanity; possibly my only point of vanity.
The feature photo shows me as an toddler, a High School graduate and a Marine; Vietnam Era.
The toddler picture was taken just prior to my contracting Meningitis, my parents were uncertain that I was going to make it. I had started walking early but Meningitis took that from me. We were living on the east side of Heise Hot Springs near Ririe Idaho and dad was farming an 80 acre spud farm.
Mom was headed to Rigby one day with me laying in the seat next to her to see Dr Rigby who also delivered me as well as my 2 older brothers and get another shot of penicillin, they said my little bottom looked like a pin cushion, when I stood up in the seat next to her. Startled she pulled over and hugged me and cried. Needless to say I survived Meningitis to go on and fulfill all of the roles that I have had in life.
I’m the good looking one sitting in the center between mom and dad; okay we are all pretty cute but you know what I mean.
My High School graduation picture was taken not long after my accident with the runaway colt dragging me near to death. What do we really know about life as a Senior in High School?
I wasted a year at college and decided I needed some time to grow and mature so a hitch in the Marines seemed like a good idea. In was August 1969 when I headed to MCRD San Diego, just one year past our bloodiest year of fighting in Vietnam. Needless to say my parents weren’t exactly thrilled about my choice but I was of legal age and had signed up without consulting them. I was glad I did because they would have thrown a fit and as the Marine Corps now owned me for the next three years there was nothing any of us could do about it. That I was a ‘Grunt’ 0311 rifleman didn’t help my parents sleep any better the next 3 years.
I never made it to Vietnam but the Marines was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
My parents had taught all of us siblings to work hard, tell the truth and take responsibility for our own decisions be them good or bad and never quit. Integrity was something inherit in working for my dad, if you didn’t have it you didn’t make the grade. He was honest and forthright although at times a little tough on us older siblings. He did mellow with age and one thing amongst several good qualities that my dad had was that he played as hard as he worked, they both did, and quitting was never and I mean ‘NEVER’ and option.
My future bride the winter of 1972 eastern Idaho
Since my 3 year tour with the Marines I have finished a Bachelors degree, married an absolutely wonderful woman, raised a large family, 6 children and 23 grand children and had one ‘HELL’ of an adventure called Life.
So who am I? Keep reading and you decide.
Joy, my bride and I, were married September 6th 1972, I was fresh out of the Marines and she had graduated from High School that spring. Fifty years later and we are still dealing with life’s challenges together. Fifty years you say? Some folks would say ‘congratulations’ but I can assure you that there have been times when my wife would have felt that condolences were in order. Aviation especially Crop Dusting can put a lot of stress on a marriage.
Hawaii December 2016, Kamron our youngest was stationed there so it was a good time to visit.
A friend of mine once pointed out that AIDS is usually used as an acronym for a serious and often fatal disease but it is actually an acronym for ‘Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome’. Clever but a bit of truth to it.
If I listed my fellow pilots that I have flown with a huge chunk of them have been married more than once; several of them several times. Also there is a huge chunk of them no longer amongst the living. That will be another post in the future.
The M18 Dromader with myself standing on the hopper and crew scattered around the aircraft. We were flying off of a county road spreading dry fertilizer on potatoes; it isn’t a tiny Airplane, I stand 5′ 10″ to give you an idea how big the M18 was.
Our oldest son is a Guard pilot out of Boise Idaho, He’s been in Africa for the past 4 and a half months. It would have been 9 months but he split a tour of duty with a fellow Guardsman. He is a Black Hawk pilot for the Guard but is flying a King Air in Africa. I can’t begin to list how often he as been gone from his wife and children or all of the places he’s been..
Our youngest son is a Chinook pilot for the Army; couldn’t keep Aviation out of their blood. Same goes for him as far as listing how often he’s been gone from his family and the places they have both been.
Getting back to who I am, Aviation and horses have consumed a big chunk of my life and yes it has been an adventure.
Branding calves for our neighbors this past spring; we were roping both ends.
After we were married we went to school on the GI bill and I finished a Bachelors degree in Animal Husbandry graduating from Utah State University the spring of 1976. Our oldest child, a son was born a week before graduation. For the next 7 years I managed ranches in Idaho, Utah and Montana before switching careers and flying full time for a living. Full time as a seasonal pilot in the Crop Dusting business.
My bride on a borrowed horse Elk Creek, north side of Palisades Reservoir summer of 1974.
Aviation and horses may appear as an odd combination but both are fun and adventurous, besides the greatest Ace of WW1 was a Prussian Calvary Officer before becoming the Red Baron.
To be continued