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Back to the '80's: Introduction

Monday, June 1, 2009


In the immortal words of late vice-presidential candidate Admiral James Stockdale, “Who am I? Why am I here?”.

I believe those are two relevant questions that should be answered if I expect you, as an audience, to care enough to want to read my blog. Heck, you may not care enough to read my blog even if I answer those questions, but answer them I will.

Who am I? I am Bob Joles. Almost all of you who read this introductory blog already know me, but for the hopeful millions more to come (ha ha), nice to meet you. I will give you a very condensed version of who I am and hopefully it will be just enough to pique your interest.

I was born into a strange world. My father (John Joles) was half English Romanichal (Gypsy, we’ll get to that later) and half Oglala Sioux Indian. My mother (Carol Joles nee Webb and now Carol Chaulsett) is a bit of a hodgepodge with mixtures of English and Cherokee Indian, but mostly Greek.

The reason I give you this background is to try and familiarize you with the clash of cultures I was brought up in. The main clash came between my Romanichal (Gypsy) side as compared to my non-Romanichal (Gadji) side. These two vastly different ways of life was what I bounced between growing up. On the Gypsy side the philosophy was to keep the wheels moving underneath of you, while on the non-Gypsy side the philosophy was to firmly plant your roots into the ground and establish yourself.

As I’m sure you can imagine it was quite confusing for me, as a kid, to know which way was the "right way". There’s no doubt that the more exciting and fun lifestyle, as a kid, was the Gypsy way of life. You never quite knew where you was going to be in the United States from week to week. For a young boy it was really quite adventuresome when I look back on it. I can’t tell you how many times, growing up, my dad would come home from a tough day knocking doors, peek his head inside the door and yell “Carol, pack the stuff down, we’re moving.” For those of you who don’t understand how moving that quickly is possible, I need to let you know that back when I was a kid 99% of Gypsies lived in travel trailers. So, much like a turtle, we carried our homes on our backs.

The more stable and, what seemed to be, secure lifestyle was the non-Gypsy way of life. Some of my fondest memories as a child were living in a, more permanent, mobile home in a neighborhood called State Park, which is located in Collinsville, Illinois. Many of my non-Gypsy relatives lived within blocks and I seen them on a day to day basis. During this period I spent a great deal of time with my non-Gypsy grandparents who lived just a few blocks away. My grandfather Marvin Webb was, without a doubt, the biggest influence on my life as a kid growing up. He was a member of the American Mountain Man’s Association and as far as I was concerned was in the same category as Superman. There was nothing, in my eyes, he couldn’t do. How cool was that? My grandfather was a living, breathing superhero.

So these were the two worlds I was caught between. One a fast paced life of perpetual motion and the other a stationary life of non-changing environment. This mixture would influence who I became and, in many ways, what my opinions and outlook on life would be.

The reason I give you this very short biographical overview is mainly for introductory purposes, hence the “Who am I?”, but also because there may be times in the future where I will reference back to my childhood or adolescence and I want you to have a vague foundation as to what I am speaking of.

So, this leads us to our second question, “Why am I here?”. I guess simply stated, for my entertainment purposes, hopefully for yours and, who knows, we may just learn a thing or two from one another.

Lastly, to keep this intro somewhat short, “What will I be blogging about?”. The answer to that question is LIFE. I will be blogging about life in general. I don’t want to pigeon-hole what we can or can’t talk about on this blog, so as far as I’m concerned everything is open for discussion.

I may talk about sports one day and politics the next. I may blog on movies one day and food the next. Maybe one day it will be the weather and the next will be religion. There will be a little something for everyone. There will be things you agree with me on and things you disagree with me on. Either way I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section.

Also, I would love to hear your requests on future blogs. I will take all subjects into consideration. So let me know what you would like me to blog on and you will very likely see it in short time. I will update as often as possible, but I do not want to nonchalantly scribble out a blog with no consideration to it’s quality. There are some subjects that may require a bit of research for me to give you an informed opinion on. If this is the case, I will try to let you know in an update that I am working on that blog.

Well, I guess that about does it for now, so watch for my updates and start sending in your requests. I hope you’ll find my blog interesting and informative. Please favorite this site and let your friends and family know. Take care and I’ll be talking to you soon.

Bob Joles