I'm the Dad, and chief author unless otherwise noted. I'll give a spare autobiography, and then ask each of the other to provide their own vignette of me - it's only fair, I did the same for them, didn't I?

I'm 48. This is important, because I'm a believer in dozens, not decades, so I'm entering my fifth. Each one has a theme, which I don't figure out until I'm halfway through. It feels like intra-life re-incarnation every twelve years. The last dozen (or so) I spent in the "leadership" theme. I've been (until June 10th, 1997) the Medical Director of the Medical Staff of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, the sixth largest medical group in the country. For some reason which I never quite figured out, my fellow physicians (6-700 of them) chose me to lead them, so for the last 13 years (seven as Medical Director, five more before that as Chief of one of the three service regions) I've been trying my best to help them collectively achieve their goals. For those who want to know more about Group Health, click on the link.

Before that, my theme was "learning my profession". In this case, it was physician, specifically, Obstetrician. I spent six years learning, and another five practicing, but got sidetracked into this other thing, so never got to actually be a doctor, in the sense that your own family doctor or specialist is. I hope to get that chance, now, after we finish our bike trip.

Before that, the theme, as for most boys 12-24, was "figuring out who I am". Through six years of high school, three at college (Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT), and 2 at medical school (USC in LA), I followed the rule from all those songs: "you don't learn everything there is to know in school". Friends and fun are what taught me. For example, the missing years from each of these last two paragraphs, at ages 20 and 29, were spent as a ski bum, first in Aspen, and next at Snowbird. Skiing, its dancing and its people are one constant in my life, and maybe the thing I do better than anything else.

And before that? Who knows - kids 12 and under (I've had a lot of first hand observation of this for that past 16 years) are merged with the world in a way we each lose as we enter puberty. Much of the rest of our life is spent trying, in vain, to get back that feeling of being one with everything around us, trying to recapture the sense that all is possible, and we're therefore all-powerful.