Small Town Woodsie. Story Teller. Content Curator.
We used to go over to Grandpa’s house – about once a month – on Friday nights when I was little. A twenty eight mile trip from Woodruff to Sugar Camp Wisconsin, winding our way through the forest on two lane county highways, ever-watchful for deer after dark. Mom and Dad would sit at the kitchen table with him, and my brother and I would take our spots in plastic covered rocking chairs that sat along the wall, happy to be given access to 50’s-era copper containers on the kitchen counter, holding Hershey Miniatures and Bazooka Joe gum.
In between mashing handfuls of sugar into my mouth, I would while away the hours by poring over Grandpa Grosman’s impressive pile of National Geographics, which were stationed on a table next to my plastic covered rocking chair of choice. I was transfixed by that ever growing stack of windows to the rest of the world. Coal Mining families in the hollows of Appalachia, Bangladeshi Ship Breakers, and that Afghan girl with the piercing eyes – it was these magazines discovered in a small, rural, Northern Wisconsin town that made me want to tell stories – mine or other people’s – with words and pictures.
I joined the Army straight out of High School in 1989, got stationed in Germany and my tiny battalion was deployed to Operation Desert Shield. I was the only guy in my Gun Battery (artillery version of “company”) with an SLR Camera, so as we made our way through Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, I was scurried up to interesting sites to capture on film (downed planes, burned out APCs, the Sumerian city of Ur, etc). Up until then I’d taken pictures of friends, sunsets and heat lightning – so this was turning the amp up to 11, in contrast.
In 1997 I obtained an Associates Degree in Visual Communications at Milwaukee Area Technical College . The Midwest was just-now embracing the web, but I had school experience in making Macromedia Director programs. I quickly taught myself HTML and more Photoshop, landed a job with a production house, got experience via three advertising agencies, and am now a Digital Marketing Specialist for the Sigma-Aldrich Corporation.
I’m still that kid that loves to tell a story with pictures and videos of my wife and kids, and the world in general. But the internet has replaced Grandpa Grosman’s stack of National Geographics.