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Bryant McPherson

Austin, Texas, United States


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I was a dropout. I quit school a few weeks after starting the ninth grade. In those days, finding a job with only an eighth grade education was not difficult but finding a good job was. I earned fifty cents an hour as a uniformed usher in an upscale movie theater. I set pins in a bowling alley before they had machines to do that. It paid about the same as the usher job. I was also a soda jerk and delivery boy at a mom-and-pop drug store.

Eventually, I found a good job when I followed a rumor and left New Orleans for Detroit. I worked in a car factory, but when the economy soured, I was laid off. For a while, I tried hustling magazine subscriptions, door-to-door, but quit when I couldn't stomach the deceit involved. I couldn't find another job, so I joined the navy and became a hospital corpsman. I was 17.

Even though I had joined the navy, almost all of my 13 years of service was spent with the marines. That included a year with them in Vietnam. During my service time, I took advantage of some of the great educational opportunities available. When I finally left the navy, I was accepted at The University of New Orleans where I earned an engineering degree, thanks to the GI Bill.

Not long after graduating, I became a research engineer with NASA's Neurophysiology Laboratory at The Johnson space Center in Houston. Our lab studied space-motion sickness. It was a fascinating job, but after five and a half years, I needed a change, so I got married (divorced 17 years later) and moved on. For the next several years, I worked as a hardware/software engineer on short termed assignments at various companies. Eventually, I burned out and gave up engineering to pursue writing and painting. I attended writing and art classes at the local community college and at The University of Texas in Austin. To pay the bills, I took most any job that came along, including delivering newspapers, driving a taxi cab and grading student writing on standardized tests. I worked as an assistant in a museum and even painted oil portraits of cats via mail-order. Finally, I took a seasonal job with the IRS, and using credit for time served in the navy, I was able to retire after several years.

Life is not nearly the struggle for me it once was. Reading, writing and painting are my main pastimes. Although I write about them, I haven't seen any monsters since I quit drinking, years ago.

Interests: Writing, reading, oil painting

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: No


Published works:


  • Claws!