Wm. E. Allendorf, Prop.
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It came to me the other day that I should probably start thinking about updating the website and rearranging stuff for the people that will show up for the Black Hole Literary Review and the new Black Hole Coffee House Forum.  When I got done, all the pages of stuff I had moved out of the way had left me with a huge blank space on this page, titled William E. Allendorf.  I thought that was significant.  Pardon me, therefore, if I get a little self-absorbed here.

Previously, this space had been filled up with press release-style blurbs about hunting, or announcements when I'd been added to somebody's pro-staff, or some monster camping trip, or some big outing at the farm.  All that has been moved elsewhere.  I've got pages for what I hunt, what my kids are doing, how to get in touch with me, where I live, what I do, how to get in touch with me.  At the top of it all was this huge cypher.  Third Position Army

I've turned 50 and then some.  So there's no reason to be scared.  I am not going to be finding any new appendages.  I know who my parents are.  I'm past the point of simply defining myself based on what I do for a living-- that's good, because I'm currently unemployed.  I'm past the point of defining my self based on what I hunt. The point could be made that you are what you eat, so may be that is as good a definition as any, but from a spiritual point of view, it is not very fulfilling.  I probably am what I write, but there is a whole other half a site here that is devoted to that. 

"William E. Allendorf, Proprietor."   Hmmmmm.

Back in the day when the Black Hole Coffee House was happening, back when Black Hole Productions was producing, and spending "A night in the Hole," on a Friday night was the highlight of a lot of people's social calendar one  Queen of the Hole Du Jour opined: "Bill, you've got to get it through your head that you and the Hole are one. The rest of us know that, why don't you?"

I'd always sort of thought that I was just the facilitator. I'd tried to make a clean, well-lit place for folks to hang out.  That impulse had gone all the way back-- invite folks in, give them a chance to play, have some fun along the way. Part of that was being an only kid.  Part of that was growing up in a landlord's family. My dad owned apartments and he made a living off providing a nice place to live for folks.  I went 27 years in IT, most of it was spent in end-user support or network design-- giving folks a nice environment in which to compute.

I remember back over 20 years ago, sitting under a desk at  Midwest Group of Funds. I was a senior systems analyst for Bob Leshner's group.   I was dressed in a 3-piece suit, but I had an impact drill in my hands and I was trying to bring some cable up through the floor.  The portfolio manager beside me said, "Bill, how did you ever get into this line of work?"

"Well," I said. "My Dad owned apartments, and he brought me into the business when I was 14.  I did all his maintenance, and by the time I went off to college, I was snaking out drains, replacing light bulbs, mowing the grass, and listening to old ladies tell me about their last trip to the doctor.  It's been almost 20 years, and 2 degrees, and really my life hasn't changed all that much."

It probably still hasn't.  In between submitting resumes, and looking in on my folks, and repairing stuff on the farm, my big job now is to make a clean, well lit place for folks to come hang out under the old Black Hole shingle. 

 


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