About the Author
Charles D. "Chuck" Floro, aka Chuck Douglas Floro
Born 7/30/1945 in San Francisco, California.
Spent early years moving with family across the US to Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, and teen years in Appalachia. Family moved to Guam, where he graduated from high school and had his freshman year at the College (now University) of Guam.
While in the Marianas, he became friends with not only Guamanians but Saipanese Chomorros and students from across what used to be the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; an adopted brother was from Losap in the Truk (Chuk) Islands. School holidays were usually spent on Saipan, whose people and land are featured in his creative work.
Before returning stateside, he traveled around the world – with hundreds of encounters with people and places and cultures foreign to friends from his early life.
He attended Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, but off campus life called out more than studies, which were a frustration. He once asked his academic advisor, when could he get into the depth of his interests (Literature) and was told to stick with requirements and later in grad school, he could get to what really interested him.
On campus, he sang folk songs with friends in the dorm and at the student center.
Off campus, he had jobs including a garbage crew, driving a truck to and from St. Louis early mornings for an animal feed business, bartending at a country club (which closed one Saturday a month for "private" card games with Chicago wise guys), and commercial painting.
A National Honor Society student in high school, most of his college years earned him mediocre grades, with the exception of summer school at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – there, he excelled in one of his two majors – History.
He dropped out to pursue life as a poet, working as a night desk clerk in a Near North Chicago residential hotel, close to bookstores where poetry readings were popular. But, disillusioned with what he felt was pretentious and unauthentic, he traveled to the West Coast seeking more. He worked briefly in downtown San Francisco at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) headquarters, but despite corporate opportunity the hippie lifestyle called. This was the time of flower power.
Lived in the redwoods at Ben Lomond, California, writing poetry and songs, doing handyman work. And joined the staff at Bridge Mountain Foundation, sometimes called the "poor man's Esalen," referring to the better known institute further south along the coast. Bridge Mountain has been called a "touchy, feely" place, it offered sensory awareness workshops and other means of self-transformation, healing and recovery. (See Bridge Mountain Experience, © 1990, by the author.) Poems from the Mountain are included in this anthology.
Studied journalism briefly at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, but his spirit was too used to freedom to sit still in a classroom. A memory is having written an investigative feature published in the Kentucky Kernel student newspaper showing how alumni were polluting the air with their factories in Lexington.
Oh yes, always questioning the Establishment.
Decided to get into journalism. Granted an interview with a Chicago Tribune senior editor, who said, Sure we could give you a job, but you'd be stuck covering obits, or the same city beat every day. He suggested going to work for a Midwest weekly newspaper, where you'd learn it all.
That's what he did: beginning as reporter/photographer and ad salesman for a West Central Minnesota weekly newspaper.
With some construction jobs in between, he has edited and published community newspapers ever since.
In 1996, he went back to college and earned a B.A. degree.
Throughout the years, he has been penning poetry and songs (ASCAP songwriter).
He is married and father of five children and grandfather of seven grandchildren.
Follow his creative works here:
Earth and Sky Enterprises ~ P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279 USA ~ 605.938.4452 ~ email firstname.lastname@example.org