I am a writer and journalist living in a small wine community 60 miles north of San Francisco. At the age of 67, I’ve been involved in writing and publishing since the sixth grade newsletter in one form or another, working as a legal editor for CCH, assistant to two art directors at the Rolling Stone, a cub reporter at the Sonoma Index-Tribune, founding the Kenwood Press, assistant ME at the Petaluma Argus-Courier, ME of the Novato Advance (4 months), production editor for DealFlow Media, and today I’m back at the Kenwood Press, writing and providing technical assistance on a part-time basis.

I was educated in Beaconsfield, England; Washington, D.C., Dayton Ohio; Washington again; Paris, France (graduated HS); San Antonio, TX (graduated Trinity U); Chicago, IL (three years Loyola School of Law). College degree in History with minors in Psychology and French.

I live in a canyon next to Sugarloaf State Park on a very isolated half-acre of God’s back yard. It is so beautiful I pinch myself daily because after 33 years I still don’t believe I have the right to live so well.

For anyone with political sensitivities, I declare firmly that you have no idea of what I think about politics. I vote Democratic 90 percent of the time. I’m more fiscally conservative than anyone would ever believe. I have no trouble with the death penalty, justly and fairly administered. Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and most of Western Pakistan would be glass if I ran the country after 9/11.

I think the silliest and least useful sobriquets in the current US lexicon is “liberal” or “conservative,” inevitably used to tar the recipient with a host of preconceived nonsense that prevents communication at any level. I have traveled, read, listened, learned and thought about life enough to know that it’s anything but simple. On the contrary, it is rich, complex, multi-hued, nuanced and a constant source of wonder to me in it’s kaleidoscopic presentation.

“Parallax is an apparent displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.” Taken straight from Wikipedia (blush). I learned about it using a CIA provided Leica the year before my father — Col. Jay F. Gamel, Sr. — moved to Paris to become Military Attache to NATO. As most attache’s are spies of one sort or another, they have to take courses in surveillance before posting. Pop hated the whole idea of it in general, and cameras in particular, and since I was a camera buff at 12, i got the Leica and a whole bag full of goodies.

This was before the day of the single-lens reflex camera. You looked thorough a finder — a small telescope mounted on top of the camera body, so right there you are looking at the photo target at a different angle than you’d see it directly through the lens. The displacement is small with a camera, but real enough for those who want to capture what they are seeing.
Parallax is a very real factor in human relations as well. As we look at a person, idea, concept, event, whatever, we have each our own line of sight. The parable of the blind men describing an elephant is an apt but gross analogy. What most people don’t fully appreciate is how subtle differences in perception can be when they are certain that there is no other way to see a thing. And by “thing” I mean any processed perception: heat, love, hate, light, pain, darkness … the whole world without ourselves.
Communication is mostly about comparing and resolving those angular differences in perception. Success is achieved when enough identities are shared to compose mutually coherent information in the communicants. Success in communicating is one of the most rewarding experiences a human can experience. It is one of the major confirmations that we are not alone in the universe, that our thoughts and perceptions are reproducible in another human being. It is a substantiation and validation of our very selves.
Conversations, books, stories, songs, paintings are all forms of communication, which is the highest part of life for me, looking, listening, feeling and ultimately comprehending some part of what’s been offered to me by way of a thought by another human being. 
I want to thank the thousands of people who have lived since proto-history who have conveyed their thoughts and feelings to me throughout my life. You have provided the very rich tapestry of my life and made the days exciting and filled with wonder and mystery.