Friday, April 20, 2018

3William Whitney first experienced high adventure at the age of eleven through Boy Scouts, and has sought more ever since. During that early period, he was introduced to the marvelous, engaging tales of Kenneth Roberts, Alexander Dumas and James Fennimore Cooper. He was hooked on the fascinating dynamics of historical fiction.

His life's lessons laid a solid foundation. Earning degrees in geology, law and business administration, with an affinity for learning languages, coupled with a desire to see the world, presented opportunities for him to experience living in seven countries outside the United States. He taught high school students while living in Swaziland’s bush country where he learned … and used Zulu. Becoming fluent in a bantu language that incorporated tongue clicks was all the more challenging. But, evolving his understanding to the point of actually thinking in the language, was the powerful experience. Armed with the knowledge of how to teach himself foreign languages, he sought more expatriate opportunities throughout his adult life. Everywhere he lived, he made a bona fide effort to learn the local language. He witnessed cultural doors fly open, transitioning from what initially could have been a barrier, into a welcoming portal. By helicopter, he took that diversity oriented spirit up into the primitive Highlands of Papua New Guinea, then to coastal operations in Angola, still in civil war. Because of his unique skill sets, he was requested in Nigeria, initially in a contract / supply chain mentoring role, where he was formally acknowledged by his employer as a Diversity Ambassador. After repatriating to the States for a little over a year, it was off again; this time to Kuala Lumpur and the exotic sights, sounds, smells of the Far East. After short fourteen months, and with a measure of reluctance, William was transferred to the City of Light, Paris. His lingering reluctance evaporated by the time the taxi rolled over the mosaic boulevard at Place de La Concorde on the way to Rue Perronet. Concerted efforts to learn and actively use French, while living in the heart of the city, paid cultural dividends for him not only while in France. When transferred to the French speaking island of Mauritius, the French he used morphed from Parisian to Creole.

Yes, Ile Maurice is a real place, and I regret to confirm the Dodo bird is extinct. Pirates ate most of them; then the French took over. Start with a tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven... The birds basically walked into the pot. It was while William lived on the small Indian Ocean island that he actually, after decades in the making, put words around his ideas, and knocked out the first full draft of "Tiers of War".

William espouses to a philosophy that life with adventure, and a little adrenaline from time to time, is a good thing. Perhaps that explains his passion for long haul motorcycle touring on his BMW K1600 GTL. With New Orleans as a starting point, he has made runs on old US highways up to Quebec, the Florida Keys, Spokane/Glacier National Park and California where he got snowed in up in the Sierra Nevadas.  Did I mention he is a harmonica player with a guitar problem, polishing his repertoire?