I did not know the man who first held my name in my family. My paternal grandfather is a mystery to me. I have seen pictures, heard stories, but that’s all. He died delivering the mail on New Year’s Eve when my father was in college. I believe he must have been a very good man, because my grandmother is a very good woman, and her children were and are very good people. I know he made a career in the military, and his family travelled the world like many military families. He served during World War II. I have heard stories, like I said. He was the first Gordon Sinclair Bowman in my family. Even though I did not know him, I consider myself blessed, privileged and honored to carry his name.
I do, however, know my father, another very good man. My father also served in the military, though not as a career. He served during another war, Vietnam. He went to college, then married, then had two boys. Sometime later my parents divorced, and still later my father remarried. He worked with numbers most of his life, in offices. He is a very hard worker, and very generous. He serves his church diligently as a head deacon, and he will do anything for you, if you are in need. He volunteers all the time, and often does “good turns” simply out of habit. Although he could not be with his children the entire time they were growing up, he always tried to be with them when possible, and tried to make the most of the time he was with them, as he still does. I love my father. He was the second Gordon Sinclair Bowman.
Both of my grandfathers, my father and my father’s brother (my uncle) served in the military. My maternal grandfather used to tell me war stories. He encouraged me to join ROTC in high school, put in my two years in the military and then go to college on a military scholarship. I did not join ROTC, because by the time I was in high school I was a loner and just wanted to do my own thing. I did not think about what I’d do after high school until half way through my senior year. I recalled my grandfather’s words about the military and decided to take the military vocational exam. All of my family served in the Army, so that office is where I went. When I filled out the application, there were some questions about my health. I have had asthma my entire life, so I put that down under health conditions, thinking nothing of it. As soon as those recruiters saw that, they looked stunned and hurriedly told me they could not let me take the exam because the Army did not allow individuals with asthma to join. At a loss, I began to consider college as my immediate “Plan B”. I visited the college preparatory office at my high school (half way through senior year, mind you) and announced that I would like to go to college. The college counselor looked a panic, and we began to consider my chances for acceptance at that late juncture. She advised me to bring up my grade point average and told me I needed to take the S.A.T. I eventually applied to several colleges, mostly in the State of Florida. My test scores were high, and I earned an academic letter that year, so I was lucky enough to be accepted to a few colleges. My father took me on what was to be a tour of colleges in Florida, but I made up my mind after the first college we visited. Nestled in the hilly, tree-filled college town and Florida capital of Tallahassee, Florida State University was to be my home away from home. I grew to love Tallahassee so much that after I met Jackie, the wonderful woman who would become my wife, and who also loved Tallahassee, it became my full-time home. After spending way too long in college (it took me 8 years to graduate and then I spent a short time in graduate school), Jackie announced to me that it was time to get “a real job”. I looked at the Tallahassee paper online classifieds and thought I found something in which I had experience. I had done some graduate work in the School of Information Studies and had worked as a student assistant in two of the libraries at F.S.U., where I had learned keyword indexing for online search engines. The ad in the online classifieds was for an “Indexer”, but did not give a job description. When I went for the interview, I impressed the supervisor with my summary of the task of his “Indexing Department” by using the name of one of my graduate courses: “Information Organization”. I got the job and my jaded trainer summed up the task a little differently: He said “we move shit around”. So, I’ve been “moving shit around” now going on 10 years and am now the administrative assistant for a different supervisor. I’ve enjoyed working at the leading legal publisher for cities, towns and villages across the country, Municipal Code Corporation, which just happens to have its headquarters right in “good, old” Tallahassee, Florida. In my free-time I squeeze in a little creative writing on WordPress. I am Gordon Sinclair Bowman III, known on WordPress as “gsb3”.