Roger 'Mzungu' Moore was born in a sod house in the Texas Panhandle where nothing separated him from the North Pole but a barbed wire fence. At age five, he was stolen by gypsies and sold to a circus. He spent the next five years carrying water to the elephants and running errands for the tattooed man and the painted lady whose bodies were colorful canvasses -- the original stimulus for Roger's interest in art. After the circus got its big break and went to Paris, Roger ran away to visit the Louvre. Overwhelmed by the museum's fabulous artwork. Roger hid in the men's washroom and managed to live in the Louvre for the next seven years where he studied many forms of art and beauty. He subsisted on leftover food from the museum's bistro and wore clothing left in unclaimed parcels. During this time he acquired his first Hasselblad camera when a tipsy Swedish art thief, being pursued by Interpol, stashed it along with twenty rolls of unexposed film and a half-empty bottle of DuBonnet in stall number five. Roger's destiny was sealed. After exposing all the film, he mustered his courage and left the museum to find a one-hour film processor. The rest is history. His fame grew. He made a fortune and spent it on photographic and computer equipment ... the rich and the famous lined up to collect his photographic fine art. He sent money home to the tattooed man and the painted lady, bought fancy peanuts for the elephants and everyone lived happily ever after .. (At least, it could have been like that).
Who is this Roger 'Mzungu' Moore ... Really?
Perhaps, you should know something. In all my years; I have ridden camels across the Thar Desert in India; pinstriped hot rod cars; been Principal Investigator on two National Science Foundation grants involving the design and use of what has now evolved into the Internet; falsely impersonated the son of a famous Southern Baptist Minister; have photographed a 1,900 year-old “house of ill repute” in Ephesus, Turkey, the city of Antony and Cleopatra’s honeymoon; was the Information Systems Officer to the Commanding General of the U S Army Medical Service Corp in Washington; at one time thought a “duck-tail” haircut was “cool” (and actually wore one); have been certified in both Neurolinguistic Programming and Eriksonian Hypnosis; have sold life insurance door-to-door; have won trophies drag racing; have been married more than four exquisite decades to an angel-on-earth; have taught basic business skills to students at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; was the first American ever seen by many villagers near the Amur River in the Russia Far East; have led photo expeditions into the Amazon jungle … and out again; never smoked pot (so I do not have to claim that “I did not inhale”); have negotiated the construction of hotels in Dubai and Sharja with an Arab group composed of the Sheik of Kuwait and a Palestinian smuggler (they got the best of that deal, by the way); played saxophone in a jazz band; wrecked every car I ever owned when I was a teenager (and it was NEVER my fault … I promise); have the most incredibly wonderful son any man could imagine; a sweet and beautiful granddaughter named Jette (no middle name, just Jette Moore), have taught computer modeling and simulation to students at Texas Tech University; with native guides, have hunted the Spectacled Caiman (Caiman Crocodilus) in canoes, before midnight, on the Rio Negro of Brazil; have photographed the bowels of the medinas of ancient Moroccan cities; have designed and made boomerangs; have raced motorcycles (and have the steel plates in my body to prove it); have thrilled at the sensation of speed by windsurfing only inches off the surface of the water; have written and published numerous scholarly papers regarding the managerial economic issues of computer networking; have fished for Piranha in the Amazon river; have not yet skydived; have fly fished with my own hand-tied flies; have broken multiple bones in the false belief that I could be a martial arts master; have endured (and still do endure) the surgical fusion of three of my vertebrae; have made erotic nude photographs; have made nude photographs which were not erotic; have written my last words with the lead from the tip of a bullet when I believed I would not survive being stranded with no food and no heat in a blizzard in the Colorado Rockies; have fought mosquitoes in the Peruvian rain forest with the man who trained our original 16 American Astronauts in jungle survival; have marveled at the wonderfully muted colors and textures and stone and wood that 1,500 years of life have molded into what we know as “Aya Sofia” in Istanbul; have had the honor of holding the hands of both my Mother and my Father at their death beds as they left this world; have the belief that I can become an accomplished Japanese Sumi-e painter; have the honor of having people who seriously collect my photographic works; have written poetry (and have the belief that I can learn to express “negative space” in the form of Japanese Tanka poems); drove a 15 year-old rust-bucket Suburban with “blow-away-gray” paint simply because it fit like an old shoe; have consumed gallons of honey-sweetened tea while haggling with Kilim peddlers, incense hustlers, and turban-fabric hawkers in such places as Marrakech, Casablanca, Fez, and Mekness; have pumped gas and fixed flats in a service station (back when there really was service) until I graduated from high school; was fired from a high-level corporate management position (apparently the Chairman of The Board didn’t understand who I thought I was); survived a tasting of “Siete Raices” (7-Roots), know as ‘jungle viagra’ served to me by a native Shaman in the Peruvian Amazon; lost my heart to the beauty and humanity of the people of the Russia Far East; was the best “bait caster” in thirteen states when in the Boy Scouts; was an international wheeler-dealer dealmaker during the boom days of real estate in the ‘80’s (and have lived to tell about it); have been on more diets than I can count; find Taoism intriguingly interesting; have always believed that every woman is attractive in some way; still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up; and so on … and so on …
But, I think you get the picture. I have been “down the river” a few times in my life, and who would have thought that after all of that, I would still have so much to learn? One of the more important things I have discovered in this wonderful and varied life of mine is that the things that have been most important to me have come as a by-product of something I have done for someone else. And, furthermore, the more the other person feels what I have done for them was important to them, the greater my personal pleasure.