Biography of KJS

A short resumé:

My name is Kevin Smith and I reside in west Houston with my French bride Marie-Christine, and three children Yves, Stéphane, and Véronique.

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest part of america and this also has had a termendous influence on my life, my attitudes, and who I am. Much of this web site will be devoted to images and stories that take place in and around the northwest, from the eastern Washington town of Yakima where I grew up to the western Washington town of Bellingham where I went to university, Seattle where most of my family has ended up, and the south Cascade mountains where I lived and worked for three summers, to finally the town of Missoula in Montana's northern Rocky Mountains where I attended graduate school and earned my Master's in Geology. The wild places and the mountains.. always the mountains are at the back of my psyche, they shape me and mould me, they are my yardstick from which I judge all else. I have lived 25 years in Houston and in all that time I have never adapted, never conformed.. I will always remain a stranger there in the crowded flatlands.

Although a small-town child by origin and by preference, I am no isolated bumpkin. I have always been facinated by history and I read history books like many read novels. I enjoy all cultures and all peoples and desire to know more and appreciate all the human diversity this world offers. In this respect I have been most fortunate to be able in my work to travel extensively. These travels too make up a significant portion of this website. I have had the joy to see and experience the world in way few tourists can. I offer images and writings from these trips as my return for this gift I have received. I do not know if this is due to God's blessings, Fate, Yuan Fen, Destiny, or just dumb good luck, but I feel grateful for my good fortune and I wish to express my thanks.

My undergraduate degree is in Geology from Western Washington University, and I have an MS in Geology from the University of Montana. Who would have thought I'd end up as a geologist for an international oil company? For ten years I worked domestic exploration, responsible for the evaluation of projects in the Rocky Mountain west. The last five Years I have worked Francophone Africa, primarily Algeria and recently the Congo, Trinidad, Mauritania, and Jordan. The work has been a challenge, the travel fascinating, and the people a joy. (A map of my professional world found here.)

My interests: I enjoy travel to interesting and faraway places, and photographing those places when I am able. In that respect I have been very fortunate in my job to travel to so many places and make so many good friends. (A map of my travelling world found here.) Some of the places that stand out in my mind include Ireland and France in Europe, Ecuador and Bolivia in South America, Bangladesh and the Middle Kingdom in Asia, and Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt in North Africa. Especially in Algeria I have made good friendships and spent wondrous arabian nights beneath the stars of the Sahara Desert. To all of you if you read this, labass.

Perhaps as a consequence of my interest in travel, or perhaps a cause of said interest, I am a nut about history. I frankly confess to reading history textbooks as most read novels..

Finally, there is my car.. I have owned my 1968 VW beetle since about 1973 and have been through good times and bad in it. Through it all the car has remained reliable and constant. With good maintenance and care the bug looks as good, or better than it did when my father bought it for me when I left for university.

As an aside, find below a set of three history books I cobbled together for Francs's province of Alsace. These three books lead one through the human and natural history of Alsace, read'em and you will know quite a lot! Oh! and they are predominantly written in French.. Oh well..
Note that the files are in bookfold format and only make sense if one prints them double-sided and folded.

Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome I: Haut-Rhin
Historical texts for the Upper Rhine Department. pdf format, 15.7 meg size

Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome II: Bas-Rhin
Historical texts for the Lower Rhine Department. pdf format, 14.9 meg size

Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome III: Histoire Naturelle Natural History texts for the province of Alsace. pdf format, 7.28 meg size

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