Who are you?

Old 08-24-2015, 07:11 PM
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Something I noticed since aquiring this Cherokee, it is the best Conversation starter we have ever owned. I have built and owned a lot of different unique vehicles over the years that start conversations but never like this thing! Everywhere I go someone that wishes they had one or owns one always makes the statement "Nice Jeep".


I find myself unconscientiously returning the favor when walking through a parking lot and someone is just getting out of their Jeep and say... "Nice Jeep". What I find is no matter what background they are from they are into the Tribal Jeep thing. They have had the same rewards and the same issues that all other Jeep owners have dealt with. and open up to share without reservation.


Yet, they are reluctant to let go of it no matter what. they will push them down the road stating "I own a Jeep!" with pride before they consider getting rid of it. I have been trying to narrow down the background demographics of who might own a jeep. It cannot be done, no matter what background you are from you will push it like the rest of us before you let it go


I have met many folks from all walks of life and was able to make friends and important contacts just because of this Cherokee. At first, as a conservative I was thinking that Jeep owners are outdoors folk and most likely a Jeep owner will be a Redneck at heart. Boy was I wrong! You can never try to stereotype who is behind the wheel of that nice Jeep!


So out of curiosity I would like to present the question if I may? "Who are you" Hope you don't mind me asking and share if you like or not. I am just totally curious of the demographic background of the folks here that are proud Jeep owners like myself! If you share I will share cause we are all members of a unique Tribe!
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:54 AM
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Okay, I'm willing to share. I'm a retired toolmaker (70 years young) and have worked on and driven an awful lot of different cars and trucks in my life. I've always wanted a jeep ever since getting a ride in my uncle's CJ5 when I was a kid. I never did until my wife passed away and I retired. Then I bought a POS ZJ, spent a lot of money fixing it, only to have the "frame" rot out on me. Then I bought this cream puff WJ and never looked back. I should have joined the Tribe a lot sooner because it's a pleasure to drive, especially in snow. I often find myself throwing it around like an 18 year-old! I really haven't taken it off-road yet, just rough dirt roads and grassy fields. In a nutshell, I just feel confident driving it, knowing it will do exactly what I want it to do. You can't say that about a compact sedan and pickups are just too big. I had a monster 89 Chevy 4x4 with 33X10.5s on it and trying to follow my buddy's TJ on hunting trips was just insane. Nope, I'm never leaving jeep! If they stop making them, I'll just buy an older one.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:14 AM
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Interesting post. I have two XJ for fun and one ZJ for our luxury liner. I live on a big cattle farm with a small herd as a renter in one of the old family homes on the property in southern VT. I raced bicycles for most of my life and still ride a lot. Most of my work is building custom bicycle frames. I also work on firearms, vehicles and antiques. I grew up in the California desert in hauling down dirt roads in the back of my dads chevy pick-up. We had buggies and bikes and moved east 12 years ago to sample some new dirt.

I work on my jeeps a lot more than I drive them. I think my real hobby is making things and I do play with the toys once I am happy with it's function.

All my food is home grown or local organic and I don't want your garbage in my woods. I drive the speed limit with a big dumb smile.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:04 PM
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This thread has the potential of being very interesting. Great idea.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
This thread has the potential of being very interesting. Great idea.
Agreed.

Who am I?

Even I don't know yet, haha!

I guess you could say I'm a kid in an adult body. Love to play with my toys, but also work to get them.

My background:
I was a bit of a wild child, and it took me some years to settle down. However, growing up, I had a great father (still do BTW, and he is the best guy EVER) who loved cars, and would wrench to some extent on them as I was growing up. We built my first car together. A 1968 VW bug, that we chopped the top on, as well as many other mods. We had a Jeep CJ7 that we had a blast in as well. I learned to drive offroad when I was 12, and so offroading became a big part of my childhood. After leaving school, I bounced around for a while, then got into the tech industry building lasers for industrial printing presses, just as laser printing was becoming feasible. This led to a career in aerospace, building solar panels for spacecraft and satellites. I then moved to building solid state flight computer systems, and have worked on Hubble, the shuttles, ISS, Mars landers and rovers and orbiters, and a lot of exploration and defense satellites and spacecraft. Was in the business over 25 years. Work dried up at the company I was working for at the time, and I was kinda burnt out with it. I bought and sold stuff on ebay for a while to survive, but that wasn't getting it done. So I took something I loved doing in my free time (welding) and started taking classes, which led to my current job as a welder/fabricator/maintenance mechanic. At a trash company. I went from one of the cleanest environments on the planet, to the absolute filthiest, LMFAO!!!

I guess you could say my love of offroading led to my current career choice. So my jeep got me into garbage, LOL!

STAY DIRTY MY FRIENDS
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:56 PM
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I had to take care of some very important stuff today and I will share who I am in the morning as promised. I am just too beat to do it right now, can't think straight just plain beat!


Thank you all for jumping in and taking the time to share! I am already impressed by the backgrounds so far! Who would have guessed?


See, It's a Tribal thing!


Seriously, thank you guys for jumping in, I hope more find the time to share their backgrounds like you have!


"The story you are about to see is true, only the names and places have been changed to protect the innocent"
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:12 AM
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My grandfather was a mechanic and my dad is a service advisor, so ive been around cars my whole life. when i was younger my dad had a 1966 buick rivera and i would "help" him tinker with that. when i got my license, i wanted an XJ but couldnt find one in decent shape in my price range so i bought a ZJ instead and did some stupid things with the V8s power

right now im fresh out of high school and going to a tech school for precision machining. hoping to get into the firearms industry after i finish school. right now i work for Sears, setting up displays and putting price tags on everything before that i was a manager for jack in the box, and while the pay was good (for a 17 year old kid with pretty much no bills) the stress was terrible and ended up hurting my schoolwork a good bit.

i just live life one day at a time and try to make tomorrow better than today.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:35 AM
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24, work at Space Exploration Technologies, used to be a machinist but now I get to build rockets and take crap from inadequate management!

All kidding aside, lived in CA for the first 21 years of my life, moved to Washington state, which is also where I found my first XJ. Bought it stock, drove the hell out of it, and then used the money I got from selling my 69 Plymouth to put a nice 3.5" lift and some tires on it. This is how I got into the whole offroading thing. When I was younger, I had a suzuki sidekick as my first car, and I'd take that thing wherever I could get it to go. Pismo, the desert, you name it. Had a lifted VW squareback, did the same with that. But right now, I balance my soulless corporate existence with the occasional weekend of raging the hills of socal.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:40 AM
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You know, just reading these post has me going. As a toolmaker, I've built a lot of speed parts for drag cars, mounting brackets, intake manifold modifications, traction bars, even helped make Pro-racing Muncie 4-speed boxes. I should probably get involved in making special parts for off-roaders, although it's a bit late. There are an awful lot of companies doing that already. I also need machine tools. And money!
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:45 AM
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Who am I? What a loaded question! I'll try this out. I am 29 years old, been married for 5 years and have no kids. My wife and I bought a 120 year old house that I have spent the last 4 years remodeling room-by-room with a goal of returning it's original glory. I have been doing all the work myself, including interior design (even paint colors!). The only work I hired out so far is plumbing for the two bathrooms I gutted. Professionally, I work for the local school district in elementary special education. I do some work as a carpenter on the side. My hobbies include many outdoors activities like paddling (canoes and kayaks), backpacking, hiking, biking, camping and skiing.

Growing up, I always loved Jeeps. No one in my family had one, I never drove one or got to ride in one. My first ride in a Jeep was in college. The first time I drove a Jeep was on a dealer lot after college. I bought my first Jeep, a 97 TJ, 3.5 years ago as a 3rd vehicle for my wife and I. Two years ago, I replaced my 2000 Deville with a 98 XJ. Six months ago, I bought a 3rd Jeep, a 94 2dr XJ, just because it was such a good deal! The TJ is still the "fun Jeep". My 98, I put a roof top tent and awning on. This is the dedicated camping and vacationing Jeep, I call it Cherocamp. Now, the 94 is my DD. I haven't done much to any of them as far as modifications. I prefer them stock because that is how I fell in love with them! I do keep them in pristine running condition so that I can hit the road and drive cross country at any time. I don't wheel them, but they do take me to those tough to access trail heads and wilderness areas where I can ditch the Jeep and hit the trails on foot.

There it is, a little bit about me and a little bit about my Jeep history.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:22 PM
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Like many others here, I grew up in the Auto Service Industry. Dad had a Convenience Store/Service Station and a second Service Station with a Repair Shop and Towing/Recovery. So I was "in the way" helping hand Mechanics wrenches as soon as I could walk. Being covered in grease all the time was pretty normal Sand buggies and Jeeps were just normal everyday affair here. These were sometimes all they owned and they could not even get to their mining claim (Home) without them.


Like a lot of Kids, I never really thought about what a privilege it was to have all this Business and Automotive knowledge and Equipment at my disposal, It was just a part of life. I had a foster brother Tommy that played the Drums and performed at the local country "Get together" dances out here. He would sit me on his lap and let me help him play the drums, I enjoyed this music thing more than anything else in life.


When I was five Tommy was drafted into Vietnam and was killed the first week he was there. This had a huge impact on our whole Community and myself especially. So at the young age of five I decided to commit myself to drums and music as my #1 goal in life in his honor. Aside from the normal chores of helping Dad at the Shop and doing Homework, I spent every extra minute practicing drums with serious dedication.


By the time I was in Highschool I lived a dual occupational life and was very good at both skills. before I got out of School I was making a living as a Professional Musician and was working as a Wrench/ Fabricator/ Welder whenever I could just to get by during the lean times of the Carter administration. When Wrench work was not available in our small town, I did what ever I could to make extra money as I tried to stay dedicated in making a living doing music.


The term "Starving musician" is pretty accurate! Besides Wrenching I ended up learning a lot of different trades with hands on experience because it was the only work to be found. Hence my Bio line "Jack of all trades, Master of none". In 1980 Dad Leased out our shops and went to work managing a large Truckstop that was about to go under. Here was where I started my new education that ended up being my Bread and Butter to date, Trucks!


I already had my "Any Combination Chauffeurs license" as it was called in Ca at the time and already knew the Towing industry, so I started to drive Heavy Towing and Recovery along with Wrenching on Trucks for Dad at the Truckstop. As a side business I started my own middle man wholesale used tire supply in town and sold to everyone including Dad. About the time I met my wife and got married the owner of the Truckstop passed away and his Son took over and tied Dad's hands. He was a gambler and Drug addict so it was done for and closed about 4 months later.


Dad came on board with me and the Tire Business, It had grown to be a very going concern by now. But even this was a seasonal venture (Nature of the beast). So I went to work in the off season for the large Truck Repair and Towing service in town. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience in Heavy Truck repair while working for this company. He had five "Old School" lifelong Truck Mechanics that took me under ther wings and shared everything they knew with me (and I listened!)

In 1985 My Wife and I finally tied the knot, Well needless to say the Music "Wine Women and Song" aspect of my life was done over. For both Financial and Political reasons So my new Partner and I moved into one of Dad's old shops and opened a Car and Truck repair and Tire shop with on call 24-7 Road Service. We worked our rearends off for the next 15 yrs Running this and raising 3 girls. Because this business was in Ca we started to get heavily squeezed by Ca Regulations. We were now spending almost all the profit we made just to comply with their regulations based on failed science and lack of common sense.


So in 2000 we bought property in Az with an incredible location for a business and moved there to get started. Dad stayed and kept the Ca shop open so that we could all maintain some sort of working cash flow. We were having great luck and making very fast progress in building the business up for about a year. Then wham! we get hit hard, 9-11 happened. Turns out that our great location happened to be on the one and only road in Arizona they decided needed to be closed to all Truck Traffic for security reasons. State Highway 93 that goes from Kingman over Boulder Dam into Nevada.


I saw the writing on the wall and realized we were now in trouble. So right away I was honest with all the companies I had contracted to do service and Tires for to let them know I was not sure how much longer I was going to be able to continue to stay in business. The District Manager for one of my Contracts offered me a job if I would also continue to supply them with needed Tires and service as a third party vendor on the side. (Corp Policy and Insurance reasons). It was a lifesaving offer I could not refuse, So this is where I went back to work for someone other than just my Wife.


Like "Roninofaco", here began my new career as a Mechanic/Welder/Driver for the largest Garbage Company in the world at that Time, "Waste Management Inc". I wrenched, welded and drove Garbage Trucks for WM the next 6 years. Dirty as It may be,...Never underestamate how complicated it truly is to work on Garbage Trucks. They have very sophisticated Computer managed Electric over Air over Hydraulic systems that need constant maintenance and adjustment to keep operating. And that is just the Garbage part of the Truck apart from the workings of the Truck it's self. You have to know your stuff to keep these things going!


In my 6th year of working for WM they started to play the "We can't afford those parts right now" game on me. It was now an email chain 7 levels up the ladder and back down just to get approval for even very very needed Brake Shoes! Again I saw the writing on the wall and just knew that if there was a serious accident they were going to pass the blame onto me and I was going to lose everything I owned in a personal neglect civil suit. So I applied for a position as a wrench down the road a bit with one of the larger Nationwide Refrigerated Produce Trucking Companies, Central Trucking Inc. or CTI as they are known by.


CTI hired me and within the first day of putting check engine lights out, I was promoted to "Maintenance Manager and Terminal Shop Foreman for the Western half of the U.S". All this meant was that the other unexperienced Mechanics got to watch me do all the complicated diagnosis and emergency repairs needed to get these Trucks back under a load and be Ca DOT legal on their way out the gate. I was now an Instructor teaching "Parts changers" how to do real Wrenching in a dirt parking lot for a shop. This job did get better and it had it's perks so I decided to stick it out for awhile. We built a huge Terminal and Shop and it actually turned into a decent position for me.


Eventually we had 120 Trucks and 120 refrigerated trailers based out of my yard. To keep these going 24-7 we had a pool of about 150 Drivers with all their problems which leads to the next side gig I got drug into. Anyone that has ever done large Fleet Maintenance can testify to this issue, You are like a Bar Tender. As Maintenance Manager I was adopted by Wrenches and Drivers alike as Honorary Chaplin. They would invent issues with their trucks that needed attention right away just so that they could come and lay all their life problems at my feet asking for advice. I tried hard to prevent it but could not so I ended up becoming a legally ordained Minister so that at least I was legal to to give the advice they would hound me for.


After almost 3 yrs CTI started to do the same "We can't afford that right now" stuff like WM did so we sold some properties we had acquired the last 9 years of doing well and became semi-retired for a bit. We decided that it was time to finally go shut down the Ca shop Dad was try to get by on and move him to Arizona. Well, due to Circumstances beyond our control we are still stuck here operating this while trying to close it down and sell it. In the meantime in between 24-7 service calls I have been teaching myself how to do Web development and coding in hopes It will keep me going after I cannot physically Wrench anymore.


Through all of this Off Roading has been our main Family Tribal activity every chance we get. We have always owned off road vehicles through all this and currently have a 53 ******, a 67 Baja Bug, and now this 97 Cherokee. We are always trying to find reasons to get together and take the six Grandchildren Off Roading and Camping. The Off Roading has helped keep our family together and our own sanity in check though all the hard times.


Thank you for your patience and sorry for the Novel, But I am a day late and for some reason felt I needed to compensate for that. lol


Thank you for allowing me to come and participate, it is a welcome distraction from all the seriousness I deal with all day long.


Thank you for jumping in on this thread, I think we will be amazed at how many here have similar backgrounds and interests with each other!
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:37 AM
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That's okay, Bugout! It was interesting reading. I tried to keep my first post short and left out a bunch just so people wouldn't get bored, but your story was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

I hear you with the corporate BS. I worked for Syroco Inc, a premier manufacturer of home decor products, as a toolmaker for 27 years. The company changed owners several times until a silverware company bought it and put up a chain link fence, a security checkpoint entry, and ID tag swipes for time keeping. My job was to build and maintain plastic injection molds, some weighing up to 10 tons! I learned how to drive an Apache lift with a load capacity of 20 tons. But I felt it was time to more on. All the profits were going to corporate HQ with nothing coming back for higher wages or plant improvements.

All this time, I worked in gas stations on the weekends pumping gas and fixing emergency stuff for customers at night. I had it arranged with my employers to use a lift for my own stuff as long as it was out by closing time and didn't cut into the customer's work. I convinced my boss to let me stay open 2 extra hours on Saturday nights to catch the crowd returning from the local horse track and jumped profits substantially. I even got a $50 tip for fixing a guy's headlight switch so he'd have lights to get home, done with a spread cotter pin and tape! Coming into the village, he hit the floor dimmer and the button came back and hit him in the chest! Of course, he'd just hit the Trifecta.

After Syroco, there was a series of small tool shops and a short stint with Pass & Seymour, working on switch and outlet molds. Small stuff compared to what I'd worked on before. Intricate, fussy stuff. We had to satisfy corporate for looks and Underwriter's Labs for safety. At this time, I was taking Adult ED courses in electricity, electronics, computer fundamentals, and digital circuits. Good stuff to know when working on cars, especially jeeps!

I did a lot of drag racing, autocross, and road rallyes. Got married in 1975 and my life changed. I got rid of all my "toys" and concentrated on married life. I drove a bunch of used Chevy trucks and didn't buy my jeeps until my wife passed in 2008. I was a military brat and grew up in suburbia because my dad was a Naval officer, but since moving to Upstate NY have knocked around with farm kids and like rural life. You guys on farms work a lot harder than I did in industry, I'll tell you that!

Today I'm living on Social Security and delivering newspapers with my jeep. Most of my route is $500,000 homes and HOA's.

That's about all I left out of my first post. Hope I didn't bore you.

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Old 08-29-2015, 08:28 AM
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Great idea for this thread! And wow, where to begin...

I'm 36, a reformed a**hole. I spend my days restoring vintage Mustangs at a shop here in San Antonio, and my nights relaxing with the woman who very patiently has helped me become a much better human being.

Grew up loving cars, helping my dad work on my mom's '72 Mach1 & my grandma's '68 Firebird. Double edged sword, I took off in the '72 one night when I was 14, got busted, folks had to come get me at 2am three countys away. Lol, my mom can hold a grudge, sold the Mach1 the day after I got my license. Used my first job as a waiter to buy my first car, a 71 Maverick Grabber.

At 18 I took off for SoCal and spent a year doing the homeless starving artist bit, 6mo living in my car, the rest a very interesting time living in a whorehouse in downtown San Diego. Came back to SA, getting in a bad rollover on the way back that very nearly killed me. The damage done still lingers today, and at that time led to toying around with a lot of "alternative medicine" which led to some very poor life choices.

Became a father at 20, got married because some of my upbringing still stayed with me. The best money at the restaurant I worked at was the graveyard shift/bar run. Worked that shift for several years, made killer money, and had a slew of regulars who were very cute, tipped me with booze & would hang out through my whole shift. My selfishness and immaturity led to me no longer being married, and no longer living under the same roof as my children. Quickly became an expert in compartmentalizing guilt & drinking myself to sleep.

My next real relationship was a 3yr toxic mess, but it did help me kinda get my s**t together. I loved her very much despite the chaos, and said goodbye to the bar run life, got a job as a salesman at a Dodge dealership. I was scary good, made a killing. But I was slowly growing a conscience. Mornings were spent bragging among the other salesmen on who screwed somebody the worst the previous day. After a year I split, took a job building riceburners. Terrible job, very crooked shop, but I honed my skills there, and got a job at the Mustang shop.

That relationship ended the same time my best friend died in his sleep. This led to a bit of backsliding, and I teetered on the edge for awhile, a lot of drinking and stupidity. It may sound fun, but "dating" 18-20yr olds when you're pushing 30 and on unstable ground in your head never leads to good things. After a year of this I met my current squeeze. We got together "for fun", she was 23 when we met. Oddly enough, she must've decided there was something in me she liked. She got into an open relationship with me, and despite my best efforts she stuck around. After a couple years we were an official couple. Since then I have screwed up. Not sure why, but she forgave me, and genuinely put it in the past.

We're getting married next month. These days I live a simple life. My kids and I have a great relationship, their mom and I get along great. I have someone in my life who isn't looking for what I can do for her, but what will make us stronger. She spends her spare time looking for Groupons for fun things I can do with the kids. Though most of the time we go hiking in the woods, hang out at starbucks, or finding new places to abuse the Jeep. My job doesn't pay mega bucks, but I do something I love every day, and I'm proud of what I'm doing. My son will be 16 soon, and has already hinted that he'd like to come work at the shop with me. I don't think I could be happier if I tried.

So that's me in a nutshell. Lol, sorry for the novel!


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Old 08-29-2015, 01:41 PM
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Oh my. I shall contribute. Maybe being open will encourage some shy "in the closet" types to reach out for moral support.

I am 58 and own 2 XJ's. A 1993 4-door and a 1994 2-door. About 450,000 miles on them combined but oddly the 94 has 100,000 more miles than the 93. I currently work in the heavy duty truck parts business which didn't use to suck but 7 years ago the family run business was sold to a huge corporation and now you have 100's of people in office buildings who have never seen a truck or a truck part controlling everything and telling you how to sell parts.

Previously in the late 70's I was in the US Army and was stationed at Ft Lewis, WA and Heilbronn Germany. I also took Arctic Trainning at Ft Wainwright Alaska. After that I worked in the adult film industry for 4 years (Behind the camera) and then I sold mountaineering and backpacking equipment for 10 years. I co-owned a couple of auto detail shops with my brother until he developed a drug problem and things went south from there. I took a few years off then ended up at my current job.

On a more personal level I am very active in the trans-gendered community and served as the online contact person and webmistress for one of the countries oldest real-time TG support groups. In 2004 I started hormone replacement therapy with the intent of transitioning and living full time as female but I developed a bad blood clot from the hormone therapy and suffered what is commonly called a "massive heart attack". I was clinically "dead" for 4-5 minutes but luckily it was early Saturday and I live about a mile from a fire station and the paramedics were able to get to me and restart my heart in time. But as a result I suffered some damage to my heart and had to discontinue my hormone therapy.

Here are 2 photos of me. The top is how I look most evenings and weekends and the bottom is how I look most days at work since my job is to dirty and messy to dress up for .
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:46 PM
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holy **** that took some courage to bring that much of your life to the public forum. I have a brother in-law who is trans-gender and honestly it's a bit difficult to wrap my head around. I say live and let live and hope you tell me if we ever hit it off in a bar.. lol.
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