On February 10th, 1965 I was born in Nashville Tennesse. I was an "empty nest" child, the 3rd and last of 3 daughters born to my parents. We moved to Austin Texas when I was only 6 months old and then to St. Louis Missouri when I was just four years old. My father worked in shipping for the Kroger Company and my mother was a full time housewife. I've lived here in St. Louis Missouri all of my adult life. I attended two different elementary schools - Moline Acres (K through 4th grade) and Meadows (5th through 6th grade) then I spent the 7th grade at Riverview Jr. High. My parents transferred me to the Lutheran school system for 8th grade where I attended Grace Chapel Elementary School and from there I went on to High School at Lutheran North from which I graduated in 1983. My Parents, who are now getting into their middle 70's, are very dear to me and I try to spend as much time as I can with them. I love them tremendously and they are a major part of my life. After graduating from Lutheran North, I put in a year at Florissant Valley Community College before joining the Nursing School at Missouri Baptist. I graduated and passed my State Board exams in 1986, to become a Registered Nurse. However, I discovered during the course of my education that I had no love for the job so I decided to bypass a nursing career and opted instead to get married.
I have two children (of the furred and feathered variety), Omar and Shadeaux. I have always had a great love for animals, even as a young Child, which is why I have owned such a great variety of pets over the years including pygmy opossums, egyptian spiney mice, snakes, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, Degus and many more. I currently volunteer my time doing Wildlife Rehabillitation for injured and orphaned wildlife at The Wildlife Rescue Center in Ballwin, MO where I work as an animal care volunteer. My favorite animal is the North American Opossum and I am a member of the National Opossum Society and the Imperial Order of the Opossum.
I pretty much defy all known stereotypes, I am introverted, quiet, philosophical, artistic, antisocial and reclusive. I prefer a nocturnal existance but due to my work, am presently forced to live on a diurnal schedule. I love to listen to groups in progressive music styles like Ska, Industrial, Techno, Hardcore, Celtic Folk and Alternative Rock. Some of my favorite groups are Saviour Machine, Undish, Undercover, LSU, Under Midnight, Wedding Party and Sincerely Paul. I also really dig "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" from Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana". When I'm not at work, my hobbies include running my computer bulletin board (BBS), designing and maintaining websites, surfing on the Internet, reading and watching sci-fi shows. Yes, I am a die-hard Science Fiction fan. Among my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, Stephen Lawhead, Frank Peretti, Anne Rice, Anne McCaffrey and others. My favorite TV Series include: All Star Trek series, Babylon 5, Dr. Who, Red Dwarf, Sliders, American Gothic, Kindred: The Embraced, Charmed, Earth 2, VR5, Time Trax, Farscape, First Wave, X-Files and just about any other SF series that got canned after only one season or less.
You may be wondering by now how I got my screen-name "Fire Escape" and why I became a computer person and a BBS Sysop... that's a good question. My introduction to computers happened shortly after I was married. My husband Marc was a computer programmer and so I naturally became curious about what it was he saw in them. Computer Bulletin Boards (aka BBSes) were a natural progression for me during the late 1980's when BBSing was reaching it's pinnacle. I was a housewife at home most days and had little opportunity for interaction with other people. Therefore this was a very good way for me to meet people and talk as there was no easily accessible "internet" or "world wide web" in those days. I was once very shy (believe it or not!) and it got me over that particular obstacle pretty well. One of my best friends during that time was a young hacker named S'Talon. He was also an avid "BBSer" (one who uses Computer Bulletin Board Systems) and so it was he who first tutored me in the hows, whys and wherefores of the BBS. (wherever you are now 'Tal, thanks! I owe you one.) One of the first things I needed in this hobby was a computer screen-name or alias to protect my real identity. Even before the 'net' happened - you had to be careful who you gave information to, so we did not use our real names. Even back then psychos, weirdos, and malicious hackers lurked the cyberspace as they still do today. Only the SysOps of the BBSes knew who everyone "really" was. Other users knew you only by your handle or screen-name. I ended up with the the screen-name Fire Escape, which I took for myself while watching the Dr. Who episode "Paradise Towers" with Sylvester McCoy. I still use that name today because it has become synonomous with who I am. That person has changed a lot since the name was first bestowed but I am still she and she is still me.
All though the late 80's I became immersed in the message bases of some of St. Louis' best BBSes. 1989 was probably my best year as far as my involvement in BBS debates and I have quite a Collection of the many passionate debates I participated in for those who remember them fondly (or not so fondly - hehe). Around September of 1989 I had to move to my inlaw's house and decided to take a break from the debates while I relocated. I went into "lurker mode" for about 3 years during which time I began compiling and publishing a BBS List which grew to phenomenal proportions. It became so popular and well used that I needed a permanent base of operations to receive information for it. It was at this time (November 1st 1992) that I allowed my husband Marc to convince me to start my own BBS. It wasn't something I was really enthusiastic about but eventually dove in and did so. It led to my retirement from BBSing as a "user". Most of my time was required for maintaining my own system and the BBS Directory I provided for the community. I found that I had very little time for visiting other people's BBSes and never returned to the BBS debates (much to the pleasure of my adversaries). I discovered that this was a typical result of having one's own BBS. However, I soon came to enjoy being a Sysop and put more and more effort into providing a great online service for the St. Louis computer community.
In 1996 local BBSes began to disappear due to the increasing accessibility of the Internet and World Wide Web. I decided then that it was time to connect my own BBS to the Internet so that it would continue to thrive. I purchased a New BBS Software known as WINServer (or Wildcat 5) for the BBS and over the following two years begin preparations for the transition I knew would be inevitable. By the Fall of 1997, I had watched over 400 BBSes in St. Louis go offline and I knew that the time for our transformation was at hand, so on January 1st, 1998 Fire Escape's BBS took it's first "baby steps" out onto the world wide web. I hope that this BBS will continue to be a safe haven and a place where people can feel like they are part of a real "online family" and not part of some impersonal cyber-entity. If you live in the St. Louis Missouri region and are local to the 314 dialing area, please feel free to call up my BBS with Hyperterminal or any other communications program of your choice. My dialup number is 314-588-0780. We are still 100% FREE and family safe. If you are outside the area you can telnet into our BBS with a telnet client at bbs.fehq.org. Or you can login with a Java enabled browser like MSIE or Netscape by clicking HERE.
Well, that's my life in a nutshell folks. My story, my family, my hobbies, my interests, and my BBS. Hope it was enlightening for you and if you have any questions, please feel free to E-mail Me anytime. I will answer all geniune and polite letters. I am always looking for keypals and new friends who share my interests or hobbies. Don't be afraid to say hi!
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