Category Archives: Youngtime Dossier

artifacts of life for the first 20 or so years – especially school life, awards, scouting and other mementos

Lit-ish Artifacts: from Writers Read Their early Sht pod w/ J. Emde

biographical notes (very important items to note)

In November 2022 I was very pleased to be a very lousy guest on the very gracious Jason Emde’s podcast (broadcast in Gifu rock city) in which writers share their “early, unripe… etc. etc.” work along with Jason’s curious questions, amusing banter and general graciousness.

Note: i riffed about Jason’s most excellent book in a Beat Sushi video dispatch “Curiously Punctuated” and we enjoy a prolific mostly-postcard-but-sometimes-passport correspondence.

very un-reliable account of King Tut’s life. this is not science (yet i won the ribbon)

We spoke for something like four hours which is a world record for me of late, yes I was a little spun out and it’s not my finest moment *but* gave me an opportunity to dig deep into the archive to find things from my legit early days. Of course about an hour makes it into the finished program but my goodness, is it a lot of action in an hour. Leaping wildly from topic to form, location to era, anecdote to musing. A bit rant-y sure so hold on to yer cap.

In this case I pulled items from: fourth grade King Tut mimeographed hand out from my (award winning :-)) science fair project at Prince Charles Elementary; newspaper editorials and chapbooks at the Orem (UT) high school; early stories at Utah Valley community college; and, the beginning of the *disgruntled with the literary establishment years* at University of Utah years.

(one of several fusillades fired in the Orem High School newspaper (under different surname), this one about student teachers from BYU

Yes there are many digressions, rapid speaking, a few shots fired, salvos really, a bit of sweetness and a bit of tenderness as I figured out who I thought I might be when I was already completely myself.

Find it all at:

Writers Read Their Early Sh*t S2/E5 – Dave Olson (aka Uncle Weed): priorities & bad decisions

my “notes to self” for assembling the materials


Jason welcomes under-qualified window-washer Dave Olson & his fantastic beard & beautiful hands for a natter about punching or hugging Dostoevsky, see-through loincloths, meeting REM, borrowing mustard from Allen Ginsberg, dodgy Greyhound stations, working out the writing life math, and how cheerleaders are people too.

There’s ropey Egyptian history, a savage polemic, the details of hippy teacher Mr Boris’s new motorized home, a few bits & Brother Bobs of Dave’s early poetry & prose, & Jason getting his Tutankhamun timeline wrong by only 3700 years. An unnerving—if not terrifying—time is guaranteed for all.

Check out Dave’s creative life archive at—much to enjoy there. Music by the outrageous DJ Max in Tokyo.

Join the early sh*t chat at & on Instagram @writersreadtheirearlyshit. You can also send an email to WritersReadTheirEarlyShit (at sign) Many thanks, wherever & whoever & however you are, for listening. 

Artifact / Riff: d!snëy Tom Sawyer Island (brochure and notes about h/yippie occupation)

I have only visited Disney-branded theme parks twice, both at the *classic location* in Anaheim, CA, USA.

The first time (1979?) stands out as it was on a trip with my Mom, aunt and various cousins in which we went to Salt Lake City and then to Anaheim, staying in hotels, eating room service, pay-per-view hotel movies and whatnot. Most significant though was auditioning for a game show, two iirc, “children’s versions“ of Jokers Wild and Tic-Tac-Dough. {artifacts exist and will be shared under separate cover}.

Have you visited Tom Sawyer island? Were you part of the occupation? What’s there now if anything? This is a blurry photo, blurry like my memories

Anyhow, the park itself I found a bit hectic and crowded and preferred the quiet corners: enjoying a Carnation milkshake, hitting a shop which embroidered my name onto a floppy hat, and the Country Bear Jamboree – also recall something about a jungle cruise and a tiki room and riding a gondola which fit my speed moreso then Matterhorn or Space Mountain with their long lines and short attention span. Oh, Caribbean Pirates, and Haunted Mansion… It’s all coming back to me now.

Anyhow, I suppose fitting with my nature, Tom Sawyer Island was my favorite. I wondered, “how was it that a place was left mellow & leafy, not built up and not filled with noises and lights in amongst this jumble of manufactured excitement?”

This impression stuck with me and it wasn’t until years later, mentioning this to (I think) Larry Harper who told me about a “y/hippie occupation” of the lil island in the 70s. Unsurprisingly, this was well sanitized from the “official corporate history” of the uncompromising, brand-conscious company but of course, various recounting exist. A link round-up follows below.

Anyhow, why we are here is: Going through my archives, the only Disney ephemera in collection (so far at least) is a brochure (not sure what the purpose of a brochure is since you’re already there and I don’t think anyone buys the golden ticket just to go there) of the humble island.

Continue reading Artifact / Riff: d!snëy Tom Sawyer Island (brochure and notes about h/yippie occupation)

Certificate: Graduation, Adult High School (Alpine School District, Utah), 1988

Invite: Graduation, Adult High School (Alpine School District, Utah), cover

In the event you doubt my credentials, I present prestigious documentation for your perusal… Hey, I can’t seem to find the certificates for the invitation to the ceremony (which I did not attend), so a blurry snapshot will have to do for now as evidence.

Invite: Graduation, Adult High School (Alpine School District, Utah), inside (blurry)

Noting I have more to say about this and how I left high school a couple weeks into “senior year” and in rolled at Utah Technical College, later Utah Valley Community College, later several other name changes… and took an assortment of classes about photography, ceramics, mountaineering, anthropology and creative writing.

As it goes, attending this then-little college with an interesting eclectic mix of ages, interests, attitudes etc. was a fantastic decision. More to say another time, perhaps when I add the actual certificate and other related materials.

Folio: “Gecko” (Behaviour Observation), 1987 / excerpts

Folio: “Gecko” (behaviour observation) ca. 1986 / excerpts / intro

Note: at Orem (Utah) High School, Grade 11

Folio: “Gecko” (behaviour observation) ca. 1987 / excerpts / environment illustration

Folio: “Gecko” (behaviour observation) ca. 1987 / excerpts / map

Folio: “Gecko” (behaviour observation) ca. 1987 / excerpts / closing

Artifacts (youngtime): Chief Scout’s Award – evidence / letters, photos, certificate – 1983

from left Dave Olson, various RCMP and Judge, Bob Olson front, Brad Coleman far right – receiving Chief Scout’s award, 1983

In Canadian Scouts, the highest accolade one can achieve is the Chief Scout’s Award. Requires a whole load of badges and tasks and whatnot – sorta like the US Eagle Scout i suppose.

Anyhow, as it goes, most Scouts earn this on their way out and onto Ventures (the next age bracket group) but diligent as i am, earned at a young age (was told youngest ever but no way to verify) and attended the ceremony (requiring special permission apparently) along with older brother Bob and pal Brad Coleman. 

What follows are artifacts and evidence from the event and award.

(As obvious) this is a letter from Governor General who is apparently the Chief Scout of Canada) acknowledging earning of eponymous Chief Scout’s Award.

Continue reading Artifacts (youngtime): Chief Scout’s Award – evidence / letters, photos, certificate – 1983