My name is Lawson E. Vallery Jr. and I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana; USA in 1943. Before I turned a year old I was moved to Texas.
I grew up in the sand hills and oil fields of west Texas around Midland, Odessa and Abilene; "serious" cowboy country.
I started school at the age of six and by the time I was nine I knew trouble laid ahead. I never seemed to fit in. I was what they called at that time, slow. I simply could not learn to read. However; I had an almost photographic memory and an ear for music. In fact four of the greatest loves of my life were and are: hunting, fishing, my dogs and writing lyrics. They come in no particular order.
At the age of ten I began to take guitar lessons from a very young, and later to become famous, singer named Roy Orbison. Again that never worked out so well because I had such a hard time reading. I learned best by watching and then doing.
After failing the ninth grade again, I decided I had had enough of school and dropped out at the age of fifteen. At the age of seventeen I joined the military. I returned to civilian life in 1963, still with no high school education. So at that point I decided to go to Nickels State University in Thibodeaux, Louisiana and get myself a G.E.D.; General Equivalency high school Diploma. Because I had such a hard time reading, I was tested there and for the first time diagnosed with severe dyslexia. Nevertheless; with the help of the faculty I was able to achieve my diploma. I was then twenty two years old before I could prove to people I was neither slow nor stupid.
As I said, I was always gifted with a good ear, a good voice and a love of music. If I heard a song I liked, I never forgot the words. Even to this day I remember the words to all the songs I loved from the 50s’ and 60’s. At around age twenty- five I began to write my own lyrics and make up my own melodies but never really showed them to anyone because I was so ashamed of my poor spelling. Some I kept, but dozens; if not hundreds, of poems and lyrics disappeared over the years.
In 1975 I was working building oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico when I was asked if I would take a general superintendents position on an oil platform being built in the North Sea off the coast of Stavanger, Norway. Norway has been my home ever since.
I was now thirty-two years old with a job that held awesome responsibilities and I realized that I had to teach myself to read much, much better. So it was I began to read or, try to read, every English book I could get my
hands on; which was somewhat limited in Stavanger, Norway in 1975. However writers like James A. Michener and Stephen King were both popular and I will be forever grateful to them for writing books that were so interesting that I was able to teach myself to read. Spelling on the other hand was, is and always will be, a real challenge.
In 1977 I began to write again from time to time and saved a few poems.
In 1980 I was working fourteen days off shore and then home again for fourteen days and I still had not begun competitive shooting so time allowed me to write even more for a couple of years. Then in 1984, I started working in the Middle-East and Southeast Asia, travelling constantly. That and my growing addiction to competitive shooting; in addition running my dog kennel, occupied all of my waking hours when I wasn’t working; so twenty years of my poetry for the most part went to sleep.
In the year 2000 my first PC came into my life and I found out that I didn’t have to be able to spell. Anything close was usually good enough. Just "click tools" and away you go.
In 2005 at the age of sixty-two I met the love of my life, who is a "real" writer with a "real" education. After we had known one another for a while, I shared some of my work with her and she immediately told me that she thought it was very good and that perhaps I should take my writing more seriously as well as share it with others. So here I am and it is Susan I have to thank or blame (depending on what the future holds) for pushing or guiding me in the direction I always wanted to go and doing what I always wanted to do. Write my poetry and lyrics.
I have been out of the construction industry for a number of years now and sort of semi-retired from competitive shooting since 2007. I do however have two hobbies that keep me more than a little busy. One is my kennel; Scooterbrookgundogs, www.scooterbrook.org where I am a fulltime dog breeder and trainer of working Cocker Spaniels. The other, of course, is my writing.