Who is Larry Krieg, anyway?

Who is this?

 
LJK Age 1

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela right after the end of World War II. As a kid, I lived at various times in Bethesda, Maryland; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and Santiago, Chile. My childhood was most illuminated by a correspondence between my mother and Christian author C. S. Lewis; the letters are linked here.

Army dustoff Huey (in Veterans' Park, Bay City, Michigan)

UH-1 "Huey" helicopter in "dustoff" (medical evacuation) service. Mounted in Bay City, Michigan's, Veterans' Park.

I was fortunate to attend four years and graduate from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and earn an MA and PhD in Linguistics at the University of Michigan. Between college and grad school, I married Martha Fessler, then left to serve in the United States Army as a non-combatant medical corpsman, including a brief tour in Vietnam, where I picked up a Purple Heart and Bronze Star; and a longer tour at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C., initially as a patient and later as a corpsman in the Medical ICU.

Martha and Laurence, Fall 1971

Larry and Martha, Fall 1971

Laurence & Martha at MythCon, 1973

Larry and Martha at MythCon 1973, garbbed as Faramir and Arwen from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

During grad school in Ann Arbor, I frittered my time away with excessive volunteering, including serving on Church Council at Lord of Light Lutheran Church, helping run a branch of the Mythopoeic Society, and managing an editorial office for several Mythopoeic Society publications. I also picked up a bit of money here and there, working as a teaching assistant in Linguistics (under Kenneth L. Pike), as a research assistant in the Computer and Communication Sciences, and typing dissertations and academic publications for scholars more talented than myself. My own dissertation involved inducing other students from "ïnteresting" languages to produce their hisses, which I recorded, analyzed, and wrote pompous prose about.

LJK Phonetics Lab with Alan Agar of Belfast

University of Michigan Phonetics Lab. Larry with Alan Agar, of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

A series of events led to becoming the father of Katherine Joy ("Katy"), Marjorie Elissa ("initially "Jorie", now "Elissa"), and Ian. Each has been a joy in his or her own way. Katy is a librarian and (with her husband Eric Kramp) mother of Robbie and Lucy; Elissa is a linguist and editorial specialist; and Ian was a programmer with Amazon.com until his untimely death at the age of 26.

LJK family on the occasion of Ian's graduation from 9th Grade

Martha, Katy, Elissa, Ian, Larry. The occasion is Ian's graduation from 8th Grade.

Laurence helping a computer student in a Washtenaw Community College pulblicity photo

Dr. Krieg assisting a Washtenaw Community College computer student. (Publicity photo)

Meanwhile, down here, being unable to continue in grad school all my life (I tried!), I worked as a computer programmer for a few years, then went to Washtenaw Community College for 25 year to teach people how to use and program computers. We experienced three years in the Word of God charismatic community, and many more years at St. Luke Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor, including twelve years as an Elder, and various related activities. As a family, we have been privileged to host wonderful high school-age guests from Japan, Colombia, Germany, and Denmark.
But owing to my misspent youth, I was already pretty old after 25 years of teachng, so I retired and devoted my life to other causes. That included short-term mission trips to Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Israel; and two summers in Mexico teaching phonetics to classes of mainly indigenous people. It also includes serving on the Planning Commission for the Charter Township of Ypsilanti, Michigan; and representing the Township on the Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (the local bus operator)

Guatemala, Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. Laurence spent several vacations here between the ages of 6 and 8. This photo was taken during a 2009 mission trip to Guatemala with MOST Ministries.

LJK in Nagasaki, Japan, with JR Kyushu 'Sonic' electric train (not a 'bullet' train)

Larry in Nagasaki, Japan, posing by a JR Kyushu "Sonic" train (not a 'bullet' train).

My retirement motto has been Hans Chritian Andersen's, At rejse er at leve - "To Travel is to Live". I feel most alive and free when I'm on the road - or more precisely, on the rails. I am firmly committed to travel - whenever possible - on the most humane and ecologically sound mode: trains. I've done it throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia, and never regretted a moment of it. (Well, hardly ever!) In addition to the relaxation and the chance to meet new people while traveling, the ecological soundness of trains is a prime consideration for me.

In fact, most of what I do now is aimed at moving toward sustainable, pleasurable living. As I tell people in my "elevator" speech, Martha and I had three children, only one of whom stayed to live and work in Michigan, while one went to the east coast and the other went to the west coast.. We have two grandchildren here in Michigan, and I want them to have the choice of living here in reasonable prosperity if they like. Because I don't see that happening unless we change our transportation and community habits, I created a little organization called "Wake Up Washtenaw", which I use as a platform for advocating sustainable development and transportation. You can read about it here.

One other major project I've undertaken has been transcribing and digitizing the collection of family letters and documents I found in the bottom drawer of my father's desk in 2010, after he passed away. This amounts to many hundreds of letters chronicling not only the history of the family, but fascinating snapshots of turbulent times in several countries where family members lived. These include Paris during the Nazi occupation, Milan at the outbreak of World War II, Stutgart under Hitler, Nigeria as a British colonial backwater, Venezuela and Guatemala during assorted revolutions, and Chile during the strongest earthquake ever recorded. Unfortunately, there are too many for me to transribe in my lifetime, but I'm working on it (when not traveling myself!). You can look through what's done here.