I’d like to tell you about how this company evolved. I think it must have began when I was 13 years old, because that is how the magic of the universe seems to work. It was April 1st 1993. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick, weak, and shaky. I walked to my parent’s bedroom an woke my dad to tell him that I was sick. I was visibly shaking, to which he promptly responded “April Fools, now go back to bed”. It was 3 am. I went back to bed, but it only got worse. At 4 am I was back in my parents’ room, who were now taking me more seriously.
It turns out that I had contracted a rare, but relatively benign disease called Sydenham’s Chorea, to which my Marine Corps recruiter remarked, years later, concerning my medical history “Whoa, you got what in Korea!?!” Sydenham’s chorea or chorea minor (historically referred to as Saint Vitus Dance) is a disease characterized by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements affecting primarily the face, feet and hands. It is relatively benign, and usually runs its course in just a few weeks.
Unfortunately, a well-know psychiatrist took a look at me and made a terrible diagnosis – falsely indicating that I was making up the tremors for attention. He put me on a class of drugs that I turned out to be allergic to, which made fighting off the infection. So it was not 2 weeks, but 9 months later that the symptoms resolved. It took a trip to a special study at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and a special research study (where my case confirmed the link between new chorea and old chorea) to get a correct diagnosis and on the road to recovery.
In an effort to take my mind off of the sickness I was enduring, my parents thought of some sort of pastime I could enjoy. My sister was studying the Irish harp (its easy to get into such a thing when your mother is named Molly Jane McInnis), and her harp teacher’s husband was a guitar teacher. Magic again. That is how I became a musician.
My sister Ann and I played Irish and folk music together throughout our teens until I graduated High School and went off to college on a music scholarship. She’d skip the college and join the Marines.
I guess she led me into music, and she led me into the Marines, too. The Marine Corps is the next part of this story.