Virtual Idea Lab

Leslie's Life Story


Growing up...

I’m a recovering tom-boy. I suppose it was inevitable, growing up in my family. My father was a real “man’s man,” who hunted, fished, led Boy Scouts through the wilderness, and worked in the woods as a leader of lumberjacks and road builders. My mother was a pioneer’s daughter from Montana, a contemporary of June Cleaver who was both a homemaker as well as a career woman, with a heart of gold but little time for the softer side of life. My older brother was an honors student and a basketball star, and I was constantly striving to compete on both the academic and athletic stages at a level that would warrant some limelight of my own.

As for me, my family was living in the tiny town of Naselle, Washington, close to the mouth of the mighty Columbia River when I was born. Because of my father’s career, as I was growing up we lived in various spots around the Pacific Northwest, but always where the population was quite sparse, the climate was quite rainy (think northern rainforest), and the trees grew very tall and very green. These communities were often populated by citizens of Scandinavian descent, mostly due to the similarities in climate, topography, ecosystems and lifestyle between the Pacific Northwest and their homeland.