Who is Crazy Dave?
Well, for starters, I should not be confused with the guy who spends all his time fighting zombie plants. Although I do fight plants, they’re not the zombified ones!
The Early Years
I grew up in a small farming community in Rickman, Tennessee. I attended Rickman High School until the 8th grade with about 300 other students (that was K – 12th! I did say small!). We had a small garden and a huge (or so I thought) grape vine. My father and mother were hard workers, both holding down a job, working our small claim and helping out on my grandfather’s much larger farm. I remember working very hard on the farm, as well, but probably worked very hard at getting out of work. During those years, I enjoyed righting my bicycle, camping, and hunting. I also became an “expert” at Pac Man on the Atari. Back then I was never called Crazy Dave or even Dave for that matter, but I did get called some names I can’t mention here.
The Teen and Young Adult Years
Right before my 9th-grade year, our family moved to the “big city” of Cookeville. I got very involved in activities at the high school and in the Willow Avenue Church of Christ youth group. I started dating, driving and making some decisions for myself. Of course, I made some good choices and I made some bad choices (probably more bad than good!).
After high school, I decided I wanted to attend Freed-Hardeman University to become a preacher. I ended up spending too much time studying girls and the pool table. Over time, I became very good at both subjects, but neither could save my college career. I flunked out after just a year. I followed those bad decisions with marrying too young and becoming a father too young. This, too, ended badly!
The Adult Years
After a nasty divorce which ended with me having custody of our two daughters and working a minimum wage job for several years, I decided it was time to get my life straighten out. I enrolled in the Opticianry program at Roane State Community College. I drove an hour both ways into a different time zone, worked a full-time job, and took care of my two young daughters. Sleep was something I didn’t get much of for those years, but I did graduate and become a Licensed Optician.
From this point, the jobs seemed to get better, but we kept having to move to get the career improvements coming. Somewhere along the line, I met Laura and we settled down and started a family. Laura and I ended up in the Chattanooga area, where my career as an optician came to an end.
For a few years, I became a stay-at-home dad, while Laura became a working mom. I got the kids to school each day, became VP of the PTA and finally ended up homeschooling our three youngest children. I tried to work some odd jobs to make ends meet, but they never seemed to meet. Laura loves sewing and crocheting so we got a flea market booth that I worked every Saturday and Sunday to sell the items she made. I was also delivering our local newspaper early every morning, seven days a week. Laura and I hardly ever saw each other!
Then the unthinkable happened! Shelby became sick, ended up in the PICU and we were told she would not be coming home again. As it turns out, she is as stubborn as her father and proved the doctors wrong, but Laura and I had to slam the breaks on and re-evaluate what we were doing.
Not long after this, Laura’s place of employment downsized and we were spending a lot more time together. This ended up being a good thing in hind sight. It seemed as Shelby’s health improved, Laura started to decline and the doctors couldn’t tell us why. After about a year, we did finally find a doctor who diagnosed her with MG and got her on some medicines that helped, but Laura will never be able to hold down a real job again.
Crazy Dave Goes Back to School
In 2009, I enrolled in the Information Technology program at Chattanooga State Community College. Two years later, I graduated Summa Cum Laude (not bad for someone who failed my 1st year of college). That fall, I got the job I hold today working in the IT department of a local credit union.
The next year, I decided I wanted my Bachelor’s degree. I know I had to be able to do it on my own time, so I enrolled in the online program at Western Governors University and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.
How I became Crazy Dave
Soon after this Laura’s father came to live with us for the next two as his health declined. We had to make room in our house for all of these people so we decided to get a booth at one of the local antique/thrift malls. This is when I became Crazy Dave. We ended up calling our little enterprise Crazy Dave’s Antiques and started visiting estate sells to supplement our junk with some real antiques. We continued to expand to multiple booths and, at one point, to three different malls. In the end, the poor economy took its toll and we recently closed our last booth.
In 2014, we found geocaching.com and I needed to come up with a fitting username. Crazy Dave’s Crew seemed to be the perfect name since I was the primary cacher, but the family (the Crew) would be involved, too. Now we go on several hikes a year and attend out of town events as part of our vacations. Just recently we have found a way to include geocaching in the children’s homeschooling so each member of the Crew has their own username.
I also discovered I like telling others about my adventures so I started cdcrew.com to blog about them. We also enjoy making videos and created a YouTube channel to show off all the crazy things we do. In fact, I enjoyed creating my website so much, I decided to create one for our church family, Ooltewah Church of Christ.
What’s Happening Now?
This year, we decided to start raising chickens, growing a garden, and we are doing lots of repairs and remodeling around the house. We are documenting all of these activities on the blog and the YouTube channel.
I hope you will come along for the ride.