Not quite 5-years-old. Let this stand as Exhibit #1 in evidence of my once and forever true gingerness.

About Eric E. Magnuson

An annotated timeline…

Born: Summer of ’69. Bryan Adams song results. Milwaukee used car salesman, Bud Selig, acquires the Seattle Pilots and spirits them away to Wisconsin. Coincidence? Definitely.

Earliest Memory: 3rd birthday. Received a pink teddy bear that proved comfortable neither as a pillow nor a companion.

Kindergarten: Lucked my way into finding my first girlfriend and first best friend. Neither link lasted, but both were cherished examples of how these things happen.

Life on the farm was what I knew before anything else came into the frame.


Fifth Grade: Experienced my first real fist fight with a boy named Roger (REDACTED). Resulted in a draw, a friendship, and the realization that a handshake among even bitter rivals should always be sought.

The summer after: Began “punching the time clock” on my family’s farm – the only job I would know until I left for college.

1980: Supported Ronald Reagan for President in my 6th Grade Social Studies class mock election. Quoted in an actual story appearing in our local newspaper as swayed by Reagan’s “strong on defense” policies. To this day I regret not voting for John Anderson (I-IL).

1981: First time on a plane bigger than my godfather Dale’s four-seater that he’d land on the fallow fields near his farm. For the purpose of an actual family vacation in Colorado and Utah. Most notable was talking my way into my first R-rated movie (“Stripes”). In Park City, UT. Twice! See Pelting Out (Chapter 11) for the full story.

1982: The Milwaukee Brewers lost Game 7 of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, when Bruce Sutter struck out “Stormin’” Gorman Thomas. I still wear Thomas’s uniform #20 in misplaced hope of someday reversing this grand karmic injustice.

1984: The popping of collars and growing of bangs began in earnest for me. As the solitary mohawked-skateboarder in my hometown would eventually say, I was the most obscenely preppy kid ever spotted in the wilds of northern Wisconsin.

Summer leadership camp (Badger Boys State) taught very little about politics. But I did have a future Governor as my camp counselor. I won’t give it away…email me if you figure out who and where that Guv is standing both then and now.

1987: The Black Monday stock market crash went largely unnoticed by me at the time. Blame the first few months of college-level socializing at the University of Minnesota. I claim this was the last major news event I missed, thereafter adopting a news junkie habit that has never softened.

Early 1990s-ish: Began wearing a goatee before it was cool to do so. The fall of the Soviet Union and the Cold War unravels as I began the struggle to gain command of the Russian language. In this, the West most surely lost.

1993: Just as Grunge was about to begin its last blurry spin into the mosh pit of dashed hopes, I arrived in Seattle for grad school at the University of Washington. I began to write for whatever format might pay me enough to live, with an eye toward the longer stories that journalism hadn’t allowed me the freedom to explore.

1996: What can I say – love changes all things. I am no exception to this truism. Long distance relationships and grand writing challenges take form. Leading to…

1998: Embarked upon a two-year stretch in Dallas, TX. Aside from the heat, it suited me well. For one season of a suburban Pee Wee Football league, I did both the play-by-play broadcast and color commentary. In other words, I entered the big time in Big D.

2000: My soon-to-be wife and I moved to Vermont – the “Wisconsin of the Northeast” – a place we shall always visit and dream of fondly. While there, I wrote patent applications for a dubious consulting company and did “opposition research” for a national political campaign.

Photo Courtesy of Jock Sturges

2004: Two years in San Francisco allowed me to learn how to be a father and to finish my first novel (a thriller set in Seattle titled Locus Rising – not yet published, but available upon request). San Francisco is a peach of a place. I did some creative-themed volunteer work (most satisfyingly with 826 Valencia) and we hated to leave. But then my wife got the job she’d always wanted…

2006 to 2010: Returned to Seattle as a family. I began work on and then finished a second novel (also a thriller set in Seattle titled Return Control Delete – also not yet published, and also available upon request). Shaved the goatee.

2011 to present: The idea for Pelting Out: Finding Fur In Our History And Culture blossomed. Began traveling for research. Lots of other cool stuff happened. But you’ll just need to take my word on that. Stay tuned…