My name is G. Armour Van Horn, and I currently live at Freeland, Washington, a tiny community on Whidbey Island. That’s about 40 miles NW of Seattle. I occupy myself by building websites for a number of artists and businesses, photographing products (mostly artwork), and maintaining computers and networks for small businesses here on south Whidbey.
I grew up at Port Angeles, which was fairly remote back in the ‘sixties, but moved to the Seattle area in 1973. Until 1990 I was mostly involved in the screen printing business, starting with bumper stickers and posters, moving into T-shirts (after the first ten thousand it’s incredibly boring), and finally working in the industrial end of things, printing parts that became components of other Pacific Northwest products. Things like boat dashboards, water ski tops, and front panels for medical instruments. Alas, the economy was brutal for marine recreation (interest rates were high, and gas had just hit $1.50/gallon for the first time) and not only did business fall off about 90% in the span of a couple of months, but whopping amounts of money I was owed vanished when a couple of boat companies and a couple of water-ski companies failed.
I started writing, mostly about computers, and was doing pretty well until another set of economic changes wiped out a big chunk of the publishing business. There’s a long list of magazines that I once wrote for (BYTE, Windows Magazine, InfoWorld) that are now gone.
By that time we had moved out to the island, and suddenly had close to no income. Again. When I couldn’t pay the rent, the broker figured he could either throw me out in the street or put me to work. Since he owned the street, I guess he decided that would be unsightly, so I started doing the marketing for Tara Properties. I published a tabloid newspaper for them, handled the corporate identity when they broke with RE/MAX, handled all the new signage when they later joined Coldwell Banker, placed all the newspaper ads, etc.
After a time, most of this got moved in-house, but I was still keeping their computers running, and this Internet thing started to look interesting.
I built a couple of sites for clients, starting with Claris HomePage as my editor, which was pretty decent for its day. As a long-time FreeHand user I naturally gravitated to DreamWeaver early on. I leased my first dedicated server in 1998, mostly to host “Digital Eyes”, a site that covered digital cameras and scanners. It wasn’t too long after that when I tried my hand at my first mailing list, sending out a couple of jokes every day to something like 14,000 subscribers. (The Twisted Straw) After selling that just before the market for advertising in small outlets fell apart, I started Twisted History. Alas, with no significant revenue there was no way to keep that going. I did rescue a little part of it, combining one section of “Twistory” with another list I bought, and Quotes of the Day was reborn in its current form in June of 2000. That’s still going strong, although it doesn’t make me any money!
I currently have two leased servers at Rochester, Minnesota, and my primary nameserver here on Whidbey, and host a fair collection of sites, most of which I’ve built. It’s probably not up-to-date, but these are some of the sites I’ve built.
I don’t do much print production anymore, but after leaving the production side of the screen printing business I spent a fair amount of time, almost all of it in FreeHand (first Aldus, then Macromedia). Although Adobe has announced that there will be no further development of FreeHand, those of us who are serious about multiple-spot-color work (particularly that isn’t going to be printed as process color on a litho press) and a lot of cartographers will be using it for ages. The winner in that race, Adobe Illustrator, is pretty pathetic once you’ve learned FreeHand.
Because Larkin’s art required photography, I’ve been learning how to shoot artwork since around 1995. It’s nothing like shooting portraits, scenery, or birthday parties! Because I’m stubborn, I’ve been getting pretty good at it. In 2007 I setup a studio at Best of the Northwest, working with Mark Frey, a well-known local photographer, to shoot pieces that the artists were exhibiting there. I really should update my photo page, but I’m not embarrassed by what’s up there now.
Personally, I married Larkin Hanich in 1985, and other than the burden of being stuck with me, married life is reasonably good. It would be better if I made more money, but I think most people would say that!
I have a daughter from my first marriage, Amelia Neighbors. She keeps promising to work on her website, but never seems to. I host it, of course. All one page of it! She recently brought forth a son, I probably should post some pictures one of these days. I’ve had one photo session with mother and child, but it hasn’t been edited for public viewing, or even close.
Spiritually, I was raised Lutheran back in the days when that mostly meant “not catholic”. After moving to “the big city” I drifted away from regular church attendance, but a relationship with Nani Paape, at that time a member of the Society of Friends (aka the Quakers), led me to worship for some years with University Friends Meeting and Eastside Friends Meeting. I returned to the Lutheran tradition in the early ’90s, joining Faith Lutheran Church at Everett. The pastor left the ministry, we had a year-long interim, and then that parish called Curtis Zieske.
Although Curtis and I had something of a falling out (he is the only pastor who has ever asked me to leave a church!) I learned a great deal from him which elevated my understanding of worship dramatically. It was with Curtis that I first experienced the Easter Vigil, a tradition that I’ve since established at my current parish, Trinity Lutheran Church at Freeland. Larkin and I have been members at TLC since 1990, I am a frequent worship leader at the Saturday evening service, and preach at that service three or four times a year.
I could go on, but you’ll note that I already have, so I’ll stop now until I can come back and edit this down.
You must be logged in to post a comment.