Where are you from, Rick Diamond? Please tell us the story.
- In late 1960, I was born in Waco, Texas. My parents – Baylor University students Mary Ann Smith and Richard Diamond – were dating and got pregnant with me. They married in mid-1960 at Mary Ann’s family’s house outside Lampasas, Texas, aka a town full of farmers and ranchers, aka nowheresville. Mary Ann dropped out to be a mom; Richard finished with a degree in Mathematics. I feel a lot of compassion for them – so young! So over their heads. Mary Ann would later, in a fit of rage, tell me she should’ve listened to all the people who urged her to get an abortion.
- In 1961 or 62, we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, then Santa Monica, California, where Lord Jesus gave us my beautiful sister Stacy in 1963. (It is to my shame that I lived for a few years ssomewhereother than Texas, but it wasn’t my choice, so it sort of doesn’t count.) (It counts, but still.) Richard worked for Douglas Aircraft doing some kind of math aerospace stuff. Religion: as;ldkfj Presbyterian Church, where one Sunday morning in passing in the church halls, Dick Van Dyke told my parents that baby Stacy was cute. I wonder if Dick and Dick (by now that was Richard’s nickname) were both possibly drunk at that moment. Home: Bungalow near Venice Beach.
- In 1965 Dick got a job with a big company across the street from NASA outside Houston, Texas. Yes, Dick was a rocket scientist. We moved to a suburb called Dickinson. (Oh my God i just realized – Dick-in-son — I’m Dick’s son.) Religion: First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson. Home: Cute 3 BR 2 BA in new suburb. Yard with trees.
- In 1968 Mary Ann took the kids and we left Dick behind, as it were. We moved to Fort Worth, Texas. Lived 4 different places there over 4 years – 2nd, 3rd, 4th, part of 5th grades; Mary Ann married Glenn, aka Stepfather 1, an IBM typewriter repair technician. Religion: Westminster Presbyterian Church. Homes: 1, small apartment complex near Texas Christian University stadium parking lot; 2, small apartment in okay complex near Southwest Loop; 3, small apartment near James Avenue; 4, Stepfather 1’s house in East Fort Worth, built in 50s, pool, nice neighborhood, house was dark inside.
- In 1972 we left Fort Worth & moved to Far South Texas, near the border, in Harlingen. Lived 3 different places there over 3 years – rest of 5th, then 6th, 7th, 8th grades – where I attended Minnie B. Gay Junior High School. Swear to God; you can’t make that shit up. Religion: Treasure Hills Presbyterian Church; Bethel Church Charismatic Cult. Swear to God; again, seriously, wait til you read the story; it’s crazy.
- In 1975 Mary Ann took the kids and we left Stepfather 1 behind. Lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, for 4 years – 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grades. Richard King High School. Religion: St. John’s United Methodist Church. Homes: 1, shitty apartment complex on South Alameda; 2, slightly less shitty apartment complex further up Alameda; 3, shitty house built in 50s in horrible shape which we renovated pitifully.
- In 1979 Rick got the fuck out and went off to college in the cosmopolitan mecca of Waco, Texas. Religion: Church Of The Sunday Sleep-Late. Homes: 1, dorm, 2, shitty apartment, 3, shitty apartment, 4, shitty apartment, then got married & classed it up.
What about your education, Rick Diamond?
- 1979, Richard King High School, Corpus Christi, Texas. I was Class President, a Class Favorite, and the Ugly Man award 2 years in a row. Didn’t make it into the National Honor Society, which destroyed Mary Ann.
- 1983, B.A. in English, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. … ENGLISH NERD. Member of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, an awesome club full of future leaders of society, blah blah blah. Cartoonist for The Lariat, campus newspaper for 4 years, doing comic strip called “Bobby Baylor.” Pretty funny. Married a Baylor girl.
- 1987, M.A. in English, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. … STILL AN ENGLISH NERD. Wanted to go teach college English. Got graduate degree in English to do it. Realized tenure track and minutia of academia wasn’t a good fit for me; taught in community colleges for 10 years instead. Good decision.
- 1994 – 1996 M.Div. course of study, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Had to get Master of Divinity degree or equivalent to be ordained in the United Methodist Church; since I already had a graduate degree in my field – I was going into Christian Education – I just had to take a bunch of theology and methodology and doctrine and mission courses. LOVED IT.
- 2001, Doctor of Ministry, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. I studied with Dr. Leonard I. Sweet, one of the original gurus of the postmodern church movement. Opened my eyes. My degree is about 1st-century church leadership. And I’m on the faculty there, shepherding doctoral students and helping with their dissertations.
What about family?
In 1987, my son Alex was born. He was the producer of an award-winning Austin radio show and worked at the legendary Austin Books and Comics. He now does social media for a hospital-supplies company. He is, brilliantly, both a nerd and also a handsome cool person. Redhead. Tall.
In 1991, my daughter Caitlin was born. She has been a certified makeup artist in an international beauty and style chain of stores, and now she is at St. Edwards University studying Psychology, as well as being a gifted poet with a large online following. She is also a worker for LGBTQI and women’s rights issues. Redhead. Tall.
What’s your sign?