J a m e s S p e e d H e n s i n g e r
Raised in Southern Indiana with Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer as a role model, James Speed Hensinger was an Eagle Scout with lots of outdoor and survival training: a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and backpacking guide in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. He did geological field work in the Tobacco Root Mountains of western Montana, was an avid spelunker and dabbled in rock climbing and rope work in pit caves. Before being drafted into the US Army and serving in Vietnam, he finished a BS in geology and petroleum engineering at Marietta College. This was followed by a brief stint at Texaco in Houston.
After Vietnam, he worked on an MS in geology at the University of Arizona. But his wartime experiences seriously compromised his ability to enjoy time spent in the great outdoors. Having built an Altair 8800 computer from a mail order kit in 1975, Jim became fascinated with computers and the Internet. He started a new career as a university science librarian and completed an MS in library science while also serving as an EMT on the Pima County Search & Rescue Team. Four years later he was head-hunted into the private sector where he created software, was an early adopter of the internet, managed a multi-million-dollar budget, presented hundreds of seminars, published dozens of technical articles, wrote several non-fiction books on computing, and published dozens of recipes in popular magazines. His personal Web page, JHensinger.org has a list of his publications.
He retired at age 55 from senior management in a small tech firm that provided library automation services to hundreds of institutions in twelve states. He enjoys writing, bronze sculpture, cooking, photography, antiquarian map collecting, international travel, leather work, making furniture, making stained glass, silversmithing, MacGyvering, and competitive pistol shooting. He has served as vice-president of the Rocky Mountain Map Society for over a decade and is the volunteer chair of the Adams County Arts and Humanities Commission.
Jim is currently writing his memoir, DEROS, about the Vietnam War. The memoir takes the reader through the process of molding a resistant raw draftee from Middle America into a soldier and survivor of the War via a series of interconnected short stories illustrated with his acclaimed photography.