Welcome Venezuela! Thanks for reading! Here it is week 8 already! Two months down! Time flies when you're having fun! It was brought to my attention that I never formally/personally introduced myself to my readers. That's about to change! Here's everything you may, or may not, have ever wanted to know about the "big wedo." Welcome to Wedo Smith 101.
I was born August 15, 1974 in Lakeview, Michigan. My parents, Leslie & Rosemary Smith, named me Michael Dale Smith. I am the youngest of five children, the baby of the family, and the self acclaimed favorite. I have two sisters and two brothers. The middle brother passed at birth. All of my siblings are married with children. My father held many positions in his lifetime including: Nuclear Engineer, Post Master, Pastor and Book Keeper. My mother stayed home to raise the children and take care of the home. They are retired now and enjoy their time between their residences in Michigan and Florida. They are snow birds. They are the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
During my childhood, we lived in the parsonage on the Church camping grounds. Read more on that in week six's blog post, "The Miracles of Dancing." In the third grade, we moved from Six Lakes, Michigan to Clarksville, Michigan. I went to Clarksville Elementary through Sixth grade. Then it was off to Lakewood Junior High for Seventh and Eighth grades. I finished up at Lakewood High School and graduated in 1992 at the age of 17. After High School I went of to study Vocal Performance at Wheaton College & Conservatory of Music in Wheaton, Illinois. I left Wheaton in 1994 to pursue life's adventures and briefly took classes at Mount Hope Bible Training Institute and Grand Rapids Community College. In June of 1995, I moved to California where I have been living ever since. In the January 2010 I enrolled into classes at the Rock Bible College and graduated in 2011. In the fall of 2012, I enrolled into ISOM (International School Of Ministry) and will be graduating in Spring 2013.
As far as employment is concerned, I had my first jobs in the Sixth grade. I would stay after school and help the janitor with assorted duties, such as emptying trash cans, for $1.00 a day! That only lasted for a couple weeks before I was offered a paper route in Clarksville, Michigan delivering The Grand Rapids Press newspaper. I delivered those newspapers until I graduated high school. I received the honor of being the paper carrier of the week! They printed a short article about me with one of the ugliest photos I've ever taken. In addition to the paper route, I mowed lawns. When I was old enough to get my worker's permit, I started working at McDonald's. I worked for five different McDonald's Restaurant locations, off and on, over a five year period.
While at Wheaton, I worked in their Alumni call center requesting financial contributions for campus projects from alumni and friends of the college. One summer break, I performed janitorial tasks for the Clarksville Post Office including painting the interior of the building and waxing the floors. After Wheaton, I worked for Chuck E. Cheese's and a Christian bookstore/Hallmark before moving to Detroit, Michigan. In Detroit, I worked for a chocolate company both in retail and production of chocolate products (call me Willy Wonka), The Fisher Theater on their ushering staff and as an assistant manager at Little Caesar's Pizza.
Then in 1995 I moved to California. My first job in California was working for Castle Park Amusement Park in Riverside, California. I continued interviewing and testing for jobs and I landed a position at Smith & Noble catalog window treatments company located in Corona, California where I worked in the call center answering phones, as a filing clerk and in their swatch sample department. While there I started a business with a friend in Beanie Babies and teddy bears. We opened a store in Rancho Cucamonga called BearsBears & Collectibles. I left Smith & Noble in 1998 to pursue a career with Toyota Motor Sales USA working in their North American Parts Center warehouse, where I have been employed ever since. I will be celebrating 15 years of service there in September.
BearBears & Collectibles closed in 2000. But I enjoyed having my own business in addition to my everyday job. Guess that makes me an entrepreneur. In the early 2000's, I started a mobile DJ Company called All Star DJ's. That lasted a while until I got the urge to open another store. In 2005, I opened What A Deal gift and home decor specialty shop in Rancho Cucamonga. What A Deal moved to Upland, California in 2008 and lasted there until 2010. When the economy crashed, so did our clientele and the business closed. Thank goodness I've had a stable job all along! I would like to have another business again sometime in the future.
Sounds busy, but as I have said before I like variety and trying new things. On a more personal note, I enjoy music of all kinds and theater. I played the french horn in high school and was in the concert band, marching band and jazz band. I was drum major for one year. I also enjoyed singing and was in the concert choir, men's chorus, show choir, barbershop quartet, musical theater and children's theater. In college, I sang in the concert choir and opera workshop. I also took piano lessons both as a child and in college, but I am not a pianist! I received several metals and awards for music. Even a few scholarships.
Some of my other interests include travelling, shopping, church, and movies. I use to enjoy collecting antiques and things, but had to stop because I was becoming a hoarder! I enjoy theater and have had the privilege of seeing several stage productions and Cirque du Soliel shows. I also enjoy concerts and have seen Beyonce, Natalie Cole, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Prince, Cher, Madonna and many others. I like adventure and enjoy activities like zip lining, roller coasters and parasailing. Gosh, sounds like I am writing a dating profile!
Anyway, enough about me already! Let's wrap this up for this week by talking about the dancing! The dancing is a nice addition to my list of life experiences, which there are many! You've gotten a small sampling here. It's amazing to me how many experiences a person can have in their lifetime. I may not be the best dancer, but I'm getting better everyday. I hope that this dance experience is not just another fleeting hobby. I take it seriously. I'm catching on to folklorico dancing, however, other styles of dancing like Cumbia and Salsa make me feel all uncoordinated and white, which I am so that's alright! I get so twisted around. There you have it Wedo Smith 101! I'm a real winner! Hope you enjoyed it and that you got a snap shot of who I am. Until next Sunday.......wedo out!
Contact Information for "The Big Wedo":
Google E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: One Big Wedo (Guero)
Twitter: Michael Smith @onebigwedo
Contact Information for Ballet Folklorico de Herencia Mexicana:
Richard Solorzano, Director: (909) 201-1957
Facebook: Herencia Mexicana
Note: Looking for your own adventure or journey? Herencia is a great place to find one! Folklorico lessons and performances are both available. Herencia Mexicana performs for private & public events of all kinds. Book your event today! Herencia Mexicana welcomes new students. No previous folklorico or dance experience required. All are welcome.