THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JAMES A. BONDOUX

MITCHEL, THE HOUSE ECCENTRIC

Handsome

Graduation picture of fine young man.

SchoolPic

School Picture: 1989.

WhiteWater

Screaming through the really cold white water.

PracticalJoker

Always grinning, always joking.

PageBoy

Here is the ringbearer at his aunt Valerie's wedding in 1983.

2007 Brunch

Hey, Dude!

PanAm

In pilot's uniform at Pan Am International Flight Academy.

Piggyback

Fouryear-old demanding a ride.

With Mom

On one of the roadtrips - Nashville.

Joker

More grins, more jokes - a Joker hat, this time.

“I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn’t weird at all, and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.” Paul McCartney thus expressed a view that rings true with Mitchel, who enjoys a somewhat unusual, but well-ordered, life of a semi-recluse, passionate about his personal comfort, harmony and stability.

When Mitchel made his appearance, his mother and I had no idea that another maverick had just joined our nonconformist household. He has generally avoided joining groups and has found a way to immerse himself privately in his own interests. Always a jolly kid, his childhood taste for jokes and laughs has carried through to an adult with a ready smile and a lively sense of humor.

Au Pair Danielle

Our first "au pair" Danielle with the new cherub.

A curious mind, he developed an early appetite for computers, filling the slot of computer assistant at the summer camps put on by St. Mark’s, and carrying over to computer lab tech at Redwood High and then on to computer lab supervisor at Rochester Institute of Technology. Today, he presides over a self-built workstation that resembles a cross between a bond trader’s desk and an air traffic controller’s post.

His pursuits, like those of his dad, have been those of a loner, such as swimming, scuba diving, and flying. He earned his diving credentials at Catalina Island Marine Institute, and his private pilot’s license at Pan Am International flight school (including instrument and multi-engine ratings).

Diploma

Shaking loose a diploma at Redwood High.

He continues to march to his own drummer, totally absorbed in learning new things from the world wide web and preferring to interact with others over the internet than in person. That reflects his profile as an Asperger, indifferent to the approval of others, intensely private, fastidious to a fault, and attracted to routines and predictable outcomes. Pleasant and generally easygoing, he is a family type, and rejoined our household following a struggle on his own in the outside world.

Indeed, I enjoy thinking of him as a character out of The Great Gatsby: Ewing Klipspringer, Gastby’s so-called “boarder”, an intermittently visible disheveled man in pajamas who plays the piano on request. Gatsby says: “Klipspringer has been here since a party I threw in April. I didn’t even realize he was here until two weeks ago.”

And so, we depend upon him for various chores, to help manage our life and home, and to provide family companionship. It has been a very rewarding family experience to have him be our driver on extended roadtrips through the U.S. We look forward to more of those.