On January 18, 1970, in a staggering feat of mutational engineering (never before seen, and never again attempted, for reasons that will become clear as this pictorial unfolds), Byff was born.
After the waves of global protest subsided, and it was judged safe to leave the hospital, his parents retired to a presumably safe existence in Bryan, Texas. Byff responded by trying to burn the apartment down (throwing a pillow from his crib into an electric space heater).
|Plotting his escape.|
|An early fascination with firearms has become a lifelong interest.|
For a while, he was a toddler.
|Even in the heart of the cold, cold city, he's always been a country boy.|
|Trees made for good conversation. Bugs made for good eating.|
|His parents took to leaving him outdoors, sometimes for weeks at a time.|
Then more stuff happened.
|The crinkle of the pool's plastic, the glint of the ball's colors, and the smell of the inflatable boat. |
All still vivid memories.
He got meningitis.
|The brain damage was deemed minimal at the time, but sadly, later experience did not bear this out.|
He got a sister.
The family moved to Houston.
He had birthdays.
He dreamed of being a cowboy.
|Or maybe just a cow-eating boy.|
He discovered boobs.
|The fact that his fly is open in this shot is probably unrelated to the fact that he's staring at the older woman to his left.|
The family moved to Waco.
Where he had relatives.
He had more birthdays.
|Somewhere along the way, he picked up a few cousins as well.|
|And even more cousins.|
He got into music.
The family moved out to the country.
|Into a fixer-upper.|
This gratified his outdoorsiness.
|The coy-dog in the upper left of the photo was his beloved Greyhound, the Coyote Who Followed Him Home.|
Fifty acres of open spaces, horses and wildlife.
More Christmases ensued.
And the family moved back to Houston.
|Into a slightly better house.|
Then he was a tween.
More Christmases followed.
Then, abruptly, acne, voice breaking, and surly early teen disposition.
Sometimes his sisters had birthdays.
Then braces, a maddening tendency for his hair to curl, and a surly mid-teen disposition.
But as long as he could get away to the country from time to time, he could maintain an even strain.
He got himself a guitar.
He even learned to play it a little.
|But details from this time are a little blurry.|
He continued to get along better with animals than with people.
And to maintain an even strain.
But he did make friends.
|Kidnapped on his 18th birthday. Tragically, the perps were apprehended before they could properly dispose of him.|
|Well, a girlfriend.|
He graduated from high school.
He bought himself a car.
|From his parents, but still. He bought it.|
He went to college. He hung out with friends.
Then he joined the Army.
|That surly, early 20 attitude.|
|He organized his friends into civilian militias.|
He got married.
They lived in Hawaii.
He danced with Charo.
|Don't ask where his hands are.|
Then he was a civilian again.
He got drunk.
He sold stuff.
Then he moved to Sealy, Texas, and was lost to history for several years.
|Probably because of stuff like this.|
He moved back to Houston. Again.
|And some of Sealy kept turning up there.|
|A note from Andrew S. Thompson (pictured above).|
He got into politics.
|The face of sheer patriotism.|
He got into IT work. Then Web design work. Then Web development work.
|The face of sheer professionalism.|
And now, finally, he's all growed up.
|The face of sheer happiness.|
Still have the acne and the surly teen disposition, but at least the voice is no longer cracking.