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Portrait of Nystrom as a Young Man

I was looking through some old papers today and came across this blast from the past.

This is me in the kitchen of my apartment in Tokyo, probably in 1991 or so, which would make me about 23 years old. I had just graduated from college and rented that old, single room, second floor flat in Tokyo. There was only a squat toilet, and no shower or bath. Every other day or so I'd ride my bike to the sento, the public bath, where it cost about $3.00 to get myself clean.

The sliding wooden windows and doors had huge cracks at the jambs, which made it extra cold in the winter. The wind would blow right though, and everything would rattle and shake during earthquakes.

The Daily Paul was not even a twinkle in my minds eye. I'd never heard of Ron Paul.

I had those sunglasses that were just like the ones Andy Warhol was wearing in the poster on the wall behind me, and I thought the picture was clever.

Just found it today, and thought I would share.


What were you doing in 1991?

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Let's see ...

1991 memories :) ...

Mid-teens, California high-desert

Homeschooling but just starting out at junior college (launching my way too-long career of changing majors)

Playing street sports with the neighborhood kids and a local dad who happened to be a little person movie actor -- he schooled us all in basketball big-time :)

The thrill of some glider (sailplane) lessons over the California City hills -- going cross-country with someone, landing at a deserted airstrip and having to call in a tow-plane to pull us back through a thunderstorm

Obsessed with messing around with the family's Commodore 64 :)

Politically a big Pat Buchanan supporter, Rush Limbaugh listener -- although some good Liberty-oriented roots that got kind of off-course into mainline conservatism for a time. Sort of a schizophrenic pull in two directions, which the good doctor helped cure :)

Curling up in an armchair with a CS Lewis or Tolkien book

Piano lessons -- then burn-out -- then rediscovering it more recently :)

Hearing that strange new Nirvana sound...shoegaze from across the pond

Discovering Art Bell's show and falling asleep to it :)

Lots of things I wish I could go back and nip in the bud that would get me off-focus and off-course in some ways. But grateful for the lessons, anyhow.

Love the picture, Michael :)

I Thought I Recognized

...that "High Desert" expression.
Started listening to Art Bell on SW(?) & AM circa 1991.

Although more motorcycle inclined (no aeroplanes except Jefferson Aeroplane for me), I traveled pretty much the same "conservative-based" path Buchanan, Perot, Limbaugh, until I awoke, Thanks to RP.
Thanks for sharing this.

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

From the high-desert...

...in the great American Southwest, I bid you all good evening, good morning as the case may be...

Yep, I heard that a few times in the 'good old days' :). Art was over in the high-desert in the 'Kingdom of Nye' (Nye County), Parumph, Nevada, if I remember right? Fun to know you were tuning in, too. :)

Still riding these days? Flying kind of dropped off the radar after I moved, unfortunately.

You were a "Hipster"...

before Hipster was cool. :)

Are you an

artist? I think so...just not in the usual sense of the word! :)

Let's see. 1991? I was suffering from 'empty nest syndrome', which took a few years' time to work through. I would now advise the younger generation to be good parents, but also to involve themselves in many interests to offset the frequently-difficult adjustments one goes through when an interest either changes or ceases to exist.

At that time, I was also working at a very interesting, new-technology type job in the waste disposal business. (Baling the garbage to save landfill space) My boss was also trying to get various South American countries to try this technology, and had they accepted, I'd have moved to South America. Unfortunately, it never came to fruition.

Sometimes we'd get a visit from mobsters, those low on the rung, and sometimes a visit from the big boys. I was surprised to note that the big boys and entourage looked and acted just like they portray on TV...sunglasses, expensive suits, trench coat, goons with facial scars, etc.

One time one of the 'smaller' mobsters was out on the loading dock observing the process when one of the big trucks backfired. He hit the concrete--he thought he was being shot at. Funny? Yes and no!

Was I scared of these guys? Not really. I was in a managerial position, I minded my own business, and I kept my mouth shut.

O.P.O.G.G. - Fighting the attempted devolution of the rEVOLution
Ron Paul 2012...and beyond

I was only 3..

probably not doing much besides playing with my gameboy

proverbs 20:15
There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

ah 1991, a year that changed my life

Got a promotion in January after 8 months on my first job out of college. Life was good.

2 weeks later, I get laid off when the recession hit. Ouch, didn't see that coming.

Some would say that sucks. But it was the best thing that could ever happen to me.

You see, that event shape my whole view going forward regarding a job. I got laid off because I was the new guy, fresh out of school, not much experience - i.e. not very valuable.

So, after thinking about it awhile I was determined to never be in a position of not being valuable. I would not let myself be the first guy out the door. I was determined to be the last guy to turn the lights out.

Thus, I have been in self improvement/education and working my ass off mode ever since.

And I have never been laid off or fired since. I have, however, been promoted and received raises much quicker than most of my colleagues.

Nothing beats failure when you want to succeed.

metalhed19's picture

I was six years old! Nice

I was six years old! Nice Shades Michael :). Who is the guy on the poster behind you?

*Wisconsin Constitution* Article I, Section 25 "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security,defense,hunting,recreation or any other law-abiding purpose"

It's Michael, duh...

And that's Andy Warhol sitting in front of it.

Hello Kitty

You're so cute!! (((((((((MN))))))))) in such a cool way!

nice photo

1991 i was living in mexico and working on a novel. i wish i was back there now!

In 1991, I was born.

20 years later, I learned about Ron Paul.

Then everthing made sense.

I believe in the freedom to be what we choose to be.

Great to see some of your past Michael


It's with fond memories that I recall 1991.. I was 11 years old and correcting one of my teachers that the Sun is a star and not a planet (talk about an education system..).

Regular nursing home visitations (family singing/speaking/ministering) were winding down because of school and I was getting my butt kicked in Wrestling. Getting smashed in football, but enjoying track and field a bit more.

I would just like to take this moment in time, since we are reminiscing about the past, to thank you for starting this DailyPaul.com website and creating such an exceptional place for us to come to.

I'm a 2007 Ron Paul person, and as such appreciate the long slog it's been since then.

Btw, I was in Japan for a couple of days (before living in China) and feel a kinship with you due to our travels. Please stay active as you have, it is important to a good deal of people.

From lots of Liberty folks in Iowa thanks again Michael,


"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but the

I Was A Young Man, ...

... more Minotaur to be housed in Labyrinth.

'Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall'
- Proverbs 16:18

James Joyce's autobiographical novel, which the title of your thread evokes, 'Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man', portrays in allegory somewhat for that wax cover phase of my life.

Joyce's protagonist had his hubris pointed out by a friend:
"In your heart you are an Irishman but your pride is too powerful"

Portrait opens with a quote from Ovid's Metamor­phoses, "Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes"
Translation: "And turned his mind toward unknown arts"

So began my hawk-like departure, an odyssey not yet landed.

'Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.'
- Joyce

So you want to be writers? I have some familiarity w/ the art.

Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays: Volume 2: 1891-1910 (Library of America) Hardcover. By Mark Twain (Author)

Hardcover $27.79
32 Used from $19.98
23 New from $22.42
2 Collectible from $21.85

1 Read years ago. Saved in my study. (Lost in the fiction stacks. Filed under the letter "T")

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

really enjoy Mark Twain as

really enjoy Mark Twain as much his personality as a writer. Probably not an accurate rendition but he always stuck out in my head thanks to this:


I was 5 then

I got teenage mutant ninja turtles 3 for my birthday that year on the nes. GREAT GAME.

Hard game, especially the

Hard game, especially the bridge level.

Southern Agrarian

but the surfing level was so much fun

For me the game didnt start getting hard until the sewer level. Then I started loosing lives (especially the first time you come accross the mousers and those stupid things swarmed you). I always played Michelangelo.

I think I beat that game 2 or 3 times.

Portrait of a future genius!

In 1991 I was 34 and didn't vote and was rather apathetic about the political process. Oh I followed what was going on politically alright, but I knew inherently that both parties were corrupt as the day is long.

I was playing music, golf, traveling and working a lot - for a major airline.

But I discovered Ron Paul in 2007 and it changed my world in a hurry.

I registered to vote, ran for PCO (and won), became a state delegate for Dr. Paul and immersed myself in politics.

Sad to say my political involvement died along with the Ron Paul campaign - I'm basically back to political apathy.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

classic :-)

you should have parted your hair on the other side and it would have been perfect.

And in 1991 I was about as skinny as you are there too.

Was in NZ...

24, based in Auckland, selling skis on the North & South Islands... building houses in the summer and surfing & diving. Backpacked through NZ, AUS and the Pacific Islands... living free, being entrepreneurial, open minded & loving it.

NZ band to follow - Supergroove. "Sitting Inside My Head"

"One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas" Victor Hugo

Ahh youth

too soon we grow old :)

Love it.

So you were always cool, huh?

When I saw the headline I thought it was Smudge or Cudonski roastng you with a parody of Joyce https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Portrait_of_the_Artist_as_a_...

Cyril's picture

Observably, he was / is!

"Always cool"

Observably, he was / is!

And I am picky! :)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

DJP333's picture

I was 11, living in the UK

and loved to watch me some Thundercats and He-Man and life was simple...

"It’s not pessimistic, brother, because this is the blues. We are blues people. The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark. That’s different." ~CW

Thanks for reminding me of Joyce

and his profound influence on me as a young man.

I got my driver's license in 1991

I was 15 - in high school in Meridian, Mississippi.

1991? Hmmm... Oh Yeah....

Having just received a BS in Accounting, and having quickly figured out I hated it, and had wasted 4.5 years of my life and a good bit of Pell Grant money...why of course I was...

Tending Bar in a Baltimore Night Club, stripping as a member of a traveling male dance show, and trying to have as much meaningless sex as I could with as many big haired girls as possible...especially at the same time...

That was a good year...

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?

Michael Nystrom's picture

Woo! Woo!

Awesome! Sounds like a blast!

And then what happened?

He's the man.