Hi. I'm David Mills (Dave Mills) - the non-felon David Mills in Port Angeles, Washington.
My Childhood and Early Adult Life
I was born at a very early age in Bountiful, Utah and soon afterwards moved to Ogden, Utah and attended school there.
School and I didn't get along so well, so I never finished high school and went to a trade school instead where I learned butchering and wood working and baking skills.
So, now you know how I have developed the recipe for my sour dough Elk Burger seasoned with old oak and cedar!
Relocation to Washington State
In about 1992, I moved to Bremerton with my family. My dad was a Naval contractor. My first employment in Washington was with Harvey Airfield in Snohomish fueling aircraft. I spent about five years there.
I met my wife (Charlotte) while working at the airfield. At that time, Charlotte was a federal bank examiner which ended up bringing us to Port Angeles in about 1993. About 30 minutes after arriving, I landed a job at Peninsula Golf Course and kept their greens for a couple of years. I then transferred those skills to Sunland Golf Course for a couple more years.
Landscaping and Maintenance
I started my own business doing landscaping and maintenance in 1997. About 4 years into this new venture, I helped create and manage The Pumpkin Patch in Sequim. About the time of the new millennium, I managed the grounds and buildings for Lake Crescent Lodge, spending a couple of years doing this.
Nicknames and How I Got "Em
I suppose I've been accident prone? Had a few unfortunate incidents, which includes breaking my neck three times!
The Trim Reaper
While working at the Peninsula Golf Course, I was able to line-trim (weed eat) the entire golf course in 4 days. It was the first time to have ever been completed in 18 years. How did I do it? One blade of grass at a time! (Well, probably more like 50 to 100 blades of grass at a time).
I adopted this name and used it for my landscaping business which I still use today!
In addition to having my neck broken 3 times, (One time was "minor") I fell off of the roof of the home I was building in 1997, successfully shattering the first vertebrae in my neck into four pieces, resulting in a 9mm gap. Walking through four feet of snow with this broken neck, I got to a place where my wife transferred me to the hospital. I was taken by helicopter to Harborview in Seattle.
I spent four days at harborview, refusing surgery and went back home with a halo screwed into my head. I left with doctors and surgeons protesting that would be dead within 4 days (before my next xray)
My wife helped me escape from Harborview! They wanted to write me up as a head injury to prevent me from being able to decide for myself. My head is hard, but that is from birth!
I self-adjusted this device and was fortunate to discover that the gap had closed 4 days later when I went back to Harborview for a follow up xray.
Halo Head for Hire
Well, it seems that folks simply don't want to hire angels. Strangely, they think that it is a significant risk to hire a guy with a halo screwed into his head. So, I had to go back to work independently, applying my skills in landscaping.
I continued to complete our home with my hardware on my head, because in 3 months the bank was calling in the loan!
I was able to complete the home, but in the process, there was a halo screw that was doing some harm to my head.
When they removed the hardware at Harborview, they discovered I had acquired a staff infection. They say "it is good to be open minded." Well, they had to remove the temporal lobe behind my right ear telling me it was a superficial part of my brain.
I related this to my sister saying "it was just the superficial part of my brain" and she replied, "They took it all?"
The Birth of Bird Houses and More!
I was unable to do the manual labor that landscaping required after this brain surgery, but still needed to make some money somehow.
My wife was preparing to purchase a couple of birdhouses for family as Christmas gifts, but since I was not employed, cash was tighter than normal. I looked at these bird houses and told her, "Hold on, I can do that good." She said, "They have to be good".
When Charlotte saw the bird houses I had made, she was very excited to give them to her sisters, and the rest is history!