Come with me now for a little journey back into yesteryear. We are going to go back in time and navigate through the energies of herpetoculture. And I will share with you how this herper became fascinated with snakes. We all have those things we remember from our childhood, years and years ago that put us into awe at the time and really captured how we felt about things. If I try really hard, I can feel the essence of what it was like to experience the wonder of seeing a big snake for the first time. That sort of intrigue isn't a daily occurance anymore. (But I try to make it that way!) Ever notice how kids are so fascinated with anything? Makes me want to spend more time with them in order to appreciate things as they do. Remember going down into the woods with the neighbor kid with a stick as a rifle to ward off the monsters, and a magnifying glass for the ants? That was enough excitement for an entire week! Ah, the joys of childhood experience. So fresh and awesome. Maybe some men had hot wheels when they were kids, or a toy motorcycle, or went for rides with their dads on his motorcycle. That ultimately may have led to these young boys developing interest and buying a motorcycle or working on a car with their sons or daughters. Recapturing that feeling of joy and wanting to pass it on and relive it is such a beautiful thing. I used to dislike, at times, growing up building new homes with my dad in our construction business. But now, in light of the discipline and work ethic I've gained, I'm thankful for it. And I'll tell you something else! Every time I smell lumber, I feel nostalgic. And every time I can offer assistance to a friend with their homes, I do it. The same story goes for snakes! The experience which first created awe for me about reptiles was reading a book called "Jimmy's Boa Constrictor," which was written for kids and had cartoon-like illustrations. The book was a very playful story, although the size of the boa was amazing huge and unrealistic. But, most importantly, the book painted a positive picture about reptiles, and not a fearful one. In fact, it may have had more to do with why I'm here spreading reptile awareness than I think! Several years ago, I was sitting in my basement watching TV when my brother Kyle our friend Dan came downstairs to check on my brother's new snake he had at the time (a Colombian Boa). They were getting ready to feed it, and I was a little scared. I was relaxing in a lazy boy chair with my shirt off. Dan, having already been into snakes and lizards for some time, knew that I had some curiosity about snakes, but I was scared of them, of course. I told him I might be ready to touch a snake sometime, but not today. So, as they began cleaning the cage, Dan nonchalantly picked the snake up, put it on my lap, and continued cleaning. The first thing that I screamed out was, "I'm not ready! I'm not ready!" being careful not to expand my stomach as I breathed. I particularly was nervous when the snake began touching my bare stomach. Dan didn't seem to think much of it, bc he just kept cleaning without even looking at me and saying, "Just let your curiosity take over." So that's what I did. Ten minutes later, you couldn't pry the snake away from me. I was completely overwhelmed by it's beauty and fascinated by its mystique. I continued holding that snake for an hour. Two weeks later, I had my own snake. And for the first week of taking care of it, it was all I could think about. Like an infatuation! Ever since, I've remained fascinated, and have attributed my success and reptilian endeavors by thanking myself for engaging in that curiosity at an early age, and bringing back to the surface something that made me feel so good as a young boy. I regularly continue expanding my knowledge of reptiles and snakes in particular, and share insatiable enthusiasm for protecting our reptiles and guiding our herpers of tomorrow, today. I was lucky to have a pleasant first experience with snakes. I intend to keep on providing that opportunity as best as I can for others as well, so that folks can see reptiles as they really are, and not how they are publicly received. It would be a shame if my curiosity had turned into a fear of snakes which would have simply deepened over time with no intention of getting through it! All too often, fear does that. Instead, I decided to shed light on that fear of the unknown world of snakes. And since I did, I've enjoyed a completely new world of discovery, comradery, friendships, positive energy, and love.