|NAME: Steven W. Layne|
OTHER NAMES/ALIASES: Mr. Green, The Green Wanderer, The Emerald Prince, Kiaw (Green in Thai), Jao Chai Moragoat (The Emerald Prince in Thai)
DOB: 25th of July, Year 0 Emerald Era, Year 1983 of Common Era, Year 2526 of Buddhist Era
NATIONALITY: American (by birth)
ETHNICITY: Thai American (with known Japanese, German, and English roots)
HOME PAGE: The Green Wanderer's Cyber City
This wave all began towards the end of the Generation X birth epode. The place he was conceived and bore was a then-young and small metropolitan known as Colorado Springs in the state of Colorado, country USA.
His American father was 23 years of age and Thai mother, 16 more at 39. Mr. Green had a happy child hood growing up in Northeast Denver. Back then, he did everything that a young American boy in the 20th century could--building forts, starting clubs with friends, playing video games, and even stealing candy at the local 7-11.
For the most part, he clung to his mother tightly, being spoiled and taking it for granted. Often he was called a mommas boy but he did not care, for he loved her very much. Around 11 years old, Mr. Greens parents decided to move to a small farm-town. They wanted to get away from the city, hoping a rural atmosphere would solve the problem of their out-of-control adolescent daughter, Stephanie.
The name of the town was Bennett. It lies about 30 miles east of Denver in the flat and endless plains. Its population was under 2000 when they moved their in 1994. Bennett was the typical plains town of Colorado: A municipal hall and water tower, community center, a few small churches, old-folks home, and its backbone, the grain elevator, which has moved its goods for more than a century via the Union Pacific rail-line. The town’s education facilities included an elementary, middle, and high school, as well as a county branch library. The commercial venues were limited to a video store, convenient store, bank, ceramic shop, liquor store, super-market, truck stop, and two banks. A few other shops and restaurants came and went as there was not enough business revenue to prosper.
This was a new environment for young Mr. Green. He had to adjust to a new lifestyle making new friends. At first, it was a little shaky for him. He frequently got into fights with his peers and started to get in trouble with the authorities like never before. His law violations included stealing a go-cart, vandalism and graffiti at the library, pulling the fire alarm, and theft from the supermarket.
Municipal court hearings gave Green the benefit of community service, which he served mostly at the town-hall, raking leaves and filing documents. By seventh grade, he was starting to get comfortable. As Green had always been competitive, he joined his middle school football, basketball, and wrestling teams. In English and Mathematics, he excelled beyond his peers in exams. Turning 12, he had consistent friends and was starting to create golden memories. Particularly, he became close friends with Michael Dernar. They enjoyed writing stories, staying up late, watching movies, ditching school, and making amateur skits and movies with Mike's video camera. Often, Green would sleep over at the Dernar's house.
There, he would hang out with Mike, his two younger brothers Matt, and Martin, as well as all their friends. During the summer breaks and weekends, boredom was abundant. To fight it, in small groups, they would often go to the railway bridge over the sandy dry Kiowa creek, about a mile outside of town. This wooded getaway was full of open playing space, trees, bullet shells, and cow manure. The 20 foot high tree swing there, a simple tire/rope rig, became a big hit for many.
As one got older in this small town, social association became more important. At one end, there were the jocks and preppies, while at the other, there were the stoners, skaters, and smokers, not to mention subgroups like hicks i.e. rednecks, and homies, i.e. wannabes. Struggling to find himself, Green swayed from the wannabe category (sagging pants, baseball caps sideways and NBA paraphernalia) to the stoners/skaters (flannel shirts, longer hair, and a skateboard)It was around this time, he experimented with cigarettes and pot
Steadily growing up, yet still a spoiled mammas boy, yes he was. Ever since he was young, all he had to do was cry to his mom, and she would almost always cave in to wants---nintendo, designer clothes and shoes, movies, toys, and so on. At the time, he didn’t realize the stress he was contributing to his ailing mother, who shared an even larger burden with Green’s dad regarding their daughter, Stephanie, whose status at that time was between a runaway and group-home resident
Shortly after Mr. Green turned 13, he got into a routine of playing hooky and ditching school. Like his friend Mike, he would manipulate his mother into believing him and permitting the school to let him go home early on sick notice. School begin to bore him, his grades dropping with his motivation to even show up. This ‘hookie’ lifestyle was becoming a comfortable habit. Soon, his grades fell below standard for him to even qualify for sports.
His happily married father is married to another women other than his mother. In confusion, Green attempts to call his mother on a pay phone but all he gets is an answering machine with sad mournful music..
What a relief it was to wake up. That morning he faked sick to avoid school. His mother said goodbye to him on her way to work--for the last time.
After leaving work, his mother had a stroke in shopping plaza parking lot. She was rushed to the hospital. Even though she still had breath, she was as good as dead at that point. It was a combination of her high blood pressure and all the stress from working too hard and giving to her family too much. When the devastating news finally reached home, things became very vague and unclear for Green. There was a large hole in his stomach, with lots of change to come
The next several years brought much change, not only in environment, but in direction. His sad dream ended up coming true. Within months after his mother passed away, his father, Steve Sr. was engaged to a lady he met at one of Stephanie’s group homes. The house in Bennett was put up for sale. By the beginning of 1997, they (Green and his father) moved to Thornton, a suburb in North Denver, to the new bride, Elizabeth’s home. There, she lived with her 17 year old son, Christopher, and 15 year old daughter, Crystal. At that time, 16 year old Stephanie was in a group home, preparing for her early emancipation. Green resented this quick change his father forced on him and wanted to be free like his sister. His freedom was yet to come.
In these changing times, Green had to suppress his emotions, enroll in a new school, make new friends (again) and move on as if nothing ever happened. Subtly, the emotions leaked out, making a big stain over his new life. In this new city, he began getting into more mischief.br>
In the summer of 1997, his step brother, Christopher brought Green around in his old Dodge truck to high school parties, drinking lots of beer and chewing snuff. Christopher, or Ski as he was known, had his own issues attending school and partying. Eventually, he ended up leaving the Thronton home to live with his father in Castle Rock. With Stephanie already out of the picture in the system, it was just Green and Crystal that Elizabeth and Steve Sr. had to worry about. Crystal was a good student and stayed out of the trouble spotlight. Green became the scapegoat for all the fury now. With his new friend and influence, AJ Hall, whom he met finishing 8th grade at John Dewey Middle School, he would acquire all his cigarettes and snuff on shoplifting sprees. Soon, both of them were caught at Walmart, having to pay fines and compensation. Elizabeth and Steve forbid Green to be friends with AJ, and grounded Green for many months. Directly forbidding Green only made him more rebellious as he found more ways to sneak around behind his parent’s authority. He ran away, hitchhiking to Aurora (East Denver), where Mike Dernar convinced his mom, Rita to take in Green back in Bennett. They met Green at the rally point, Holiday Inn and drove back to Bennett. This adventure only lasted the weekend, and Green decided to return home in Thornton. It wasn’t the last time he’d see Bennett again
Around this time, he got interested in the guitar from his next door neighbor, Joe. Joe was a freelance carpenter who used to play guitar in a band during his prime years. Joe promised to help Green find a guitar in exchange for some yard-work. Searching around in pawn shops was hopeless. Finally, Joe stringed up an old antique guitar from his child-hood and let Green borrow it. Green learned rapidly and discovered a new passion in life.
Starting his freshman year at Skyview high school, aside from secretly hanging out with AJ, Green made a new friend, Jeremy, who also had a strict mother. Jeremy played the drums and wanted to start a band with his neighborhood friends, Richard and Suzan. Green was invited to play guitar. These guys were a band only in theory. Jeremy probably had the most experience with his drums, and Green was quickly learning his new passion. However, the singer Richard, couldn’t sing and the bassist, Suzan never played the bass before, let alone owned one. All they had were dreams and a name, Hangnail. Soon, they started practicing together in a neighbor’s garage, to the dismay of the neighborhood. Life at Green’s home began to decay even more. Marijuana and adolescence affected his attitude and behavior. His father often had to go on business and military trips, so Green had to stay with Elizabeth, the evil stepmother…She tried to be strict with the troubled kid, but it blew up in her face.
One weekend afternoon, Jeremy, Richard, Suzan, and Green were hanging out at Richard’s pad. One of Suzan’s stoner girl friends brought over some pot. As the kids were hitting the pipe, Richard decided he wanted attention, and told everyone who couldn’t breathe. He phoned the police and everyone was in panic. The police came over and everyone’s parents were informed. Green was brought home in a police car. After this incident, Green was forbidden from his friends/band. All his friends being banned, he was miserable. The situation with Elizabeth and his father didn’t improve.
Halfway through his freshmen year in high school, Elizabeth and his father decided Green needed a new atmosphere of friends. So they sent Green 1200 miles away to live with his Grandpa, Walt in Illinois. This new environment near the town of Troy (About 40 miles east of E. St. Louis), was deep inrural America, in the heart of the Midwest. Green made little friends and was teased by the ‘red necks’ about his Asian background.
Despite how miserable he made himself think he was, he still managed to make a few memories. He started his first business mowing lawns in his small neighborhood a mile north of Troy. He was able to make 20 bucks a week, saving it all for an electric guitar. He found a no-name 20 year old sunburst electric with a whammy bar for around 80 bucks. At a yard sale, he picked up a small Yamaha amplifier for 15 bucks.
After finishing the school year at Triad High School, his father and step-mother decided to give Green another chance in Colorado. He started his sophomore year back at Skyview Highschool, but it didn’t last long. Things at home weren’t any better. Taking desperate measures, they even put Green in a teenage mental ward, Cleo Wallace overnight. This neither proved nor solved anything, only making Green more distant from his father and this new family. It was only a matter of months before he ran away again. At first, he stayed in Thornton with a friend (female) from Skyview, Jenny Gregory, who lived with her mom and step dad. Jenny had a crush on Green, though he didn’t know it at the time. He missed his friends in Bennett and realized sticking around to close to home was risky. So, he called up his good friend, Mike, and found himself back in Bennett. He felt he couldn't let go of such a past just yet.
He would finish the year 1998 in Bennett as a runaway. These were times of daze and confusion, composing many songs with a cheap 30 dollar catalogue guitar. Living at the Dernar’s house on Elm Street in Bennett, Green was comfortable with his old friends. While Mike, Matt, and Martin were in school, Green would hang out with his old friend Tony Edinger, who now was a drop-out. Tony was the same guy that Green got into trouble back in 95-96 vandalizing the library. By this time, Tony was quite rebellious, smoking, drinking, and experimenting with pot and acid. He was a popular stoner kid getting into trouble with all the wrong crowds and police. And so the end of 1998 and beginning of 1999, Green got into the lifestyle with Tony, drinking, smoking, getting high, and cruising around Bennett is search of kicks—pot and liquor. One day, Green and Tony, who was on probation, went cruising around in Tony’s elkimino. Tony didn’t have a drivers license yet. Though the cops didn’t bust or even know about Green’s status, seeing Tony arrested alarmed Green. Another friend, James, who did have his license, gave Green a lift back to Thornton.
Back in Thornton, he met up with his friend AJ, who had just run away with another friend, Arin. AJ had a huge bag of weed and no place to go except the drug dealer’s house. Green, AJ, and Arin, spent the night at this drug dealers house getting high. As AJ and Arin were fresh to the runaway scene, the two decided to return home. Thus, with no friends to turn to, Green decided to finally return to the system. Within minutes of arriving in front of Elizabeth’s home, the cops showed up. Steve Sr. was out of town then. Green ended up in a Denver shelter/group home for a month. There, a counselor introduced him to a great school in the heart of the Rocky Mountains called Eagle Rock School. He looked into it more, liked what he saw and heard. About this time, Green was released from the group home. His father agreed to let Green stay with the Dernar family in Bennett. This time Green headed back to Bennett, but no longer as a runaway. Soon, he applied to Eagle Rock School, and got accepted for a prospective student visit. After visiting the school, he knew it was right. He was accepted for full high school tuition and board in such a pristine location.
For the next two years, Green spent his days in reflection, growth, change, and education at this school outside of Estes Park. It was a wonderful experience and opportunity for him. Eagle Rock provided the perfect environment for growth and development. For Green’s ER Generation (ER 19), there were two groups of six students with 2 instructors per group that made it past the first three weeks of the trimester to be allowed to continue to the final initiation process, a 30 day wilderness trip at the Lost Creek Wilderness area deep in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. These were long days of navigating, hiking, rock/mountain climbing, repelling, camp fires, environmental service, and even a thee day solo experience. With all their gear on their backs, everyone was banned from toilet paper and showers. The weather conditions included a few snow storms, which made it that more challenging. In the end, Green and his peers proved themselves with the closing 5 mile run. Green would continue his high school education with a stronger will and focus.
At Eagle Rock, Green pursued music. He became good friends with a senior student, Mathew Mulloy, who happened to be from Thornton. Matt was learning to play the drums rapidly, and had determination. Ben Specht, from Greely, Colorado entered ERS at the same time as Green. They were close friends and Ben soon pursued the Bass. The three started jamming on a regular basis, forming a band, Musical Union. They had many opportunities to play at the school talent show’s and even a few coffee shop appearances in town. Aside from this, Green also joined the school chorus to pursue his singing. Green, not only pursued his music performance learning, but also his studio composition.
During this time, however, something else was going on psychologically within. By now, Green had fully indulged into his music passion, and through it was also developing his spirituality. He soon came to a block in his spiritual path. He became depressed and couldn’t figure out what was eating him.
He had to dig into his past to find the root of his pain: 1996, the death of his mother… All his life, Green had never known much concrete information about his mother. She told him many stories of her homeland and about growing up. But as far as Green was concerned, she was American even for 13 years more than he. Green had never been out of the USA and always wanted to go to Thailand as a young boy and meet his relatives there. His mother often told him that one day it would happen. Unfortunately, she died before anything could progress.
Through much reflection and inspiration from his peers at Eagle Rock, Green finally found out what his inner voice was crying for him to do. He needed to go to explore his roots. He needed to find out where he came from, at least spread the news of his existence to his long lost relatives in Thailand. From there, he did everything to find out as much as he could about his mother and Thai family. Then he saw a slideshow from another student, Matt Rutherford, who just got back from a scholarship trip to Thailand and Vietnam. This inspired Green. His new direction was to get back to Thailand, the motherland.
Matt had got the Southeast Asia volunteer scholarship from an organization, Global Routes. While in Thailand, Matt had made a connection with a different organization, Inside Thailand, to make a scholarship available annually for one lucky Eagle Rock Student to teach in Thailand for a month every year. Green pursued the 2001 scholarship but another girl, Stephanie, was chosen. This didn’t stomp his dreams and he vowed for the next year.
2001, 17 years old, and even more determined, Green applied again. This time, he got the full-paid scholarship. This was the perfect opportunity for his spiritual quest.
Thailand finally came, and it was everything Mr. Green dreamt of and more. The only problem was that he was obligated to his group and teaching and was not permitted to pursue his search 100% for it required him to leave the group for a duration. This did not stop Mr. Green and against the groups will, he left the group to take care of his business.
This decision was a critical one; both good and bad, but overall for the best. It caused a chain reaction that led Mr. Green to find most of his living relatives and even find out that he had a long lost brother and sister. Soon, Mr. Green was on a role, back with the group, and the trip was coming to a close real fast. He never managed to find his brother and sister in the short periods he had time away from the group but at least had more to go on and a new direction in life. (Read more about this adventure here)
He returned to the USA a new person with fresh goals. He went with his friends Mike, Matt, and Martin Dernar to their grandma’s home near Santa Cruz, California for a month to reflect. Soon after returning to Colorado, he returned to Eagle Rock School and was kicked out regarding his decisions overseas. This was a small price to pay for what he had gained. Even though Eagle Rock gave him the opportunity to reapply for second chance, Green decided it was in his best interests to move on; as finishing Eagle Rock is a slower process. His good friend, Matt Mulloy’s parent’s took Green in. While staying at the Mulloy’s pad in North Denver/Thornton, he tested out for his high school diploma equivalent from the state and passed with honors scores.
As he was officially not a minor at 18, it was time to be independent and save some money for his next phase. He got a job at a book store and put away almost every penny he could spare. In the mean time, He studied a few nights a week at the local community college. Finally, he had enough money for a plane ticket and a few months living/travel expenses. He set off early 2002 (2545) back to Thailand. During the first phase (see travels page), Mr. Green sought out his relatives and brother. Eventually, all became history and every single family member to be located was found.
For latest updates be sure to read the archives here. The legacy continues...
Mr. Green after teaching at
Rak Witaya School, Pranburi
When day's done, ready to
head home on the bike,
Under his dad's jungle cover