I (Doug) decided when I was in the 4th grade that I wanted to be a park ranger when I grew up. However, by the time I went to college in 1972, there were already too many others ahead of me who wanted to be park rangers. So, I decided to pursue a career in agriculture. But, what I found out about myself was that I really liked working with people, and I ended up several years later opening a retail produce market in the town of Corvallis, Oregon. That was a perfect match for me, for a while, anyway. After just over five years I was forced to close Corvallis Produce Market, and I decided to become an elementary school teacher. My wife, Dorry, was working full-time homeschooling our children during their primary years.
I mentioned a bit about the idea of using lyrics and music in teaching on the page about Lyrical Life Science Volume 1— and the first song, “The Scientific Method.” During my third year teaching I had a musician friend with a recording studio help me make a cassette tape with the eleven songs I’d written the previous year. A couple years later I wrote the text and workbook; we had a neighbor friend’s son do illustrations; Dorry did all the layout and design on our Mac computer; we found an artist to create the covers; and, the biggest blessing: we got Bobby Horton to do the music! We sent everything off to get printed the spring of 1995; Lyrical Learning was launched!
Dorry had so much fun putting the first volume together—which we didn’t call “Volume 1” because we had no idea we’d do more—that she jumped right in to working on the next volume! She wrote most of the songs, all of the text and workbook, Bobby again produced the music, and, in 1996, Volume 2 was published. Several years later Dorry wrote all of Volume 3: The Human Body, and that final volume of life science was published in 1998. That year the business took off, and for the next few years we were both kept busy putting up orders. In 2003 we came out with Lyrical Earth Science: Geology. I had written most of the songs, and Dorry did everything else. During these years our three children went off to college, I kept teaching, and Dorry ran the business. Our business has always been just the two of us working out of our home.
In 2005 I developed an autoimmune disorder, was reduced to teaching half time, and, in 2007 had to quit teaching completely. Dorry then went back to school to become a speech-language pathologist, which she now does full-time; I took over running the business, and for the past years have done that and several other part-time jobs. My favorite part time job has been managing a large farmers’ market booth in Corvallis for an organic farmer friend. I started doing that as a summer job while teaching, but now it’s twice a week for most of the year. I also manage a community garden, volunteer with a service organization, and take care of our home and yard in the country.