Anyone who has worked with Worpdress knows why this post is ttitled, “Hello World.”
My full name is Eric Benvenue-Jennings. I was born Eric Jennings but I added Benvenue when I got married. My wife, Pam, did not change her name, which was a wiser choice. My hyphenated name has created a lot of minor annoyances so I usually just go by the original version. I sometimes write under the name Erwin Dink.
The only time I had anything resembling a career was from 2002 to 2018 during which time I owned, managed and taught at Still Hot Yoga in Atlanta. I have three yoga certifications: Bikram Yoga, Tony Sanchez Yoga and Ghosh Yoga College. Prior to that I had been employed as a gas station attendant, landscaper, roofer, carpenter, retail manager, theatrical lighting designer, technical director, actor, computer graphic artist, print production technician, Macintosh systems administrator and web site designer.
In the 1980’s I worked at Mama’s Royal Cafe, in the kitchen and on the floor. The stories about that era are not exaggerated.
I got my first tattoo by Erno at Lyle Tuttle’s studio in the South of Market SF neighborhood in 1983 or 84. I wasn’t planning on getting tattooed but I was bored waiting for my friend Stephen while he was getting a piece. My first choice was a yin yang symbol but Erno said, “fuck you, pick something else,” for which I am grateful. Soon thereafter I met Henry Goldfield and hung out at his shop in North Beach for a while. Those were the days. I miss when tattoos were still considered “outsider.”
My ink is mostly old school style and a majority of it was done by Keet in Atlanta. He’s the best.
Apart from my yoga training, I have almost no education. Grades 1–10 were at schools that apparently didn’t think it was important to teach literature, economics, history, civics or anything else beyond rote memorization of basic math. During 10th grade I was on track to drop out of high school but instead got transferred to an alternative program in Woods Hole MA, called Omnibus, that was taught by a bunch of progressive graduate students. I graduated from Omnibus in 1977.
I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse but I lived with that as a secret for most of my life. Which was exhausting and came with a host of emotional difficulties that I didn’t become free of until I discovered some great therapists and an organization called MenHealing for whom I currently serve as a Social Media Co-Coordinator. I also help with their brand identity including re-designing their logo and building them a new web site.