Habenero is the name I used for my first web appearance back in 1996! I have had an on again off again presence via various sites since that time. My name is Richard Henne. I was born on the 9th day of June in Mercer Hospital in the ancient year 1953. Being very young, I have no recollection of that event. I grew up in Lawrence Township, NJ and attended the local public schools. I was very myopic, and didn’t connect leaves found on the ground with their source until I was in second grade and got my first pair of glasses. From that day on, I gained a great appreciation for the visual world.

I have been creating photographic images since 1965. My first camera was a Kodak made for General Mills and obtained by sending in 10 Cheerios box tops and $5.00.  When I entered High School, I was introduced to a chemical darkroom, Thank You Mr. Angelotti. That deepened my passion for photography. Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, exposed me to artists like Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Leroy Neiman, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse and Peter Max. My first venture into using a color darkroom took place in June of 1979. I now had a method to create images that more closely matched my imagination. I see the world in color prefer color to be a part of my images.

My other passion in life is electronics. I chose to use that field as the one in which I earned most of my income. In this way, I had my 2 favorite activities tied up in such a way that I never regretted a single day of going to work, nor a single day of vacation, it was the best of both worlds.

Chile peppers became a part of my life around 1975. I had grown up eating a very bland diet as my mother considered salt and pepper to be the only things used to spice up food and she used them sparingly. My wife’s relatives, enjoyed a much livelier flavor for their food and shortly after I realized they really were not trying to poison me, I adjusted to and then surpassed their ability to handle spicy food. As I ate spicier food, I found my allergies were becoming less bothersome.  I am now so hooked on Capsaicin, I keep a supply of my own Chile blend in my pocket (tightly sealed to prevent an unfortunate burn in a very sensitive area).

My favorite sport, which I played for far too long in an industrial league, is volley ball. I had two elbow arthrotomies performed to repair the damage that digging for balls on hard surfaces caused, and went back to playing shortly after recovery.  The reason I stopped playing at the age of 42 was my left knee left its impression in the right rear door of a Lincoln town car and smashed my ACL. Although my recovery was fairly rapid, I no longer had the same jumping height and lateral movement was a risk my orthopedic surgeon didn’t want me to take without a brace. I decided to retire and put more effort into hiking and biking. The biking only lasted about 3 more years before I managed to fly over the rear end of a Camry that made a right turn in front of me. Landing on my left shoulder and stopping my rotation just before my head would be in the path of oncoming traffic was not pleasant nor was the surgery that had to follow.

It seems as if by hitting my 60’s my body decided to let me know that it was unhappy with working so hard. Both knees needed to be replaced. My right hip broke at the base of the ball and had to be replaced. As these particular parts are supposed to last for 30 years in a normal person, my Orthopedic Surgeons both said that in my case the’d probably only last 15. They based that upon my asking them “When can I start running?”.  For now, their assumptions are going to be off, as when I started to try working up to running, my heart decided that it felt neglected and now, 3 heart attacks, 9 stents and congestive heart failure are taking a toll on me. I’m fighting those problems for all I have and have made a little bit of progress against them.

I still am here and enjoying life as much as possible. I may be an old man, but I don’t try to act my age. Life is short and your dead for too long, so you have to pack as much pleasure as possible into the time you are here on this planet!

Rich Henne