I'm Chris Born-Long. Welcome to my world.

Chris, with Teddy in the backgroundYou are looking at one of my primary interests—this website. I love working on its design and layout, and making all the pieces fit and work together. With a painter for a father and a designer for a mother, I guess the genes finally put in an appearance.

Born and reared in Chicago, I came to Austin at Christmas of 1978. My folks had moved here a few months earlier, and it seemed a good time to abandon those Yankee winters for warmer climes.

Most of my life I've done office work—accounting, word processing, administrative assistant (we were called "secretary" back then). I've worked for (among others) an ophthalmologist, an insurance company, a real estate appraisal company, photo giant Bell & Howell, and the best in frozen baked goods, Kitchens of Sara Lee.

Sara Lee bicentennial birthday cake
All about
the giant cake
Just before I moved south, I enjoyed a departure from my usual office work. In 1976, I was working at Sara Lee as public relations assistant, and completely involved in Sara Lee's bicentennial project—a 65-foot-high birthday cake for the nation. The cake components were created at Sara Lee's plants outside Chicago and in New Hampton, Iowa. Then, a week before the gigantic Independence Day celebration, a convoy of five trucks, each decorated with a special bicentennial birthday logo, carried the cake from Chicago to Philadelphia. I drove the lead car and hosted publicity stops in five cities along the route. Somehow, what stuck from that experience wasn't a new excitement for public relations. Instead, I fell in with the truckers, yearning for a life on the road, some time away from the world of business. So, in 1977, I took my show on the road, literally, and spent two years driving an eighteen-wheeler. It was great fun, but eventually the appeal waned and I felt the need to return to a quieter existence.
My tye-die dress
I love me some tie-dye.

Once in Austin, I settled back into the world of business. I went to work for Parsons, a giant engineering firm. There I filled a variety of roles, finally landing in accounting as a biller, a job I performed for a couple of decades. In November of 2011, I retired after 29 years with the company. I still can't believe I stayed in the same job that long, or that the time has gone by so quickly.

Now, in retirement, it's still too soon to say how my time will be spent. I have no specific plans, and to me that's the point. Maybe Ed and I will get back to golf, which we have set aside for several years. Maybe I'll do some writing. Maybe I'll volunteer. I know I'll do more reading. For this moment, though, my first major project is remodeling this Cactus Hill web. I hope you will come back from time to time to see how it's going.

Our wedding
Our wedding day, with my BFF
Carrie and Ed's brother Bruce
Me and Mom
Me and my Mom, 2007

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