I was born on March 24, 1980 to Edward John and Claire Ann (Busch) Paff at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. I was named after my father, thus becoming Edward John Paff Jr., a.k.a. Eddie, a name that you may still hear today. I was the firstborn in the family and was spoiled accordingly. Most of my relatives lived in Cincinnati, Ohio but that didn’t stop them from visiting often.
The reason my parents were living in Huntsville, and not Cincinnati, was my dad’s job with NASA in the Jet Propulsion Labs. His work actually was rocket science. One of the first trips I took was to Cape Canaveral, Florida to see the very first launch of the space shuttle Columbia. The date was April 12, 1981 and I was just over a year old. My dad’s work and this event should help to explain my fascination with aviation and space exploration that still exists today.
My first brother Timothy Clarence was born on April, 18 1982. I was not spoiled as much as before, but that was okay with me because I had a best friend now. We all lived in an apartment at the La Mancha complex until my parents bought a house in a nearby neighborhood. We moved to a 3 bedroom ranch style brick house with a large front porch located at 10313 Temperance Street.
I started preschool at the age of four, and my parents quickly realized that my brother didn’t like to be home alone. Therefore he started preschool the next year at the age of 3. I think that is why he still beats me in most academic things. After preschool we enrolled at the Holy Spirit Regional School. As the name implies, it was a Catholic school. I honestly don’t remember much about going to school there, but the teachers there must have built a good foundation for our educations.
Then on May 14, 1987 my second brother Bryan Robert was born. I was only seven years old but I can recall the joy that Timmy and I felt. We even attended classes at the hospital to learn how to help raise a new baby brother. After all of this, I remember Bry being in the hospital for a long time. I did not understand very much of what was going on then but learned more and more as I grew. Eventually he was diagnosed as having Dandy-Walker Syndrome.
Around this same time I started playing ice hockey for the Huntsville Amateur Hockey Association. You might be saying, “Ice hockey in Alabama?” Huntsville is what they call “the hockey capital of the south.” Tim and I both played, sometimes on the same teams and sometimes not. We played on travel teams and really did travel all the time. I can remember a few trips to North Carolina and Kentucky. Hockey became a part of our lives.
With that being said it is easy to understand why we moved to the east side when we moved back to Cincinnati. Archbishop Moeller High School, a school on the east side, was one of only two schools in Cincinnati to have a hockey team at the time and was the only one that was catholic. This still pains my dad to this day, since he went to a rival high school on the west side of town called Elder. Obviously I was not old enough for high school at the age of ten, so Tim and I enrolled at St. Columban School in Loveland, Ohio, which was located right by our new house. A few years later Bry would start going to the Thomas A. Wildey School, part of the Clermont County Board of MRDD.
Of course Tim and I continued to play hockey. We played a few years for the Cincinnati Amateur Hockey Association as members of the Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones. After that we played for Hamilton Golden Triangle Hockey. Even though we were still on travel teams we didn’t travel nearly as far as we did in the past. There are many more teams up north than there are in the south.
Grade school ended in 1994, therefore it was time to start high school. Even though I was fairly certain that I was going to go to Moeller, I took the entrance test for St. Xavier High School as well. I tested into the school and was accepted at Moeller as well. Both are excellent schools, but I choose Moeller mostly because I could play on the hockey team there.
Once school started at Moeller I immediately got involved with many different organizations and activities. The first thing I got involved with besides the hockey team was the Pastoral Ministry program. I attended retreats and also was a leader on many of them. My senior year I became the assistant director of the pastoral ministry group and also was an assistant rector of one of the Kairos retreats. I’ve never considered myself to be a religious person just a spiritual person. I think this group went along with that idea, at least for me.
I played on the Junior Varsity hockey team my freshman year after the head Varsity coach told me I was too small to play Varsity. I went along with it and looking back I’m glad that I did. Not only was I one of the better players on that team, it provided me the opportunity to meet a group of guys who are still some of my best friends around. My buddies Ken, Jeff, Bryan and Chris all played on the JV team with me. We all later became good friends with Jon who was a year ahead of us and on the Varsity team. The other three years of high school I did play on the Varsity team and was a captain my senior year.
While I was in high school I worked a couple different jobs. When I was fifteen I started work at Paramount’s Kings Island in the food service department. After a couple summers there, I worked for the Oasis Golf Course on the maintenance team. I really enjoyed this job because I was outside the entire day and I worked from the early morning to the afternoon. It allowed me to have my nights open to do whatever I wanted.
I graduated from Moeller High School in 1998 and it was time for college. I applied to the University Of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University and the University Of Dayton, among a few others but these three were the only ones I really considered. In the end it all came down to what I could afford, and that was UC. I had enough scholarships and money saved up to get started there, so I enrolled into the University Of Cincinnati College Of Engineering.
I have always loved music and even went to some concerts with my dad when I was younger, but college really expanded my musical interests. The defining moment was when my brother Tim played a song called “That Was A Crazy Game A Poker” for me. O.A.R. was the band that sang the song and they were from Columbus, Ohio. After seeing them once I was hooked and needed to see them live as many times as possible. I’ve met many great friends through this band, and they helped open my eyes to indie music. To date, I have seen over 400 concerts.
While studying at UC, I participated in their cooperative education program. I worked six quarters at International TechneGroup Inc. which was also my dad’s place of employment. I had a quality assurance type position in the company for four of the quarters and then moved on to a software development position for the last two. I performed many differing tasks and roles in the company and that have helped me in my future employment opportunities.
College also helped introduce me to a very incredible person named Kim Hais. I moved into a house at 223 Bosley Street in Clifton my senior year with my buddies Ryan (aka Fighty), Liam and Nick who I met through O.A.R. Kim lived next door to us with her roommate Amy. Too make a long story short, we started dating and it ended up being the best relationship I had ever been in. We had a bunch in common but also had enough differences to keep it interesting. To top it all off, she was even from the west side of Cincinnati. Our favorite hangout was definitely Murphy’s Pub.
Kim and I both graduated from UC on June 13, 2003. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. She had a job lined up with the Great American Insurance Company in Kansas City, Missouri. I had the hardest time with my job search, and in the end I decided that I would move to Kansas City as well and try to find a job there. We first moved into a one bedroom apartment located at 211 East 46th Street and then later moved into a two bedroom unit in the same building.
I soon found out that the job market for computer engineers was awful everywhere, especially for software developers. After awhile I ended up applying to anything that sounded like a decent job. I was lucky enough to get a job at Hickory Farms that allowed me to have my weekends off, make a decent amount of money, and stay busy. This was just a temp job during the holiday season, so it was perfect for the time being.
As I worked at “The Farm” I continued to apply for computer related jobs. I ended up getting an interview at Optimal Solutions Inc. After a round of interviews I ended up getting the job, which was for a quality assurance position. The company seemed like what I wanted, it was small and relaxed. I started the job at the beginning of 2004 and am currently still employed by OSi, although we are now owned by the Harris Corporation.
Kim and I bought and moved into our first house in May 2006. Although apartment life is nice, especially not having the responsibility to fix anything, we grew tired of paying rent every month. We picked out a house just a few blocks west of the Country Club Plaza at 4540 Genessee Street. The house was a small two bedroom house but it provided just enough room for us.
All of our lives changed dramatically on July 25, 2006 when my brother Bryan passed away. For nineteen years we were blessed to have him in our lives. Though his life was cut short, he taught us all so much and helped us to be stronger and better people. Bryan was truly an angel here on earth and we know that he is in heaven watching over us.
Early in 2007, Kim and I made yet another move. We packed up and moved farther west to Denver, Colorado. Once again the reason for the move was Kim’s job, but this time she was promoted to manager. It was an exciting opportunity that we could not refuse. Fortunately, as I talked to my company about the move, they decided that I could continue to work for them from my new home office. After a couple month long search, we finally moved into a three bedroom house in the West Washington Park neighborhood.
Kim and I finally married on August 30, 2008 back in Cincinnati. The ceremony took place downtown at Saint Francis Seraph and a reception followed at The Benchmark across the Ohio River in Covington. It was a wonderful celebration with hundreds of family and friends. The next day, we left for our honeymoon trip to Europe including a twelve night cruise of the Mediterranean Sea. It was amazing!
Our son, Edward John Paff III (aka Trey), was born on January 9, 2011 at 1:40 in the afternoon. He weighed in at 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 20.5 inches tall. Though Trey is a Colorado native, he may never remember his early months there. We moved back home to Cincinnati, Ohio at the end of April 2011 to be closer to family. Kim and I are quickly adjusting to life as parents and couldn’t imagine it any other way.
As for the rest of my family, my parents still live in Loveland, Ohio. My dad continues to work for ITI while my mom works as a part-time nanny. Tim graduated from the University Of Dayton in May of 2004 with the same degree as yours truly and again in August 2007 with a Masters in Engineering Management. He currently resides in West Chester, Ohio and is employed by Ball Aerospace in Dayton, Ohio.
See also: The Legend Of Ed Paff Jr, a mockiography that my friend Pat wrote years ago.