He was a senior in high school then, with long dark hair which he usually wore in a ponytail. He wore earrings in those days. His ears had been pierced, at his request, by Jennifer, our neighbor in Puerto Rico. He was tall, slim, and had his first job with a call center in Manhattan, Kansas, a rotten sort of job that seemed to keep coming back to him in other iterations wherever he went. He was good at it, but it was mind-numbing and, to use his word, "sucked."
Leif was a natural teacher, not necessarily the academic kind, though I think he would have been good at that if he had the inclination, but at explaining almost anything in such a way that whoever was his listener would get what he was conmunicating. He had an incredible memory and remembered practically verbatim just about everything he heard and saw, even when he didn't appear to be paying attention. He absorbed information and ideas like a sponge absorbs water, and he was able to figure things out and provide solutions to problems. He loved to "hold forth" on topics that interested him, and would amaze any listeners with the depth of his knowledge and understanding on a wide variety of topics, particularly because he never seems to make any effort to acquire the knowledge.
He was passionate about the U.S. Constitution, politics, beer, and guns, hated cruelty to animals, and liked to play pool and computer games.
I wonder what he was talking about in this photo. I will just have to imagine it.