Nolen Elam…that’s my name! Thanks for visiting!
I updated this page Thursday, 21 May 2015.
This website is a place for me to share a little bit about who I am and who and what are most important to me.
Named for Nolen, my dad (photo link 1), I’m also known as “Ned,” a childhood nickname still used by some of my family, friends and coworkers. Adele, my mom (photo link), gave me my nickname to help distinguish me from my dad. Although I prefer using “Nolen,” I understand change is difficult for everyone, including myself, so I accept that some still call me “Ned.”
Other than my dad, I only know of one other Nolen Elam—Nolen, my son. Nolen and I are both named for Nolen, my dad (photo link 2). Here’s one of my favorite photos of me and Nolen ‣
For those who don’t already know me, I’m from Houston, Texas and I now reside in Costa Mesa, California with Karen (my wife) and Maddy (Karen’s daughter). Like all families, we have our issues, but I’m very happy and blessed to have Karen and Maddy in my life! Here’s one of my favorite photos of me, Karen and Maddy ‣
I grew up in the City of Spring Valley, Texas (a suburb of Houston) with Adele (my mom), Carl (my step-dad), Bob (my brother) and Susan and Debbie (my two sisters). Don (my brother) and Susan are still in Texas, Debbie’s in Colorado and Bob’s here in California. Adele, our precious mother, passed on a couple of years ago—I miss you, Mom.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed drawing. As a boy, my subjects were usually mechanical objects, like tanks, airplanes and motorcycles. Sometimes I drew living creatures or scenes from nature. I grew up in an area with plenty of tall oaks and pine trees, so trees were often a favorite drawing subject.
Now with over 36 years of professional design experience, I continue pursuing my creative interests by designing packaging and labeling for medical devices manufactured by my employer, Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Baxter hired me in 1990 after I worked five years as an independent contractor for a startup company purchased by Baxter, Infusion Systems Corporation. Today we manufacture the INFUSOR and INTERMATE systems, which are globally-marketed portable, disposable, elastomeric, IV (intravenous) infusion devices. My work is personally satisfying, knowing that my work directly improves the quality of life for people all over the world. Sometimes I even get to have a little fun creating and drawing. Visit my design page to read more about my career.
When I was a boy, I knew I wanted to be a dad someday. My dad passed on when I was young, so naturally being a dad was what I wanted most in life. I remember wondering, “What will my wife be like?” and “What’s it like being a dad?” Thankfully, my dream of becoming a father came true when Nolen was born. Although Nolen’s mom divorced me when he was young (ending the possibility of a normal father-son relationship), Nolen and I only missed one regular visitation during the 12+ years we were apart, until he finally came to live with me his senior year of high school. Nolen has grown to become a fine young man and I’m very proud of who he is and what he’s doing with his life.
My other life-dream also formed during my childhood: the first time I saw someone standing on a surfboard riding a wave in Galveston, Texas, I knew I wanted to ride waves! Ever since that first vision captured my attention, surfing continues to be one of my greatest passions. And although I don’t surf as often as I did when I was younger, I still ride a few waves at “The Point” at San Onofre State Beach, my favorite place to surf locally. Here are a few photos of me surfin’ San O’ ‣
In this first photo, I’m luggin’ my 10'6" x 25" Mike Minchonton Custom Surfboard out for a surf at The Point (it weighs 35 pounds!) ‣
In this next photo, I’m riding the Minchonton on a very typical wave at The Point ‣
And here I am crankin’ a big ol’ bottom turn (yes, everything about this board is big!) ‣
And last…the end of the day…San O’ man-o!
I first learned to surf in the murky, brown waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the beaches of Galveston and Surfside, Texas, back in 1969. Later, after graduating from high school in 1977, I loaded up my powder blue ‘73 Chevy Vega hatchback with my surfboards, skateboards, bicycle and vinyl records and moved to California! My plan was: go to college, surf as often as I could and find the woman of my dreams! After all these years, I’m still here, still surfing (albeit only occassionally) and very happily married to my sweet Karen…cheers to you, Karen!
The following image is probably the best photograph I have of me riding a wave ‣
The image shown above was taken by professional photographer Matt Thomas way back in November 1992 at a break named “Killers”—a big wave break on one of the tiny “Islas de Todos Santos” (Islands of Todos Santos, a group of small islands about eight miles offshore Ensenada, Mexico). In this photo, I’m way out in front of a wave that is small by Todos standards; this was one of the few waves I rode that day—an easy, makable wave I could see coming early enough to set up and get into without having to take a late take-off. The bigger set waves coming in that day were some of the largest I’d ever paddled through—maybe 16'-18'+ on the face (solid 8'-10' backs). While the wave in this photo is small for Killers (only about eight feet), photographs of Killers breaking at heights up to 60-70 feet have been featured in much of the popular surf media today. Only three other known breaks on the West Coast rival Todos Santos in size: Cortes Bank, Ghost Tree and Mavericks.
This next photo was also taken the same day as the image shown above. Matt Thomas, the photographer, used a telephoto lens to get these shots from about 200 yards away on the bluffs of the island overlooking the break at Killers ‣
And there is another personal liberty I cannot neglect to omit… One of my other favorite activities is collecting and smoking fine, premium, hand-made cigars. Visit my Cigar Quotes page to read some hilarious, insightful and inspirational cigar quotes!
And finally, above all that I’ve shared so far, I saved the best and the most important for last…
Yes, I am a born-again believer in Yeshua HaMassiach—Jesus the Christ!
I subscribe to the theological views of “dispensationalism centered in Pauline identificational truth,” as taught by Paul the Apostle in his church epistles and later expounded upon by John Nelson Darby, Lewis Sperry Chafer, William R. Newell, William Kelly and Miles J. Stanford.
Here are a few of my other favorite Bible study websites ‣
Thanks again for visiting!