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Conforth, Denis (1947-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Conforth, Denis (1947-)

Historical Note:

Born in 1947, Denis Conforth grew up in Chula Vista, California.  He began taking classes at Southwestern College in 1966.  He later dropped out of school and took a bus trip around the United States.  In 1967, Conforth enlisted in the military.  He was initially stationed at Fort Ord, California, but in June of 1968 he was deployed to Vietnam.  After returning from Vietnam, Conforth once again attended Southwestern College.  In 1971, he began his eighteen-year career as an umpire for the San Diego Baseball Umpire Association.  He also occasionally cleaned carpets.  At age 26, he met Appley Adams, a local prostitute.  His relationship with Adams is prominently featured in his autobiographical work, Adam's Apple, which he began writing in the early 1980's.  In the spring of 1977, Conforth started classes at San Diego State University, but did not complete his degree.

After returning from Vietnam, Conforth struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental disorder.  In the 1980s, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital, but was later released.  It was during this time of recovery that Conforth began working on his autobiography, Adam's Apple.  Conforth's work expresses the sentiments of a local Vietnam veteran struggling to come to grips with life after the war.  It took Conforth nearly twenty-five years to complete the manuscript.  Today, Conforth resides in Chula Vista and has been sober since 1999.

Note Author: Amanda Lanthorne

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