Thanks for visiting my personal website! Enlarge any photo on all pages, click on any bold blue link, listen to some music, bore yourself to death, get lost in links, or, hopefully, learn something new about me or our world. Don't forget to sign and draw something in my guestbook, as well as add any comments, concerns, or suggestions. Takk!

[below] click pic for early family photos

Mom and Dad

[d a d]
My parents, Joyce and David, have been married for 40 years. Before entering politics, my father initially studied to be a priest and later opened three antiquarian bookstores in the greater New Bedford region. After winning election to the New Bedford City Council, he became City Council President, State Representative, and later Sheriff of Bristol County - a position he would hold for fourteen years before his retirement in 1997. After his political exit, my dad reopened his rare book business. In 2004 he authored a postcard history of New Bedford. I joined his rare book business in 2005.

Mom and Dad

[m o m]
My mother - Joyce Nelson, née Perry - is a former school teacher and, without doubt, the kindest person in the entire world. She is a talented artist, as well as an accomplished knitter. Her parents hail from the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, located near the West African coast. Despite my father's constant entreaties for her to retire, my mother currently works for the Massachusetts State Lottery.

Sarah and Andrew

[s a r a h]
In an exceptionally auspicious encounter, I met my beautiful girlfriend Sarah on the Fourth of July, 2006, while backpacking on the cozy Croatian island of Korčula in the Adriatic Sea, just off the Dalmatian Coast. A resident of Leawood, Kansas and an alumna of Kansas State University, Sarah routinely impresses me in ways too numerous and diverse to accurately reflect here. Although we temporarily suffered through the unenviable long distance relationship, we thankfully created many adventures of our own across the United States, Canada, and, most recently, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with memorable visits to the world's largest ball of twine, the world's most delicious cheesesteak stand, the world's most infamous bridge, the world's best concert venue to see the world's greatest band, and the world's largest collection of the world's smallest versions of the world's largest things. Click on our photo above for pictures from our travels.

[below] photo booth at chicago's navy pier

Sarah and Andrew

[k o r č u l a]
As referenced above, this charming Croatian isle is where Sarah and I met. Below is the actual sunset from that propitious day - the Fourth of July, 2006.

Korcula Town

[w w t b a m ?]
How much did I win? Did I win anything at all? My episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? aired nationally on ABC, June 11-12, 2009. Click here and here for the before and after articles. Video coming soon.



[c e l e b s]
One of my guilty pleasures is to stay current with several celebrity gossip blogs. In honor of that mild obsession, have a look at my comical, occasionally awkward pictures with celebs, faux-celebs, D-listers, athletes and politicians by clicking on Teddy K below.

Ted Kennedy

[p h o t o g r a p h y]
My world travels piqued my interest in travel photography, resulting in thousands of images from my diverse adventures. Without benefit of a professional camera, my artistic eye has at times made up for my ordinary Canon point-and-shoot equipment. Check out the gallery page for photographs from my travels across 45+ countries.

[below] kotor old town, montenegro

Kotor Montenegro


[below] typical scene on the stunning greek island paros, one of my most beloved destinations

paros greece

Sean and Kathleen

[k a t h l e e n]
My older sister, Kathleen Joyce Nelson, was a stunning, remarkable individual. Her brilliant smile and infectious personality masked a steadfast inner resolve, as she rose rapidly through the ranks of public relations firms in both Boston and Washington D.C., ultimately becoming one of the top lobbyists for the International Dairy Foods Association on Capitol Hill by her early 30s.

Kath Sean and Andrew

Kathleen became an unexpected hero when she fought bravely against the greatest challenge of her life - breast cancer. Although this horrific disease would claim her life in 2005 at the impossibly young age of 34, Kathleen remains a breathtaking example of grace in the face of adversity and has positively impacted the lives of all who were lucky enough to know her. There is now a scholarship in her name at New Bedford High School - the high school where all five members of my immediate family graduated.

Sean and Andrew

[s e a n]
My older brother Sean has the enviable position of being a chief financial officer by day and a successful musician by night. A graduate of UMass-Amherst and Tufts University, Sean's work/life balance incites jealousy in many.

Sean and Kathleen

He's a world traveler with an uncanny knack for inserting himself into unique situations. A percussionist with the funk/soul band Superhoney, Sean has been a lifeline on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, partied with P. Diddy and 'NSync, hang glided over the beaches of Rio De Janeiro, trekked solo through Southeast Asia, and was even present in the stands at Busch Stadium in St. Louis when the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series title since 1918. Sean is a resident of Boston, Massachusetts.

[below] photo booth with sean and kathleen

Sean Kathleen and Andrew

[c a m p a i g n s]
My father fought his first political campaign for a seat on the New Bedford City Council in 1967. He would run successfully for various city, county, and state offices over the following 30 years. Click on the button below to see a large collection of vintage campaign memorabilia.

David Nelson Button

[b o s t o n c o l l e g e]
Nobody can deny my love of all things Boston College. A passionate supporter of all BC athletic teams and a fiercely proud alumnus, I recall fondly my four years on the Heights. Click on the Boston College seal below for a few photographic memories of this special place in my heart.

Boston College Seal

[c a t a l p a]
My great-grandfather Frank Perry was the last survivor of the infamous Catalpa expedition. This rescue mission set out from New Bedford in 1875 on the whaling bark Catalpa, picking up my great-grandfather at Faial in the Azores (Portuguese islands in the mid-Atlantic). Although most crew believed they were participating in a typical whaling passage, the voyage's hidden purpose was to free several members of an Irish independence group - the Irish Republican Brotherhood - who were rounded up by the British between 1865 - 1867 and sent to a penal colony in Western Australia. The mission was ultimately a success and is now a celebrated event in Irish lore and literature.

[below] frank perry,
my great-grandfather

Frank Perry Catalpa

[p o l i t i c s]
Among my numerous Boston College inspired interests is my burgeoning collection of political buttons and miscellaneous memorabilia from Boston College alumni who have run for public office. Click on Tip O'Neill below to view my current collection.

tip o'neill button










Driven by an insatiable curiosity about our expanding, complex world, I've witnessed twenty-nine years flash before me in a shimmering mélange of unique life experiences, creative immersions, and extensive world travel.

The youngest of three children, I was born in the tradition-rich fishing port of New Bedford, Massachusetts to a loving family of Portuguese and Irish heritage. I grew up in a quasi-library, enveloped by thousands of used and rare books from my father's vast collection.

[below] my appearance in the hot seat on wwtbam?

andrew nelson millionaire

Although chiefly a politician on the state and local stage, my father also owned several bookstores during my youth, cultivating a stimulating environment for my burgeoning imagination. Contributing to my emerging creativity were my brother's musical talents, my mother's painting, my sister's inspiration, and my unequivocal fascination with legos.

[below] click photo for vintage nelson family snaps

William Nelson

From the ages of three through sixteen I lived in a fantastically creepy federal-style house connected (literally) to the oldest continuously-run jail in the United States. Lizzie Borden was a notorious former prisoner of the Ash Street Jail, constructed in 1828. Bridget Sullivan - Lizzie Borden's housemaid and the actual killer of Borden's parents in the minds of some historians - actually resided in my home during the late-1800s as an employee to the Sheriff.

[below] my childhood home in new bedford, ma

New Bedford Jail

From 1983 to 1996 my father was the Sheriff of Bristol County and, by tradition, every Sheriff and his family lived in this capacious, Cimmerian house. Massachusetts' last public hanging even took place in the jail's spacious attic. Birthday parties always involved intense games of basketball in the rectangular jailyard, surrounded by three floors of barred cell windows and accompanied by the inmates' incessant swearing and hollering at myself and my friends.

Around the age of twelve and inspired by my brother's various musical talents, I began playing piano on our old Lester spinet - the first piece of furniture my mother ever purchased. While a student at New Bedford High School I released a CD of original piano compositions entitled Simply Sixteen (see music page for examples that will cure all forms of insomnia).

[below] click photo for vintage perry family snaps

Perry Family

My awkward years were characterized by a fervent interest in all things politics. While other kids my age were gradually becoming exposed to girls, drinking, and other assorted vices, I was quietly amassing a collection of vintage political memorabilia and corresponding with world leaders. My mailman never knew what to think about the twelve-year-old kid who lived at the jail and received letters daily from Presidents, Kings, and Prime Ministers around the world, including Nauru, Fiji, Nepal, the Maldives, and countless additional exotic locales.

[below] envelope from hosni mubarak's office

Egypt Envelope

This correspondence campaign now comprises seven large albums and hundreds of letters, autographs, and miscellany from international and national notables. Each unique message, from Chelsea Clinton's handwritten note in 1996 to a warmly inscribed photograph by the Peronist President of Argentina, will be scanned and uploaded to my collections page, although this will admittedly take some time to complete.

[below] with my sister and brother on cape cod

Kathleen Andrew and Sean

My education eventually took me to Boston College, where I was exposed to a bold new world of relevant knowledge, fascinating students, and wealthy prepsters. During my cherished four years on the Heights I developed an unhealthy obsession with Boston College athletics, an obsession that continues to this very day.

After graduating in 2002 with a political science degree, I willingly (and thankfully) succumbed to the mysteries of wanderlust, commencing with a summer backpacking through Europe in my own interpretation of the classic "Grand Tour." In the ensuing years I would backpack, primarily solo, through almost 45 countries, including Kosovo, Iceland, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Brazil, Egypt, Bosnia, Paraguay, Cyprus, and many more truly stunning places. These travels have ultimately proven to be my greatest education. Thousands of photos from these journeys will appear in my gallery, to be completed sometime in the next hundred years.

[below] iceland, one of my favorite countries

Andrew in Iceland

Upon returning from my initial European sojourn, I entered the real world working for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division. Following two years navigating state bureaucracy in a highly demanding position, I joined my father's antiquarian book business - D. R. Nelson and Company - where I remain in charge of our worldwide auction operations dealing in rare and out of print books, serving customers in every state and over 70 countries.

My interests and collections are wildly diverse, including, but not limited to, photography, mountaineering literature, video production, college football, political memorabilia, tennis, music composition, and the adoration of all things Shackleton. I've been fortunate enough to have met numerous luminaries such as Mother Teresa, President Bush, Miss World 2005, Justin Timberlake, Adriana Lima, Jessica Biel, Dave Matthews et al. The most scared I've ever been was shortly before jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet, and, surprisingly, I was remarkably less nervous as a contestant on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, filmed in August 2008 at ABC Studios in New York City and aired nationally on ABC, June 11-12, 2009.

Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments, and I would love to see some creative illustrations in my guestbook (no worries though - my drawing skills are painfully rudimentary).

Enjoy the site and thanks for visiting!
~ Andrew


[below] the wilde, lutfi, and nelson brothers

Three Sets of Brothers

[technical notes]
This website is best viewed using the Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari browsers on a widescreen computer. While this site should work fine with all versions of Internet Explorer, there may be instances where the formatting is slightly misaligned. The free Adobe Flash Player, present on almost all computers, is required for certain website elements. Virtually all photographs on every page can be enlarged by clicking on them.

[about this website]
I've created this personal website as an online repository for my music, photographs, family history, ideas, and miscellaneous creative output. I hope it can provide valuable information for family and friends, as well as interesting content for the curious visitor. While this site is still a work in progress, future plans include a world travel guide, comprehensive collections page (political memorabilia, historical Boston College items, correspondence, autographs, et al), poetry corner, and much more.

All photographs displayed on this site, aside from family photographs, were taken by me unless otherwise stated.

The black and white photographs at the initial "enter" page are, in order:

Athens, Greece: the Acropolis.
Budapest, Hungary: Széchenyi Lánchíd.
Berlin, Germany: Sony Center, Potsdamer Platz.

The color rollover photographs at the initial "enter" page are, in order:

Plitvice, Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Reykjavik, Iceland: Sólfar sculpture.
Sarajevo, Bosnia: Turkish bazaar hookah bar.

The color photographs on the main page featuring brightly colored graffiti, with the exception of the third photograph from the left, were taken in the graffiti capital of Eastern Europe - Ljubljana, Slovenia - near the Metelkova complex. The third photograph from the left is from a bullet-ridden apartment building in Mostar, Bosnia, a casualty of the tragic Balkans War.

[legal disclaimer]
All images and content on this site are copyright protected under Federal Copyright Laws and are the exclusive property (intellectual and real) of Andrew Nelson. All rights are reserved.

Unauthorized use of this copyrighted material is illegal and an infringement in direct violation of Federal Copyright Laws. Infringements include (but are not limited to) copying, reproducing, printing, publishing, scanning, altering, distributing in any form without the expressed written permission of owner © Andrew Nelson.

For further licensing information or inquiries about obtaining a legal right to copy or use this copyrighted material, contact:

Andrew Nelson
233 Summer Street
New Bedford, MA 02740-5359
E-mail: andrewdavidnelson AT yahoo DOT com

Thank you! ~ A