History Is Made of Dreams...

Our parents give us life but it's the world that gives us our destiny...Not always fair or right or just, it simply is. So many have any dreams of being better than our birth station in life have that idea squashed almost immediately, usually by those same parents who we owe for this time on earth. Not all, some. 

I had dreams from the beginning. They were unformed, nebulous, maybe even idealistic, and I was always a slow starter in pretty much everything, but I discovered early one specific truth: If one person can do something, so can another. For me the future was in art, always has been even before I read comic books. I just wanted to do the whole 'God' thing and create a world I could control and there were no problems...And that is the grown up giving words to a simplistic idea the child in him had a million years ago...There were problems in our home, most families have them, and it doesn't matter any longer what those problems were. Once we grow up and move away, if we do either, we have to let the anger leave with us.

There's a world out there waiting to be discovered.
 Casa Grande was an incredibly tiny town when I was a kid but it had a library and I practically lived there. I honestly never paid the children's section any attention, went straight to the adult room. Along with books on artists and how to draw, I began reading about the country. I discovered the ugly of racism from a book about the KKK, learned about hope from 'Profiles in Courage' (Though it was a lopsided hope) and eventually discovered the writings of Martin Luther King. CG was like most of Arizona, stoic republican and...White. 

I was lucky because most of my friends weren't.

 I never thought about race much and it wouldn't be until later in life I would realize it was because I didn't have to, what with the whole being white and male and was allowed a certain amount of freedom I didn't realize others lacked. I didn't know that Casa Grande once had a separate theater than the (Then) downtown Paramount, didn't know that CG was one of the last two schools in America to follow the Supreme Court order to integrate our schools, didn't know about the Stonewall riots because, hey, republican straight white Arizona.
As I said, I was a slow starter. I'd already been called out because someone saw me and another guy holding hands outside of a fast food place and by the time I got home my mother and I had a talk...We didn't have computers but we had phones and mothers knew how to use them. I was lucky...Mom was more open than probably the rest of the world and simply warned me to be careful. 

I won't say I took that warning to heart but I did know how to fight. And I had a couple over the years, some because I was in the 'Wrong Crowd' (Not white), some because I refused to let bully's beat up on the little guy and it goes on.

I had dreams. They were about art first and foremost and I began to wonder about love. Toward the end of '71 I went with a friend and his cousin to a trip to San Francisco. 

Then I discovered the meaning of love. It wasn't a love for a person but for an idea, a place where I began to discover that the world was way bigger than I could ever have imagined, that people who were different didn't have to always hide and be afraid and I discovered art in the 'Head Shops' that changed everything I ever thought about art. 

My dreams, my history, is pretty simple when boiled down to the basics: I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to be able to live without boundaries and I knew that I was sorely lacking in a world experience. Instead of going to college after High School I went to work and tried the whole getting a job in art thing while making money...Back then that was difficult because it was done with portfolios sent through the mail and waiting impatiently for an answer...Forever...I couldn't afford to actually move to where the publishers were (And, admittedly, I was afraid to do just that) and each rejection usually came with helpful little hints which eventually boiled down to 'You need more experience.'
It's a difficult thing admitting defeat, however temporary. And so I needed a swift kick in the proverbial spiritual butt to get me heading in the right direction.

I needed an experience I would never remember or explain but changed everything forever.


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