Despite my difficult childhood there were a couple of really wonderful moments. Most of them occurred when it was just the four of us; my mother, sister, brother and I. There are actually two memories that stick out the most as being genuinely positive.
The first was in the summer of 1980 when “The Empire Strikes Back” finally came to a theater near us. We piled into the Chevy “Shove-ette” and went to the First Cinema on Putney Road in Brattleboro, Vermont. My heart was beating out of my chest because I simply couldn’t believe we were going. Because of my mother’s hatred for the smell of popcorn, we didn’t go to the movies that often. This was a huge event.
Once inside the theater I was complete transported to that world that George Lucas created, that “Galaxy Far, Far Away.” Because of the quality of the special effects, the music and acting it felt like a genuine place to me at the age of 11. Once the movie was finished I was obsessed with the idea of movie making.
There’s this incredible notion, especially for a kid with some artistic talent, that people could actually make a good living creating things just off the top of my head.
Another positive childhood memory was when my Aunt Callie came to spend the summer with my other aunt, Gina. Since Gina, my Uncle Bob and two cousins Lisa and Jenny were just a couple of miles away we spent a lot of time with them one summer. It was an incredible privilege to talk with my aunt who was already a talented artist and a huge inspiration to me. My aunt taught me a little about fantasy drawing and how to create texture from holding and rubbing a pencil in directions. She introduced me to the idea of crosshatching and stipple.