Youth can often be mysteriously influenced by art

Some of us growing up in the early 1950s in Enumclaw didn’t have what I would consider “cultured” introductions to the arts.

Some of us growing up in the early 1950s in Enumclaw didn’t have what I would consider “cultured” introductions to the arts.

The neighbor boy and I were pals. He was 4 and I was 5 when we discovered we could be playmates. Both of our fathers were loggers. Enumclaw was a quiet, little town. How either of us became drawn to the arts, I’m not sure. I believe it had to do with living in an environment of natural simplicity, surrounded by dairy fields and mountains, while being emboldened by our vivid imaginations.

Ninety-five percent of the time we were never far enough away that we couldn’t hear the call of our mothers’ voices who were stay-at-home moms. If we strayed too far we always made sure to bring home a handful of wild daisies to calm our mothers’ worries.

The neighbor boy and I would build dams in the OPEN sewer ditch at the border of our lot that mingled with the cow manure from the adjoining dairy field. I brought home a perfectly good “balloon” I found in the ditch one day, to my mother’s horror. One night a rat was doing the backstroke in our toilet bowl during its own expedition of Enumclaw’s early sewer system. I can still hear my mother’s screams! What does this have to do with the arts, you ask? It’s fodder for imagination, drama and creativity. Everything was an adventure to me and the neighbor boy.

By 11 years of age, the neighbor boy and I would ride several miles to Newaukum Creek and catch giant brown frogs. Even though we wore barn boots up to our knees we always went home soaking wet up to our armpits. Getting wet was part of the deal. One time we scooped up a freshwater crawfish and we knew we had barely missed losing our lives from being stung by a deadly “scorpion.” I’ll never forget that rush of danger and our screams of excitement.

What happened to the neighbor boy?

The neighbor boy and I parted while I became a young lady interested in music and my small group of girlfriends. He who shared my most treasured parts of my childhood grew into a successful athlete playing basketball in high school, while bringing down straight As.

He received his bachelor of science in architecture studies at Washington State University, graduating cum laude 1975 and in 1976 received his bachelor’s in architecture at WSU, cum laude, while being a graduate of the Honors Program, Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary society.

He spent 18 months in Europe from 1977 to 1986. In 1989, he received his master’s degree in architecture at the University of Idaho and was a member of Tau Sigma Delta Honorary Society.

His artistic talents are as impressive as his education and his search for Mother Earth’s mysteries. He has drawn the inside of cathedrals and ancient sights with such precision that it takes your breath away. His stained glass work is exquisite as are his photography skills. He has held many exhibitions of his photography. He has mined quartz crystals and has created amazingly beautiful jewelry from his crystal finds. I am glazing over the enormous beauty of his work. His generosity is as prominent as his artistic talent. He has given away most of his creations out of appreciation for friendships. He is a humble, kind, soft-spoken gentleman.

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