Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Early Influence

I didn’t always want to be a painter. As a young child, I spent all my time designing spaceships and rockets via my drawings and LEGO blocks. I grew-up being lauded with stories of heroism and intellect regarding the distant cousins of my mother’s family. My great uncle was Gus Grissom, a test pilot that later became one of the first American Astronauts to die in the US Space program. A handful of his family continued on with NASA completing such jobs as heat shield testing and the like.

After many years of nagging, when I was twelve, my family finally made the drive from Missouri to Florida for a family vacation that included Disney World, the beach and Cape Canaveral (Kennedy Space Center). It was near the end of the trip when we finally made the pilgrimage to Kennedy. The excursion took place on a rainy day that could afford no visit to the ocean or intrude upon our fun at the Magic Kingdom. I recall a lot of complaints from my folks – the bus didn’t quite get close enough to the launch pad, we didn’t meet anyone who “worked” for NASA, just tour guides, and you couldn’t touch anything (though in retrospect that seems like a VERY good policy). In their defense, nothing was really that great about the tour and the moment I remember most was the time we spent in the touristy gift shop. But I was a star-struck child and their negativity led me to leave behind my dreams of soaring and pursue other interests. I don’t regret my life’s decisions, but I do recognize the moments they were made. - DN

1 comment:

Nicholas Wineman said...

I had a similar childhood (granted I'm only 17, but you get the idea I'm sure). Instead of space ships (I was the only one I knew not interested at the time) I was transfixed on Dinosaurs. I knew every type, every period of Dinosaurs, and basically everything I needed to know. There are two things I always laugh at when I look back on those days. One, those interests faded a LOT when I moved to Cut Bank (not immediately,but I lost interest soon enough) when I lived closest to the Jesus of Dinos, Jack Horner (a Shelby resident). Two, I always feel like I was smarter back then (with all the research I did) compared to now (looking to major in an occupation the greeks thought as low as begging and leprecy) acting.