Friday, May 8, 2015

Finding a home in Fantasia...part four

Leading up to High School Graduation...
 The things you do and decisions you make in the 'now' affect circumstances later in life...

 Junior year in high school...
  Driving my Mom's car I pulled into McDonalds for a burger. Rick Harrison, center on our football team, was at the window taking orders (no drive thru in those days) ..."Want a job?"..."Sure".
Rick had a quick talk with the manager, I got handed an apron.  "Fill out the paperwork tomorrow."

Next thing I know, I'm at the window taking orders.  A worker did not show up and it was the '10 pm rush' and the crew was short handed... instant employment.

 The manager took a liking to me and saw that I got training to move up the ladder within the franchise. From taking orders to 'french fry man'. Then on to "the grill" cooking burgers and steaming the fish fillet sandwiches. After a few months I had advanced as far as a 16 year old, part timer could go. A five cent an hour raise went with my rise to the top.

I made $1.25 an hour - minus 10 cent per hour (they figured you would eat that much on your shift break) plus a 5 cent per hour raise = $1.20 an hour.

I worked part time and summers through high school....Made good pocket money, but working 'closing' during the week left me barely able to keep my eyes open in first period geometry class. Came that close to getting an F.

I also saved enough money to buy a '57 Chevy for transportation my senior year. This was 1967:-)

 The McDonalds job was part time for the manager. His first eight hours was spent at Consolidated Electrodynamics. Knowing I was graduating he asked if I wanted a summer job at the company. Without hesitation I said..."yes".

(Summer employment 1968)

  While filling out applications for college I discovered I had not done my research. What my high school counselor, family and friends failed to tell me was that I needed SAT scores. I had already graduated when I took the tests at the University of Southern California in early June.
Art Center College of Design could not make a decision about my admittance until they got the test results.

I would have to wait.

The graduation ceremony was on a Thursday, that next day I started at Consolidated running a machine that made blueprints for the draftsmen. The machine was powered by ammonia and the fumes were overpowering. My brother Lennie gave me a gold plated watch for graduation. By the end of summer, the fumes had worn away the gold plating:-)

After work...

(Note Mom left for me.)
  Mom had left me a note..."call this tonight".

Walt Gurney was the head football coach at Azusa high school. We had played them my junior year and the coach said he remembered me from the game.

(What Coach Gurney remembered about that night...)

Coach Gurney was coaching the East San Gabriel Valley All-Star football team against the West team. They had already started practice and a player got injured. There was an open spot on the team..."Would you  be interested in playing? an alternate you'll probably play defensive back" answer "YES, of course."

(East team, me between #51 and #80. Rocky Long #10 quarterback and presently head football coach at San Diego State Univ.)

 It only took a few days of practice to erase the alternate status...

Summer ends...

 My summer job ended, still no word from Art Center. Too late to enroll at the local Junior College. I found employment at the perfume maker Avon Co. I was a dishwasher in their cafeteria waiting to hear from the art school. To keep my creativity alive I took a class at night at Art Center's campus.
 The long wait had had it's effect on me. I had gotten discouraged about attending art school and registered at Citrus Junior College.

Around Christmas time I got word from Art Center. They had gotten my test results and I was accepted into their program. I had already made up my mind to attend Citrus, besides I did not have nearly enough to pay for tuition to a top art school.

Citrus College- Art and Football...
  I knew I wanted to do something in the field of art, just what specifically was the question I had to answer.

I had been carrying a sketchbook since high school.  My constant sketching gave me a partial answer.  I took classes in medical illustration and found it was not my creative outlet.  Drawing, painting, drafting, sculpting and illustration at Citrus helped fuel my fire for art.

(Me #23 in action...)

I played football for the Owls of Citrus and after two years I left with an AA degree and was offered a scholarship to play football at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Getting closer to explaining how I got on the cover of  UNLV magazine.

 to be continued...


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