Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Unstoppable Artist Stops to Raise a Family

Love is not something I had planned on. Getting married at only 21 seems like something out of "A Coal Miner's Daughter" by today's standards, but in 1974, when the Vietnam War had just ended it was downright American.

Gloria was a great saver and within a few short years working as an interior architect and Gloria as a physical therapist we had enough to buy our first little house in Arlington heights, a suburb of Chicago. Gloria was soon pregnant with our first kid, Jonathan, and I wanted to have her home with the kids. My mom had worked all my childhood, while we were raised by our Irish Gramma, and I wanted to provide well enough so Gloria could be home with the kids.

And so I gave up being an interior architect, went to work as a rookie commercial real estate broker for a guy named Wes Irvine. Wes had leased the Sears Tower and only in his 30s, he was making millions. Within a short time I was making millions as a top commercial real estate broker. But I was miserable because I had given up on my art.

I took some huge gambles to strike it rich enough to perhaps buy a design firm or fund a movie, risking it all on an ill fated skyscraper I built that wiped me out financially. Gloria rightly lost all trust in me and our marriage fell apart.

I have no regrets about my stopping my art to raise a wonderful family. You see, I consider that marriage art. the art of life itself. I love both my kids from the marriage to Gloria, Jon and Janelle. Janelle is the artist of the amazing oil painting portrait of me that you see as my avatar.

The funny thing, Dad never really had to worry about me being Gay. I love women. Love them too much sometimes. When I fall, I fall like a ton of bricks.

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