Posted on May 20, 2019
The first two most commonly asked questions are, ‘Do you live here?’ Yes I do. For the last 31 years I’ve lived here with my wife, Maggie, and our 2 dogs. The 2nd most commonly asked question is, ‘When are you going to get it finished?’ The answer: ‘When one of you wins the lottery, please remember me!’ I’ve been doing that for the last 34 years. It hasn’t worked yet. (laughs)
In 1970 I was a senior in high school who drew my dream house, a castle, in architecture class. Being a poor boy from Flat Rock, the only way I could do it was to build it myself. I am proud to say I built something from scratch, which means I started with zero. I did have a lucky break. By chance I got into photography my senior year of high school. My next door neighbor had been in Viet Nam and won a camera in a poker game and had forgotten how to work it. The deal was to learn how and teach him.
He did, and by graduation of his senior year, he photographed senior prom. Next he worked for a photography studio that needed 13 high school composite shots done in a month.
I got it done for them, and it only took me only 360 hours—90 hours a week. I used to think that was a lot of hours until I went into business for myself. (laughs) It you are willing to work 12-18 hour days, I guarantee that you can do absolutely anything in the world if you want to bad enough. I proved that, but to say I did this all by myself would be a gross exaggeration. I had a whole lot of help from a whole lot of people to make this dream possible including yourselves for coming out to the festival this year.
Posted on May 16, 2015
Adventure, beauty, relationship…basic human desires. All were met recently exploring Spain’s Costa Brava (Wild Coast). Between Barcelona and Jimmy Buffett’s Coast of Marseilles, I snorkeled in open waters, biked through Medieval hill towns, and laughed over meals and a pottery wheel with bloggers from Canada, the US, and Europe.
I’m a romantic. I’ve always loved the Middle Ages and the sea. My first fling in Spain in 2009 made me a Gaudi Girl, but this spring I fell in love with the country’s beaches. I also value independence, freedom. So when I received an invitation to “Discover the Medieval Coast,” a sponsored trip to familiarize travel writers with Catalonia, Spain’s autonomous community, this castle-craving pirate princess was on the boat ready to ride.
Day One began with feeling all Game of Thrones on a walking tour of Lloret de Mar. The former fishing town with Iberian and Roman ruins was transformed by fortunes made in Spanish-ruled Cuba and was site of the 2015 European TBEX held days earlier. We followed the seaside promenade to 11th century Castle of Sant Joan, defense against sea attacks. Though all but the tower was destroyed in 1805 by the British navy battling Spain and France, I climbed along the wall, each turn a new view of waves crashing into coves and crags below.
Once perched at the peak, I remembered Madeleine L’Engle’s words about artists–fitting since Catalonia is the land of free spirits Dali, Picasso, and Gaudi. But since all of us are creations and creators of our own lives, they speak to moments when we face powerful forces. For this expat writer they are so true:
Artists have always been drawn to the wild, wide elements they cannot control or understand–the sea, the mountains, fire. To be an artist means to approach the light, and that means to let go our control, to allow our whole selves to be placed with absolute faith in what which is greater than we are.