I was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. My father worked in the mines and later as a salesman. My mother was a stay-at-home Mom. We were definitely not rich and learned that if you wanted something, you had to earn it.
It was in the north, I developed my love of the out-of-doors. As a child, I loved to traverse the northern forests and experience the changing topography and seasons. Trees and rocks fascinated me. They still do. In 1965, I moved to Windsor, Ontario and aside from short stints in Quebec and Alberta, have remained there. I graduated from the University of Windsor with several degrees and majors.
Over the course of my lifetime, I have worked at a wide variety of jobs: 36 years as an Educator for the Windsor Board of Education and 26 years as a photographer for Mako Films, in the production of the TV series “The Last Frontier”.
To pay my way through school, I also worked as a front office cashier for the CP Lake Louise Hotel, as a trail guide on horse back in Banff National Park, as a ski instructor at Mt. St. Anne in Quebec and various locations in the USA. Many a summer did I plow fields and bale hay locally. I would also cut grass, trim hedges and wash walls to earn spending money.
For 25 years, I shot pistol and rifle on the Ontario provincial team and Canada’s national team. For several years, I was the director of the National Junior shooting camp. I also competed regularly in cross country and downhill skiing. As an adult, I took up golfing and got my handicap down to a 7. For several years, I competed in the Dupont World Golf tournament in Myrtle Beach. Each year, I won my division and the one year I place 2nd out of over 7,000 competitors.
As a small child, I enjoyed painting and various forms of art. As I grew older, I sought teachers in different media – oil, acrylic, water colours, airbrushing, calligraphy and numerous other art forms. My work was influenced by people such as Piscilla Hauser, Maureen McNaughton, Mark Polomchuk, and Dru Blair.
All of those experiences helped to shape me into the person I am today.
A favourite saying of mine is by Jean Paul Sarte: We are the sum of our actions, made and molded by our experiences, created or corroded by our decisions.
When I taught school, I painted a banner that hung across the front of my classroom. It read, “There is nothing you can’t do, only things you haven’t learned.” I still live by that philosophy and I think it sums me up as a person.