It's been some time since any real activity here...
This is a photo of my Father from around 1977-78 or so:
I don't recall precisely when The Star Wars Sketchbook
came out in Michigan (beyond it's publication date is listed to be September 1977
) I do know it was well before any of the Toys from Kenner or Models by MPC hit the shelves. My Father bought that sketchbook (at a K-Mart I think) and I might have ended up one of the only kids in the world, at that time (not connected to the early ILM crew), to have a somewhat close model of a TIE fighter and an X-wing. These were full scratch builds utilizing Styrofoam hamburger trays (the meat was packed on back in the day), Styrofoam cups, cardboard tubes, Leggs eggs
dome containers (pantyhose), and anything else he felt worked for his construction. He followed those builds with fully scratch built models of the Sky Hopper, Vader's TIE (along with several more of the standard TIE fighters), several R2-D2s, and various other Star Wars vehicles from the images in that book and any photos he could find. Unfortunately the only Star Wars model he built during that time to survive was one of the R2-D2 replicas he made, which I still have to this day.
He always loved to build models (he even carved 1 on 1 pistol replicas out of wood when he was younger, of which a handful survive) and continued to do so right up until dementia began to settle in and claim his concentration and attention. The last scratch built models he made were 3 boats made from balsa and various harder woods; A Budweiser hydroplane, a classic Chris-Craft, and a cabin cruiser he never ended up finishing.
All my friends, and pretty much everyone, loved him and, among this circle of friends, he was referred to lovingly as The Supreme Commander. He also really loved collecting movies and adored our cat Charlie, who sadly passed last year in October. The two of them are pictured hanging together on the right sometime after our recent move 3 years back. We did end up with a new cat named Jamie but he would still call him Charlie most of the time even though he finally began to occasionally remember his name is Jamie.
Those of you that have followed this blog, or my work elsewhere on the web, either know or have a notion I stepped away from freelance and became a full time caregiver for my Father, since as early as 2009-10, due to his developing dementia. I'm sad to report my Father passed away on July 3rd, late in the evening, due to congestive heart failure and likely related dementia issues (signs of sundownders
began to creep in this year). I'm, of course, saddened and devastated to see him go but I always knew it was going to end up here, dementia was always going to win. It was my pleasure to care for him all these years, no matter the difficulties, and while I'm sad he's finally passed on he'll never really be gone forever. His influence and works remain and I'll continue to honor him with my own work. He was always supportive of my pursuit of a career in art and he is, ultimately, a huge part of why I do the kind of work I do (some of this noted here
). He was a gentle man and a good Father who will be missed by myself, his Brother John, and the rest of our family and friends.
Of course this now means I'm fully diving back into doing illustration, concept, and creative work once again, both the studio work (TKP
) and potential future freelance. More on all this in the future but as difficult as this post is it's time to return to the fold and explore the roads of possibilities ahead. I know my Father would have wanted me to do so and I'm sure he's up there, along with Charlie, our old cat Toonces, and family long passed rooting me to forge ahead. Thank you for everything, love you Dad!
Thank you for reading.