Jan 17, 2015

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE VOLCANO - Part Eight: Gladness, Striving and Madness - rushing about looking for the authentic in me

I loved Art with a passion.  Who knew?
The Art Department at San Jose State  http://www.sjsu.edu/art/ was exciting. I had recently discovered I loved ART with passion.  Who knew?  Not me! Fall of 1962 I registered in every Art Department class that would instruct me in the basics of art and to build prerequistes in the Department.  I signed up for Design, I took Drawing from Dr. John Devenchensi who taught at Stanford University too (he also authored the American Art History text I would use much later). I eagerly registered for my first Art History from Dr. Crespo (visiting professor from Madrid). I didn't do especially well in any other of my classes (got a D- in Geology) but I achieved excellent grades in Art. I became a Fine Art major (emphasis later,  Watercolor) and Eric Oback was a wonderful creative influence and instructor.  I obsessed with whatever it is/was that turned me on in the Art Department and I loaded myself up with art supplies, textbooks, canvas, rabbits foot glue, drawing boards, oil paints and water-colors/papers too.  Off I went to tackle my classes with a tackle box full of tubes of paint and various brushes in hand and a BIG drawing board tucked under my arm...I also partied a lot with my new friends.  Didn't everyone? ¨Let's drive up to San Francisco, it's 25 cent Beer Night¨

There were several new obsessions for me Sophmore year, 1962 at SJS.  I simultaneously discovered the excitement of a potential retail ¨buying¨ career by starting off as a part time salesperson at L. Hart and Son Department Stores.  I loved working in the Men's Furnishing Department of the main store at Market and Santa Clara, downtown San Jose.  The Buyer and Merchandise Manager scheduled me for as many hours as I could fit in.  I liked them, I liked everyone at L. Hart and Son.  I was fortunate/lucky and well-placed and later became an Executive Trainee while going to school. Alex Hart was President and he, Harry Schlisky and Nick Marafino
 became my first great merchandising mentors in my newly formed adult life: 


Mr. Alex Hart, President,  Hart's Department Stores

 ¨He was a philanthropist, a businessman, a civic and community leader, a social arbiter, a charming host, a gentleman and a friend...

Working 20+ hours a week, carrying a full schedule at college and having an almost every night social life too was fun and invigorating...good thing I was full of stamina and good energy at 19.  Life was extra-dandy in my 1962 personal performance/rendition/score for Camelot...our, almost everybodies, beloved President, John F. Kennedy was alive...he and ¨Jackie¨ delivered to the world a sense of security and happiness featuring lots of panache

to be continued