Gary: Before I answer these, I should remind Derfs that I was mancake of the day a year or 2 ago, although the shirtless pictures were not used ...then....but could be used now...... ;)
Mrs. G: Those shirtless photos will never be used on this blog. Create a Tumblr account for that monkey business. Mrs. G. only objectifies men she doesn't know. It's her one scruple.
And now to part one of Gary's interview...
What was your favorite game to play when you were a kid?
I remember being deep into Monopoly. When I was 5-6 I discovered cheating: if you sat near the bank, and your mom wasn't looking, you could steal money! I remember the first day of first grade too that same year, we had moved to a new town and new school. All the kids at this school were reading and I did not know how yet (I was reading within a week!). I remember being sat down at a table of other kids and being given a TEST. I had never been given such a thing before and could not read, so I was looking over at other kid's papers. I didn't know you couldn't do that either. The teacher yelled at me for cheating, as if I knew what THAT was, but I was shy and quiet and don't like to be yelled at. I never looked at another kid's paper again, and I was a very good boy once I learned these lessons....although in 9th grade I accidentally saw the answer on somebody else's test, copied it onto the only blank on my page....and got a 100.
Were you a good student?
Speaking of school! I remember school was very easy up though 8th grade, and I never seemed to have any homework. I could look at a study guide and remember it entirely for the test. All that changed in 9th grade, which everybody knows is when things are supposed to get serious. I was not terribly serious, and I was more interested in studying girls and beer in those days of 18 YO drinking age, but I was given the chance to begin taking college classes when I was 16 and would walk up to Colgate University on the hill above the high school to take Classic Greek every day. I loved college so much and wanted OUT so I applied to college early. I could have begun full-time at Colgate but wanted out of town, and went where I wanted to go and where there 2 girls to every boy at Bennington College in Vermont when I was 17, finishing high school a year early. I went to college to study art, and studied architecture with a side of ceramics. By my senior year I hated architecture with a passion...and loved pottery. We all know HOW THAT turned out. I was not a very good college student, having discovered the usual distractions, but I call myself a success because I: a) did not impregnate anybody b) did not get arrested c) did not fail any classes d) as a matter of fact, I did the job in 8 semesters, 4 years which was a relief and e) and did not develop any addictions either!
What are some of the jobs you’ve had along your path?
OK, so I graduate with my wicked useful degree in art, in the middle of the Reagan 80s???? Nobody gave a sh!t about me! I had a minor in early childhood education and taught at my nephew's preschool in New York for $3.50 an hour...exhausting! But fun. I did that for awhile, and heard that because the Chicago Public Schools were, according to the Reagan administration, the worst in the US that the University of Illinois was desperate to train new teachers. I got into the master's program there and completed a masters in special ed and began teaching blind children in Chicago. I later went back to grad school for a year and became a reading specialist, and me and the wife moved to the Boston area and taught and coached at a prep school. It was the whole Dead Poets Society thing--I taught remedial English, coached cross country, taught pottery, plus took care of hundreds of rich teenagers in the dorms. The wife taught art. It looks idyllic in movies and it was fun to try teaching at a prep school, and a lot better money than $3.50 an hour, but you really start to hate teaching when you live with the high schoolers too.....we left at the top of my game so I could be a full-time potter in '97...15 years ago!
What would it take for the Republicans to lure you over to their side?
No fuching way. I remember my parents being mad at me in 1980 for supporting Carter. And they have only gotten WORSE. Democrats could be doing a lot better. A friend was talking to me a couple years ago and asked me "are you a socialist?" and my reply was "of course I am, because I'm poor!"
When did you get into pottery? Why do you love it so much?
My first day at college when I was 17 I went to sign up for painting classes or something and saw my first wheel throwing and kilns...I was like a labrador puppy the first time it sees a tennis ball: I KNEW MY DESTINY. That was 29 years ago. Every kid, especially one like me who could have been a juvenile delinquent, should find something they like so much. Everything good in my life comes from clay. (see next installment: how I met the MISSUS) Why do I love it? Well, there is so much to explore and I like bright, colorful and fun, and these days make a lot of sculpture too---yesterday I made a large Godzilla piece to hang on a wall: Godzilla is pulling somebody out of a car, dismembering and eating them :) Wouldn't you want to make fun things like that too? (note: haha! visitors beware!)