The summer of 1959 my parents and brother and I took what will always be remembered as the "trip of a lifetime". Well, for back then it was. We spent four weeks traveling from Greenville, Pennsylvania to the western states in a station wagon with a tent and a cooler.
It was the summer between second and third grade and I remember it almost like it was yesterday. We thought we would drive all the way to California but we fell in love with Wyoming and decided to extend our stay to take in Frontier Days in Cheyenne and then return to Jackson and the Tetons. The Spur Ranch and Chuck Wagon ( still in operation ) is located in Moose within stone skipping distance of the Snake river and that's were we stayed and I met my first "real " artist. His name was Frank von Fuer. He wore a swede leather jacket with fringe and a hat with a rattle snake band. Originally he was from Austria but lived then in Pittsburg, PA and was the chief staff artist at the Carneige Museum. He did the above portrait of me just on a piece of pebble board with gouache. I remember him telling my mother it would be a better likeness of me when I was a few years older. I know I was always "making" things as a kid but I don't think I ever said that I wanted to be an artist until after that summer. It wasn't an epiphany but rather an idea planted in my subconcious. I may have become an artist any way but I like to think meeting him had something to do with it. This small souvenir is one of my most valued possessions.