Born: Buffalo, New York, 1948 Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division Tay Ninh Province, Central Highlands, and Ho Chi Minh Trail M-60 Machine Gunner, 1968
From the Artist:
I did not start to paint until I was thirty-three years old. I have no schooling in art. I am a self-taught or primitive or naive painter. I paint humorous, colorful, childlike paintings because I have no art education, and I began to paint because I never held employment after my return home from Vietnam, because I had trouble taking orders from people in an authority role.
My father told me to join the Air Force Reserves when I graduated from high school in 1967, but I did not want to be obligated to a six-year commitment to the Reserves. I took my chances and was drafted in 1968, into the company and regiment George Armstrong Custer commanded when he lost the Battle of Little Big Horn. I left Oakland [California] army terminal on my nineteenth birthday and arrived in Vietnam in the 1 a.m. dark. I remember they turned the runway lights on just long enough for the jet to land. I was processed and flown to the jungle to serve with an M-60 machine-gun squad, mainly along the South China Sea coast. I only served in Vietnam about three or four months. My entire time there was spent in the jungles.