Born: Hartford, Connecticut, 1946 Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army Phuc Long MAT 15 (Mobile Advisory Team) with MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) 1969-1971
From the artist:
About the piece "Dreams of Youth Realized:"
To commemorate my 30th anniversary of serving in Viet Nam, I decided to produce a self-portrait that would reflect my experiences from early childhood through my war experience. As a youth, I had always played "Cowboys and Indians" and "Army." Today, those games would be politically incorrect to say the least. During my formative years, my heroes were Hoppalong Cassidy, Roy Rodgers, Gene Autry and John Wayne to name a few. The movies ll glorified war/conflict, good/evil, and fighting for a cause. My greatest desire as a youth was to be like one of my heroes and ride in and save the day. As you can see from the main picture, I was beaming in my new cowboy outfit ready to slay the evildoers and save the world. To this theme, I added the reality of what I experienced in the military. I placed a picture of myself, taken the day I shipped out of San Francisco to Viet Nam, in the shadow cast by my father. He took the picture of me in my cowboy outfit. Notice the similarities in the pose I struck both times without realizing it. I also placed a shot of me in action with my weapon and one of the Montagnards with whom I spent four months of my tour as a MAT Team leader. I also put a body in the window of my home as a harbinger of what was to come. It is a very straightforward statement of the adage, "Be careful what you wish for."
About the piece "Travels with Paul:" As a counter to the more serious "Dreams of Youth Realized," I couldn't resist placing me as a youth in my new pedal car in some of the places I was stationed in Viet Nam. My car became magical and transported the naive youngster I was to a land that, while ravaged by war, also had moments of daily life that were for the most part, non-threatening. In the upper left photo, I am visiting myself posing with a Vietnamese counterpart. In the second, I am watching a Chinook helicopter place our container in a field. In the third, I am driving through a village where the people are shopping and trading goods and simply experiencing everyday life. Finally, I am in front of a group of tanks on a road-clearing mission. I enjoy the encongruity of this collage and the statement it makes about the human condition.