W H O - W H A T - W H E R E?
This is a story about a kid with a purple crayon,
a rock named “HAMMER” and a dream…
As a child, I was very curious and always doing art projects. I would also take things apart and put them back together (with varying results). My mother, a writer, an artist and a single mother encouraged my "creativity" when it worked out positively, negative results, (like the death of a toaster) were voiced at the end of a wooden spoon.
As a latch-key kid I would come home from school to find many “projects” waiting for me. My mom provided the peel-and-stick floor tiles, the metal straight edge, linoleum knife, an encouraging note and her belief that I could do such a thing; I had serious doubts, being eleven. Many home improvement projects were assigned to me, paint the house, build this picket fence completed with my mother’s favorite tool: a large round rock with the word “Hammer” painted on it.
Mom remarried and I became the "Foreman" on my step-father's seven acre gentleman’s horse farm. I was a large child and a high-school athlete, consequently, my step-father was unhappy with the amount of groceries I consumed. So to “earn my keep” I was tasked with building horse-proof fences, paddocks, a room addition and even a two-story pole barn with little more than my common sense, my “Barn Strength”, my enthusiasm and some old construction guides and a drafting table. I may not have realized it as a teenager, but these successful building experiences provided a hands-on education in construction and ultimately ignited my interest in architecture and design.
After high school I worked as a laborer on a road construction crew in Central Pennsylvania for my Uncle’s company Rogele. Jack hammering and shoveling aggregate for ten hours a day was an opportunity for self-discovery, particularly the life choices I had made thus far. Wanting a more satisfying construction experience, I became a frame carpenter on the West Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico. My Pop-Pop once told me that there were two kinds of jobs; one that you take a shower before work and one that you take a shower after work. Intense physical labor increased my desire for a formal education.
I attended architectural drafting school at TVI, the Technical Vocational Institute (now Central New Mexico Community College), which gave me the technical ability to work as a draftsman part time while I attended the University of New Mexico Architectural Program. I continued working as a frame carpenter on my semester breaks (the money was better).
I have been designing and building things since I was thirteen years old. I have many years of experience and have worked on hundreds of projects as a construction worker, a draftsman, a job captain, a project manager, a green building consultant and design principal for both large and small firms. I have solved a lot of design problems for a lot of people. I truly feel that I am best suited to be on my own and I feel that it is truly a privilege to have the design freedom and success that has come with being the President of Willisland.
I call my particular style of design “Enthusiastic Modernism”.
I refuse to believe that America is in decline, I am not here to help manage her demise. Americans are still the best innovators, inventors and designers in the world. I believe the best time for America is ahead, and in these exciting times I am actively seeking to further our growth and progression. I want to be a part of a new, bright future, I never want to stop learning.
Life is short, let’s do something responsible, innovative, and nice to look at and have some fun in the process.
Member American Mensa Ltd.
Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects
Architectural Registration Candidate (A.R.E.) in the State of California.