mind expanding nonsense

Rough Drafts

Feb 2013 004

If I ever got back into oil painting, like I did in college and the early 70’s, I think my paintings would pretty much end up looking like my drawings, except much bigger.  But that is a matter for conjecture, as I seriously doubt that I’ll get back into painting.  All that turpentine and linseed oil really stink.  And I don’t wanna work that hard to achieve a finished product.  But a nice “rough draft” for future reference is nice.

Feb 2013 007

I think the roughest draft I’ve ever done was in 1969.  And the folks that wanted it done to me was The United States Selective Service.  I’d just graduated form College, my student deferment had expired, and they considered my ass  1-A, prime specimen for military service.  I was sure hoping’ they wouldn’t select me.

Needless to say, I wanted no part of that, and no part of the War Machine and it’s endeavors in Southeast Asia; Vietnam in particular.  So what I did was find myself the nearest Los Angeles area National Guard Unit and join ASAP.  Thing was, just before I was gonna join, the government instituted a Lottery for the Draft, just to make it more fair.  [The good old US of A sure likes lotteries to get what they want, be it money, or bodies; nothing like peddling a loosing proposition for one and all]. The dilemma was, should I join (which guaranteed a no Vietnam ticket), or, take my chances in the Lottery?

Well I joined.  Sure glad I did!  My ass was number 57.  A guaranteed ticket to Vietnam.   So I served my Country with honour for six long years as a “Weekend Warrior”.  What a joke.  Dig this:  When The Wife and I were working as surrogate parents in a mental health treatment home for severely disturbed kids, we were watching the afternoon news.  It was during the time of the UCSB campus riots in Santa Barbara.  The students (my brothers) were having a grand time demonstrating, then rioting, and then burning down the local branch of Bank of America, when they made the announcement that the National Guard had been called in, and there before my eyes was MY  Company, armed and keeping the peace just a few miles north of me.  They didn’t call me.  I then gave strict orders that no one was to answer the phone for any reason until all this simmered down.

Hey…I was ready to serve my country.  I just wasn’t taking any calls at the time.



Comments on: "Rough Drafts" (24)

  1. “Gone fishing.”

  2. Great sketches, try the oils again, turpenoid doesn’t smell so bad, though it might induce flashbacks….

  3. Interesting flower. I am not sure I’d like a flower with a face on it. As to your service, you did what many a thousand other guys wished they could have–avoid the whole thing. I wish my husband has been so lucky.

    • Yeah…those were some interesting times, and avoiding the draft was number one on my list!


    • Ah yes….the Fish Cheer. I actually saw him in LA around that time.


      • You must have fit right in with your “Guard” haircut!!

      • Actually I saw them before I joined The Guard, but dig this: While in The Guard, we were allowed to have long hair if we pinned it up and covered it with a short haired wig. So once a month, I was sporting a pony tail bobby pinned to the top of my head, with wig on top.


      • I guess even back then the military was into “don’t ask, don’t tell!”

  4. Ugghh, oils! I did, like, three photorealistic oil paintings, and me head nearly exploded from the painstaking time and effort, not to mention too much Turpenoid. I retreated to watercolors just to lose control and have some paint bleed, run, spill, and otherwise just go plain wrong for the hell of it. As always, fine and fun drawings posted up on your blog. I think my ultra-methodical brain needs to have an hallucination some time!

  5. That is quite a story about the Guard being called up to Santa Barbara. With that lottery number you were a smart guy to join the Guard! That was thinking ahead! Those were such uncertain times. We must be close to the same age judging by the talk of the lottery, and I just know so many of my guy friends were doing what they could to avoid the draft…becoming ministers, researching graduate schools and keeping one eye on the Canadian border!

    • I was lucky there were openings in the Glendale and Burbank Nat’l Guard units at the time. A lot of my brothers weren’t as fortunate, got drafted and never came back from Vietnam. Little has changed, the military is still mainly comprised of kids lower on the socioeconomic and educational levels whose only hope to ‘get ahead’ is to risk their lives in the Army. Sucks!


  6. I got so involved into doing quick pieces with watercolors that I stopped working with oils. I do want to get back to it though, the stink, long, process and all. Maybe over the summer when I can take the stink outside though.

    • I’m stuck in quick pieces too, but primarily cause that’s were I wanna be. Don’t want to commit to a long process for just one piece, and then what do I do with a 4′ x4′ canvas?


  7. Good for you. It was a fascinating time in our history. Iremember watching the student riots on the news, there were some in France as well, and thinking, “When I grow up I want to be a student” 🙂

  8. Will our kids laugh or cry at these memories? They all seem so surreal…I LOVE the smell of oils in the early morning – ahhhh apocalyptic…

  9. That’s what an answerphone is for!

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