Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29, 2008
When I dropped out of college in 1969, six units shy of a degree, I made a vow to my parents I would someday go back and finish. I told Kathy last weekend that I better get going on that commitment, so she wrote to the Transcripts Department at the University of Arizona to get my grades and classes taken. Got them in the mail yesterday. I have completed 120 units and at that time needed 126 to graduate. As I have mentioned here before, I did indeed flunk Art History four different times, including World Art History in my freshman year; African Art in my senior year; and a couple others in between. Really embarrassing, but what's even more shameful is I got a D in illustration in my Junior year! Below average? Are you kidding me? Well, I had this teacher (Mr. Heldt) who didn't like me and thought my drawings were too "underground" (my heroes were R. Crumb and S. Clay Wilson of Zap comics fame). Heldt was a Madison Avenue commercial artist in his former life and we didn't see eye to eye on anything. His claim to fame was he redesigned the Morton Salt girl package, taking the product logo from an illustration to a silhouette. I, of course, raised my hand and offered that I liked the old illustration better.

Not the smartest move in class, but, hey, I was being honest. And, forty years later, I still think it's true. The silhouette girl with the umbrella trailing salt is clean, but the 1930s style illustration is warmer and has more personality.

My next step is to contact a counselor and see what credits still survive (I don't think the four units of ROTC (Army Reserve Officer Training, a mandatory class in my day) will apply. Besides, I got four Ds in ROTC and then the next year they killed the requirement (the Vietnam War was hotter than hell by '68). One of the reasons for the Ds is I was playing drums in a rock band at the Body Shop, a strip club just outside the gates at Davis Monthan Airbase and I got home at two in the morning and the ROTC classes were at 7:40 A.M. plus, I hated wearing those cardboard pants and the c---- (rhymes with runt) cap on campus. Other than that, I think I would have made a fine student soldier.

More Exits Exit Response
"Reading the Las Vegas Review Journal yesterday, I was surprised to read about your close call, but was delighted to read a snippet about my old friend and teacher, Kathy Radina. I cannot believe you have been married 29 years, but of course, it was a long time ago that I lived in Phoenix, went to Moon Mountain Elementary, and later waited on you two at Manuel’s Mexican Food on Cave Creek Road during my ASU days. I am glad you are feeling better. Please send my regards to Kathy. She would better remember me as Karen Cimaglia. "
—Karen Luna

"Set your boundaries and then press against them."
—Debbie Payne, yoga instructor

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