Sunday, August 3, 2008

next installments utterly condensed!

You will note the great hiatus in dates here. I simply had too much work to do to and too much to learn to maintain the grandiose historical outline I had started out with.

history continued and much abbreviated . . .

2nd Warning: Don't read this unless you read the first (Background) one and are a glutton for mistreatment.

In the ensuing decades I worked for a publisher of college textbooks in Boston math and science as a production editor. Marched against the Vietnam War, worked on Shirley Chisholm's presidental campaign, was precinct captain in my area of Cambridge, MA for George McGovern. AND, had a few very valuable lessons in photography. This was the time of my first camera -- A Mamiya Sekor which I used for years, until I bought a used Pentax K1000. I was strictly a black and white shooter, and today, I still think like that for the most part.

Additionally and extremely important to my entire professional growth, I began collecting, studying, and using type -- lead type. And all the equipment necessary to do letterpress printing and established Fairfax Press.

To make a long story short -- I eventually ended up moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan and entering the Graduate Graphic Design Program at Western Michigan University. Studied with Jon Henderson who later became the head of the Hallmark Research Library. When he left, he was replaced by a person of, to be kind, about 1/3 his mental stature. I left t the department, spent a year in printmaking and then switched back to English, receiving an Honors M.A. and going on to Ph.D. work at the University of Western Ontario.

After leaving -- with the infamous A.B.D., I returned to Kalamazoo and set up my own graphic design studio, producing work for Selmer Music Company, U.S. Robotics, French Paper Company, and Western Michigan University.

In 1988 I had to return to Vermont to take care of my aging parents. This was the end of my visual life as these were the days before the ubiquitous computer and I could not take my clients with me. I had to work for others. All work for the next 10 years was for leading edge technology startups and therefore my normal work week was about 70 hours. No time for anything else except rest and recuperation to prepare for the next day.

From my third job in this era I got laid off (along with otheres) without severance and being owed back pay. It was then I tried to start a web design business. And that was a laugh. It was 1995 and everyone EVERYONE I talked to told me they thought the Internet was a "load of hype" and was never going to amount to anything. I knew they were wrong, but I didn't get any business except for a wonderful guy in California, Jed Donnelly, whose Computer and Communications pages, begun in 1993, are still active today. And, whose pages are still using my very dated banners! Reading Jed's bio is like reading a history of the Internet.

The other client turned out to be a fairly large one. He owned and ran a teleconferencing site called "Summons Teleconferencing" I redesigned his site and wrote a ton of perl programs for getting at visitor stats--in those days you had to roll your own. Within a couple of years he sold out to Genesys for a mil or so--nice for him, but my tenuous attempt at a web business was gone.

That was the end of my web design career. So for nearly 10 years I tuned and repaired pianos. (Don't ask.) And then, something snapped.

No comments:

Post a Comment