I’ve been looking for some photographs from my Seattle years that are unfortunately nowhere to be found. I know there are more photos from the time I lived in various locations around the Seattle area – including when I lived in the town of Winslow on Bainbridge Island. I also can’t find the photos from the boat trip that Jim and I took in his chartered 42 foot “Gallius” Grand Banks design yacht to Vancouver Island and up the coast of British Columbia; after I left Seattle and returned to Michigan State University. At least I kept a detailed log book on the trip.
That’s the problem with holding onto things through the years…sometimes they get lost or misplaced. I seem to have all of my photo albums, but I also know I once had these early pictures that can’t be located at the moment. That’s a good reason in itself for undertaking this entire project of telling my story online – everything is saved online and backed up electronically in case things get lost, damaged – or worse. Years from now, when I’m only a distant memory for my son, everything will still be available online for anyone to look at. Perhaps the photos will turn up some day, and if so I will add them at that time. In the meantime, I’ll continue on with the story.
I owe a lot to Jim for giving me opportunities while living in Seattle that I had never had before. As his hot air balloon co-pilot and employee at Electricraft Stereo, he pretty much took me under his wing and gave me some tremendous opportunities. From my first credit card as an Electricraft employee, to frequenting an excellent Italian Restaurant called Venetti’s and brunching at the “13 Coins Restaurant” downtown Seattle; I experienced a life that I had only previously seen in magazines. Jim had a high end contemporary home on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, with a swimming pool and hot tub. It was there that I further developed my interest in architecture, as I read all of Jim’s back issues of Architectural Digest and enjoyed living in his beautiful home. I also took up a pastime of creating fantasy art “dot art” pen drawings as well as painting graphic art designs on canvas – which later proved to be the beginning of my Air Force “squadron art” paintings that you will soon see examples of.
We were part of a small group that informally called ourselves the “Party Pros,” who really enjoyed living life to the fullest – like the traditional Champagne toast after a hot air balloon flight. Jim drove a new Mercedes sedan, and also owned an older right hand drive Rolls Royce and an Aston Martin. Electricraft chartered a twin engine plane to fly to Boise once, to discuss the Sound World stereo store purchase; and I got to sit in the right seat in the cockpit for the entire flight there and back. The charter pilot explained everything to me along the way, and allowed me to fly for a few minutes from the right seat under his supervision; which further developed the aviation skills that I needed later on flying fighters in the Air Force.
So with that background explanation, I’ll continue on with a few photos. After the bike trip to England I returned to Seattle and these photos are a collection of some passport photos, a few pictures around Jim’s house, and a “photo safari” walking tour through Seattle that I took one day. It was during this time that I was asked by Jim to drive new Mercedes-Benz diesels from New York City and Fort Lauderdale back to Seattle to sell at the dealership, as diesels were in high demand that year and were few and far to be found at the time. Along the way back from Fort Lauderdale while driving a red Mercedes-Benz sports coupe, I stopped just east of Denver to take these pictures of a crop dusting bi-plane and some wild annual sunflowers that were growing alongside the road. So here are these pictures – enjoy! 🙂