artist - musician - craftsman
and furniture maker
[February 28, 2021]
simply revland: the magical mystery door
In 1960, as a 7-year-old, I was beginning to understand my parents . . . and perhaps they were on the road to figuring me out as well. However, on numerous occasions, I could overhear them talking about me in Norwegian, which usually meant I was in serious trouble, or I had them so perplexed that it caused them to speak in tongue. Regardless, if I had a nickel for every time this occurred, I could have afforded a book on translating Norwegian to English. I guess I was a handful, or perhaps they thought me to be possessed in some way.
Like many of my fellow classmates, I was a “latchkey” kid. I have researched the long-term effects on children who eventually turn into adults, and it has given me a better understanding on what made me tick. Therein lies the rub. I somehow, over 8 different decades, never seemed to have crossed over into adulthood, or at least this is what I’ve been told by many of my adult friends and family members (including my wife). Another side effect of being a latchkey kid is retaining a profound sense of personal independence. That being said, I viewed this attribute as a blessing because . . . quite frankly . . . I had plans. Really big plans.
I desperately despised schooling, as to me it was similar to organized religion. Growing up as a Lutheran, I was forced to memorize the Apostles Creed. Or, in a case of organized schooling, the daunting Gettysburg Address. Who in their right mind thought these things would benefit me? I obviously had other things in mind . . . being possessed as I was. Geez!
If there had been a class called Hooky, I would have aced that lying down, as I continued to excel at that very thing for 13 consecutive years. I knew I had “arrived” when my grade school principal, Mr. Melvey, paid a visit to our house and proceeded to chase me around the back yard, hoping to apprehend me . . . which to his credit, he eventually did. He fortunately did not speak Norwegian.
Teri Bach, my girlfriend, therapist,
and back-yard architectural consultant.
Getting back to the “magical mystery door." The opening, under the front porch, led to approximately 200 square feet of Alice in Wonderland for me, as its contents provided everything I needed to paint my canvas . . . which was my back yard, my solace, my security blanket. I was a child with a dream, with plans, as well as time on his hands. Hands that eventually, and consequently, proved to be my instruments of joy as well as success in life.