Anyone who has seen the famous movie Citizen Kane (directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles) is aware that the whole movie builds on the enigma of Charles Foster Kane’s dying words, “Rosebud.”

“The device of the picture calls for a newspaperman (who didn’t know Kane) to interview people who knew him very well,” said Orson Welles in a 1941 interview about his film. Kane had experienced unparalleled worldly success. “None had ever heard of ‘Rosebud.’ Actually, as it turns out, ‘Rosebud’ is the trade name of a cheap little sled on which Kane was playing on the day he was taken away from his home and his mother. In his subconscious it represented the simplicity, the comfort, above all the lack of responsibility in his home, and also it stood for his mother’s love which Kane never lost.”dinosaur drawing

I think we all have one thing in our youth for which the significance and meaning has been a powerful, formative influence on our entire life. For me, my “Rosebud” is a mural of dinosaurs which I began drawing in the first private art lessons that were paid for by my grandfather when I was just eight years old. I wish I had that drawing today. It has been long thrown away, but it has become emblematic in my memory of the belief that my family had in me.

Over my childhood years, this endorsement of my artistic bent was transferred from my family to their friends, and many times I was commissioned by my parents’ friends to do paintings and even repair broken statues for them. When my parents had parties with their friends, a few always came up to my bedroom to learn about the latest projects that I was up to.

The adults in my life recognized that I had a special artistic talent as a little boy, and from eight onwards they always tried to make me feel special and encourage that talent in me. It was an affirmation that influenced me always in art and all things; it told me I could succeed at anything that I could imagine, and I believed it and still do.

This respect was a heady thing for a child to experience, and it was the direct opposite of what I see being experienced by most parricides. It is this disparity between my experience and theirs that has motivated me to become involved in this work. It has always been my belief that all young people deserve similar endorsement of their particular abilities and gifts. Inspired by the examples of my parents and friends, I have always hired young people to do things that most people use Angie’s List to vet.

As it turns out, as I got older I decided for myself that I would only be a second-rate artist, whereas my most marketable abilities lie in different areas. But the belief that my parents, relatives, and friends had in me had a lifelong effect. I will never be able to repay it except to pay it forward.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Frank Sinatra performing “Thanks For The Memory”


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