I credit Pres. John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro for politicizing me. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis came out of nowhere. I was a typical teenager thinking about art, sex, school, sex, my future, sex, money, sex, rock and roll, sex and...sex. I had plans. I would work hard to win a scholarship to the American Academy of Art in Chicago and if that failed, I’d attend Ft. Wayne Art School, but one way or another, I was going to be a professional artist.
My family subscribed to two newspapers, morning and evening, the only two papers we had in Ft. Wayne, Ind. and I read the comics pages faithfully and the sports pages occasionally. There were only three network TV news outlets then and I watched none of them. I was usually working during the time those shows were on.
And then, the excrement hit the rotary. I freaked out and was certain the world was about to perish in an atomic ball of fire. When it was over and compromises were made, Khrushchev would remove his missiles from Cuba and Kennedy would remove his missiles from Turkey (that part of the deal wasn’t talked about for a few years later.) When the crisis passed, I started reading the front page and the editorial page. I vowed I’d never again be blind-sided by events.