our stories

Charlie Borden
Bunny (Chase) Adams
Al Davis
Bonnie & Jack Ellis
Melvin (Mel) Gorton
Gene Lovelace
Jay Yager

After high school I enrolled in the Art Education curriculum at SUNY, Buffalo and began attending in the fall of 1956. In my second semester I acted in a play where I met another cast member, Nancy Muhlbauer who was to become my wife. We were married the day after final exams in 1960 and returned for graduation after our honeymoon. We then moved into a tent in the woods on Willow Creek road. That summer Nancy worked for my mother in June's Department Store and I was a lifeguard at Taughannock.

At the end of summer we moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where I began graduate school at the University of Wisconsin and Nancy taught 1st grade in a nearby town. Our son Bruce was born in March of the following year. We spent the summers of 1961 & 1962 in northern Wisconsin where I was a lifeguard at Loon Lake State Park.

I completed my MFA degree in 1962 and in late summer we moved to Commerce, Texas where I began teaching in the Art Department at East Texas State College (now Texas A&M, Commerce). In the spring of 1963 our daughter, Leda was born.

After two years in Texas we moved to Minneapolis where I taught sculpture at the Minneapolis School of Art. One of the things that drew me to MSA was the fact that they had a bronze foundry which my colleague, Paul Granlund and I substantially upgraded in my first year there. For the next few years most of my work was in cast bronze.

In summer of 1966 I left teaching and built and operated Victoria Sculpture Foundry, a commercial casting facility for my own and other sculptors' works. In the course of the next two years we cast over 1000 individual works. Just before Christmas in 1967 our daughter Hannah was born.

I found that I missed teaching and in 1968 I accepted a position in Eastern Michigan University's Art Department and we moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan. I taught there for the next 34 years. In addition to teaching a variety of studio courses was also the Gallery Director of Ford Gallery, the university's art gallery from 1980-93.

In the fall of 1989 I began teaching on EMU's European Cultural History Tour, a semester long program that traveled through the major cultural centers of Europe and the Mediterranean. We visited about 50 cities in 18 countries. I taught the art courses using the art museums and architectural sites of each city as my classroom. Since that time I have taught on more than 20 such programs in various forms in Europe and Asia.

I retired from EMU in 2002. In 2005 we moved to Sanford, North Carolina where we currently live. We now have 3 grandchildren, Janea, Rathe, and Mickey and (gulp) a great-grandchild, Blaize. It is and has been a good life due in no small part to the camaraderie and knowledge gained from the members of the class of '56. Thank you all!