Considering the theme of this conference – wide-open spaces – has prompted me to think about my life history in terms of landscape/environments: the first eighteen years of my life were spent in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is set in the gently rolling Grand River Valley of western Michigan; the next four years were at Swarthmore College, amidst the narrow winding roads and lush vegetation of suburban Philadelphia. In the mid-60’s I spent two and one-half years at nine-thousand feet in the spectacular Bolivian Andes, as a Peace Corps volunteer art teacher (I’d never seen mountains before the summer we left for Bolivia, but I had a double dose that year, since our two-month training site was at the University of Washington, Seattle, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier). During the 70’s and 80’s, a good number of Christmas holidays were shared with parents-in-law in the big-sky country of rural Oklahoma, just outside the grand metropolis of Kremlin, not far from what was once the Chisholm Trail. But (aside from relatively brief travel in Europe, Latin America, and India) a large part of my life over the last 30 years has been lived in or near Chicago. For the first ten of these years I was located on the top floor of various three-story walk-up apartment buildings. (I came to take this arrangement more or less for granted until the eight year-old daughter of a friend of mine from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, came to visit and couldn’t stop exclaiming about our upstairs kitchen! The concept of living all on one floor was completely alien to her.)


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