As a child, I was always making things out of any material available. I made little people out of pipe cleaners (my Dad smoked a pipe). I built model boats, airplanes, cars, and trucks; and I was always drawing pictures of my little world. After my release from the Army Air Force, I attended Olivet College for three years as an art major. The college closed before the beginning of my fourth year.

In January 1950, I moved to New York City where I felt I would benefit as an art major. An opening in a private school in the Bronx gave me the opportunity to teach elementary grades for five years. During these years I explored a number of great cultures from the past. These studies proved very useful in my teaching career.