1983: Around this time I'd purchased a Paul McCartney tape that contained a song called, "Somebody Cares". In it were words to the effect that ' you've got someplace to go, and when you leave you find someone has taken the wheels off your car . . . but somebody cares'. That definitely is not an exact quote! I loved the song. One day I drove by a neighbor's house and saw his old van sitting there without a wheel. I couldn't help but latch on to the scene, and got the courage up to ask my neighbor if he had an old satchel and something sit on by his van so I could photograph him for a drawing.
It helped that I knew my neighbor, Nick Blotti, because I'd gone to grade school with him when he lived in the neighborhood as a child. Gone for many years, he'd come back. Nick really got into it, went inside for a worn old leather suitcase, got an old pail out of his old garage . . . and struck this pose looking like he'd come out of his house, intent on going somewhere significant; but discovered his van could take him nowhere. The drawing was great fun, rendered during the time when I was taking drawing and painting classes at UW-Superior WI.
You can see the real Nick again under the Gallery Category, RURAL ECHOES; in the Gallery called, VINTAGE STEAM TRACTOR EVENT. Nick founded this event many years ago now. When the StoraEnso paper mill (now New Page) started in West Duluth, his house was torn down along with all other buildings on the block across from the plant. That block is now trees and mowed grass, like a park.