Karen Ann Johnson and I, married May 14, 1966, and we are even more in love today.
I have lived 32 years in the Chicagoland area (Chicago, Franklin Park, Arlington Hts., and Bloomingdale, IL), and in Marietta, GA since the beginning of 1977.
God saved me in May 1963. Early February, 1964, I met Karen Ann Johnson (Foreman HS ’62). In May 1966 we married and we have three children; born 1968, 1972, and 1975. Two of my children and their spouses live nearby, and my eldest is unmarried and living in Indianapolis. On May 16, 2009, we welcomed our first grandchild-Noah Keel- into the world, thanks to my youngest son and his wife.
I retired from Siemens Building Technologies the end of 2001, and began my Ph.D. pursuit at Georgia Tech in January 2003. (I already was taking Ph.D. coursework at Capella University. However, I never completed my Ph.D., I earned a second master’s degree instead. A Masters of Science in Building Construction and Integrated Facilities Management. Now, I am employed by Georgia Tech as an adjunct professor.
Since 2004, I have lived in Paris for three months each summer–May, June, and July–teaching Georgia Tech students who are doing their summer semester in Paris.
However, beginning in 2012, the program has moved to the University of Reading just outside of London. Now I am learning a different “foreign language.”
It is a great experience for the students and me.
Karen comes and joins me for a few weeks each summer, because our home-front obligations require that someone be home to manage its affairs, PLUS our children and our one-and-only grandchild are too hard to leave for any extended period.
At this time in my life, with the loss of both parents in 2000, my outlook is shifting to things that matter most. One of those things is connecting with persons from my past. Even if we were not close friends back then, there exists a bond since we shared the same experiences during the same times in our lives.
My early career goals were to be an engineer, architect, or industrial designer…I loved to draw…I wanted to go to the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, but our family did not have the financial wherewithal and I did not know how to pursue scholarships, grants, loans, etc…so, I went to the American Academy of Art, 30 East Adams, Chicago, IL. for the two-year diploma program. I studied commercial art with the goal of working in advertising. All ads were hand-drawn in the early 1960s..no computer-generated images.
However, I admired the great, classical artists and spent much time in the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago. I had a little understanding of, or interest in, Modern Art, and no understanding, or interest in, Contemporary Art. A professional illustrator reviewed my portfolio and determined that I needed further training. I was advised to further my training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in conjunction with furthering my education at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois to earn my BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree. Marriage, children, earning a living, and life in general, circumvented that pursuit.
Now, being philosophical, I ask, “Does art reflect culture, or does culture reflect art?” It is believed that the artists, musicians, philosophers, and academicians are the shapers of culture. Looking at contemporary art, listening to contemporary music, reading contemporary literature, and attending the thousands of university classes led by atheistic, anti-God professors, I agree with those who state that there is an leftist elite class that molds society.
To this, I respond, “My! How far we have fallen.” To counteract this decadent culture, we must saturate our minds with the beauty of fine art, classical music, classical literature, and, above all, God’s Word so we may have the perspicacity to think rightly about the world surrounding us. “Be in the world, but not of the world.”
Finally, God chose me, I had nothing to do with that, Karen did not reject me, and my children say they love me, but of all the things I have attempted, I am an absolute failure. (My melancholy nature showing through)