It was hard at first. Hell, it was hard the whole way. I had properly prepared myself by studing ever major in business. I found a market in the art and craft world. I then had to develop a product that would sell at a "profit". I soon learned about the economics of creativity.
I was a trained business manufacturer competing with skilled talented artist. I went back to school. In 1988 I attended the New Orleans Art Academy and studied under Auseklis Ozols for six years. I learned how to draw, I learned how to paint, I learned how to see.
Not to mention two floods. One cannot control the combination of challenges given by nature and man, I had to develop skills and learn about the world in order to strengthen, create and multiply the results. Women, however, made life worth living and they enriched my life, each and every one.
Confortable with the tools and facility to complete a lifetime of work, I rejoice most in my son Keaton and my prize Elaine.
Every good man's history begins with a wonderful mother and a solid father. Growing up in a family with a history going back to the sixteen hundreds with Southern and Northern influence makes a story in itself. My mother shut down the modern invention of the television and insisted on the option of reading. I read the classics giving me depth. I read everything, saving my life in the Vietnam years and preparing my future.
Born right after the "Great War" Growing up with cousins and "little rascals" in the Deep South, hunting, fishing and just being a little boy.
Highschool, a fraternity, Phi Kappa gave me the drive be self employed, wrote my first book, a manual. Attended Mississippi State University taking the knock out courses in each major. Sigma Chi Fraternity gave me academic challenge and yeilded lifelong friends.
I served in the U S Army, training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and at Fort Belvoir, Washington, D C, I came home to started the Woodstock Toy Company and found the art and craft market. My Great Uncle Harry left me enough money to think I could start a company and I did it.
Living on Bourbon Street with a Doctor who was gone much of the time, I began to paint, realizing I needed artist skills and that I had the talent, I went to New Orleans Art Academy for six years.
Keaton Callicott was born and I was lucky to be rebuilding the family manufacturing business and be off the road. I was a confortable 48 and of course business reverses (outsourcing) five years latter forced me back to the toys company and the road.
Having met Elaine Rader, we paired our effort in making art jewelry, soon after acquiring the family plant property, and again rebuilding the different manufacturing entities.
Dissatisfied with the lack of progress in my hometown, Columbia, having lost population and jobs to the demise of manufacturing, I ran the first of three mayorial campaigns and two state representative campaigns as a Mississippi Democrat political activist, actually promoting platforms to convert the old state Training School into a business park and to develop the Pearl River assets. Both happened. My most recent campaign platform was to promote tourism as an industry. The city just voted a 3% tourist tax and this campaign is presently ongoing.
At 72, I am looking at the great sunset rather the great sunrise, satisfied with my ongoing bucket list, I can sleep in a storm.
I had some help. Family and friends, inheritance, church, military, education, social and academic organizations, a city, a government all contributed. I had hard working, honest loyal employees for over forty years.
After my first marriage, I realized that I was an incomplete young man. I set out to be more of a man. Women over the years have been the patient builders of my life. I learned music, cuisine, sex, travel, compassion and love from these women. I thank them all, but especally Elaine.