Thursday, February 5, 2009


I have neglected the blog for way too long. Fortunately for the studio we have been very busy. I'm a very optimistic person. One of my father's favorite sayings was,"It's an ill wind that doesn't blow some good." There was also a story told in church when I was little that I have not forgotten and enjoy telling to anyone who will listen.

Trying to find out how we react to our surroundings a group of researchers enlisted the help of two very young boys, one an optimist, one a pessimist. The pessimist was placed in a room with all the latest toys, trucks, earth movers, bikes, games anything that a little boy could dream of. He was told to do as he wished, have fun and the would return in a few hours to check on him. The optimist was placed in a room full of horse manure and a pitch fork. He was told that it wasn't much but it was what they had and to make the best of it, they would check back with him in a few hours.

When they returned to the pessimists room they found him sitting in the corner, nothing had been touched. "Why haven't you been playing?

"I was afraid."

"Afraid of what?"

"I might get hurt."

"The toys are all safe."

"Might break something."

"That's OK you could do as you wish, no one will get angry with you."

"I was scared."

They then entered the room with the optimist. Manure was flying everywhere as the boy was still digging through the pile. "What on earth are you doing?"

"All this manure in here, there has got to be a pony somewhere."

I believe that being comfortable and having a sense of joy about our surroundings creates a positive mood and enhances our life. The pictured light came about in a very strange way. I was pushed almost to my limits in designing for the SNOW LODGE in YELLOWSTONE PARK when the architect called me and told me that they needed two very large fixtures for the fast food area of the lodge. Drawing a blank I did a quick sketch of a group of forest animals in a canoe holding lanterns, titled it, "CROSSING THE YELLOWSTONE" and faxed it off to him as a joke. "We want two of them," was his immediate reply. So here you are. The story is, true or not, that they actually designed a higher roof to accommodate the fixtures.

The way we light our rooms helps to create the way we feel.
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Ben and JoLin said...

Oh, Steve. I love that light and do not remember being introduced to it before. And I love your, my dear, are definitely an optimist.

Elizabeth said...

It's true, Steve. You would be shoveling the manure. The light fixture is wonderful - can't think how we missed it when we were at Snow Lodge a few years ago. Now, we have to go back.

Elizabeth said...

It's true - for most of the last 30 years, you've been shoveling manure (metaphorically speaking). Your optimism always cheers us up. I can't believe we missed the canoe lights when we visited Snow Lodge a few years ago. Have to go back!

Elizabeth said...

I've tried three times to post this comment - it gets shorter every time. Love your optimism. The canoe light is wonderful. Now we have to go back to Snow Lodge, because we missed it before.

Ann said...

Oh, I do remember that story. The light is fantastic, and is a perfect display of your sense of humor as well as talent, but even more inspiring to me has been your years of creating beautiful pieces of art work that give light to so many people. I think it is time for us to take a trip to Yellowstone.

Shannon Marie said...

I remember that story, Dad. I tell it to Nathan. I also sing him delightful songs you taught me, like:

The Cricket Song
Hee Haw's "Gloom, Despair"
The Worm Song

If you can't laugh at "it" you're licked, yes?

I do wish you'd tell him the "Story of Falling Rock", though -- you are the only one who can do it right.

Thanks for the songs and stories, Dad. They've left a lasting impression. *grin*