Drawing #16 - Hasbrook Park - Arlington Heights, IL (January 2021) - This was a fun one because I usually like to surprise people. With this one, I had four people assist with ideas and memories which made it all the more fun. Hasbrook Park is a typical suburban park with playground equipment, ballparks, and a pond. What made the drawing fun was that all of the houses belong to someone I went to school with, either during grade school or high school. When friends found out what I was doing, they sent photos of their houses and the park. It was so much fun to include personal stories. This is one of my favorites. Thanks Kevin, Laura, Barb and Kristi.
Drawing #17 - Ashburn, Virginia Data Centers. (February 2021) - When your town is mentioned in a television show (Mr. Robot), specifically about all its new data centers, you would agree that they seem to be building them everywhere. I drive by them daily. Come back from a week's vacation and two new ones have popped up. Well, that's the way it seemed. And at first, I thought they were all grey concrete blocks but the designers are putting some aesthetic design into them. You have some blues and yellows and purples now, and different sorts of glass. So for fun, I did a drawing about data centers. Wasn't trying to be a smart ass, but maybe just a little. They are the new engines of commerce. This Wix website is probably going through one of them right now. This drawing did inspire me to delve a little closer into Ashburn history and I have a new project in queue that I think will be a lot of fun.
Drawing #18 - Brandenberry Apartments - Arlington Heights, IL (March 2021) - I moved to Arlington Heights, IL when I was seven. For the first two years, we rented an apartment at Brandenberry Apartments. They are still there today, though they were converted to condos decades ago. It was a great place to live. Plenty of open space between buildings and lots of friends. The strip mall in front had plenty of memorable little shops to include Mayberry's Ice Cream Parlor, BBQ Junction, 7-11 and a Karate place (though I forgot to put in the Karate place). And of course, if you've ever driven down Rand Road and passed Brandenberry, you will have seen the Keyes Motel. It's still there.
Drawing #19 - "Old Ashburn" - Ashburn, Virginia (April 2021) - We moved to Ashburn in 2007. Though it is a relatively new community, Old Ashburn has been around for a long time. My favorite places to eat are Carolina Barbecue, Mediterranean Breeze and Wine'ing Butchers. Plenty of small shops, ballet studios, churches and rustic, vintage houses. And whoever refurbed that purple house in the center did an awesome job.
Drawing #20: "Frontier Days Festival" - Arlington Heights, IL (May 2021): Frontier Days was the place to be growing up in Arlington Heights. You had all your usual carnival rides like the Matterhorn, Flying Bobs, Tilt a Whirl and Gravitron. Plenty to make you toss up your dinner. Then of course the games to spend lots of money to win cheap stuffed animals. But back in the 80s, throw the dart for a Heather Thomas or Christie Brinkley poster or pop a balloon for your favorite heavy metal rockband mirror. Plenty of food, music, and activities.
Drawing #21 - "Son of Washington Depot, CT" - June 2021: I was stumped for what to draw in June and then it dawned on me that the passing of Army Major Stephen Reich's anniversary was June 28. Steve was my classmate at West Point but our paths never crossed. He set every pitching record for Army baseball and then became a helicopter pilot in the Army. His helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan as they tried to rescue a team of Navy SEALs who had been compromised. Stephen came from Washington Depot, Connecticut, a small town an hour from West Point. I made this drawing from the photos his mom shared on facebook.
For his story - check out: Stephen Reich - A Soldier's Story
Drawing #22 - "Orbit Roller Rink - Palatine, IL" (July, 2021) - Back to Arlington Heights.....well, actually Palatine, IL...right next door. Orbit Roller Rink was a fun place to hang out. My school always had a field trip there in 5th grade. The fear of asking someone to skate during the Couple's Skate was unbearable, but I did it. Orbit just closed its doors in 2020 to be replaced by an ice rink. Some neighboring businesses included Soccer City and McDade's Catalog store. Finally, behind Orbit/McDade's was an open field with bike trails where we all dreamed of riding our BMX bicycles which became popular in the 80s. I never did get a BMX. As for the sinking jeep....just Go For It!
Drawing #23 - Klehm Park, Arlington Heights, IL (August 2021) - I was in a bit of a rut not knowing what to draw this month. I had been alternating Arlington Heights drawings each month. Since I got stuck, I decided to do Klehm park, which was in my neighborhood growing up. It was a nice open field for football and baseball, a basketball court and your basic playground equipment. Those wooden and steel playsets are probably "safer" now but we sure played a lot of "lava monster" on it. As for the group of girls and the two boys near the swings. One of the first times I conversed with my now wife...though it would be 15 years later that we started dating. I enjoyed drawing the fall colors and the sun setting in this one to change it up. Maybe a Halloween drawing in the near future?
Drawing #24: Camp Buckner: West Point, NY - The Best Summer of Your Life (September 2021) - Since I drew R-Day last year, it was only fitting that I followed up with another West Point drawing at some point. Camp Buckner is the summer training Cadets do after Plebe year. It exposes Cadets to all the branches of the US Army (Infantry, Armor, Engineers, etc). From top left to right - Infantry Week (of course it rained), Armor training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Land Navigation, the Slide for Life, Obstacle course, barracks, bayonet training, pugil stick competition, Barth Hall, the beach, phone booths, and Booing the Commandant (only Class of 93 would understand).
Drawing 25 - "St. Peter Lutheran Church: Arlington Heights, IL" (October 2021): I wanted to draw more houses in Arlington Hegihts. All of the houses here are of friends houses from growing up. I used St. Peter Lutheran Church as the anchor of the drawing. I'm glad I did. That stained glass and architecture of the building was fun to draw.
Drawing 26: Park Ridge, Illinois (November, 2021) - 18x24 inches. Private Commission. This was a private commission for a family member who lives in Park Ridge. Includes the sledding hill, train station, pool, library, Tea Lula, bakery, Roosevelt Elementary, the Pickwick Theater, Lincoln Middle School, and neighborhood houses.
Drawing 27: Life's Adventures (December, 2021) - 18x24 inches. Private Commission. This is another private commisson done for a family member. The request was a variety of places another family member has lived and traveled. Includes Switzerland, Seattle, Turkey, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and yes, Dancing With the Stars which was a lot of fun to draw.
Drawing 28: Falls Church, Virginia (December, 2021) - 9x12 inches. Private Commission. My first mini drawing. Only 9x12 inches, this was a lot of fun to draw. Includes the local church, park, library, community center, bakery, coffee shop, florist, community center and home.