Film & Wheels Because of my difficulty with academics Evergreen State College was the only college to accept me. This turned out to be a happy result, as the non-traditional nature of the school suited me. I had been swept away as a senior by the possibility of studying film production, and (surprise surprise) before too long I was studying something visual.

Meanwhile, now halfway through college my brother Jonathan suggested that he might buy a motorcycle. I declared that a motorcycle was too dangerous. I counselled him sharply, but he wasn't having any of it. He came home with his first bike & I came out to check it out. I had to admit it felt like something from a Tintin Story. At his behest I rode his around the block and predictably, was absolutely smitten.
A week later we both had motorcycles. My college roommate & subsequent longtime friend Greg Williamson & I announced (to ourselves) that we were now a motorcycle gang - but our haunts weren't bars or pool halls but long unused logging roads.

I taped a video camera to my helmet and jammed the hefty Beta One deck in a backpack- and filmed my ascent to the top of the Black Hills. Without realizing it I was trying to capture that scene I had seen as a boy - roaring up the tree-lined trail, filming - now with an engine under me. We were cautioned that the old tube camera could not be pointed up or down or the dust inside the old fashioned tube would blind itself. The image was small & blurry, especially to out standards today, but I captured that image - the flight down tree lined lane - and altogether independant of the Hollywood Camera.


1983- our "biker gang" was only two of us, called the Mosquito Turmoil

a 1983- self portrait - in pen & ink

the Mighty D-Type Jag

Distant Horn Call In 1986 I was 23. I had graduated from college. Over the 12 years since I saw that magazine, my collecting of clippings had become a mania, and the original three ring binder scrapbook had exploded to as many as 90 three ring binders. My room was piled high with guitars, car magazines and ice tea glasses.

And so, on an ordinary day in October I as thumbing though the latest copy of Autosport, and there to my shock & increasing alarm was.... a white race car at Le Mans. It evidently was a Jaguar and a small innocuous photo of the pit wall where someone had sprayed WE WILL BE BACK in black spray paint. A shiver went up my spine. "they're gonna do it...." I mumbled out loud

"I gotta go. I HAVE TO BE THERE ~ !"

So to the "European Tour" of 1987. Quite grand, I thought - in fact it was seven weeks traveling alone in youth hostels with not even a coat. But I could really move : England - Belgium - France - Monaco - Italy. I hit as many races as I could get away with - Brand Hatch - Silverstone - Spa Francorchamps - Nurburgring - Monaco - I briefly ran through the Louvre and skipped the Sistine Chapel altogether.


the Le Mans 24 Hours The last stop on the trip was Le Mans. It poured rain, and I spent most of the money I had for food on a huge Silk Cut Jaguar Umbrella. As it got dark, I struggled to get to the far end of the circuit - about a 2 hour hike along pitch dark French lanes. Taking this in involved stumbling through a dark field - but after years of exploring in the woods as a boy, this was easy.

I watched a Porsche crawl to a halt, and burn to the ground in the dead of night as others zipped past. The hike back to the Pits took forever. I spent much of the race freezing and exhausted, trying to stay awake for the whole thing. And I was afraid to go to sleep that someone might steal my Nikon. I ended up sleeping uncomfortably for short stretches, in the dirt under the grandstands with my head on the camera case.

But Jaguar did not win. Again someone with a spray can wrote WE WILL BE BACK THANK YOU AGAIN. But this time I was standing right there - in the pits. I turned to the man next to me, and said well it looks like next year. He turned to me and said yes. It was John Egan, the chairman of Jaguar. And in a weird way I knew I would be back....

extra photos illustrating the Le Mans Experience


at the Bridge of Sighs in Venice - 1987-

Back to College I took summer classes at Cornish summer of 87. I was blown away at how together everyone was and went to see the head of the Art Department. I showed him some of my drawings, and was accepted. Now to my surprise I was back in school for four more years, now studying Art full time. I was particularly taken with Print Classes, and studied Sosaku Hanga, - the Japanese style Woodcut, and Intaglio - copperplate printing.

I found myself trying to capture that light and struggle - note the elements - in the woodcut to the left is a the same car that caught my eye at age 12 - a D-Type Jaguar - on the road - the pit straight at Le Mans. By the time I did this piece my own feet had now walked on that hallowed ground. next page

1987 at Le Mans - after sleeping for short stretches, uncomfortable
and freezing under the grandstands - my "homeless" pal...


©2010 SIEGE