I have always felt that the various environments that we grew up in as well as the individuals in our midst have a profound effect on who we turn out to be as a person in the fully developed prime years of our life. I’ve also felt that we are a representation of the sum total of all of our experiences combined in this life.
When I see how we as kids are so affected by what we see on the television set, to me that is proof enough as to our propensity to emulate many things in our surroundings. This can be a wonderful dream or it could be a terrible nightmare, depending on what those surroundings are made of.
I also believe that we as individuals truly react differently to the exact same stimuli that our environments present to us. How else could we describe the compelling phenomenon of identical twins raised in the same exact home yet one ends up being a highly respected and accomplished lawyer and the other a notorious criminal known to have a rap sheet as long as they come?
The argument will undoubtedly continue between those from the school of thought that believe some traits are inate and will manifest themselves regardless and those from the mindset that feel the environment ultimately has the final word regardless as to ones propensity towards good and evil.
Personally? I feel that both schools of thought are correct but merely part of the equation. I feel that together both schools of thought work in combination as we all have our own “leanings” yet we all react to our environments too.
Now that I feel is a debate for the college forums and for our scholars to debate on for many a year to come. I do know for a fact that I have personally been affected by my environment and had the great blessing of two parents who took the time to expose me to so much on a consistent level from the moment that I arrived to this vast planet straight from the protection and comfort of the womb.
So many places and so many faces, to much to list at one time but their effect on me will shine on through all of my expressions for the rest of my entire natural life and beyond. Once again I must thank God for the blessing of being the son of Mr. & Mrs. Lance & Ocie Scurvin.
That being said, I have been moved to honor one of the many other mighty influences in my life in the form of the great expressionist named Mr. Bill Gallo.
Bill Gallo recently passed away and upon hearing the news of this loss, it immediately caused me to think of the great effect and influence that he had on my young life growing up.
Mr. Gallo was a news columnist and cartoonist who was immensely skilled in both areas of expertise. Oftentimes when someone is so talented in one avenue of expression, their other talents may be good but not enough to eclipse the talent that shines through to the world so brightly. Not Mr. Gallo, I always thought of him as a cartoonist at first because it was in this area to which I was introduced his persona, but as I got older and out of the single digit ages to really make a point of keeping up with the current events of the day, I was shocked to see that he was a bonafide news columnist who was just as straightforward as the brutally honest detailed illustrations that I knew him for.
What made him so magical to me was that he had such a love for the sport of boxing, which, for anyone who has known me personally over the years will know how much this sport has meant to me and my passion for it. Bill Gallo, from his creative positioning in the Daily News newspaper in New York City (Where he was born in Manhattan like myself!) brought a special magic to the big fights that were coming up on the horizon. Because of his knowledge and love of boxing, his illustrations resonated the passion he had for the sport and always connected the hardcore fan as well as the casual follower in a special way.
This is something that truly affected my outlook on the power of the visual expressionist.
Growing up and eagerly anticipating those Heavyweight Championship Fights was always made even more special when I was blessed to drink in those artistic nuggets that Mr. Gallo provided. I never knew in my wildest dreams that many years later in my personal life that I would, in my own unique and special way because of my hobby, follow in Mr. Gallo’s footsteps after giving up illustrating as a teenager to pursue my athletic endeavors as well as the usual things young men fancy as their testosterone levels roar out of control.
Now that I see the passage of time and the opportunity to express the views that I feel deep down in my soul with every precious passing day that God grants me, I desire to also inspire someone to pursue intensely the desire that manifests itself within them not only on the artistic front, but in any area of expertise that one seeks to master.
Once I heard the news of his passing I was saddened greatly, because at this junction point in my life I wish I could have thanked him for being such a great motivation to me in the style of drawing that I utilize that came directly from him. I love the extreme detail and the realistic subject matter on different topics that everyone can relate to. And while I may not have really ever focused on the sport of boxing alone or even ever, now that there is a void left by Mr. Bill Gallo, maybe I could help to do my part to fill at least partially as an artist that void that is now left behind that truly to be honest with you, I alone would never be able to fill.
Imagine, he was employed by the Daily news for 70 years! Right after graduating High School he got hired by the newspaper in 1941 as a copy boy and shortly thereafter joined the Marines and fought in World War Two serving combat in the Pacific Theater, fighting in Saipan, Tinian and in Iwo Jima. Upon returning from combat he went right back to work at the Daily News to create his monumental legacy. His story is just too vast to be encompassed in these few words of respect that I wanted to share with those who are in my world and corner of cyberspace. He was a tough man of character with a loving heart who left a positive impression on all those who have crossed his path and I could only pray that through my love for the craft of detailed cartooning that I could amount to being HALF of the man that this gift from the God above has been to the world!
Rest in peace Mr. Bill Gallo, although I know our paths have crossed unknowingly on this earth in the city that never sleeps, maybe one day after my transition I can one day thank you face to face for the magic and influence that you brought into my life. Thank you my Brother for all you have done for me, my creative legacy, which has yet to be finalized, will be amplified greatly because of what you’ve done for me by sharing your talents so unselfishly with the world!
Peace be unto you.
“America’s Most Outspoken Artist”