PEOPLE WHO HELPED ME! Like most who learn a trade, I had the support of many people who made a big difference in my life. For thier selfless support, I will be eternally greatful!
The first might be the relatives who I may have inherited a gift from.... my dad, Jay Downs, who liked to "doodle" and "cartoon"... and my Mom's mother... Louise Louck, who attended Pratt Art Institute, and taught me to paint with water colors.
My Mom, Effie Moody, who was always there to encourage me, pay for private art lessons, and drive me anywhere to be involved.
The kid in first grade who could draw better horses than me... ...for a while. :-)~
To my step-dad Carl Moody, who raised me... for teaching me to work with my hands... and helping me to spray paint my first bike!
To my cousin Martin, who enthusiastically built model cars with me, and helped feed the passion!
My junior high art teacher, Dollie Mortimer, who taught me the basics... how to think "outside the box"... encouraged me to enter contests... gave me private lessons... and even got me a job helping to teach art for the Danville, Illinois Parks Department!
My two school mates... Steve Harris... and Jim Funcannon... who passionately drew hot rods with me, and fed my obsession!
To my High School teacher Jack Haines, who let me out of study hall to paint a giant school mascot on our gymnasium wall for him!
To grandpa, Willis Louck... who let me use his garage to paint my first car, when I was in high school!
To the Bismarck, Illinois Women's Club... who recognized that our little farm school did not offer art classes to help me... so they paid for me to attend a University of Illinois art camp!
To Arlyn Fulk, an extremely talented custom painter, who I hired to "lace" my 409 '62 Biscayne. He was aware of my artwork, and told me to come watch him do the job. I was still intimidated by painting, but as I watched he told me "You can do this!", and encouraged me to try it myself later. Thanks Arlyn! :-)
My friend Jim Cline, who talked me into painting choppers he built... bought me some equipment... and gave me some spray painting lessons.
My friend, "Little John" Russell, who encouraged me to paint my first "serious" car paint job!
The hot rod/drag race hobby... where I developed the "burning passion" to actually USE my art!
And finally, my beautiful loving wife Loretta... who has spent the last 25 years in total support of my career... even when she had to "do without" the things that she wanted! That is REAL love!!!
To these people... "I can't ever repay the efforts you made for me... but you will have my eternal gratitude and love for it!"