Determined to do something that didn’t leave me exhausted I quit my carpentry job the week before we were married. I could tell my boss, a hard working immigrant named Salvatore Caramana, was completely bewildered by my announcement.
After our honeymoon I found a job working for the City of Rochester as graphic artist. My salary was paid for one year as part of a grant package and I was told they would cover most of my tuition if I wanted to take classes at night. I signed up for two four hour photo classes, taught by Bill Jenkins, at UR (then the UofR) and decided to cobble together a degree from Empire State. They gave me credit for the job I was doing, my semesters at IU, the paintings and prints I did on my own and they assigned an art mentor, Kurt Feuerherm, who I could work with.
The only other teacher I remember was Bill Ciroco, who taught English and lived across from us on Hall Street. Bill gave me a list of ten books to read and we met to discuss them in his office. I came across the list (all men) today and may have to reread them all because I only remember “100 Years…” and how much I liked Italo Calvino.
Gabriel Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Julio Cortazar – Blow-up and Other Stories
Donald Barthelme – The Dead Father
Samuel Beckett – How it Is
John Hawkes – The Blood Oranges
Robert Creeley The Island
Italo Calvino – The Watcher and Other Stories
Cesare Pavese – The Devil in the Hills
Italo Svevo – Confessions of Zeno
Henry Roth – Call It Sleep
Bernard Malamud – The Assistant
John Fowles – The Magus