Monday, March 13, 2006

Julian Krupa, the man, the legend!

While looking for an apartment and starting to take some steps I think in the right direction of figuring out what to do with my life; I was reminded that many people (all people) have made these steps before me. My roommate reminded me that I should look at my past and see how the people who mean the most to me moved through their lives. One of these people was my Grandfather. He died when I was 10 years old, but the memory of him will always be with me.

My most distinct memories of my grandfather take place within his little house on the southwest side of Chicago in a little town called Summit. I was sitting in his house and Grampa Julian yells out, "Stickler, come here I want to teach you something." I ran into his drawing studio that he had set up in one of the backrooms of the house. He sat me down in a chair next to the giant drawing table he had set up. The room was a caucophony of drawing materials. Charcoal in one corner, A giant tower of colored pencils in another, and a huge light that illuminated his work space. He looked at me and asked, "Stickler, what do you want me to teach you to draw?" Being only 7 years old, my mind worked rapidly and I yelled out, "A piano... ... ... Dropping on someone's head!" I burst out in giggles. He turned towards his pad and I watched intently as he grabbed a pencil from his stack and started drawing. His eyes never waivering as he took simple lines and shapes and turning them into a large grand piano. Then he drew a small man underneath it looking up in fright.

Julian Krupa was an artist and a musician. Extremely talented at his crafts and always working to better himself. He was a violinist, playing with the A & P Gypsy's at the Chicago's World Fair. He also worked for Ziff Davis as one of their Illustrators. He did cover art work and illustrations for many pulp comics and magazines including the pulp comic "Amazing Stories." Years after his death my family was at "The Museum of Science and Industry" in Chicago for the pulp comic exhibit they were showing. It was an amazing exhibit with some fantastic art work. The highlight was seeing some of my grandfathers illustraions in a kind of renewed spirit hung up on the walls. My mother's highlight was finding a lunch box that had the same cover art on it as the original painting that still is on display in our house.

According to my Mother, my Grandfather attended the Bauhaus School of Design. One of the most prominint art schools in the world at the time. He was forced to leave when World War 2 broke out and was sent back to the states where he joined the marines. According to my Mother he was injured in the war and sent back home where he reclaimed his old job at Ziff Davis. He also had a radio show out of his basement where he played timeless music and did a kind of variety show. He then left Ziff Davis to work for Wilding Picture Productions, where he did contracts for the U.S. government. My Grandfather did all the illustrations for the training films for the first Nuclear Submarines and was a friend to Admiral Rickover. And then continued to do early training films for NASA. After Wilding was bought out, my Grandfather ended his career by working for Radio Shack, doing marketing on sound recording equipment until he retired still doing illustrations.

Knowing that someone can accomplish so much in their life gives me hope that maybe my life will turn out the same way. If I just keep setting goals and living life to it's fullest. I'm not sure what he would say to me now, I wonder if he would aprove of allt he choices I have made so far? Regardless I will always remember him sitting in his living room playing his violin or be it sitting at his desk sketching another masterpiece. These memories I will always have with me.


Blogger Ex-Addict said...

That story is so cool. I love the pictures!

March 13, 2006 8:48 AM  
Blogger Stickler said...

EX I'm glad you liked it! I'm also happy your back, guess I have start reading your blog again!

March 13, 2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Wow, how awesome to have a grandfather like that.

March 14, 2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger Rival Room Editor said...

That is some good inspiration. I know you'll regain confidence in your path, whatever you choose it to be.

March 19, 2006 11:54 PM  
Blogger Sony Ericsson Takes Over Title said...

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May 17, 2007 1:35 PM  
Blogger John Guzlowski said...

Loved this. Do you know that a lot of his art is now at the Polish museum in Chicago?

February 24, 2015 3:19 AM  
Blogger Jim Stickler said...

Yes, we donated his art work, so it could be shared with everyone.

December 24, 2017 8:33 PM  
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