Page 8 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Summer 2020- Online Magazine
P. 8

Italy, Greece, Egypt, and all over
          the USA.  We attended workshops
          with several renowned artists
          in Amarillo, Flagstaff, Taos, and
          Santa Fe.
          The Area Arts Foundation raised
          money and purchased a major
          work of art every year.  Our
          collection was bequeathed to the
          Amarillo Museum of Art in 2008
          and is valued at several million
          dollars. Because of Dord, I now
          own an extensive art collection.
          Most of these artists became
          dear friends.  Sadly, they have
          all passed but have left fond
          2009 found me opening Lile Art
          Gallery at Sunset Center.  I was
          there almost three years and never   Route 66 has been a major part of   collections in Okinawa, Australia,
          sold enough to pay the rent, but    my life for 24 years.  Six years ago,   New Zealand, Europe and from
          we had fun.                         I was hired by Gilligan’s Route     California to Virginia.

          I started riding motorcycles in the   66 Tours out of New Zealand as a   One day, in 2015, I stumbled onto
          80s and have ridden all over the    Route 66 tour guide.  We do two     “Fordite” or “Detroit Agate”,
          country.  In 1996, Harley Owners    tours per year, three weeks long,   jewelry made from overspray
          Group hosted a tour down Route      from Chicago to Santa Monica –      paint out of the old Ford Motor
          66.  We got hooked.  Our tour       hard work but lots of fun.  Historic   Company plant in Detroit.  I
          guide was a famous author by the    Route 66 averages 80,000 to         thought that maybe I could make
          name of Michael Wallis.  He has     100,000 foreign visitors a year (but   jewelry with the pieces of paint
          now written 20 books and been       not this year). 66 is nostalgia, like   from Cadillac Ranch.  It took three
          nominated for the Pulitzer Prize    America was in the 40s, 50s and     months to create the first piece, but
          three times.  We did it again in    60s.                                I now make necklaces, earrings,
          2001 with nearly 1,500 other riders.    April 2012, I found a place to rent   bracelets, rings, bolo ties, and
                                              at 2719 SW 6th Avenue and moved     cufflinks, all sterling silver.  I have
                                                                   Lile Art       customers in 47 states, Canada, all
                                                                   Gallery.       over Europe, Australia and New
                                                                   That year,     Zealand. I have been very blessed.
                                                                   I started
                                                                   creating       Cheryl and I have been together
                                                                   mixed          thirty years, and they tell me she
                                                                   media          will be nominated for sainthood
                                                                   paintings      for putting up with me.  My two
                                                                   with pieces    sons and two stepsons live in the
                                                                   of paint       Dallas area.
                                                                   that fall off   All spring and summer tours of
                                                                   the cars at    Route 66 have been cancelled
                                                                   Cadillac       due to this crazy pandemic.  That
                                                                   Ranch.  To     makes it really tough on small
                                                                   date I have    businesses up and down Route 66
                                                                   finished 26    and other places.  Hopefully, we
                                                                   and sold 24.    will all survive.
                                                                   They are in

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