When we lived in Batavia, NY, there was an Indian - Mohawk, I believe - who stayed occasionally at my grandfather’s house. We called him “Chief” but his name was John Hill; he worked as a laborer on construction and traveled from job to job on a bicycle. One day my brother and I were talking with him when he pulled out a pencil and paper and proceeded to draw a picture of a locomotive. I was amazed at his drawing skill as well as his ability to draw from memory. If I remember right, he played a mean harmonica, too.
In the eighth grade in Monroe High School in Rochester, I took Art as an elective subject. There was an annual competition among the schools for best art, called the Scholastic Art Exhibit. The best entries were displayed at the foremost department store in town, Sibley, Lindsay & Carr, Co. I had entered a colored pencil drawing - 8 ½ x 11 - of a section of wallpaper of pigs. Yes, pigs! It won Honorable Mention and went on display for all and sundry to view. I think that’s about the time my parents bought me a set of colored pencils that I carried with me for many years.