miercuri, 5 decembrie 2012

Success 2012: Winston Lawson, american retired Secret Service agent. Lawson drove the presidential motorcade's lead car in the president JF Kennedy's trip to Dallas

Winston Lawson was born in 1929. After studying history at the University of Buffalo he worked as a wholesale carpet salesman. In December 1951, he became a sales representative for Carnation, a company manufacturing milk products.
Lawson joined the US Army in 1953 and after basic training was sent to the CIC Counterintelligence School in Holabird, Maryland. Based at Lexington, during the Korean War he took part in the interviewing of prisoners.
In 1955 Lawson returned to the Carnation Milk Company and had various sales or public relations jobs with them in Poughkeepsie. He applied to enter the Secret Service in 1956 but was not accepted until October 1959. He did general investigative work in the Syracuse area, until being transferred to Washington in March, 1961. Soon afterwards he was given responsibility for organizing the security for trips being made by President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.
On 4th November Lawson was asked to prepare for the presidential trip to Dallas, Texas. This involved discussions with Kenneth O'Donnell (special assistant to Kennedy), Roy Kellerman and Jesse Curry (chief of police in Dallas). However, Curry always insisted that Winston G. Lawson was the person who made all the major decisions. This included the order that the proposed side escorts for the motorcade were to be redeployed to the rear of the cars.
 In a statement he made later, Lawson commented: "As the lead car was passing under this bridge I heard the first loud, sharp report and in more rapid succession two more sounds like gunfire. I could see persons to the left of the motorcade vehicles running away. I noticed Agent Hickey standing up in the follow-up car with the automatic weapon and first thought he had fired at someone. Both the President's car and our lead car rapidly accelerated almost simultaneously."
Lawson remained a member of the Secret Service until he retired. He still works as a consultant on security issues. On the 40th anniversary of the assassination he gave an interview to Michael Granberry of the Dallas Morning News.: I must have thought a million times, what could I have done to prevent it?... From Love Field to Dealey Plaza, there were 20,000 windows. How could we possibly check them all?"

 Granberry's article goes on to say: "When the president's day began at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, a persistent drizzle had forced the Secret Service to consider covering the motorcade's cars in Dallas with protective bubbletops. (Hours later, Dallas would end up sunny.) Though the bubbletops were not bulletproof, the metal and the contour of the covering, says Lawson, would have made it difficult for a bullet to do much damage, and might have kept a gunman from even firing in the first place. So he's asked himself a million times: Why couldn't it keep raining?" (spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk)

luni, 3 decembrie 2012

Success 2012: Françoise Gilot, french painter and bestselling author. She is also known as the lover and artistic muse of Pablo Picasso from 1944 to 1953, and the mother of his children

Françoise Gilot (born November 26, 1921) is a French painter and bestselling author. She is also known as the lover and artistic muse of Pablo Picasso from 1944 to 1953, and the mother of his children, Claude Picasso and Paloma Picasso. She later married the American vaccine pioneer, Jonas Salk. Gilot was more than just Picasso's lover: she was a mother, organizer, muse, conversation partner, hostess, artist, and an art critic. In 1973 Gilot was appointed as the Art Director of the scholarly journal "Virginia Woolf Quarterly." In 1976 she was made a member of the board of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. She held summer courses there and took on organizational responsibilities until 1983. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s she designed costumes, stage sets, and masks for productions at the Guggenheim in New York. She was awarded a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, in 1990.

 At 21, Gilot met Pablo Picasso, then 61. Picasso first saw Gilot in a restaurant in the spring of 1943. His mistress, Dora Maar, was devastated to learn that Picasso was replacing her with the much younger artist. After Picasso's and Gilot's meeting she moved in with him in 1946 and they spent almost ten years together. Those years revolved around art, but it is believed by some art historians that Gilot's relationship with Picasso is what cut short her artistic career. Picasso and Gilot never married, but they did have two children together. Their son, Claude, was born in 1947 and their daughter, Paloma, was born in 1949. During their ten years together Gilot was often harassed on the streets of Paris by Picasso's legal wife, a Russian ballet dancer. Eleven years after their separation, Gilot wrote Life with Picasso, a book that sold over one million copies in dozens of languages, despite an unsuccessful legal challenge from Picasso attempting to stop its publication.
Francoise Gilot was introduced to art at a young age by he mother and grandmother. Her grandmother had held a party when Francoise was about five years old. A certain man caught Gilot's eye as being interesting and asked her grandmother who the man was. It turned out to be a painter, Emile Mairet. Gilot's father became close friends with the painter and Francoise would often tag along to visit his studio. At age six Francoise's mother began teaching her art with the exception of drawing. Her mother believed artists become too dependent on erasers and instead taught Francoise in watercolor and india ink. If she made a mistake she would have to make it intentional to her work. By the age of thirteen she began being tutored by Mlle Meuge and continued for six years. At the age of fourteen she was introduced to ceramics, and another year later she studied with the Post-Impressionist, Jacques Beurdeley.Finally, at the age of 21 she met Picasso.

Although Picasso had influenced Francoise Gilot's work as a cubist painter, she developed her own style. She avoided the sharp edges and angular forms that Picasso used. Instead, she used organic figures. During the war, Gilot's father attempted to save the most valuable household belongings by moving them, but the truck was bombed by the Germans, including Gilot's drawings and watercolors

Gilot married the artist Luc Simon in 1955.The couple divorced in 1962. They had a daughter, Aurelia.
In 1969, Gilot was introduced to Jonas Salk, the polio vaccine pioneer,at the home of mutual friends in La Jolla, California. Their shared appreciation of architecture led to a brief courtship and they were married in 1970 in Paris. They remained married until Salk's death in 1995. During her marriage, she continued painting in New York, La Jolla, and Paris.
Gilot lives in New York City and Paris, working on behalf of the Salk Institute in California, and continues to exhibit her work internationally