Cline Library Interview

My Parents

I had great parents, really. I was very, very lucky. I had a dad who was like a kid, always. Taught me how to stay outdoors and taught me how to shoot and hunt when I was old enough. Took me on picnics–my mother and dad did that, of course. My dad was the athletic type, and my mother was the artistic type. So I was influenced from both sides there. My mother was a singer and a teacher of music, before she married my dad. When I look back on it, I think, “Wow, how lucky can you be?!” just to have that combination, which I’m sure contributed immensely to my own personality, because I was never afraid of being outside, never afraid of the outdoors. In fact, I didn’t even go inside until I had to go to school. I was out all day long, and lived in this clean, wonderful desert, way out on the outskirts of town, ten miles from the city. It was just a great place to grow up. It was hot in the summer, but that didn’t bother me then at all. My dad was in the contracting business, he was an architect and designer of houses. He built some of the most beautiful houses in Tucson, still standing, and very sturdy. Nobody’s deigned to tear them down yet, I’ve noticed. And my mother was a great decorator. She and my dad built several houses together. She would design the inside and furnish it. She’s the only person I know who could take real classic antique pieces and mix them with Mexican wrought iron stuff, like the things I have upstairs–bookcases and chests and things like that. She was very good at that. Her houses, the ones that she designed and built herself after she and my dad were divorced when I was about thirteen, they always appeared in full front pages of the Tucson papers, in the architectural sections and stuff like that. She had quite a wonderful history of beautiful homes. She’d build one, and I’d come back from Hollywood, or wherever I was working, when I got into my twenties. I never knew which house I was going to go into! The inside would be rearranged just enough so that the door that I opened to my bedroom turned out to be the door to the furnace room, for the next house that she built. She always complained that she never had enough cupboard space, until the last house that she finally built, she said, “I’ve got too many darned cupboards in here, too many drawers. I can never find anything!” So that’s pretty much the story of my mom and dad.

(For entire interview, click here.)

 

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