What's your story

Welcome to the Gallery

The JamBios Memory Gallery showcases user submitted memory stories from around the globe.
Each month selections are hand curated by Annie Cusick Wood and the JamBios creative team. They are chosen based on how the memory touches our heart, makes us laugh or inspires us.

To submit your memory story, start your free JamBio and invite the Memory Gallery to read one of your Chapter sections. Select Reader "Memory Gallery" at MemoryGallery@JamBios.com.

By Richard Ozanne

A Global Exploration....

One famous poet-author stated: "You can see the world from your own backyard...". 

Travel is great for some, good for others, and for some better left as a note for another life, a home-bound day. 

From my earliest days I was traveling in my mothers arms. Since my parents were musicians-professors of the musical world, I traveled a great deal even as a child, not knowing where those days might take me through my life. My parents took their travel seriously, each trip was an important destination many times scheduled according to the brown book which my parents both carried with them. I can remember the sound of the roaring motors as a child and travel by plane back and forth across the country, slightly before the totally converted jet age. We visited San Francisco from our home in St. Louis many times, via air, and also by car in many trips. When I was very young my mother would take me via air,  father would travel by road for great distances while my father would move us by car....remembering that old green trailer.  Every summer there was a cross country tour in store for our trips to Chautauqua New York whether from California or later on Arizona. I calculated by the age of 25 I had crossed the United States some 75 times via air or car! 

My father was a veteran driver. In the 40's through the 70's he had traveled his million road miles on concert tours, from city to town, on long tours. It was a cinch when it was a call to the road, he knew all the roads without a road map crossing the country. 

During my childhood I had the unique experience of traveling to Amsterdam (Europe) with my folks. My memories recalled the large triple tail 'Constellation' and the long trip across via plane. I must have been 3 years old. 

Later we went to Hawaii in 1961, and stayed in Honolulu for about a month during one of my fathers tours to play with the distinguished conductor Andre Kostelanentz.  

Yes, there were memories poised on 8mm of the day, the films still exist, coming and landing in Hilo, the plane having motor problems monitored on the tarmac before we were on to Honolulu via the antiquated DC-6 of those days. 

I was thrilled by visits to the airport, but often not for air-travel where I often got ill in the days of rough turbulence on those old and antiquated propeller driven craft, before jets. As a child I loved to go to the airport, it presented such a thrill unlike anything else, and of course often to see my father who would greet us after a long concert tour.  

Later I traveled with my parents on the roads across, and after the passing of my mother in 1974 was soon to be a helpful driver, learning my driving skills under permit at the tender age of 15 and a half. I didn't like driving however. My father gave me professional driving lessons and tested me on a trip to Los Angeles, a visit to Hollywood for a concert, and a sudden test on the Santa Ana freeway during rush hour where it seemed obvious, but yes, nervous that I was going to do a lot of driving in my future. 

We criss-crossed the country in those days, my father at the helm, a brief stop now and then for a day or so for recreation, camping or fishing. My father loved to fish, and I can recall my first fishing trips and my first catch in places like Idaho. Life was always learning a new skill about fishing or camping, when my father and I were traveling. He used to go into the long stories of his road trips crossing the country, the events, concerts and some quirky experiences of travels in his 20's and 30's of road trips gone awry. 

I remember his air ticket box, for posterity- probably worth a fortune at the antique mart, of the old sleeves. The air ticket box was over one foot tall the old tickets sandwiched together in a tight box.  

My mother on the other hand was not the big traveler when she was alive. She appreciated home, and kind of winced when we had to be off again on another long tour either via air or car. For her there was no place like home.

During school I was given extra credit and projects to do during our travels, if permitted...but not always. Sometimes I had make-up tests for days lost because of these travels, but avoided trouble since most of our travel would be confined to a week or so absence from school. 

In 1970 my parents sat around the table and father suggested travel to Mexico via rail and then by plane to some of the deepest parts of the land as a Christmas gift but also to expose us to another culture, not so far away from Tucson, the lands south.

We traveled from Nogales to Mazatlan, then to Acapulco via train that took the adventure further in a compartment on a train which took some time. Our travel went onward across mexico to Mexico City where my father had a concert in attendance that Christmas, and then south for another adventure.  I was only 10 years old but amazed at the landscapes and cultures witnessed. I saw the great museums in Mexico of Aztec and antique culture. We visited historical places that winter into New Year of 1971.  I received as a Christmas gift my first 35 mm camera to record events, much was on film and in 8mm. 

In 1973 my parents had scheduled a trip to Greece on the invitation of a wonderful friend, and esteemed member  of the family, with a residence in Spain. Unfortunately that venture changed to a domicile in France where we were to stay in Cannes at the residence of a great friend of my fathers whose father was Governor General of Tahiti, a remarkable place in Cannes  with a grand piano, and wonderful Louis XIV furniture.  We lived in Cannes from Aug to November of that year on a longer trip that would take us around the world to countries like Iran, India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. 

More to be added-------

My father had passed away in March of 1992. 

During the spring and summer of that year was addressed with extreme sadness, feeling almost an orphan at times, but still in preparation for an ongoing future, as per my fathers orders....continue on

I had secondary family who made promises to look after me in those rather dire days. Friends however, well those 'fair weather' friends or relationships gave out during these times...somewhat disparagingly, but to be honest, part of human nature to the element of human grief. My relatives in California came for a couple of days  to help after the aftermath of this, but it was apparent that I was more or less totally alone in this ordeal. I drove up to visit them in the winter, and in the spring time, just wanting to be part of the family, but feeling a very nervous hand that I was very well...left on my own

Times had been difficult in emotional ways, but tough at it I did, and within a year had projects laid before me clear across the United States.

My career was of upmost importance and with projects at hand flew and drove on a couple of long tours back east which took me to New York, and Canada on routes far and wide. During these days I had perspectives of teaching, and did many interviews from Toronto to Washington D.C where there was an open post at the Corocan Gallery and artist-teacher venues.  I had a long list of interviews, and many applications, and interviews in those days. I remember sending out nearly a hundred packets a month for such venues,  decidedly to get a position teaching, earning a good income, and putting myself to an honest post in life with my skills equip with an MFA, working decisively on my career. 

In the early 90's I had several exhibitions in New York City, which were onward and upward projects.

Tempe had been my home for the most part however. After many months of living, doing projects in Phoenix and surrounding areas I was increasingly on the road. I began to know the road rather well with assistance of others who dispatched my work to galleries across the country, pick up or delivery sometimes a few days tour...too and fro.  After a while however, Arizona seemed to be in hindsight with onward perspectives unless a job held me, or a specific project. I traveled the west frequently, and many stories of life as with my art were to follow.  I began looking elsewhere than Phoenix to make my abode. A journey to New Mexico, Santa Fe and Taos were and interesting perspective. I spent several weeks in Taos and during that time was showing my work in short-run exhibits. During that time I made artists friends and developed contacts as well as involved research into creative perspectives. 

It was in Taos that I met R.C Gorman (Famous Navajo Artist) at his gallery in Taos. It was a rather memorable moment meeting with the artist in a casual meeting at the Navajo Gallery. I engaged him in talking shop with me during some off time. He gave reference to Fritz Scholder another artist who I knew in Scottsdale, and of course the genesis of my career in those days, exhibiting and selling my work at the gallery in NYC kept me as a stable, as well as a new studio in Scottsdale to complete work for exhibits in New York.

My studio was adjacent to the Scottsdale Center of the Arts in old town Scottsdale. It was a large angular studio with large windows. Over the course of a couple of years...until the price went way out of perspective, I kept the studio as well as worked at my home when permissible. But the road lead on. I took jobs at the Scottsdale Center of the Arts, and teaching part-time or as substitute in those days at valley schools. But those were short term ventures, not really paying as much as needed. Over the summer I was again traveling...if not to catch up on some recreation, looking in anticipation as favorable reviews came in from New York City and hence another exhibition, and then more travel. 

I had a friend who was a travel agent and always got me the best air travel tickets available whether domestic or international. On one such meeting with him, he provided me with air-tickets to Asia at a reduced rate. 

Late in 1993 I took up his perspective for a solo trip and exploration in Southeast Asia with visits to Thailand, Laos and down into the deepest parts of Indonesia, flying island to island on a tour to investigate arts, to film native arts during my travels. 

The trip would take 3 months on tour and for the most part of the trip....I was going onward. Solo. 


I returned to Phoenix in mid January, with flying feet from the adventure and creative impulse under my heels. Sometimes travel abroad strengthened one, solo...

The next year passed with many creative works in a variety of media, small shows resulted, and then a dramatic slow down from the gallery in New York representing me. According to the director of the gallery I had been the best selling artist from all the galleries around Soho, equal in some perspectives to some others of well known names. The art world unfortunately was in trouble, and several galleries in Soho were going under or doors closed in a dramatic turn of the times. I held firm.