"I saw on your syllabus where you had life drawing today," my dad said from behind the steering wheel.
"Yeah," I answered.
"So, how was it?" he continued, nervously.
"Okay, I guess," I said.
"Well...hmpf...did you have a male or female model?" he continued.
"Male," I said, focusing on a splattered bug on the windshield in front of me so I didn't have to look at him.
"Uuuummmmm, is there anything you'd like to talk about?"
I stifled a giggle. Bless his heart. All I could do was shake my head no.
"Really? Well, what was it like?"
At the stoplight I looked at him and finally said, "Let's just say there wasn't much there to draw."
Ah, Tiny Tim, how I have such fond memories of you! I was new to Memphis and new to drawing nekked people. How delightfully naive I was, and completely enthralled by your squatter attire when you entered Butler Hall West. Jennifer and I, straddling wooden horses, had front row seats to the striptease that ensued. Most models step behind a screen to undress, reappear in a robe, approach the set up, pose, then gently disrobe. But not you! You sat down on the floor at our feet and began unlacing your big black military boots. Tossing them to the side, the clank of your brass belt buckle was the only sound we heard as you began to get rid of your camouflage pants. Thank goodness for those drawing boards! But even the fits of laughter coming from behind the boards didn't deter you. You unbuttoned your shirt, which was a smart choice in clothing so as not to mess up your perfectly spiked hair, and tossed it aside into the rest of your pile. You hopped onto the stage like a pro to begin the thirty second poses. I still have flashbacks of the very first pose where you contorted into something that looked like an inverted triangle. The first hour was giggle, draw, giggle, draw, giggle, giggle, oh my goodness, laugh, draw. The second hour when you got to sit down was better. The shock of how comfortable you were bouncing on and off the stage, naked, was finally beginning to wear off. But boy did it sure get hot in that studio in the middle of February! The heat lamps were working overtime to keep you warm. It's just a shame the homeless shelter didn't hand out deodorant! (BTW-I don't really know if Tiny Tim was homeless or a squatter, I was only fifteen and a sophomore in high school. For all I know, he was an art student). And then, the doors to Butler Hall West were opened to let in some fresh, cool air..................
And that was how my very first life drawing experience went. I got some excellent drawings that day once I could get myself to stop shaking from laughter. It took my dad a whole week to summon the courage to come back and ask me, "Exactly what were you comparing him to?"