About the Artist
I grew up in Northern California. After high school I worked as a carpenter and rough necked in the Utah Oil Fields on many drilling and service rigs. My brother, father, uncles and granddad were sailors and I was compelled to join the Navy as well.
My bride and I bought a Park City timeshare about 33 years ago and are working on 35 years of marriage. We settled in San Diego for some 25 years and then moved to Park City. We enjoyed the year round activities Park City had to offer, especially skiing. This is a majestic and magical place and Swaner’s Preserve is the heart of Park City as far as we are concerned. Lots of deer, elk, geese and cranes . After some 30 plus years with the US Navy and government contracting in and out of San Diego and some 39 countries, we had long decided to move to Park City.
I worked in the US Navy as a Medical Diver. My official title was a Deep Sea Diving Independent Duty Corpsman. There was about 60 or 70 in the Navy at any given time. A very interesting job that allowed me to ship tons of medical supplies and equipment including a recompression chambers, compressors, generators and clinical supplies and materials for pre-hospital clinical fieldwork. We traveled around the world many times. I would set up a clinic in a tent, shipping container, or work from a boat or even a truck and ambulance. It was all pre-hospital medicine.
I supported most aspects of diving and clinical support for most all of the military divers. We were soldiers and sailors, shooting, diving, parachuting, boat drivers, marine mammal techs, instructors, gofer, chauffeur and gardeners. A medical diver does a lot of teaching in an effort to prevent diving injuries. We would always prepare for illnesses associated with diving and high pressure conditions anywhere in the world even on top or 12,000 foot mountains of Colorado.
We would enter the pressure chambers with the affected diver and non-diver related sickness and assist them during decompression. We used oxygen as a drug at 240% equivalent under pressure compared to the 21% we breathe normally. We did two minute neuros, 10 minutes neuros and full blown 45 minute neurological exams. Some days we did neuro’s after every dive wet or dry. I could write a book about it, and am currently.
I have be involved with medicine for about 40 years and taught (tactical medicine, 1st aid, CPR and dive medicine) for at least 30 years. I have been diving for abalone for some 50 years and am enlightened I can use the abalone shells for various art pieces. Collecting them whole or broken with a 30 to 40 pound back packing them up to my truck sometime three and four times a day. I have used a hammer and a 3,000 pound steam roller to crush abalone shells and polish them with handfuls of gravel in a cement mixer.
In the last 8 years, I had been working as a surgical nurse overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan and even in the South China Seas. I interviewed 4 or 5 times and finally got a position as an OR Nurse here at the great Park City Medical Center a few years ago. I started travel nursing as an operating room nurse last year. Last year I collected more abalone shells combined than I had 50 years prior.
I built a wood shop / studio and am happy call myself an artist after retiring twice now. We do sell as vendors in art shows when we can get approved for the competing art shows. I started re purposing antiques, photography, making wooden ski coat racks and framing preserve flowers, am available for custom projects and am focusing on Abalone Art these days.