Friday, November 2, 2018

MODEL BUILDER EXTRAORDINAIRE GREG KELLY


GREG KELLY WITH HIS
TITANIC GRAND STAIRCASE
Here's how this week's arts and culture column begins:


From Vikings Stadium to Watts Tower, Greg Kelly is rebuilding bits of history with his hands

For Greg Kelly, 67, model building is a form of meditation.

He was raised in Long Beach, the third in a family of 12. “My dad and older brother would build little balsa wood airplanes, I was probably 3 or 4, and they’d work on it on the kitchen table. I’d just sit and watch, curious. They learned to take it and put in top of the refrigerator to make sure it was away from me.”

As a kid Kelly never built a model. He was always in sports. He had 12 years of Catholic school. “I had some nuns who were saints, some not so much. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. It taught me with my projects that they weren’t going to be easy or simple. It was up to me to figure things out.”

He and his classmates were being groomed to be doctors and lawyers.

“When I graduated from high school, I started working in factories and I enjoyed it. I found I personally enjoyed working with my hands!”

The family had moved to Orange County. One day Kelly was walking past a discount chain store called Zodys, and in the window was a visible V-8 engine model. He bought it, ostensibly for his brothers. They weren’t interested. So he built it himself, and was hooked.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE. 

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