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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

I've taught very few times, but when I've been to a school for boys and girls, they're trying to make an expression from a little tube of paint, and they don't know how to mix paint or do any of that, anything practical. So they get very frustrated. And they take a cigarette, they put it out in the mess, and they go home. And everything is dirty and a mess, everything. And so I show them how to take the paint out of the tube, and smear it up, and how much space they could cover with just the little bit of paint in that tube. I show them how to do that, and after a while, they could make these big beautiful abstract paintings, and I said, "Fantastic! Now you have to have an idea, that's the next part." But it's the same with film. To be able to use it, to be able to do it. To be able to light things, to be able to do all that takes someone to show you the knack of how to do that. It's craft.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

James Rosenquist: I think being an artist is having courage to be original. It's hard to describe, because many great artists, including Picasso, have all been influenced by the great master paintings, Spanish paintings, whatever. Their art has looked like them, they've been influenced by them, and then finally, they leap, they take off. And then they become themselves. Then it looks like they just came out of nowhere. Just like, "Pow!" So I'm a reactionary, and I sort of -- I don't like my work to look like anyone else's. So 20 or 30 years ago, I knew a Japanese artist who won a scholarship to Majorca, and when he got there, he met a Swedish artist who was doing the same kind of calligraphy, so both of them promptly stopped that. So with the advent of communication, and the word getting around, and photographs getting around, I think that it's less likely to copy, or to unknowingly work in a similar vein. And I think that's interesting. But I think it's important to learn how -- it's important to study, to learn. To polish up on drawing, which is very academic. Like drawing from plaster casts, because it's handy to be able to know how to do that. And then when you have everything polished, and all your senses ready, then if an idea does happen, you can do something about it. You can maybe convince yourself with your abilities that way. Because a lot of art is well meant, but it looks like child's play, or it looks like anyone could have done that. And it's hard to see through that veil to see what the artist is really getting at.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

James Rosenquist: My audition for Artkraft Strauss was to paint Kirk Douglas's picture about eight feet high. So I thought, "I want the job, so I am going to show them." So I put tears in his eyes, the number five makeup on, saliva on his lips, I mean, he looked great, fabulous. And Mr. Strauss came by and he said, "Hire that young man!" He was 80 years old. "Hire him!" So I got the job. And the interesting things about painting signs is that the amount of paint you use is incredible. The people you work with are really incredible, because they have tons of experience painting. They know how to wrap the brushes, they are very practical. They know all the tricks of the trade of doing all sorts of funny things. And for instance, painting a clock on the Astor Victoria Theater, one of my helpers who was about 70 years old said, "Hey kid, do this." And he tied a string on a gallon can of mineral spirit, and he started swinging it. And we are up seven stories and this can is swinging back and forth like this. And he says, "Now it's four o'clock! Blam!" And he snaps the line, and I've got a line going that way, a big diagonal for one of the hands, so we can paint it. But all sorts of color mixing, too. And in volume. You know, like making big gallons and gallons of color. One time, we were going to paint Separate Tables, I think it was. And the background was all orange on the Astor Victoria Theater. And we mixed up all this paint in the truck. And we all jumped in the back of this flatbed truck. And the truck lurched on 11th Avenue, and all the paint spilled out of the truck onto Eleventh Avenue like a huge pancake. And I said -- all these old men are afraid they are going to get fired -- and I said, "Shovel some sand on it, and let's get the hell out of here." And the truck driver backed in with the four wheels in the back, and took off and left these four orange stripes right down to 45th and Broadway. We didn't get caught, but it was funny. We dropped a gallon of purple paint off the Mayfair Theater, ten stories, and it went Pow! like a light bulb, with purple, right at lunchtime. No one got hurt. It was just miraculous.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

James Rosenquist: Whether you like it or not, after five years passes, after five years go by, you will be five years older. Things may change for the better or they may change for the worse, but you are going to be five years older! Or in ten years you will be ten years older. And in that time, you can be living a much nicer life, a more productive life, more fun, more everything. Or that life will be dictated by someone else. So I've told that to people who work for me. I said, "Hell," I said, "I don't mind if you leave and go on to something else. I like to know successful people." And I've worked with guys, I worked with Fred Clark who used to deliver my paintings in a laundry truck. And now Fred is a big actor in Hollywood. He had a runny nose, and a little son to support, and he was living from hand to mouth, and now his name is Matt Clark and he's been in movies with John Wayne, and he's in movies constantly. He plays judges and tough guys and cowboys and everything like that. It's fun to know happy ending stories, but I also know of stories of people who really have nothing and became successful. That's fun.
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Pete Rozelle

Pro Football Hall of Fame

When I came back from the war, in 1946, I knew all the people at the Junior College, and I was able to become their athletic news director. I think I got about -- I don't know -- $50 a month, but a lot of experience. And then again, through people I knew, I was invited to be the University of San Francisco news director. So I went up there, and worked there during the final two years of college and my first two years after college. That was a great experience. We were lucky, because they had a couple of very hot teams. The 1951 football team was unbeaten, untied, and they sent three people: Ollie Matson, a fullback; and Gino Marchetti, the great defensive lineman of Baltimore; and Bob St. Clair, offensive tackle (for the) 49ers. All were from that team. Plus myself, being their publicity man. We all ended up in the Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So that exposure -- and also Pete Newell, the basketball coach at USF, was a great friend of mine. They won the National Invitational Tournament in 1949. So because I was the publicity man, I met a lot of people. Newspaper people would ask me about the team and so forth, and I got to know them quite well, because of the success of the team. That led to the Ram job. Because when the Rams were looking around for a publicity director in 1952, they called a number of newspaper people, and some of them recommended me because I had dealt with them. That was a very fortuitous event. The next big step after the Rams publicity job -- I actually left the Rams, went with a small public relations firm in San Francisco for two years, 1955 and '56. During that period, a difficulty between the owners of the Rams surfaced, and they weren't getting along, and so they decided to go into the hands of that commissioner, Bert Bell, (with) the job of recommending a general manager. And because I had been there as publicity manager, why, I was considered, and I got my own people while I was there. So they made me general manager of the Rams. And so that was, again, the ultimate for me.
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Pete Rozelle

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Whether you're conducting a league meeting, you want to study up on all the issues and the potential pluses and minuses, and be prepared for anything that might come up. Your dealings with Congress, congressional hearings and so forth, litigation, press conferences. My staff would brief me, of course, prior to the big press conference I have every year at the Super Bowl. And the preparation is always a big factor.
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Bill Russell

Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty

Bill Russell: I played with a guy (Tom Sanders) that wore contact lenses. Okay? His field of vision was like this. Anything outside of that circle he could not see. He just could not see it. If you passed the ball right here he could not see it. Well, I would consider it a bad pass if I threw a pass around his knees. I would not grumble and say, "He should have caught that." That's not true. So when I passed to him I tried to make sure that the pass arrived up here where he could catch it, and with the velocity. If the ball is going to come out of nowhere right to here, well, if it's too hard he can't catch it. It's not saying he has bad hands. That's a bad pass. Well, to be able to acknowledge that you are the one that made the mistake and you might want to talk to him about passes, so that he can first of all give you a good target and be ready to catch it and ready to do something with it after he caught it. These are little things that not a lot of attention is paid to. One thing that my coach did was he did a remarkable job of contingencies, so that whatever comes up, his goal was no surprises. Especially when the game comes down to the last minute -- although sometimes that's not the key part of the game, a lot of people think that (it's) the last three minutes. The game may be won in the first quarter, because I know we used to talk sometimes, and he'd say, "Basically, you only have to outplay the other team three minutes out of 48. If you outplay them those three minutes and play even the rest of the time, you win the game."
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Bill Russell

Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty

Bill Russell: What we always did with the Celtics was, when we hit a bad streak, we would not worry or concern ourselves about what we did poorly. We would go back and consider, "Against this team, what did we do well?" And that's what we're going to do the rest of the game. And so, when I told Shaquille that, there was a writer there that said, "You've got to learn to make a free throw," and I said, "Listen, I would never say that to you. Of course you should shoot better free throws, of course, but do not let that be the dominant theme of your improvement. If I was going to tell you about anything to improve, make yourself the best passing center in the league." Because in the way the game is played today, the single most important skills a team can have is be a good passing team. Because with these zones, and man-to-man zones, and two and three and all that crap, there are always passing lanes open. And to be able to know what kind of pass to use in a passing lane. Players, for example, we should practice peripheral vision, so that I can see both my hands now, okay? But when we're shooting a pass it's like a beam of light, you narrow it so that you can do that. Now if I narrow my vision to pass to you, someone could stand one foot outside that and you cannot see them. They can reach in the lane, but if they step outside your narrow vision you can't see them. And you really, this is actual, they can't see you. So you can actually hide in plain sight.
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Bill Russell

Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty

I think that that move that I made at half time was the most important move I made as a coach in that series, because it worked, and we got accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished without them knowing what we were trying to accomplish. See everybody still talks about the fact that Wilt only took two shots. They still almost won the game, right? And the key was that Chet Walker had been killing us. And I knew that I could guard him. And the reason I knew I could guard him is his moves were very deliberate. As part of my teaching myself, I learned -- we had six plays and nowadays they number those positions. One is point guard, two is shooting guard, three is a small forward, four is a power forward, five is a center. Well, I made a point to learn how to play all those positions on all six plays. Now not that I ever wanted to or hoped to play in those other positions, but in knowing those positions I know the problems that go with that position. So that if my teammate needed help I can help. And on defense I watched these guys, how they play defense, and I know how to guard almost any position. And I physically took over Chet.
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Bill Russell

Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty

The key to really being effective at blocking shots is for the shooter to think he's gotten away. And that way you can block it, you can control it. You don't knock it in his stance, you treat it like when the ball leaves his hand you treat it like a rebound, you hit it to some place that you can get it. And so that block with Chet was part of the plan. You see the one thing that my coach and I, we used to always talk about, the least amount of things you leave to chance, the better off you are. And so we were -- offensively and defensively -- always on the attack, because Red used to say, "I don't need to scout, I don't need to scout." I said, "Red, why don't you need to scout?" "The hell with them. I don't worry about what they do, let them worry about what we're going to do."
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