| Don was raised
on a farm in Central Valley, California. The farm was very fertile. Don's
family grew peaches, sweet potatoes, almonds, grapes, and oranges. Don's
father ran the farm and his mother was a popular elementary teacher in
a small school nearby.
There is a lot of work to do on a farm. By the time Don was in 6th grade, he had 40 acres of potatoes to take care of by himself. Don's brother's and him were doing men's work by the age of 12. During the summer Don worked 12 to 16 hours 7 days a week. Don says he remembers working 26 hours straight. they were paid a regular worker but were expected to buy their own clothes, entertainment, and eventually, cars and college education's.
When Don was in 6th grade he decided to be an artist. His father worried about his decision, Don's father wanted and tried to go into architecture. Since his older brothers wanted to run the farm so his decision didn't danger the family business.
The summer was so busy that winter was drawing time for young Don. He couldn't ever find big enough papers to draw on. In those days the laundry came in light brown, crinkley paper. One day his mother had an idea. She ironed the paper out and gave it to Don. Finally! A big piece of paper! It covered the entire kitchen table. From then on laundry day was art day!
Don loved sports as a kid. As a matter of fact he still does. When he was younger he loved to play football, he played it very often. Now that he lives on the Coast of South California in Santa Barbara he now loves beach sports such as: sailing, beach volleyball, swimming, and snorkeling. His son who is an excellent surfer taught him to surf. In the winter Don's wife Audrey and him camp in the deserts and go snow shoeing in the mountains.
Don attended the University of California in Santa Barbara. He graduated in Arts and Crafts. He met Audrey at Berkeley while he was studying there. Six months later they were married. After Bruce was born Audrey began to write children's picture books. Don was illustrating magazines, it seemed nature to him to illustrate one of her books. Don illustrated Moonflute and liked it so he much he has been illustrating them ever since.