Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hot dinners...Face of Ventura Project

Eloquent inventor Jerry English has done more things in his long healthy life than I have had hot dinners! He was a MUST for my FACE OF THE VENTURA with The Ventura Breeze

Publisher Sheldon Brown and I are just about to paint our tenth sitter, all from life in a single sitting, out of 52.

I must eat more hot dinners. It takes a lot of energy to paint handsome interesting people.

Jerry English

Portrait by Johanna Spinks

Gerald (Jerry) Dean English was the child of Alden Weslie and Doro- thy Ann English born at St. Johns Hospital in Oxnard in 1937. He spent his young life growing up on the west end of Ventura. He has traveled the world and came to realize that Ven- tura is the best place on Earth.

Jerry joined the U.S. Air Force in 1955 and attended technical school at Lowery Air Force Base in Denver Colora- do, where he studied munitions, demo- lition, and nuclear and thermal nuclear weapons. He was then sent to Germany where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechani- cal Engineering at the University of Mainz. During this time, Jerry raced motorcycles for the Adler Factory in Frankfurt, includ- ing the German Prix in 1958 at the Nuremburg Ring.

County as a private investigator. In 1983 he was employed by a company called Swat Viper where he provided seminars and training for SWAT teams in Califor- nia, Nevada and Arizona.

All his life he has felt giving back to the community, no matter how busy he was in his various professions, was most important. As a member of the Saint Patrick’s Parade committee and the Fair Parade committee, he enjoyed lending his talent as is needed.

Staying physically fit is crucial to enjoying the quality of life at 73 years young. Skating long distance is the

Johanna Spinks made everything very relaxing and enjoyable and it was definitely something I would do again!

Returning to Ventura in 1960, Jerry worked as an engineer at Raytheon, Gulf Western, MacDonald Douglas and the Atlas Missile Program. Needing a change, Jerry started his own business in 1964 in the marine industry, becoming a certified deep sea diver and earning an International Underwater Contractors License to maintain the offshore tanker moorings.

Having an adventurous spirit, Jerry decided to become a stuntman in 1975 and joined the Independent Stuntmen of Motion Pictures Group of Holly- wood. In 1982, Jerry created a company called Western Justice, in which he trained body guards and provided pro- tection for celebrities such as Pat Benitar, George Benson, and the Royal Family of Bruni, just to name a few. In conjunction with his businesses, he worked for Wells Fargo Investigative Services, and Gil Acosta Investigative Services of Orange

measure of condi- tioning for him. As an example, Jerry roller skated from Arcadia, Califor- nia to Las Vegas, Nevada and back in 72.6 hours! He endured 687 miles round trip in tem- peratures of 115 degrees. He enjoyed skating across

Death Valley when it was hot and still survived to enjoy another day in his be- loved, beautiful home town of Ventura.

We asked him what he likes best about living in Ventura?

What makes this town so unique is the friendly people that live here. Fur- thermore, Venturans fight to keep their heritage. You can feel it! Just walk down Main Street or walk on the beach and speak with people. And, of course surf- ing the beautiful Ventura beaches, Mav- ericks, Surfer’s Point is still the best spot to surf.

And how was the experience of having your portrait painted by Johanna?

The experience was a real pleasure. Johanna Spinks made everything very relaxing and enjoyable and it was defi- nitely something I would do again!


Shelley Smart said...

So, here you are posting, having NOT taught the class I went to at 3:30....

Nice to have a Wed. afternoon off, isn't it?

Marian Fortunati said...

Wow... he's a handsome one!!!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

ahhh Shelley...semester finished last week. Sorry babes...come next week!