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|When he designed the "Fish Church" in
1948, he designed it to be, not only in the shape of an angled salmon
or trout, but also to be ecologically compatible with "solar" heating
. I was blessed to have gotten the job of Mr. Byrne's tracer at age
14. It was the first time that I had seen, at that time, a mechanical
"T-Square". It was truly
a revelation. He even set it up for me from a left handed perspective.
I would work after school and during summer vacations. I also would cut his grass on Saturdays. He had a giant of a house on Ridge Avenue in Evanston with an even bigger yard and a no power lawn-cutter. It would take all day to cut and when I would finally finish he would give me five dollars (which I thought was a lot of money in those days), a glass of lemonade and tell me never to start the job unless you truly plan to finish that job. He encouraged me to read and to always stay informed.
Through him I read a very interesting book by Ayn Rand called "Fountainhead." I continued with Mr. Byrne until I was 16 years
of age. He was a very important person in my life because he
instilled in me a certain sense of commitment in life and growing
up without a father image, I feel that I was very fortunate to have had good images to inspire me in my youth.
Also at age 16, I entered my first house in the Northern Illinois House Design Contest. As I liked very much what Frank Lloyd Wright had designed with his" Taliesen West", my design was a home in an arid environment with solar heating and man's oneness with the environ-ment. In 1962, to say that all of those minds that were thinking like this at that time were" laughed" away, would be putting it mildly.