1964 London Wildcat
graduated along with about 40 other students in one
of the last classes of London Wildcats. In the fall
of 1965 the school consolidated with Gaston Schools
and integrated with Lincoln School to become the West
Raiders. Mike went on to graduate from Texas A &
M with a degree in chemical engineering. He then went
to work for the Texas Eastman facility in Longview,
working his way up the corporate ladder to a public
relations executive position which he held until his
retirement in 2010.
Mike at work on one of his TWA pen and ink drawings
While at Eastman,
Mike began to cultivate his artistic talents using India ink and a pen. He combined
his artistry with the rigors of precision that came along with his engineering background.
Mike loved the outdoors; he and his twin Pat, along with their classmates, were
outdoors as much as indoors while they hunted and fished the East Texas
As early as the
1970's, Mike was creating beautiful pen and ink drawings
for his twin to use in his business as complimentary
Christmas gifts for his customers. Mike's talents soon
came to the attention of the executives at Texas Eastman
and the company began to engage Mike for the creation
of Eastman's own public relations programs. One of Mike's
first Eastman print was one titled "Friends
Around Us", a compendium of the wildlife of
East Texas. That print was followed by another titled
"The Best of Texas".
Through his position
in public relations, Mike came in contact with the Texas
Wildlife Association (TWA), a nonprofit association
made up of a wide array of influential land owners in
the state, all of whom shared a common objective of
protecting the native wildlife of Texas, particularly
the native deer and antelope. Mike began to create an
annual custom pen and ink drawing for TWA, using one
of the trophy deer or antelope that scored exceptionally
high on the widely respected Boone and Crockett scoring
To create the annual
TWA drawing, Mike traveled all over the state to the
home of the landowner and/or hunter who had bagged "the
big one" the previous year. Mike would take numerous
photos and measurements of the mounted trophy. Whether
a mule deer harvested Central Texas, a whitetail deer
in South Texas or a pronghorn antelope taken in West
Texas, he was sure to get not only the vital measurements,
but the story behind the hunt, including the environment
home to the animal. All of these elements were combined
by Mike in creating a very special moment in time.
Mike usually finished
the original print in time for the annual Spring TWA
meeting and convention in San Antonio. Mike's original
work was one of the high points of the auction and typically
brought $2,000 to $3,000 at auction which was attended
by 400 to 500 TWA members and guests.
the original pen and ink drawing, Mike would then order
up 500 prints on very high quality, special bonded papers.
He would sign and number each print and TWA would then
sell these limited edition reproductions on their website
for $75 each to members. All proceeds would go to the
Texas Big Game Awards and wildlife-oriented education
activities for Texas youth. Mike received no compensation
for the thousands of hours of his artistic endeavors,
other than a great deal of personal satisfaction that
his time was well appreciated by all.
to notable figures on behalf of Texas wildlife was very
successful. The annual TWA convention always featured
significant public figures as speakers and included
such luminaries as James Baker, Chief of Staff for President
George H.W. Bush; Lt. Governor David Dewhurst; presidential
advisor Carl Rove, along with many others. Mike made
it a point to present these individuals with a specially
framed piece of his artwork.
Mike and Eastman President James Ray with David Dewhurst
passed away in August 2018, a victim of brain cancer.
Mike's wife, Annette,
has been most gracious in passing along to the New London
Museum Mike's remaining personal collection of limited
edition, signed and numbered prints. The museum currently
has more than 200 individual prints of Mike's, commencing
with one dated 1993, "The Best of Texas". Once this
inventory is depleted, no more artwork will be available.
Please note that
the above prints originally sold for $75 each.
The New London
Museum special pricing for the prints is $56.50, postage
included, for a single print. Buy an additional print
and receive a 50% discount on the second. The price
for two prints sent to the same address is a very low
$81.50. Please note prints sent to a different address
will incur the $6.50 postage fee. Feel free to use the Donate button and pre-pay for your prints.
Prints Available ( Click on print for larger view)
Wait another Day! This
is an extraordinary offering of limited edition artistry
from one of our own graduates and will give your home
or office a touch of Texas wildlife class - they frame