The early Years of Brad's Life

 

 

Brad In 1964 at Age Six

 

Brads mother who keep the family photographs in boxes for years did so in a damp basement storage unit. The result is what you see here in this Photograph. Moisture that has removed a piece of time. Many photographs were completely destroyed. What remains is in this collection of never before seen photographs here in this website.

Brad was born on November 6th 1958 to Mary Ann and James Dennis Parrish in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He is the middle child and has one brother one year older than Brad named Scott who has down syndrome and a younger sister who is  two years younger named Sherry. His parents divorced when he was very young. And while Brad would see his father on occasion he never

 

Brad In 1965 at Age 7 on Top of His Favorite Horse "Old Pete"

 

"Old Pete" was a horse owned by his grandfather who lived in Michigan. Brad remember be awoken by horses running by his open window in the middle of the night and his grandfather coming into Brads room to tell him that he needs to get dressed real quick to round up all the horses that managed to unlatch the fence and make a run for it. Brad who was into the Lone Ranger, televisions TV show "Rawhide" and his favorite TV show, "The Riffle Man" at the time, exploded with excitement, racing out of his bedroom with no pants or shit, just underwear and his shoes, ran outside and jumped up to grab grandpas hand for a lift up into the saddle in front of grandpa and off they went. Brad says he will never forget the thrill of racing out the back of the house and down the road and across the field to round up all the horses. For this night even without his clothes on he felt he was in a great old western film. For the rest of the nights at Grandpas house, Brad slept in his clothes and wore his boots to bed, just in case the horses got loose again. To this day he does not know if there was one really smart horse that knew the trick to unlatching the gate, or if Grandpa did this to give his grandson the thrill of any little cowboys life.

 

 

The Lean Years Growing Up

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The House Trailer In Milwaukee Brad Grew Up In From The Age of 8-12

 

 

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Front View Of Trailer With South 27th Street to the Right

 

 

Growing up on the streets of Milwaukee was where Brad, his mother and sister faced some of their hardest times. They lived in a trailer which was located on the busy street of south 27th. Brad's mother trying to make ends meet on a secretary's wage was very hard. This is when Brad started painting portraits of people. His mother who understandably was his biggest fan always made sure that she would do whatever it took to make sure he had art supplies. The people Brad's mother worked wanted tobuy Brad's landscape paintings that he was pumping out of this 6 foot by 6 foot bedroom he was working and sleeping in. It was the lower small bedroom that Brad slept and worked in while his mom and sister slept in the two bedroom upstairs above him. It was at this location growing up that Brad believes began to shape his life. The trailer park was run by an owner that ran an old owned a hotel/bar (A brothel at the very least) from within the trailer park. There were many nights Brad remembers of him and his mother trying to hold their broken door to the trailer closed with and extension cord because the lock was broke and you could hear the drunks from the bar trying to break in and sexually assault and rape his mother. He remembers him, his mother and sister having to stay with his mother best girlfriend way on the other side of Milwaukee when the plumbing had frozen the pipes in the winter which was for most of the winter and also remembers being brutally beaten up one night by gang members high and intoxicated, crawling home from a mall a half mile away and could barely see. Police told Brad's mother that that the guys that jumped Brad for change had on him would end up killing him the next time. Brad who never backed down to anyone pleaded with his mother not to worry about him. But seeing her son bloody from head to toe, this time she would not listen to her son and they moved as the police begged her to.

Brad Age 14 Holding One of His Comics

 

Brad in 1973 holding a cartoon he wanted to submit to Playboy magazine but never did because at that time he received a letter from the Walt Disney Company saying they were interested in Brads work and Brad did not want them ever seeing his art in Playboy. It probably wasn't something he needed to worry about but Brad wasn't going to risk that opportunity. Brad has always liked drawing cartoons, however he knew deep down inside that his fine art is where his heart really at.

 

 

 

Brad Age 16 at Home In The Family's Apartment Kitchen

 

This was the a pivotal age for Brad. He had just completed his "Creation of Adam" piece, won many awards for his work in local and international art competitions, yet he loved it all, not only painting but sculpting, inventing, designing architectural and interiors and also loved the graphic arts industry. So diversified that he made major accomplishments happen in all of them earning him major awards and accolades. But Brad could not and would not his creativity pigeon hole him into just one type of a creative career.

 

 

Brad Working In His Small Studio In 1985

 

This was the small upper one bedroom bungalow that Brad and his newlywed rented in Milwaukee in 1985. Brad used the small 8’ x 9’ dining room as a studio. Brad says he remembers that you could only stand up straight in the center of the room as the roof pitched on three of the walls. From here Brad worked on his small fine art pieces and with the small drafting table did everything from graphic work to architectural/interior work. He had his larger studio about a half a mile from the house that he rented for his larger works such as his huge piece titled “The Engagement”. Brad and his wife only lived here for a few years.