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I remember this issue and now I've rediscovered it. It changed my life. I was 16 years old and I found this article about Fay Jones, an architect in Fayetteville, Arkansas and this special house called "Stoneflower", built in the hills of Arkansas on Greers Ferry Lake, a lake I remember being made with the building of the dam in the late 1950's and early 1960's. John F. Kennedy came to dedicate the dam, I believe in 1961 but that is beside the point.
I remember staring at these pages over and over again. Taking in every turn of the the lumber that formed the upper part of the house and crag of the rock that formed the base of this incredible building. I often wondered why this had struck such a cord in me and then my life got in the way.
I went to the University of Arkansas in the fall of 1968 not to meet Fay Jones but to play football and all that that represented at the time. I saw success and I saw failure but I remember even when I was not aware of seeing his buildings all around Fayetteville, seeing them while not seeing them but always, some how, committing them to a memory that I could not remember. But it was a memory I always had somewhere in the back of my mind. "Stoneflower"
It was not until the fall of 1975 that I would come back to the University to begin my studies in the School of Architecture that I would become more familiar with Mr. Jones. I took his architectural studies class in my first year. A class held in his office where his students would look at slides of his work and have him explain the work to us. Where we would be introduced to something more meaninful than the mere building itself, but rather to the life of the work. At the end of the semester and after grades were posted I came to Mr. Jones's office to talk about all sorts of things. The work. The meaning of the work. And finally the calling of the work. At the end of our talk Mr. Jones asked me if I would like to work for him and I accepted.
I have now been a practicing architect for almost 30 years and I still remember this as the best architectural experience of my life. I worked there for almost three years, all the time I was in architecture school. I was given a key to the office and at nights I would go to the office and look at his slides, I would take out the sets of drawings of his projects and look through them, committing them to that memory I had forgotten and finally I would just sit in the studio, alone, with all that was him surrounding me and just soak it in.
Toward the end of my time in the office a project came to Mr. Jones, a project that would come to be known as "Thorncrown Chapel". A project that would define his career and one that would bring, not only me but Mr. Jones as well, back to "Stoneflower".
Thirty five years later, as I sit at my desk and draw my buildings, I see Mr. Jones in all that I do and it all started with this article in 1966 about an architect from Arkansas that I found and then worked for.
Thank you Fay. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
 

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