Geo., In August of 1986, the vehicle I was driving, was hit head
on by a drunk teenager. I was told when I finally became totally
concious, that I had “died” twice on the operating table… I
spent a month and a half in intensive care. I was given more
morphine than any patient in the entire history of the hospital,
just to keep me in the bed!
Altogether, I spent about a year and a half in hospitals, and
(worse) “convalescent” hospitals… I was told from the very
beginning that I would probably never walk again, and that even
if I could - I would never ride a bike again. (I was on my way
to a 100 mile bicycle ride in Healdsburg, Ca., when I was hit.)
I was also told that I would never use my right hand again.
Seven surgeries later - I proved them all wrong. Two years
exactly, from the date of the accident - I did the same 100
mile bicycle ride I had been going to do in Healdsburg. Took me
two hours longer - but I did it. I still do a couple every year.
My hand was another matter… I was extremely depressed about
it. I decided to get away from my shop before my frustration
caused some real damage. I went to Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico. I
learned to speak Spanish after a year or so. Little by little,
surrounded by artists and craftsmen, I found myself getting
involved in their projects and helping to solve some of their
I forgot about my supposed “limitations” or “disabilities”… I
didn’t notice them when I got into that fanatic state that we
all get into when we’ve got something in front of us that just
won’t quite come together for some reason - and we absolutely
have to find that reason! My new friends provided that on a
daily (& nightly) basis…
Next thing I knew, six years had passed! I came home and kind of
wandered in various directions. I knew that I didn’t want the
stress of running a trade shop again, so I decided to see if I
could go back to hand engraving… Hit the wall again… more
Then someone came along who wanted to learn to hand engrave.
Bingo! It all came back! I don’t know how or why - only that
teaching seemed to make me forget that I wasn’t supposed to be
able to do these things…
Now, I’ve been working on opening a school for almost a year and
a half. I found a partner who has similar goals, and hopefully
we will be open to full time students this Spring…
Just goes to show you… if you want it bad enough… what you
Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
704 W. Swain Rd.
Stockton, CA 95207
P.S. Someone once told me that Evel Kneivel had broken 33 bones
at last count… they told me that they counted 27 fractures in
what was left of me after the wreck. This does not count the
parts of me that were removed or moved to different places.
One of the operations I had, was to rebuild my hand from pieces
of bone taken from my hip… I am now the only person you’ll
ever know who is really scratching his ass in public - when it
only looks like I’m only scratching my hand!