John, a Talent's Struggle
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 by Frank Shortt
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John De Vincenzi taught art at San Jose State University for 41 years imparting his gift to others. His gift was from a much Higher source than could be imagined. His service in WW2 in the 1255th Combat Engineers helped teach him discipline for the hard road he had ahead of him.

In the beginning, his talent, like an axe to be honed, was razor thin. Otherwise, this gift could not manifest. His dream must be manifested into physical realities. A dream only becomes a vision as it materializes.

He strove like a quarry slave, honing his abilities as he pursued perfection. There were many bitter tears shed during his times of failure to attain what his vision directed. Many drops of sweat fell upon his easel as his character was being built. As a swimmer, whose strokes are awkward at first, he began to have soft, even strokes attaining peace within. He realized that his every endowment must spiral upward. He must never yield to discouragement.

Dreams are comprised of the success which comes later. Then there is joy unspeakable. Peace of mind came by attaining his goal. The prize was knowing that he had put forth every effort to attain his goal. Although he had gained fame as a painter, a teacher, a public servant, he knew that there was always a greater challenge ahead. Perfection does not come with one battle won. One battle only says that there is an entire war to be fought.

We all, like John, have had similar times of struggle. We too have strove, cried tears, had cold beads of sweat as our character was being built. Some of us even had strong taskmasters standing over us with a cat-o-nine tails, pushing us onward to perfection. As we enter our twilight years we realize that not only did we have days of joy and peace, but there were valleys that had to be crossed, mountains that had to be climbed, discouragement, not of our own making, but from those who should have understood our struggle.

Have these crazy shooters, who kill multiple human beings, ever had to struggle? Have they ever had discipline, regimentation, or ever been shown love and devotion? It has been written by many leaders of different faiths that people can become inspired by demonic forces brought on by pursuing one unhealthy pastime too much for too long! This seems to be the case as young men are becoming totally unfeeling of their fellow human beings. A recent shooting in Santa Clarita, California is a case in point; a sixteen year old girl killed, a fourteen year old boy killed by a crazed student who turned sixteen today. After killing the two and wounding three other classmates, he turned the 45 caliber handgun on himself inflicting a wound in his head. Was this young man raised in a home where he had responsibilities or was he allowed to do whatever he was pleased to do? Many narratives will be written about this in the coming days with many different points of view from journalists. If this young shooter lives, his life is ruined by one foolish moment of craziness or extreme anger! Or, was he planning this for many days?

John, on the other hand was raised in a home where he was required to help maintain the household. Things were not handed to him on a silver platter! He had to work, work, work, for what he attained! Did this not build John's character? By his having to struggle to reach his main goal, to be a good artist, was what spurred him on to perfection in many other areas. You see, John was a leader in the San Jose Italian community. He was the chairman of the Gallery Advisory Committee to the San Jose' Fine Arts Commission and helped establish the San Jose Museum of Art. He was given many awards for his achievements.