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as working in a high school, which had just come online, back home from school, and they were a pretty large city, and we were playing the piano, and I saw the girls dancing in the courtyard, and we went over and found that they were just singing. I was going to go, and I saw them in the courtyard singing about the day they were going to be playing the piano, and I said, "Hey, let's sing. Let's take this place like a castle. Let's make love." And they did, and we made love with each other and sang together. And that's how I got into this career, and I'm very grateful for it. How did you approach it? It was a very tough thing to do. I was living with an aunt [at the time], and I had to spend all day doing what I'd done for 12 years before I wanted to go out and be a real musician. I went in the room where they had a room, just like what you'd usually do in a wedding. And I said to the bride that I was going to go out a nd do what I had to do and have to have to play with it, just like so many things I did over the years. And I really, really enjoyed performing the way they wanted me to play. Did you ever think yourself as music professional? My mom told me thntext Black and white photograph of a tornado in a field Photograph of the 1929 Hardtner, Kansas, tornado that may have influenced Tornado over Kansas John Steuart Curry was born in Dunavant, Kansas in 1897. He left in 1918 to attend Geneva College in Pennsylvania, where he worked as an illustrator for several years. He established a reputation as a painter with his critically acclaimed 1928 work Baptism in Kansas. Curry did not return to Kansas until 1929, when he traveled from his home in Westport, Connecticut, to visit his family's farm in Dunavant for six weeks. During this stay, the extreme weather and storms of the prairies inspired Curry to paint Tornado over Kansas, which he finished by fall of 1929. Curry's widow stated he had never witnessed a tornado in person, but he was likely familiar with accounts of tornadoes' destructive power. Photographs of a June 2, 1929, tornado passing through Hardtner, Kansas, were the first to clearly capture a tornado's shape and likely served as visual guidance for Curry's tornado in Tornado over Kansas. The funnel shape seen in one photograph closely resembles that of the painting's tornado, and another photograph of the tornado approaching a barn is believed to have inspired the painting's compositional layout. Storms and tornadoes were not new to Curry; such natural disasters had frightened him ever since he was a child. He said that Tornado over Kansas was based on early life experiences when his family "used to beat it for the cellar before the storm hit." The art historian Irma Jaffe posited that Curry's Christian religious upbringing led to his construing natural disasters as signs of God's punishment. Thus, Jaffe saw Tornado over Kansas as one of Curry's attempts at controlling his fears through artistic express