Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
Native Angelena Mary Gandsey was born in Long Beach and moved to Altadena in 1984.
She earned a BA in Psychology from UCLA in 1968, did a few odd jobs, had a child, and needed to go back to work shortly afterward. “As a kid, I used to help my dad with little projects around the house. I’m a person who needs to move in my work. So I decided that I really wanted to do something in construction, maybe a carpenter.”
A neighbor’s mother, a realtor, was hiring people to do some painting on a spec house. Around 1981, Gandsey ended up being part of that first crew.
Her next job was at an 1868 Victorian on Huntington Drive originally owned by the Rose family, after whom the city of Rosemead is named. The new owners hired Gandsey to do some of the paint removal. “I learned a lot from the wife, along with some of the others there who were doing wood stripping and refinishing.”
From thereon in, she more or less trained herself. If she had a question she’d ask at the paint store. The owner of the Rose family house knew the owner of the Charles Greene house, of the iconic American Arts and Crafts architecture firm Greene & Greene.
One thing led to another. Gandsey had found her vocation.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.