A Wynne-Win Story
by Cate Murway
Dreams start young. He drew it, dreamt it, and became it.
A winning entry in the 4th grade, for a school event poster contest, inspired a vision for Spec E-5 Robert John “Bob” Wynne, BHS ’65.
The dream was sealed with poster paint.
Robert Warren and Marie Margaret [Gentile] Wynne started their family in Philadelphia. They moved their two daughters, Barbara Ann [Wynne] Gross and Carol Ann [Wynne] Favata, BHS ’62, and their young son, Bob to Croydon before they relocated to Cedar Street in Bristol.
Growing up in historic Bristol on the Delaware provided great memories for Bob. “Everyone walked to school and life was fun. We fished in the Delaware River.” He remembers seeing “sections of concrete walls left from the underground railroad”.
Bristol’s early Quaker families had set up tiny spaces, well underneath their home structures, some connecting to tunnels, and these were “stops” on the railroad.
Playing the drums and participating on Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball teams occupied his free time until he was old enough to start working. Bob was one of the “pin boys”, setting up the bowling pins in the bowling alley on Farragut Avenue, and he delivered The Bristol Daily Courier newspapers along Jefferson Avenue from Pond to Radcliffe Streets.
He responsibly handled several different jobs in his teenage years.
While in High School, he pumped gas at Blair Capriotti’s Service Station on Pond and Market Street and sometimes worked in B&R Cold Cuts in Burlington, NJ, the deli belonging to his father and step-mother, Rose [Conca]. Then for two summers, he and his buddy, Ron Pesta cooked the steaks and prepared the sausage sandwiches at Nevers Steak Stand, owned by Anthony V. DiMiccio in Seaside Heights, NJ, across from the boardwalk.
He worked in Edward’s Men’s and Boy’s Clothing on 207 Mill Street and was a printing press mechanic at the National Tea Packing Company in the Grundy Mill.
“I never actually met Grundy. I worked at the mill when the Tea Plant was there among other businesses.”
Art was still his passion. His Art teacher, William T. Bagley, was an exceptional impressionist painter and Bob and a few of his friends developed their skills under the tutelage of this master instructor in his Radcliffe Street home. They worked primarily with oil and watercolor and both remain two of his favorite mediums along with acrylic.
Bob also attended Trenton Junior College for art.
BHS Classmate, Carol [Mignoni] Ferguson, proprietor of Mignoni Jewelry & Gifts, shared, “He is very talented; always has been. He loved sharing his abilities and we were in awe of his sketching ability.”
Bob knew he was going to be drafted, so he enlisted. They welcomed him to the US Army Training Center in Fort Jackson, SC and then quickly shuttled him to Fort Gordon, GA for basic training. At Fort Belvoir, VA, he attended drafting school [closest thing to art school] and illustrated training aids and army magazines. He was also requested to provide private artistic works for some of the post commanders and he continued as an illustrator for the US Army when he was stationed in Fairbanks, AK for three years, later studying sculpture at the University of Alaska.
When he returned to civilian life, he moved to Michigan and began his career as a project artist for Sears, Roebuck and Co., creatively illustrating general merchandise catalogues and designing newspaper ads.
Perhaps Bob’s artistic skills were inherited from his mother, who was the second born of twelve children. Per Bob’s sister, Carol, whom he dubbed “Hugning”, “She was always drawing. There was a roll top desk in our bedroom and she would sketch fashions. No heads just arms through the fashions.”
Their father played the guitar and was a glazier at the Trenton Glass Company.
Carol and her husband, Joseph James Favata, reside in Harriman and have been married for 47 years. They proudly display the only framed copy of Bob’s ‘signature historic borough buildings’ in their home. Bob created the composite in 2000 and the resulting collage image will soon be marketed as a postcard and will be presented at the 38th Annual Historic Bristol Day on October 18, 2014. This year's theme will celebrate the influence of the Delaware River to the development of Bristol.
"For the collage, I selected a few of the signature historic buildings of the Borough. You'll notice the Grundy Commons, the old train station, the Mill Street Wharf, the Bell House Apartments, the gazebo and of course the Grundy house on Radcliffe Street. The historic King George Inn building was also a must to include. The only newer building is the theater in the lower left.
The yellow building is the Wade Funeral Home on Radcliffe and the white one is a private residence."
Prints of the 13” x 19" collage are available for purchase.
Bob often went down to the river and painted. He aptly captured his home town magic.
“This small town on the Delaware River, with its wealth of American heritage and colonial architecture, is where my love of history and nature began.”
In 1973, he moved to the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood, CA. He and his wife, Jennifer Parsignault, and their three cats, reside in a condo that he remodeled himself. Jennifer was born in Paris, France and grew up in Boston. Bob is extremely proud of his singer/ songwriter life partner. Her music has been featured in film and television. His four children are Jason, Gina, Chelsea and Rachel.
Bob paints in his home studio, creates computer graphics for the entertainment industry and designs ads and logos, promotional covers, corporate image campaigns, print advertising, and DVD and CD packaging. His numerous accrued honors include the American Graphic Design Award; the Art Direction Magazine Certificate of Distinction; Potlach Award of Excellence; Zellerbach Award of Excellence; and the Los Angeles Art Directors Award.
Primarily self-taught, he is constantly working to expand his experimental roots and limitless subject matter and he is a member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters.
“Painting is my most enjoyable and rewarding. Graphics on the computer is money making.”
His “PhotoArt” is powered by a 35mm digital Canon EOS.
The original photographs are digitally enhanced, recreated into visual art forms, rather than traditional photos and are often incorporated into mixed media images for an even more dramatic effect. Some of his clients past and and present, include…Sonny Bono, Steve Allen, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Stefanie Powers, Playboy, Hugh Hefner, Warner Bros Records, Universal/MCA, and more.
Bristol is one special town that Bob holds very dear to his heart. Bristol's "Welcome Friend" sign continues to beckon and he has scheduled a return trip to the Borough for the very near future.
Bob Wynne Graphics
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