Pictures Better Than Words

In the mid-1980s, Paul decided he needed a way to better organize and store his belongings in his room at Rose Haven Nursing Center . He envisioned a wood cabinet that would fit between his bed and window and allow his belongings, including supplies and tools (such as rulers) for his art, to be organized, accessible, and safe.

Paul tried to convey what he had in mind to a local carpenter. This turned out to be frustrating as Paul’s spasticity made his speech difficult to understand. Typing the words that others could not understand might have been an alternative way to convey his ideas. But Paul had never learned to read and write, so that was not an option.

Paul’s solution was to use his typewriter to sketch the cabinet he envisioned.

The carpenter took the sketch, and turned the idea into a fine, functional cabinet which Paul used daily for the rest of his life.

Paul meticulously conveyed his ideas for the shelves and drawers to ensure the cabinet would be accessible and functional as well as attractive.

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