Category Archives: Personal

Another Birthday Down

Sorry I’ve been so quiet…work, work, work!

I just celebrated a birthday a couple of days ago and was reminded by a childhood friend that I share a birthday with a famous public figure!

Interesting Steve Birthday Trivia
When I was 1 or 2 years old, the cereal Cap’n Crunch ran a contest for kids to submit their birthdays. A select few with the Cap’n’s birthday would win a 5-speed bike. My folks submitted my brother and me. Guess who had a 5-speed bike before he could walk? Yes, I have the same birthday as Cap’n Crunch. True story.

Being born in the 60s, I can’t help but reimagine the pitch meeting of the ad agency and the General Mills executives through a Mad Men filter…

General Mills Executive: We’d like to tie in a contest with our new cereal, Cap’n Crunch. Maybe give a prize to the kid who shares the Cap’n’s birthday.

Pete Campbell: Kids love contests! A great prize would be a savings bond!

Peggy Olson: 
A toy…kids love toys.

Sal Romono: 
When I was a child, I always wanted a dollhouse, with lots of pretty dollies…

Don Draper:
 A bike. Throughout life, we’re always going somewhere…but the destination isn’t important. That’s what Cap’n Crunch is about…the voyage on the high seas of childhood, passing though the sugary milk of bloated sweetened corn cubes into adulthood.

Paul E. Bryant, 1928–2007

I’ve had a significant lack of posts here for a while.

It started with juggling my work on the forthcoming 24: Cold Warriors (more on that, and preview art in the coming days) and recently culminated in the death of my dad, Paul Bryant.

I received a phone call from my mom three weeks ago today. My dad had a dizzy spell and was having trouble adjusting afterward. I hurried over and was pretty sure that he had, indeed, had a stroke. I carried him to their van and drove him and my mom to the hospital (my folks are of that generation of “not wanting to be a bother” and my dad wouldn’t hear of me calling 911).

While in the hospital, we learned that, in addition to the stroke, he had lung cancer. Not quite a newsflash to any of us involved (he was 79 and had smoked since he was 16), but it was bracing, none the less. The plan was that when he was able, we would move him to a nursing home to begin the rehabilitation process from the stroke. When he was strong enough, we would start chemotherapy.

Last Saturday night (December 8), four days after being moved to the nursing home, my dad passed away in his sleep.

This sort of thing is never easy, but none of us make it through life—well—alive. In all honesty, it could have been much worse. Had it been sudden, none of would have had the chance to say goodbye. Had it dragged on for months, it could have affected my mom’s retirement money (our health care system doesn’t like to step in until poverty has been achieved by the surviving spouse). It sounds silly to think about stuff like that, but I know that would have weighed heavily on Dad’s mind.

He wasn’t in pain in the post stroke days, either. And the last doctor he saw was his granddaughter, Dr. Amanda Bryant.

I talked to him on a daily basis when he was alive. I think I talk to him even more now. After all, I don’t have to pick up the phone to call him. He may not answer, but most of the time I know what he would have said. With how much I miss him, I find that to be both sad and comforting.

Before all of this came down, I had plans for Ursula Wilde and Athena Voltaire, all pending my completing the 24 job. I hope that those plans will be realized in 2008. For now, though, I’m keeping my nose to the grindstone with 24. My dad taught me that when you work for a person you work for them. So that’s what I’m doing on 24: Cold Warriors. Working my ass off.

I hope you’re watching, Dad. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.