In the Beginning:
Terri was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, but shortly after her birth the family moved to Stockton, CA. Where she lived her childhood in 100 degree + summer days and frigid winters...to this day she hates both too hot and too cold. She has eleven brothers and sisters, 7 girls (one sister was discovered later in her life) and 4 boys. She was a good little Catholic girl until shortly after First Communion, some nun told her that her buddies in the neighborhood, who weren't Catholic were not going to heaven...since then she became a devout questioner and a known troublemaker.
She has eleven brothers and sisters, 7 girls (one sister was discovered later in her life) and 4 boys. She was a good little Catholic girl until shortly after First Communion, then a nun told her that her buddies in the neighborhood, who weren't Catholic were not going to heaven...since then she became a devout questioner and a known troublemaker.
Terri had polio as a child and had to learn to walk again and was left with a total deafness in her right ear...she says it doesn't affect her singing except that she hears herself first..then the music. She also had two corrective eye surgeries and has worn glasses since she was three years old. Shown here at her First Communion, she says she was so ugly she was cute.
The Growing Years:
Growing up had its challenges for Terri and the New family, both parents had afflictions that made them less than operational. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother was diagnosed as a "manic depressive paranoid schizophrenic"... They were very special people in spite of that..." We basically raised ourselves... with all the bad and the good that comes from that..the shaky authority that allows abuses and the legacy of no one tells you what to do, so you make your own way in life.
"I remember those times when they
carted away my mom to an institution that my brothers and
sisters and I would huddle together and sing. It created a
safe haven for us and somehow helped us make sense out of
the fearful state of our lives. "
Here is an treatise that Terri wrote that sums it up and why she must...do music. WHY ART?
WHY ART? by Terri New
I learn to walk in other shoes through great writing... extending kindness, empathy, compassion.
I slip in to the eternal abyss when looking into the paintings of Da Vinci, of the plein air artists, and it leaves me awed, inspirited motivated, excited by life and calm...it help me make sense out this great cosmos we are part of.
Music has an emotional language that touches me in ways that warps time, delves into hidden mysteries, it performs the task of keeping me grounded and connects my own humanity and yours. When I see a great performance I know I have been touched by something bigger than all of us. The resounding effect is hope and believe in something greater than myself and something that we perhaps can accomplish together, it sears my imagination, it provokes, incites me to want to do great things.
Artists provide us all an inroad to what we all spirituality yearn for, a connection with something greater, emerging life with purpose, give us depth where we might not have it, that give us soul when we have lost our connection, that give us breadth and complexity and greatness. Through Art we evolve, we as a culture evolve...it all starts with an idea, who better has ideas...and ideas of greatness than artists?
As a child with 11 siblings, a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic father, it was singing and plays that we created that gave us an anchor to a better world. Music has been my salvation, my healing, my source and as I grow older and take on other creative challenges it has enriched my joy and my life... by the doors it has opened, by the special people it has put me in contact with. When I see a child singing one of my songs with her eyes to the heavens, I know I have done a good thing. I have helped open that door to possibilities, to hope, to that intimate world of creation...with God or whatever you deem to call, the instinctual being that propels us into some kind of glory in our life.
Glory is created through heroics deeds and to me, artists are heroic people, to feel, to unearth an expression that daily needs defined, to keep reaching into indefinable realms that come into the forefront of life, to expand, reach, teach... for all artists teach. It is inherent in the activity, this living prayer of creation. Meaning and sense and beauty and thought provocation, that is art to me. I cannot imagine a life, or who would want a life without art. I believe we are propelled towards creating sense and beauty, if it is nurtured in us, by our culture, if it finds expression in our early years, we never let it go.
"The Growing Years were not easy, but the way I would describe my life today is Magic! I have always felt an angel on my shoulder starting with my Grandma Slama, the beautiful woman you see here. She would send us holiday packages and would have made each of us two outfits. NEW CLOTHES! And always beautiful and her special Czech kolaches and her chiffon cake and her candies, caramel turtles with her Texas pecans that she had grown and cracked....those were special things and I learned to rely on that grace in life, expecting good things..."
Terri loves adventure and created lots of them. "I remember when I turned 18 and I had never flown... I was going to college and working three jobs. I bought myself an airplane ticket to San Francisco (a short flight) booked myself in the Fairmont and had a grand weekend...then only to hitchhike home cuz I ran out of money.
There was a good stretch of life that we lived on welfare. My dad had broken down and disappeared. My mom in and out of the God awful state Institution... that was when there were state institutions, till Governor Reagan closed them down and there was no place to take her. I would pick up the welfare food (thank God for the kindly taxpayers of this country for welfare food...hated it, but needed it.) Anyway I would see people with rotted out teeth...there were not fresh vegetables or fruit. Then I heard one day of county supervisors meeting who were considering adding food stamps where you could get those fresh items. They were having a hearing and I showed up and got on the pedestal and talked about the health benefits of feeding people good food. The long and short of it is when I applied for a scholarship to college for community involvement program, people on the board remembered me from that meeting, I got a full scholarship to college. WOW! With that and my savings I went to Europe for three and a half months on a Eurorail pass...was that ever an incredible eye opening adventure."
Where I've Been and Where I'm Going:
"I made terrible choices in partners throughout my adult life, but they were great learning enterprises...I think I finally created a balanced magnet in myself that I could start attracting good things, it took me about 50 years... then I met the love of my life AND I got some incredible Grandkids! I moved to Prescott after living in Santa Barbara for twenty-five years as I did not want my grandkids growing up without me.
I have had the good fortune of incredible adventures on this earth, I have traveled all over the globe from India to Europe to the Americas and to Africa. If you want to read about my Czech Adventure here is part of the story or you can watch many of my videos on YouTube on Africa."
The Best is Yet to Come!"
"And if you're in Prescott and you need car repair!!! My daughter and son-in-law, Anthony just got nominated for the Better Business Bureau 2013 Ethics award! —.and it doesn't surprise me a bit! That is how we live!...DO RIGHT BY ALL THINGS!"
...Did I mention I love my horse?!