Friday, January 25, 2013


By Ed Crumley


Before the movie "The Bucket List" came out, the term wasn't familiar to me. Oh, I knew what it meant to "kick the bucket", but I never recalled anyone making a list before. Simply put, a bucket list is a list of all the things you want to do before you get too old or die. In the movie, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson deserted hospital beds to romp through a list of things they wanted to do before they . . . you know what.

I've been thinking a lot about my bucket list since using up my three score and ten. But the more I dwell on it, the more I believe I probably started working my list as a young man. We've all known folks who said, "I look forward to retirement so I can do this or that." It's a risky plan because no one knows their own longevity.

Fifty years ago, right out of college, I slaved at a lowly bank job in a small windowless room, phones ringing off the wall, everyone around (including me) smoking, and at a shamefully small salary. I wanted out of there big-time but not just because of the environment. Although I was a bank clerk on the surface, inside me dwelled an artist. I was doubly motivated.

Some would have bowed their heads and meekly succumbed to that high-stress, low-pay cubicle cell without a whimper, hoping that someday, somehow they might be paroled slightly upward to occupy a junior executive desk with a little more pay.

With a high dose of adrenaline, I dove into night college art classes and a correspondence course of commercial art lessons. Meanwhile, my radar sought out any and every commercial art job, no matter how small, I could latch onto.

Providentially, an employment agency sent me to a man who needed a trainee/assistant to help him in his business illustrating house renderings and floor plans for home builders' offices and brochures. When I arrived at his garage studio one late afternoon and saw his work, a fire ignited in my soul.

For me, a forty-four year career in architectural illustration was born. Instead of waiting till retirement for fulfillment, I spent the decades after escaping the bank prison in freedom doing what I loved. My clientele included architects, real estate developers, and major corporations in my city, state, and around the nation.

But what about retirement? In my case I wouldn't be in it if not pushed there by computers doing the illustrations now and the bad economy. Not to worry, though. I'm busier than ever writing fiction, songs, and poetry, oil painting, performing with a gospel band at churches and senior centers, and riding my Harley for fun and charity.

I advised my sons to find their God-given talents, make what they love to do into a career, be the best at it, and they'll be rewarded. They did and don't worry about bucket lists.

About the Author

Radically changing careers after receiving a BBA degree in business administration from Baylor University in 1961, Ed founded Ed Crumley/Architectural Arts in Dallas in 1969 and began a forty-three year career producing architectural illustrations and architectural models for architects, real estate developers, and corporations locally, across Texas and around the nation. Later he wrote, illustrated, and self-published a basic correspondence course on architectural illustration which he marketed through small ads in art publications.
He has also used his writing talents observing modern culture as a freelance movie critic for Preview, a publication of Movie Morality Ministries for which he has detailed the plots and both the redeeming and objectionable material in the latest motion pictures. He has also written human interest pieces for the Christian Pulse.
  Ed’s love of the outdoors has taken him and friends on many backpacking trips into wilderness areas of the Rocky Mountains.  These trips, his long involvement in the arts, his long interest in talk radio as a listener and caller, his study of Scripture, and his concern for people’s inability to find truth in the fog of today’s shallow popular culture, inspired him to began writing fiction as a way of providing readers discernment through entertaining and engrossing stories. 
After attending American Christian Writer’s conferences for several years where he attended many workshops on various phases of writing, Ed completed his first novel, a suspense/thriller, The Host, a novel of life and death on the high desert and has begun a sequel which features the same core characters, adds new ones, and deals with new issues.
 The Host is available from, Barnes &, and Trafford Publishing.

Read an excerpt from The Host at:

Ed Crumley may be contacted at:


................................ Kevin Parsons said...

I'm doing my 'big bucket' item, riding around America on a motorcycle with my wife, after dreaming about it for 41 years. Some items take more time, money and commitment, but sure are worth it. We're on state 39 of our 50 States in 50 Weeks Adventure.

TNeal said...

Ed, good to see your familiar face at the old Geezer place. I haven't told you but I did enjoy reading The Host.--Tom