An Iranian Emigre Artist Erects a Tower, and His California Town Says, Watts This?
updated 01/12/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/12/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST
The creation and the litigation took their toll, though. He injured his back constructing the tower, and then he split with his American-born wife, Mary. That forced him to sell his $158,000 house in nearby Newport Beach. He moved his gear to his metalworking office, Customs by Ali, and spent many nights in a sleeping bag under his sculptures. He says he once earned up to $20,000 a month but "with this hassle, I could not work. They killed the joy in my soul."
The court's interim decision has improved his outlook. Roushan, who came to the U.S. in 1963, says he will become a citizen if he is allowed to retain his sculptures permanently. He is already planning the next addition to the monument that his local supporters say would then rival Los Angeles' Watts Towers. It will be an approximately 30-foot volcano-like structure symbolizing youth's eruptive energy. Says the flamboyant Roushan: "I can't build anything small anymore."