Because of his typical suburban upbringing, Galati calls himself an "unhyphenated American." He says that from his family life (his dad trained and showed dogs) to his earliest years in school, "incidents and situations necessarily led me into the arts and literature." A pivotal event in that process owes itself, again, to a teacher, this one a third-grade teacher named, aptly enough, Miss Scholy. She took her class on a field trip to the august Art Institute of Chicago.
As we entered the lobby with its odd winter smells, Miss Scholy told us that we'd be seeing pictures and statues of men and women without clothes, but we were not to giggle.