“I was on vacation with my mom in Lakeland, Florida. I was three and she went off with some dude and told the bartender to call my daddy to come get me. My dad was stationed in the Air Force in Wichita, Kansas and had to drop everything to drive 1500 miles to Florida. He raised three kids on his own after that. My mother used to tell me she was going to stick a hairpin in my belly button so I would bleed to death internally and nobody would know.
My ex-wife was abusive. She threw two of my guitars in the garbage. I had them since I was 12 years old and they were worth about $30,000. I had a pair of Hank Williams’ cowboy boots because my dad was born in the cabin right next to where he was born. She threw out the boots. I had a handwritten check for painting the front gate to Lyndon Baines Johnson’s ranch. I was 16, living in Austin, and that was the first thing I ever painted. He pulled up in his brigade of cars, rolled down the window and said, ‘How long have you been working?’ I said, ‘All day, sir.’ He wrote me a check for $7.50. I kept the check, but she tossed that out, too. I met her in church. She was fine for three years, then it got bad. We got divorced and I haven’t trusted women since.
I was an old pothead hippie. I was at the original Woodstock. I haven’t slept more than two hours at a time in over 40 years because I have nightmares of Vietnam every night. Last night I dreamed they were trying to shoot my dog and I was trying to block the bullets.
I had my own painting business in Baldwin County for over 50 years. I have painted for Jimmy Buffett, Sandra Bullock, and Nick Nolte. I am the best there is when it comes to painting, and I can make concrete look like marble. I fell and broke my back and have some health issues. Doug Harrell has given me work and done more for me than anyone else in my life. I am making new legs for a TV tray for his mama.
I have donated my hair eight times over 24 years. The first time I did it, I got a card from an 8-year-old girl thanking me for the hair so I kept doing it. I want to publish a book about my life and make a CD of my music to feel like I left something behind. I also want to live in the mountains where I can see someone coming from a long way away.”