|Best Tar Boy Ever
After getting out of the Navy on April 1 (no fooling), 1970, and before college, I painted fences on horse farms in Lexington, KY. By myself in a day, I could apply asphalt to a mile of 4-plank. No small feat. About four times better than the average painter. Proud of it even to this day. It required not only hard work but a method.
I have always found that a method with discipline allows one to standardize a repetitive process so that one can daydream while doing a quality job ... and making good money. See shining shoes. Never liked alcohol until I found only "me beer" could quench the thirst at the end of a hot 12-hour day sweating in the Kentucky sun.
Never was smart enough, however, to come up with a way to keep the flying asphalt off of me. By the end of each day, I earned and laughed at the good-natured label "tar baby," or, as Mr. Marr said, "best tar boy ever." If windy, the flying dandelion seeds and other fluff produced the tarred and feathered look. At the time, didn't understand why some people called me nigger boy. Now, I realize I wasn't that good nor had I done anything exceptional to warrant the ultimate, hidden compliment--see N-Word Poster. But I was a good rail painter that would have loved teaming up with that famous rail splitter.
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