The Mountain Man of Wilson

November 4, 2021

I went up to Wilson, North Carolina in August. I met Allen and some people and took a look around. I looked at some famous Whirlygigs and had some baked goods – zucchini muffins if you wanted to know. Then I went back there again on last week in October. This time I had an oatmeal raisin cookie.

I walked into an alley that they presented me and I looked down the alley. I looked up at the walls and the chimneys with metal tip-tops. An alley is a tall, skinny way to look. So I decided I paint a tall skinny thing.  I told them I would paint a Pointy Person. Pointy People are something I have painted for a few years now. They go along with tall statues and plans and ideas that take form in my mind  — big round shapes like snowman and big talking birthday cakes — Pointy People cross sections of how I’d build a sculpture even though I rarely do. You see, it’s easier to paint a sculpture for me than to build a sculpture. So I told Allen I would paint a Pointy Person.

Now if you go into a Small Town and tell them you are going to paint a Pointy Person people start saying a lot of things and they might not understand where you are coming from. In fact, if I told them in a Big Town I was painting a Pointy Person, they might also be confused and wonder what was going on. So I decided on the way home after I had painted the Pointy Person that I would rename him as a mountain man, because he does look like a tall mountain.

I’ve always been inspired by mountains on the horizon and maybe this pointy man is a mountain …a smiling tall mountain. Somebody asked’ “was he a tall, pointy lighthouse?” — and I say “ Yes! ” because whether he has a light at the top, or a snow covered peak of a mountain, he’s still showing people the way and he’s still inspiring people …. and making folks think about higher things and things out of reach and how to get to a sunnier place. He’s still still telling people where to go. Go this way. See the LIGHT! Be happy.

So I went to Wilson, and I went down the skinny alley, and I painted a Mountain Man. I named him The Mountain Man of Wilson. I didn’t see any mountains around Wilson. In fact, Wilson’s altitude is all of 147 feet. And that’s not too tall or too high. So in my opinion they do need a mountain man. I painted one with real pretty stripes and polka dots and a happy face. He’s got a glowing halo at the top, where the sun shines off the snow. People from all around can see him and be happy and feel inspired.

— and when I say “ Hey, friend, can you meet me by the mountain man? “ They’ll know just where to go.

I’d like to thank Allen Thomas Jr., Cathy and DeeDee at the Art Center of Wilson, my friends Geoff and Carrie, the Larema coffee shop folks, the paint shop man Bobby and all the other people who helped me out and made me feel welcome while I was in Wilson. So please go by and see The Mountain Man of Wilson. And I’ll be back real soon.

Oh, yeah. Thanks to Mr. Vollis Simpson, for leaving me a lot of inspiration behind while I was in your town.

Photo by Mehmet Demirci
Photo by Mehmet Demirci
Photo by Mehmet Demirci

See you soon,

Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks

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