Friday, August 6, 2010

White Stripe

This post is a tribute to my grandfather on my mother’s side. His name is George and he recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Describing his appearance is simple because he’s looked the same way for probably 50 years or at least as long as I’ve known him. His daily uniform consist of Liberty Overalls, Black Tennis Shoes with black Velcro straps, Square framed, thick lens glasses and a lack of teeth. He has a very distinct nose with a prominent hump and he always sports a little scruff on his face. His personality is stubborn but well meaning. He loves to carry on a conversation with anyone who is willing to listen. Granted, the conversation topic may simply be the latest gadget he has acquired (he loves tools and gadgets of any sort), but he’ll talk your ear off none the less. Although, the past ten years his conversations have become more and more one sided because of his loss of hearing. I’m never sure if he’s heard me or not now a days but he continues to talk so I just go with it. He’s had a long and full life so far. He is the father of 10 and the grandfather of many. I’m sure he’s seen and done many interesting things in his 90 years but there is one story that I’ve heard which stands out in particular.

Pawpaw claims to be the person who suggested that the transportation department paint a white stripe along the side of roads to provide a visible border to prevent accidents. Whether this is accurate or not I’m not entirely sure, but after a little research I can’t find anything in the history of Alabama Transportation that says otherwise. So I will continue to believe that maybe he really is behind the white stripe in Alabama.

In 1999, the local paper wrote a Lifestyle piece about pawpaw and his white stripes. Article

Included with the article was a cool picture of him standing over the white line of some winding, country road in rural Alabama that runs through his hometown of Rockford. It’s probably the road I use to get to his house.

Papa Hatchett I love this picture. I love how the road curves around into the trees in the distance. I love how he is standing with his hands in his overall pockets and feet straddling the white stripe. His toothless grin in between is prominent nose and chin shows how happy he is to be sharing this story with everyone.

I will definitely be printing the picture out one day to display in my family’s home.

I think this picture is so visually interesting that I played around with a few effects to see if I could enhance it. These are a few of the ones I came up with one boring evening.

Papa Hatchett Effect 1Sunburst Papa Hatchett Effect 2Warhol Inspired

I love that he has given me a quirky story to tell my friends. I hope I never hear if this story has validity or not because I enjoy thinking that I have some miniscule claim to fame through his story.


  1. That's so cool! That picture will always be special to you! My grandfather is 90, too, and I have a picture of him hanging up in my house that is dear to me.

  2. Cool! Is this Hunter's grandfather too?

  3. I'm sorry about your grandfather. I know how you feel. I'll be with Hunter at the funeral to hold his hand and I'll be there to hold your's too. I posted a poem on my blog for you and Hunter. Call me if you need anything. I love you!