The Colorist

He stepped out of a battered van and told me, “My first color was Play Boy Pink and we sold a 55 gallon drum of it to Hugh Heffner.”

He was a colorist. I’m a guy traveling with mules. People tell me all sorts of things. I just take them at their word. With all the words people pour in to my ears, making judgements is too much work.

Bernie Harberts, billboard, miner

Cracker and the colorist

The words poured out.

Him: “I also designed the gold color for Michelob Gold. And the orange for Black and Decker. And the white on the Budweiser can. And I did Coke red – the old Coke.”
Me: “Wow”.
Him: “The last year I worked for the company I worked for, they made 350 million dollars off my paint.”
Me: “Wow”.
Him: “I live in my van with my dog at a campground. I have a lady friend back in Minnesota.”
We were standing in Tennessee.
The spread between his remarkable career and his battered van was wide.
He wore a purple shirt and that’s my favorite color and I just let his words soak in.


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