All Images Copyright of James Mellick
The Art of James Mellick: Up On Blocks
Up On Blocks, 2007
Available for Purchase
14" x 22" x 7", cherry, copper, faux concrete
Sam and his daddy before him were moonshine runners always one step ahead of the revenuers. He knew every coon path in Hazard County, West Virginia like the back of his tattooed paw. In fact the back roads of Hazard County were tattooed on his paw just in case he forgot-which he often did. He could still hear the clanking of mason jars filled with white lightnin' clanking around in his trunk with every turn and he lost a few flying over groundhog holes.
About the time that booze became legal again, he got religion and decided to ride the straight and narrow, but he soon found himself running in circles-ovals to be more exact. It started with racing the dirt tracks at county fair grounds. He had several trophies proudly displayed over the mantel of the fireplace.
Then one day he got his big break. Mail Pouch Tobacco wanted to be his sponsor to race at a new track in Daytona Beach, Florida. They wanted him to place a big tattoo of a number "3" or "8" on his side but he wouldn't do it, so he decided to race without a corporate backing and still won a few.
When you get old, racing becomes more dangerous than leaving your turn signal on, so he decided to hang up the wheels and retire. Now he just sits in the back yard with his mind running in circles. "Race horses get put out to stud", he thought. "All I'm left with are a cool pair of shades".