When I was about six years old my best friend was Barry Cottrell who lived next door. We shared a lot of adventures together. My first attempt at creativity was a team effort with Barry.
His father was painting their house — a very bright green. After his dad was done painting one day, he left the paint in a five gallon bucket in the middle of their garage. He didn’t put a lid on it — just a board. Barry and I were examining the bucket of paint when younger brother Don appeared.
I’m not sure who came up with the idea first. But our creative juices just clicked — and grabbing two large paint brushes, Barry and I proceeded to paint my brother green. Don just stood there calmly — seeming to enjoy being a part of something new and special.
Needless to say, my mother did not show much appreciation for our brand of creative expression. Mind you, this was not wimpy, water-based stuff paint! This was serious oil-based paint — meant to last. Kind of a lime green. No soap and water clean up! Mom recalled long afterwards how hard it was to get all that paint out of his hair.
I guess we were just ahead of our time. A decade later body painting was all the rage. And now people pay good money to cover their bodies in tattoos.
Kids — please don’t try this at home. It’s okay to imagine what your brother or sister would look like if they were green or purple — but just don’t paint them.