When my husband and I were first married we moved into the old farm house in Millstadt that he grew up in. Five years into our marriage we closed the business we had because of my husband's bad back; and we had to make some adjustments while waiting for his 100% VA disability to kick in.
Morris Baker had a poultry and feed business (IL-MO Hatchery) down the road and kept us supplied with fresh farm eggs. For the longest time I thought his name was Elmo, until I learned the name of his business.
We would always go by there to give him fresh caught fish or if we needed some cash, we would sell him homemade folding tables. One time we came across a gas BBQ pit that we had to clean up a little to get it to work and took it over to him. Morris took a look at it and said "I don't have enough eggs to give you for that!". My husband just smiled and told him he wasn't wanting anything for it. Morris insisted we at least take 3 or 4 dozen eggs.
I was over there one day and he was sitting in front of the shed with his hat on and the sunlight shinning on his face just so. I never forgot that day. I only had but a couple more years that I could go by and get some pictures of him in that hat around that time of the afternoon.
We moved away after the bad ice storm in 2006. While going through some pictures I came across the ones of Morris and something told me I needed to get working on those. So I began working on that painting to capture all those memorable shots. Even though he wore the same shirt during the shoot, I made the pictures look like they were different days, since we visited him often.
In the slide show below you will see a close up of his face. I put the reflection of Jesus in his eyes.
The painting was put into a barn wood frame and I put a tie tac of the (three crosses on the hill) at the bottom corner of the frame. We brought the painting to his place Christmas Eve of 2008 and he loved it. He died the following year February 13, 2009.
I later visited his friend who tried to keep the hatchery going. Unfortunately she was unable to do that. She loved the painting and had kept it for herself for a long time. Later on she gave it to her son who adored Morris and treasured the painting.
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D.L. Thomas Studios
P.O. Box 121
Marissa, IL 62257
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