Absolutely Alabama: Big John and Little Texas
LITTLE TEXAS, Ala. (WBRC) - There’s a small community near Tuskegee called Little Texas, so named because of the Revival Camp Meetings held there long ago which drew people from as far away as Texas.
Today, Little Texas is also known as the home of Big John Richardson. Take a trip to Macon County and spend some time at Big John’s Hillbilly Mall. Both are Absolutely Alabama.
Describing Big John is not easy. He is a wood worker. He’s a great storyteller. He’s a larger-than-life character.
Big John is also known as Big Elvis. It’s all part of his Rolling Woodworking Show headquartered near Tuskegee in Macon County.
“I enjoy my trailers. I love building trailers and when I get to a show, I like to show people my talent and I guess that’s same way Elvis Presley did.”
“Woodworking’s been a lifelong interest of mine and my mother, she used to go around to all the shows with me. A man walked up to her. The man says., ‘Mrs. Richardson, how long has your boy been in woodworking?’ And my momma’s just as serious and she looked up at him. She says., ‘You know he built the house he was born in?’ "
Big John says he has sawdust in his veins and a lot more on his overalls. There’s a story behind those, too. “I was toting my wife’s groceries from WalMart and as you’re walking you can kind of feel your pants going down. They’s little kids around. You know I didn’t want to traumatize none of them little kids so from then on out, I don’t wear nothing but overalls.”
Joking aside, which is hard to do with Big John, he does have a heart for the children who visit him at craft shows, “I like to help the youth. You know that’s what life is all about? You got to leave this earth a little bit better than what you come on it.”
Spend a day with Big John and not only will you see a true artist at work, he’ll share a little philosophy as well. “The Lord gives us two ends. One end to sit with, the other end to think with. Success depends on which end we use the most.”
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