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Never Forget a Face

From the Texas Observer

neverforgetafaceKen Pridgeon, 77, spent 10 years in the air force before becoming a billboard painter—known as “Ken the Dauber”—in Baytown. Now he’s on a mission to memorialize every Texas serviceperson lost in Iraq and Afghanistan with a 3’-by-4’ portrait, even as the number continues to grow. So far, Pridgeon has finished 85 portraits, most of which are on display at Baytown’s Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Art Gallery. He says the project picked him.

“A lady called me and said they were having a memorial fun-run for [19-year-old Pfc.] Wesley Riggs. He died in Tikrit in 2005 and he was from Baytown, and she wanted me to paint a portrait of him for that event. I said, ‘Well, when do you need it?’ She said, ‘Saturday.’ It was Thursday.

“I said, ‘Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll go there and sit outside City Hall, and I’ll start the painting and people in the event will see that it’s in progress.’ So I did that, and I thought that would be the end of it.

“The fun-run was in July 2010. I was just 75 then. I was a lot better looking.”

Read the rest HERE.

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1 comment to Never Forget a Face

  • Cait

    Texas Country Reporter did an awesome story on him last summer. Let’s go visit the next time we’re in Baytown.

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