Home, Home on the Strange
The God Guy of Kansas

Of the 5000 souls that reside in Mulvane, Kansas, only one vies for the title of America’s strangest folk artist.

On the main road cutting through this little burg, sits a house whose owner is a painter with, well…divine inspiration.

The structure itself serves as his palette, his preferred medium -- spray paint.

A little leery of getting too close to the place, Veronica was making good use of her zoom lens before realizing that capturing the full extent of the subject could only be executed from up close.

Cautiously exiting the car, she left the door open. As a shield against a sudden burst of gunfire? Hmmm, a tad paranoid, but a quick getaway

could be needed. Behind the wheel, David inched our vehicle up toward the mish-moshed masterpiece.

With her face buried in the camera capturing images of graffitized stream of consciousness craziness like “X-END-STOP-XX EVIL SIN DRUGS / SIN -> HELL EVER FIRE,” her heart thumping a mile a minute, Veronica shot like paparazzi at a Brittney, Lindsey and Paris drunken pantyless party.

Advancing toward the front gate, suddenly she realized someone was

standing directly in front of her. It was an elfish little man with a big toothless grin on his face. A friendly one.

A quick visual frisking indicated that there were no firearms involved, so Veronica stuck out her hand in greeting and was relieved that her hand was taken in kind. David moved in from the support vehicle and we met Mr. Ronald Pollard, the God Guy himself. No call for backup needed.

Sporting a sunny disposition and a Kansas City Chiefs sweatshirt, Mr. Pollard seems a gentle little man, in stark contrast to the “GOD IS ANGRY” and “WHO KILLED JESUS?” pronouncements emblazoning the front of his home.

Our fears forgotten, we asked him a few questions and that was more than enough to get him started. As artist and curator he insisted we see the work in its entirety. We

followed him as he talked, and talked, and talked.

We pretty much got his life story. He specifically asked us not to call him Ron, he used to go by Ron but recently “God set him straight.” His parents named him Ronald and he must honor that. When asked what he does for a living, he merely said “I’m 72.”

Mr. Pollard is a simple man, and during the entire course of our visit, it never occurred to him that we didn’t see things exactly the same way he did. Being awoken by God in the middle of the night and told to arise, go forth and spray paint stuff on the side of a house seems perfectly normal to Ronald.

God has a lot to say. Every available surface, outbuildings, fences and even cars were covered in God graffiti.

This is a life’s work for Ronald, as far as he can recollect, he got the calling sometime in 1992 and insists that “God does it all, it’s all from God.”

It’s the fine line that separates a temple like this from your run of the mill New York City subway car in the graffiti art world.

Ronald insisted we follow him down a path lined with odd doors, through a courtyard of assorted strange relics to a freestanding garage on the back of the grounds. Inside, an old car whose hatchback runneth over with tracts and bibles awaited the next evangelical journey.

We were informed that bibles were on sale for a buck at the Dollar General Store so he stocked up. He handed us a few sheets of fuzzy Xeroxed paper of bible teachings with indistinguishable handwritten scribblings in the margins. With his testifying completed, he escorted us back to our vehicle.

Standing on the sidewalk in the front of his house, Ronald asked if he could pray over us.

Touched, we agreed, and he petitioned for our safe travels, our country’s leaders (“even the wicked ones”) and anything else that came to his mind in a stream of befuddled babble that managed to end with amen.

We thanked him and headed on our way.

Looking back over our shoulders, we caught a glimpse of Mr. Pollard waving and smiling, right where we left him. Waiting for God’s next directive to be delivered and then sprayed onto one of the few remaining clear spots on the Pollard residence.

His art may be angry, but Ronald Pollard is a happy guy.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

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