Macon Countian and Vietnam veteran Jimmy “Tennessee Wildman” Bandy had a busy summer this year. Bandy spent the entire sweltering season painting this intricate and colorful design on a steel-reinforced wood ramp for a storage building at his Lafayette residence.
He’d noticed the need for a much stronger ramp already, and built one with his own hands. Never one to settle for plain workmanship, Bandy decided he needed something that really said who he is. Being one of Harley-Davidson’s most fervent owners, builders, and riders, he then painted the combination of colors, logo, and design, seen here.
“The more I looked at it, the more this vision came to me,” Bandy said. “I’ve always loved Harley’s, and I wanted somethin’ that everyone could see when they came by the house. Somethin’ that would let ‘em know right off the bat this is Harley country!”
Due to the fatiguing, broiling heat of last summer, Jimmy had to complete this masterpiece a little at a time, on two saw-horses.
“It was so hot,” Jimmy told us, “the paint would dry into the wood, almost as fast as I put it on! That made my progress very slow. Plus, at times, I felt like I was cooking out in this! It took me several months, with many stops and starts, but… I laid with it, and got it all done like I wanted it.
“I’ve noticed many people drivin’ by real slow and checkin’ it out! And I’ve received many compliments on it! When people go out of their way to tell you how much they like somethin’ you’ve done- that makes the whole thing worthwhile, to me. Makes me feel proud of it, you know?”
“And indeed you should feel proud,” wrote Jimmy’s son, Michael Bandy. “You’re quite talented. Good luck with all of your artistic endeavors in the future, sir.” Michael will tell you that his father has always been quite the artist and cartoonist, even teaching his son to draw.
“Jimmy turned 72 years young on December 9th this year,” said Michael. “Happy Birthday,’Wildman’”