NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — A Nashville mural is showcasing George Jones' legendary lawnmower.
The new artwork just went on the side of Colonial Liquors.
"I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did."
Nancy Jones is displeased with the new mural, calling it "plumb ugly!" She issued the following statement to FOX 17 News.
“Have you seen that thing?? It is plumb ugly! It doesn’t look anything like George. It is stupid, hideous, self-serving, NOT accurate and certainly not sanctioned by the estate or the museum. George was a great writer, a great singer and a proper mural should be about him and his music not a mischaracterization of him on a lawnmower!” – Nancy Jones
Inspiration behind the mural comes from a tale that George Jones himself confirmed to be true in his memoir, "I Lived To Tell It All."
"As the story goes, Jones was home alone and drinking but his wife had hidden all the vehicle keys so Jones couldn't drive. But Jones said his wife forgot about the lawnmower. Here's an expert from the country star's autobiography:
Once, when I had been drunk for several days, Shirley decided she would make it physically impossible for me to buy liquor. I lived about eight miles from Beaumont and the nearest liquor store. She knew I wouldn't walk that far to get booze, so she hid the keys to every car we owned and left.
But she forgot about the lawn mower. I can vaguely remember my anger at not being able to find keys to anything that moved and looking longingly out a window at a light that shone over our property. There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat; a key glistening in the ignition.
I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did."
There's been some debate as to whether the story actually happened in Texas or in Nashville.