top of page

"Portrait of George Glutz, Champion 'Baccy Chaw Spitter'"

Tommy "Culture" Colter

Known familiarly as "The Depressionist Michelangelo of Northeastern Arkansas," Colter rapidly rose to fame when two of his finger-paintings were given gold stars the same week in Miss Sturnwallow's second-grade special education class in the township of Redbone. He also had a featured exhibition on the inside door of the family outhouse, and was in later years known as an especially neat fence-painter by his boss, Mr. Stumpaxe.

His early dreams of studying art at the Sorbonne were shattered when he was forced to drop out of school, having repeated the fifth grade four times, thus becoming the only boy in his class who was eligible for the draft. Embittered, yet still driven by an inner urge to create, young Tommy signed up for art courses at a prestigious academy he had seen advertised on a book of matches, and after a long and difficult struggle, finally managed to draw "Thumper" and qualify for the honors class of 1956.

With his diploma in hand, he decided to devote his talents to documenting the people of his home town, letting it be known that he was available to record weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs for posterity. In his spare time he toured the county fairs, and it was at the 1961 Redbone Harvest Wingding that he was commissioned by George Glutz to immortalize Glutz's effort for the Guinness world record book in the Freestyle 'Baccy Chaw Expectoration division.

Although Glutz's sixty-seven-foot, eight-and-one-sixteenth-inch attempt failed on the global level, it still put him nearly a yard ahead of his nearest competitor for an All-Arkansas record and silver-plated trophy. Tommy Colter's record of the attempt was later hung in the State Senate outhouse, where it remained until the toilet tissue shortage of 1978.


BACK          NEXT


bottom of page