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Archive for Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Stifling heat can’t stop painter

July 23, 2003

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Working outside in the sweltering 101-degree heat of a Kansas summer makes this part of the year tough for some workers.

But Frankie Foreman said he knew it could be worse.

Foreman, 46, Helena, Ark., is a freelance painter who works on large, outdoor buildings, including grain elevators and barns. While he does most of his work back home, he travels north for a few months each summer.

"It's too hot to paint down there now, so we come up here where it's cool," he said.

Foreman spends most of his traveling time in Wisconsin and Kansas. He says he sends scouts to find work but often ends up just driving around and asking people if they need paint work done. His fee varies depending on how large of a job he faces and what materials will be required. He supplies all paint and materials for each job.

On trips, Foreman brings a few assistants to help with the work as well as his wife, Shannon Foreman, and 4-month-old daughter Angel, who stay in the hotel room while he works.

Foreman got into the business because his father painted, too.

"My father did it, and I've been doing it for 15 to 20 years now," he said. "It's a family tradition."

It's one tradition Foreman said he hoped would end soon. He wants to quit painting this year. He said as he got older the physical nature of his work, and the heat, began to get to him.

Hot weather doesn't bother Frankie Foreman 46, of Helena, Ark., as
he tops off a grain bin at a property in northeast Lawrence.
Foreman travels with his wife and daughter, and they are in
Lawrence as he seeks work such as the grain bin job he completed
Sunday.

Hot weather doesn't bother Frankie Foreman 46, of Helena, Ark., as he tops off a grain bin at a property in northeast Lawrence. Foreman travels with his wife and daughter, and they are in Lawrence as he seeks work such as the grain bin job he completed Sunday.

"I'm 46 years old -- that's too old for this stuff," he said. "Getting up and down the ladder is getting tougher."

Foreman said he hoped to return to his former occupation as a chef. He said he cooked in Springfield, Ill., for eight years before he began painting.

Foreman said he planned to be in the area painting for about another week.

Foreman puts away his hose after painting two grain bins in
northeast Lawrence. Foreman brings his own supplies as he travels
in search of work.

Foreman puts away his hose after painting two grain bins in northeast Lawrence. Foreman brings his own supplies as he travels in search of work.

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