Born: Earth, 1947 Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army 4th Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate) Dak To, Ban Me Thuot, Tuy Hoa, Anh Khe Bong Son, Kontum, Cambodia, and Laos M-60 Machine Gunner and Kit Carson Scout Team Leader 1967-69
From the Artist:
Two passages from an unpublished novel, NAM MAN:
Candy came back from his visit to the World in haste. He had suffered through three weeks of home leave before returning to Nam for a second tour. His short stay in his hometown made history of a sort. His first stop there was Mom's No Nothing Tap, where he had worked before the war. He'd liked working there because you could smoke dope while tending bar. This was the type of establishment where people carve their initials in the bartop with a machete.
Candy drank constantly while he was on home leave and smoked prodigious amounts of skunk weed, personally imported from Southeast Asia, his previous habitat. Above the front door of his house he painted a large capital U with a screw through it: his coat of arms. As another attention-getter, with spray paint he drew a huge portrait of his favorite character, Luke the Gook, on his driveway. In three weeks home he broke with his girlfriend, his family, his town, and his country. He didn't belong there anymore. He was NAM MAN. MAN was NAM in reverse, and Candy had experienced that reversal, physically and spiritually. As an encore he shot up his house with a .357 magnum and burned it to the ground. Nothing was left but Luke the Gook's smiling face, a concrete cenotaph. Then he went back to Nam, where things made more sense and he didn't feel like a foreigner. It was his summer job. He was, at this time, about twenty years old.
In Vietnam he was Doc Candy, a medic, and a good one, brave and fearless."How do you find a wound in the dark?" he would ask. "You feel for it."
...Texas spent his spare time drawing. It was a temporary absolution for his sins. Killing tormented him, the dead haunted him. He wanted to smother his mind with drugs and alcohol, but in the boonies he couldn't get any. He told Shakespeare about it. As usual, Shakespeare understood perfectly and replied with ready sympathy, "Oh, God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space were it not that I have bad dreams." Realizing that other people had similar problems, Tex didn't feel so alone.
Sandbag architecture was the subject of his current drawing, He titled it Still Life with Sandbags. Still life—that was the key idea. Drawing, he journeyed from the three-dimensional world of brutal reality to the two-dimensional realm of the page, where he was God and there was no strife, only life, only problems to solve.