New mule created as memorial to local teen
by Jennifer Cohron
May 27, 2014 | 5724 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Imagine is one of five mules that was added to the Walker County Arts Alliance’s 50 Mule Team Public Art Project in 2013. It was sponsored by Central Motors and painted by artist Tracy Waid. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
Imagine is one of five mules that was added to the Walker County Arts Alliance’s 50 Mule Team Public Art Project in 2013. It was sponsored by Central Motors and painted by artist Tracy Waid. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
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Each member of the 50 Mule Team Public Art Project has a unique personality, but none shines quite as brightly as Imagine.

One of five new mules to be unveiled in 2013, Imagine looks like a throwback to the 1960s.

Its fiberglass coat is covered in tie-dye. A green Grateful Dead dancing bear adorns its forehead. In the center of the mule on each side are peace signs and the word “Imagine.”

Central Motors owner Kim Williams commissioned Imagine as a memorial to her grandson, Jake Williams.

The 19-year-old died in August 2010 after a truck ran over him.

The design that artist Tracy Waid created for Imagine is a reflection of who Jake was at heart.

“He was a hippie,” said aunt Sheila Miller. “Jake was a big fan of the Grateful Dead and the Beatles.”

The local teen was known for sketching peace signs and labeling them with “Imagine,” the title of John Lennon’s best-selling solo single.

Jake’s favorite tattoo was a green dancing bear which appeared on the back cover of the album “History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear’s Choice)” in 1973.

After Jake’s death, a number of his friends got the same tattoo in memory of him.

Now Imagine stands at the front door of Central Motors sharing Jake’s story with many who never had an opportunity to meet him.

“I think everybody who comes in comments on it,” Miller said.

Imagine was presented to the Williams family in August 2013, one day before what would have been Jake’s 23rd birthday.

“It was very emotional,” Kim Williams said.

The 50 Mule Team Public Art Project began in the summer of 2011 as a fundraiser for the Walker County Arts Alliance.

Five additional mules were added in 2013.

•Chip, sponsored by Jasper Lumber Company. Artist: Barry Graham

•Ol’ Tobe II, sponsored by Drummond Company. Artist: Betty Swindle

•Clementine, sponsored by Sleepy Hollow Farms. Artist: Betty Swindle

•Flossy, sponsored by Jasper Pediatric Dentistry. Artist: Ginnie Roberts

•Imagine, sponsored by Central Motors. Artist: Tracy Waid