College-themed mule unveiled at assisted living facility
by Nicole Smith
Aug 01, 2011 | 4060 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Crimson-Blu, the latest member of the 50-Mule Team Project, was unveiled Friday at The Terrace in Jasper. Photo by: Nicole Smith
Crimson-Blu, the latest member of the 50-Mule Team Project, was unveiled Friday at The Terrace in Jasper. Photo by: Nicole Smith
Crimson-Blu is the newest mule to be welcomed into Jasper as part of the Walker County Arts Alliance’s 50-Mule Team public art project.

The latest mule was revealed to eager residents at The Terrace, an assisted living facility, on Friday.

“I love it. I think it’s beautiful,” resident Magdlene Booth said.

Anita Williams, the administrator at The Terrace, said that their mule has been the talk of the town because of its Auburn/Alabama paint scheme. Crimson-Blu has even attended one or two meetings around town.

“Everyone has been talking about our mule. He’s already been worth what we’ve invested in him,” Williams said.

The mule was purchased by the administration at The Terrace to be placed on their grounds. Williams, along with others who work at the facility, decided how they wanted Crimson-Blu to be designed.

Williams enlisted James Davidson’s expertise in painting the mule. Davidson, a former math teacher at Walker High School, created the mule’s design himself.

For years, Davidson said he has enjoyed creative arts. At Walker High, Davidson helped with decorations at proms and pageants, and he even worked on some floats for the Rose Bowl parade.

“I’ve just loved to do things creative and since I’m retired, I have time to do that,” Davidson said.

It took three weeks for Davidson to paint Crimson-Blu’s distinct aesthetic design with one side of the mule being Auburn themed and the other Alabama.

The Auburn side of the mule is adorned with a toilet paper rolled tree from Toomer’s Corner and Aubie the Tiger, the school’s mascot, wearing an Auburn football jersey. A flying eagle, the championship football trophy, and a War Eagle banner are also painted on the mule.

The Alabama side of the mule is equally defined with a painted elephant mascot head and Denny Chimes bell tower. In front of the tower stands the school’s elephant wearing an Alabama jersey. Lastly, the championship football trophy and a Roll Tide banner are painted on the mule’s side.

Each championship trophy is nestled in Crimson-Blu’s saddle, which is painted Auburn/Alabama school colors. All designs are painted on top of each school’s respective crimson and royal blue colors.

One resident at The Terrace put the painted saddle on the mule to good use.

“I was the first one to ride it,” Charter King said.

While Davidson said he enjoys creativity, he had to learn to paint using acrylics, which he said was not easy to do at first. The fiberglass construction of the mule also took some time to get accustomed to, he said. However, he said he is pleased with the finished product.

Davidson said he is also proud that his artwork will have the opportunity to be displayed in the form of Crimson-Blu for the community and people passing through the city to enjoy. Since the painted mule will last in the elements for at least 30 years, the mule will be a part of Davidson’s legacy.

“I love it because I will be gone by then (when the mule will no longer bare its paint scheme). I’m 72 . . . I hope everybody enjoys it,” Davidson said.

Residents at The Terrace were dressed in Alabama and Auburn themed gear for Crimson-Blu’s unveiling.

“I like the Alabama side best,” resident Helen Woodley said.

After Crimson-Blu made his grand entrance, residents at the facility enjoyed ice cream cones and posed for pictures with the celebrated mule. Williams said that she is glad Crimson-Blu will be outside of their facility for years to come.

Mules, such as Crimson-Blue, are being placed at various businesses throughout Walker County because of the mule’s history of use for generations of farmer’s and coal miners in the county.