‘Willie for President:’ East Texas Artist Gets Nelson’s Attention

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The race for the White House has already been one hell of ride and it looks like that’s just the tip of the iceberg, thanks to candidates who are unlike any before. Could it get any more interesting, though? Well, consider adding Willie Nelson to that mix.

An East Texas artist has Willie’s campaign sign ready, should he decide to throw his hat in the ring, and it’s gaining a lot of attention.

You’ll likely see the mural “Down at the Corner Beer Joint,” in Gun Barrel City – especially if you’re “On the Road Again,” “Somewhere Between” Mabank and Cedar Creek Lake, especially if “Yesterday’s Wine” is out of the question once you “Go on Home.”

That corner beer joint is The Great American Package Store. When Zak Taylor bought the community staple in 2014, he had to do something regarding “The Wall.”

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“First thing you saw when you came in town was a big ugly wall,” Taylor stated.

With that in mind last year, Taylor contacted his friend Britney Samford – an artist who is very popular for her murals who also owns Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio in bordering Mabank.


“I really like street art because it’s open to the public and, indirectly, I’m part of people’s memories,” Samford stated.

Taking up the challenge, she said to Taylor: “You Got The Money, I Got The Time.” Despite that, it took quite some time to get the project going.

“I waited about a year,” Samford explained. “I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do it. Then, I saw the poster for Willie for President and I thought ‘that’s it that’s perfect.’”

“Just “Look What Thoughts Will Do.” – That realization came in May, and after two weeks of working outside in “Stormy Weather,” Samford had completed her latest mural proclaiming “Willie for President.”

“Willie unites people in many ways, and has for longer than I’ve been alive,” Samford said. “I thought with it being an election year, it’s a comic relief for what we’re dealing with right now.”

With some thinking that “It’s All Going to Pot” if voters elect Trump or Clinton, the mural asks the question: Would Willie actually make a good candidate? He definitely seems to have a lot of supporters.

“Of course,” Samford said laughing, “Willie would make a fantastic president.”

“I try not to get too political,” Taylor said. “But it’d probably be pretty good.”

Richard Hinds, a Mabank attorney who often passes by the mural, said he likes Willie’s odds in the election.

“I’d vote for him if they put him up against the other two,” said Hinds.

What do you think would happen if Willie became commander in chief? Hinds thinks that the White House might go on to have a new party atmosphere.

“He’d probably get drunk, get high, write a song, make a million dollars, and not pay his taxes,” Hinds said. “You gotta love that.”

Even if Willie won’t be taking an oath on the “Family Bible” by January, his campaign sign gives people “Something to Talk About,” and is creating “Sweet Memories” for the “Honkey Tonk Women” (er… woman) behind it.

Willie shared photos of Samford’s mural on his Facebook page.

“Just for him to share it was a compliment,” the artist mentioned.

Even more of a compliment for Samford came in the form of news that the post had been shared more than 9,000 times during its first week.

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