Cleanup At The Flower Man's House, Houston

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Good-bye, Flower man!
Originally uploaded by mirsasha.

The Man, The Bike, The House
Originally uploaded by eschipul.

Tonight, the Houston Chronicle posted an article about Cleveland Turner, the Flower Man of Houston's Third Ward, and how his house was damaged during Hurricane Ike and will be cleaned up by a group of volunteers this weekend.

A portion of the article reads:

Once a homeless man who spent 17 years on the streets, Turner said his art was inspired by a vision he experienced while being treated for alcoholism at a local hospital.

"I was lying on the bedside," he once explained, "and this big, beautiful thing came up from the ground. It was shaped round, and it had flowers poking up on the sides, and it went up, up in tiers. It changed my whole life."

There are several pics of Mr. Turner and his house on Flickr here, and a film crew came out and did a short piece on him:

On the house, there is a sign:
The Flower Man
Cleveland Turner, affectionately called the Flower Man, turned the yard of his Third Ward home into a magical garden with elevated beds that flower year-round, a penthouse for observation, a shade porch, and carpeted walkways.

As a boy in Mississippi, he had loved flowers and wanted to live surrounded by them. As a young man, he settled in Houston and found himself sorely tempted by the bars on every street corner. While recovering from alcohol poisoning nearly 20 years ago, he made a pact with G-d. To find the strength to stay sober, he would create the house of flowers. The work of art he created has sustained him through difficult times and has established him as one of the most important artists of the Third Ward.

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