Some folks just seem to have life dialed in. Take Phil Morgan - master potter, savvy merchant, licensed wise-ass. He's grinnin' every time I see him - hunkered over his wood kiln, holding court at some weekend crafts fair, or selling his famous crystalline pieces for w-a-y more than I thought people spent on glazed earthenware. No wonder he's the unelected Mayor of Seagrove! More surprising is his latest excuse for garnering my lens' attention: dude won a car. Not just any car either, but one of those tricked-out new Mustangs the Lottery is foisting upon the ticket-buying populace.
Now, I'm no fan of the North Carolina Education Lottery. Sure, some of the money goes to public schools, but the people I see playing the lottery in area stores would do alot better by their children if they'd put down that scratch-card and pick up a gallon of milk. But Phil's kids (if he has any) are probably grown and with his high-dollar pots spotlit in far-flung museums, I'm not too worried about his financial situation. Quite the opposite. Phil's works that hillbilly schtick for all its worth. With his ever-present bib overalls and gee-whiz demeanor, he comes across as Gomer Pyle's lumpkin uncle. Untrue. Phil's hayseed act is as calculated as it is genuine and he's crazy like an unwashed fox. When he took the keys from the lottery wonk and turned hs good fortune into another commercial for his hometown of Seagrove, I had to laugh, wondering if the folks in Raleigh knew what they were getting into when they pulled his name. Oh yeah, the car was nice too.
(Photo by Paul Church of the Asheboro Courier-Tribune.)