This is the memoir of a professional painter (think houses, not canvas) from Montana who desperately wants to be something else. Or does he? Burbidge rolls out the long, sometimes painful, but always interesting journey he underwent for 15 years, and his eventual break with that fascinating subculture, all the while retaining his painter’s soul. The book, as you might assume, is not really about painting. It’s about the people who apply the paint. It’s also about their lives, loves, hates, prejudices, addictions, and phobias. Burbidge describes them as “Dressed in white as they craft a backdrop to civilization, painters invite invisibility, smarting from the stigma of a simpleton occupation.” The author’s masterful descriptions, dialogue and characterizations serve as an ideal base coat for these entertaining stories in which humor is often found even amid the soul-deadening weight of the daily grind. Burbidge hints at an undeniable pride in being a professional painter. And for good reason, as he says in his introduction: “First fact about paint: it’s only one-thousandth of an inch thick when dry. But that one-thousandth of an inch protects and colorizes most of what humans construct on this planet, so what it lacks in depth it recovers in width, despite going largely unnoticed except by the people who put it there. The painters.” The next time I visit a supermarket or cross a bridge, I will try to remember that someone had to go up there, brush, roller, or sprayer in hand, and do the job that most of us take for granted. I’ll think about what that person looks like, if he has kids, a college degree, a gambling addiction, a penchant for practical jokes, or a chip on her shoulder about how the public perceives her choice of occupation. And if you read this powerful and entertaining collection, I bet you will, too.
Steve, not only did you come off with an edge regarding the article written for Angie's list but you came awfully close to being slanderous. The article was written if you will have read his bio by a very well established professional painter. The issue regarding the deposit was put in question by a responder. I have read your response in full as you suggested, and companies as large as yours are just as likely to use the tricks of the trade as the small guy as you suggest, if not more so. A large company has less oversight and workers get lazy with the boss not looking over their shoulder. I have had experience in this area, and thought that i was dealing with a very reputable company that had been recommended by a couple friends, my insurance company, and my adjuster who had dealt with the company. I had terrible problems with the company, who do full restorations and like your company paint in all areas. To finalize your statement that Established businesses do not cheat customers is completly false and is a very misleading statement. I am suprised that Angies list allowed you to post such an outragious comment. All you have to do is look in the Civil lawsuits section of the Established businesses that are being sued or are under investigation for fraud and cheating their customers!