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Biography: Paul Evans

Paul Evans

Paul Evans was born October 13, 1978 to Mary and Jacob Evans in Flint, Michigan. Paul was an only child, given to bouts of solitude and brooding from the age of two. He was shy and found it hard to make friends, though when he did, they were usually friends for life.

Paul was an average student, who did nothing to excel particularly in school except in classes where he worked with his hands. He displayed real talent in Shop and Woodworking. He liked the solitude of the work and the way it enabled him to focus his energy on detail. He has a native sense of aesthetics, particularly when it comes to natural elements, such as woods or metals.

When Paul was twelve, his parents divorced. Within a year, his mother found she simply couldn't support herself and her son because his father never made a single child support payment. After much soul-searching, Mary opted to let Paul move in with her parents, John and Carlotta Randall, who lived in Yocona, Mississippi. Paul did not want to leave his mom because he felt she needed him, but he knew she was trying to do the right thing by allowing her parents to provide a stable and normal home for him, so he agreed to live with his grandparents.

His grandmother, Carlotta, was a very warm and caring woman, who supported Paul in his artwork. His grandfather, John, had a strong work ethic, which he enforced with Paul. From John, Paul learned that, if you wanted something, you had to work for it and that pursuing frivolous things in life would only make you weak. His grandfather was a carpenter with his own business, and he took Paul in as an apprentice while he was still in high school. After Paul graduated, he worked for John full time.

When his grandparents passed away within months of each other in 2005, Paul discovered the business was left to him. Unfortunately, Paul had no head for business and found he could only generate enough work to support one employee – himself – and he had to let the others go. His grandfather's carpentry business, such as it was, became a livelihood for only him. Paul was more interested in and spent more time on creating his own artwork than the business, despite the lessons his grandfather taught him. Paul resigned himself to the fact that he would never be a big success in most people's eyes.

In 2007, he got together with some other Oxford woodturners and rented space at the County Arts and Crafts Fair. Paul and the other turners each displayed a selection of the wooden bowls, candlesticks, and other items they had created. At the fair, Paul met a woman, Angela Wilder, who assured him he had great promise as an artist. She encouraged him to do as many pieces as he could and promised that, when he had enough, she would help him put on his own showing. Though it took him almost a year to create enough of a body of work for an entire showing, he did reach his goal.

At the 2008 County Arts and Crafts Fair, Paul again rented space, with Angela Wilder's help, and showed exclusively his own works. This first showing was not a financial success, but it did open some doors for him and encouraged him to continue. One of the things that happened at the fair that year, which was even perhaps more significant than the bolstering of his burgeoning career, was that he met a young professor, Kimberly Pace. He was taken with her from the moment they met. She had all of the qualities that he lacked: she was social, easy going, funny, and articulate. She also had a real appreciation for artistic works. An attraction was forged and they started dating shortly afterward.

In early 2009, Paul moved in with Kimberly in her home in Oxford. Though the couple felt a deep, passionate attachment for one another, their relationship was often rocky, primarily because of Paul's jealousies and insecurities. He didn't like her attachments to her students and often felt threatened by their lofty discussions about life. To him, things were either black or white, and he couldn't understand what all the debate was about.

Paul and Kimberly broke up several times throughout the course of their relationship, but always got back together. Whenever they split up, Paul never believed they would ever stay separated because he felt their relationship was Fate. Kimberly was his butterfly, and he was her rock. When her mother became ill, Kimberly leaned on him, not any of her students or egotistical friends. Even though Paul was not an animal lover, he tolerated Kimberly's obsession with her pets. He also developed a close relationship with Kimberly's younger sister, Becky, who he always thought of as his own little sister.

In addition to his carpentry work and his woodworking endeavors, Paul enjoys tinkering with mechanical things, including old motorcycles. He currently has an old Honda, which he rebuilt himself from the broken-down hunk of junk it was when he bought it. Still his favorite mode of transportation, Paul's motorcycle has replaced the aging Ford Escort he used to drive, which was undependable and often broke down. In his spare time, Paul also enjoys running, swimming, and other solitary sports.

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