On June 17, 1966, a baby was left at the Oxford Church of Christ. A search for his parents proved futile. The infant was a few days old, dehydrated and withdrawing from heroin.
Jane Asher, R.N. cared for and fell in love with him. She and her husband, James, longed to adopt. James contacted the Mississippi Department of Human Services and six months later the baby was christened Carlton James Asher.
Carl was an independent child and preferred solitude. In school, he became fast friends with Victor Jennings who paid for the first of many tattoos Carl would get over the years.
After joining drama club and directing a few high school plays, Carl decided to be a film director. After graduating, he left home to study at the Academy of Art University in California.
He earned his directing degree but couldn’t find a job, so he returned home to Mississippi. He ran into Victor who had become quite wealthy. Victor asked Carl to work for him and promised to help him get into directing. Knowing Victor had connections that could help him achieve his dream, Carl agreed.
Carl’s job entailed "verifying and enhancing" the information Victor's clients included in their books. There wasn’t anything Carl wouldn’t do to find out everything about the clients and the people they wrote about, including using a video camera. Victor would then take Carl's information and "optimize the return on investment," which meant adding juicy tidbits to a tell-all book or "finding an alternate revenue stream."
Carl was well-paid but missed his dream of directing. He started thinking Victor just wanted him to be his fixer. Whenever Carl questioned Victor about directing, Victor assured him he "had several feelers out" and promised it would happen "any day now."
Any day never came. Victor was murdered in the midst of a slander investigation. Carl was no closer to his directing career, but he did inherit half of Victor’s estate. However, claims were filed against the estate, and the will is still being probated. So far, Carl hasn’t seen a dime.
Carl needed to support himself while pursuing his dreams. He got a job at Hop-A-Long Hotdogs, but it didn’t last long. Even so, he always had enough money to get by, though his source of income isn’t clear.
Carl often helped out his friend Riley Scott, an animal control officer, military wife and mother of two whose husband was stationed in another Mississippi city.
While filling in for Riley, Carl met Joey Sims, a local veterinary technician with dreams of making it big as an actor. Carl and Joey often fantasize about moving to California where they’ll become rich and famous.