By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
He whistles while he works. Sometimes he hums or even sings a few lines.
Not surprisingly, there is a smile on his face most of the time.
Meet Jerry, the painter.
Jerry St. Saviour, that is.
Jerry was born in Maine, in the living room of his mother’s house, delivered by a midwife. He continued to live in that state until he moved to Kentucky last May.
It was just getting too crowded—people with money coming in and snapping up all the available land and building fences on properties where he’d hunted all his life, he says.
So Jerry and his wife Kim (an Estill County native), sold their house and bought a place in the Furnace area of Estill County.
In Maine, Jerry had worked as a house painter for 30 years, where he did both interior and exterior paint jobs.
His career as a painter began after he got out of the Army, beginning around 1982. He got a job with a steeplejack company, helping “paint and fix up” a lot of the soaring church spires that are iconic in New England scenery.
Jerry has dangled from a rope on many of them, some as high as 200 feet.
The most common comment he’d get from passersby below is a cheery, “Don’t fall!”
About 13 years ago, he says, he took a look around and thought, “This is crazy!” He realized his equilibrium wasn’t as good as it once was, so he began a less risky painting phase, working on mostly residential buildings.
Kim and Jerry got acquainted after Kim had been living in New Hampshire for a few years.
They met at a church, where she was playing a 12-string guitar. Jerry was there with a buddy, and Jerry immediately took interest.
When word got back to Kim, she said, “Does he play an upright bass?”
Well, yes, actually he does.
The two went on to get married. They formed a band called “St. Saviour and Friends,” and they’ve made a lot of southern gospel, bluegrass and country music together, playing as many as 140 shows one year.
Both Kim and Jerry are “pretty good singers.” In Maine, they entered a couple of state-level contests where they won trophies for “best duo” and “best bluegrass group.”
Jerry also has a backup career. In Maine, winters are long, so he was forced to lay aside his paint brush in the “off” months. He obtained training to work in the mental health field, at assisted living facilities and homes for handicapped and disabled individuals.
Jerry would like to do more of that type of work here after he and Kim get their house remodeled and they get properly “settled in.”
He has already resumed his work as a painter, having just completed his first job in Kentucky at the home of Lisa and Robin Bicknell on McKee Rd.
To schedule a free estimate, call Jerry St. Saviour Custom Painting at 606-895-4754.