The Dart: Natchez painter shares his wisdom

Published 11:06 am Sunday, April 24, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Randy Chance was sanding down painted wood in front of a house on North Pearl Street close to where The Dart landed Friday. Chance grew up in Minnesota and Houston before eventually moving to Natchez in 2002. 

Legendary Texas quarterback Vince Young played football at his alma mater Madison High School. Chance said he graduated from there long before Young ever stepped foot on the football field. 

“I wasn’t interested in sports at that time. I was just trying to get an education, but you know how youngsters go, you get into mischief,” Chance said. “Neighbors would tell on you. Someone would tell my mom what I was doing from down the street. I wish it was like that now. Back then you would get three whoopings: one from the neighbors, one from your mom and one from your dad.” 

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His life has flowed from Texas, to Little Rock and finally to Natchez. About 10 or 15 years ago he started painting with Phillip Thomas Painting.  

He worked while he talked on Friday, smiling and joking with a coworker. His boss Phillip Thomas was up on a balcony painting a column and another co-worker painted the porch banister. 

At 60 years old, Chance said he can’t do much hard work so painting is the best fit for him. The ladders are hard enough to climb, he said.

Work is where he finds some peace during the day. 

“You can’t do any job if you don’t enjoy it. If your boss is crazy then it will make your job harder. The most important thing is having a good boss like Thomas,” Chance said. “If you come to work and you don’t have peace it is a whole different story. A man has to have peace. If you don’t have peace you can’t function. You’ll stay frustrated all the time. I try to get peace at home, but I get more at work.” 

At home, he finds peace through barbecues, playing cards and enjoying a cold beer. 

Chance is married, although he said sometimes it has been shaky. He said marriage is a balance of two people being willing to give and receive. If one partner is worried about what is theirs and says ”this is mine, this is mine” then it is a sign to hightail out of there, he said. 

As he continued to speak on marriage, he shared that as long as a couple keeps God first they will be all right. The same applies to life.

“Life is good man, life is good. I find meditation too in his words. That is where peace really comes from,” Chance said. “If you don’t have God or Jesus in your life, you won’t ever have any peace. You have to have peace. The peace he gives is all you need, you can’t find it anywhere else.”