Dr. Jimmy has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into his backyard “booze shed,” and the thought of giving it up is almost too hard for him to talk about.
But Dr. Jimmy knows he can’t continue the upkeep of the 65-square foot outbuilding, with its mahogany bar and five taps, neon beer signs and five flat screen TVs.
He’s recently seperated from his wife–Dee Collins–started moving into A Home for Those Guys, and she wants it gone. Yesterday.
They plan to give away the converted shed in an essay contest. They’re looking for someone who can express in 1,000 words or less how much they would love the shed and its Bellagio Casino-themed decor.
“That Las Vegas casino is the most magical place on Earth so I spent a lot of time and money trying to capture a little of that happiness and bring it back here to Coma,” Dr. Jimmy said.
Dr. Jimmy hopes to receive 5,000 entries at $200 apiece. That’s $1 million—enough to pay off Dee’s mortgage, buy a retirement place for him and set aside some money for Dee’s adult education classes.
“We love this shed so much–mainly for providing an escape from each other and a place for Jimmy to sleep most nights,” said Collins. “This is a way to give somebody an opportunity who might not ever have the chance to own a shed.”
Dr. Jimmy added: “If somebody who’s really deserving could get this, I’ll feel good about it.”
Dr. Jimmy and Collins will read all the submissions and pick the top 25. As a screenwriter, she’ll keep an eye out for grammar, composition, effectiveness of the introduction and conclusion.
He’ll be reading for content, looking for someone whose passion is sheds, casinos and drinking.
They’ll give the 25 essays to a three-member panel—a bartender, a garbage collector and a used car dealer—who will select the winner and two runners-up.
Throughout the process, Collins said she’s had to be mindful of how tough this is on her husband. She’s well aware of everything he’ll leave behind when he walks away from the booze shed.
‘A LABOR OF LOVE’
Dr. Jimmy began renovating what had been a garden shed nearly 10 years ago–almost immediately after getting married.
He made the renovation of the shed his full-time project. Every imitation Rococo decoration was put together with his hands. He bought stools from Diamonds, a beloved local dive bar, when it closed down five years ago.
The shed is a style described as Louisiana lowland.
“I don’t think anyone else could understand what it is like to bring something so beautiful into the world,” Dr. Jimmy said.