While he has been out of the music spotlight in the recent years, Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall has been keeping himself quite busy with life at home.
“Me and my wife, Miss Dixie, write songs all the time,” Tom T. tells Country Weekly. “When we retired, she was the head of the Humane Association. She worked 18 hours a day, saving starving puppies. We built a big complex out here called Animal Land. They had horses where handicap children could ride them. Barbara Mandrell and a bunch of country music people came out to lead the horses around. All the kids would get up there and ride. But when I retired, I went to work for Animal Land. I said wait a minute . . . This is not working out for me! I’m out here riding Bushhogs, driving nails, carrying puppy poop around and saving animals. I told Miss Dixie, look you got to retire, too! We both got to do this!”
Since then, some of the animal duties have whittled down, but the legend is still a softy for the furry and feathered critters on his property.
“We have chickens and a bunch of feral cats,” he says with a warm smile. “I’m the only one the cats will associate with. I can pet them and pick them up and feed them. I gave them all names. I have one that came in here, roaming around. I was feeding him and everything. It was just a little kitten. I named her Fuzzette . . . but she turned out to be a boy. Now he doesn’t recognize anything but Fuzzette, so I call him Fuzzette. I’m a little more careful now when I name them! I’ve got a new little kitten I named Arty now, because he chews on my paint brushes I leave around my little cave here.”
In addition to tending to the chickens, feral cats, peacocks and wild turkey, Tom also has a green thumb. “I’ve got my veggie garden out back that I love to work in,” he shares. “I enjoy it quite a bit.”
And what’s one more thing that occupies his time? Painting!
“I painted a couple of dogs before, but I spent so much time with the Humane Association that I don’t want to sit around and paint them,” he says, laughing.
For more on Tom T. Hall and to see his paintings, pick up the June 9 issue of Country Weekly, on stands now!