"Red Rountree" © wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)

Fifty-four year old J.L. Hunter "Red" Rountree went bankrupt when a bank called in his business loan prematurely. Even though he recovered and went on to become a successful Texas businessman, he maintained a lifelong grudge against banks. His wife of many years passed away when he was in his late seventies and later he married a young drug addict he met in a bar. He lost his retirement nest-egg putting her through rehabilitation and that marriage didn't last. By this time Red was drinking heavily and using drugs.

When he was 87, broke and depressed, he acted on his old grudge and robbed his first bank of $1999 but was caught before he had shuffled a block from the bank. For that he received probation and a $260 fine. He tried it again but was just as easily caught the second time, and he received a three year sentence. There's a saying that comes to mind here: "Why are we so soon old and so late smart?" He was 91 and out of prison again when he held up the last one in Abilene, Texas. The teller thought the frail old pensioner with the holdup note was joking. He wasn't... and neither was the judge. One year into his last prison sentence of twelve years Red Rountree died at 92.

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