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Abilene man builds mobile home from Surburban

Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:22:42 PM CST   Updated On: Oct 28 2013 02:36:39 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

For one man in Abilene, using his hands to create masterpieces is how he wants to be remembered. 

Earnest Johnson has lived in the same house for more than 50 years, but his legacy will last a lifetime. He calls himself an ordinary man, but he's doing some extraordinary things with his hands.

For those in live in Abilene, you've probably passed his house or admired some of his artwork displayed on North 16th Street, but most people haven't met the man who lives inside the home.

Earnest Johnson, 72, practically built the items inside the house to take care of his ailing wife. He didn't start that way, though. He used to build toys when he was a child.

"When I was little we wasn't able to buy, we didn't have many toys so we made our own," Johnson said.

He used this determination to build things like his own heater, a motorized bicycle he calls his "Little Helper" and a special machine that he calls his "Number Three."

"God is my number one hand, I'm the number two hand and that machine is number three," Earnest said about his tall, rusty machine. His trusty machine has helped him build the "home" that carried his wife before her last days.

Earnest's wife had a muscular disorder and she wasn't able to get around, so he built a mobile home from a Suburban that was given to him.

"God put wheels in my head and I said I'll make me something and I made that to carry my wife to church and I carried her only twice. She was so sick I couldn't bring her back. But thank God she rode in there twice and I used to stay in the nursing home. I couldn't have made it without that Suburban."

As he lives on without his wife, Earnest said he will continue to praise God with his music that inspires others.

"You know I'm gonna have to leave here, so I thank God for it. I just want to inspire somebody to let you know that God loves you and He'll provide for you," he said.

He's a simple man who creates masterpieces with his simple life.