WHEATLAND – Imagine wearing the same T-shirt that President Donald Trump may be wearing at the White House or at Mar-a-Lago.
Local artist Karen Fuller who has been painting since she was a child created a painting of a bald eagle in on a branch, perched in front of the American flag. It was so inspirational to her that she decided to put it on a T-shirt with the slogan America’s Life Matters on the front and God Bless America on the back.
She had created the picture earlier, but it suddenly stood out to her as being the right time and venue to showcase it.
“I’m a very patriotic person,” Fuller said. “My family’s been in the military all the way to the beginning of our country. I just thought that we really need to look at the whole picture and not just one specific group. I think America’s life is more important than any specialized group.”
She took the painting and also combined her thoughts of a bigger picture.
“I think this is a time in our history that it’s really true,” she said. “Our American life is being challenged and it’s just something I thought, well, maybe other people feel the same way. So I put the picture on the shirt with the lettering. I truly believe that America life, the way we know it is in danger of ending.”
When she brought the T-shirt into “Touch of Color” to have the T-shirts made, Kim Zimmerman who owns the establishment was inspired by the T-shirt as well and told Fuller that she should send one to President Trump.
“She came into the store,” said Zimmerman. “She wanted to put it all on shirts and so we took a picture of her painting and then I have the ability to put in on shirts, direct to garment printing. I told her that I thought it was incredibly important and that I felt that I could help her as I always try to do with local artists, and that we should try to get some out there in the community.”
She followed Zimmerman’s lead and they say that they have done fairly well so far selling several T-shirts. The price of the shirt is $39.99 but $5 goes directly to the Veterans.
“After Kim gave me the push I went home and looked up the address on the internet,” Fuller said. “The shirt I sent was actually supposed to be for my husband, so he still doesn’t have one. So we sent it and it was several weeks before we ever heard anything.”
Fuller did all the legwork and checking into how to send a package to the president and after she sent it, she thought that perhaps she would receive some sort of a canned response.
Instead, in the first few days of November a large mailing envelope arrived from the White House and inside was a signed letter from President Trump and a signed picture as well.
In the letter personally signed by President Trump, he responded to her patriotism with, “My administration is focused on promoting freedom and opportunity so that our Nation continues to thrive. I will never stop fighting for the values that we cherish. Your steadfast support means a great deal to Melania and me. May God bless you, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.”
As he actually quoted what she had printed on her T-shirt, she was amazed.
“I thought oh my gosh and told my husband, ‘I got something from the White House,’” she said. “Then I ran over to show Kim and thought that I probably needed to calm myself down a little bit.”
Fuller says that she is an amateur artist who, most of the time paints wildlife and scenes around Wyoming. Although she was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, she came to Wyoming to visit her sister who convinced her to stay and be a nurse. As things became busy for Fuller, working and painting, she also met her husband and after they were married, they moved to Wheatland where she was a nurse at the Platte County Nursing Home.
Fuller and Motter, her husband of 16 years live in Wheatland. Fuller is currently working on several painting projects, one being a gift of a painting for each of her 138 relatives and another is a huge painting of the nativity.
To contact Fuller you can messenger her at Facebook at: www.facebook.com/karen.fuller.37669 or you can call Kim Zimmerman at “Touch of Color” at (307) 331-3672. The T-shirt can be seen and purchased there as well: 715 10th Street in Wheatland.