When I first went on Facebook about 10 years ago, I did a search to see if there were other people named Cranford out there. I found Cranford Nix, Jr., and sent a friend request. It was accepted. I learned that he was a drug addicted rock musician, originally from Royal Oak, Michigan, who later lived in Blairsville, Georgia. What I did not learn until several months later was that he had been dead for about five years. He had “lived fast, died young, and left a beautiful memory” like the country song says.
Cranford Nix, Jr. was born on January 17, 1969, to Mama Dean Nix and Cranford Nix, Sr. His dad was the leader of a bluegrass band with two of his brothers and was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Cranford, Jr., suffered with mental illness and became addicted to the various drugs used to treat it. He mixed them with alcohol and heroin as well. He wrote songs about it. He had a gift of being lovable and conveying the joy of life to others. The irony was that he could not find a way to face life himself without self-medicating. A loving friend who maintains his music website put it this way:
This site is dedicated to the memory of Cranford Nix, Jr.. He was a really cool guy. He wrote and played great music. He made a lot of people smile.
How did Cranford die? – He died from drug and alcohol abuse. Please don’t do drugs, or try to emulate Cranford’s lifestyle. He struggled with addiction his whole adult life. His death wasn’t cool or glamorous. It was terribly sad and a tragic waste.
Cranford died on March 12, 2002, leaving behind a young widow and two sons. He was just 33. He had touched a lot of lives. So many people loved him. It wasn’t enough.
Cranford, Sr., passed away on October 14, 2012, and was buried next to Jr., whom he always called”Little Man” in Blairsville, according to his instructions. So I remain as the only known, firstnamed Cranford.
Painting is 24″ x 12″ acrylic on stretched canvas.
Price: $200 plus postage to US address
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