Panthers and Palm Trees

Milton Reed is a home decorator, of sorts. He paints murals in people’s apartments – in one of the largest housing projects in America, Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. Around the neighborhood, Reed is known simply as ‘the artist. As in ‘hey, artist, how much you charge for a mural?’ Reed charges between fifty and two hundred dollars. When Reed started painting people’s walls, the thing most requested were panthers, often in black and gold to match people’s furniture. But soon, he got other requests.

A version of this story aired on This American Life as part of the show, “Give The People What They Want.”