A rose by any other name may "smell" as sweet, but what if the rose is made out of a recycled Coke can? Will it "look" as good? It will -- if it's made by the Rose Man of Chimes Street.
Just call him Smitty because that's the only name he wants to give, and as he twirls a pair of metal shears, I ask, "Is that a part of the routine, or are you just showing off?" "Oh, I show off," replies Smitty. "That's part of the routine because I can do that."
You'll find him on Chimes Street, right in front of the Bayou Bar, and Smitty says he can make a rose out of anything. "It's really not that tricky. You just have to be smarter than what you're working with. And working with a can, being smarter than a can is not that tough."
This all got started when Smitty's wife showed him how to make a rose out of a satin ribbon about 25 years ago. Now he's branched out. He'll do a rose out of anything -- window tint, brown bags, burlap coffee sacks, rice paper and, of course, Coke cans.
Smitty says, "Coca-Cola collectors, their motivation is to have that one thing that no one else has, and as far as I know I'm the only one. I'm what's called a blessed artist, but I think most of us are. My dad used to say all the time that it's a privilege to be in the art business."