Halifax painter has brush with luxury in USA

Picture shows painter and decorator David Baines Jones who was flown first class to paint a property in Chicago. Picture: Ross Parry.
Picture shows painter and decorator David Baines Jones who was flown first class to paint a property in Chicago. Picture: Ross Parry.

A 64-year-old painter and decorator who had never travelled abroad had a brush with luxury when a multi-millionaire flew him first class to his American mansion.

Ecstatic David Baines-Jones, of Grove Royd, Ovenden, Halifax, said he couldn’t turn down the trip of a lifetime when a former employer’s son and wealthy financer asked him to do some work at his 12-bedroomed Chicago mansion.

David, who spent weeks in intensive care after diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer four-years-ago, said: “After being so physically and mentally low, to suddenly be elevated to such great heights was incredible.”

David, who has been married to Mary, 74, for over 40-years said they have never been able to afford a foreign holiday.

Mary, who suffers with diabetes and arthiritis, declined the opportunity to travel abroad for the dfirst time to stay at home to care for dog Ruby.

He travelled first class from London Heathrow; drank Champagne and met the pilot.

He stayed in Chicago for five weeks and enjoyed fine dining in the city’s skyscrapers with the financer whose late father was an Elland business proprietor whom David was an employee for more than 16-years.

“I mixed with American’s who drove big fancy car and wore cowboy hats, smoking foot-long cigars. It’s a different world. But I wouldn’t trade it all in if I could, I wouldn’t know how to.”

Mr Baines-Jones said he was overwhelmed with the vastness of America’s third city. But, the father-of-five said he is not tempted to hang-up his painting brushes in favour fo the good life.

“I’ll keep on painting while the work is there, you can’t afford to retire in this game.

“I just feel lucky to be here. I’ve had a brush with fate and now a brush with fame and riches, life feels good,” he said.