John T. Hill was raised in a rural Tennessee town with no stop lights, school, or grocery store. The population of the town was smaller than an average middle school’s student body, though it is home to a large coal-burning fossil fuel plant that sports one of the tallest chimneys in the nation. Of the handful of children in the town he was the only one who didn’t attend the county school, 45 minutes away. Instead he attended school in a neighboring county only ten minutes from his home. He however was not the only child his age in the small town named John T. Hill. The two John Hills were not related.
He had a mother, and a father, and a sister 7 years his younger, and his childhood home was a 100-year-old two-story house perched on the bank of the Cumberland River. It was filled with ghosts.
John enjoyed High School because he was really popular. He had a tv show, and he made movies with his friends. His classmates had to watch them. He wrote and made art for the school paper. One time he won an award for writing, but the story was submitted under someone else’s name because they were supposed to write it but didn’t. He didn’t get to keep the award. John played football and one year they won a bunch of games and got to the second round of the state playoffs. All the other years they didn’t win any games. He got a big trophy from the entire team for being such a nice teammate.
John attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and they let him go for mostly free, which was nice of them. He did really well, and so they gave him a bunch of awards when he graduated. Later he got married and lived all over the country, but mostly in Los Angeles. He worked on a bunch of different things, like a reality show where they do make overs on big trucks, and a bunch of cartoons that were fun, but ultimately got cancelled. Some of the jobs were for big important people and properties, and some of them were independent. One time he worked with a lady who was famous for making a cartoon that opens with a lady pooping out perfectly formed asparagus stalks into a beautiful porcelain toilet. He didn’t work on that film, but it feels noteworthy, like a house full of ghosts. He has also worked on some video games.
His first real studio job was working on an interactive game where a famous character teaches kids how to pee and poop. His latest job for the same producer and animation director teaches kids about the medical terminology of the stomach flu and diarrhea. Such is life.
He has a son named Jack, and his wife Laura owns a bookstore. John is now a full-time teacher as well as a contract animator. He now lives in the woods, not far from that tiny town, not far from that other John Hill. He can still see the giant power plant chimneys.