Sponsored Project

Winners of Us All

Charles Konowal
Brendon Sawatzky, Charles Konowal
Watermelon slim stares into the distance in a profile black and white photo.

Winners of Us All features Bill “Watermelon Slim” Homans III a legendary bluesman with a master’s degree in history, a philosopher, an ex-MENSA member, truck driver, political activist, speaker of four languages and a man looking for love. His journey has been a search for meaning through his music, his art, and his numerous day jobs. But as he reaches the ripe old age of seventy, his thoughts and his art are becoming more entwined with the spectre of mortality. Bill Homans first heard the blues in Asheville, N.C., in 1954 at the age of five, when Ms Beulah Huggins, a domestic in his parents’ employ, would sing John Lee Hooker’s songs around the house. While no one can measure the extent to which our earliest teachers influence us, it would seem that Ms Huggins, an African American, had imparted a spiritual gift which transcended race to the youth who would later become Watermelon Slim. This film will explore Slim’s life as a prolific songwriter and an every-man. Through his own words and those of the individuals that know him best, we will reveal his character, his motivation and his challenges as a gay bluesman in a straight man’s profession. And as his songwriting matures, his interest points him into deeper personal territory creating a rare window into his life as a working-class creator.