The Bettie Page mural on the side of a Ravenna house that "some feminists" defaced with gray paint earlier this year will be reincarnated as a double-feature early next week.
"I think it's going to rise from the ashes and be even better," Baxter said.
Baxter received and outpouring of support and offers from locals to pay for the mural's restoration after it was vandalized in June. But Baxter chose to turn those offers down, and instead asked people to donate to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
Then, when it came time to start the actual restoration, "the first thing that popped out of my mind for some reason was Divine, because I love drag queens, and Divine is the patron saint of drag queens," Baxter said.
"I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but as soon as I saw the mockup I was like, 'Yes! This is the right way to go.'"
Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, starred in a number of John Waters films spanning the '60s to the '80s, including Pink Flamingos and Hairspray. Less than a month after Hairspray was released in theaters, Milstead died from what the Los Angeles County coroner determined to be an enlarged heart. He passed away in his sleep.
But soon, for anyone driving north through Ravenna on I-5, Divine's presence will endure on the side of Baxter's house.
As for why Baxter decided to feature both Divine and Bettie Page together: "Really it's just people who inspire me and make me happy that they existed, and were individuals who didn't give a shit what anyone else thought, and who were just themselves. I'm going to feel inspired every time I look at it."