SC Home's Mystery Tenant Actually a Genius

Randall McKissick is childhood friend of the owner
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2017 7:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – There's no ghost in the upstairs apartment of a home listed for sale on Zillow as coming with a tenant who's never paid. Rather, the place is home to something far less sinister: a kindly grandfather who happens to be what the State calls an artistic genius. Before falling on hard times about a decade ago, Randall McKissick was a renowned artist with paintings on display in Paris and New York. But emerging technology, a divorce, an eviction, and a series of thefts left McKissick down on his luck. That's when his childhood friend Mike Schumpert stepped in, offering McKissick an apartment in his home in Cayce, SC, per WIS. "He never mentioned money," says McKissick, 70. "I would like to pay him, but I don't have any."

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Schumpert's son says his "very charitable" dad, who recently broke his back in a car accident, and his mother, who is disabled, now need to sell the home. But "we want Randy to be able to stay there," he says. The family is also looking at finding another apartment for McKissick and his three cats, but there are financial challenges, the State reports. "In this age when people would sell out their mothers for a buck, here's two friends in dire straights who are trying to help each other out," a local artist says. McKissick, who suffers from panic attacks, often finds it hard to leave the house but says he'll move out if he must. Though he's "lost the spark" for painting, "I just want to paint again," he says. (A New Jersey family says their home has a stalker.)

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