Sometime last year, Carl Wayne, sent me an article about bodocks that he’d read online. It came from a blog by Terry Thornton of Fulton, MS. Terry’s blog had an unusual name “Hill Country H.O.G.S. Webpress.” The “H.O.G.S.” part stands for History, Observations, Genealogy, and Stories. I contacted Terry about sending one or more of his writings to be shared in The Bodock Post, and he indicated he would. Sadly, Terry, passed away while Barbara and I were on our Out West trip, recently.
Terry was passionate about Monroe County, Mississippi and would frequently share something of interest about this area of Northeast Mississippi. Earlier this year, he mentioned the work of an artist and included a picture of an old home the artist had painted in Aberdeen, MS, where beautiful old homes abound.
I followed the link Terry provided to the artist’s blog and discovered the world of art through the eyes of Arni Anderson. Arni was in the middle of a year-long project to paint one picture each day of the year in 2010. What fabulous pictures he had, including great portrayals of landscapes, houses, barns, many from Mississippi. The great part about Arni’s blog is that he explains the color medium used, the type of paper or canvas it’s on, and something about where the subject is located.
At some point, I left an appreciative comment on Arni’s blog, and soon he had asked me to be one of his many Facebook friends. One day I read that he would be in the Aberdeen, and he invited his Facebook friends near Aberdeen to join him at a popular eatery one Friday night. I had a Class of ’60 dinner that particular evening and felt obligated to attend it rather than make the trip to Aberdeen. Yet, when I began to look at the route Barbara and I would take for our Out West trip, I realized we would spend our first night in Oklahoma City, near Arni. I contacted him, and he seemed delighted.
Arnie suggested he and his wife meet us at Cattleman’s restaurant in OKC. According to Arni, Cattleman’s is about the best place to eat for miles around. The food was excellent, but the opportunity to meet Arni and Nina was better, still. She’s an Aberdeen “girl” whom Arni had met in college and determined to marry, so determined in fact, that he moved to Aberdeen and worked there until he could talk her into marriage. (I saw on Facebook today, 8/27/10, that he and Nina are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary.)
I was amazed at the many different jobs Arni has done throughout his life to support his family. He’s currently an art teacher in Edmond, OK, and has a few, hand selected private students, too.
Arni and Nina were the first of several folks we would encounter along our route to tour the West by automobile. I feel our friendship is now stronger than ever with our having met face to face. Arni tells me he’s planning an art showing in Northeast Mississippi next year. I hope to see Nina and him, then. Meanwhile, I’ll be keeping a close tab on his blog, www.arnisart.blogspot.com, and following his posts on Facebook.
~ By Wayne Carter/ Associate Editor and Publisher/ The Bodock Post