Friday, August 12, 2011

A Park Bench in Mississippi

Our Customers Greet You With Smiles
In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, I was in Pass Christian, Mississippi on some business. The small town of Pass Christian was devastated in Hurricane Katrina, as was Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Long Beach and much more of the beautiful, historic Mississippi Gulf Coast. While I was there, I attended an art festival in the park along Hwy 90 in Pass Christian. It was a small festival, a bright spot in the midst of a devastated coastline. As I walked through the park enjoying the artwork and exhibits, I noticed an older gentleman sitting by himself on one of the benches with a stack of papers in his hand that appeared to be drawings. He was wearing a wide brimmed canvas hat, a red plaid shirt, and had on large, black-rimmed eye glasses. He looked to be about 75-80 years old. I went over to talk with him and what I discovered was a truly authentic folk artist by the name of Donald McLaw. From what I have learned since, he is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana - and you can see more of his unique artwork at: I don't know why he was sitting on a park bench in Pass Christian, Mississippi as he was a man of very few words. He held out the stack of drawings to me, and as I looked through them I realized that I was having a privileged and unique encounter.

I purchased the two drawings you see here as well as two books of poems, McLaws Book of Poems and McLaws Second Book of Poems with poems titles such as - Big Texas, Who Gave Me This Cold, Badtimes in America, and Weird Willies-Silly Sallies.

A Small Self Esteem Can Follow You All Of Your Life
I hope you enjoy this entry and get as big of a kick out of the drawings as I did. He was certainly not one of the featured artists of the festival, but he was surely the most memorable!

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