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Sunday, February 28, 2010

And speaking of Painters and Poets - Archie Foxworthy

I have posted frequently on this blog about my great-aunt Firma Duchene Philips, a well-known scenery painter and one of the charter members of the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. I'd now like to introduce some other memorable folks from my youth - namely Archie and Mary Foxworthy. I spent my teenage years with my grandparents Claude and Helen Alward in Fountain County just outside the town of Wallace, Indiana. Every fall my grandparents would help Archie and Mary ready the produce and products they had raised on their Parke County farm to sell at the Rockville Covered Bridge Festival. My grandparents would tie bunches of bittersweet and help bundle other local fruit and flora such as persimmons and sassafras roots as well as various jams and jellies, I suppose. For many years Archie and Mary ran a produce stand on the corner of highway 234 and US 41, across from a little store called Jipville, where they sold the fruits and vegetables they had raised throughout the growing season. I got to know them there, and at Wolf Creek Community Church, and through Lodge and Eastern Star activities in Wallace. Also Archie had a sugar camp for as long as I can remember - and I have an oil painting of it painted by my Aunt Firma Phillips. The painting has also been around for as long as I can remember. When Parke County started the Maple Syrup Festival which runs from the last weekend of February through the first weekend of March, Archie and Mary became very involved in this event. In fact I'm looking forward to attending this coming weekend and buying some of Foxworthy Farms maple syrup. Now 93 years old, Archie is a musician, a poet, a humorist, and a philosopher. Duane Busick, an Indiana journalist, has produced a wonderful three-part series of videos about Archie entitled "Archie Foxworthy, Parke County Treasure" which can now be viewed on YouTube - and the links follow below. I hope you enjoy meeting Archie and his family as much as I have enjoyed knowing them throughout my life.

Archie Foxworthy, Parke County Treasure - Part One - opens with spectacular scenes of Parke County Covered Bridges as Archie picks his banjo with a hickory nut and sings in the background ...

Archie Foxworthy, Parke County Treasure - Part Two

Archie Foxworthy, Parke County Treasure - Part Three

And here's my Aunt Firma's painting of Archie's Maple Syrup Camp.



Duane said...

I'm delighted to see you sharing the video I produced of Archie & Mary Foxworthy. I regret not having been able to get to the Maple Fair this year. It's always a treat for me to go.. I first became aware of the Covered Bridge Festival and Maple Fair through my friend Duncan Snowden who mother was also involved in starting the Covered Bridge Festival.

Duane Busick

JuneBug said...

Hi, Duane, it's an honor to have you visit my blog. You did a wonderful job on the Archie Foxworthy video series! Thanks so much for preserving this history!