Descriptive Essay of James Hurst

The day, Thursday, February 11, 1999, was quickly fading away as Amanda and I traveled to the home of James and Lilly B. Hurst, better known as Uncle Jay and Aunt Belle. It was about 5:00 p.m. when we arrived. The sky was heavily overcast and a chilling wind whipped through the trees as we parked along the side of the road. The house, an okra green shade, was situated in the Cedar Terrace subdivision of Flippin. We gathered all of our equipment and started for the front door. As we walked through the grass, its dry, dead chutes crackled under our feet. To the right, I noticed the concrete carport was cracked in several places.

As we approached the front entrance, Aunt Belle greeted us with a friendly smile and held open the screen door as we maneuvered all of our equipment inside. I looked around and briefly noted the presence of two couches, one loveseat, two armchairs, and a couple of small tables.

Soon, introductions were made and I met my interviewee, James Hurst. He was sitting in an armchair with one leg propped up by a stool. His head was sparsely covered with shocking white hair. He was comfortably attired in slacks and a button up shirt.

Before the interview began, Uncle Jay offered Amanda and I peppermints, a trademark of his being. As I began to ask him questions, his eyes lit up and a wide, cheerful smile appeared. He seemed to genuinely enjoy reminiscing the days of his youth. I was humored by his youthful attitude and native Arkansas accent. The occasional incorrect grammar and southern jargon added to the comfortable, realistic aura.

After the actual interview was completed, I had the opportunity to more closely examine the contents of the house. On the northern wall of the living wall of the living room, a table was cluttered with many objects. I noticed a miniature grandfather clock which I recalled had chimed at some point during the interview. In addition, there were many photos on the table. Most of the picture frames were plastic, and the photos encased were old and somewhat worn. The walls of the living room were dark brown paneling and many pictures also hung there. One particular frame caught my eyes. As I moved closer, I was able to see that it was a piece of paper which proudly named Mr. James Hurst as the "Father of the Year." Out of all the frames hung on those walls, I believed that one was considered to be the most important.

Too soon, it was time to leave. Expressions of thanks were given by Amanda and myself. In return, we were encouraged to "come again!" As we walked toward the car, we both expressed sentiments of "that was so cool!" Hopefully, Uncle Jay and Aunt Belle were also satisfied with the visit.

Interview and writings by Hanna Friend
Put on web by Wade McBee