All Saint’s Day in New Orleans: Arthur Smith

ambience: Shoveling


This week, New Orleans is spiffing up its cemeteries in time for November 1st — All Saint’s Day. One of those persons participating is a man who’s spent much of his adult life tending family grave plots, and in the process, marking art. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. Rob Florence is the author of New Orleans Cemeteries: Life in the Cities of the Dead.

“Arthur Raymond Smith is a very interesting, eccentric, flamboyant New Orleans character who is a very talented folk artist, except he doesn’t sell his art. He has a strong affinity for several cemeteries and he comes in here with a lot of stuff that he basically pulls out of the garbage and creates these really interesting memorials.”

I spent the morning with Arthur Raymond Smith as he tended a graveside memorial to his mother. It was decorated with plastic flowers, photocopies of old photographs, pieces of carpets and other found objects.

ambience: Shoveling

“That’s honorable Ethel Boswell Davis, my mother. September 6, 1911 – October 16, 1978. At peace and at rest. That’s a picture of her at 40. I always honor my immediate loved ones with flowers and prayers. It’s a little decoration to her memory, cherishing her memory. “I named it ‘Forget me not, oh my darling.’ I does it to her memory. (sings) I stand accused of loving you too much, and I hope it’s not a crime because I’m guilty of loving you.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

All Saint's Day in New Orleans: Arthur Smith

Folks in New Orleans make special visits to cemeteries on All Saint's Day. But one local man has pretty much spent his life working and making art in the town's graveyards.
Air Date:10/27/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

ambience: Shoveling


This week, New Orleans is spiffing up its cemeteries in time for November 1st -- All Saint's Day. One of those persons participating is a man who's spent much of his adult life tending family grave plots, and in the process, marking art. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. Rob Florence is the author of New Orleans Cemeteries: Life in the Cities of the Dead.

"Arthur Raymond Smith is a very interesting, eccentric, flamboyant New Orleans character who is a very talented folk artist, except he doesn't sell his art. He has a strong affinity for several cemeteries and he comes in here with a lot of stuff that he basically pulls out of the garbage and creates these really interesting memorials."

I spent the morning with Arthur Raymond Smith as he tended a graveside memorial to his mother. It was decorated with plastic flowers, photocopies of old photographs, pieces of carpets and other found objects.

ambience: Shoveling

"That's honorable Ethel Boswell Davis, my mother. September 6, 1911 - October 16, 1978. At peace and at rest. That's a picture of her at 40. I always honor my immediate loved ones with flowers and prayers. It's a little decoration to her memory, cherishing her memory. "I named it 'Forget me not, oh my darling.' I does it to her memory. (sings) I stand accused of loving you too much, and I hope it's not a crime because I'm guilty of loving you."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.