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Episode #21002

Town of Louin

Air date 10/22/09
Host: Walt Grayson
Guest(s): M.B. Green, Mark Ishee, Bob Jackman, Dave Heflin

Mississippi Roads eases down to our featured town of Louin to hear the sounds of master instrument maker MB Green. Then we visit Bob Jackman of Brandon, who has built quite a collection of model cars.  We close the episode by learning how one man’s junk is transformed into art by metal sculptor and Louin resident, Dave Heflin.

 

 

 

M. B. Green of Louin, Miss., first heard fiddle music played live at a relative’s house when he was just a boy.  And that night at bedtime, he prayed a silent prayer to somehow “be a part of that.”  Little did he know how his childhood dream would be answered.  Green not only plays multiple instruments but also crafts expert violins, guitars and banjos, truly making him a music maker. 

 

Mark Ishee of Louin, Miss., has a passion for classic cars.  Two of his prized possessions are a 55 Chevy Belair and a 69 Chevy pick-up.  He has spent more than fourteen hundred hours restoring his 55 Chevy, taking it down to the frame and completely refurbishing the entire car.  He has won numerous awards at various car shows but it is not just a show piece.  Mark loves to drive his classic cars as much as he loves restoring them.

 

Robert Jackman is a Brandon man who has a passion for collecting cars, both large and small. He bought his first car at age 13 and his first die cast car model too. Since then, he has increased his car and model collection enormously. What started as a hobby over 50 years ago has grown to a collection of a half a dozen cars and over 4000 models.  It is estimated that just his model collection alone is worth over $400,000.

 

Dave Heflin taught at Delta State for years and then retired to his wife’s home at Louin.  But retirement doesn’t mean a sedentary life for him.  For his birthday one year, his children presented Dave with a welding machine and he hasn’t found an end for its uses yet.  Dave has associated himself tightly to the Mississippi Craftsman’s Guild as a folk artist, making new things by recombining old things with his welder.

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Louin, Miss. began as an intersection of two county roads where a trading center later developed.  In 1890 a post office opened and the town was later named Louin Ishee, the postmaster’s son.  In 1906 the MG and Kansas City Railroad was built through Louin and at that time the town had a bank, a school, a church, a general store and sawmill.  Today, not a whole lot has changed in the small town.  The population of around 300 has stayed pretty much steady over the past one hundred years and there are still a few shops and stores in the town.  The Banjo Shop is one store in Louin that attracts customers from around the world.

 

If you get to Louin and get hunger pangs, drive a few miles north of town on Highway 15 to Davey’s Restaurant.  Davey’s serves up some of the best home cooking in Mississippi.  Don’t forget to sign the guestbook inside Davey’s.  People from around the world have eaten at this tiny country restaurant and they heap on the complements.  They even have a letter from former first lady Barbara Bush singing the praises of Davey’s. 

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