Talk Back 3: Portrait of Mrs. Fordice - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 07/16/07

Talk Back 3: Portrait of Mrs. Fordice

I painted her portrait when she was First Lady of Mississippi. It hung outside her office. I was teaching an art class in Mize, Mississippi and  going back and forth to Jackson doing sketches for her portrait.

The students knew I was painting her portrait and wanted to paint portraits of her also. The class did their version of "The Lady".   During one of our conversations I told her what the children were doing. She arranged for my art class to come and meet her. She saw all the drawings of her the children did. Each and every child had a personal moment with her and a picture made with her. How gracious can you get? My daughter started calling her "The Lady". The name stuck. From then on all you had to say was "The Lady" and everyone knew who you were talking about. Mrs. Fordice thought that was special and wrote personal notes thanking her for the figs, corn, correspondences and any other little thing she would send with me on my trips to the Governors Mansion.

It was my son's class that got to go on the trip. At the time the school had no money for outing or day trips. "The Lady" made sure they got to come and have lunch on the grounds. Her personal assistant Sara kept us updated on her activities.

The last time I saw "The Lady" I brought back the portrait I had borrowed for a art exhibit. She will always be remembered as "The Lady" . 

Thank you for your time reading this. It was important for me to write, Beverly Dudley .

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