Offbeat: Walcott's Mr. Fix It

August 25, 2006--Posted at 1:30 p.m.

WALCOTT, AR-- L. V. Jones is a staple in Walcott, having lived there all his life.  In fact, at 83, L. V. is the oldest man in Walcott, but only by three months.  Every Wednesday you can find L. V. at his blacksmith and welding shop along highway 141, where the shop's been since 1935.

L. V. and his brothers built the shop, the third one for his family that settled in the area back in the late 1800's.  His dad ran the shop, but he and his seven brothers all worked there because L. V.'s daddy said, "if you don't work, you don't eat."

L. V. eventually went to work for Emerson in Paragould, but after 29 and 1/2 years, he retired in 1986 and went back to work at the old shop, full of old memories.  The building is still full of tools and parts dating back to the early 1900's.  To the average person it looks like a room full of junk, a real mess, but to L. V. it's full of history and still functional enough to help his neighbors.

Every Wednesday L. V. opens the doors and folks stop by to get something fixed or a lawnmower blade sharpened, or just sit down and shoot the breeze.  L. V. says as long as he's able he'll still being helping out his neighbors.