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David Arnold, was born and raised on the family home place in rural Brownstown and has lived in Brownstown all his life.
He is a soft-spoken man, with a down-home friendly, sincere and unassuming, quality, that believes his accomplishments, knowledge, gifts, and skills have served him well in life.
All who know him also know of his kindness, generosity, and willingness, to help others with their projects, such as the Town and Country Golden Years Club for seniors. When the Club needed a newer, safer, building for meetings, Dave Arnold contributed many hours of his carpenter hat skills and experience, at “Best Homes” in Effingham.
He is a devoted family man to his daughters, Tina and Cindy; grandsons, Winston and Phoenix; his brothers, Dallas and Dennis; and to the memory of his wife of 36 and a half years, Nancy, who passed away about a year ago.
David Arnold is a kind and friendly man. His conversation, like himself, is down-home, sincere, and modest.
*Poet – The late Ruby Goldsboro was Brownstown’s resident poet having written, and memorized, poems of all occasions and events, since she was a young girl.
Dave followed in her footsteps. Anyone can name a subject and he can put it in a poem. His mother and sister, Darlene Walters, also wrote poetry.
His sense of humor often shows up in one of his poems, some of which were read on a radio program…such as one about Morel mushrooms.
His story was, in fact, shared in a recent poem in a publication about the history of Brownstown. He wrote, “My Town, My Hometown.”
*Artist Wood Carving- Dave also creates beautiful works of art through wood carving and etchings on wood.
Dave shared, “I always loved art, but was never much of an artist. However I learned that there were many forms of art.”
He said he couldn’t do very well at painting or sketching, but could sculpt wood into different shapes, so he was able to recreate some primitive flintlock and percussion rifles. He shared that while the Kentucky style is the most popular; the Tennessee style is his favorite because of its slender, graceful lines and its light weight and simplicity.
Oh, yes . did I mention that he is an expert also on …
Davy Crockett Coon Skin Fur Hat! David had several varied interests and subjects. He was an outdoorsman as much as an aspiring artist ad poet.
He knows about all there is to know about guns of all kinds. How to take one, repair it, and take it apart and how to reassemble it. He can even build a gun, and is naturally a very good marksman.
At eight years old, he was in his first marksmanship contest and received second place in shooting with an Archie Davis muzzle loader.
Picture young David in a coonskin hat!…
…and going hunting and trapping with his dad just about as soon as he could walk. At age 10, he was going hunting, shooting squirrels and rabbits for the kitchen table.
NOTE: Dave is still an avid hunter, but most likely, for deer and turkeys. He provided small game meat for neighbors’ and friends’ kitchen tables in less bountiful times in the past.
“My dad was a carpenter all of his life and I grew up being taught and seeing how to make almost anything. How things worked and their construction always interested me, “ he shared.
“I remember when I was 5 years old, I had a little wind-up toy train engine that stopped and I wanted to know why it quit. So I tore it apart to see how it was made and found that it was made from a beer can, turned inside out. From that, I learned that almost anything can be recycled and beer cans don’t make good train.”
NOTE: Dave “grew up” and worked at Best Homes in Effingham until it shut down and built 10 per day when they were in full operation., gaining much experience and knowledge.
NOTE: He then worked as a volunteer on the building and completing the new Golden Years Club building, providing not only professional building but also professional advice and trouble-shooting, working as a carpenter, “
Then he wrote a poem about “that work of art” that Faith built.
Dave also shared, “I also learned that I could combine carpentry and art thus cutting out various pieces of art work on my scroll saw.”
“He has some very beautiful works of art via his scroll saw.
All of the above deserve a “Tip of the Hat” to Dave
…And many more notable hats worn by David were the Brownstown School Custodian/Maintenance hat, which he wore for 33 years doing everything from cleaning classrooms to repairing boilers and computers.
During those years…
Dave was the president of the school’s Education Support Professional Union for several years. He was named Illinois Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year for 2004 which was the highest award given by IEA (Illinois Education Association) to a non-certified school employee. He was nominated for the National ESP of the Year .
Dave wrote over 200 poems and IEA made a small booklet of some of them out the school students, and staff. He wrote over 200 articles for NEA website entitled “Dave’s Viewz” some of which are still there.
IEA and Nea sent David to conferences in other states each year and he was the keynote speaker at the Alaska conference.
And Yet Another Calling…
…David Arnold began serving the Lord and began preaching at the Luster Chapel Church in 1993, filling for pastors in their absence.
He was made supply pastor at Luster Chapel and currently at Haley Chapel and Mrt Carmel. But yet another hat….
Welder’s Mask & Hat…
Welding had always fascinated Dave, and he first started to weld in his freshman year in high school. He claims to be “foundational” welder, but this year he turned out some beautiful angels and crosses-out of horseshoes.
He shares the story- “last summer I was putting siding on a shed for neighbor, Liz Oberlink, and we ran across some horseshoes, from the horses that she and her husband, David, had once had. We talked about the various things people had made with horseshoe.”
Dave first made an angel in memory of his wife, Nancy, and placed it on his house. He then made more angels and gave one at Christmas in memory of our little Cora.
Dave also made a beautiful cross of smaller pony shoes for our son, Billy and decorated with dogwood, symbolic of Christ, who gave His life for us.
The many hats that Dave has worn, and is still wearing, and serving are also rather like symbols of the many ways David has shared his God-given gifts and abilities, by helping others by wearing one hat or another…”It is not the head under the hat, nor the hands holding the tools that Jesus loves…It is the loving and caring heart within that holds the love of Jesus that matters. I have no idea of what I’ll be making next, but I know I’m not quitting as long as God gives me life to go on and if any of what I’ll do or make for someone to bring happiness to their day, it is not because of my talent but only because God’s love has been shared.”