Fresh Paint

The group of longtime residents have fought to save Waveland’s old school, brought fresh locally-grown food  and family movies to the town park and planted flowers along the main drag.

Now the members of Waveland Strong are lending their support to re-painting the downtown mural, which depicts past landmarks such as the old high school. 

“It really gives you a sense of what the town is all about, in a kind of capsule look as you come up the hill,” said member Ron Keedy, a Waveland native.

The mural was painted in 1985 to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary. Commercial artist Mark Launer sketched out a design on the side of the current Italian Pie and Bakery at Cross and Green streets, and local artists helped fill it in.

As current building owner Stacey Paddock looked for someone to re-do the painting, Delores “D.J.” Thomas-Farley came forward. Thomas-Farley was one of the mural’s original artists and restored it in 2005, adding the covered bridge, school and library.

Paddock said she was thankful Thomas-Farley offered to spend more time with the mural.

“It’s almost a landmark now for Waveland,” she said.

While Thomas-Farley bought the paint, she said the project would not have been possible without the support of friends and neighbors.

“This is just my labor of love for the town I was born and raised in and plan to be buried in,” she said.

Russ Nelson agreed to loan a scaffold and Keedy turned to Waveland Strong’s Facebook group, calling for volunteers to haul the structure six blocks to downtown.

Eight townspeople turned out. Rich Dickerson pitched in a set of wheels for the structure, allowing Thomas-Farley to easily move along the mural.

But Keedy didn’t trust the rickety wooden ladder she used to reach the scaffold. Back on Facebook, he sent out a call for sturdier, aluminum steps, which were loaned by Dawn Corwin.

As Thomas-Farley paints, Keedy and fellow resident Dave Fullenwider often check in, while  Karen Zach brings her snacks and drinks.

Other residents stop by to say hello and tell Thomas-Farley they’re glad the mural is being restored.

Before the Independence Day weekend, Thomas-Farley figured she was halfway done.

She said the project is her way of supporting the mission of Waveland Strong, which promotes, provides and backs funding for community programs and resources.

“I am just another Waveland kid who loves my hometown and wants to see it revived again,” Thomas-Farley said.