He had been staring at the painting of a nude woman for so long some bystanders started ribbing him about it. He said the only reason he was interested in it was because he was an artist. “Well,” his tormentors suggested, “let’s adjourn to the offices of the Joplin American and let this artist demonstrate his talents.” He did. He sketched a man in a drugstore across the street. It was the first time Thomas Hart Benton had sketched a living person. He got a job with the paper and a start in his life career. He would be known for most of his life as a crusty duck who loved life and painted it realistically.

AUDIO: AOWM April 15, 2005 (mp3)