Goodbye Miss L.V. Hull

L.V. Hull decorated shoe, Kosciusko MS

(This is a shoe we have that L.V. decorated)

On April 15th, L.V. Hull, a famous artist from Kosciusko, Mississippi passed away and was buried at Bethlehem Church Cemetery. She was 65 years old.

L.V. started creating her art in 1975 – she said she didn’t know exactly why – and eventually as the art overflowed her home and into her yard, visitors came from all over to 123 Allen Street to see her and her creations. In fact, the city of Kosciusko’s chamber of commerce promotes it, as does the official Natchez Trace site.

A doctor in town wrote a piece about Miss L.V. that appeared in the Star-Herald:

“Jesus is coming to Kosciusko, Ms. 39090.” This was one of her favorite sayings to put on her gaily painted wooden crosses. And, indeed, Jesus came last week to Kosciusko, MS 39090 and took home one of his truly unique creations, L.V. Hull, THE Artist of Kosciusko. Although her unusual art style was often sadly underappreciated and misunderstood, it could never be ignored!

I would like to think that L.V. considered me a friend. She loved company, and once you were allowed inside her humble house which was chocked full of the interpretations of her imagination, time seemed to stand still. Her no-holds-barred brand of homespun philosophy probably didn’t sit well with some visitors, but she certainly had an uncanny knack of telling it like it was.

Last year LV. was invited to display her art at a rather prestigious exhibit at Mississippi State University. Though some quirk of fate, it fell my responsibility to get The Artist and samples of her work there. Beth and I pulled up in front of L.V.’s house in our Ford Explorer which, as you know, does not sit low to the ground. Well, try as she might, L.V. was unable to get herself into the vehicle. I finally locked my hands like the stirrup on a saddle, leaned down and had L.V. put a foot in, then hoisted her in. “Don’t worry,” she reassured us. “If you can get me in, I can fall out!”

One of the last pieces she did for me was to be given to the president of our Mississippi State Medical Association when she spoke at our component society meeting here in Kosciusko this past December. The day of the meeting I received the following message taken by my office staff: “Your package is ready. When you come by to get it, bring me two pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken (extra Crispy) and a biscuit.” Needless to say, we both ended up satisfied!

L.V.’s impact on our town will probably never be fully known, but suffice it to say, it has been considerable. Since her arrival in Heaven, I imagine that she’s probably already tried to personalize the Pearly Gates. I can just hear now. “St. Peter, ain’t that cobalt blue BAD?”

Stanley Hartness, M.D.

Some nice pics of Miss L.V.’s home and yard are here (I’m trying to find our pics of her yard, but I think the last time we were there I was still taking pics with film!).

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