- Associated Press - Monday, October 6, 2014

HARRISON, Ark. (AP) - Harold Enlow’s family was in the roofing business, but he found that it was not a good fit for him.

“Man, it was hot in the summer,” he said, “and cold in the winter.”

“And you’re afraid of heights,” his wife, Elaine reminded him.

“And I was afraid of heights,” Harold said, chuckling at the reminder.

The Springfield, Missouri, native eventually found more agreeable work with a new family in a new town, that being the Yokums of Dogpatch, USA, the Harrison Daily Times reported (https://bit.ly/1yx7IW6 ).

Harold was the wood carver from 1968 to 1975 at the Newton County theme park based on the Li’l Abner comic strip. From pieces of beechwood and working by the name of George Bernard Saw, he carved figures of Li’l Abner, Daisy Mae, Pappy Yokum, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the other memorable citizens of the imaginary hillbilly town of Dogpatch.

Some of Harold’s original creations, many of them one-of-a-kind, will be on display at the Boone County Heritage Museum from Oct. 14 to 17. The figures are on loan from Don Arnett, a New York collector and wood carver.

“We have not seen the carvings for many years either,” Elaine said, “so it will be like a family reunion for us.”

Elaine and Harold led the way through the very cluttered and very full workshop and storehouse, which verged on being a woodcarving museum, at their home in the Newton County woods just a few miles from the former theme park. In their post-Dogpatch days, the Enlows have kept busy in the woodcarving business. In addition to turning out more of the whimsical figurines that got him started, Harold conducts woodcarving classes all over the United States and Canada. Elaine does some carving, but mainly she paints the figures and handles other parts of the business.

Harold recalled the days spent carving figures for the tourists who came to Dogpatch. A self-taught artist, he admitted that, at first, he was not very good at girls’ faces, like Daisy Mae’s.

“I am now,” he quickly added.

Many people from Harrison had summer jobs at Dogpatch, Harold said. In fact, he claimed that several well-known couples actually started courting in his wood shop.

Elaine said that a couple from St. Louis, the Heimburgers, would come to Dogpatch every summer. The Heimburgers, Harold added, owned a popular bakery that was known for its classic gooey butter cake. The Heimburgers always bought several of Harold’s figures and took them back to St. Louis.

When the Heimburgers died, Elaine said, their children put the Dogpatch figures up for sale on eBay. That’s where Arnett bought them for $3,000.

“All of our carvings seem like family,” Elaine said, “and it is always so nice when they go to a good home. We know the couple who originally owned them really did like them. Don is going to be another good caregiver.”

For more information on the exhibit, call the Boone County Heritage Museum at (870) 741-3312.


Information from: Harrison Daily Times, https://www.harrisondaily.com

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