Driving through the back-roads of Little Rock while freezing to death in a convertible mustang, I thought to myself about how much I actually know about this person I was about to meet for the first time. My mother mentions him all the time, T. Wesley Dodson Jr, because she works for him as a gardener/maid, I don't know her official title but it's something like that. The thing she always talk about the most about him was this table that he has. Apparently, this table has been around since the early 1800s and has had four U.S. Presidents sit at it, one of the four being Andrew Jackson. What is also interesting about this table is that Andrew Jackson would eat at this table almost everyday because while living in Tennessee, he would have to cross Mr. Dodson's relative's property to get to his own. Hearing about this table, it was the most interesting piece of history I thought of, and I could have the chance of sitting at this table.
Besides from this interesting table I have heard some much about, I was kind of dubious towards Mr. Dodson. From what my mother tells me, he is really wealthy, he use to serve in the Navy, and he just had his eightieth birthday. So from that I pictured a strict, mean old man who hates slackers, and loves his money. I also pictured him living in this colossal house just to go with the personality I have made up for him. However, I was in for a surprise when my mother started to slow down for a stop. What I saw was completely opposite of what I was imagining in my head. The house itself was still pretty big, about 3500 square feet, but it wasn't tall like I pictured it. Now, standing at the front door, I asked myself if his appearance is going to be different too. The front door opened and he was standing there with a sincere smile, T. Wesley Dodson Jr.
T. Wesley Dodson Jr. invited us into his home and the first thing I noticed right away was how great he looked for a man his age, he didn't look eighty at all, more like fifty-five. Wesley was the opposite of what I was picturing in my head. Instead of the military man that I pictured, Wesley was a laid back and easy going, “win or lose, it's all good.'” He is also very confident in everything he does. Before I even got the chance to interview him, he wanted to know my background, which I thought was pretty strange because no one usually asks to interviewer about himself. Because of this I felt privileged and found myself warming up to him, before the interview even happened.
Born on February 28, 1932, Wesley seems to have a wonderful life, winning numerous awards as a Certified Purchasing Manager with his bachelor's degree in chemistry. He is also a very active person, a lot more than I am; another reason why I now admire him. Wesley is a quarterly lay reader for St. Mark's Episcopal Church, a member of the board of directors of St. Charles Property Owners Association and the Arkansas Art Center, a 32nd degree free mason, a member of the Razorback Submarine Base and Holland Club, and he was also past president of the Tennessee Jaycees and the Arkansas Purchasing Agent Association.
Wesley has also been to many places around the world such as Venice, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Canberra, Australia. He is also a five gallon blood donation member, which is about forty donations. What he is most proud of is the four years time that he served in the U.S. Navy in the submarine USS Catfish 339. Even with all of this the most interesting thing I like about him was his life growing up in Hermitage, Tennessee.
Growing up in Hermitage, Tennessee, Wesley lived the life of a farmer on his family farm. It was only him, his brother, and his father taking care of the 575 acres of farm land. Waking up at five or six in the morning, his family would assign chores for the day. This included plowing the fields, feeding the hogs, or just making food for everyone else.
They also grew their own food which according to Wesley was “corn, hay, small grains,…