Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves re-enactor Baridi Nkokheli and history buff Dave Ross will provide a “Clayton Conversations” Sunday, May 27 at the Clayton House that shines a new light on the project to memorialize the famed lawman.
Ross, a former Fort Smith radio broadcaster and advertising copy writer, will interview Nkokheli about the experience of acting as Bass Reeves over the past five years. Nkokheli’s volunteer work for the Bass Reeves Legacy Initiative is resulting in the unveiling of a larger-than-life statue of the slave-turned-legendary-lawman May 26. Nkokheli serves as director of Fort Smith’s sanitation department.
Of the interview, Ross says, “The main thing is to find out what kind of man Baridi is and how and if playing Bass Reeves has changed him at all. Has it changed his life? Obviously he’s had fun doing it (re-enacting Reeves). The main questions will be focused on his opinions about what the role has done for him.”
Ross will ask Nkokheli to share his favorite parts of Bass Reeves’ story, as well as what he has most enjoyed talking about in his presentations to youth.
“Does he ever find himself asking, in his personal life, ‘What would Bass do?’ Ross asks.
The Clayton House, at 514 North 6th Street in Fort Smith’s Belle Grove Historic District, accepts reservations for the limited-seating presentation that begins at 2 p.m. Sunday. Free refreshments, music and tours are offered in the historic house museum beginning at 1 p.m. Featured musicians will be Scotty Scott and Quy Pham, members of the Southside High School Orchestra.
To make reservations and for more information, call 479-783-3000 or email email@example.com.