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Boussom’s art represented Madison’s centennial

MADISON – Connie Hossler Boussom created the official artwork for Madison’s centennial celebration in 1969.

Connie Boussom. (CONTRIBUTED)
Connie Boussom. (CONTRIBUTED)

Boussom completed about 12 pen-and-ink drawings and portraits, mainly downtown scenes, and the centennial coin. “I drew the old Rexall Drug Store where Dr. Hughes was the pharmacist” at Main and Garner streets, she said.

Another drawing, “the Gin Office” or Rook House was adjacent to the cotton gin by the railroad tracks off Sullivan Street. In the era when King Cotton ruled in Madison, men gathered to play rook in the tin-roofed shack with a timber trellis.

The Rook House. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Rook House. (CONTRIBUTED)

Boussom remembers the centennial parades and people dressed in vintage costumes. “Men grew beards. I made a long dress with a hoop and dresses for my little girls for the parade.”

Her art exhibit stood by the train station. “It was a fun time,” Boussom said.

A native of Nappanee, Ind., she married Dave Boussom in 1958. “He started his career with Boeing in Renton, Wash. and was transferred to Redstone Arsenal in 1963. We found Madison to be a nice place to raise our three children,” she said.

Rexall Drug Store. (CONTRIBUTED)
Rexall Drug Store. (CONTRIBUTED)

In 1976, she earned a bachelor’s degree in art at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. “We were transferred to Hancock County, Mississippi in 1997. We lived in Bay St. Louis until Aug. 29, 2005 when Katrina hit. We lost everything,” she said.

Boussom’s centennial collection was destroyed by Katrina. Luckily, Huntsville Museum of Art does have some of her artwork.

“Oh my, has Madison changed!” Boussom said. “There were only two schools in town back then — the white school and the black school. When my children were in grade school, they integrated the schools.”

“I get lost trying to find some of the old places I knew” in Madison, she said.

Boussom now lives in Lillian on Perdido Bay. She just finished a three-person exhibition with Quayside Gallery in Pensacola. The Boussoms have been married 55 years.

For more information, email dandcboussom@hotmail.com or visit Facebook/Connie Boussom or quaysidegallery.com.

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