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Dirty Work

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Eighty four year old Frank Ross of  East Moline is thrilled when he gets to play in the mud.

Ross is an artist, and he uses mud to paint barns, nature scenes, animals and also some portraits.  

Ross gathers mud  from the tributaries flowing into the Mississippi River.

He finds a variety of colors, many from the Cordova area. Also, some in LeClaire.

Ross jokes and says they call him the dirty old man because he plays with mud.

Ross  says it is important to recycle. He's constantly looking for mud when walking, and driving, especially along old country roads.

He donates many of his paintings, and visits area schools to show students how to paint with mud.

Ross bubbles with enthusiasm, sometimes humming or making sound effects as he dabbles away with a smile on his face.

Frank jokes and indicates he used to get a spanking for playing with mud. Now he gets paid for using it.