Our town, our people — Richard (Woody) Woodside


“Our town, our people” is a weekly Q&A with a local resident who is active in the community. Have a suggestion for someone we should talk to? Email T-R news editor Emily Barske at ebarske@timesrepublican.com. 

Richard (Woody) Blackford moved to Marshalltown from Detroit in July 1976 and is a security guard at the Marshalltown mall.

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: “I’m personally passionate about creativity. I’m involved in the arts, and I have been involved in the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation. I’d like to encourage others to venture into it and if they can, participate. I’m in the visual arts. I am a “pencilist” and I do satire, cartoons and some abstract drawings.”

Q: What community activities do you participate in?

A: “I plan on having more of my art in the community next summer. I also do outside film presentations for free. They’re all from my personal collection of 16-millimeter campy films from the 50s, 60s and 70s. That includes cartoons, documentaries and scare tactic films.”

Q: What do you enjoy about this community?

A: “(I enjoy) the part that participates in shared experience.”

Q: What changes do you feel need to be made in the community?

A: “(I believe there needs to be) more participation in shared experience. That would be reflected off of the people that say ‘there is nothing to do in Marshalltown.’ Create something. Do something.”

Q: What advice would you pass on to young people?

A: “Stay in school, stay out of trouble and if any of the arts interests you, get into it – that includes music. Integrate.”

Q: What social activity or event would you like to see come to Marshalltown and why?

A: “(I feel there needs to be) more music, more film, more drawings, more art because it unifies a town and it can pull people out who like those things but don’t experience it. Let’s say some people would like to experience plays, well, mix that in. Let bands open for the plays, the films and open for the art exhibits. Get it all in there.”

Editor’s note: This story corrected Richard Woodside’s last name.