I would be asking questions, and in the middle of an answer, he would occasionally open the deep file drawer on the right-hand side of his desk. A Maxwell House coffee can sat at the ready. The mayor would lean over and "ping." His aim was good. I doubt I masked the expression of disgust that appeared on my face.
My other problem with interviewing Arnold was a class in logic he had taken at Centre College. He was a master at arguing, giving his point A and his point B, which could only lead to C, the answer he wanted. It took me a while to learn to tell him I didn't agree with the original points.
Frugality was part of his life, and that carried over to the city. If a vehicle was running, there was no reason to get rid of it. Arnold prided himself on the age of the cars he used for everyday transportation.
A city commission challenging that frugality had the city's stable of vehicles paraded in the city hall parking lot to make a point. While the trucks all managed to make the trip to city hall, they made quite an exhibit. One had a door missing. Another used a bucket turned upside down for the driver's seat.
Arnold was as charming a man as you could meet. His blue eyes could sparkle with laughter. They also could be icy blue if you made him angry. I saw those ice-blue eyes many times.
He also was a storyteller extraordinare. He loved an audience. Occasionally, he would stop by the newspaper to tell a story, talk about the past, complain about past wrongs. He never forgot a wrong. Likewise, he was always secure in the decisions he had supported as mayor.
One story he told remains my favorite. I can't vouch for it being true, but it was in character and one I heard more than once.
His phone rang one night about 2 a.m. A woman resident had called to complain about the pothole in the front of her house.
I can still hear his voice with laughter in it. "I told her I'd take care of it. I had it filled the next day."
He would pause slightly. "Then I called her at 2 a.m. that night to tell her the work had been done."
Only a man believing he was the best mayor he could be would have the confidence to tell that story.