Favorite

Eureka! 

The Observer got up to Eureka Springs with the family over the long Halloween weekend, a good spot for such ghoulishness. Walked the streets, sat through the zombie parade on Saturday night, marveled at the place and fell a bit more in love with it.

We've haunted that town for many a year. Spent our honeymoon there in the Basin Park Hotel an age ago, in fact, after a long and ill-advised trip from El Dorado to Eureka via Scenic Hwy. 7. Wasn't all that scenic by the time we pulled into town long after midnight, exhausted from white-knuckling up twisting mountain roads straight out of "The Shining." In hindsight, we should have taken the freeway, though it did give Yours Truly time to bond with our new bride, and the idea that we were hitched.

Back then, 1997ish or so (please don't skin us alive for not knowing the exact year, Spouse), it wasn't the refined Eureka Springs, full of lovely shops and lovely things, which you might know today. This was in the heyday of Tourist Trap Eureka, when the Passion Play was the hottest thing going and every store seemed stocked with the same assortment of corncob pipes, Booger Holler T-shirt castoffs, and ceramic thimbles recalling a visit to the concrete skyscraper Jesus on the mountain. The Newlywed Observer struggled mightily over the course of a week there to find something worthy to commemorate our nuptials, finally settling on a row of tiny brass cats sitting on a fence, their tails hanging down to create a series of key hooks. It's home at The Observatory right now, in fact, screwed to the wall just inside the front door. It's been there year upon year, just like Mrs. and Mr. Observer.

In addition to the Halloween events, this was one of Eureka's thrice yearly (count 'em!) Diversity Weekends, so the streets were full of happy gay and lesbian couples, doing what couples do in a strange and interesting town, which mostly amounts to walking in and out of shops with one partner looking bored as hell while the other demonstrates how incredibly interesting scented candles can be. The Observer was proud of Eureka then — a little island of tolerance in Northwest Arkansas, parts of which don't do tolerance all that well. That kind of thing goes a lot further with Yours Truly than Victorian charm.

As we said: We love that place, that little time capsule lost in the mountains, where all manner of magic creatures might reside. You may chuckle, given how close Little Rock is to The Observer's tormented heart, but Yours Truly could see moving there and opening The Northwest Observatory someday. Maybe write a quirky little column full of recipes, character sketches and homespun wisdom for the Lovely County Citizen. Work as the pilot of the town's rare taxicab. Buy an accordion, learn one song ("I Only Have Eyes for You") and play it over and over for tourists at Basin Spring. Order a fedora and become the village's sole private detective, puzzling out The Mystery of the Bird Bath Drownings and Murder at the New Orleans Hotel and The Case of the Pinched Pomeranian ("Mr. Jones, I think if you'll look behind the secret panel in the back of that chifferobe, you'll find Princess Poochie von Cummerbund safe inside, along with your mother's diamond brooch!"). Find a bar where everybody knows Yours Truly as Inky Dave. Walk home in February through streets where the light from the store windows plays on the unblemished blanket of new snow, winding back to where we belong through puddles of gold, to a little cottage where Spouse is waiting in the doorway in her robe, smiling, saying: "I was worried, my love." What a dream. What a life that would be.

Trouble in paradise, though: The Observer was sitting on a bench outside a corndog and cider stand on Eureka's Main Street Saturday night, waiting for our bride to get her drink, when a kid ran up, snatched the stand's tip jar off the counter, and hauled ass. Kinda weird that we left troubled Little Rock behind for the weekend, only to witness our first crime of the year in the Mountain Mayberry of Arkansas. If only they had a good private detective to solve The Case of the Purloined Pourboire. Hmmmmm ...

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Snake stories

    The Observer's boss, Uncle Alan, is something of a gentleman farmer on his spread up in Cabot, growing heirloom tomatoes and watermelons and crops of chiggers on property that looks like the perfect farmstead Lenny and George often fantasized about in "Of Mice and Men."
    • Aug 27, 2015
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • Constituents go Cotton pickin' at Springdale town hall

    Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.
  • Stand up for Little Rock

    If Little Rock deteriorates because of substandard schools, there will be blame aplenty to share. But some elected leaders deserve special mention.
  • Hating the media

    Presidents, with the exception of George Washington, never found much joy with the media, although Donald Trump is the first to use the scarily freighted words "enemies of the people."
  • What's new and coming soon to Argenta

    A riverfront hotel, new residential development, food, drink and more.
  • Downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock are back in business

    Main Street and beyond bustles.

Latest in The Observer

  • Bang

    The Observer, who has lived in Little Rock many a year now, has a complicated relationship with this city.
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • Love is a verb

    It is Valentine's Day as The Observer writes this, the day of chocolates and lacy underthings past for you, but still the present for Yours Truly.
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • #resist

    First off, great job out there, everybody, with the marching and the sign-making and just getting out of bed and showing up when you could be binge-watching "Dexter."
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation