Travel Log - Arkansas
Arkansas: May 26 - 29

You could visit Sweden, England, Moscow, Lorado, Oxford, Berlin, Lisbon, Atlanta, Nashville, Florence, Portland, Fresno, Poughkeepsie, Newark, Athens, Austin, Knoxville and you'd still be inside the state of Arkansas.

If you needed Romance or Hope, wanted Heart or Success, you'd find them here too.

You'd also find two Morning Stars, two Evening Shades, two New Hopes and two Hookers.  And four Midways.  I had to ask the guy at the Post Office how they handle all these towns with duplicate names and he says there is somebody there just to sort it all out.  So use zip codes when you write to Arkansas or things could get dicey. 

It used to be called Possom Kingdom but now it's called Hot Springs Village and it is the largest gated community in the United States.  With 6 lakes within its 26,000 square acres, it has some of the thickest forested land I have ever seen...and remember I just drove thru the Smokey Mountains. 

When you think of Arkansas, don't bother to think "double-wide."  Jim and Maureen's place, you'd call it a mansion on the lake if you could see it.  Like Oregon, I think they just want it kept secret.  You need a hall pass to get in but the guards were willing to have Seno even without the little yellow pass.  There is a dizzying array of roads and altho there are plenty of houses there, you just don't see them.  I think there's a half dozen golf courses, lots of churches--basically everything's there but the mess.  Nothing messy anywhere.  Any where. 

May 27 - 29

The computer ate my update of this place and time.  I will attempt a quickie review altho nothing could quite do it justice.

My friend Marilu laughs easily and all the time and everybody is drawn to her because of that.  So laugh all you can, it's good for you and the environment as well.  Her home is all whites and pinks and located on one of 6 lakes and so comfortable that leaving it, I felt like a snail being pulled from a rock.

I got a chance to hear the Crystal Chimes sing--they're lady version of barbershop quartet and what is really great about them is that they are having a FANTASTIC time doing it and that's infectious.  Evaline Keith, Marcia Bresnahan, Vera Liermann and Rita Daniel where all red-white-and-blue'd and just jazzed at their outdoor concert.  After the event they sang a song just for me and Marilu--I'm a great audience.  I couldn't have clapped more if I'd had two more sets of hands. 

One of my highlights of this entire trip will be the ride John Hollansworth gave me in his 1917 Peerless called the Green Dragon.  This speedster has been in at least 4 Great American Races.  If you know what that is, you're impressed.  If you don't know what that is--well, it's on a par with getting Sinatra's autograph, OK?  The sound of that engine--I'm not THAT much of a gear head but that engine made such great music, even Harley riders stop to swoon when they hear it.  John introduced me to many of his brood and hopefully the photos will explain better than my words can.

Next up (Marilu kept me absolutely hopping the whole time I was there!) was a boat ride with Jim and Marleen Davis.  We four zipped across the lake with Jim being very, very controlled since we had our glasses full of white wine.  THAT engine was pretty thwubba-thwubba too as marine engines have their own song they sing.  Jim is INTO sound I think because his truck, Lil Red Truck, is more like the sound of the 4th of July.  OK, I'm losing you non-car people.  We docked at a restaurant called the Last Chance and I wondered about that, it being my last night in Arkansas...

Met Jeff Hunt who works for the Village Voice and has Robert Duval reading his screen play and Paramount about to start groveling for his NEXT screen play.  A tall, bright and very funny guy, Jeff deserves all the good stuff that comes his way.  He and Marilu understand each other.  Poor guy. 

I also had breakfast with Marilu and friends Vera Liermann and Steel Magnolia Sara Willis whose husband is nicknamed SQUARE.  He's not.  He looked Seno over and pronounced me certifiably insane. 

Marilu's lovely house by the lake, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Evaline Keith, Marcia Bresnahan, Vera Liermann, Rita Daniel -- the charming Crystal Chimes quartet.
A natural state of Grace.
My favorite newspaperman, Jeff Hant of the Village Voice.
Alyce in the hat she made for Marilu.
Ready for the special Red Hat Society luncheon.
There are 2 chapters already at Hot Springs Village -- we're set to have lunch here at Diamante.  The ladies were wonderful to Alyce & Seno giving advice on everything from routes to chanting for stress reduction. "Great Music squeezed fresh daily"  Building sized billboards line the highway into Branson, MO, a musical vortex.
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