We stopped in Texarkana, AR, and spent some time visiting Lewis’ childhood town. This included dinner with Robert Fitzpatrick. Sitting there listening to Lewis and Robert talk about their memories of growing up in this city was fun. It was also a little odd in that neither one of these men is inclined to talk, but being together they talked almost as much as I do with when with my family – well maybe not that much but it was close.
Texarkana downtown is not the hub it once was since most of the shopping has moved to the area near the Interstate freeway. Lewis pointed out the closed JC Penny building downtown. He said that while it was under construction, he and two of his friends, snuck in, and climb up to sit on the second story girder to wave to presidential candidate John Kennedy. President Kennedy saw them and gave them a big smile and wave.
From Texarkana, we went to Mountain View, AR, which is a small city in the Ozark Mountains. The White River runs through this area. The Ozark Folk Center is just outside the city, which is full of master artisans creating necessary items utilizing the old skills of the Ozark people. The Center is a community where artisans set up shop and support each other with their trades. Example, there is a woodworker that makes broom handles, another artisan makes the brooms, paper for information brochures is made by a papermaker and printed by the printer, and so it goes. Great fun and you learn a lot along the way.
The city is spread out because it covers several hills. Traveling from downtown to a major shopping area is a trip up and down a couple of hills. We drove along the White River and never tired of the view.
At night groups gather to play music around the Courthouse square. While we were there the weather kept some of the groups from coming out. But in the past, we have walked around the square, eating ice cream, and enjoying music.
Even though we loved our visit to Arkansas and saw some amazing sights, we took only one – 1 – photo. Not sure what happened that we didn’t take more pictures, but hope you enjoy the one we did take.