Saturday, July 27, 2019

walking it.

I'm back in Arkansas following a week long family reunion near Mt. Hood. I have a busy week planned. One week from today  I have a small cabinets class at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts. I'll meet this week with a contractor to begin work on an expanded wood shop for the Clear Spring School. I also meet with a church board about a project, and meet with a writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for an article about my work and revise and article for Fine Woodworking. With my wife out of town, our Golden Doodle Rosie will be my constant companion.

When I moved to Eureka Springs, there were three functioning potteries, one on Blue Spring Road operated by Lowell and Ruth Ann Baker, the Spring St. Pottery operated by master potter Gary Eagan, and the Eureka Pottery Coop of which I became a member. The Chambered Nautilus, a gallery of fine art owned by James and Betty Yale was the place where I began to sell my work.

At that time Eureka Springs had a fully functioning downtown including Clark's Market where I could buy groceries, Walker Brother's Department store where I could buy boots, shirts and jeans, and on the way home pay my rent, gas and electric bills. We also had a dime store and an Otasko store that sold some auto parts and hardware. Just off the downtown area was Perkins Mill that sold hardware, hand tools and lumber. What we had here was a real town in which I and my dog Allie could walk down the hill from the upper level of town, do nearly all the general business of life and hoof it back home using trails that meandered up through the woods

Over the years, the real downtown catering to the needs of locals was replaced by businesses that catered to tourists, and all the essentials were moved to the highway that passes through the upper end of town. The fact that our highway passes through the upper end of town, missing our lovely downtown completely has been a saving grace. Years ago, some businessmen had invited a television celebrity to town hoping to lure some investment money. They showed him the properties they hoped to grab his attention, and then on the third day he discovered the downtown area on his own. Well, Golly! The celebrity was Jim Nabors who played the TV character Gomer Pile. And there have always been those who think the best part of Eureka Springs is what you can see from an 18 wheeler passing quickly through town.

An artist friend of mine, Max Elbo, had come had come up with an advertising slogan that never gained traction in our town where the business interests and the interests in living here are often on a collision course. "Come to Eureka," Max said, "and rediscover your feet."

Those days were lovely. And much of Eureka remains the same except that the houses are no longer all white. The best way to see it and to feel a part of it is to walk.

Make, fix and create.

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