A Travellerspoint blog

Goodbye Bentonvile

Hello MB, SC

I have rented an oceanfront condo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Originally, I had planned to drive.
Through some lapse of intelligence, I ended the booking at my Bentonville home on November 30 and started the booking for my MB, SC condo on December 1.
As I refuse to go over the speed limit, I would have lost out on a lot of paid rent money.
I found a nice resting place for Ol' Chevy Van for the month and hopped a plane.
See Ya Later Ol Chevy Van

See Ya Later Ol Chevy Van


Frankly, I was glad to get from behind the wheel for a few weeks. Ol' Chevy Van also seemed to breath a sigh of contentment - but maybe that was the air going out of the tires or a shudder at the freezing rain.
When I first spotted this sign in the Bentonville airport, I thought they were warning other travelers about senior citizens.
Warning Senior Citizens

Warning Senior Citizens


Then I actually read it and saw similar postings at every stairway and escalator.
Just on principle, I took the damned escalator. Thankful that my arthritic knee did not give out on me and prove their point!
Five hours (instead of days) later, I arrived in my new digs.
My MB,SC Condo

My MB,SC Condo


Because you probably were not up at 5:30 this morning, here is the sunrise.
Sunrise 1

Sunrise 1

Sunrise 2

Sunrise 2

Sunrise 3

Sunrise 3


The instructions that accompanied the rental requested that I not feed the gulls. Nothing was said about the sparrows and finches that keep descending on my 18th floor balcony and checking for crumbs on the carpet.
Anything to Eat

Anything to Eat


And I was previously surprised at all the chipmunks that kept trying to get in the van in all the state parks where I have camped!

Posted by pscotterly 13:30 Archived in USA Tagged south_carolina Comments (1)

Living Full in Bentonville

Can Keep You Busy for a Week

Mary Travers might have been In Love With a Big Blue Frog, but she's got nothing on me. (However if you watch the linked video, you will see Mary and I gained similar girth.)
I'm in Love with a Big Green Penguin

I'm in Love with a Big Green Penguin


Others in The Hive restaurant were also interested in talking to me.
Real Conversation

Real Conversation


If you read the previous entry, you learned that C21 hotels are art museums and hotels. In each of the three hotels, they have a group of penguins that "migrate" throughout the hotel. I think these on the roof are permanent, however.
C21 Penguins on the Roof

C21 Penguins on the Roof


It might be that seeing them in the hotel is more delightful and whimsical that seeing them in this blog.
I revisited the art trail on my bike to get some more photos. This tree is entirely made of metal.
See the Bicycle

See the Bicycle


On the Art Trail is an installation that is difficult to explain. Thirty minutes before dusk and after daybreak, LED lights in a kiva shaped structure begin to change colors. As you look through the opening in the roof, the sky takes on different colors, However, in my photos the sky remained a slate gray.
Watching the Show

Watching the Show

DSC05978

DSC05978


Jet Stream Seen from Sculpture

Jet Stream Seen from Sculpture


This is more difficult to appreciate in this blog than the penguins!
You will just have to come to Bentonville and experience it for yourself..

I also visited the post office and mailed out most of my Christmas presents.
Helping Santa

Helping Santa


If you receive a package that looks like anything in this pile, Do NOT open it until Christmas!

Of course, if you are in Bentonville, you really should go to the Walmart Museum. It makes you not hate the Walmarts all over the country, but instead recognize what a true revolution he created in world shopping.
He DID Change Retailing

He DID Change Retailing


If you want to see more images of Bentonville and the Crystal Bridges Art Museum, enlarge my map and locate Bentonville, Arkansas. You will be able to see all the photos tagged for Bentonville.

Posted by pscotterly 07:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Thanksgiving in Bentonville, Arkansas

Where??? Why??

There are only three reasons to be in Bentonville, Arkansas:
1. You work for Walmart or Tyson Foods.
2. You do business with Walmart or Tyson Foods.
3. You want to visit the Crystal Bridges Art Museum.
Crystal Bridges Museum

Crystal Bridges Museum


Guess which of the three was my reason.
And I heartily recommend coming here no matter which option you fit into so you can:
Visit Crystal Bridges.
Crystal Reflections

Crystal Reflections


Glass by Glass

Glass by Glass


Walk or ride your bike along the streets and trails to view the scenery and sculptures.
Stella and Paula

Stella and Paula


Hayfield Sculpture

Hayfield Sculpture

Hayfield Sculpture 3

Hayfield Sculpture 3

Last of the Color

Last of the Color


Have dinner at 11, the restaurant at Crystal Bridges.
11 at Night

11 at Night


A friend who prefers to remain nameless and faceless
Nameless Faceless Friend in Bentonville

Nameless Faceless Friend in Bentonville


joined me for Thanksgiving week.
We rented a cute little house and did everything I suggested above.
Bentonville Livingroom

Bentonville Livingroom

Bentonville Kitchen

Bentonville Kitchen


If you don't want to rent a little house, stay at C21 Museum Hotel, a hotel that is actually an art museum. There are several galleries (also used as meeting rooms) and art in the rooms. They also have hotels in Louisville and Cincinnati.
Everything about Bentonville was a surprise. Even though I had heard about Alice Walton's museum opened since 11/11/11, I hadn't thought the town would be such a pleasant place to visit. Since the museum has attracted so many visitors, the downtown has developed into a charming place to visit. There is even the original Walton 5-10 Cent Store as the Walmart Museum. Regardless of what Walmart might have done to thousands of other small towns across the USA, the Walton Foundation has definitely created a rebirth here in Arkansas.

Posted by pscotterly 23:56 Archived in USA Tagged arkansas Comments (0)

Nimble Fingered Mama

Ozark Mountain Crafter

After buying an I Miss Bill bumper sticker at the Clinton Center Gift Shop on the Riverfront in Little Rock, I headed West.
First, however, I stopped by the only branch of the US Post Office I have ever seen without a flag flying.
No Flag

No Flag


I was going to point out to the staff that their pole was bare, but they were so jovial and I spent so many good minutes "shooting the breeze" I forgot to tell them they had forgotten to raise the flag. He was a graduate of Central High School in the 1980s and we did some high fives in celebration. If all post offices were as happy as this one, we would not have the term "going postal" - or it would have a completely different meaning!
I drove northwest doubling south for a few miles to visit Toad Suck. Apparently, it has some interesting history on how it got the name but all I found was an RV park with some snow on the ground.
Toad Suck Park

Toad Suck Park


Fortunately, I had reservations at the Ozark Country Inn in Mountain View, Arkansas.
Ozark Country Inn

Ozark Country Inn


I was the only guest with six available rooms. Generally, the hosts upgrade you to one of their best rooms when that is the case. Not here. I spent four nights in a 7x10 room wearing my head lamp. Don't book "Rose's Room."
On the first morning, I discovered they expected me to sit in the dining room set up for 12 and eat breakfast all by myself. Having had the same experience for the last two mornings in the Victorian inn in Little Rock, I threw a frenzied pout and said "This must be some kind of Arkansas practice."
I Refused to Eat Alone

I Refused to Eat Alone


The female of the couple hustled into the kitchen and I heard her say to her husband in a frantically puzzled whisper, "She wants us to eat breakfast with her!"
So, eat with me they did - every morning. And I, even bowed my head while they prayed for my health, happiness, and success in my basket weaving class.
Their motto is "Where Friends and Memories Are Made." Based on that, I thought they danged well better treat me like a friend and then remember me.
My purpose in coming to Mountain View was to take a basket weaving class at the Ozark Folk Art Center.
I was the only student for three days and because of the bad weather there weren't many more customers.
Learning to Lay the Ribs

Learning to Lay the Ribs


But Sharon and I had a grand ol' time chatting as I learned and wove four craft level baskets.
My Teacher My Baskets

My Teacher My Baskets


This is a beautiful part of the country and the folk music capital. In the summer, people come from all over the world to pick and strum on porches, the town square, and the various venues.
Mountain View Amphitheater

Mountain View Amphitheater

Downtown Mountain View Arkansas

Downtown Mountain View Arkansas


It was rather quiet, cold, and rainy during my stay.
I asked one of the musicians in the gift shop how it happened that so many talented musicians were in this spot. I was told not many they knew were from there. Instead, they had all moved there because of the music.
Gift Shop Entertainment

Gift Shop Entertainment

Gift Shop Spelling

Gift Shop Spelling


The crafts are basically those required for subsistence living that have now become artistic. Most of the craft center items are attractive, affordable, and fun to learn or buy.
So, if a bit of mountain music sounds fun and you have an urge for crafts. Drop down from Branson , MO and visit the area.
I also hear the fishing in the White River, the rafting in the Buffalo, and the hiking, climbing, and caving are superb. It was dark 15 hours a day and raining most of the time when it was light, so I mainly wove baskets, walked to and from class, and read - and, of course, checked out the local restaurants.
Catfish Dinner at Angler's

Catfish Dinner at Angler's


After graduating basket weaving 101, I drove west to Fayetteville.
Typical Arkansas Scene

Typical Arkansas Scene

View from an Ozark Mountaintop

View from an Ozark Mountaintop


The drive - even in the rain - is captivating. I stopped and talked to a man who had moved from the plains of Texas. He believes this is the most beautiful part of the country.
You can skip Fayetteville. I did stumble onto a place to get a mani-pedi - owned by a man from Orange County, California. He also thinks this is the most beautiful place in the country - and much more economical than Orange County.

Posted by pscotterly 20:08 Archived in USA Tagged arkansas Comments (0)

Living Like a Victorian Spinster

Little Rock Arkansas

I stayed at the Empress Bed and Breakfast. It is quite magnificent and has an interesting history.
The Empress B&B Room

The Empress B&B Room


I chose a B and B over a hotel so that I could have the companionship in the parlor and at breakfast with the other guests.
The Empress

The Empress


I was the only guest in this 7200 square foot mansion.
The Spinster's Breakfast Table

The Spinster's Breakfast Table


In many B and Bs, the owners or hosts join you for breakfast. Here, I was left to eat alone at the table for eight set with only one place setting.
At various times of the day, there are up to three staff members. They interacted as servants. Us poor folk from the North don't know how to react to mere household help. Maybe it was just me or the day, but I definitely felt like a lonely spinster with no one to talk to. I am glad they were all white ladies with Arkansas twangs. Had they been black, I would have felt like a slave holder. Perhaps if they had been black, we might have had more interaction. Most Southern service blacks provide a very personable interaction. Perhaps it is an old holdover they resent, but a white single traveler sure enjoys the pleasant conversation.

There are two main reasons for coming to Little Rock.
Clinton Presidential Library
Clinton Presidential Center on a Fall Day

Clinton Presidential Center on a Fall Day


which also had an exhibit of the ubiquitous Chihuly.
Chihully Tapers in Entrance Fountain

Chihully Tapers in Entrance Fountain

Chihuly 2

Chihuly 2


I spent at least four hours here, but others say two is all they needed.

Little Rock Central High School
The school is still a functioning public school and, of course, you cannot enter it. There is a very fine Visitor Center. I won't bore you with how long I spent there.
Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

There are also at least two Arkansas history museums and the Capitol looks magnificent. But, I must admit I am "museumed out."
Instead, I stopped by the Flying Fish for frog legs - which I had not eaten for over 50 years and those were caught and cooked by my father.
Froglegs at the Flying Fish

Froglegs at the Flying Fish


I might stop by the Esse Purse Museum on my way out of town.

Posted by pscotterly 06:26 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Playing Tourist

Seeing the Sites in Memphis

Why do we all flock to the daily marching of the ducks at the Peabody Hotel?
I guess the answer is obvious - they are cute, funny, and not an act you will see in any other hotel.
Just as interesting to watch are the people who come to see the ducks - few are cute, many are odd, some waddle, and similar behavior can be seen any place Americans flock.
About 30 minutes before the 11 AM arrival from the elevator, four fat ladies perch ed right on the edge of the fountain, tripods were set up, others huddled blocking the view of those already seated with coffee and mimosas in the very fine lobby. Many sat there with the view blocked wondering what kind of pushing shoving was going to interfere with the march and the general enjoyment. The folks sitting on the rim of the fountain grinned and gloated at the others with the best seat in the house.
When the beautiful chimes of the clock announced the half hour, the Duckmaster arrived and presented the history of the event.
The Duckmaster then explains that everyone in the lobby must either be seated or standing along the recently unrolled red carpet.
Many people didn't move; definitely not the fat people sitting on the fountain.
Very politely, security men with ear buds approached each person and quietly told them to be seated or move upstairs to the mezzanine where they can look over the railing. Everyone responded without a fuss. As soon as the security staff have left the lobby, the four women who had been perched on the fountain pull empty armchairs from otherwise occupied tables and set them exactly in front of the fountain. Soon a security man arrived and showed them exactly where they may position the chairs at the side of the table so that no one's view is blocked. They seemed to want to protest, but moved their chairs and sat to wait, looking a tad chagrined.
A young, thin, and very attractive woman had watched all this but is sure the rule won't apply to her. About 10:57 she moved to the edge of the fountain and kneeled with her camera to get a good shot. Aha, within seconds she too was politely asked to move.
The crowd control is so smoothly handled, then the elevator doors open, five ducks run to the fountain, and in 30 seconds it is all over - Quite like watching the Tour de France .
Consequently, I didn't get any good pictures of the event despite all the efforts of the security staff. Look at the online links for some good pictures.
The lobby of Peabody is a very beautiful and comfortable. Trip Advisor reviews voice that the rooms and services might leave a bit to be desired especially if you book through some of the services instead of directly.

I, however, was Couch Surfing.
And, just to let all you folks who worry about the conditions you might run into in this organization. Here is a look at my home and hosts in Memphis.
Home of Memphis CS Hosts

Home of Memphis CS Hosts

Couch Surfers Are a Rather Mild Bunch

Couch Surfers Are a Rather Mild Bunch


I had thought the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute had set the bar pretty high- and then I visited the National Civil Rights Museum here in Memphis. One of the most emotional moments of my life was to stand and look at the doorway to room 306.
Room 306 Lorraine Motel

Room 306 Lorraine Motel

Bus Boycott Sculpture

Bus Boycott Sculpture

Sanitation Strike Sculpture

Sanitation Strike Sculpture


This place should be on everyone's "must see list."
Go to bed and rest up after this visit. Nothing should interfere with the impact of your visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Next day when you are again filled with enthusiasm, for heaven's sake, don't miss the Rock N Soul Museum. You can play R&B and original Rock music until your ears can't take any more. You can look at the photos and "remember when."
Rock N Soul Sign

Rock N Soul Sign


Then, walk across the street and visit the Gibson Guitar Factory. The tour is offered every day of the week. However, I suggest you go Monday through Friday if you want to see the plant in actual operation. I made the mistake of going on a Saturday. I really like to watch the hustle of the manufacturing process and not just a presentation.
Gibson Guitar Factory Lobby

Gibson Guitar Factory Lobby


If anything with the word museum in it attracts you, walk along the Riverfront to the Cotton Exchange to the Cotton Museum.
Inside the Cotton Museum

Inside the Cotton Museum


If it is warm, ride your bike or take a nice stroll along the river. It was quite cold, windy, and spitting rain. I walked quickly with my head shrunk into my shoulders. Not much going on, but still a few interesting sights.
All Ghinko Leaves Drop at Same Time

All Ghinko Leaves Drop at Same Time


Our Boy on Beale Street

Our Boy on Beale Street


BB King's Blues Club Sign

BB King's Blues Club Sign


Memphis Quinceanera 1

Memphis Quinceanera 1

Memphis Quinceanera 2

Memphis Quinceanera 2


Having visited the Tupelo Birthplace, I was sure not going to spend $30-70 to tour Graceland. On my way out of to Memphis to Arkansas, I did drive by to get a peek.
Graceland As Seen from the Street

Graceland As Seen from the Street

You Can Tour His Private Planes

You Can Tour His Private Planes

No Room Rate Advertised

No Room Rate Advertised

Posted by pscotterly 19:02 Archived in USA Tagged tennessee Comments (2)

Little Rock and Bentonville, Arkansas

One day and one week too late

I arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas to visit the Clinton Presidential Center. I was one day late. President Bill was here yesterday with most of his former staff in in response to the Oral Histories project and as part of the 10 year anniversary of the center. Hilary and Chelsea were here for a symposium on their No Ceiling project.

I am heading to Bentonville, Arkansas next week. I will be one week too late. President Bush 2 was there Sunday in Walmart signing the biography. he has just "written" on Bush 1.

I did visit the Clinton Library. I will probably need to visit Walmart before I get to Bentonville, however - It has become quite cold, and I seem to have lost or not packed all my warmer jackets and footed tights.

Posted by pscotterly 08:09 Archived in USA Tagged arkansas Comments (0)

Moving through Mississippi

Dawdle, Don't Go Hell Bent

If I had it to do over, I would have divided Mississippi into quarters and spent a week or so in each one - exploring, reading the local authors, tracking down grave sites and strolling past houses both grand and shotgun.
Flags Over Mississippi

Flags Over Mississippi


But, I have made some plans and need to be in Arkansas next week - so much for my spontaneity! Besides, the temp has dropped to a high of 30 degrees, and I am not staying anyplace where I can borrow a ladder and climb up on top of the van to retrieve my suitcase of winter clothes.

If you want to linger in Mississippi a while longer, here are some links you might enjoy:

SubSippi for a video on the subcultures in Mississippi
The Shack Up Inn - I didn't stay here, but I know people who have really enjoyed it.
Mississippi Photo Tour

I have had a short, but pleasant stay in Oxford with my AirBnB host, but now must head out of the state.
Rich Williams Oxford AirBnB Host

Rich Williams Oxford AirBnB Host

Posted by pscotterly 09:17 Archived in USA Tagged mississippi Comments (0)

On the Road in Mississippi

Mississippians of Note

It seems that every burg and city in Mississippi has some claim on someone we have read, seen, or studied.
Here are just a few.

Medgar Evers
It is emotional to stand and look at his home and the historic driveway where he was shot in the back.
Medgar Evers' Home

Medgar Evers' Home


Eudora Welty
Front Door of Eudora Welty Home

Front Door of Eudora Welty Home

Eudora Welty Gravesite

Eudora Welty Gravesite


Her home is maintained exactly as it would have been in the 1980s. You can just picture her at that typewriter or cutting strips of typewritten text and reorganizing them with rubber cement long before word processing was invented. Call ahead for an appointment because they only allow 13 people at a time on the tour led several times a day. If you are not a committed Welty fan, waking through the house with a dottering docent looking at china, books, and bedspreads might best be skipped. Just take a walk through the garden on your own and read the brochure.

Jefferson Davis
His memory is everywhere.
Rebel Down

Rebel Down


I found the best place to think about him was Jefferson College, named after Thomas Jefferson where Jefferson Davis went to school as a ten-year-old boy. It continued as a military school for boys until the 1960s.
When I attended a Civil War reenactment here, one of the participants said, "Jefferson Davis went to school here. John Wayne walked here. You can't get any more hallowed ground than that. (John Wayne didn't go to school here, but they did film a movie here that he was in, so he said. I couldn't find the reference on IMBD.) All the women hollered, "Don't forget Patrick Swayze!" They filmed the TV series The Blue and the Grey here.

William Faulkner
I listened to audio recordings of A Light in August and The Sound and the Fury while driving around Mississippi. They wore me out with all the emotion! It had probably been 50 years since I read them. I definitely recommend listening to the audio version - the cadence, the accent, the emotion come through so vividly when you hear the words. All the Faulkner and Welty books I checked out of the library for my e-reader to re-read expired before I got around to reading them.
To visit the Faulkner home, I rode my bike about three miles up hill and through Ole Miss
Ole Miss Square

Ole Miss Square


Fall at Rowan Oak

Fall at Rowan Oak


to Rowan Oak. By chance, I arrived just as the curator was giving a presentation to a group of high school juniors. It was a real treat. He was an enthusiastic speaker and as he was trying to motivate 16 year olds, I became very enthused.
Faulkner Home

Faulkner Home

Dilcey's House

Dilcey's House

Just Like My Little Red Rocker

Just Like My Little Red Rocker


Note: I will add a photo of his burial site to the gallery later. For some reason, MapQuest gave me an entirely incorrect location and I have not yet made it to the site.

Elvis Presley
The first concert I ever attended was Elvis in the Fort Wayne Coliseum in 1957. Remember that, Bonnie?
For some reason, I assumed the Elvis Presley Birthplace would just be a simple site similar to Medgar Evers' home.
Oh, silly me.
Of course, it is developed Vegas style with fountains, a huge gift shop, a theater, and even his Las Vegas videos playing in the restroom - or, washroom as we call it in the South.
Replica of Presley 1939 Plymouth

Replica of Presley 1939 Plymouth

Museum Grounds

Museum Grounds

Washroom Entertainment

Washroom Entertainment


Originally, this area was a 15 acre dairy farm. Elvis' father borrowed $180 to build this house and rent the site. When Elvis was about 3, Verne could not keep up the payments on the $180, so they moved in next door with the grandparents until they moved to Memphis.
Two-Room Presley Home

Two-Room Presley Home

Going to the Neighborhood Privy

Going to the Neighborhood Privy

Presley Kitchen

Presley Kitchen


Richard Wright
The Natchez Visitor Center has very interesting information on Wright with an oral commentary by a Natchez lady, "Richard Wright is one of Mississippi's favorite sons - now." I am reading Black Boy as I drive through the Delta.

There are so many I failed to stand on their spots and pay hommage:

Writers from Greenville Mississippi

Writers from Greenville Mississippi

Posted by pscotterly 19:09 Archived in USA Tagged mississippi Comments (0)

Driving the Mississippi Delta

There Are No Rocks in the Delta

No Rocks in the Mississippi Delta

No Rocks in the Mississippi Delta


Until after the Civil War and closer to the advent of the 20th Century, the Delta was uninhabited. As technology advanced, the land was drained and made suitable for farming - mainly cotton. Many of the freed slaves moved here and took up lives of sharecropping. Many remain.
Cottonfield

Cottonfield

Baled Cotton

Baled Cotton


It is definitely one flat, smooth part of the country - different from anyplace I have seen.
Mississippi Delta Country

Mississippi Delta Country


I stayed free for two nights in the Warfield Point Park near Greenville, kept fascinated by all the activity on the Mississippi River.
Morning on the Mississippi

Morning on the Mississippi

Mississippi Delta Evening Sky

Mississippi Delta Evening Sky


Mr. Leon, the park manager, and retired Coach Adams spent a couple hours telling tales and fishing for whales with me. They also had to take a little break so Mr. Leon could use Coach's truck as a ladder.
Mr Leon Gets a Foot Up from Coach Adams

Mr Leon Gets a Foot Up from Coach Adams


I visited Highway 61 Blues Museum and multi-tasked by doing laundry across the street.
Leland Laundromat

Leland Laundromat


Pat, the son of the famous blues singer Son Thomas spends most days at the museum trying to eke out an existence telling stories of his daddy, his own exploits, and being one of the friendliest and most difficult to understand folks I have ever met.
Pat, Son of Son

Pat, Son of Son

Pat with Diddly Bo

Pat with Diddly Bo


Remember Bo Diddley? Here at this museum, I learned that a Diddley Bo is a homemade, usually one-stringed, instrument that Delta boys made to learn how to play the blues before they could afford to buy their first guitar. Of course, I had no idea what Bo Diddley meant all those years ago I listened to his music - just a catchy name.
Here at Dylan and Clapton, just Dylan, and Cream's famous Crossroads, I was a bit surprised at the Crossroads panorama.
The Famous Crossroads

The Famous Crossroads


Because I thought it was a lonely crosorads where Elmore James or some other star. sold their soul to the devil, I was expecting something a bit different. It was too early for the BBQ joint and too late for the doughnut shop, so I just headed on. i guess the crossroads is just metaphorical and perhaps one time this was a lonely spot where black blues singers hitched a ride to play the juke joints throughout the Delta.
Everyone famous and not so famous will tell you to eat at Doe's Eat Place. It is a true old Mississippi venue, but I think the food is way too expensive for the taste. The shrimp, steaks, and tamales are OK, but the bread and salad were actually inedible. How can that be when it is a James Beard winner?
In the Kitchen with Doe's Grandsons

In the Kitchen with Doe's Grandsons

Doe's Kitchen

Doe's Kitchen

Doe's Eat Place

Doe's Eat Place

Posted by pscotterly 05:07 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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