Its Saturday morning here in NW Arkansas. The sun is shining, the air is heavy and grandson, BB, is lying on the floor watching cartoons No signs of Ike YET.
Michael's Cajun Aunt Gert and her daughter, Karen, are here in NW Arkansas visiting Michael's other Aunt Helen (Nanny). After riding out Gustav, it seems Gert and Karen left Baton Rouge and headed to Alvin, TX (25 miles SE of Houston, right next to Galveston Bay) to stay with the other daughter/sister Kelly until electricity was restored in Baton Rouge. Well guess what? Here comes Ike! Looking for higher ground Gert and Karen decided to visit Nanny here in NW Arkansas leaving Kelly and family behind. At last contact Kelly told Karen they were going to ride out Ike. We're hoping that wasn't a bad decision, please keep them in your prayers!!
Karen, who I'd never met before, decided she wanted to see Eureka Springs and asked Nanny to ask me to ride along and act as tour guide. I accepted. Our touring included Crownthorn Chapel, Christ of the Ozarks, the historic Crescent Hotel and shopping for leather purses in downtown Eureka. We also stopped at one of my favorite places called Myrtie Mae's for lunch. (It was at Myrtie's I realized I'd forgotten my camera?? I'm slipping?) While sitting on the veranda mid-afternoon at the Crescent Hotel sipping cokes Karen mentioned how everything on TV was junk, I replied "=Yeah, not much choice except the Olympics and political conventions, Gustav and Governor Palin....huuuumppph!" She looked at me quizzically then asked, "Well, I take it you don't think George Bush is God and we can talk about him? I said, "You're darn tootin!" Laughing hysterically we proceeded to solve the worlds problems by literally tearing poor George to ribbons.
I had never been to the Crescent Hotel before, but have driven past many, many times during many of my tour guide duties with family. The Crescent, built in 1886 by a bunch of imported, Irish stonemasons is said to be haunted. The most often sighted ghost is that of a red-haired Irish stonemason named "Michael." Michael was one of the original stonemasons who worked on the building of the hotel. However, while working on the roof of the immense hotel, he lost his balance and fell to the second floor and died on impact. It is said, Michael is a naughty ghost who likes to play tricks with the lights, the doors, and television, as well as often being heard pounding loudly on the walls. Guests have witnessed hands mysteriously coming out of the bathroom mirrors and heard a man screaming as he fell into a ceiling.
Other guests have been rudely awakened during the night, and on one occasion one of the guests ran screaming from the room, swearing to have seen blood splattered all over the walls. Methinks, the Crescent is a good place to visit by NOT stay??!! While exploring the historic, Victorian hotel images of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson of The Shining), kept popping to mind. However, absolutely no evidence of "redrum" scrawled on any of the mirrors was seen by Karen or I.
Arriving back in Rogers, Karen asked for a restaurant that served downhome, real bar-b-q'd ribs. First thought, Smokin' Joe's! After stuffing ourselves like oinkers Karen dropped me off at home.
It was a great day. Not only did I find a new friend, but I learned a few things about Eureka Springs history as well.
Gazing out my sliding glass door as I sit typing, I've noticed the sun is gone, eeeegads, here comes Ike.