The question on the barn; and a favorite waterfall


Old barn with cross on roof

The roof of this old barn at St. Vincent, Arkansas has a question superimposed on the image of a Cross. “R U Ready?”

As you cruise into the outskirts of St. Vincent, Arkansas, you notice an aged reminder of Redemption, or the lack thereof, on the roof of this old barn. Back in the day, barn roofs were convenient substitutes for billboards, most of which were painted by itinerant sign painters. This roof was not painted by one of the traveling practitioners. It shows all the vestiges of creation by a non-professional painter with a passion to  deliver a message .

Whomsoever did the deed had a better eye than most amateurs for proportion and layout. The message is on both sides of the barn and clearly shows in the Google satellite view of the location.

LBJ's beer and grocery

Click here for the LBJ’s story and pictures

Not far up the road from the barn is St. Vincent’s business district, consisting of one store, LBJ’s Beer and Grocery. In Arkansas, some might consider the two a culture clash. Unlike the old barn, there were people present at LBJ’s which seemed ripe for a good story.

That presumption of a good story was correct. See the story of LBJ’s Beer and Grocery — and its proprietress on the Photo of  the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here for your return.

store with old lion oil sign

Later that afternoon, we found this store proudly displaying an old Lion Oil sign. Lion Oil is an Arkansas company which has changed hands over the years. The Lion Oil refinery in El Dorado, Arkansas, you can be assured, is refining crude even as you eyeball this image.

The next day, liquid sunshine

A day later, we headed back in the same direction.The fine sunlight of the preceding day had transmogrified to overcast and liquid sunshine. I decided that these conditions did not create gloom and doom, but offered different challenges.

Mountain in the mist

As we were ascending to the hills, cold rain hit warmer earth and foliage creating a misty mountain mystique. It didn’t last long.

Murky falls

Once the mental re-orientation was done, I headed nearby to one of my favorite waterfalls, Falling Water Falls, (on Falling Water Creek) northeast of Ben Hur, Arkansas. The normally pristine falls were a bit murky due to the extreme drought in this Arkansas neck of the woods. The creek drains a lot of downhill territory which contains a lot of dust resulting in the coffee look of the falls. The dusty grunge however does not diminish the siren sound of falling water, which is mesmerizing to a lot of folks, Me included.

falling water falls, falling water creek, arkansas

It is not necessary to leave your vehicle to take in this view of Falling Water Falls on Falling Water Creek, northeast of Ben Hur, Arkansas. The murky appearance is an anomaly. The creek normally runs clear and clean, however, the accumulation of dust due to the current drought in the runoff area that feeds the creek creates the temporary appearance.

Falling water falls falling water creek arkansas

It is necessary to leave your vehicle to get this view. A few non-hazardous steps will do the trick.

I identified Falling Water as one of my favorites. Here are links to my previously documented visits to the falls, the first of which goes way, way, back to the film days: Falling Water 1; Falling Water 2;  and Falling Water 3.

Mouldy monument

On “Old Highway 27,” I found this old monument, the inscription of which reads.” Arkansas Federation of Women’s Clubs Memorial Forest.” Then there appears to be a blank space where a plaque was removed, followed by further emblazonry reading, “Ozark National Forest, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.”

Apparently someone decided that the memorial, which stands taller than my 6-3″ frame was no longer necessary. Perhaps there is some irony in the fact that the memorial bears a striking resemblance to the map of Texas, our former Southwest Conference arch-rival.

Arkansas Federation of Womens Clubs Memorial forest monument

Perhaps the monument was abandoned because it looks too much like Texas, our former arch- rival in the now defunct Southwest Conference.

Grunt and groan fence

Further north on “Old 27″ I found this old rock fence. Folks, there is no easy way to build one of these. Here are the instructions: Find rock, lift, tote, lower in place. Repeat if necessary. Multiply that by the number of rocks you see, keeping in mind that this is a fraction of the fence.

old rock fence in the ozarks

Imagine the labor to build in this old rock fence. Apparently our fore-bearers believed there was great value to these structures. Back in the boondocks, one frequently encounters fences that strongly resemble this one.

Across from the rock fence is an old residence which appears to now be a deer camp. The old dug well looks good in the front yard. Since there are no ropes attached, one can presume its primary function is now decorative.

old dug well in the ozarks

The old dug well structure across from the fence is well preserved, but non-functional.

The cool stuff to see does not go away during inclement weather, it just looks different and may be a tad more difficult to reach. But, if you don’t go you’ll never know.

Thanks,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Old barn, young dog


Cardinal in snow storm

A big male cardinal and a lucky snow flake. This is as shot and adjusted for color. No trickery.

This week, we are sending you back in time

Since the nation is in the grips of the heatwave like few others, this week we are sending you back to a February 2011 snow storm. The storm dumped seven inches or so of the white stuff which set up some good shots.

During the storm we replenished our bird feeder on an accelerated basis much to the delight of a phalanx of neighborhood birds. Probably some non-neighborhood interlopers as well.

Using the house as a blind, the birds paid little attention to us as we fired away. While we are now sweltering, take a gander at a cooler experience.

Click here to see the original  February 13, 2011 Weekly Grist post. Also see the original Corndancer Photo of the Week picture and story. Cool places to click. Here’s the Corndancer link to the story of the barn and dog

Dog on Prarie Road in Cleveland County, Arkansas

This friendly little fellow joined me when I was shooting the barn you see below. The learning curve from his initial and natural caution was shortened when I offered him a few month-old Cheetos I salvaged from the back floorboard of my truck.

old falling barn

Click on the barn to see more pix at Corndancer dot-com

Look now before it’s too late

This epistle is actually about an old barn about to drop, but the young dog who interloped on the shoot seemed to deserve top billing. The cute factor outweighed the rustic and historic value offered by the barn. The old barn tells a familiar story to barn observers.

Find out the details and see another picture of the dog and the barn by going to the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com. We will wait here while you peruse those details.

Old falling barn

The camera is level. The barn is not. Get a good look while you can.

See more of the barn and dog on our Weekly Grist Gallery

The old barn is southeast of U.S. Highway 79 on Prairie Road in Cleveland County, Arkansas. There is an occupied home on the property, but no one was there when I did the shot, so details are sketchy at best. What’s obvious from the size of the barn is that it was the likely epicenter of a large and prosperous agricultural operation which marketed cash crops and concurrently produced subsistence crops to support family, farm hands and their families, and livestock. You did not commute to work at this farm.

old crumbling barn

You can see the patchwork applied to the barn over the years. Perhaps it delayed the inevitable, but not for long. Wonder if the generous hay loft was ever the site of a "romp in the hay?"

There would have been a number of mules which called the barn home.  A few chickens roosted somewhere inside and there was no doubt a nearby hog pen, corn crib, smoke house and an “out-house.”  Also on the property, cattle probably found shelter in a cow-barn. A trip to the store took a day or more.

At the time, the folks who lived and worked there, I’m thinking, were happy to be there and could not have imagined in their wildest dreams the ultimate fate of their farm and their barn. They worked hard, enjoyed the fruits of their labors, dealt with the underhanded blows delivered by Mother Nature and sometimes their fellow man. And they survived.

Gives one pause to wonder how happiness is defined. Their happy is not our happy. Hmmm. I’m wondering what the next happy will be. And what will be the format of survival?

See more of the barn and dog on our Weekly Grist Gallery

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

110 years old, in the family, the second time around


puppies at old house

These are Angie Ledbetter’s puppies. The pups’ mother moved them from the Chez Ledbetter to the nearby ancestral home of the Garners, her great grandparents and grand parents. There is one more puppy who was bashful and missed the photo-op. They have a severe case of cute.

Note: See more pictures of the pups in our Weekly Grist Gallery

If you blink, you may miss the Garner Place off Arkansas Highway 128 in the Lonsdale community. The original Garners built the first residence on the place as homesteaders sometime in the mid 1800s. The structure below was built and first occupied sometime between the late 1800s and 1901 according to Myrna Garner, widow of the late Robert “Bob” Garner, who was born in the home, a grandson to the original Garners. His final resting place is on the premises.

old farm house

The Garner Place off Arkansas Highway 128 in the Lonsdale community. The Garner family takes a great deal of pride in their ancestral headquarters. So do their puppies.

Old rocking chair under porch roof

See more Garner House pictures at Corndancer dot-com

It’s not every family that has a 110-year-old plus crown jewel of family heritage, where the fifth generation can hang their hat and say, this is where I came from. The late Bob Garner and his wife Myrna had that in mind back in 1974 when they bought the place back.

Seems in the early 50s Garner’s siblings were anxious to sell the old place and divide the spoils. There were 300 acres and the house which they hoped would bring a princely sum.

The property was auctioned off for less than a third of what it was worth. Before we go much further, may I suggest that you go to the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com and see some more pictures of the old home and get in on the start of the story. We’ll wait here.

Bob Garner never forgot about the property and always wanted it back. Then in 1974, he got a call from his father who informed him that the people who bought the place were putting it on the market. Garner and Myra lived in Florida at the time, but Garner let no grass grow under his feet. He returned to Arkansas, made an offer and convinced the friendly local bankers to loan him the necessary moo-lah to close the deal. It all came together and the Garner place was THE Garner place again. See more pictures of the house in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

old gnarled tree

The gnarled old tree at the side of the house, surviving against the odds, is symbolic of the Garner resolve to bring the original family place back into the family fold.

 The Garners, led by Angie Ledbetter, daughter of Myrna and Bob have plans to stabilize the parts of the structure not deteriorated and repair what is needed. First on the list is to rebuild the porch which they tore out after a friend had an unseemly crash-through on the original equipment. According to Myrna they are scouting for old lumber to maintain the character of the home. Sounds about right from what I’ve learned about the Garners.

 

As we reported on Corndancer Photo of the Week page, the old home site is the Bob Garner’s final resting place. His mausoleum endured a crashing tree during the recent rash of Arkansas storms. The mausoleum survived. A couple of weeks ago, while traveling south of England, Arkansas, we encountered a similar set of circumstances. Both near misses. Perhaps the Almighty is reminding us who is in charge.

fallen tree beside grave

A near miss at a church cemetery south of England, Arkansas. The Almighty making sure we mere mortals do not forget who is in charge. Very convincing.

old barn

I drove on Cash Mountain Road as I meandered in the direction of the Garner Place and found still yet another old barn. You just can’t see too many.

See more pictures of the barn in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Parting shot

Traveling through the hinterlands of Arkansas and nearby states, one occasionally runs up on some narrow bridges. I found one in Saline County, Arkansas northwest of Glen Rose that takes the record. My truck and a bicycle would not safely nor successfully negotiate the bridge with out grievous personal injury and dings.

pickup truck on narrow bridge

Tight ain’t it?

But wait, there’s more

old barn

See more pictures in the Weekly Grist gallery

See our Weekly Grist gallery with more puppy pictures, another view of the tree on the grave, another barn picture and several more pictures of the Garner house. Click and go to see these pictures. Your momma would want you to do this.

Thanks for dropping by,
Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

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