A Cross tree

This lone tree stands as a memorial to Frank Cross who was murdered in the mid-eignties.

This lone tree stands as a memorial to Frank Cross who was murdered in the mid-eighties.

This story started on the Photo of the Week Page at  corndancer.com Click on the link to see the first part of the story, a very cool thing to do.

Frank Cross, an invalid confined to his bed,  was murdered in the mid-eighties at his home which formerly stood behind the tree. The family had the house demolished, but left the fine cedar tree standing as a memorial to Frank, who was an admired member of his community in southeast Arkansas.

Close inspection of the tree base reveals some artifacts which were probably part and parcel of the old home.

historical artifacts under old tree

Apparently, some items and materials which were not removed during the house demolition were left under the tree.This also included a wire wreath holder.

old farm artifacts under tree

Items left under the tree appear to include part of an andiron, which, we presume, was almost certainly used in a fireplace in the old Cross home.

Note in the picture above how flat the grass is laying. The wind was whipping across the Delta fields in the 15 knot neighborhood. It was December 21, the alleged first day of winter. As if programmed to be true, the  temperature was below 30 degrees in that afternoon. The wind chill factor was polar.

In the picture to the left, you see items left under the tree. For the uninitiated, the piece with the spring attached appears to be part of  a cultivator, a tractor towed implement. The object to the right of the cultivator part is probably part of an andiron set. There are some bricks in the foreground, probably from the house.

Human nature being what it is, there was other detritus, probably not a part of the household leftovers. It seems that we humans have some sort of genetic bent to deposit trash where we find other (perceived) trash. There was an old hydraulic hose, some water valve parts and other bits and pieces, not endemic to a house which was probably 75 or 80 years old, when it met its demise. Also a few wrappers and bottles. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how those got there. In the hot summer, this tree provides best shade for miles, a good place for working people to take a break.

Information for our original story on corndancer.com was generously provided by Chuck and Pam Taylor and Chuck’s mother. Like a dummy, I did not write her name down. Family operates Taylors, a store and restaurant west of Dumas AR. I visited the bistro later and was not dissapointed. Since our first visit, they have changed their business model and now feature fine steaks. They are open for dinner only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Click here to see nine additional pictures of the tree.

a Yellowjacket nest in the tree.

Mother Nature has assigned tree guard duty to some of her pesky critters, to wit: a Yellowjacket nest in the tree. Interlopers beware.

Thanks for dropping by and Merry Christmas,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


9 Responses

  1. My good friend, Dick Warriner and I went to the above referenced “Taylors,” today for lunch, about a 45 minute drive. Pam and Chuck Taylor remembered me from December when I shot “The Cross Tree.”
    The store is in a metal building. Once inside, you quickly forget you are in a metal building. The interior has the authentic look and feel of a country restaurant-store.
    Chuck and Pam are carrying on the working tradition established by Chuck’s parents who started the business in 1954. That tradition, of course, is a husband and wife working side by side to make the family business a success. And a success it is. We arrived at 12:17 pm and the restaurant was nearly filled to capacity.
    Dick had the muffeletta sandwich. In his time, he has munched on many a New Orleans muffeletta. Dick says Taylors is every bit as good, maybe better. I was equally pleased with the chicken spaghetti, the special of the day.
    We also had Chuck’s cheese dip and chips, one of the signature dishes of the establishment. Great taste and nice crunchy chips.
    We observed that Taylors is America, to wit: A husband and wife working as a team in a successful family business serving a growing cadre of happy customers.
    If you are in the neighborhood of Dumas AR and are experiencing hunger pangs, do your self a favor and venture a few miles west of Dumas on AR Highway 54 and check out Taylors. After your first visit, you’ll find yourself making excuses to return.
    PS: There is a link to Taylor’s menu in the last paragraph of the post above

  2. What an excellent article. I would love to go to this place. It sounds as if it is truly “a diamond in the rough of the great state of Arkansas.

  3. […] good. Click here to read the original story on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com and click here to read the rest of the story on this […]

  4. […] Click here to see the rest of the story and more pictures  here. Margland Bed and Breakfast is decked out in its Christmas finest. The structure was finished originally in 1903. Ed Thompson and Wanda Bateman restored it in 1985 and started the bed and breakfast. The bed and breakfast now includes four additional similar structures all in the same block on West Second Avenue in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. […]

  5. […] the story and see the full picture of the Cross Tree at Corndancer-dot-com. Click here to see the rest of the story and more pictures here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  6. Cross Tree Redux was worth the reread! Glad to know about Taylor’s; we go thru Dumas every fall traveling to our timeshare in Panama City Beach. Will make myself a calendar note to look it up on next trip. How in the Dickens did you spot that wasps nest? Just takes an artist’s eye, I guess, and you certainly have that! Who’d a thunk it when we were back in EHS, T.L.? Love to your sweet and patient wife who shares your time for these photo junkets that give the rest of us, your fans and friends, so much pure pleasure. We eagerly await the servings of eye candy each week! Regards and Happy New Year, WCL

  7. […] as a silent reminder of the story and the lesson of the conclusion. See our original post from December 21, 2008 and our re-write of the original story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer […]

  8. Reblogged this on Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind and commented:

    This is our annual Christmas post. It was our first, and we’ve never found one better. To get the whole story be sure and follow the link to the Corndancer dot-com story which is “the meat of the coconut.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: