Left was right

Dead trees on locust hill

Found on Hot Spring County road 61: Locust Hill (that’s what it says on the sign). Locust hill looks more like it should be in New Mexico than central Arkansas. I found it after making a decision to bear left at a fork in the road. Had I gone right, I, and by extension, you, would have missed it. Thank goodness for Divine intervention.

Huskey Creek

Click on the creek for pictures and a story

After a commercial shoot in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on the trip back home, I took a deliberate detour down a county road I have been eying for a while. The road, Hot Spring County Road 61 came to a split after a few miles and it was decision time. Something told me to take the left fork. Turns out, that left veer was the right decision.

Locust Hill was not the first great find on County Road 61. Before it came a bridge over Huskey Creek, a nice stream laid bare by winter and looking good for pictures. See Huskey Creek on the Photo of  the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com as a great example of what you can see in the winter that you can’t in warmer months. We’ll wait here while you look.

This old log cabin, barn or whatever it may be was another great find on Hot Spring County Road 61.

This old log cabin, barn or whatever it may be was another great find on Hot Spring County Road 61. You can easily see hand tool marks left by hand hewing the logs. No doubt, the logs were from trees felled not far from the building.

The old log building is in good condition and shows interest by owners with patches and repairs via corrugated roofing metal, AKA “roofin’ arn,” in LA (lower Arkansas parlance). There was a residence nearby but no one was home, so I am sadly lacking in information. There is another log structure adjacent to this one — which almost guarantees I will make a return trip to see if I can grab some information. There is normally a good story that goes with these old structures.

Old water tower

Water tower behind the shoe factory on Highway 270 East in Hot Springs. The day was overcast which facilitated the shot. On a clear day, it would be badly back lit.

The old water tower has all the appearances of home and/or in-house engineering. It shows good longevity and lives behind the “shoe factory” on U.S. Highway 270 east of Hot Springs AR. I shot this picture with my long lens out the driver’s side window of the old faithful pickup (now about 263,000 miles), in the drive way of my client’s premises. The location is on a steep hill opposite the water tower, which affords the eye-level shot. It’s not every day you get a eye-level shot of a water tower.

Parsley's Store Hwy 222 Arkansas

Parsley’s has long since bitten the dust. There are thousands like it. Once a cornerstone of communities, these stores succumbed to shifting economies and social trends.

As the trip was winding down and I was back on a hard surface highway, I passed the former Parsley’s Grocery and Station showing signs of a lengthy retirement. Probably this condition did not come voluntarily. Thousands of empty community stores dot the rural American landscape. Most of them were social centers as well as a place to buy goods and services. Flagellating economic conditions, changing work patterns, communication innovations, and population shifts created a socio-economic-geographic whirlpool which sucked many of these community venues into oblivion. We enjoyed them while they lasted.

See our pictures in a larger-format gallery.

Check our our Weekly Grist gallery for all of this week’s pictures in a larger format.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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