Where you find the entertainment
Tourist meccas are fun, no doubt about it. Two of my favorite places are Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and Branson, Missouri. I’m definitely not finished visiting either fascinating destination. Lots to do, lots of people, lots of history…both towns have a real attraction for me. When I’m in tourist mode, off I go.
Where you find the stories
But when it comes to author mode--that’s me, an author, a writer, a spinner of tales--small towns off the beaten path never fail to disappoint me. Whether it’s a day trip or an impulsive I’ll pack for a couple of nights and see what happens excursion, I’m never disappointed.
Welcome to Paris--leave the passport at home (borrowed)
Last week I packed for a couple of nights plus an extra just in case and took off on a rainy morning for points north. First stop, Paris, Arkansas, population 3,495, and lunch at The Grapevine, tucked away just off the square. I sat at the counter/aka bar so I could enjoy the view of hometown people coming and going during the lunch hour. Up from the restaurant is an interesting wall mural touting the town.
Like most small towns, empty buildings dot what was probably a thriving business community at one time. But the Logan County Courthouse clock still chimes the half-hour, and an empty lot across the street has been turned into a lovely park-like hour complete with its own Eiffel Tower! If it hadn’t been spitting rain, I’d have sat awhile and enjoyed the water fountain.
Small towns have their own unique history. Note that in 1914, Paris was the site of the last public hanging in Arkansas. (The electric chair in Little Rock took over the somber duty after that.) You can scroll through here to read about the young man convicted of murdering the girl he was courting. The jail in which he no doubt spent his final days is now the Logan County Museum. I missed seeing it, so, of course, I’ll have to return.
There’s a charm to small towns--friendly people who cheerfully give directions, make suggestions, and appear genuinely glad you’ve stopped in their little corner of the world. If you really appreciate what the town has to offer, it gets even better.
Wednesday: Ozark, AR--where a picture caught my eye, and a story began to twinkle!
Visit Someday Is Here--where most pages have been updated--
and if you need a lunch hour read,
"Meadowland" is still available by clicking I'll tell you a story.