An Arkansas Tradition

74th Annual Coon Supper, Gillett, Ark.

I shot a gallery for Arkansasonline.com of this annual event in Arkansas County. It was treat to attend the small town event that raises scholarship money for the town’s high school seniors. All the folks were very friendly with several generations helping out. While I didn’t sit down and eat, I was offered to try a bite of racoon. Which I tried. How was it? Not bad, but not good, either.  The complete gallery can be found here: http://www.arkansasonline.com/galleries/22441/album/

Army Navy Hospital

A magnificent building sits just off of Central Ave. in Hot Springs towering over downtown. Ever wonder what goes on up there?

According to the the Arkansas Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture the site is now the Arkansas Career Training Institute. Previously it was “…the first combined general hospital for both U.S. Army and Navy patients in the nation. This joint services hospital was created ahead of the Navy Hospital Corp and over twenty years before the founding of the now-infamous Walter Reed Army Medical Center.”

“Along with soldiers being treated for war injuries, servicemen from battle zones were sent to the Hot Springs facility for rest, relaxation, and rehabilitation.”

The site is now the campus for Arkansas Career Training Institute. According to their website  “…ACTI’s mission is consistent with the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Division’s mission to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. The center receives client referrals from vocational rehabilitation field counselors in all 75 Arkansas counties.”

Here are some photos of the grounds and buildings from early this week. Many of the buildings are used for vocational classes. Some are waiting to be repurposed.

Friends in High Places

With friends in high places you get views like these. I’ve climbed more stairs these past 2 weeks all for a good view, and it’s been worth it. On the corner of Bridge St. and Central in Hot Springs, a building is being renovated into condos with a restaurant on the main floor. I was allowed in for some photos and the view from the top floor was pretty amazing. I was also allowed on top of the Ozark and the view from there was also a good vantage point for some cool shots.

Don’t Just See the Square

There is so much more to Hot Springs National Park than Bathhouse Row. I was reminded of this when I spent a few minutes behind the counter at the park’s visitor center with the Park Ranger who also serves as the Artist in Residence Coordinator. Visitors would ask what all there was to do in the park. He’d point to Bathhouse row, draw a square around it and then point out the boundaries of the park that went far beyond the square and advise,
“Don’t just see the square.”There are trails and vistas and so much beauty outside the square. (But, I confess, I do love to photograph those old buildings.)

Here are some photos I took yesterday from a portion of the Sunset Trail that takes you to Stonebridge Road and part of what to be the Fordyce Estate.