|Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Ar|
Traditions keep families together. It’s the Elmer’s glue. Even silly things like boating around each summer on Lake Norfork in a non-seaworthy, faded orange boat. I’m glad we didn’t win that big bright red obnoxious shiny boat at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs on St. Paddy’s Day. Talk about totally ruining a family tradition. We would probably have to act normal in a nice new boat.
When we were kids we vacationed at Burchwood Bay in Hot Springs with the Barnetts and Jarretts, long-time family friends. The cute little cabins surrounded a general store with lake access waaaayyy down the hill. Craig (one of the Barnett boys and one of my very best friends to this day) nearly drowned my sister in that lake, throwing rocks at her from the bank until she couldn’t get back on the giant tractor inner tube. Daddy saved her. Craig was a menace.
The little store was our favorite – it was filled with candy and ice cream and postcards and tiny jars of Arkansas ‘diamonds’ and quartz. Yes, we played with rocks. But the best part – Craig said everything was free for guests! At the end of the week we discovered nothing there was really free…Craig’s daddy had a charge account. Oops. That general store is now Sam’s Pizza – we go back every year after a day of ‘feeding the horses’ for the best pizza in Hot Springs. The cabins are much smaller and the lake is much closer. Strange how that happened.
|Burchwood Bay cabins ‘now’
Craig smashed a lizard in the door of the pink cabin…
We recently visited Craig’s mom who now lives in Hot Springs. Although she doesn’t get out much any more, she has an amazing view of the lake with fantastic bird watching. All the familiar pictures and furniture from her home in Keiser, where I spent so much time growing up, filled the comfortable house on the lake. Before we left she commented, “You can live a long time on memories.” So true.
|Me and Ruth Barnett|
Hank Williams, Jr., “Family Tradition”
Jerry Garcia, “Arkansas Traveler”