Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Park Too Far

These Victorian flowers are violets, from my smallest garden. I'm interested in all things Nineteenth Century but, since Bill and I watched Ken Burns' "Civil War" the first time it aired, we hadn't intended to watch it again. Yet the minute David McCullough's voice began the narration, we were hooked all over again.

Civil War buffs are famously devoted students of our nation's great war. One of my most delightful vacation memories is about just such a young man.

Years ago, my daughter and I were returning from a holiday in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (my rates are a half or less of what you'll pay there for comparable accommodations--just sayin') and on the way home stopped at Pea Ridge Civil War Military Park. We pulled into a parking spot at one of the outlook points where markers describe the action that took place in the valley below.

At the same time, a very attractive young couple pulled a car with Arizona plates alongside us. The man behind the wheel parked, grabbed a camera and started racing from point to point, stopping only long enough to get a photo. Why the hurry, I wondered. Especially since the day was hot. Then I saw his partner, slumped in her seat, arms folded tightly over her chest and a big, angry frown on her face.

I have a hunch that wasn't their first Civil War park.

While we have no military parks or natural springs nor mountains, we do have a colorful cowboy mansion and museum to offer, a Wild West Show in the summer and a big swimming pool that makes summer heat a joy.