Wednesday, October 23, 2019

chicks, ducklings, baby quail, and beehives

So, the rest of my trip to Arkansas seems to have just flown by. We did make it to Franke's up on the Cantrell Road, my mother's favorite restaurant,* and had a good-sized gathering of the family: in addition to my wife and myself there was my mother, uncle and aunt, sister, brother in law, both cousins on that side of the family and one cousin-in-law. All three of my nieces made it, plus six members of the next generation: two great-nieces, and four great-nephews. The eldest among us was eighty-seven, the youngest about two weeks old (and, with fond great-uncle-ing I must add that both he and his not-yet-two-years-old sister were very well behaved amid unfamiliar surroundings  and mostly unfamiliar people).

Another highlight of the visit was time spent with my sister. The town square has undergone something of a revival recently (the local college is establishing a presence downtown), and we segued from walking around the revivified section to poking around in a few blocks just off the old downtown and not yet restored: the old library building and county jail, the now-derelict coco-cola bottling plant, an alleyway with mimosas and some unfamiliar vines with odd pods, a not-yet-opened local history museum in the Longino House.** The town square was decorated with scarecrows in interesting variety, thanks to a Halloween contest sponsored by local businesses. My sister took pictures of them all; my two favorites were a pair of skeletal bride and groom and a realistic Dorothy Gale, complete with ruby slippers.

One side trip worth mentioning: I'd gone by Atwood's with my mother renewing her stock of birdseed and seen beehives for sale:*** something I don't ever remember seeing in a store before. Janice for her part had discovered that they sold baby chicks, ducklings, and baby quail. I've seen feed stores and some farm/pet stores that sold chicks and baby ducklings before, but baby quail was a new one for me, and I'm glad I got to see it.

All in all, a good trip. I had hoped to make a visit to my aunt on the other (Rateliff) side of the family but through poor planning on my part wound up not having enough time. Next time I'll know better and plan this for the beginning of the trip and not its final day. 

--John R.
--current reading: various bits by Dorothy Sayers

*we've been going there so long that it's now in its fourth location since we started there, back when we actually lived in Little Rock over fifty years ago.
**which has connections with both Logoly and Frog Level, once the local plantation.
 ***bees not included.

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