8X10, Oil on Wood
If there's one thing upon which I usually pride myself, it's my sense of direction. Call it male ego if you will but I'm normally possessed of a Magellen-like navigational capability. I must confess, however, that I have been a bit turned around by some of the roads in Maryland. But then again, who wouldn't when a northbound road begins to meander back in the opposite direction taking you in some totally unforeseen direction! Maryland has plenty of those, Baltimore especially so. My usually uncanny ability to keep track of my bearing relative where I started out is usually supplemented by good preparation (i.e. maps!! even if they are mental.) So I was a bit taken aback last Sunday when we found ourselves passing through Pelsor on Highway 7 on the way to Long Pool. I had well before then started to speculate I had missed the left hand turn. Now, I've driven Highway 7 between Russellville and Harrison about a thousand times (not literally that many but it sure seems like it). I was absolutely certain I remembered there being a nice big sign pointing the errant traveler to Long Pool. It is after all a pretty popular spot in the Ozark National Forest. Alas, my memory was dead wrong and thus it was that we found ourselves turning around in Newton County and heading back south. A quick stop at the Rotary Ann overlook provided the direction I needed in the form of a map in the pavilion.
The mistake did give me the opportunity to stop and get some reference photos at the now thankfully defunct Booger Hollow. Booger Hollow...how shall I put it? The name probably tells the tale for most people even remotely familiar with the stigma attached to the Ozarks. It's nothing but a wide spot in the road where some bozo sets up a shop with a strong hillbilly theme complete with misspelled words and, in this case, a two story outhouse. It's typical clientele was the "furriner jes passin' thru." It's exploitation of a dated and derogatory stereotype that can still sadly be seen all over Arkansas. So...here in the very near future, I intend to exploit the joyous failure of some sap's failed business model. Good riddance Booger Hollow!
On down Highway 7, we found the turn off for Long Pool. I had never been out there before and boy was I impressed with this beautiful area I had woefully missed out on during the time I lived in Russellville! Plenty of material for some fabulous paintings here!
This is my first new county since starting this endeavour! Time to celebrate...with some more time in the studio.