Part 2 of our adventures in Greenwood started off with a tour of a convenience store on the way.
Oh, wait. I remember now that the slogan of the gas station was, “It’s more than convenient.”
Why, yes, it was. The husband of the couple with us and I went in, and we were agog at the sprawling center. It had everything from “I love Hillbillies” T-shirts to a restaurant with a Soup of the Day selection and a stuffed (real) bear in the lobby, which I photographed as my friend, baring his teeth, stood next to it.
Our spouses were waiting in the car, wondering if we’d gotten lost inside.
Greenwood proper was beautiful, flags still flying like the last time. Those are some patriotic folks there.
Our hosts were ready for us. The refrigerator was stocked with all kinds of food and libations.
The last time we went to Greenwood, it was freezing-cold February. This time, we definitely didn’t need our coats.
We got a tour of the Greenwood museum, a former jail, and the dogtrot cabin and one-room school out back.
My husband asked me to take his picture by the tank in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars building.
We had good food (delicious quiche, and I’m not a quiche eater) and fun that night, including games of Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble.
The next day, our agenda included touring the former Fort Smith Courthouse and Hanging Judge Parker’s former stomping grounds.
First, we looked at the gallows, which were behind a fence. Regardless of what the movie True Grit showed, people had to have a ticket to get in to watch the hangings. (The ropes were gone, obviously a liability issue with the way our world is today.)
After we looked around the courthouse, we headed for a bordello: Miss Laura’s Social Club (cough, cough).
As soon as the tour guide saw my husband, he said, “You look familiar.”
Yeah, not what you want to hear walking through the doors of a bordello.
He recognized my husband from a statewide television show that my husband is often invited on to pontificate on news events.
Apparently, I’ve been in the [former] bordello, too.
A high school friend of mine got married in Fort Smith and had his reception there, back when it had a restaurant, and I had no recollection of that — not because I was impaired at the time, but because some 30 years later, my memory is impaired.
It was a fun tour, learning about Miss Laura, Pearl Starr and Big Bertha, and seeing pictures of all “the girls.”
“They didn’t require them to be pretty,” one of my friends whispered to me.
From there, we drove to Oklahoma — a first for me — and ate lunch at a casino. That’s the primary reason we went — one person in our group was intrigued after seeing a TV commercial for the place.
The food wasn’t bad, and I won $3.25 off a $1 bet on a nickel slot machine. That was the extent of my gambling.
Next stop was a big peach orchard with a beautiful huge oak tree that could have been 200 years old.
I started to pick up some peaches on a table, and I thought a senior citizen was going to slap my hand.
“No, don’t you get those — I picked all those out,” he said.
The owners were friendly, and the peaches were plentiful, so we each got a big bagful.
Our next show was the deer that eat the corn our hosts put in their backyard, and we saw as many as eight deer at a time. I was even entrusted to pour out the feed for them.
Later, we played more games. Hint: The next time you play Trivial Pursuit, play with small squirt guns. It puts a little more pressure on to get the answer right.
Another hint: If you’re ever playing, answer “three,” “violin” or “Ireland,” and you’ll probably get the answer right.
On the way home, we stopped at our “more-than-convenient” store to end our Greenwood Adventure: Part 2.
We’re already planning a trip in the fall.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.