Trumpet Flowers

Ozark Folk Center - Day 4
June 2005

Soldier Going Home
After we had completed our simple breakfast of oatmeal, bisquits and jelly, and fruit, this old Arkansas mountain man wandered in with a perplexed look on his face. He wondered how we knew he was coming since his sister didn't even know he was back from the war.

Jimmie Edwards, the Park Group Sales Manager, portrayed the Arkansas Confederate soldier on his “Long Journey Home.” He became part of “living history” as his story progressed and by the time he got to the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, I was wiping tears from my eyes. The young men of Arkansas figured they’d join the army and fight a few battles to protect Arkansas from the North and then come home in time to plant crops in the spring. They ended up traveling through Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and North Carolina over the next four years. Of the 12,000 only 35 returned home. The others were killed in battle or died on the way. Fifty remained for the surrender in North Carolina and they were released to return home to Arkansas. Fifteen died along the way and all were harassed by the Federalists who controlled the land along their return route.

Note the belt buckle in the larger photo. He said that many Confederate soldiers got these and wore them to represent the “Southern Nation.” His rifle is a replica of an English cap and ball rifle captured from Union stores. His original is too valuable to carry around. He explained the military method for loading, handling, and firing these rifles. He also explained their rank and file and method of marching. It was all very interesting.

His clothing was all of wool and he said that men always wore something over their “undershirt” even if it was only a vest, but they always buttoned the vest up to the neck. The soles of his shoes were held on with wooden pegs and mule shoes were fastened to the heels to reduce wear.

The rifle could shoot balls or slugs. The powder charge was in a paper cartridge, and the cap had to be bitten before it was put in place. (That must have been to make a tight friction fit.) So soldiers had to have at least one upper and one lower matching tooth to tear open the cartridge and to crimp the cap!

The blooms in the top photo are on a trumpet vine growing on the back porch of the gift shop.

We spent the evening at a country music program in the large auditorium. There were several good groups and some soloists. They did some square dancing also. I liked the MC's singing and playing best. A couple of others were close to him. He guided on of the rafts on our float trip yesterday.

Confederate Soldier
On the Long Walk Home
Herb Garden
Ann and some of the others in the herb garden.
The Park uses the herbs in cooking and sells the plants to visitors.

Soap Maker
Happy Lye Soap Maker
The Smithy
The Blacksmith

Parlor Party
This fellow did a monologue about a couple celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary in 1940. It was an “1890s Party” so his guests were coming in costume. They played and sang the old songs from that era and we sang along. It was simple fun.

Some of the Elderhostel group and other guests.

Log Cabin Replica

Dump Rake
This is a horse-drawn dump rake. My step-father’s family had shortened the tongue of their dump rake so that it could be pulled by a tractor. My early tractor driving was pulling the rake around while my Uncle Clyde operated the rake.

Music Makers
Making Music! This was a group called “High Cotton” and they sang and played sweetly. All the songs sung in the park must be from the era before 1941. The folks at the Jimmy Driftwood Barn had explained that that was when instruments became electrified and the style of music changed.

Outdoor Stage Forty Years Later
We visited the Park back around 1975 and we definitely remember this stage. The seating area has been covered since that time.

Day 1 - Refreshments and Get Acquainted. Announcements and Introductions. Jimmy Driftwood Barn music show.
Day 2 - Folk Center history and Ozark Lifestyles. Blanchard Caverns and Springs Tour. "Charles Kelly, Sheriff of Indenpendence County"
Day 3 - Float trip down the White River from Boswell Shoals to Jack's Boat Dock. Evening program - Native American Influence with Carl King
Day 4 - "Long Walk Home" Jimmie Edwards relives an Arkansas Confederate Soldier's time in the Civil War. 1890s Parlor Party with the Brysons. Visit to the craft center. Ozark Folk Center country music program.
Day 5 - Tomahawk throw and history with Scott Reidy. Craft center visit. Signs and Superstitions with Deb Redden. Learning country games and dances with Mary Gillihan. The Herbin' League. More country music.
Day 6 - "This Ain't No Devil's Box" with Danny Thomas as "Gus Pike." Graduation. Then we visited Oil Trough, Arkansas, on the bank of the White River.
The Ozark Folk Center - Find more infromation about the folk center here.
Elderhostel - Find more infromation about Elderhostel here.

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Posted 6/14/05