Thu, 21 June 2007
He thought he was the cock of the walk, but this overly vain fowl cries foul when he truly turns vane--i.e. becomes a weathervane. It's "Half-A-Chick", the curious Portuguese fable about the consequences of arrogance. One of the curious things about this story is that the main character is an oddball. Okay, nothing unusual about that; plenty of stories have leading characters who are misfits. (Cinderella, The Ugly Duckling, Harry Potter, etc. etc.) But you'll notice that such characters almost always turn out to be noble and virtuous despite the way other people ridicule and mistreat them. In this case, just the opposite happens -- Half-A-Chick has a double-sized ego, and meets his downfall because of it.
This week, we come to you from the heart of the bustling resort town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Technically, it's called Hot Springs National Park -- the entire city of 35,000 residents plus hordes of tourists is a national park!) We recorded next to the Visitors' Center, beside one of the many fountains where you can fill up jugs with 143 degree mineral water that's been brewing for 4000 years before spouting from the 47 springs around here. We were right there on "Bathhouse Row" which at one time sported several trendy bath houses and health spas that were frequented by such notable visitors as Al Capone. Today, these structures are preserved as historic buildings, but only one remains in operation as a bath house-- although other bath houses can be found at some of the hotels in town. We mourn the Libbey Memorial Physical Club, the truly unique establishment we luxuriated in on out last trip here. Nothing else like it in Hot Springs or anywhere. (Read about our previous visit to the Bath House)
At our performance at the Garland County Library, we met another boy named Zephyr! Moreover, his parents are performers too. That night, we watched their hilarious oom-pah rendition of various American pop songs and originals at the Brauhaus German restaurant. Zach and Cheryl, who moved here from Seattle, call themselves The Itinerant Locals, and they have quite a memorable sound!
After Hot Springs, we wrapped up our tour of Arkansas with an experience that can be duplicated nownere else in the world: we went digging for diamonds in the diamond fields near Murfreesboro. We didn't find any of the precious gems (an average of about 2 per day are found there - infact a big one was found by a 13 year old not too long ago) but we had a great time playing in the mud!
Dennis (the Spark), Kimberly (the Water) and Zephyr (Half-A-Chick) Goza