Sunday, August 14, 2011


Pink & White Crepe Myrtle?
As many of you know I have a penchant for Lewis Carroll, so I often quote partially or wholly from his works-therefore my post today borrows half a line from The Walrus and the Carpenter, which I think is a part of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

We have been busy organizing for our anticipated trip to South Dakota in September for a Moroccan Reunion Association gathering. The link provided is essentially under construction but several menu items are active. Highlights, to me, will be 4 days of touring, including Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse monument, Custer Park and the Badlands, plus several other sites.

Buses are provided; walking is kept to a minimum. I bought a walker called a rollator where I can sit down, if needed. I become breathless easily, walking; my gait is less reliable, since onset of heart problems. With artificial knees I am supposed to use a cane in unfamiliar terrain, according to my orthopedic surgeon. I ignored this, but it is more apparent I should heed this suggestion.
Pink & White Crepe Myrtle?

Today I have an assortment of photos. I accompanied my husband to a physician appointment. This Crepe Myrtle, if, indeed, that is what it is, was by our parking space. It looked to be a Crepe Myrtle; I know there are several kinds and colors, but I had never seen a bi-color or tri-color one. The flower heads on this bush had vivid pink and white petals with a tad of yellow mixed in which was probably the equivalent of most flower centers.

Lilac Crepe Myrtle -
Our Back Lot Line
The light pinkish lilac photos is one of  the mostly neglected Crepe Myrtle trio we planted at the back of our property near a ugly backyard and fence. One bush died.

Lilac Crepe Myrtle -
Our Back Lot Line
Sadly a manufactured home that existed before our moving here has been condemned. It was owned by  several reputable persons, and often remodeled. Its last owners inherited it, and used their savings to open a restaurant which was moderately successful. However, the wife developed breast cancer (as had her mother-previous occupant of the home); she had no insurance. Before she found assistance, the cancer metastasized; and in a short time she died. 

Her husband did not stay long. The restaurant failed. He left almost in the dark of night and only returned, in a similar fashion, to retrieve a few items. The house set for several years, slowly deteriorating. The 1000 year ice storm did it in, as a tree punctured the roof. Since then the demise has escalated until neighbors requested condemnation. Inspections found black mold, dead animals and evidence of illegal occupants, foul-smelling food left in the kitchen sink and refrigerator.

Old Manufactured Home Across Street
Condition Is So Severe It Will Require
HAZMAT Specialists to Remove the
Home and Salvage and Varmints,
Feral Cats, Groundhog, Armadillos,
Including a Dead Armadillo

The City Council voted for condemnation, but title research shows federal and a state liens against it, so we still may see no relief for quite awhile. It is being handled by the city's attorney.

It is a sad story. I know there was a lovely piano or organ still there which will never play a note again because of water damage. The couple had met as roller skaters. The husband was always a great cook and dreamed of a restaurant. Just as it seemed his dreams were being realized, the worst possible happened. Silence is all that remains.

Porta-Pot At Police Auxiliary
BBQ Pork Butt Fund Raiser
Photographers, be they amateur or professional, often have peculiar interests, maybe fetishes--one of mine is Porta-Pots. Since I clearly remember outhouses as a child, and there are still outhouses in remote areas of Arkansas, I am sure my curious mind find this somehow perversely amusing. There are Outhouse Races in connection with a Bean Festival in Mountain View, AR. I guess it garners the gaseous fumes of eating all those beans.

In my area there are two providers of Porta-Pots. Both seem to have adopted brighter paints than the older traditional, mundane, muted colors.

Bull Shoals Dam Blue Porta-Pot
One Way Lane and Traffic Light
(at far end) With Machinery
This year Bull Shoals Dam has undergone resurfacing  AR Highway 178 which crosses it, and required cleaning, replacing and renovation of various machinery, generators, lights, catwalks and other maintenance of a dam which generates electricity for three states.

This was one of the inspired(?) TARP projects, which generated few if any jobs in Arkansas as the Dam operation is by the Army Corp of Engineers, the contract of which went to firms outside Arkansas. I guess the Porta-Pot owners and employees were the only known local or state businesses garnering any TARP revenues for this particular project  which was already on the drawing board ["shovel ready"] before TARP had a name.

Yellow Porta-Pot at Bull Shoals Dam -
Still in Place - Paving Overlay
Not Yet Completed
Besides one way traffic maintained by solar generated traffic lights, a Porta-Port was placed in a convenient area on the Dam for workers. First it was Bright Blue and then it changed to Bright Yellow. I guess  different colors is the spice, Ur .. smell of life.

Then there were the Porta-Pots at a Civil War Enactment at a State Park near me.

I took the photo after the event was completed as I had a hilarious but somewhat Exhilarating experience at a similar enactment years ago.

My best friend and I created crafts for awhile for a little extra pin money. We had a booth at an event which included a Civil War enactment, mainly a big cannon.
Triplets at a Civil War Enactment
It was hot afternoon and we sipped on beverages to keep cool. At some point I headed to the Porta-Pot row for relief. Porta Pots remind me of a casket standing on end. There is little room inside to maneuver between the so-called seat and a very small lavatory. I was well seated when apparently it was time to fire the cannon. That Porta-Pot felt like it lifted off the ground, vibrating top, bottom and 4 sides. I thought for a moment I was being launched like a rocket into space. I staggered outside to our table and told my best friend that was a new experience, to say the least.
Dam Site Park Ramp Prota-Pot - Still There
Although Water Has Significantly Subsided;
Different Provider Than Others in This Post.
Then when the area Lakes were at flood level, and campgrounds around the lakes were flooded, the Corp apparently placed Porta-Ports at the more popular boat launch ramps. This one was at the Dam Site Park boat ramp in Bull Shoals.
Dan Site Park Porta-Pot

Finally, I leave with the slogan on all of the Smitty's Porta-Pots.
[All photos taken by Nitwit1]


Dimple said...

Hope you enjoy your trip, and that there are porta-pots in every necessary place!

faye said...

Your trip sounds like a wonderful adventure loaded with photo ops...
I am sure you will find a few
porto-potties along the way...

Arkansas Patti said...

I am still giggling at your porta-pot experience with the cannon.
I know you have been looking forward to this trip and I hope you have a marvelous time. Take a bunch of pictures. September is fast getting here.
Sorry about that neighbors house. Such a view it must be and a sad story.

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

I'm jealous over your trip! We talk about going out there but it never gets past "talk". XO

Lisa said...

Oh! My Gosh what a sad story about the man, a dream and his wife. Some people just have a terrible time. So sad to think this happens all the time.

So glad your getting out and about even if you need a walker. I hope you have a wonderful time!!! and I am sure you will.

Your eyes seem to healing nicely because your photos are beautiful!!! and that story about the Porta-Potty ~ Sooooo FUNNY!!!!! :)

Amber Star said...

That is for sure a crepe myrtle and a very pretty one for sure. Last year I saw some that were so deep red I couldn't believe it. I'm not sure it has survived this dreadful summer. There are many dried leaves on many shrubs.

Your stories were sad about the woman with breast cancer and so funny about the port a potty. They are creepy as all get out, but come in so very handy.

Oh...have fun on vacation!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

That is a sad story about your neighbor's house.

Hope you have a wonderful time on your trip.

The crepe myrtle pictures are so pretty.

Liz said...

That must have been a memorable trip to the Portaloo!

That trip to cowboy and Indian sites sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Those portable toilets often smell so bad the states will turn them backwards so the person inside can leave the door open for some breathable air.