Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Woolly Meadows State Park, Arkansas

The campground Woolly Meadows State Park in Arkansas is deserted in October. No tennis courts. I think it's part of the Ozarks. Orion was up and bright at 4:30 AM. At 4:30 in Woolly Meadows, one has time to gather wool.

The central star in Orion's belt is Alnilam.


Alnilam is the title of a novel by James Dickey, who also wrote Deliverance. I bought all his old books and poetry on E-bay. The novel is about a blind man and his seeing-eye dog who visit a WWII training centre to learn about his son who was killed in a flying training accident. The son has so much charisma that he has established a military conspiracy that... but wait... I'm spoiling the plot...

There is a passage in the book about seeing the cannons on a German fighter wink at a flight instructor head-on and it becomes his insight like a diamond to the brain... later this 'diamond to the brain' insight concept was stolen and put in the mouth of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

Now it's later in the day and I'm parked in a heavily wooded clearing in Mountain Home, Arkansas in the backyard of a very old friend. We met just after we both got back from Viet Nam... He likes to make wine too... I'm anxious to share my Sauvignon Blanc with him and see what he's brewed up. When he moved here five years ago from Tampa, I drove a diesel truck with some of his household goods 1,040 miles to help him move his family.

Mountain Home is ethnically very homogeneous. There are no black families at all and no synagogues. There is a Mexican restaurant 20 miles away in Flippin, but that's about it. This is the home of President Clinton's Whitewater land development scandal. They have a law here in Arkansas that if a couple gets divorced they can still be brother and sister. Everyone waves at us as they drive past.

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