Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 7 - Clinton overkill...thank goodness for okra


I had a great sleep in Oklahoma last night despite the Celtics loss. When I turned off the lights, little stars glowed from the ceiling just like in my brother Joe's old bedroom. Good omen. I was on my way to Fayetteville and Little Rock to do the Clinton thing. First stop was the Clinton's 'wedding home' in Fayetteville. The curator was a terrific woman whose name I've already forgotten. Some memory since we talked for over an hour. The little museum was sparse...just pictures and a video room where I watched old campaign commercials from the 1970s. It was so interesting that I was forced to use the Clinton bathroom and inflict some damage.

The woman - let's call her Charisma since she was so charismatic - gave me a passport so I can go to every nationally registered Clinton building/home/toilet. Get this...they call the pilgrimage "Billgrimage"! MF! Here are some of the places:

*Birthplace Museum (Hope AR)
*The Boyhood Home (Hot Springs, AR)
*First Home of Bill & Hillary (Fayetteville)
*The Clintons' First Capital City (Little Rock)
*Home of Clinton's Mustang Convertible (Morrilton)
*Presidential Cabin (Ponca)

The list goes on. I arrived in Little Rock and went to the Museum Store where I didn't even browse. I just pressed my pennies. The neat thing about the town is, the city ferries people from the hip River Market District to the Presidential Library. At this point, however, I was Clintoned out.

The gorgeous rust colored bridge overhanging the Arkansas River that stood within feet from the Presidential Library and the great modern building designed by James Polshek absorbed my attention despite the heat and the fact that I was wearing black. After a time I sighed and successfully passed through an x-ray security checkpoint to get inside. I cracked a huge smile knowing I had innocently sneaked inside the heavily guarded place with mace in my pocket. When asked to join the group by the guide, I declined said I had ADHD. I toured quickly, sick of the president I admired. I was searching for Monica Lewinsky's dress for I heard a rumor that the Library had it. But wouldn't you know it, the blue dress wasn't there. Sheesh.

Bummed, I lit out of there quick. Since I'd read that Arkansas had some of the best barbecue in the country I placed an order. I don't know if it's because I'm more-or-less a vegetarian or not, but the meat tasted piggish. Well, at least I tried it. BaddicusFinch would've loved the fried okra.

I booked a room at Motel 6 thinking it was fine...until I saw six dead little cockroaches (?) and a giant dead spider in the toilet! The management wouldn't give me my money back. Said they'll sweep them away tomorrow. Eeee. It's the Clinton Effect.

So today was a top day with very kind folks at each turn. A man offered to take my picture in the replica of the Oval Office, but I said I was a photophobe and that I was lame. He said kindly, "It's not lame. My pastor had the same fear but from looking at mirrors."

Tomorrow I'm going to the historic Little Rock High School. I can't wait. Hello Penny and Toby.

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