Tag Archive for 'nostalgia'

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Fairweather Update

The good news is that I have access to my computer again. The bad news is that the hard drive is faulty. The other good news is that IBM is sending me a new one and that I didn’t have to jump through hoops to convince them to do so. In fact, once I got the OS running again and worked my way through all of the diagnostics and troubleshooting they offered on hard drive problems, I collected my results, called, reported my findings, and my new hard drive is on the way–no flow chart of stupid questions necessary. Yay!

In the meantime, the weather’s gorges here in Ithaca, and this is how I spent yesterday afternoon:

Reading in the sun

The book I’ve got is one I picked up on a visit to the Friends of the Library Book Sale when we went on Saturday. I think I might actually have to make another trip over there before it’s over. There were a lot of great things there, and it’s hard to pass up a book in good condition at those prices. Also, they had a copy of the old school Candy Land game my sister and I grew up with, and, strange as it may seem, that’s rather tempting to pick up. My mom got rid of our old copy and the one’s they’re selling now have different illustrations and layout and such. And I don’t like them. Whose idea was it to demote Queen Frostine?! *pouts like a four-year-old*

Spending an entire weekend doing nothing related to work was fantastic… but it makes it so much harder to start working again on Monday…


As it turns out, sitting alone in the lab taking data requires paying just enough attention to the equipment to make sure that any glitches get finished immediately, which is not conducive to doing homework, but works extremely well for writing blog entries. Consider yourselves warned.

And now, for the topic at hand: recent nostalgia inspired me to fool around on Flickr looking for pictures of my old home town, when I started to come across pictures of a spot that holds a special semi-mythic status back in Northwest Arkansas: Monte Ne. First, some background, courtesy of a) what I remember from my mother’s days at the Rogers Historical Museum and b) the Internet (duh):

Harvey's Amphitheater Being Reclaimed By Beaver Lake

William Hope Harvey, known better as “Coin” Harvey, was born in Buffalo, West Virginia in 1851. He started out as a lawyer and teacher, settling for awhile in Huntington, WV, before heading to Colorado to join the real estate business there in 1884. His keen interest in finance led him to writing about the subject, and he was perhaps best known for his “free silver” idea, which gained prominence when he was involved in William Jennings Bryan’s presidential campaign against McKinley in 1896. Although Harvey was involved in national politics several times in his life, one cannot really say that he had any success with it.

The story reaches Arkansas at the turn of the century, when, impressed by the area’s beauty and similarity to his native West Virginia, Harvey relocated to Northwest Arkansas and the White River Valley. He founded a resort there, called Monte Ne, and ran it for thirty or so years. He was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Ozark Trails Association and the marking and improving of roads in the region (most especially those leading to Monte Ne). Toward the end of his life, however, Harvey grew increasingly frustrated with the world and was convinced that mankind would destroy itself. He decided to build a pyramid some 130 ft. high that would serve as a time capsule that would contain materials that would help the survivors of the dark days ahead. By this time, the Great Depression had nearly reduced Monte Ne to its end, and much of Harvey’s own money had been spent. He ran into financial difficulties and died in 1936 with the pyramid incomplete.

Today, most of Monte Ne lies under Beaver Lake, which was built in the 1960s after flooding devastated the region. Every once in awhile, though, the lake level drops and parts of Monte Ne resurface. The photo above shows the very top of Monte Ne’s amphitheater; this is what it looks like with the water lower. Last year a drought left Beaver Lake at record lows, and many people flocked to Monte Ne to explore the ruins and to look for the rumored secret entrance to a chamber Harvey filled with treasures of the early 20th century. Even when Monte Ne is out of sight, it’s never out of mind: locals are always looking for the tip of the legendary pyramid and Coin Harvey, if for no reason other than his eccentricity, is never forgotten.

Lab Day

Spring Work has come and gone, and I’m heading back into the world of Too Much Stuff To Do That’s Not Research. I don’t dare look forward to the days when I won’t have classes anymore because that’s still semesters away, but it is nice to think that the summer is coming, and that, in not too long, I will have days where I come in around 9:30, work until 5 or so, and then I go home and spend my evenings and weekends in whatever manner I see fit. All that stands between me and that pleasure? Weeks more of classes, tons more graded work, and my qualifiers. I am, for the moment, determined not to let that get me down. Happy thoughts seem a lot easier to maintain when the weather is pleasantly springlike. Either that, or I really did have that B-6 vitamin deficiency like the doctor suggested.

The weather was so wonderful on Monday that Joe and I took a walk to the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve and sat by Six Mile Creek and watched the swollen waters rush past. Until it warms up enough that I can chance the hike down into the gorge below Wells Falls, the MWP is the next best thing. One of the other things about this summer that I’m really looking forward to is the chance to wade in some of the creeks. The little kid in me can’t help but remember how much fun wading barefoot in the creek that fed Lake Atalanta was when I was younger. I remember my school’s gifted and talented program having competition once were we built little boats out of cardboard and tape and straws and the like and raced them on that creek. Standing by Six Mile Creek on Monday, I really wanted to do that again, but that may have had something more to do with wanting to see how long such a boat could manage not to get swamped by the rushing water.

I’m expecting a very busy but fun week next week. Well, I don’t expect classes and research to be all that fantastic, especially as I’ll be having make-up lectures for lectures not had this week–but next week is my little sister’s Spring Break, and she’s coming up for a visit. Since I’m all about earning Best Big Sister Ever status, I’ve promised her all sorts of fun. I’m hoping that the nice weather is kind enough to stick around most of next week. Knowing this part of the country, though, I’m not about to hold my breath.