It was a good Memorial Day weekend.
Pam and I visited daughter Emma in Little Rock, Ark., and enjoyed baseball, fireworks, lots of good food, church on Sunday and a little exploring around the city.
I got to visit another ball park, this one a minor league one. The Arkansas Travelers, the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, play their home games in Dickey-Stephens Park. The stadium is maybe a couple of miles from Emma’s apartment. It opened in 2007, and it sits alongside the Arkansas River and seats about 7,000.
The Travelers crushed the Frisco Roughriders 9-2.
If I go to a ball park, I have to have a hot dog, and I left with a Travelers T-shirt featuring the mascot, a possum named Otey. Fireworks then capped off the evening.
As for the restaurants on the weekend visit to Little Rock (and North Little Rock) I had a hamburger at David’s Burgers, a Cuban at Soul Fish Cafe, a chili relleno fried and filled with shrimp and cheese at Chuys Tex-Mex, and barbecue ribs from Mick’s.
We worshipped Sunday morning at Central Church of Christ downtown and received a warm welcome.
Late Sunday afternoon, we decided to check out the Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park – a good choice.
Dedicated August 6, 1933, the Old Mill is a replica of an abandoned water-powered grist mill that would have been used by Arkansas pioneers in the 1800s. Although the Old Mill never actually operated as a mill, the iron grist mill on the first floor of the building is authentic and dates to 1828.
Developer Justin Matthews intended for the Old Mill to appear as the ruins of a bygone era supplanted by modern methods.
“Now completely forgotten by the hurrying world around it, the Old Mill quietly weathers the years in the depths of its secluded valley.”
The peaceful park also includes the remarkable faux bois (or fake wood) work of Dionicio Rodriguez, a noted Mexican sculptor.
The Old Mill appeared in the opening credits of the 1939 movie, “Gone With the Wind.”
An “In Memorial” sign is posted near the entrance to the park. On March 16, 1944, at about 5 p.m., 11 soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 264th Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division, drowned near the site. They were from Camp Robinson and participating in river crossing and assault boat training.
I closed the weekend trip by taking a brief walk on Memorial Day morning along the Arkansas River Trail.
There were several walkers and lots of bikers.
I took a photo of the big bridge, with two fishermen in a small boat in the water underneath. The photographer in me is always looking for a beautiful scene. The Arkansas River apparently has gained a strong reputation among bass anglers.
A year ago, we’d never even thought about visiting Little Rock. But with our daughter there now, it has become a regular road trip for us, and we’re glad.
We’ve discovered that Little Rock is a great place to visit with lots to see. And it’s only three hours away.