Monday, October 1, 2012

Hot Springs, Arkansas - what a great small town!

Sunday in Hot Springs a week ago was delightful. We went to Mass at historic St. Mary's, a lovely little church. We were pleased to find another faithful Mass with no liturgical nonsense. The Church had a beautiful stained glass window in the back in lovely pastel colors. I particularly liked a statue of St. Ann with Mary who was holding a scroll. St. Ann appears to be instructing her -- perhaps reading a hard word or explaining a doctrine from the Torah. It seemed like the perfect statue for home schooling moms who are  teaching their young ones to read.

It was pouring rain and thundering when we arrived, but, by the time Mass was over, it was just drizzling. We drove to the main street to find a place for breakfast and ended up at a little cafe Southern Living says has "the best breakfast." It was sweet with wooden walls and a decor I'll call country eclectic. We ate a leisurely breakfast and then went off exploring the town.

We visited a small antique shop and met a man who was transplanted from the D.C. area (McClean, VA). He used to manage the theatrical productions at Carter Barron and, when their funding went south he took a job at a theatre in Memphis with a more generous budget. After he retired he moved to Hot Springs where his dad was living and running the shop and took over. He had two statues of the archangels Michael and Raphael that I took a fancy to. (See here.) I especially liked Raphael's fish. The dealer said most people don't know who he is.

We had a delightful conversation and I marveled, once again, at how small the world is. We once met a friend of Larry's cousin from high school in Wheeling waiting tables at a restaurant in Ponchatoula, LA. I'm serious!

After visiting the Hot Springs visitor center (It used to be a bath house and operates as a museum now.) we decided to take a dip in the public pools ourselves. There were four pools, each at a different temperature 92, 98, 102, and 104. The hottest was too hot for me! I got in and lasted about thirty seconds. We spent a pleasant hour and half there before heading to Lowes to get some items for Larry to repair the cable that connects the trailer lights to the car. Two hundred miles of dragging on the asphalt is not much good for rubber-wrapped wires.

And now a few random pictures from our enjoyable days at Lake Catherine and Hot Springs.

Only one of the old buildings on bath house row still operates as a bath house. This had shops on the first floor. 

This building houses and art gallery.

This is one of the old showers. But it looks like a torture chamber!

How would you like to be closed up in this steam cabinet?

One of the wall sculptures decorating the buildings

This sea god reminded me of my dad in his later life. Very distinguished!

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