Sunday, January 10, 2010

Houseboats on the White River

Although black and white box cameras were common in the 1930s even in a relatively isolated Arkansas community like Crockett's Bluff, it would have hardly occurred to someone to make a picture of the perhaps five or six houseboats moored (or tied up) along the mile or so bank of the river between the bluffs themselves and its next bend to the north just past what I recall as a favorite sand bar for swimming in the late 1940s.

I can recall clearly a very early childhood houseboat visit to Mr. and Mrs. Gosnell during which Mr. Gosnell allowed me to my great delight to choose an apple from a large container.  Years later, the Gosnells would move to a house on land a few hundred yards northward up the bank across from the Marrs families.  

On one occasion I accompanied my father on an afternoon visit during which he and Mr. Gosnell smoked pipes filled with raw tobacco roughly ground from complete tobacco leaves that I believe he ordered by mail from Kentucky.  The fumes from their pipes brought tears to my  youthful eyes.  The stories they exchanged, however, made it worth the discomfort.  [There's much more to be said about these kind and generous folks.]

While I continue to seek to acquire such pictures, I have the 1930s watercolor given to me  by "Miss Cora" (Cora Deane Prange Swindler) in the early 1970s on a visit to her home.  I had admired it on a previous visit, because it is to my memory an accurate depiction.

According to her notation, the artist is Laura Flint who was the wife of the commanding officer of the C.C.C. Camp in St. Charles in the 1930s.

No comments:

Post a Comment