Bentonville, Arkansas

I got to Bentonville late on Wednesday night. My friend Kelly, wasn’t expecting me until Thursday, so stayed at the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Which by the way, Bentonville is the headquarters for Wal-Mart. Anyway, I met Kelly while she was on vacation with her Dad in Savannah a few years ago. Since then, she has become a big supporter of my music and also, my friend. She and her husband are semi-retired and raise cattle. Whenever I see the Holiday photos she posts of her family, I think to myself- “They have done a great job in every way possible” I told her that too!

Anyway, when I called her on Thursday, she said we could meet up for a late lunch, which was fine by me. She suggested I go to the Crystal Bridges just down the street from the Town Square. So I did. I had no idea it was a fine art gallery! It is a beautiful place, set back in the woods, almost. There are trails one can take to see some of the outdoor exhibits and sculptures. I did not go on any trails, although some are smoothed out. They like you to check in just to see where you come from and ask if you would like to see the featured exhibit, which cost $5. Other than that, there is no general admission fee. The featured exhibit was the Alfred Steiglitz private collection. Which had 2 of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings as well as some of his own photos and works of art from artists such as Diego Rivera, a lithograph from Renoir and many others. I opted not to see that. I walked into the first room which started with 18th century works. As you go through, it becomes newer, all the way up to contemporary. Some of them really took my breath away with the detail and colors. I am not an art connoisseur, just a lover. I may miss some of the hidden messages, but I know what I like. There were works there from Rockwell, Warhol, Rothko and just so many, I can’t remember. I should have taken notes! However, to learn about the place and perhaps plan a visit– http://crystalbridges.org/
I spent almost 2 hours in there and it didn’t feel like it. When you come out, you enter a cafe, with wonderful views of the outside. The place is just amazing!

I met up with Kelly, downtown for a late lunch and she treated me to the biggest, greasiest, bacon double cheeseburger I have ever had, also a piece of homemade cherry pie! We sat in a booth and again, the time just flew by. I couldn’t eat the entire burger, so I got the other half to go. It is just so cool to meet up with people I have met in Savannah, in their town. There was so much to catch up on and talk about, oh my goodness, well over an hour went by in the blink of an eye. Before she left, she explained the hot spots to me and told me about the Wal-Mart Museum that is right downtown. She made a sweet gesture for road trip and I gave her a cd. I went to work on one of the corners of the town Square. It was a little quiet that evening, but still managed to have an average night. I also had a hot cider delivered from the Walton 5-10 across the street. I never liked hot cider until that night. Later on that night when I was done, I was in the van facebooking on my cell, and I hear “Hey Man, are you all right?” I looked over and it was an officer. I said “Oh yeah, I am great!” with a big smile. We had a wonderful conversation, I told him about my day and what I was doing and gave him my card. He was so friendly!

The next day, I went back to the town Square and played for a while during lunch. It is a little different during the day. A lot of business people going to lunch and back to the office. Although, there was cook sitting outside enjoying my music during his break! Afterwards, I took that tour of the Wal-Mart museum and went into the Walton 5 and 10. Talk about nostalgia! It is a great little tour. When I got a coffee at the restaurant across the street, I walked in and the cook said “Hey it’s Kenny G! I heard you out there” I said “Glad you enjoyed the music!”

I wanted to go to Fayetteville for Friday night, Kelly told me about Dickson St. there. I had also heard about that from my friend Jeff, so I figured that would be a good place for that night. I couldn’t leave without going back to the Crystal Bridges. I may never get a chance to see Steiglitz or O’keefe works again. The others I spoke of earlier, I didn’t know were there until I went in. Imagine my surprise! It was well worth the $5.

Bentonville, is a beautiful, friendly and offers so much for a small town. There is a lot of history to the place and great restaurants and shops. Once again, I found myself waiting on a phone call about permits, so I called the Police Station, they said busking was fine. No permits necessary. Thank you Bentonville and thank you Kelly, for everything!!

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