Ft Smith, Arkanasas

The drive from Fayetteville to Ft Smith was quite beautiful. Still in the Ozarks, and at the end of the foliage, the colors of the landscape were a pretty rust color and brown with a blend of yellow split pea. There was an occasional house peppered in here and there and as the sun was setting, there were highlights of auburn- it was amazingly beautiful. I almost wish I had driven through a week or two earlier when colors were probably abound!

Unfortunately, that was almost as good as it got. I got into Ft. Smith on Sunday morning. I drove through downtown and it looked like a ghost town. The only thing missing was a man with a gun belt and a tumbleweed. Then I realized it was Sunday and everyone was in probably in Church. I immediately felt I left Fayetteville too soon, thinking I should have stayed another day or two. However, that wasn’t the case. I found may way back to the junction, and got a coffee and thought about my next move. I worked very hard over the weekend and had little to show for it. I talked to my brother-in-law about options. My friend in Bentonvile, who made a sweet gesture to my trip, allowed me to get a hotel room. I didn’t want to use it for that, but it IS what it was for. So, I decided to take the night off and get a good rest and a good night’s sleep. Kelly- thank you for that!

After check in, I got a sandwich and watched some tv. As the night progressed and I had done some other work, 6 hours went by! I settled in for the night and got an uneasy feeling. I can’t explain what it was, but needless to say, I didn’t get that awesome night’s sleep I had hoped for. I did however; clean out the van, get my laundry done, a clean shave and a hot shower so that was good!

I checked out and called the Community Developer about busking. Jane was most helpful and said it is fine and she even gave me a location suggestion. On the way there, I was getting that uneasy feeling again. I went there and played my 90 minutes. It wasn’t jamming out there but it wasn’t dead either. I received almost as many heckles, as I did tips. What the hell is the matter with people, yelling from a car derogatory things???

I sometimes find solace in a cemetery, so I went to the National Cemetery, since it was nearby. It is very much like an Arlington Cemetery, just must smaller. I went up to the office and grabbed a pamphlet and in it was a walking tour guide to take yourself on. I took it. There are a soldiers there dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War and before, all the way up to today. Walking in, on a stone wall is an iron casting of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I found that appropriate given it is the anniversary of that. It was a nice experience.

I really didn’t want to get back out there to play. I wasn’t concerned for my safety so much (like I have been in the past) there was just a bad energy about the place, I felt it almost as soon as I got there. I had NO interest in staying in that town any longer. It is nothing I can explain, it is just my feeling. I checked to see how long it would take to get to Oklahoma City, I could be there by 8pm. So I went.

I can include my experience there in this post. I didn’t work that night. I was still in a weird place. I talked with a friend about what was going on with me. I felt better afterwards. I received a poem later and it kind of put things in perspective, thank you! I slept like a baby, and when I woke up, I woke to the song and dance of crows on the roof of my van! That was awesome!

I had to call the IRS about my taxes. After about 45 minutes, I am on a plan- yay me! Later, when I went out, I went to Bricktown, which is part of downtown. I found myself on Broadway and I decided to give a call to City Hall. There are some towns, I just go out in play, there are others I feel a call to City Hall is necessary, this was one of those times. I really need to hone up on this ahead of time. It turns out- to be a Street Entertainer in Oklahoma City, one has to pay $15 for a back round check. After that, they have to take that to the Licensing Dept in City Hall, then they do another back round check through the Police Dept. Then you have to fill out an application, I don’t know how long processing is, but that cost $30 for a year. That is, if all goes well. Total cost $45/year to be a busker in Oklahoma City. I had to go.

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