What is the connection between Elvis and this Esso station in Carlisle, Arkansas?
In 1955, Elvis and several band members were heading on Hwy. 70 toward Little Rock.
At this intersection of Hwy. 70 and Hwy. 13 in Carlisle, while driving at a high rate of speed, Elvis broadsided a dump truck and sent his Cadillac into a ditch across the highway from this station. Nobody was injured, the Caddy was still drivable but the gas tank on the dump truck was punctured. Elvis was fined $25 for the damage to the dump truck.
On December 4, 1938, the patriarch of a rather large Kaufman family in Little Rock, Arkansas, Franz Otto Kaufmann, died at the age of 82 (84). He was living with son Edward Robert on 12th Street Pike (Kanis Rd) in Little Rock at the time of his death.
Not much is known about his life in Germany. He was born September 17, 1856 (1854) in Linda, u. Ronneburg, Sachsen, Deutschland (Linda, Saxony, Germany) and was baptized September 26, 1856. Baptismal records indicate his father is Johann Gottfried Kaufmann and mother as Christine Pilling. It is said he served five years in the German army before immigrating to the United States. There is a discrepancy with his birthday. All official records in the US his birthday year is 1854 but on German records the year is 1856.
Otto enlisted in the US Army on January 11, 1881 Fort Hamilton (NY). He had just arrived on the SS Main from Bremen, Germany on January 8, 1881 at the Port of New York. He served at Fort Hamilton until he was sent to the Little Rock Barracks, December 9, 1881. He was promoted in rank twice. First to Corporal on December 26, 1882 and then to Sergeant on September 23, 1883. He lived in what is now the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History while serving.
Upon arrival in Little Rock in 1881, he was spotted by a young French girl, Lena Harveil, who saw him getting off the train and she turned to her parents telling them that he was the man she would marry. Her father was not too happy about it though since he did not like the military. On February 21, 1885 Otto and Lena were married by Father Felix Rumpf, of the Arkansas Catholic Dioceses, soon to be the first pastor of St Edward Catholic Church which was across the road from the barracks. Her parents were devout members of St Edward until their deaths in the 1920s.
Now this is where family history and verifiable facts do not agree. Otto Frank Kaufman, Jr told his descendants that his parents married in 1884 and that he was born January 10, 1885 at the Little Rock Barracks. County records show that they actually were married over a month later. Otto, Jr’s Delayed Birth Certificate, signed by mother Lena does have 1885 as his birth year.
On January 10, 1886, Sarge, as he preferred to be called, was discharged and moved his small, but growing, little family to a place on 7th Street before buying a farm in the Sand Hills (Arch Street Pike/Granite Mountain) area of Little Rock.
At least once a week vegetable crops grown on the farm, that the family did not use, were loaded onto a wagon and Lena, with help from a couple of the kids, took the vegetables to be sold to markets and some of the residential residents in the Quapaw Area of Little Rock. Lena would start the long trip to Little Rock before daylight and wouldn’t return to the farm until after dark. Back then it took hours to walk into town instead of the twenty minutes by car it takes today.
The kids that stayed at the farm would have to work the fields while Sarge sat on the porch and supervised. He had a whistle that he’d blow to let them know if he saw them doing something other than working. At the end of the day he would tell each one how many times they stopped working even if it was a just few seconds to rest their backs. The little kids that were too small to work the fields still had chores to do like feed the chickens or gather fire wood. They would also find and tie twigs together for kindling. Otto and Lena had 13 children with 9 reaching adulthood.
Otto was about 5’9” in height, slender build, fair complexion, with light brown hair and grey eyes. He walked with a cane in later years though it was thought that it really wasn’t needed. He treasured his Army days and would talk about it for hours if you let him. His children and Lena called him Papa but to everyone else he was Sarge. He spoke German and English and Lena spoke French, broken German and broken English. Otto officially became an US citizen on October 20, 1919, 38 years after his arrival in the US.
If you visit the MacArthur Musuem be sure to say hi to Sarge you might just get an answer back. 👻
“Life is like a cotton. Don’t make it heavier by dipping it in the water of sorrow but make it lighter by blowing it in the joy of air.”
There’s a small patch of cotton growing at the Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park in Scott, Arkansas. As many times as I’ve driven past the museum, and have even stopped from time to time this year, yesterday was the first time I’ve noticed it!
Cotton and farming played an important role in the history of Scott, AR. Many prominent businessmen and lawyers from Little Rock owned plantations in the rich, fertile bottom land of Western Pulaski County along the Arkansas River. Very few of the plantations still exist today but the Plantation Agriculture Museum has gathered many of the items from those plantations as displays throughout this state park.
I would try to explain the math of sunflowers but let’s face it, it’s math, and we all know how good I am at math. NOT! It blows my mind if I can’t count or figure it up on my fingers and toes. A great explanation of the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio found in middle of a sunflower is located at Nature Blows My Mind! The Hypnotic Patterns of Sunflowers.
For all my photographer friends out there using Lightroom. Did you know you can use the Golden Ratio overlay when cropping photos? While using the crop tool if you press the O key you can cycle through the many crop overlays available. When you find an overlay you like, if you press Shift O you can rotate the orientation of that overlay to fit your image if need be. More information on crop overlays in Lightroom can be found on Have Camera Will Travel.
There’s not much left of Finton Shaw’s Sculpture Garden near Conway, Arkansas. If you did not know it was there, you would pass on by thinking it was just another junk yard alongside the road. Among the tall grass and weeds are the remains of Mr. Shaw’s sculptures including one he was working on at the time of his death, in 2012, featuring Bill Clinton.
I took these pictures from across the highway and from the old driveway of Shaw’s property. I didn’t have any snake boots and I was not sure the current owners of the property really want anyone exploring. I left wishing I would have met the artist and seen the sculptures before his death.
For more information on Finton Shaw and his sculptures:
As I was leaving Conway yesterday I knew I had to find a place to pull over to stop and photograph the rising full moon. The wispy clouds were trailing across the face of the moon making the scene beautiful but yet a little creepy looking. The clouds and atmosphere made it hard to get a tack sharp image so I didn’t bother pulling out the tripod.
As I turned the car around to head back out on the highway, I saw that everything in the West was bathed in a very intense orange.
There are two existing timber trestle roadway bridges, still in use, in Arkansas. One is the West James Street Overpass in Redfield and the other is the Fourteenth Street Overpass in North Little Rock.
West James Street Overpass, Redfield, AR built in 1924