Survivors Of 1973 Great Ozark Folk Festival Relive Event
Last week, Lord Of Leisure and Hippie With Tiara reprised the journey to Mountain View, Arkansas, site of the adventure known at Heck Of A Guy as The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973, a tale told in three parts: Introduction, Bluegrass, The Courthouse, The Campgrounds, & Hungry Hungry Hippies, and The Flood.
The following excerpt is from the Introduction:
Comprising events that took place 34 years ago within a period of less than 72 hours, the story of The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973 [is] part travelogue, part drama, and part farce …
The Ozark Folk Festival, which, since its origin in the early 1960s, has annually featured a weekend of unalloyed, down-home bluegrass music played as God intended it, by overalls-clad fellows, red of neck and wizened of visage, each with a hefty wad of Red Man twixt cheek and gum and a can at the ready for use as a spittoon – well, by those guys and by the hippies, of course.
As a bonus, the Festival took place in a beautiful wilderness area in Arkansas. …
As it turned out, my romantic companion of that era, the then eventually-to-become-first-Mrs-DrHGuy, also decided to sign up for the trip as did two of my high school buddies, PolySciGuy and Flame, who had married each other and were living nearby.
Thus it was that on Good Friday, 20 April 1973, I and the still-later-to-become-ex-Mrs-DrHGuy were ensconced in the back seat of a metallic blue 1968 Pontiac Tempest5 driven by Lord of Leisure with Hippie With Tiara by his side and followed by PolySciGuy and Flame in a newish Fiat as we departed civilization as it then existed in the university town of Columbia, Missouri to journey across 265 miles and a time-space vortex into the Kingdom of Mountain View, Arkansas.
Lamentably, few photos resulted from the first trip; on this return visit, however, our intrepid travelers have brought back a feast of images.
Especially striking are the scenes from the town’s central square:
Courthouse & Stone County Seat
The pertinent passage from Bluegrass, The Courthouse, The Campgrounds, & Hungry Hungry Hippies follows:
The Ozark Folk Festival activities, including a Saturday morning parade featuring Governor Dale Bumpers, took place on or near the Courthouse square that is the political and social center of the Mountain View metroplex. …
When we visited the Courthouse, its electrical wiring was conveniently located on the hallway walls. Portions of that wiring ran to the ceilings of those hallways and then dropped a short distance, suspending the naked, dangling bulbs that provided lighting for the area.
And, it was after a memorable visit to the Courthouse restroom that I embraced the conviction that, the tenets of medical science notwithstanding, one could, indeed, become infected with a venereal disease from a toilet seat. Indeed, I believed that transmission of disease might well take place without physical contact with the toilet seat.
In 1973, the county jail was also on the town square. It remains there today but now sports the addition seen below on the reader’s right.
Again, The pertinent passage from Bluegrass, The Courthouse, The Campgrounds, & Hungry Hungry Hippies follows:
One of the sights on the square early Saturday afternoon had been the hippie contingent openly quaffing wine. One of the sights on the square later that afternoon was the remainder of the hippie contingent begging for spare change to raise bail for their recently arrested comrades who were then residing in the local jail, an ancient stone blockhouse located behind the courthouse, having been educated, though the didactic device of undergoing arrest, that Stone County Arkansas was, as it still is, a dry county.
The view below shows that the addition to the jail building is the office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
While this year’s parade did not include, as it did in 1973, the Governor of Arkansas, it did feature a lead unit destined to trigger excitement.
More Shots Of Parade
Click on images to enlarge to full size
Happily, this business, located on the route to Mountain View, has survived the economic downturn to continue to provide the basis of many, many bad jokes. Readers are invited to create their own variations.
More Mountain View photos coming soon.