Eureka Springs Independent Column

Can Christmas really be the same without Larry Evans driving around with a lit tree on the back of his vehicle? Or does he still do that and I just don’t see it?

Someone mentioned that I wrote that Eureka Springs was a small town where everyone knows everyone else. I hope I didn’t say that because I don’t believe it to be true. Eureka is full of various cliques and factions that don’t necessarily mix with each other. I see many familiar faces around town, but I often don’t know names. I do believe that if two residents were placed in a locked room, they’d come up with a list of mutual acquaintances.

Eureka does have a permanent population of a certain size and many of those people know each other. Several times in my life I’ve found someone looking intently at my face and they follow with the question, “Are you a Weems?” Maybe it is the nose.

If people ask my name now, occasionally they know that I write. Other times they say, “Are you related to Arlie?” or “Mac” or “Mary” or “Terri” or “Diane at the bank” or “Diane the nurse.” Or they have a blank look on their faces and they ask where I’m from. It makes me sad when I say, “I’m from Eureka, born in the hospital,” and the response is, “I didn’t know there were any of those.”

I’ve told this before. I was behind a man in line at a local convenience store and a tourist asked him if he was a Eureka Springs native. The man answered, “I’ve lived here five years, I think that makes me a native.” That’s a curious statement.

But this is a Christmas column, so never mind all that. I was trying to remember Larry Evans’ vehicle that he’d decorate every year, so I asked someone with a better memory than mine. Scott Schmitz confirmed that it was a blue 1953 Willys Jeep wagon with a Ford 289 cubic inch V8. I hope Larry Evans knows that people appreciated his Christmas cheer. It made a lasting impression.