Eureka Springs Independent Newspaper Column for July 16, 2014 by Steve Weems

I’ve been perusing some old editions of the Eureka Springs Times-Echo again. Sometimes I’m amazed at the minutiae old newspapers reported. For instance, we learn that in July 1971, Howard Easley mowed the grass at the Roach Cemetery near Eagle Rock. This was not told in the context of another larger story, it was a simple stand alone statement that might interest the readers.

Also, in July 1971, the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce announced that in the coming September, the First Annual Antique Car Show would be held with a parade and car displays. Then it says, “The rest of the afternoon will be used for the gorilla hunt with quite a bit of hillbilly action on the streets.” I really don’t know what that means.

In a continuing saga, Bob Vargo of Yellville was arrested twice in two weeks. His three children had previously been hired to perform nightly at the City Auditorium during the 1971 season, but, following an unspecified dispute, the contract was terminated. Mr. Vargo and his children, ages 5 to 15, took to the streets with signs in a protest march. Later, Bob Vargo was arrested for creating a public nuisance and disorderly conduct, after a performance by his children, in the front yard of a motel. Next he was arrested for disturbing the peace of Bobby Ball. It does not say how Bobby Ball’s peace was disturbed, but Vargo was found guilty in Municipal Court and fined $10 and costs by Judge John Maberry.

A tape-recorded lecture by L. Ron Hubbard was advertised to take place one evening at 8 Center St. The program was called The Game Called Life and there was to be no admission charged. The Barbra Streisand film On A Clear Day You Can See Forever played at the Gaslight Theatre in Eureka Springs. Or one could run over to Berryville and see Don Knotts in How To Frame a Figg at the Main Theatre.

Do you have memories or stories of the old Naval Reserve Unit that was located upstairs in the McVay Building at 55 Spring St.? If so, let me know at or at P.O. Box 43 in Eureka Springs.