… and neither does Daisy Mae (heavy sigh).
I’ve been sitting on this photo since early November, and it’s as good as any for my last post of 2012 – the year of the great Apocalypse Not.
But Tempus Fugit’s and All Things Must Pass – and everything falls victim to Entropy in the end. (Too much of a bummer? OK, think of it as Evolution instead…)
2013 will mark the 20th year since Dogpatch USA ceased operations, and ended a brief era of “Hillbilly-Themed Tourism” – and though Branson and Silver Dollar City still do a lively business with this shtick, they don’t have the downright cartoon-cornpone style that Dogpatch had (fortunately so, most would say…)
For those of you under 30 (and a few of you over it), Dogpatch USA was a theme park based around Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip that opened between Harrison and Jasper, Arkansas back in 1968 – and managed to operate in various incarnations until October of 1993. I have mostly fond memories of visiting the place several times in it’s heyday.
Nowadays it still stands beside highway 7 looking like an abandoned 19th-century gold-rush town – slowly being reclaimed by the Ozark wilderness. It used to be that you’d turn-off of Hwy 7 and drive to the top of a hill where you’d go into a large gift shop & restaurant, and from there you could buy tickets and ride a tram down into the park which was nestled in a “hollow” at the bottom of the hill. I took this photo from the threshold of that old building – but that’s about as far as you can go these days. It’s strictly posted No Trespassing, and they will prosecute you if they catch you in the old park itself because it’s become quite a target for Urban Explorers. But if you’re driving by, you can still get a pretty good look at the ruins of it from the highway.
Happy 2013 … enjoy it while it’s here!