Hello Daylily Friends,
Diana and I left our house about 7:00 a.m. on Friday morning, September 18, 2009. We took I-20 and went through Birmingham, Alablama, took Highway 78 the rest of the way through Alabama and across Mississippi, and then in Memphis, Tennessee, we took I-40 into Arkansas. We made only a few stops and one of the highlights of the journey was seeing the sign that announced "You are entering Arkansas." I tried to get a picture but I was not ready with my camera. We drove on into Little Rock and eventually into Conway, Arkansas. We had no trouble reaching the Hilton Garden Inn where we met Carey Robert, the President of the Arkansas State Daylily Society. Carey is a Professor of American History at Arkansas Technical University. He is a very well organized young man and here is an example: The Club was having its annual auction,nd he had the members of his Club put hundreds of plants into alphabetical order. This made the auction much easier to conduct.
On Friday evening we went with Carey, and also with Pat Larson and with his wife Patricia, to Doe's Restaurant in Conway. Pat was an Art Professor at the University of Central Arkansas and also has another distinct honor. He designed the Arkansas Christmas tree ornament that was on the White House Christmas tree in 2008. As to Doe's Restaurant, I had not been to one before, but I was soon to learn that the specialty of the restaurant is serving "steak." To my surprise Carey ordered me a three-pound (3) Porterhouse steak. Can you imagine a steak of this size? It was BIG. I mean large and larger. A massive steak for a fellow of my small stature. So we all had a large helping from this massive Porterhouse. We went back to the Hilton, and were fortunate to see many new daylilies grown by club members. I saw a tremendous number of blue eyed beauties. I was indeed surprised at the exciting progress being made by club members.
After our day's journey, and after our wonderful dinner, and delightfully seeing such beautiful new "slide-blooms," we were a little tired. Fortunately, Carey, being as organized as he is, had already checked us into the Inn, and so we went to our room and soon went right to sleep.
On Saturday morning, September 19, we were up early. Carey had told me through e-mails and also at our Friday evening "Porterhouse Dinner," that I could speak for an hour. Well, I just started talking about daylilies and showing my new plants and my introductions, and well, what I had thought was about 10 minutes turned into an hour in a real hurry. I love daylilies and I can talk as long as someone will listen. Thankfully, my beautiful wife Diana let me know that my time for speaking had expired. So, I stopped, and answered a few questions. It was so much fun. How do people go traveling around the world to see grand sights when the best sights are in the back yard watching the daylilies grow and bloom. Diana and I were fortunate to have our picture made with the members of the Arkansas State Daylily Society, and I am showing the picture that was taken.
After I spoke to the Club there was a wonderful luncheon provided by the Hilton. Diana and I had turkey sandwiches, with potato salad, and sweet Arkansas tea. At about 1:00 p.m. the Club reconvened, and began its yearly auction. Diana added two plants to her collection. She likes spiders so she purchased Stamile's GOTHIC BUTTERFLY, and BETTY'S PICK, which was introduced by Ned Roberts. Many will know that Betty is Ned's wife. Well I got lost in the daylily fun, and then remembered that we wanted to be sure to visit President Clinton's library in Little Rock. So, we quitely left the room when suddenly everyone clapped and wished us well with our library excursion. The members of the Club are wonderful Daylily Citizens.
At the library we were surprised at all of the detail. I liked everything. When we came in the front door we saw President Clinton's Ford Mustang convertible that he would use to drive himself and Hillary around Little Rock on Sunday afternoons. Then, a few feet away, was President Clinton's long, long Cadillac. What a car. We took headphones and went upstairs. We first saw a movie about the Libary, and then our journey became more and more interesting. It is so good to see all of the important work that was done by President Clinton. We eventually made our way to the replica of the "Oval Office." It was just to good to be able to see. I have never been to the Oval Office in Washington, but I have now been to one that is reported to be precisely the same. We visited the store where I bought myself a new "coffee cup," and Diana purchased several other items including "cookie cutters" to make Hillary's cookies. I'm showing a picture of Diana standing in front of the Clinton Presidential Library.
We walked through several hotels that were near the Library, and then looked at the old "State House" where President Clinton and Senator Gore met with tremendous crowds the night before the national election in 1992.
On Sunday morning, September 20, we were up early and we headed to Memphis, Tennessee, to visit Graceland. Diana wanted to see Elvis' home. We were so fortunate to have our "Garmen" to help us find our destinations, and it took us right to where we needed to be. We parked in the parking lot, went and bought our tickets, then took the bus to Elvis' front door. I'm showing a picture of Diana where we entered Elvis's home. I was surprised to see so many mirrors on Elvis' walls, and to also see carpet on the walls. Elvis won so many awards and he kept building additions to his house to place his awards. What an incredible entertainer! We stayed about 3 hours, and then headed back to Georgia and home.
We had such a wonderful journey. We visited four (4) states, met Carey and the members of the Arkansas State Daylily Society, made many new friends, visited President Clinton's Library in Little Rock, and visited Elvis' Graceland, all in three short days. Thanks to Carey and to the members of the Club for a grand adventure.