Eureka


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Published: July 10th 2011
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Passion Play Theater Set
June 17, 18 & 19, 2011

My Dad loved to travel. He passed away 2 years ago, so in remembering my dad on Father’s Day my mom and I took a weekend trip. I decided we would go to Eureka Springs and see the Passion Play. It was close enough for a weekend trip and the last time I was there was in 1981.
I went to my mom’s house after work on Thursday and spent the night. We left early Friday morning and headed up into Oklahoma. We stopped at an Amish store in Atoka for a break. I was talking to the cashier and was told another couple just left the store who was also heading to Eureka Springs. She told us about a leather store she recommended. I told my mom I sure hoped it wasn’t crowded being Father’s Day weekend.

My mom wanted to stop at garage sales along the way. We didn’t really see any until we crossed over into Arkansas. My mom saw a sign for one and wanted to stop so I turned around and went back to it. We ended up going down this one lane road and pulled up at
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Passion Play Theater Set
a house. The sign said the garage sale was inside. I was leery about going into the house since there was no one else going in or out. Also, the yard had not been mowed in a while and there was 1 car sitting in the yard, a station wagon. I saw an “OPEN” sign flashing in the window. I told mama this was an on going sale and did she really want to go in. I was glad when she said “no”. It just didn’t look like a safe place to go. We headed back down the road and she saw another garage sale sign. I turned around and went back to it. This one looked safe. It was in a neighborhood and was outside. There was an older man sitting outside running it. He said he and his wife were combining two households. He saw my mustang and we started talking about them. He and his wife had just bought a 2011 mustang. He was telling me the new ones do not have a spare tire. They have a pump which will air up the tire so you can get to a station. I asked him what you
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Christ Statue on Passion Play grounds overlooking the City of Eureka Springs
do if you have a blow-out. He said you are out-of luck and have to call someone to tow you into a shop. He also told me they have now sealed up the transmission fluid so you can not check it yourself. I was glad I talked to him I don’t think I will be buying a new mustang even though I love them and have always had one.

We left the garage sale and headed on down the road to Eureka. We arrived there about 3:30 and checked into the motel called Land Of Nod. I had made reservation there because that was where my mom wanted to stay. She had stayed there with her mom, sister & brother-in-law back in the late 50’s and had good memories of it. Despite being old, the motel has been very well kept and updated. The staff was very friendly and helpful. They served a continental breakfast every morning. I would recommend staying there if you are in the area.

After checking into the motel, we headed to downtown Eureka Springs to do some shopping. We drove instead of taking the trolley because they stop running at 6:00 p.m. I
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Sheppard tending flock.
was expecting the town to be very crowded however was pleasantly surprised. I was talking to one of the shop owners and she said they were surprised also. She said the past 3 weekends had been packed and the only thing the shop owners could figure out was the tourist were not there because of Father’s Day weekend. It was that way the whole weekend. Nothing was crowded. It was a great weekend to go. I was talking to another shop owner and asked her what the temperature was supposed to be the next day. We got to talking about the difference between the temperatures in Eureka and Dallas. She said when it gets really hot in Eureka all the weather men on TV blame the hot weather on Texas. They call it the Texas heat moving into the area.

After we finished shopping, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant and ate supper before heading back to the motel. The food was great and the prices very reasonable. The restaurant had been recommended to us by the staff at the motel.

We got up early Saturday morning and had the continental breakfast at the motel. After breakfast, we
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Women at Well
headed out to the Passion Play grounds to the Bible Museum which opened at 9. We could either walk around and read the history of the bible translations ourselves and watch a video or we could have one of the guides give us a talking tour. I asked the guide to go through with us and tell us the history. I think it was more enjoyable having the tour guide and there was no extra charge for it. He told about how Moses wrote the first few books of the bible and where Moses received a lot of his information. The people on the earth were destroyed in the flood however the history had been written down on stone columns which were not destroyed, along with the oral history which had been passed down to Moses. The guide then proceeded to tell how the Bible was translated several times and ended the tour with when it was translated into the King James Version. King James of England was very knowledgeable in the Bible. He hired several scholars to translate into the English language. He set up several sets of rules the scholars had to go by so the translation would
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Hannah at Passover House where blood was applied to door so the 1st born did not die.
be as close to the original Bible as possible. Previous translated versions had foot notes and interpretations added, however King James had those left out. One of the reasons was because some of the foot notes and interpretations limited the powers of Kings and he did not want that in the Bible. At one time it was a law that every household must have a Bible. There were men whose job was to check each household to make sure they had a Bible. The households which did not have one would borrow their neighbor’s Bible when the inspectors were coming. The inspectors figured out what they were doing so it became a requirement for each family to write their family history inside the Bible. This is how the Family Bibles came into existent. The tour guide also related how several translations were printed with errors. One was called the Wicked Bible, because the word “not” was left out of the 7th commandment. Instead of reading “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It read “Thou shalt commit adultery”. The guide also showed us some cylinder pieces of rocks with inscriptions on them. He said the soldiers wore those for identification like our
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High Priest showing how a lamb was sacrificed.
modern day dog-tags.

After we left the Bible Museum, we headed over to The Living Bible Tour. It is outdoors and takes 2 hours to complete. We wanted to be there for the 1st tour in order to be finished before it got too hot. I highly recommend taking the tour. They have 9 sections set up with a different Bible character in each section. The Bible characters are dressed as they would have been in Bible days and talk about their life. The best character re-enactment was Ruth. She talked about how she meet Boab. She told about her Great Grandson David. She would be talking then stop and say…”I did tell you about my Great Grandson David didn’t I”. It was just like a proud great grandma would today. Another interesting section was the temple with the High Priest giving the tour. He explained that the lambs which families brought to the temple for sacrifices were like a family pet. It really meant something when they gave their lamb up for the sacrifice. He explained how after the lamb had been placed on the alter the head of the household would press on two spots on
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Mama and Ruth
the lambs neck so it would pass out. He would then slit the lamb’s throat. I had always wondered if the animals were fighting trying to escape however he said it was done in a very humane way. He explained how there was suppose to always be something between the high priest and God. He said that is why when the priest entered the Holy Temple they would swing an incense burner giving off smoke which would be between them and God. I had always wondered why the Catholic priest on TV would be swing an incense burner and this explained it. The other sections we visited were a Sheppard tending his flock, Women at the Well, Hannah at the Passover house, Simon Peter, Moses, Mary Mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. It was a very interesting tour.

When the Living Bible Tour ended it was starting to get hot so we went back to the motel room, had a snack then headed out to tour the historical district of downtown Eureka Springs. We drove it because we had to be back out to the Passion Play grounds by 4:30. It would have been better if we could have taken the trolley so we could have gotten on and off when we wanted too but due to the time it was not possible. We also drove out to the Thorncrown Chapel. It is a Chapel in the woods outside of town made of glass. You could go in and sit. It was very peaceful inside. They do have services there on Sunday morning. Mama wanted to go however we were not able too because it would have been so late when we arrived back in Dallas and I had to work on Monday.

We left the Thorncrown Chapel and went back to the motel to freshen up and headed back to the Passion Play grounds. We had tickets for the Top of the Mountain Dinner Theater. Before I bought the tickets I had tried to find information about the type of food served but could not find anything. I told Mama it would probably be sandwiches since there was no information. It was a pleasant surprise when they serviced a baked chicken breast, twice bake potatoes, vegetable salad, fruit, roll and a cherry turnover. The group that was performing played gospel music and did a comedy show. They were very funny. It was about 1 ½ to 2 hours show.

After the Dinner Theater, we attended two Character performances. The first one was the character David, who told about tending to his sheep and killing Goliath. He gave a demonstration on how to use a slingshot like David used. After his performance a potter gave a demonstration on making pottery and related how making a vase is like God molding us. It was now time for us to head to the stadium for the Passion Play. I was disappointed in the performance of the Passion Play. There were too many distractions. During the whole performance they had background music playing. It was too loud and distracted from the words of the performers. Also, the performers seemed to be lip syncing to a script which was being read by other people. There was also a performer dresses in a black and maroon cape who keep moving around in time to the back ground music. I couldn’t decide if the character was supposed to be the devil or death. The character’s face was painted white. It reminded me of the Phantom of the Opera. The play was good however it would have been a lot better without the back ground music, performers speaking their parts and without the character in the cape. No photography was allowed during the play.

We left early Sunday morning to head back home. We came home through Beaver’s Bend because Mama wanted to see the area. She had good memories of going there back in the 50’s. I was loading the car Sunday morning and headed back to the motel room to get the rest of the luggage. I felt something hit my arm and by reflex knocked it off real fast. I looked down and a bird had pooped on me!! Luckily it was on my arm and not my clothes or hair. I have been told if a bird poops on you it is suppose to be good luck. Guess I had better go buy my lottery ticket.



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Mary Mother of Jesus
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Mary Magdalene
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Thorncrown Chapel

Located just outside the city of Eureka Springs
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Thorncrown Chapel 2

They had music playing inside the Chapel


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