The Maniac Collector's Inbox
Sherlocking in Arkansas
I spent the Memorial Day Weekend driving to Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend the wedding of one of my wife's friend's daughter. Fayetteville is roughly a six-hour drive from Flower Mound, Texas. We left early on Saturday morning and were checked into our hotel before one. Fayetteville is located in the northwestern corner of the state and only a few miles from Bentonville, home of Wally-World, better known around the planet as Wal-Mart. Rogers, Arkansas is the next over from Bentonville.
We headed to Rogers, home of the Daisy Air Rifle Company. This is not quite the same type of air-gun as manufactured by the Von Herder but it is just as famous on this side of the Pond. Ralphie made the Red-Rider model air-gun famous in the movie A Christmas Story (1983) and there was a great advertisement poster for it in the front window. Peter Billingsley played Ralphie. He can also be seen as William Ginta Riva in Iron Man (2008) and the title role was played by Robert Downey Jr. Mr. Downey will fill the silver screen this Christmas as Sherlock Holmes.
There is a Daisy Air Rifle museum in downtown Rogers and unfortunately it was closed the day we were there. However, I was able to get a few photographs. The company began as the Plymouth Iron and Windmill Company in Plymouth, Michigan. According to the company's website, "Lewis C. Hough, treasurer and general manager of the Plymouth Iron Windmill Co., was visited by a young local inventor named Clarence J. Hamilton. The latter brought along a weird-looking gun made almost entirely of cast iron and folded metal, with a skeletonized wire stock. Employing a simple spring-piston power plant cocked by a lever along the top of the receiver, Hamilton's odd contraption shot lead BBs dropped down into the muzzle. Hamilton loaded and cocked the strange-looking contraption and urged Hough to have a go at it. Upon pulling the trigger and hearing the BB strike the wastepaper basket with oomph, Hough's amazement led him to utter the famous phrase: "Boy, that's a daisy!" From his last word was born the company that would bring happiness and a solid start into the shooting sports to countless generations of youngsters for more than a century.
On our return to Fayetteville, we visited the Dickson Street Bookshop. Oddly enough it is located on Dickson Street and has miles of aisle of dusty treasures. It was one of those classic old shops with books over-flowing into every nook and cranny. Of course it also had that lovely used bookstore aroma. There wasn't a trace of computer graphics to be found and each end-cap featured hand printed descriptions of the aisle's possible contents. This is diefinitely a bookshop that deserves a return visit.
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