Fouke Monster - Childress articla

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Fouke Monster - Childress articla - PAGE TWO Fouke Monster Film Does Good BY DEBRA...
PAGE TWO Fouke Monster Film Does Good BY DEBRA HALE Associated l^ess Writer FOUKE, Ark (AP) — He’s as tall as Wilt Chamberlain, almost as fast as a cheetah and as heav 7 as a gorilla. He has bushy hair, red eyes, a three-toed foot and a voice like a peacock’s. He is the legendary Fouke Monster, the main character in the movie “The Legend of Boggy Creek” starring Keith Crabree, Willie Smith and other residents of this southwest Arkansas community. Crabtree, who portrayed the monster, no longer lives in Fouke. Although the first recorded sight of the monster dates back to 1954, Smith, who plays himself in the movie and who provided the descripticHi of the monster, said his 75-year-old sister saw the creature when she was 10. it was not until last summer, though, that P&L Film Productions of Texarkana turned the legend into a moneymaking moneymaking movie filmed in Fouke and nearby Texarkana. Producer-di rector Charles Pierce originally had planned to call the documentary film “Tracking the Fouke Monster.’’The movie is called a documentary because, as its actual title suggests, the monster subject is treated as a legend. One year after the movie premiered residents of this small community, population .506. are b^inning to realize that the movie could have bolstered the town’s economy if they only had acted sooner. “l>otsof people here in Fouke have missed the boat by not taking advantage of the publicity we have received and expanded on the monster theme.” said Mayor J.D. Larey of Fouke. “A novelty shop might have been the thing to bring in more money from tourists. But the people here just didn’t realize what they had when the iron was hot.” l^rey. a retired Air Force officer, noted, however, that such profits would have had not lasting effect. One man who was involved in financial arrangements for the movie shared Larey’s opinion. “None of us dreamed that the darned thing would make the money that it did,” he said. “The man who made the movie had never made a movie in his life They guy who backed the movie had never backed a movie in his life. The people who acted in the movie had never acted before in their lives. 1 don’t think you could have foreseen anything By RONNY F. McNUTT COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENT By RONNY McNutt An important meeting for 4- Hers who own show steers and heifers has been set for Thursday. August 23. The meeting will start at 8 p.m. in the Courthouse assembly room. Dr Dennis White, Area Extension Livestock Specialist, will be on the program. Dr. White will discuss such things as: rations and feeding the show animal from September until show time, special care and management from present to show time and after important asp<?cts of feeding and showing beef animals. Tine Childress County 4-H Council will meet this coming Monday night. Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Courthouse assembly room Debra Hightower, council chairman, will preside at the meeting. Several items of business will be discussed. The primary item of business for the council will be to make plans for the County 4-H Achievement Banquet to be held In October. Pecan weevils are reported causing damage to pecans in Young and Archer counties this past week. Producers should begin inspecting trees closely for the pecan weevil. Once infestations infestations are present two to four insecticide applications applied at 5 to 7 days intervals should be made to obtain effective effective control of this pest. Pecan weevils emerge from the soil over a period of several weeks therefore control measure should be applied during the period when weevils are emerging and causing damage to pecans. happening on it.” Larey said he receives several long-distance telephone calls and from three to 12 letters a day about the monster. Much of the mail is addressed directly to the mayor to other city officials, but some of its is addressed to the Fouke Monster. Larey said the Post Office had decided to forward him all such mail. One such letter addressed to the “Bogg\- Creek Monster, Fouke. Ark.” was from ayoung girl who said the film was “a real neat movie.” Another letter, addressed to the “Mayor-Or any City Official. Official. Fouke. Ark.,” was from a member of the volunteer fire department in Martinsburg, W’. Va The man inquired about the monster’s habitat, size and identity. The fireman said he also would “like to have some picutres of the monster. He promised to keep the information information “confidential.” Fouke residents say it is not unusual for a tourist to stop in their town to hunt for the creature in the swamp along Roggy Creek. One custom«- in the Boggy Creek Cafe, for example, recently said he had seen a man wandering through the swamps the previous day with a knife. The customer said the man told him he was hunting for the monster and that he had just spotted the creature’s claw print on the side of a tree trunk. “I just laughed at him.” the customer said as he drank a cup of coffee “He got mad.” Larey said three Green Berets from Virginia recently telephoned him to ask if they could look for the monster during their leaves. Larey said he advised the men to wait until deer hunting season. “I was afraid the game warden would pick them up.” he laughed. The Miller County sheriff’s office does, in fact, forbid hunters to take guns into the woods to look for the monster except during deer season. They say this limits the possibility of a hunter’s shooting a human mistakenly thought to be the Fouke Monster lxx?ated on Fouke’s main street, but still not far from Boggy Creek, is the Boggy Creek Cafe, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Williams. The cafe is one of two Njsinesses in Fouke that have capitalized on the monster. In addition to the regular menu items, a hungry customer can choose such items as the “Boggy Creek Breakfast,” a “Three-toed Sandwich” and a waffle and ice cream dessert called the “Boggy Creek Delight.” Money clips, cards, key chains, bumper stickers and ash trays with “Home of the Fouke Monster” written on them are sold behind the counter. The jukebox offers a Bobby Picket rendition of “Monster Mash.” The cafe also stock a reproduced souvenir print of what some persons say is the monster’s foot. The souvenir, autographed by Smith and Crabtree, is considerably smaller than the monster’s foot—which Smith said is 5 inches wide and 14 inches long. Mrs. Williams said 20 to 25 tourists stop by the small restaurant daily She said she never had seen the monster, but wanted to see it. “I believe there’s something out there. From the way the people I have talked to described it. I think it’s a gorilla-like animal.” she said. V\1iile Mrs. Williams was talking. Smith, an insurance agent. waUied into the cafe. He saw a reporter, his eyes brightened and he started talking. Insisting that the monster was a vegetarian. Smith said he had seen it several times near his house along Boggy Creek. “Firs t time I saw him back in 1955.1 though he was a man. I shot at him 15 times with an Army rifle, but missed him,” Smith said. “Next time he came up behind the house throwing chunks at my dog,” Smith added. “So. I shot through the brush and missed him again. ‘’The third time my wife was workiniii on the TV when I heard him. He slapped my dog across the porch into the screen door.” Again. Smith’s aim wasn’t too good; he said his shots missed the minister, which is said to run about 45 miles per himr. Smith said some other Fouke residents had heard the monster about two weeks ago, but that the creature didn’t sound like a peacock this time. “He was r oaring and cutting up and sounding like a crazy man,” the insurance agent ¡iaid. Smith’s son, Harold, owtis a small gasoline station next door to the Boggy Creek Cafe. Harold Smith, who also sells monster souvenirs, said he gets more questions about the monster from tourists than gas sales. Smith has his own theory about the monster’s identity. “I believe it is a sasquatch,” he said, pointing to a picture postcard depicting an ape-like animal. “It's the next thing to a human.” Smith said he had seen the creature as have his wife and children, he added. The only other Fouke resident who realized that tourism meant money and that it could be his money with a little initiative is a 12-year-old boy, Perry Parker, who lives next door to a house which has become a part of the legind of Boggy Creek. In May 1971, the monster attacked Bobby Ford, 25, formerly of Route 1. Texarkana, at the house, according according to Ford, who was treated for scratches and minor shock at a Texarkana hospital. Ford said he was so scared he ran through the door. Later one of Ford’s relatives said the crature may have been “a big cat. like a mountain lion or puma.” “Back when that happened to the Fords, cars were lined up with people hunting for the monster.” the youngster laughed, saying he didn't really believe in the creature’s existence. Perry and his brother. Richard. 15. live with their mother and step-father, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Simmons, who own the 79-year-old house. Perry said they had to put a barbed wire fence around the house because tourists had been going into it M,ithout permission. “I make a lot of money off it," he said. “I’m going to put a sign up for guided tours and charge about a dollar per carload.” Perry said in the past most tourists voluntarily had paid him—some up to $5—-for a look at the house and the swamp behind it. The house in the movie, however, was not the real one, but a similar oie in Texarkana. The Simmons refused to allow the house to be filmed because, according to Perry, they didn’t think $2,000 was enough money for such a project. Behind the white and green house is a vegetable garden. “People see the corn knocked down in the fields because the coons got in and ate it,” Perry laughed. “They think the monster ate it!” Perry said he makes about $20 per week on the guided tours. “I hate to take the money.” the youngster said, but conceded that he probably would continue taking it. He said he had met tourists from as far away as Montana and Ohio. Just as he was accepting a dollar from one tourist, in fact, two carloads of sight-seers drove up. The group said they had driven 178 miles from Monroe, La., to get a glimpse of the legandary house. As Perry said, “The movie has put Fouke on the map.” The novel “Vanity Fair” has two heroines, Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley, instead instead of a hero. How Much? ACROSS 1 Fewer 5 Greater quantity 9 On 10 Fur J3 Venetian traveler garments 50 In sufficient quantity 54 Rebuilds 58 Bewildered 59 In excessive quantity (2 wds.) DOWN 14 Shaded walks 60 Dispatched 16 Made sleeping noise Not false 18 Surf noise 19 Vestiges 23 Bipeds 24 Guido’s note 27 Lover, ------of Gaul J 29 Hawaiian garlands 31 Nil 35 Legendary sea creature 38 Greek outcry 39 Carried along in a current 42 Emmet 43 Head cover 46 More costly 48 Near East 1 Race course circuits 2 Short jacket 3 Song for one 4 Tennis or baseball 5 1,049 (Roman) shoestring 7 Edge 8 All the time 10 Title of courtesy 11 Biblical country 12 Degree of 1 2 3 4 9 10 13 14 1617 19 20 2425 26 i L 29 ■ ■ r 3S 1 3637 3940 43444é ■ L 48 ■ i i Ö4 1 55 &9 (NEWSPAfiR

Clipped from
  1. The Childress Index,
  2. 21 Aug 1973, Tue,
  3. Page 2

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