HampoLand

rainbow

Posts Tagged ‘Ann Stell’

Hot Springs Rotarians Learn about Women

Ann Stell on The Back of The Couch

Recently Liz Robbins at the Garland County Historical Society discovered an article written in the Sentinel Record. My mom, Ann Stell McDaniel, spoke to the Rotary Club at the Arlington Hotel. According to the paper 25 men were present including Ray Smith Sr., Congressman Norrell and Rotary President J. King.
For those who don’t know anything about my mother she was a beautiful, unconventional firebrand.
The article was entitled “Rotarians Hear Woman’s Side in Battle of Sexes”

“Mrs. McDaniel, frequently heard on radio and television is the wife of Architect I. Granger McDaniel. She covered her subject with quotations from Genesis down through Shakespeare and Dorothy Parker.
“If we sometimes seem to have an inferiority complex,” she said, “just remember that the creation of woman was done in an awful hurry.
“God took an entire day to create the birds and said that was good. He took another day to create the fishes, and called that good, but man was not satisfied. So God created woman one afternoon while Adam was asleep.”
Her them was that woman’s entire life is wrapped up in pleasing man and she quoted a sheaf of magazine articles such as “Are you Keeping up With your Husband?” To prove it,as well as tracing various fashion trends she had undergone to make herself attractive.
“Man, has seen no need for changing himself,” she said. “Go down on Bath House Row and see him wrapped in a sheet and there is very little difference from the garb of a Roman senator.”
Spiced with rich humor and histrionic ability, her talk was a novelty that rated high in Rotary entertainment.”

The date was Wednesday, September 21… 1955.
She was something.

A West Mountain Love Story

I’ve been told by a few romantics that it’s time for another Hot Springs love story. Telling these makes me feel like I’ve been eating whipped cream. And that’s always good.

A West Mountain Love Story

     Imagine Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1934. The country was depressed and stuck in a black and white mentality; but Hot Springs, Arkansas was rolling.  Hot Springs was awash in cash, gangsters, bath houses, liquor and gambling. But none of this lascivious fun effected my parents who were 9 and 10 years old in 1934. And they were already in love.

My dad, Irven Granger McDaniel, had a problem. He lived on Whittington Avenue and his family was struggled throughout the 30s. My mother, Ann Stell never suffering in the least. Her daddy was a surgeon and they had just finished building a lovely house on Prospect Avenue. Prospect Avenue and Whittington Avenue were seperated by West Mountain, part of Hot Springs National Park. That’s the only thing that stood between Ann Stell and Irven in 4th grade.

West Mountain is a lovely and graceful little mountain. It’s not very tall but it is pretty steep and completely overgrown with pine and hardwood. Still, two or three times a week, after school, my dad had to go see the love of his life. So he would literally run over the mountain.  He always told us he followed deer trails he found and the trip would take him about an hour if he actually ran. He figured out exactly how to land in Ann Stell’s back yard.

So, imagine a grubby little 10 year old boy emerging from the woods, then ringing the back door bell of a lovely white two story home.  That was Dad.

My grandfather, the surgeon, wasn’t really pleased by the little boy’s arrival.  He didn’t want his pretty  daughter playing with the smiling but rough cut kid all the time. So he told the maids (there were two at the time, one to cook and one to clean) not to let Irven in every day.  They had to tell him Ann wasn’t home or was busy, so he would run back into the woods and over the mountain. 

Well, telling the friendly love sick little boy this story broke their hearts. The maids felt sorry for him. He worked so hard to see Ann and he had such a big friendly gaped tooth grin.  So, on the days that he wasn’t allowed to see his love Ann, the maids made sure they left a plate of milk and cookies on the back porch, so Irven had enough strength to run back over the mountain before dark.

My dad died when he was 52. But before he left, he told us to pour his ashes on West Mountain because he’d always be there…. running to his girl.