03 August 2009

Dogpatch U.S.A.

I had a random memory as Bill and I were driving back from seeing Wicked Saturday night. (It was okay...if by "okay" you mean "FRIGGIN' AWESOME!!!!")



We got on the topic of band experiences. Bill was kind of hot snot in a hot snot Atlanta band. By his senior year, he was the drum major. I grew up in Arkansas. His band went to places like New York City and Sea World. Our band went to Dogpatch U.S.A.** If you're never heard of Dogpatch, there's a reason. If you HAVE heard of Dogpatch, you probably grew up within a one hour radius of me.

Dogpatch dreamed of being "the next Disneyland". The only problem was that they (a) built it in the middle of Nowhere, Arkansas; (b) based it on the capers of Lil' Abner; (c) y'know, I really can't think of a (c)...I feel that (a) & (b) are more than sufficient reasons for failure.

And we didn't just go to Dogpatch, we PLAYED at Dogpatch. For whom? I'm really not sure. Our parents and the other three poor souls who actually paid to go to the park that day? The park finally closed for good in 1993. I can't remember the exact year we went, but it had to be within 1 or 2 years of its closing. The only thing I remember that was left open was the ferris wheel, the train (which you could easily jump off of mid-ride), and some random retired circus elephants.

Does anyone else remember this? Sara?

And does anyone have any good memories of Dogpatch in its heyday? That would make me feel a little better.

Oh, and you can watch a simultaneously hilarious and depressing news story about it. Please don't judge the entire state by this. Please.

**In our band director's defense, we also went to Washington D.C. my junior year and played on the Capitol steps.

10 comments:

sara said...

aaaaah, dogpatch....oh the memories. I just read all that info on wikipedia...so interesting!! I have many memories of going then when I was little...I could probably find some awesome pictures. thanks for the nostalgia. :)

Karen said...

I will be your friend 4EVER if you post pictures of yourself at Dogpatch on your blog. :)

Sunny of The Beehive said...

Ahh, Dogpatch. I never knew it as a kid. My family moved to Arkansas my Jr. year of high school and then when I was in college bought a house close to Dogpatch. It was in ruins at that point but Bill (my Bill:) had a great time roaming around, making oil paintings and, well, adopting some memorabilia!

Megan said...

I never went to Dogpatch & often got it confused (until now, so thanks for clearing it up for me :) with Dollywood, which I believe I HAVE been to.

Karen said...

It's almost more fascinating abandoned than it was when it was open.

Karen said...

Oh, Megan, NOT the same! NOT the same!!!

Slinkard Family said...

No Dogpatch experiences for me....Sad considering I grew up a few miles down the road from you! It did always appear to be a less than stellar location.

Good to see you Saturday!

Karen said...

It was good to see you, too, Susan!

Claudia said...

I visited Dogpatch a few times when it was in its heyday and believe me, most people LOVED it because it was drawn from such a popular comic strip! It was cleverly done and lots of fun! My kids loved it! I think you're right that it was too far out in the "boonies" to become universally popular.

Karen Akins said...

I bet it was a lot of fun in its heyday. :)