Beatlemania in Walnut Ridge

On the drive from Nashville to Eureka Springs, somewhere just over the Missouri boot heel lies Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. After miles of empty plains and town populations in the low triple digits, we cross a railroad track with a small airfield on the right and the seemings of a quiet old frontier town. As we travel through main street the bright yellow and vibrant blues of what appear to be the cut-out of a yellow submarine and four Beatles flashes like a dream, an immaculate acid flashback.

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This small town intersection dubbed Abbey Road is an ode to The Beatles – from the cross section of the main thoroughfare to the end of the street where there is a permanent art installation which captures the fab four walking across Abbey Road.

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Named after the Dakota (the building, not the state) and having grown up listening to Beatles cassettes, introduced to it by my mother who is featured on IMAGINE and SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS, you might imagine my shock and joy and utter mystification.

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It appears that in 1964 The Beatles connected through Walnut Ridge’s airport to head to another city to play a show, and connected back through the airport that same weekend to head to another city, never to play in Walnut Ridge. So, in conclusion, the Beatlemania touched Walnut Ridge so deeply that peace, love and strawberry fields decorate it today, just by having stopped through. Paul and Ringo, if you’re listening, maybe it’s time to finally give that concert to Walnut Ridge.

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