I’ve completed most of the writing for my upcoming book, “Welcome to Eureka Springs: The I-Sh*t-You-Not History of America’s Quirkiest Town.” For what’s left, I’m interviewing local residents about key figures in the town’s more recent history.
Not long ago, I had the chance to interview local artist and author Zeek Taylor.
I mainly wanted to talk with Zeek about the late Cheryl Maples, one of the people featured in my book.
Cheryl was the driving force that led to same-sex marriage being legal in Arkansas before the rest of the South. She was a beloved figure in Eureka Springs, where the South’s first same-sex weddings were held the day after the state judge issued his ruling. Zeek and his partner Dick were the first male couple in the South to be legally wed.
Zeek is also a nationally known artist and a long-time dean of the Eureka Springs art scene. With Mary Springer and Eleanor Lux, he started the White Street Studio Walk, which has grown into one of the town’s most popular annual events, among locals as well as tourists.
His self-published slice-of-life memoir in two parts, “Out of the Delta” and “Out of the Delta II,” was recently picked up by an independent publisher and will be reprinted as a single, edited anthology. It’s a great read for anyone who enjoys storytelling, and a window into what it was like to grow up in small-town Arkansas.