Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with longtime Eureka Springs resident Marcia “Chou Chou” Yearsley for an interview for my upcoming book, “Welcome to Eureka Springs: The I-Sh*t-You-Not History of America’s Quirkiest Town.”
Chou Chou moved here in 1972 and has been close friends with author Crescent Dragonwagon, who will be featured in my book, for nearly as long. (Yes, Dragonwagon is her legal name, and yes, the story of how she got it will be in the book!)
I already knew about Crescent’s body of work. The Chicago Tribune has called her “one of America’s most prolific and versatile writers,” and that’s no joke. Crescent has written more than 50 books in genres as diverse as children’s stories, biography, and cookbooks.
I was more interested in talking with Chou Chou about Dairy Hollow House, the first bed-and-breakfast in Eureka Springs, which Crescent and her late husband Ned opened in 1980. Crescent also served as chef at the B&B’s innovative restaurant, which was featured by Gourmet magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Good Morning America.
We also discussed The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, the nonprofit that Crescent and Ned founded after closing Dairy Hollow House in 1998. Writers from more than a dozen countries have found their muse there since.
I myself recently joined the Colony’s board of directors and had the first residency of my own there as a writer. In fact, I wrote this blog post, and my chapter about Crescent, during that stay! I’ll tell you more about that later.
Chou Chou and I talked about all these things and more. I look forward to sharing the rest of Crescent’s story with you in my book!