It is sad to report that last week, Eureka's very own Humpty Dumpty has kicked the bucket.
Alleged to have suffered a termite infestation, our beloved Humpty, who sat perched upon a wall on Spring Street (next to Basin Park) . . . has now gone to the Dumpty. YES! In a sudden flash, this iconic art fixture no longer resides on this prominent wall in Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Ironically, it was in a flash-like fall from the wall, according to the age-old rhyme, that he met his demise, and just like that, we have "life imitating art" right before our Eurekan eyes.
Everyone knows the tale, it’s one of those classics that we've all grown up with generation after generation. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, had a great fall, and none of the king’s men (or their horses) could put him back together again.
Here in our Eureka Springs, Spring Street twists, curves, and meanders along a high bluff. At every turn it offers something worth taking in. For years, our half-ton Humpty Dumpty sculpture sat atop a limestone wall making people stop, smile, and laugh and serving as a reminder of the street's eccentricity. Spring Street's quirky aura continues today, but Humpty Dumpty has left the wall for good.
Termites made him sick, they say, but from the look of those solid chunks of scrambled Humpty, it was a sickening sight to see this staged, gratuitous exit. My joy-spotting demeanor can't help but see past the scrambled parts taking in the irony of the Mariachi's sending him off to his final resting place. RIP Humpty Dumpty.
Many believe that the original Humpty Dumpty wasn’t an egg at all. He was most likely a cannon!
According to a number of military historians from many years before Lewis Carroll’s 1871 novel, Through the Looking-Glass, Humpty Dumpty was the name of a cannon used by the Royalists during the English Civil War.
The war raged from 1642 to 1649, and in June of 1648, Humpty Dumpty was stationed on the walls of Colchester. It was one of several cannons erected to try and keep Parliament’s army from taking the city during this conflict. The next month, however, the Parliamentary forces heavily damaged the walls that were beneath Humpty Dumpty with their own artillery. This was when Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and broke into pieces.
The Royalists, or Cavaliers, were very much the king’s men, fighting in support of King Charles I — who would go on to lose the war paving the way for Oliver Cromwell’s brief stint.
War cannons bring destruction and death, but this sentient egg-person brought joy, laughter and whimsy to our eccentric corner of the world and for that he will be very missed. Even though the only constant in life is change, something so beloved by residents and visitors of all ages requires adequate time for all to process.
With so much love from so many locals and visitors, there's buzz about town that there will be another Humpty Dumpty perched on a wall (a different wall) very soon.
Autumn is just around the corner, friends, and that could very well mean, this strong, artistic, innovative community just may come together between now and then to revive our jolly, joyful fellow.
Autumn is a favorite season for us here in Eureka Springs and something tells me, in my heart that Humpty Dumpty may return for "a great Fall," after all.
Hey, where there's a wall, there's a way.❤️
As soon as we obtain more information about the community efforts to revive our iconic Humpty Dumpty and reposition him upon a different wall somewhere in town, we will post that information here, so please watch this space for more to follow ...