by Frank McKinnon
In 1959, my parents moved back to Arkansas where my father started working as a principal at a school in Mountain Berg. My parents had saved up $50,000.00 while they were in California. They bought about 600 acres of land next to a river near Mountain Berg, so they could build an amusement park, called McKinnon’s Gulch. They built a restaurant and several other buildings based on the theme of hillbilly lore. They bought some mules and set up a mule riding trail. They made a big swimming hole with a sandy beach.
According to my father, Ricky Nelson and some other students from John Burroughs Junior High came from California to help my parents with McKinnon’s Gulch. They were practicing music and skits that they were going to perform for tourists. Then, there was a flood on the day before an insurance person was scheduled to come. The flood wiped everything out. All the money was gone. So, my parents moved to my grandparent's land where my father had grown up near El Dorado, Arkansas, and they built the house where I lived when I was born in 1962.