I am still looking for Bigfoot, though I have fled Texas to do so, riding through the bottom lands of southern Arkansas in search of the small community of Fouke and the legendary monster of Boggy Creek. For me this is a trip back in time, back to 1972 and the Hatfield Roller Rink and Drive-In Theater where I first watched The Legend of Boggy Creek. The low-budget film purported to be a true account of events that had taken place around Fouke, Arkansas, events involving a large, three-toed, hairy hominid called the Fouke Monster. More than one Bigfoot believer that I have talked with has traced the genesis of their fascination with the creature to this film.
There is not much left of the monster in Fouke these days: a statue of the beast stands on the side of the main highway, with a cut-out face made for photographing yourself in the guise of the creature; a small general store has a dusty display of items related to the movie, including tee-shirts emblazoned with a drawing of the creature and the words 'The Legend Lives;' and, just off the main road, Smokey Crabtree, star of the film and the source of many of its stories, operates 'Smokey's Two Books Bookstore' where he sells, among other things, copies of his three books. Smokey also claims to have the carcass of the creature, which he will show to select visitors.
I contacted Smokey by telephone to request an interview. He turned me down in no uncertain terms.
'Who the hell gave you my phone number?' Smokey demanded.
I informed him that I had found the number on his website.
I asked if he would agree to an interview if I came to visit in Fouke.
He said something about being screwed by people like me so many times that he always kept a jar of Vaseline handy.
'Could I at least stop in to see the creature that you have on display?' I asked.
'Who the hell told you about that?' he shouted.
8. The author as the Fouke Monster, Fouke, Arkansas. Only not as good looking.
'Iread about it on your website.'
'If you want to know my story you can come and buy my books.'
So I am on my way to buy his books. My traveling companions are my wife, Kristen, and my friends, Sandy, Cheryl, and Michael. Smokey lives in a modest brick house. A mobile home is parked out front. On the mobile home is a large sign announcing 'Smokey's Two Books Bookstore, Fouke Monster Souvenirs, and Used Books Museum.' He greets us in the yard with a big smile and a firm handshake. Apparently, he doesn't recognize me.
The bookstore sells not only Smokey's books but a whole host of used books and a nice selection of Fouke Monster memorabilia. The walls are lined with mementos from Smokey's life and with newspaper and magazine articles about the monster and the movie. I have already purchased tee-shirts at the general store, but I pick up a shot glass, a CD entitled The Legend of
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