Leaders from the Union County Industrial Board said Wednesday that they had no choice but to dump the deal to build the Therma-Flite facility in light of a $15 million offer by the Super Society for Spoon Supporters to construct the National Museum of Spoons at the precise location the industrial dryer company had previously pegged.
Donning an “I hate to fork” t-shirt and his very own pair of ladle earrings, SSSS President and self-proclaimed “spoon aficionado,” Sam Rivers, said that he and his band of tine-disdaining followers were more than ready to join the El Dorado family by bringing spoons from all regions and of all types to the area.
“Southern Arkansas is the perfect place to display our world class collection of spoons, ladles, trowels and miniature shovels,” he said. “Y’all have it all! Deer stew, gumbo, jumbalaya, chicken spaghetti! There was no question in our minds that the people of El Dorado and Union County would be just as excited as we are to partake in the celebration of this shining utensil.”
Posing for photos in front of an enthusiastic spoon-toting audience, El Dorado Mayor Frank Hash and Rivers broke ground on the museum’s future location on property near Champagnolle Road and U.S. 167 early in the day Wednesday, following up the ceremony with a bowl of chicken and dumplings, eaten with, of course, spoons.
When asked if forks of any variety would be allowed their own section in the museum, a dark look passed over Rivers’ face.
“Forks are nothing but pretenders!” he shouted. “They’re pseudo spoons, only good for when you need to poke someone in the side before they take the last piece of fried catfish. Spoons can do anything forks can, and better! You can’t eat soup with a fork, can you?”
“And knives! Oh knives… They’re not much better,” he added.
“Stupid little phonies,” he muttered, darkly.
Hash expressed gratitude that the SSSS would soon be joining El Dorado and offered his own personal cutlery — sans forks and knives — to kick off the First Annual Spoon Drive in honor of the museum’s anticipated January opening.
Main Street El Dorado and El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc., are currently vying for which organization will be allowed the honor of arranging the drive and subsequent Spoon
Bananza Bonanza in correlation with the opening.
The National Museum of Spoons will receive the same offer given to Therma-Flite, said El Dorado Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim, who while stunned that Therma-Flite had been outbid for the land, was still ready to welcome the spoon-lovers to the community.
“This is an opportunity like many others that have come to recent light, to bring additional jobs to El Dorado and Union County,” he said.
“It might not be the most traditional jobs,” Florsheim said, eyeing the silvery spoon costumes each docent and curator will be required to wear. “But these are still jobs, which we’ve been exhausting our resources to recruit to the area.”
Therma-Flite leadership has recently begun looking for a new address locally and is reportedly eyeing the fourth floor of the Union County Courthouse, though acknowledged that they’d be competing for the space with Chippendales, which has also put in a bid on the location.