Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Road to West Plains

by Pa Rock
Road Warrior

I drove from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to West Plains, Missouri, over a route that was new to me - across northern Arkansas.  It was much shorter, quicker, and more scenic than the route I usually take across southern Missouri.    Highway 412 took me  just north of Huntsville, the community that my grandfather and his parents and siblings left from in a pair of covered wagon one hundred and thirteen years ago.  It was also the hometown for former Arkansas cracker and racist governor, Orville Faubus, and one of the road signs that I saw this morning told me that it was just three miles to the Faubus Motel.

It was tempting, but I drove on!  (Dollars to doughnuts says Bill Clinton has slept there!)

My drive took me through Alpena, Harrison, Yellville, and Mountain Home, Arkansas - all towns where Bill Clinton has undoubtedly dined on chicken and beans, and shook hands and slapped backs with gusto.  I couldn't help thinking as I drove along that Bill would probably trade his office in New York City for a few acres along a quiet riverbank in Arkansas - that, and a half dozen trailer park hookers!

Simple pleasures are the best!

West Plains is really growing.  I hadn't been here in several years, and it was both surprising and good to see so many new businesses.  Three of the main streets are named after locals who made  good:  Porter Wagoner, Jan Howard (also a country singer), and Preacher Roe  (a baseball player whose son, Elwin, was Nick's drama teacher at McDonald County High School).    Still awaiting his own street is West Plains other famous celebrity, comedian and actor Dick Van Dyke.  (Van Dyke was born in West Plains after his unmarried mother moved into the Ozark community to temporarily stay with  relatives during her pregnancy.)

Nick and Boone have recently purchased a home - and it is beautiful!  The four-bedroom, two-bath residence is situated in the country (on a paved road) just a few miles out of town.  It is so quiet and peaceful.
I am very envious - and very happy for them!


BK in MO said...

Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up this trip - but sounds like you have had a great visit. Send me an email when you get time and fill me in.

Xobekim said...

On my first trip to West Plains, the summer between fifth and sixth grades, was highlighted by a flat tire. Apparently we had run over a horse shoe nail!

Years later I handled a plea negotiation for a young lady whose paramour was growing marijuana, He was ardently growing pot in every pot, pan, and container he could find. Because she had gone from Springfield to his place in the country she got caught up in his marijuana manufacturing. She got a slap on the wrist compared to what old Romeo had in store for himself. We were looking at evidence in chambers with the judge, the prosecutor, and the two biggest law enforcement officers I'd ever seen. I picked up what looked like an old Miracle Whip jar filled to the brim with magic mushrooms. That wasn't on the evidence list, apparently the local LEO's didn't figure it out. My client wasn't charged. I remember Porter Waggoner's street. The place is probably a lot bigger now.

If by slept you mean something other than sleeping, then yes I bet you are correct.

Pa Rock's Ramble said...

When a nosy reporter asked the former President if he had slept with a certain young starlet, he truthfully replied, "Not a wink." :)