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!