Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Bit of Rambling

So! I had the thought that I would write a series of blog posts about all the awesome things that Arkansas has given the world. I have lived in Arkansas my entire life. I am not a well-traveled person. I wish I was, but I am not. I've never even seen the ocean. Pitiful, I know. The truth is there are a lot of areas where Arkansas disappoints me. Mostly in the area of fun things to do. I don't think my state takes enough advantage of the tourist potential here. It seems to me that we focus a lot on state parks (which I love) and a little bit on Little Rock...which is at least a start.

Arkansas is on the way to several big tourist destinations. We have Branson just north of us, Nashville and Memphis to our east, Oklahoma is to our West. Texas and all the awesome things offered there is just south of us, and New Orleans is only a few hours drive from Little Rock. It just seems to me that with about 25 million people living within a days drive of Little Rock, we would do more for tourism. Okay...now I'm finished with my mini-rant.

One thing that has absolutely annoyed me for YEARS is the snobbery I've encountered from others when I mention that I live in Arkansas and have my whole life. I've heard "Oh, I'm so sorry." Usually stated in a mocking, smirky way. I've heard the hillbilly jokes (by the way, my family is Scots Irish and we are a long line of hillfolk...I resent being treated as if that is something to be ashamed of. It's NOT). I've also heard a lot of barefoot and backward jokes. After awhile it gets under a person's skin. Whether these things are said in jest or with malice...it's not only insensitive, it's also outright ignorant.

Arkansas has many, many people to be proud of. We've produced a president and more than a couple of presidential hopefuls. We are the home of such awesome nonprofits as Heifer International and Family Life. We've turned out some of the most noted entertainers and writers in history...does Maya Angelou ring a bell? And of course, we can't ignore the impact and influence that Walmart has had on the world. It is the largest business on the globe!

So, I intend to devote blogs to educate myself and others about the history of the people of Arkansas and our contribution to the globe. Maybe I will be inspired to make my own mark.

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