Monday, October 29, 2007


When people ask me, "Where are you from?," I really don't know what to answer. The short answer is Leedey (because it's my present-day home) but the long answer is, "Well...I was born in Texarkana, Texas, raised in Nashville, Arkansas until my late teens then we moved to Holdenville, Oklahoma, where I graduated high school. I lived in both Shawnee & Ada, Oklahoma during college. After I married, we moved to Fort Worth, Texas, while my husband was in grad school then we moved to Iowa Park, Texas where we lived for several years--both of our girls were born there. We also lived in Elk City, Oklahoma. So, to summarize...I'm a nomad." :)

But, if I had to nail a place down, I would have to say that Nashville, Arkansas, is my hometown because I basically "grew up" there. Both of my parents were born and raised there and most of my family originates from the area.

I think it's so strange how you can cross a state line and immediately find differences in culture. Oklahoma and Arkansas bump right up next to each other, yet they are worlds apart in culture and the other neighbor--Texas--really is, just like the slogan says--"a whole other country." It's not really the "big" things that pop out as being different, but the little things like:

*In Arkansas, you get a "coke" when we want a soda, but in Oklahoma, you get a "pop."
*In Oklahoma, you just eat "lunch" while in Arkansas, you eat "dinner." Oklahomans eat "dinner" each evening when Arkansans are having "supper."
*Oklahoma doesn't have quite as much historical architecture as Arkansas since the state was settled later.

I recently visited Nashville for a wedding. Here is a few glimpses into my hometown:

Traditional Main Street America. I really love old Main Street storefronts and I hope they don't disappear due to Wal-Marts and mini-malls. Sadly, this Main Street has seen better days. Most of the stores were full when I was a kid, but now there are plenty of vacancies.

I miss seeing old Victorian style homes like this one. We just don't have this type of architecture in the west and, if we do, they are just new homes built to look old.

This is one of the oldest churches in town. It doesn't have an active congregation and has, instead, been transformed into a museum. They were doing some restoration work when I was there.

Who doesn't love Dr Pepper?!? As you can see, there is a Coca-Cola bottling plant in town. I still remember touring the plant as a kindergarten student and seeing the vats of dark brown syrup being mixed. The best part of that field trip: we got samples!

Other random facts about Nashville, Arkansas (thanks, Wikipedia):

*The largest find of dinosaur trackways in the world was discovered by an archeology student in a quarry north of the town in 1983, the site of a prehistoric beach. A field of 5-10,000 sauropod footprints were found in a mudstone layer covering a layer of gypsum. Casts 65 feet long and 7 feet wide were made and put on permanent display, first at the courthouse and finally at the Nashville City Park, while many of the original tracks were disbursed to local museums. The full extent of the trackway was never excavated. **I remember going on a field trip to the excavation site when I was in kindergarten or first grade. They asked us to stand inside the tracks to see how many kids would fit in one--I think we managed to get 5 kids inside!

*William T. Dillard, founder of Dillard's, opened his first department store here

*Peaches used to be the biggest cash crop for the area but now it's cattle and chickens (Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride has many, many commerical chicken farms in the area). The Coca-Cola bottling company in Nashville used to produce a glass-bottled peach soda; it was yummy!

1 comment:

twiceknit said...

you inspired me to look up Holdenville on wikipedia. It actually has a page! Not that there's much on it, but who knew?!