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Old 03-26-2008, 08:45 AM
1,661 posts, read 4,363,203 times
Reputation: 1288


Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
Do us a favor and please never come to the south again.
I've got a bumper sticker somebody gave me that I never stuck on.

It says:

"Welcome to the south!"
"Now go home"

Old 03-26-2008, 09:18 AM
3 posts, read 5,413 times
Reputation: 12
Default The Root Of The Problem

Originally Posted by NOEM1226 View Post
Am a the only one tired of us Arkansans getting a really bad rap??

The more I travel the more I grow tired of people associating Arkansas with hillbillies.When I was a military wife and I moved to the West Coast as well as the Northeast I was actually asked if I knew how to read?! I have gone to college!

I continue to get asked how I felt about growing up on a farm. I grew up in Fayetteville for the most part! Although Northwest Arkansas is full of natural beauty- nowadays we are filled with more and more educated people.I think outsiders assume we have never been exposed to culture of any kind. This is not the case.

No offense to those of you who grew up on farms, as I know there are many rural areas here.BUT WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR ARKANSAS TO BE SEEN AS SOMETHING OTHER THAN SOME BACKWOODS, RED HEADED STEPCHILD???? Do you think this can be chalked up to lack of other knowledge of this state or what?

Many of us are more civilized than we are given credit for and have seen much of the world, yet everywhere we go we are seen as simple hicks-what gives??! Sorry, but had to vent.

I was born in Hope like my father and sisters and have many relatives throughout Arkansas but I spent just a few years living in Arkansas due to the lack of opportunity there. I have lived in Ft. Smith, Texarkana, Little Rock and have traveled to many other cities in Arkansas. I grew up in east Texas and the Dallas, Ft. Worth area. I have traveled quite a bit all over the country and out of the country and have a college education and served in the military. I have experienced different cultures both more and less advanced than areas of Arkansas. There are two main themes that stand out in my mind as to why Arkansas is viewed the way it is and at the root of it is the state and local governments lack of interest in developing the cities and states to make Arkansas a more profitable and attractive entity. This lack of interest extends to it's children growing into adults. It is also the responsibility of the parents to carefully instruct their children shaping their minds into capable instruments of progress just as a farmer carefully and gently grooms his crops ensuring that it will be productive. The citizens of Arkansas must become interested and empowered functioning owners of this state paying close attention to the electoral processes to insure that the state and local governments move in a productive direction. Let's start by studying and emulating other states' and other countrys' incentives and business practices, not to be confused with bandwagoning in unwanted trendy counterproductive legislation. For instance, Florida has a $25,000 Homestead exemption for primary resident single family homeowners so they don't pay taxes on that part of their mortgages. Other states like Alabama have education incentives for their residents that goes beyond simple tuition reduction. Small third-world countries have bio-fuel factories and are 80% self sufficient and free of petroleum wars. They became managers of their own destinies and leaders in a practical way. Arkansas is the sleepiest state I have ever seen however I admire it's dedication to the preservation of it's natural resources and I think that it deserves to be included in a Federal special award incentive program that rewards states that are leaders in preserving their natural resources. Arkansas needs to cultivate it's people not just crops. How about an agressive No Adult Left Behind Program to ensure at least a GED level education for high school drop outs. They can be potential resources instead of potential problems. Has anyone ever heard of exporting goods to foreign nations or get a vehicle contract or a part of one? Where is your team of planners and financial go getters that work on bringing in a high tech industry that doesn't produce unmanageable hazardous by-products? Arkansas managed to produce a highly educated highly effective leading president only through careful specialized attention and grooming from the womb up. How was he so successful? You have to shape a few branches in order to construct a beautiful bonsai tree or they will take no form.
Old 03-26-2008, 05:22 PM
Location: Arkansas
20 posts, read 66,379 times
Reputation: 11
I also find it interesting that people in different parts of Arkansas view each other differently. I live in NWA and have heard many backwood stories about southern Arkansas. As a Arkansas native, I have spent a lot of time visiting other sections of Arkansas. Some of the stories are true, and some are folk tales. Tales passed down from generation to generation, growing along the way.
Old 03-26-2008, 08:41 PM
338 posts, read 1,193,015 times
Reputation: 220
Wink Finger-lickin' Good!

Originally Posted by RogMar View Post
Very, very carefully. Make *real* sure it's dead first. Don't ask me how I know.
Okay... lol. Now you know we really wanna know now! jk.

Originally Posted by RogMar View Post
I'm just joshin'.... Young racoon is really great barbecued...low & slow...Younger racoon is also good fried, as is most everything else. You know we use "lawry's" seasoned salt on everything but breakfast cereal, and that's up for debate.
You are hilarious! I would love to see a raccoon roasting pit! (Not sure if I'd wanna see it with the raccoon on it, but... (jk). Do you decap it like a bird before you roast it, or cook it more like a pig roast where you serve it a la' apple?

Originally Posted by RogMar View Post
Older racoon is best done in a pressure cooker. Especially if you bread it up real good. Tenderizes that puppy post haste.
...fatback, if not, use a hamhock, and cook those greens for about an hour to an hour and a half. Serve that with the coon, and you got some *real* good eatin'. Most important thing is, when you clean the coon, make sure you get the "kernels". ...scent glands...,Man.........is this gonna convince folks not to move here or what?... Man, I about filled my pampers. Ya know what I mean?
Well, Rog', I can't honestly say that I empathize with you on filling one's pampers! lol. But you've offered a couple of interesting ideas about raccoon-snacking that I think I'd actually be willing to try! I *do* like BBQ, and Arkansans definitely know how to cook it! I have a lot of friends in AR, and I don't know if any of them have ever eaten raccoon - well, maybe one older person I know. But I think it'd be a fun time! I think I'll have to em them now and find out.

If someone wouldn't want to move to AR bc they're grossed out about the thought of trying raccoon or reading your blurb about how to cook it, well... I could think of a lot of worse things someone could put in their mouths (to consume)! Lol. Thank you for sharing your tasty tidbit!

Oh, btw, I tried to rep you, but the system wouldn't let me repeat you after the first one. Gotta spread the love around! So I'll just have to say ... Thank you!
Old 03-27-2008, 08:26 AM
1,661 posts, read 4,363,203 times
Reputation: 1288
Gotta spread the love around! So I'll just have to say ... Thank you! [/quote]

You're right, and you're welcome.

I think a lot of people that visit this forum don't consider the diversity of Arkansas, or it's people.

If one saw the wife and I sitting at Omar's in Jonesboro for dinner, or taking my Lexus in for service in Little Rock, there's no way they'd believe that this is the guy that cooks up racoon, but that's the way it is.

I went to my Dr. the other day, he walked in the room and I said, "How ya doin'?"

He grins real big and says, "Just over two weeks to spring turkey season!", and we both nodded knowingly. He must be a hillbilly too.

A lot of discussion of stereotypes in these forums. It exists big time, and folks who want to move to Arkansas and have these views are going to find a way to be self-fulfilling and they're going to have problems.

And yet...they pay big dollars to go to the "Baldknobbers" show in Branson.
Old 03-27-2008, 10:08 AM
338 posts, read 1,193,015 times
Reputation: 220
Originally Posted by RogMar View Post
You're right, and you're welcome. A lot of discussion of stereotypes in these forums. It exists big time, and folks who want to move to Arkansas and have these views are going to find a way to be self-fulfilling and they're going to have problems. And yet...they pay big dollars to go to the "Baldknobbers" show in Branson.
Yes. You are so right, esp. about Branson. Ha. Folks who have problems with stereotypes, etc. are folks who most likely have problems in general. But contented folks are the happiest around. And ... I'd say a lot of them live in AR. Not that they don't have challenges in life (e.g., folks marryin' their cousins and havin' babies with 'em) ... but not quite the same as the incredible stresses others have with their accumulations, keeping up with others in their communities.

I worked for a man for awhile who, in his mid-30s, was already worth about $38M. Was he happy? Sure. He said he was. He, his wife, and "one of each" children wanted for nothing although they rarely spent a dollar. He sat in a broken chair, had two old computers - one from the 80s - with all his financials, couldn't open his desk drawer without the front panel popping off, and swam at the local 'Y' instead of having any memberships to any local clubs. With all his earnings and worth, he was constantly stressed and told me one day that he and his wife would like to "just earn enough to walk away from it." I reminded him of his worth and asked him how much would make "enough"? He told me he didn't know, but that he'd just keep working until he found out. Then he topped it by saying, "The thing is... my wife & I are constantly worried about anyone finding out... bc of the kids. We're afraid if anyone ever knew how much money we really have, they'd get kidnapped." Can you imagine? Working sun-up to sundown, rarely spending what you're earning, believing it's never enough, and constantly doing what you can not to spend any amount that would tip ppl off as to what you're "worth" ... in order to protect your children from the harm of what you've got.

I'd rather be a hillbilly and own next-to-nothing.

It all comes down to what one considers "livin' the good life." It if means working to accumulate wealth you're afraid to use, I'd say that man is far poorer in spirit than the man of lesser monetary worth. That man is the one who tucks some of what he earns away for the rainy days, invests the rest in living what one life he has to share with his family while he's here, and role-models for them to learn and apply those values similarly.

We live the lives we choose. Be happy with the one you've got, or change your course. And if you want to experience the values of some of the most friendly folks in the US anyway... chart your course for Arkansas. And take your appetite! If you're lucky... you might meet up with a guy named Rog'. Pull up your log to his fire, and he'll cook you up some of the meanest, leanest BBQ 'coon you will have ever had - his side of the Mississippi!

Visit the Natural State... where the gettin' is good.
Old 03-28-2008, 12:00 PM
1,661 posts, read 4,363,203 times
Reputation: 1288
Originally Posted by JustT&Me View Post
... chart your course for Arkansas. And take your appetite! If you're lucky... you might meet up with a guy named Rog'. Pull up your log to his fire, and he'll cook you up some of the meanest, leanest BBQ 'coon you will have ever had - his side of the Mississippi!

Visit the Natural State... where the gettin' is good.
Yes, I certainly would. If people visit, there's a good chance they may want to stay.

There's a lot of places where people *don't* eat racoon!!

Barbecues are our main "social event" round these parts.

And just going to another farm and sitting and talking, or helping out with some menial chore.

The story you related about the guy making all the money and not enjoying it is a scenario that I saw frequently when I worked in Chicagoland. Gotta have more, bigger, and better.

We have the whole scale in this area. We have dirt-poor folks, and we have some very, very wealthy folks.

It was best summarized by a conversation I had with a guy I know that has a hardware store/real estate office/dry cleaning drop off. I mentioned I had to get over to this other guys farm to get another tractor, which was a sideline of his.

Said farmer, and his father, and his sister, have adjoining farms which amounts to about 4,000 acres best I can tell, with lots and lots of cattle.

This was acquired from his fathers original 300 acres over about 50 years. Dad started with a few cows and growing some cotton.

So, Mr. "do-it-all", says, "Yep, I remember him as a boy, I had a little used car lot, and he washed cars for me and worked on them. Then he started fixing folks tractors. Then he bought some land next to his dad's. Then he bought some cattle. Then he started buying tractors, fixing them up, and selling them. Then he bought more land and more cattle. Finally, he was just working on his own tractors and selling cattle and buying land.......well you know how it goes."

Yes I do, and when I was sitting, drinking a beer with him, and he said, "When you need another tractor...come see me", I felt like I was in this "inner fraternity", ya know? The guy doesn't have to do anything but sit and count his money and he still goes to his shop pretty much every day and works on a tractor because he *wants* to.

I have never seen a higher measure of "success".
Old 03-30-2008, 12:08 PM
7 posts, read 27,729 times
Reputation: 29
I went to the University of Tennessee, and I remember whenever we played Arkansas and Alabama they were the only schools that didn't make hillbilly jokes about us. I'm from East Tennessee and I have a thick accent, so I get that stereotype not just from people from up North, but people from big cities in the South (Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, Charlotte, etc.)

I find that most people I went to school with and work with joke around about my accent and the town I'm from, but it's all in good fun. The best way I have been able to over come the stereotype is to not at all try to hide my accent (well which is almost impossible), and imbrace where I'm from. While at the same time show people I can dress nice, I'm educated, and I am up to date on current affairs in our country and the world. That's all you can do really. Sure there's people at football games and when I travel that will judge us folks from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, etc, but speaking for myself I don't want to be friends with most of those people anyway.
Old 03-30-2008, 12:21 PM
Location: Bentonville
32 posts, read 118,446 times
Reputation: 15
Arkansas is relatively small, but vastly different as you move around the state. I was born and have family in the River Valley (Russellville/Dardanelle) - they are just "country." I lived most of my formative years in South Arkansas (El Dorado). That part of the state may as well be called Louisiana. But the view of the folks there is that anyone North of Little Rock (the BIG city) is a hillbilly.

Now that we're in NW Arkansas, the melting pot of the US, anything outside of Benton/Washington counties are considered "hick", with the possible exception of Little Rock.

It's all semantics, of course. People are people wherever you go. We lived in DFW Texas for about 10 years. The people there are nicer than here, but I was happy to move back "home."

Arkansas is a great place to live as well as "be from", though my Texas-born/Arkansas-raised wife might disagree.

Old 07-24-2008, 06:25 PM
3 posts, read 7,766 times
Reputation: 13
In reading your remarks, it's evident you envision yourself to have special powers as a mind reader. This is evidenced by your false belief that you knew what the group of people in Alpena were even thinking! No way that your remarks were fueled by hatred and ignorance, not you! A statue of Jesus seemsl tied into your skewed perception, but you don't have a hate-filled agenda and belief system, really? The KKK and it's ilk can be found anywhere; they could take your hatred and need to feel better and fashion it to their liking.......you're perfect! Your remarks challenge others, but in your desire to elevate yourself above this 'hillbilly' fixation, you merely reflect a stilted, limited, and ignorant view of others. Good luck with your self-esteem issues. Others enjoy the gorgeous scenery, note the craftmanship, and are more adept at abstract thinking. You'll get there, God willing!

Originally Posted by condorito View Post
Hillbillies in Arkansas! No way, that is an illusion fueled by hatred. Hmm, lets see, I remember being in Berryville and their city parks had actual shooting ranges. Interesting concept half city park/half shooting range. Let's see, I went to Harrison, and that turns out to be a KKK stronghold., hillbillies, NO WAY! What else? Eureka Springs has a statue of Jesus. I remember driving through a small town called Alpena and there were a group of hicks standing around their big truck all in camouflage suits thinking they were the hottest **** in town. As you can see, all the stereotypes are false and propagated by people that HATE Arkansas. No truth at all to these statements!
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