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Old 03-03-2009, 08:02 AM
 
2 posts, read 13,767 times
Reputation: 12

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What towns/general areas in MO are intolerant of "freaks" or anybody NOT white, christian, and/or conservative? Although I don't look the part (I'm x-military) I am very much a new age, hipppy, earth-loving mom of three with very liberal (but sometimes conservative) views. I want my children to finish growing up in an "open-minded" town, or at least one that is more tolerant of "freaks." - NOT like Ava/Mansfield whose churches are launching an all-out "attack" on a nearby gay campground. I'd like to stay more southern (in the Ozark Mtn. area, and my father lives in Joplin, so W.Plains is the furthest east), and I am wanting to develop a "retreat"/business for ANYONE needing a boost - from veterans, to abused women, to those seeking how to live more in-touch with the earth. Okay, it's kinda hippy of me, but, IyamwhatIyam THANK YOU!

 
Old 03-03-2009, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Near West Plains, MO
246 posts, read 400,996 times
Reputation: 116
Good luck!
You need to visit the places before actually moving to find out
if you'll like it here.
I really don't think West Plains will fit your needs. I don't think you'd
be happy here at all.
Do you have it narrowed down as to what size city? That would help too.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 2,285,958 times
Reputation: 738
Surprisingly, there are a fair number of people with ideals and political views similar to yours who have moved to the area in the past 30 years or so for the same reasons (live closer to nature). They are a minority, but they are there.

The area is, however, very racially and religiously homogeneous. Chances are you'll do just fine in the area as long as you don't make a point to broadcast your viewpoints and political leanings to the locals. Like you, they are very well-set in their beliefs and likely won't be changing them. I would not consider the area to be very open minded...at a grocery store I worked at in high school they hired an openly gay employee, and several of the other employees literally ran him out within a few weeks. That being said, the people in the area are generally very nice, helpful, kind, and neighborly. While these people may not be open-minded, they'll still do things like stop and help a complete stranger change a flat tire and hold the doors for elderly people in stores. Thats a lot more than I can say for many progressive and open-minded people in urban areas.

Have you thought about Eureka Springs, Arkansas? It is closer to Joplin than West Plains, and has a very large gay community, and is generally thought as a "haven" for progressives and those with alternative lifestyles within the Ozarks. I believe it is considerably more open-minded and tolerant than likely any other small town in either MO or AR, and would likely fit the bill for what you are looking for.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 08:57 AM
 
415 posts, read 755,366 times
Reputation: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
Surprisingly, there are a fair number of people with ideals and political views similar to yours who have moved to the area in the past 30 years or so for the same reasons (live closer to nature). They are a minority, but they are there.

The area is, however, very racially and religiously homogeneous. Chances are you'll do just fine in the area as long as you don't make a point to broadcast your viewpoints and political leanings to the locals. Like you, they are very well-set in their beliefs and likely won't be changing them. I would not consider the area to be very open minded...at a grocery store I worked at in high school they hired an openly gay employee, and several of the other employees literally ran him out within a few weeks. That being said, the people in the area are generally very nice, helpful, kind, and neighborly. While these people may not be open-minded, they'll still do things like stop and help a complete stranger change a flat tire and hold the doors for elderly people in stores. Thats a lot more than I can say for many progressive and open-minded people in urban areas.

Have you thought about Eureka Springs, Arkansas? It is closer to Joplin than West Plains, and has a very large gay community, and is generally thought as a "haven" for progressives and those with alternative lifestyles within the Ozarks. I believe it is considerably more open-minded and tolerant than likely any other small town in either MO or AR, and would likely fit the bill for what you are looking for.
Good post OA. I especially liked this part:

While these people may not be open-minded, they'll still do things like stop and help a complete stranger change a flat tire and hold the doors for elderly people in stores. Thats a lot more than I can say for many progressive and open-minded people in urban areas.

Not pointed out nearly enough.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 19,070,831 times
Reputation: 3624
The Ozarks have been getting more socially conservative, not less so, over the past 20 years or so, even with the influx of more liberal-minded types.

I would second considering Eureka Springs.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 09:39 AM
 
2 posts, read 13,767 times
Reputation: 12
Thank you all for your fast responses. We came through the area last fall, and will again come through in the early summer - hopefully to find "closer to fine"- and discover if certain areas meet our wishes. I went to Eureka Springs last year and it was SOOOOOO crowded! Driving was a bear. How is a bit east of Springfield? My three children and I have just completed a 3-yr RV trip around the US (see innerenergies.org), and have narrowed our places to live whereas MO is the top of three. I just hope my "research" is fruitful, as I would love living close to my father in Joplin, and my siblings in DesMoines (not that far!). Thanks, again~
 
Old 03-03-2009, 09:42 AM
 
Location: NW. MO.
1,817 posts, read 3,762,231 times
Reputation: 1292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvermouse View Post
Good post OA. I especially liked this part:

While these people may not be open-minded, they'll still do things like stop and help a complete stranger change a flat tire and hold the doors for elderly people in stores. Thats a lot more than I can say for many progressive and open-minded people in urban areas.

Not pointed out nearly enough.
Are we talking about all of Missouri or the southern part here? I ask because I had quite another experience in N. Mo. when I had car trouble. I learned early in the game it was a really good idea to have AAA service.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 19,070,831 times
Reputation: 3624
As a general rule, the closer you stay to Missouri's two big cities or Columbia (because of the university, Columbia is a liberal enclave) the more to the left some of the folks will be, but where you're looking? We're talking about places that voted 60-80% for John McCain.

Your core values will not line up with those of the folks who live there. They just won't. That doesn't mean you won't be welcomed, but I'm just saying it's really important to look really closely at the places you are looking at living. Really spend your time there before you make the decision settle there.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 09:54 AM
 
419 posts, read 879,974 times
Reputation: 155
For open-minded places you need to look in Kansas City, Columbia (as stated due to the college town), or STL.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Columbia MO
736 posts, read 940,686 times
Reputation: 1026
Missouri's a big state and, I think, reflective of the country as a whole in a lot of things-- I like to say that it's not a melting pot so much as a place where these different things come crashing together. As you go north, Missouri tends to get more like Iowa-- west, and it gets more, well, western, and so on.

My business takes me all over the state and without question, the southern portion of the state is the most doctrinaire conservative. I'm sure there are free-thinking people there, and it's entirely possible that conservatively-minded people there, as anywhere, might be inclined to both live and let live, and have and independent streak. But that's not what I encounter and observe.

Especially outside of Springfield, you're talking about places where not many new people move, so they're naturally suspicious of strangers-- and the stranger you are, the more suspicious they're going to be. I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but in my observation, that's the Ozarks. They were that way at the turn of the last century and they're that way now. You can find several threads on this board where people rail against new folks moving into the area, wanting to change things. It's also a very poor area, which brings its own issues, and (in my opinion) tends to make people even more conservative.

I'd look closely at the Columbia area. The presence of MU and the type of people a major university attracts gives us a broader, wider spectrum of people than you'll find in other parts of Missouri. There's also a strong rural aspect to many folks here-- it's not extraordinary to encounter people who are both politically liberal and are farmers and hunters. From your description, I could easily picture you at Cooper's Landing, about 10 miles and a hundred years from downtown Columbia, kicking back with like-minded folks, listening to folk and hillbilly music, and watching the mighty Missouri go by.
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