Saturday, October 11, 2008

Arkansas: Where Stories Come From?


Story, Arkansas, where bikers are bards.


Then, if you drive down the road a spell, you find what you need to get that story on the page...




Okay, we've discovered where the Why ("Y") resides. All we need now is the Who, How, Where, What and When....

I discovered these towns and signs in western Arkansas two days ago. (It's a 55-mile drive along Hwys 27, 88 and 270 to get from Story, through Pencil Bluff to "Y" City.)

I also once slept in Story City, Iowa (itself in Story County) and have photographed and drawn the Book Cliffs of Utah and Colorado. What writerly locales have you found?

Photos by Mark David Gerson

8 comments:

unwriter said...

Story City isn't far from where I live. I've been there. But I'm closer to Iowa City, the home of the writers retreat.

Mark David Gerson said...

Seems the writers' retreat should be in a town called Story City!

Missy said...

Story is south of where I live in Arkansas. Did you travel northwest into Oklahoma or venture into Madison and Washington County in Northwest Arkansas?

beth♥ said...

Actually, we used to have a storytelling festival at the Arkansas state park where I work. I hope you enjoyed your drive through the state! :o)

Mark David Gerson said...

Missy: I wish I'd known. I would have stopped by and said hi!

Beth: I very much enjoyed my time in Arkansas. It's a beautiful state.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark David,

I can't believe you actually passed through (and noticed) Y City, Arkansas or Pencil Bluff, Arkansas. I spent my 12th & 13th year of life in Cherry Hills, Arkansas, just a few miles from Pencil Bluff. Cherry Hills had a population of about 200 (maybe) when I lived there and was about 17 miles from Mena, a town of 5000.

You bet it is a place where stories come from. 75% of the people belonged to one of three families and had names like "Eudell." They were all inter-married and everyone was a cousin to everyone else. The typical question upon meeting someone new was "Who ya kin to?" School actually let out for an entire week in the fall for "coon season" because so very few boys would otherwise attend. And of international importance (infamy) was the Mena Airport which was used to send drugs to the Contras in Nicaragua setting off the Iran Contra scandal. I bet even the drug runners had to take time off for coon season.

I hope you are having a great adventure!

Stephanie

Mark David Gerson said...

Stephanie: I passed through Mena. In fact, I had a slow leak in my tire repaired there. Didn't notice any suspicious activity...other than the fact that the only decent-looking motel in town was fully booked!

Anonymous said...

Have you read Donald Harrington's novels about Arkansas life? Those people in his books, THEY'RE REAL. He just pretends it is fiction!

Stephanie