My Little Town 20090715. Introduction

This is a historical documentary about the town in which up I grew.  Everyone has memories of people near them, but I lived in a town that the population placard said, driving into the town, Population 326.

It was, and is, in extreme west central Arkansas, just south of Fort Smith, and under a mile from the Oklahoma border.  I was born in the hospital in Fort Smith, and came live in Hackett, Arkansas.  It is on the map.

This is a test post.  I there is no interest, I will terminate this series immediately and have no hard feelings towards anyone.  I believe that it is important because even people who have grown up in the circumstances that I did can get over racism.  I have decided to use descriptions rather than names to describe folks who I knew because their relative in many cases are still living there, and I do not want to cause them any embarrassment.

When I was born in 1957, Hackett has a population of around 440, or so said the sign.  When I became cognizant enough to ride a bicycle, it was 328.  We are talking about a really small town.

It was completely Caucasian.  No Hispanics, no blacks (as far as I know, the law is still one the books that sundown can not be tolerated for a black person under threat of lynching, but of course the Law of the Nation has nullified that one).  There were no Asians either, and Native Americans were not welcome.  There was a camp of Gypsies west of town later, but they got burned out and had to leave.

So, everyone there was either of English, Scottish, or Irish derivation (and not too many Irish).  All were God fearing Protestants (no Catholics tolerated there), and went to their churches religiously, to make a pun.  Almost to a person everyone hated the niggers.  They also hated the “wetbacks”, their term for Hispanic folks, and the “chinks”, their term for Asians were also high on the hate list.

This was my environment.  I quickly came to understand that many of them hated learning as well.  I was labeled as “the Brain”, or the “four eyes”, since I was and still am nearsighted.  Those folks did not like glasses, unless their parents wore them, or if they were drinking out of them.  My parents were not quite as radical, but not what in any progressive term folks who were accepting of others not like them.