Tag: My Little Town

My Little Town 20110221: Gene and Katy

This is an installment of an extremely irregular series that I write when I begin to remember people from my childhood.  I grew up, for the most part, in Hackett, Arkansas, just about nine miles south of Fort Smith, Arkansas, almost on the border with Oklahoma.  This was quite the “redneck” part of the nation.

Hackett, when I was little, still had a sunset law on the books.  Those of you not from the South may not be familiar with such a law, but they were real (and likely still are on many books, but obviously not enforceable any more).  Essentially, a sunset law dictated that any black person (NOT the term used at the time) could not remain in the town after sunset, to prevent black families from moving into the town.

The penalty was, at least in my town, that being black and there after sunset was not just an offense, but a shooting cause, both by citizens and law enforcement.  I report this not to titillate, but just to illustrate how many southern jurisdictions were run until recently, and some still are.

Popular Culture 20101203: The Old Language

Many of you who read my posts on a regular basis know that I was born and raised in Hackett, Arkansas.  Hackett is about nine miles south of Fort Smith, and just about a mile from the Oklahoma border.  Many people are of the mistaken opinion that the hill country of Arkansas are all Ozarks, but that is not right.

There are actually two major hill ranges in Arkansas, the Ozarks and the Ouachita (pronounced wash’-a-tah) Mountains.  These two ranges are quite different both in geology and in the old language.  The Arkansas River is roughly the dividing feature betwixt the two ranges.  You might know the Ouachitas because of the excellent natural sharpening stones that are quarried there.

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.

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