Hometown: Learning The Hardy Way

I MAY HAVE made a terrible mistake. I have come to the small town of Hardy—population 772—on a Sunday. In the rain. With my city-born and -bred 14-year-old. “I just want something to happen today,” Avery said on the 2 1/2-hour drive here from central Arkansas, and I don’t think buckets of water falling from the sky and an almost completely shuttered town qualify as “happening.”

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Hometown: Morrilton

I look at Morrilton, and I see a close-knit community, with hidden corners to explore and interesting people to talk to. I can even see Sarah’s vision for the town’s future, where outsiders come for wine and dinner with a rooftop view and feel welcome and, perhaps, even stay much longer than they had planned. Using Sarah’s vision as my own, I can see Morrilton again becoming the “it” town.

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My history with Monticello goes way, way back. Like, four whole years, I think. I remember living in Italy, learning proper pronunciation by reading every street sign and billboard I came across aloud, then returning to Arkansas for a summer and wondering to myself as I traveled along Interstate 530, Where in the heck is…

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