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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Monticello

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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Hometown: Pocahontas

The distance from my home in Conway to the Eddie Mae Herron Center in Pocahontas is 145.3 miles, a drive of approximately two hours and 24 minutes. It’s not the farthest I’ve traveled to get somewhere in Arkansas, for sure, but somehow it feels like the most important trip I’ve made so far. Not only…

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Jasper

IT’S LONG BEEN SAID that Jasper, a town of 453 near the banks of the upper Buffalo River, is not just a special place, but a magical one. My mother remembers touring Diamond Cave, spelunking its forests of stalagmites and stalactites and marveling at the fairylike formations of sparkling calcite crystals. Rumors swirl of Newton…

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