Hometown, Arkansas: Southeast


Seeking out Lady Luck in the Delta

We are greeted by two signs: “Population 3292” and “DeWitt—Home of the Dragons.” What a coincidence! we exclaim. With our nerdly love of Harry Potter and our weekends spent participating in preparations for the upcoming Hot Springs Renaissance Faire, we love dragons! This day will be a blessed one, for sure. We are convinced.

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Come for a Taylor’s Steakhouse ribeye, stay for the friendly folks and Southern hospitality

I knew about Taylor’s but was otherwise unschooled in the offerings of Dumas. However, dry-aged steaks and chocolate bread pudding were the only words I really needed to hear. In my book, those menu items alone would qualify Dumas as destination dining. But I was pleasantly surprised to find more reasons to visit before dinnertime.

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Helena-West Helena

Seeking out new life where east meets west

Arkansas flattens in the east. The landscape tugs tight to the earth; the sky grows bigger as fields disappear into the always-distant horizon. This is the Arkansas Delta, which roughly covers the eastern third of the state and is home to some of the world’s best soil, deposited over thousands of years by the Mississippi River.

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Lake Village

Legend has it, this Lake Chicot gem’s a keeper

Shift your perspective more than 155 miles to the southeast, where if you go just about any lower you’ll end up in Louisiana, and if you go any farther east you’ll end up in Mississippi, and there it is: Lake Village. Right along the banks of Lake Chicot, the largest natural lake in Arkansas and the largest oxbow lake in all of North America, Lake Village is one of those towns I have to admit I know next to nothing about.

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Playing the name game in Southeast Arkansas

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 MOHN-TEE-CHELLO?

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Pine Bluff

Remembered and Revisited

Pine Bluff is a worried place. Straddling the oft forgotten edge of the Delta, where rice and soy fields butt up against the lonely, piney woods that blanket our state’s navel, the town has lost its former railroad glories and drawn in on itself, outwardly fading into a downtrodden narrative that is far more often imposed upon it than self-inflicted.

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Finding fine folks in fowl territory

I’m making my way east along U.S 165, and as I drive, I’m mentally sorting through the comments people have been lobbing at me when I’ve asked them what to expect in Stuttgart. Turns out they’ve all compounded in my head until they just sound like ducks on a pond quacking simultaneously, in the way that they do when the food is plentiful, I hear.

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