Arkansas

Arkansas Backstories: Quail

by Joe David Rice // Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission   Arkansas has a mixed record when it comes to native birds. The enormous flocks of passenger pigeons and Carolina parakeets which literally darkened Arkansas skies were extirpated years ago, and the fate of the ivory-billed woodpecker remains unknown. Yet the populations…

Peel

Peel Ferry

by Joe David Rice // Photos Provided by Casey Crocker, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism   Progress is good, I’m told. That may be true, but I still lament the loss of certain features that used to be common across Arkansas’ landscapes. Swinging bridges, for instance, are increasingly rare, as are grist mills. The…

Arkansas

Arkansas Backstories: Watermelons

by Joe David Rice In a typical year, Arkansas farmers grow about 40 million pounds of watermelons. While many of these melons are shipped to other states, there’s no question that we love our watermelons.   Not only are they tasty, watermelons are an amazingly healthy food. In addition to providing Vitamins A, B6, and…

Buffalo River

Arkansas Backstories: Buffalo River

by Joe David Rice Richard M. Nixon…. Orval E. Faubus…. William O. Douglas…. Three prominent players in 20th century American politics. All vilified on one occasion or another (or sometimes regularly), but vilified nevertheless by vastly different groups for vastly different rationales, mind you. One is a disgraced Republican president. Another a defiant Democratic governor…

Jasper

Jasper

by Joe David Rice | Photography provided by Arkansas Parks and Tourism and the venues Few travel articles begin with a list of things you won’t find in the featured destination. But that’s how I’ll start this piece, noting that visitors to Jasper will not see parking meters, stoplights, McDonald’s, Starbucks or a big-box retailer. What they…

Arkansas Backstories: Hoochie-Coochie

By Joe David Rice To the best of my knowledge, only one person has publicly performed the hoochie-coochie within the hallowed halls of the U.S. House of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol. That unlikely dancer was ultra-conservative Congressman Ezekiel Candler “Took” Gathings, a devout Baptist who represented Arkansas’ First Congressional District for 30 years. But…