Saturday, June 20, 2009

Memories of Arkansas at the Swim...I mean, Relay for Life

Lots of rain part 2 at our Relay for Life this morning. So it is shutting down a little early and I am home early. I didn't win any prizes but if I had known which number Relay this was for our area, I would have won two nice tickets to an area golf tournament next week. Oh well, my bad.

Last night, at our tent (company team), I heard someone being asked "so you lived there when Bill Clinton was governor"? My ears immediately perked up because spouse and I had also lived (in Arkansas, it could only be one state!) when Bill Clinton was governor. So, after that conversation was all done I introduced myself and we ended up walking together for the next 1 1/2 hours. She asked me where I had lived - we lived in three places in Arkansas but I answered the largest one, Fayetteville. The response was, she had gone to college at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. (soooo......eeeee!) She was too young to really remember Bill Clinton as governor of Arkansas (I'm not!) but we spent our walk time talking about many things. The memories flowed. She has family in several towns we were familiar with We remembered fairs, state parks, streets....

We lived in Arkansas from 1981 to 1986 and she moved out of Arkansas in 1998, but goes back frequently. So I heard firsthand about what I knew from reading. The area (Northwest Arkansas) has grown tremendously. She worked for Wal-Mart while a college student and later was an assistant store manager for a year. Her mother works for Wal-Mart optical headquarters. (Wal-Mart is headquartered in Bentonville, AR). Small nothing towns near Wal-Mart's headquarters are now anything but because of a Wal-Mart requirement that all vendors have an office in the Bentonville area.

We've never gone back but our discussion has whet my appetite for going back, just to see how it has changed. I know that the rural dirt road I lived on outside of Morrow, AR was paved with city water and street addresses and I was happy to learn that the area is still rural. But as for Fayetteville....my Relay friend told me that every time she goes back, Fayetteville has changed completely.

Even the airport was moved somewhere else.

Will we go back one day? Will we like what we find?

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