Happy Jack

Sometimes we need to re-evaluate a situation so we can really see what’s going on. Jack McLemore was my 9th Grade science teacher, he had also been my older brother’s 9th grade science teacher. Let’s say they had a…special relationship. The older boys had nick-named Mr. McLemore “Happy Jack,” claiming he only smiled while dispensing punishment…and he smiled a lot. Convinced of Happy Jack’s cruelty and sure he had it in for me,,, well, hear the story for yourself.

Wearysome to the Eyes: The Great American Desert

A very scenic view of the great American desert

It was a part of Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase, that area west of the 100th Meridian we now call the Great Plain. Early explorers reported the area could not be farmed and it’s best use was a handy barrier between the U.S. and the Spanish holdings to the south. American writer Washington Irving deemed it “wearysome to the eyes,” for it’s flat, treeless nature. It was labeled the Great American Desert, although you won’t find it listed that way on current maps.

The Fayetteville Polka

Fayetteville, Arkansas can lay claim to a great American musical heritage with Levon Helm, the legendary singer/drummer for The Band, Rockabilly stalwart Ronnie Hawkins and the Cate Brothers. But there is a name, long forgotten, that lead the way. Ferdinan Zellner was the first to bring music from the sleepy little Ozark town to the rest of the world

On The Occasion Of Her Birthday: Revisiting Mrs. Carson

This past Easter Sunday was my Kindergarten teacher Louise Carson’s 90th Birthday. On the occasion of her birthday we revisit Mrs. Carson to discuss what it was like trying to teach a bunch of kids like me. And, as usual with any discussion with Mrs. Carson, we learn a little something along the way.

It’s Complicated! Zeke Proctor and the Goingsnake Affair

The largest non-military battle in the American West occurred 150 years in the Cherokee Nation. Often told as a tale of a Western gunfight, the battle at the Whitmire School on Peacheater Creek in the Goingsnake District was a much more complicated affair. It was a jurisdictional conflict between the Cherokee Nation and the United States Federal Court in Fort Smith. Who is to blame for the bloodshed is still debated and a recent Supreme Court ruling had reignited the jurisdictional conflict once again. Hear the complicated story for yourself!