So, many people know I’m an American girl, hailing from the southern state of Arkansas. I haven’t really devoted much time, however, to talking about my hometown. Whenever I’m asked–especially from a non-Arkansan–where I’m from, I always just say Little Rock, because it’s easier than trying to explain where I’m really from. Truth is, I am from “the north side,” of Little Rock, or as I like to call it, the better side! If you ask me, the best people live north of the river! So, here’s a breakdown of my home…
Little Rock is the capital city and largest city in Arkansas, with a population of approximately 894,000 in the metropolitan statistical area. My home town, North Little Rock, is part of the metropolitan statistical area of Little rock, with a population of approximately 63,000 people. A good size city. Nothing compared to New York or Chicago, but compared to the country towns in Arkansas, my town is enormous. I spent the first eleven years of my life in the city of North Little Rock. North Little Rock borders Little Rock, with the boundary being the Arkansas River. I’ve lived on the north side my whole life, with the exception of my time spent in southwest Arkansas for college. The part of North Little Rock I grew up in was called Rose City in a community once called Rich Acres. In the 1930s, Rose City was a decent, middle-class place to live. It’s where my dad grew up. By the time I came along, however, Rose City was one of the least desirable places to live in North Little Rock. Gangs had infiltrated the area, the homes were run down and the middle class families were fleeing in droves. My family stayed, enjoying a low cost of living and still enjoying decent neighbors who were elderly and had been there for ages. Then one night it all changed. A fight broke out between two local gangs. Shots were fired and people were on the run. We heard the gunshots from inside the house. The next thing I remember is literally being thrown under the bed by my dad. He had my mom and I as safe as possible hiding under the bed while he spoke to the police on the phone. We could hear the gunshots and people yelling all around our house. The police came, the situation was brought under control, and some of the perpetrators were caught in our backyard. Unwilling to allow their only child–me–to grow up in such a dangerous environment, our home was put up for sale within days.
That is when we moved to the much smaller–much safer–town of Maumelle. Maumelle is what I generally refer to as my hometown. It is where I spent the majority of my youth and made the majority of my friends whom I am still in contact with today. Maumelle is a lovely town located on the Arkansas River and and at the foot of Pinnacle Mountain and surrounding mountains at the foothills of the Ouachitas. I really enjoyed growing up in Maumelle, especially living in a subdivision that had not yet been completely developed at the time we moved there. So there I was living in “the city” but with a world of forests and other wildlife right outside my front door. The empty wooded lots surrounding our home provided me with countless hours of exploring, fort building, and make believe. I treasure those times.
Now, here I am all grown up. Still living very near my childhood home of Maumelle, but technically living in my first hometown of North Little Rock. I have the best of both worlds. I am fortunate enough to own my own home that is much nicer than anything I could have bought in Maumelle, but still near enough to feel like I live there. I’m in a place where there are just enough homes around to make it seem like a town, but it’s also secluded in a way, surrounded by a forest providing the sounds of wildlife at night which I love. Any spring night you can sit outside and be serenaded by thousands of tree frogs signing in the woods. The summer is filled with a symphony of night insects making their beautiful music.
Many people not from this great state don’t believe me when I tell them that Arkansas truly is a great place to live. Southern hospitality at its finest, beautiful rivers, lakes, and mountains. I am proud to be from Arkansas! Click the links where provided to learn more about these places…Here are some photos that may show you why I love it so much.
North Little Rock’s Own, Mary Steenburgen, receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:
Mary Steenburgen, who went to the same school as my dad and uncle, talking about her home state:
There you have it, a taste of the place I call home! 🙂