Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Road to Little Rock (and Beyond)

writeroval-1-1 I am late with my Sunday Favorites post this week.  Don’t ask me where the time went; I don’t have a good excuse.  However, reading THIS POST about the upcoming college football season reminded me of one of my own posts from last October and that we will soon be taking the Road to Little Rock and on to Fayetteville for the Arkansas-Georgia game on September 19.  I can’t wait.

Be sure to visit Chari at Happy to Design where you’ll find more Sunday Favorites for your reading pleasure.

A Sunday Favorite

Ben has a new painting over his fireplace. Titled "The Road to Little Rock," it was painted by Laurie Anne Johnson, a friend from Birmingham. The painting depicts a portion of U.S. Highway 78 in Mississippi, which connects Birmingham to Memphis and is a major portion of the route to Little Rock and beyond.
 
The first time I ever traveled U.S. 78 was in July of 1988. LBeau had taken a job with Rust Engineering, and Hunter and I were going with him to Birmingham to help him settle in. The boys and I would stay in Texarkana to sell the house before moving.
 
We had driven to Newport to leave Brent and Ben with Mema Martha. Meanwhile, my car was having issues, so we left it in Newport to be worked on and borrowed Mema's car. Somewhere in Mississippi I was driving Mema's Oldsmobile and following LBeau and Hunter, who were in LBeau's car. It was raining, and all of a sudden I found myself barreling sideways down the median.
 
Fortunately, I was able to get the car under control before running into the west-bound lane, but we vowed at that point that we would find another road to Arkansas. And for years, we would take I-65 north to Cullman, Alabama, and angle over to U.S. 72, which would take us to Memphis, where we could pick up I-40 into Arkansas.
 
Finally, Mississippi upgraded U.S. 78 to interstate standards, and once again it became our road home. Over the years, we have altered portions of our route as Alabama has upgraded sections of U.S. 78, which will become I-22 once those upgrades are completed. We now by-pass Jasper, Winfield, Guin, Gu-Win and Hamilton, Alabama. Most of our stops come in Mississippi in either Fulton, Tupelo, New Albany, Holly Springs or Olive Branch.
 
Halfway between New Albany and Holly Springs is the exit for Potts Camp, Mississippi. While we have never been to Potts Camp, it holds special significance on the road to Little Rock. A few years ago our friends Nick and J.R. were traveling back to Arkansas after a trip to Birmingham for a Razorback game. At the Potts Camp exit, they suddenly found themselves doing a 360 and ended up plowing up a portion of the highway median.
 
Since then, every time we successfully negotiate that portion of the highway, I send Nick a text message that simply says, "Potts Camp."
 
This weekend we took the road to Little Rock for a party for Ben and Claire. Back in 1988 we didn't have cell phones and text messaging, but this weekend I was able to send the "Potts Camp" text twice.

23 comments:

Wendy said...

Great post. Love that story. :)

Lori E said...

My gosh I have never even been that close to wiping out like that and we travel through mountainous areas here.
Okay there was that one time when I was a teenager and was in a car I shouldn't have been it but we won't talk about that will we.
I am glad you made it okay.
Thanks for stopping in and I do hope you pass on the Atta Girl award to some deserving bloggers.

Kathy said...

Great post... Arkansas was were two of our Grands were born, a special place!!! xoxo~Kathy~ @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Jewel said...

Yes, I have done alot of missions traveling. I've been to Cambodia 2x, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Mexico. I'm a JR at Indiana Wesleyan University now, studying Intercultural Studies and International Community Development, with a minor in Spanish. When I graduate in 2 years I'm bound for Cambodia to do youth ministry of sorts.

After all the traveling I've done, I know that a picture can be worth 1000 words! Much like the beautiful painting above the fireplace.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Fabulous painting and story. You've got a long ole road back to Arkansas!

Christi

Martha said...

Love the story -- a really beautiful picture!

Valerie said...

Hi Kathy!

Hope all is well. Great story. I especially love the photo of the painting, "The Road to Little Rock". I think regional paintings/art brings so much personality to a home.

While visiting friends and family in Florida, I noticed the most beautiful framed print in one family's home. It was titled: "All the Reasons We Love Iowa". It was most definitely "folk art", but was "so them"!

Take care,
Valerie

Malvie said...

The best thing for me about this story is that the next time I come visit, I will NOT be on 78 and will NOT be going through Potts Camp! I've never recovered from those 360's.

You never know, it's hurricane season and I might show up on your doorstep one of these days!

g said...

That's an incredible painting! and an amazing story. Do you own the painting? Or a print? If not you really should - what a touchstone!

Great post!

BVC said...

Nice work, Kathy! I love a good "road story". They are so much fun to write, as the chronology is taken care of for you!

I remember the last time I was on that road was traveling back from the SEC Championship in 2006. My girlfriend (now wife) and I were both sick as dogs. I was hoarse from screaming the night before. She was so stopped up she couldn't hear. She'd ask a question, I'd answer in a stage whisper, and she would go "HUH?" After five or six tries, we just decided to embrace silence.

Thanks for a good trip down memory lane!

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling I hope you had a lovely weekend. I just stopped by to wish you a sunny day!!

♥ hugs ♥

Duchess

Joycee said...

The roads here in Arkansas can be trecherous even in good weather and we've had some close calls too. Traveling with you in this blog was fun! We've had the kids here the past two weeks with little time to blog other than post, I've missed it!

nanny said...

I certainly hope you and your family have safe trips this year to cheer on the HOGS! I love your new Hog button on sidebar....just might have to borrow that one! I sure hope the QB does as well as they keep saying!!! Could be a fun year.

Chari said...

Hi Kathy...

What a beautiful painting! Love all the beautiful colors...so very pretty! My friend, what a scary thing to happen on your way to Alabama...thank the good Lord that you were able to get control of the car before anything serious happened! I bet that is a pretty stretch of scenery though!!!

Thank you so much for sharing this post with us for Sunday Favorites, my friend!

Warmest wishes,
Chari

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

What a great painting! And great memories!
Small world, my dad worked for Rust, then Raytheon, and all those other things it was. He was there for over 30 years. I almost hate to say my dads name because he had the awful job or hiring, firing and layoffs. He didnt like doing it. He had to lay off many of his best friends (who remained his firend, despite b.c they knew it was the business) and it liked to have killed him. Once my mom and he were at a christmas party of a friend and the friend was introducing my parents to some people, when someone at the party shouted out, "Hey! I know you....you fired my husband!". MY parents left shortly after that. LOL. I hope your husband enjoyed his time at Rust. It was a good co. to work for until the layoffs came along.
Have a great day friend!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Jack Rutledge. Let me know if you know him. My dad retired about 4-5 years ago. He and another man (my dad's BF)from Rust now have a partnership and are developers of homes and neighborhoods, retirement communities, etc. You both seem to be in the same circles, huh? Small world.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

LOL! I can guarentee you that my mom was never in the rust wives club. Thats funny, but sounds somewhat familar. My mom always felt as though she didnt "fit" in at the christmas parties and all. She was never a typical "rust wive". HAHA, thats funny. I wouldnt sweat not being in the club. Wonder what they discussed at their meetings? LOL

darnold23 said...

On the way up to Fayetteville yesterday via the back roads route, Hubby suggested that I write about some of those towns and landmarks...only in Arkansas! I just know I will have to do that. You should have heard me trying to explain "pig trail" to Connor. This is rush week...finally back to a decent schedule. Bid day is Sat. We will be at all Fay games..hope to see you.

Libby Murphy said...

Travel blessings at Potts Camp, on your way to cheer for the Hogs, and along life's journey. I really like your painting - bet it just takes you down the highway as you look into the western horizon.
Happy Twirls

LV said...

I really enjoyed your post today. I have some dear friends that live in Arkansas and they are big hog fans. The painting is a really nice piece of work. Glad you stopped by place for a visit.

Candy said...

The painting holds a hope...what is over the horizon? What is around the next bend?
The cameo in Pompeii...what did they carve on? Through my brief research I discovered the different materials used--ivory, lava(which Pompeii would have a lot of), stone, etc.
Grab your RB cap and head for Potts Camp! ;-)

Coloradolady said...

Thanks for stopping by.....I had to laugh this morning...my daughter commented on my post about the uggs and answered your question directly about her age.....you have to laugh at kids!! HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Tonja said...

I have such a place in Birmingham. At the very bottom of Shades Mountain...going toward Hoover.There is a stop light right at the bottom...before you get out to 31. I was travelling that road one night when it was raining and when I tried to stop..I didn't . I ended up in the median did 2 complete turns and ended up headed back up the mountain. I always thank God for holding back any cars that were coming. And, everytime I travel through that intersection, I thank Him again!

I LOVE the picture!