Bentonville land of southern charm and BIG BOX
Bentonville is really the American story played out (well maybe in slightly faster motion). Bentonville is the home of Wal-Mart. As Wal-Mart grew to the largest retailer in the world over the last few decades the area had really accelerated growth. I love the first comment made on this page by tom --"For a very long time Northwest Arkansas was America's best kept secret but that is not so anymore. It was a simpler time & place; some mourn the change.... Some don't!" yup that sums it up for a lot of people that have lived here for years -- but it could be said about many of the places we live in. IN fact this same feeling was expressed many times in the years I lived in Singapore. But for the fine people of Bentonville - "bless their hearts" they have had it happen more rapidly than most.
But pattern of chance is seen all over America -- miles of wide streets with Strip Malls as far as the eye can see. This is mixed with of the blending of people of all descriptions and wonderful mixing of faces.
The day I arrive in Bentonville the local newspaper had an article about the Northwest Arkansas being concerned about sprawl and the local planers were thinking about “building up”. Go figure
I hung around the Bentonville downtown the Square and central park it still has charm in spit of the rapid growth and sprawl of the area. Old historic building like the old courthouse, the “historic Walton 5 & 10 that started the Walton retail empire is located on the square.
A friend Karen advised that the statute of the Confederate Soldier in the square above photo is a symbolic monument in honor of the men who fought in the civil war. The head of the statute is actually modeled after James Henderson Berry, Governor of Arkansas 1883-1885. In case you are a vter that want to know cool stuff like that.
So this travel post for you the VTer is also about what Middle America is all about - well at least in in my head. It is a tour of Krispy Kream doughnut shop for my friend KIWI. It is a roll down the new "Main" streets of American not the old sense of town but the endless rows of motels and STRIP malls mixed with fast food joints. And finally it is the faces that make up who we are in the USA and who we are becoming.
Take a look - tell me what you think.