~ Prescott, Hope, & Harmony, Arkansas ~
"An introduction to Southwest Arkansas"
Gently rolling tree-covered hills interspersed with flat, wide vistas of cattle pasture characterize the landscape of rural Southwest Arkansas. This is a region where trucking, cattle and poultry are the major economic staples. I have visited this area on two occasions as many of my wife's relatives live in this part of the state. The rural nature of these parts is quite evident when traveling along Interstate 30, as there is very little development between the outskirts of Little Rock and the Texas border city of Texarkana. Several towns sit just off the highway, but the two that I have visited are Prescott and Hope.
"Prescott and Hope"
Prescott and Hope are the seats of two neighboring counties. Prescott has a small, weathered “Main Street” downtown bisected by railroad tracks. While many of the buildings boast empty storefronts, evidence of recent renewal include a new town library, a landscaped pocket park flanked by a colorful mural depicting elements of Prescott life, and the presence of a few fast food and gas station chains. Hope, famous as the birthplace of former President Bill Clinton, is bigger, busier, and more prosperous. It has a few bigger buildings in its small downtown area and is home to the area's Walmart Supercenter – a sign of stature in small town America. To find a mall with department stores or popular table-service chain restaurants the locals drive 30 to 45 minutes southwest to Texarkana, Texas.
Between Prescott and Hope the twisting two-lane backroads pass acres of farmlands referred to as the tiny community of Harmony. It was at a house in Harmony that we stayed while visiting relatives. At night, the sky over Harmony is as black as I have seen.
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