Thursday, June 21, 2007

Give Me a Holler

Well, I finally had the opportunity to give my new address to a business contact, Dr. Big Name, who is going to send me a copy of one of his books so I can use it for a project. Why is this unusual? Because my new address, as of Sunday will be in Yellville. Yep, now you know why I was a little nervous. Having already sent out my new address to many of the people in my email address book, I've already gotten the funny "Give me a Holler when you get to Yellville!" or "Is that anywhere near Mutton Holler?" and one comment, "The name of your town doesn't do much to turn around the backward reputation of the state, does it?"
Ok, so it isn't as cosmo as New York City (even pronounced in the southern accent on the salsa commercials), Chicago or Los Angeles. It isn't even as metro sounding as Kansas City.
But aren't writers known for living in small burgs surrounded by natural inspiration? Hasn't Stephen King immortalized the fantasy writer life by placing all of the scribes in his books and subsequent movies in the hills of whereever? Well, maybe that isn't such a good analogy since the writers in his stories are usually either homicidal maniacs or victims of lunatics probably driven crazy by the sounds of the country....which makes me wonder how long before the sounds of the whippoorwhill who sits on top of our cabin roof everynight changes from quaint to maddening.....
I gave Dr. Big Name my new address, and lowered my voice just a little when I said, "Yellville." I suddenly felt embarrassed. I really wished that the next town over was something other than "Flippin" so I could get a P.O. Box there, but reaction by my friends to that name has been worse. "Do you go to the Flippin' Wal-Mart?" Bahahahaha!
Would Dr. Big Name use a Big City stereotype - however wrongly - and think I'm an uneducated hick trying to make it as a writer because there's nothing else to do in Yellville? And then he said, "Arkansas. Is that AK?" I smiled and said, "No, it's AR." Dr. Big Name in the Big City didn't know his state abbreviations and for some reason, that gave me back my confidence. I thought about all the good friends we've already made in Yellville - Terry, the best builder we've ever encountered anywhere and his wife, Judy, who never fails to bring tasty homemade baked goods when we invite them over to our house; our neighors around the bend who told us we could use their trailer to move and the extra slip in their boat dock anytime; and Danny, who is driving up 300 miles with the moving truck he owns to help us move from Kansas City; my aunt, who will teach me how to can the produce we will bring in from the garden this summer so we can all enjoy the taste of summer even as the leaves fall. I realized then that no matter where my physcial address, I'm still the same writer I was in The Big City, only now I'll be richer in experience by calling Yellville home - and that's what being a writer is all about.

How about you? Do you live in a small town with a small town sounding name or do you know of one? Go to comments and tell us about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came from a small town in Nebraska named Hemingford. No one ever spelled it right and thought it was a strange name but it is wonderful place to get away from it all. The people are great and friendly too. So don't apologize to anyone about Yellville. I've been there and it is beautiful country. The Arkansans were pretty creative when they named their towns around that area. I think being from Peculiar, MO would be worse.
Good Luck and Enjoy.

10:56 AM CDT  

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