Growing up in the Arkansas Ozarks, I early on found out I had a love for history; the history of my people. It was passed down to me in short snippets, in stories told between the older generations that revolved around love, tragedy, learning experiences, or sometimes just comedic encounters or sayings. My Grandfather would often quote an older man around the house who would refer to vehicles as ‘PontiacFords’ and grin. But these snippets were often from people I never knew; who were gone far before my time. They will live eternal in story, of course, but their race was run before my birth so I never knew them in a physical sense. All these names and stories were so oft told that I began to know these people in a way, and I instinctively knew they were my people. Our family, our neighbors, our community; they left impressions (whether good or bad) on everyone in one way or another. However, when you get to grow up around people and get to know them, it’s different. You see, the Ozarks of an older time and place was gone, much like these lost souls before me; but I got to experience some of it, second hand, and through the stories of my ancestors, passed down. You see, giants walked through my childhood.
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