Aug 312017

The Ozarks we know and love is not the dark and sordid region portrayed in the new Netflix series, Ozark. For our first foray into publishing, Leland wrote and designed a photo essay, THE BEAUTIFUL AND ENDURING OZARKS. As Leland has told me many times, the Ozarks is an uplifted plateau where the meandering streams are wearing deep, winding trenches into that long-ago plain. Look out on a distant vista and notice the concurrent summits of the surrounding hills–evidence of that once level plain.

The word “glade” evokes Old English. Visiting one through the year is a poetic experience. In spring, the glades are strewn with wildflowers. Collared lizards dash for cracks in the rocks in summer. Blazing star and purple coneflower color the slopes in fall. Winter reveals the structure of the hills the best. The largest and purest complex of glades is in the Hercules Glades Wilderness in southwest Missouri.

This semi-mountainous region covers southern Missouri, most of northern Arkansas and small pieces of Kansas and Oklahoma touching Missouri.

Map by Tosborn at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Jun 272017

Real photo postcard by Hall. Probably taken in Stone County, Missouri, but Arkansas sounded more primitive. The hog’s board collar is to keep it out of fenced gardens. Cattle and hogs were released in the woods to feed themselves. The destructive rooting of feral pigs was, and still is, an environmental problem.

Though the hillbilly icon didn’t emerge for several decades, the Ozarks has been depicted as a primitive place inhabited by people living a pioneer lifestyle since the early 1800s. This mythos was rejected by progressive Springfieldians, but in Galena, and the White River Hills, it was a component of tourism.

Arkansas was held to be slightly more regressive than southern Missouri but only slightly so.

(Page 72 in the forthcoming book, James Fork of the White: Transformation of an Ozark River.)