Back in ol' Dixie: I'm in Fayetteville, in the picturesque, wooded Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas, and the rest of the world has discovered it. Wal-Mart is based in the area, as is Tyson's and other corporations, and folks from California, New York, and all points in between are moving in.
If you build it, they will come: There's lots of development going on - mcmansions where rolling hills once undulated, swanky new day spas and sushi restaurants where divey but comfy bars used to be. I have mixed feelings. Most of the development is north of Fayetteville, thankfully, in Bentonville, which is where Wal-Mart has its headquarters.
The Fayetteville I know, a crunchy-granola and frat/sorority-happy college town of used literary bookstores, funky thrift shops and coffeehouses, underground brickskellars, walkable streets, organic grocery stores, head shops, and a lovely, flowered town square still exists.
New digs: I'm posting this from the brand spanking-new Fayetteville public library. A two-story affair with 25-foot ceilings, tons of computers, and a reading room that overlooks green hills. Much different from the small brick library that I knew. But I love this place. I'll post a photo of it tonight, once we make it to Amarillo.
We stayed at this little B&B last night. The house overlooks peaceful Beaver Lake, just off the Buffalo River. Outside our window, horses and cows grazed. Nelson loved playing fetch here - he had more than 100 acres in which to roam.
More later on my overnight Fayetteville stay - or, as novelist Ellen Gilchrist calls it, Fateville. Gotta get on the road, y'all.