Southward, northward, westward, onward for GREENE
Here at GREENE Magazine, we understand that wise reminder, "Be careful what you ask for, you might get it."
With this issue, we are truly a regional publication, available on news stands in four states: from Little Rock to Fort Smith in Arkansas and points north; from Kansas City east to St. Louis and south, including Columbia, Jefferson City and hopefully where you live. We’re also available in northeast Oklahoma and the eastern tier of Kansas, bringing the total number of sales locations to more than 400, but that doesn’t public and school libraries, local garden centers, greenhouses, waiting rooms and bistros around the Ozarks. And of course, please consider subscribing at Ozarks Living.com, which reminds us to again thank the thousands of you who have thumbed through our pages or visited us online through Facebook and our web site. In our third year, this has been a promising adventure for a couple of curmudgeons sharing our skills in a profession reinventing itself. My personal thanks to my partner, Mike Noggle, who believed we could come this far and proved it. And to our wives, Gail Noggle and Nancy Freeman, thanks for your patience.
We are reminded often that in many ways, the Ozarks is a way of living tucked into a state of mind where people like being left alone. Our goal is to cover the Ozarks like a gentle rain. And to make our beloved region a little cleaner for all of us. If we missed your favorite corner, please let us know.
Welcome Jim Long
On page 9 of the print edition, meet Jim Long, a columnist with a taste for herbs. Jim has written The Ozarks Herbalist in The Herb Companion and other publications, including The Ozarks Mountaineer. When that publication ceased under mysterious circumstances, we invited Jim to join us to celebrate a gardening lifestyle. He agreed; we’re thrilled, and we hope he sets a new record for having fun. Jim is an iconic Ozarker who co-owns Long Creek Herbs with Josh Young, also a gifted writer of books and newspaper essays to make you laugh. Their web site is LongCreekHerbs.com, where you can find a variety of products, from books to soap to Herbal Nail Fungus Soak for cracked heels, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
Since 1987, their garden sanctuary has thrived just off the paved path about as far as you can go on the outskirts of the Blue Eye/Oak Grove metroplex, requiring you to dip into Arkansas and then back into Missouri. You can tell because only the Arkansas stretch is paved. For a time, the late Johnny and June Cash were their neighbors.
When we visited last summer to research our One-Tank Trips series, we were treated to still-warm sugar cookies with lavender and home-squeezed lemonade. We nibbled on the leaves of several rare and edible herbs from their travels, some of which you won’t find elsewhere in the Ozarks. Mostly, we just enjoyed some old-fashioned porch-sitting while Jim entertained us with wit, ideas, pleasant notions and revelations about plants. As Jim has reminded visitors, Long Creek Herbs is not a restaurant, but it is tasty, and it’s a popular stopover for tours (by appointment only).
Fasten your seat belt, literally and figuratively
A Missouri state senator has proposed a tougher law for safety belt violators. Sen. Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, introduced legislation to raise the fine for failure to buckle up. The current penalty is $10. Keaveny notes that the fine for littering is $79.50.
Many traffic deaths in Missouri result not from the initial impact, but from people being thrown from vehicles. And many of those ejected are children. Having just published some ideas on how we can all drive greener (and safer) in the December issue of GREENE, we invited Sen. Keaveny to make his case. He does so on page 6.
But when we suggested this is an idea that should win the day easily, we were reminded that this is Missouri, where the right to die unnecessarily is as certain to cause a fuss as the right to crash a motorcycle without a helmet. But at least now you know the legislated value of a human life: $10. Do we hear $79.50?
One-Tank Trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum
Since this is into a smorgasbord of thoughts, I want to urge that you not miss the latest in our One-Tank Trip series. Normally, we bring you a number of so-called "attractions" in the Ozarks, recommending some and simply mentioning others.
This month we chose only one, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, for the reason that you can’t just drop by for a few minutes This one-stop trip will become a day in your life you will want to remember and repeat.
The opening of "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell" from March 9 through May 27 ($12 for adult non-members) remind us how far we have come as Americans as told by Rockwell as visual storyteller.
As much as any resource in the Ozarks, this is one to put on your "bucket" list.
Thanks to the generosity of Alice Walton, heir to a share of Sam Walton’s Walmart fortune, this museum is a national resource.
You may wonder how anyone could spend so lavishly on artwork until you see Asher Brown Durand’s
Kindred Spirits (1849), for which Walton paid $35 million to the New York Public Library. Worth it? Worth seeing again and again? You judge. If you’re new to the Ozarks, what a greeting. If you’re visiting, don’t miss this opportunity.
George Freeman is editor of GREENE Magazine, and a Master Gardener. Reach him at Editor@Ozarks Living.com. He also posts a few words and photos on GREENE’s Facebook page.