Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"O" is for The Big O

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Seminole Indian Chief Osceola

"O" is for Osceola, Arkansas, my hometown. Us natives (no pun intended) proudly refer to it as "The Big O".

The original Osceola town site was named Plum Point, as referred to in the writings of Mark Twain, and was established in 1837 directly on the Mississippi River. The town of Osceola was incorporated in 1875. It was named in honor of Osceola, a Seminole Indian chief, who at one time was thought to have visited Indian tribes there, regarding an exchange of local land for Seminole land in Florida. I will talk more about Chief Osceola in a future post, but the "Big O" today will refer to my hometown.

Steamboats and river packets frequented the early village as a REfueling station because of the availability of firewood. The town was noted for its generous assistance to victims of the all too frequent boat wrecks, which occurred in the area. Although Osceola enjoyed an established river trade by the time of the Civil War, it was too small to be of military importance.

Located in central Mississippi County, adjacent to the Mississippi River, Osceola is the original County Seat of Mississippi County. Constructed in 1912, the Mississippi Country Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many famous people call Osceola their home. Besides me, there is:

Bill Alexander, U.S. Representative from First Congressional District, 1969–1993
David Barrett, New York Jets cornerback
Maurice Carthon, former NFL and USFL player and NFL assistant coach
Ran Carthon, running back with Indianapolis Colts
Dale Evans, wife of Roy Rogers, TV and movie Star
Buddy Jewell, the first Nashville Star winner
Cortez Kennedy, former NFL defensive lineman
Albert King, Blues legend
Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn

Jeremey Wells, songwriter and stage manager for Finding Jimmy Hoffa band and my rockstar

Gaylon Nickerson, former NBA player
Bill Ramsey, played baseball for the Boston Braves
Billy Lee Riley
, Sun Records artist, Rockabilly star
Son Seals, Blues guitarist
Fice Musaveni
, American Producer/Musician
Jimmy Thomas, Blues recording artist, lead singer for Ike Turner

I could elaborate for days about all the great memories that I have of the Big O. Honestly, I have never seen a sky more blue, the grass more green, or a rainbow with more vivid colors spanning across the Mississippi River, than I have in the Big O. I've never made dearer friends, had more fun, or loved as many, as I have in the Big O. I've never felt more sorrow, experienced more happiness, or felt as helpless, as I have in the Big O. Times were hard but they were good when making memories to last my lifetime, in the Big O.

I am linking up with Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. Please grab her button on my sidebar and go over to read all the other great "O" posts!

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

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Christy said...

The Big O sounds like a wonderful place to visit.

Anonymous said...

Great post and piece of history. You are among a lot of famous people - we surely need to bottle that water :)

Terra said...

Wow, I am suddenly jealous.

Sarah said...

Jacque, you always have the most interesting posts to share. Hope all is well, my friend. ~ Sarah

Viki said...

Thanks for sharing with us about your hometown. Sounds wonderful.

Annesphamily said...

What a beautiful hometown and so many celebrities with you leading the pack!
I loved the post! Come join me soon! I have an O post too!
Come join the postcard exchange.

Christy said...

here i thought you were going to talk about overstock dot com!
quite a few sports stars from your town...coincidence? I really loved to hear all about the town---very interesting!

easternsparkle said...

SOunds like a great place - have driven through Arkansas many times to get to and from MO - stayed at Hot Springs and Eureka Springs too!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This sounds like great place to grow up. Thanks for sharing it.

mbkatc230 said...

Sounds like a great town. Loved learning more about it. And your love of and pride in this place you call home shines through every word! Kathy

My name is PJ. said...

I enjoyed reading about your hometown....the best part was when you listed the famous people from there (besides you)! I laughed.

Sea Witch said...

Love love love this post. I adore hearing about the country's great Indian leaders and their contributions to this nation. Really like your new header too. Glad ou kept "the farmhouse" in the montage, it is so welcoming. Sea Witch

5thsister said...

I just love that part of the country! We used to vacation in Arkansas a lot.

Maggie B said...

Great O post, I'm learning so much about the world with all these A-T blogs, just fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in a small town, where everybody knows everybody, creates lifelong memories and friends. You are just different being from a small, close knit community. When you leave and come back, you go places you used to go every day of your life and think back. If I knew then what I know now, kinda thing. Also, growing up next to the big river just creates an attachment you never forget. It's just deep in your soul. Things change, but memories are forever.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

The Big O sounds like a wonderful place to call home.

We've moved around so much that I don't consider anyplace home...with the exception of Virginia Beach which we loved. Haven't felt that way about anyplace else since. I would have loved to have put down roots and gathered memories in one place.

That must be your son on the list?

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Thank you so much for sharing your hometown with us!
Happy Thursday!
Mine is here

Jenny said...

Oh what a nostalgic and description stop of on my little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "O".

Growing up an Air Force brat I always wanted to "be" from somewhere and this brings back that longing.

What a lovely place.

Thank you for sharing!


jfb57 said...

Gosh!This is my first visit to Alphabe_Thursday & I can't believe the amazing things I'm learning. Your passion for the Big O shines through!

mrs. c said...

I think it is so great that you have such great memories of The Big O! It is so much fun to learn about other towns!

Jo said...

Sounds like a wonderful place with lots of history and beautiful skies!

Steph said...

Sounds like a special place, not only with the history; but also in your heart. Thanks for sharing about Osceola.

I'm not sure when you changed your blog header photo, but it sure looks nice.

jeff campbell said...

Just when I was thinking it stood for Orgasm:-) Seriously, such a wonderful post. I am familiar with Osceola...the chief that is. Funny thing that the twon would be named for a native that visited. Did the area not have any notable natives? It looks like you have a solid blues history there...how cool...Peace

Pondside said...

I love to learn about places I've never been, and while I've traveled quite a bit in the USA, I've never visited Arkansas. My late uncle came from Little Rock, but that's as close as I've come to the state!

Catherine said...

Sounds like a lovely place. Interesting O post!

jeff campbell said...

Hello Jacque...thank you for your wonderful comments about my Posts...see ya soon...how is life in Sweetwater? We love to go to the cheese plant...