A few photos of Arkansas in Black and white as I drove off of the Talimena Scenic drive which runs between Mena and Talihina Oklahoma. If you drive down this Highway 272, not only will you smell your brakes afterwards(maybe you're not supposed to), you could quite possibly make someone severely carsick (which I have been known to do) and you will end up at the bottom of the Mountain, heading towards Heavener Oklahoma. I always think of this song when I think of driving out in the Ouachitas "Up On The Ridge" from one of my all time favorite CDs.
If you leave the Mountain and go into Mena in not too long you can make it to the homestead of my Great Grandparents in Umpire, where we gather every year for our large family reunion! My Grandparents, born in the 1890s left the beauty of Arkansas during the Great Depression. Such a wonderful family I have, that I know so many of my cousins. In a day in age where often we don't have as much contact with extended relations I get to see mine every year.
Photographing, I've found in this relatively new passion of mine is something I love to do alone. I love to go drive around somewhere different and stop whenever I please and photograph. Its solitary, its peaceful, it is never sad, it is never lonely. It is me, my music and of course my cell phone with internet access. So, yeah I'm connected. But I'm not lonely by myself.
Arkansas and SE Oklahoma, always felt like "home" to me, having never lived there. There is a certain comfort in this reason. The family ties are deep to this region. To see a Grave of an Ancestor who died in the 1830s, the Great Great Grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. The land that is still in family hands. That sense of place. That heritage that gives you a connection with a place. It may not be my home, and may never be my "home" but because were it not for the people who made this their home and met and married, I would not be who I am today. So because this land, the Ouachitas, and the Piney woods of Oklahoma I am who I am.