Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some things never change

One of my favorite professors recently told me what it was like when he came to Harding in the late 60s. Back then, there was still a separate Church of Christ for black folks on Pleasure street, train tracks bisected Park and Harding Academy, and Beebe Capps was miles of dirt. "I've reached the end of the world," that professor thought.

Plenty of folks still consider Searcy to be the end of the world, and from their perspective, they're probably correct. But their world is different from mine; mine doesn't end where the strip malls and Starbucks and Megaplexes do. My worlds are numerous: White County is one world. Searcy is one world. Harding is a world. The region between rooms 210 and 212 in Armstrong, that's one world.

But the worlds I'm really looking for existed 30, 40, 100, 200 years ago. These are worlds that have eroded away into the stream of time. We can see them in the rails sticking out of the pavement at the place where Park is about to cross Main. We can see them in the photos of Elvis Presley dancing on the counter of the train station at Bald Knob. We can see them in the abandoned service stations all along highway 367.

So, travelers, I bring you greetings from the endless red river of time.

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