Arkansas. It’s the state in which I’ve lived the last thirty-seven years. We are situated close to the middle of the United States, an area known to many as “flyover country.”
Though Arkansas is a tourism location, people don’t generally know much about the state. I’ll offer additional details specifically about Arkansas at a future date, but for now, I thought it might be more interesting to introduce an Arkansas storyteller who doesn’t get much attention nowadays, but whose ability and talent brought her considerable fame in her time.
She was born Julia Burnelle “Bernie” Smade in April of 1868. She was actually born in Ohio but her family moved to Russellville when she was a youngster. She began writing verse around the age of five or six, and by the time she turned sixteen, she was a regular contributor to several periodicals of the time. When she was eighteen, she married and bore five children before her husband William Babcock died suddenly, leaving her a 29 year old widow with children to feed and clothe. Continue reading “Beating Back The Scourge of Demon Rum”