Maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder. Maybe that’s why I set most of my stories in the Missouri Ozarks. I was always a bookworm and from the time I began to read about the outside world, my main goal was to leave Missouri behind and see other places.
It didn’t take much travelling to realize that “home” was the most beautiful place on earth, the one spot where I felt rooted–even despite that rocky soil. It wasn’t until I was living hundreds of miles and many years away from there that I realized how very little I knew about the place where I spent the first eighteen years of my life. (Of course, I took Missouri history in high school. Oooh, I sure hope Mr. Jett doesn’t come back to haunt me. It wasn’t his fault I didn’t learn more.)
Thanks to the internet, I’m learning a lot of what I’d lacked. Here are some of my favorite Ozarks links:
Jo Schaper’s Missouri World History, poetry, caves and more. Caves are a huge part of our geology and our folklore. Jo’s a caver, among many other things. Be sure to check her link to Webster’s Home Cave
Missouri Digital Heritage Archives from the State Historical Society and other places. Includes all kinds of records, photo and map collections and much more
Missouri Conservationist current issue and archives. Great articles and photos.
Ozarks Screensavers Beautiful Ozarks scenes to use as screensavers (free!), or just to look at during an attack of homesickness.
A Night in the Ozarks What would the Ozarks be without music? If you remember the Dillards (Mayberry’s “Darlin’ Boys”), who originated in Salem, MO, or if you ever sat out on the front porch listening to family and friends playing music, you will probably love this dvd. It was like a visit home.
I’m sure there are many more links I could put here. If you know of any, I would love to see them.