Kids say (and think) the craziest things. Considering how much Arkansas history these little folks have to cram into their heads throughout their years of schooling, there’s going to be a few off-the-wall things going through their craniums. In a spirit of permanent youthfulness and good fun, let’s have a look at some of the thoughts that a child could have as he or she grows up in our beloved Natural State.
10. Our field trips are awesome.
The mind of an Arkansas child: "We don't have to go very far to find cool stuff. We climb mountains. We go to farms to see how they work." It's awesome to have such a variety of ways to learn new skills.
9. What's the difference between a razorback and a hog?
Every Arkansas kid asks it at least once in their life, or they've at least had a passing thought about it. Razorback or hog? As long as we play good ball, it's all the same.
8. I'm totally going to find a diamond and get rich.
The Crater of Diamonds to a kid is pretty much how adults see the American Dream. "There are diamonds in the ground here! I'm going to dig one out and buy a mansion with it!" As we get older we set our sights a little lower and are happy if we just dig up quartz that looks decent.
7. When can we go back to the lake?
The months of June, July, and August are (besides Christmas) the most awaited time of the year for Arkansas kids. Once the weather gets warm, thoughts of swimming, fishing, and trips to the lake become a craving for young folks.
6. I can't wait to learn how to drive.
The picture above is usually how an Arkansas kid pictures themselves on the road after learning how to drive--not necessarily driving to work, but riding somewhere in a crazy car on the way to some new and exciting place. There's nothing like a kid's imagination and anticipation (and humorous interpretation) of the future.
5. Why isn't Ouachita spelled "Washitaw"?
Learning new words at any age can be confusing and amusing, but it's the kids who ask the important questions. Why CAN'T we just say "Ow-cheetah" without people laughing? Proper pronunciation is just another childhood hurdle to overcome, that's all.
4. "Old Main" kind of sounds like "aw, man".
When kids become self-aware of their Arkansas accent it's very cute. Personal childhood story from the 80s: Back when Craig O'Neill was DJing for Zoo 98 in Little Rock he did a taped segment at Wild River Country at the end of the summer for the KARK show "Catchin' The Wave". The kids at the water park who were gathered for the segment were instructed to say "aw, man" in unison when Crazy Craig mentioned it was back to school time. After two takes, it was humorously obvious to Craig and everyone around that shouting "aw, mayyyn" sounded kind of like "Ol' Main." Good times.
3. I'm going to find exactly where the den is in Devil's Den someday.
Absolutely, and then we're going to find the actual copy of whatever publication gave Mount Magazine its name. Then we're going to "Pretty" Jean to hike.
2. Are we there yet?
There's nothing like seeing the Arkansas state line sign when returning home after a loooooong road trip. And on the flip side of that, when you're traveling out of state you're bored out of your mind until you reach your destination. Thank goodness for technology to keep kids busy on the road, but I don't see this question ever becoming obsolete.
1. I can't wait for summer.
Nothing beats the last day of school in Arkansas. If you bother to show up for it at all, the last day of school before summer vacation is awesome. The days before that? Totally agonizing.
Ah, the days of youth in Arkansas. We can joke around about what kids growing up in the Natural State may think, but it’s undeniable that these young people are growing up in America’s best state. When you were little, did you ever think about leaving Arkansas when you grew up? Leave a comment on your Arkansas childhood and the crazy things you thought about!