Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Oark General Store
Established in 1890..  the longest continually running business in Arkansas. Recognized as an historical landmark.. Visited by many different states, and even countries. Post office, prison, stables, store, gas-station.. and the list goes on, I'm sure. The store has been here many years. providing a neat little stop to those who flee to the mountains for vacation.. But to me.. it's more than that. I would never consider the store a place to 'stop by' though I can't hardly keep myself from doing that, even on my days off. To me, it's a second home. More than some little ol' place, in a little ol' town.. or that one place we stopped once to get a burger. This place, is my second home. While people are what make a place.. a place can also help to define who you are. "The house that built me".. this store is that kind of place to me. Somewhere I can walk into.. though I'm going to work, and take a load off. I love the relaxed atmosphere, the homey, comfy feel, the people you see come in and out daily, the lunch specials, antiques.. I love to hear stories.. or the silence of a building whose walls I'm sure could talk. I love the scenery, the feeling that this store belongs to you, and you belong there. I wouldn't trade my job for a lot of things. The pay is lousy, and things get stressful. All the same.. I love this place. Every crack, dip in the floor, creak or quirk. It's always been there.. and though I know it's not practical. I feel that it always will be. I can count on it looking the same when I walk in the door, with the same people.. ordering "the usual". That's a kind of stability that makes you feel safe. Which is a feeling I've longed for, for a long time. Who would have known I'd find it, in the very place I swore I'd get away from, my first chance. Who would have known, I would have a menu memorized, my register code locked in my mind, and even have this place on speed dial. I surely didn't. But I can tell you this. Some surprises are wonderful. So much more wonderful than anything you could have come up with on your own. The store is a blessing to me. And I will always look back on these days of being a waitress, cook, dishwasher.. at the store, as my "golden years".. I've learned much about the world we live in, the skin I live in, the people I live around, the responsibilities of getting older.. No matter where I find myself years from now. This little place will always be home to me. I'll not forget all the good times. And I'll look back at the "bad" as Character builders.
Nestled in the Ozark National Forest
"Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Region Johnson County Tourism Award Winner 2002"
Store Hours:
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday -Thursday
7:00 a.m. to 8:00 Friday & Saturaday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 Sunday 



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