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  • Writer's pictureRay Lamb

The People We Meet.

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

This is Melissa McClintock "Just like the John Wayne movie!" I'll tell you about her in a moment.

I was getting my bearings here in Leola still. I had just come back from the state park where the only civil war battle in Arkanas took place, The battle of Jenkins Ferry. It was pretty cool to see and put myself in the place of those men. Standing on the ground they fought on was hallowed ground. I spent a little time there and took a few pictures. On my way out there on 46, I noticed a Valero station, better know as Big Reds. It was located on a corner where highway 229 and 46 meet. Big Reds is really one of the only games in town as the Main Street of Leola is pretty much gone the way of most small towns in America. Ghost businesses and homes now replace a bustling small town life. I had gotten something for my dinner as I had planned on camping at Cox Creek tonight. As I was loading my food items on the bike this small pick up roars up and this person immediately said, "You've had a long ride haven't ya?!" Well, yes I did, actually. "You're from Washington!", she stated. She'd seen the plate I reckon.

"Yep, road all the way here on that thing."

"Just visiting?!"

"Well, kinda. My dad was born here and I wanted to see it."

"What's your name?!"

"Ray Lamb."

"LAMB! There's a lot of Lambs here!"

"I'm also related to the Reids and the Riggins."

"REID! My great aunt was Edtna Reid! We're related! Where ya stayin'?!"

"Cox Creek."

"Camping?? Nope, you're family! you're staying at my place! You can follow me and if you decide to, you're welcome to and if you clean out the back bedroom you can stay inside!"


"I kinda had my heart set on camping there because that's where my dad learned how to fish."

"Well, follow me home, so you know where it's at and if you decide to stay you're welcome to it! We can talk for a bit!”

Fair enough. Besides, it's the people you meet, right? So, off we go to this old single wide at the edge of town, equipped with yard cars and dirt for a yard. There's some different and eclectic yard "art" hang and standing around. To each there own. She pulled me up a chair, I met Brutus - her pitbul - and we started talking. It was least. But, there's a twist you will learn about later and I can't thank her enough for it.

After our interesting and rambling conversation, I bid my farewell and she wished me good luck and that if I ever needed anything, I knew where she lived. We bumped elbows and I was off. I actually enjoyed our short visit.

But, what if my apprehension and survival instincts to "run like the wind" won out? What if I played it cold and I marginalized her and put her off? You'll soon learn.

Remember, it's about the different people we meet isn't it?

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