The Missouri Ozarks is a distinct region within the state of Missouri, yet geographically indistinguishable from the Arkansas Ozarks. It presents distinctly different faces, depending upon what one is looking for: the entertainment complex of Branson (and upscale resort at Big Cedar); the natural beauty of the hills, small mountains, rivers and streams; St. Louisans’ favorite weekend resorts at Lake of the Ozarks; the rural, backwoods movie setting of “Winter Bone;” the Ozarks of the Baldknobbers legend and Harold Bell Wright’s “Shepherd of the Hills.”
Behind the legends, entertainment extravaganzas, resorts is the region that tens of thousands call home, where they live, work, get married, raise families and die, much like any other part of the United States. This is the territory of farms and small towns (Springfield, Mo., population of 162,000, would likely be the unofficial capital). Away from the glitz of the Branson Strip, it’s an area of rugged, stark beauty; I even have two photographs from the region on the walls of my office at work.
This Missouri Ozarks is the home of poet Dave Malone.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph by George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.