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On the Road Oddities: Part 2Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 10:50 AM
Driving south on U.S. Highway 67 in Arkansas a couple of months ago, we saw this sign, which is between Newport and Searcy. My traveling buddy had been meaning to check it out for years, but never took the time to get off the main drag and tool off up the distant hills to find it.
We marked it in our minds and said, "Okay, next time we come through this way, we're going to follow the road to Possum Grape!"
HA! That's easier said than done! Turning off 67, we discovered that the road to Possum Grape was GRAVEL--and LOTS of gravel, going on and on for 8-10 miles. My friend was driving a new car, and no way was he taking it over that rocky road!
So much for that day's exploration into the unknown!
Fortunately, however, we found ourselves on the route again a few months later, so we re-thought our options and figured out another way to get to Possum Grape. Traveling an Arkansas State highway, we made it all the way to Possum Grape. Or...at least, we THINK we made it to Possum Grape!
There's NOTHING THERE!!!!
I'm not kidding! No houses, no farms, no trace of civilization!!
The least the highway department could have done was put up a sign reading, "This is the former location of Possum Grape, Arkansas"!
Was there ever a town there? If so, what happened to it? Were the inhabitants kidnapped by aliens? If they were, the creatures must have taken their houses, too--because there is no trace of them.
And--the big question--Who is responsible for the installation of a city sign on a major highway, advertising the location of a non-existent town??
Is the highway department that clueless about the population of the state? Did Arkansas outsource their highway signs to China or India, where a group of engineers are sitting around a table, making up fictitious names for American cities?
"Ah, so! I think 'Possum Grape' good name for U.S. City!"
"Okay! I have good name, too! How about 'Gooberville'??"
You think I made that one up, don't you?? Haha! Tune in tomorrow, friends and neighbors!
From the sensible street of Sturdivant in lovely, downtown Advance, Mo., this is your spring-fever-stricken blogger, Madeline, longing for a return to the warm, sunny south before she loses all semblance of sanity...
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.