BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 56 My Arkansas Heritage

In Arkansas the Ozarks Mountains rise
in rugged rows of hills, tree-lined and steep
where redbirds flit beneath crisp autumn skies,
and sugar maples’ roots run dense and deep.

And here, we mountaineers are always free
to pass our heritage to every child.
Black bear and white-tailed deer near post oak tree
are sights that welcome me from forest wild.


Fog fingers hide green valleys on wet days
when Arkansas awaits the sun to shine–
my home–a rustic cabin wrapped in leis
of pink azaleas sparkling like grape wine.

A welcome sound–Abe’s banjo by the stream
on nights when hounds forsake the mountain trails
and sleep stretched out in bravo just to dream
the hot pursuit of foxes with red tails.


I’m glad I married Abe and settled down
to raise our blue-eyed, little family
on banks of this Red River town
where Arkansas forever calls to me!

© Freeda Baker Nicholscardinal on post



Our schoolhouse at Banner Mountain was a white building with two rooms. In one room a teacher taught first grade through fourth grade. In the other room, another teacher taught fifth through the eighth grade.
Four of my older siblings are shown in this picture which was taken before I started to school. This photo is the only one I have of the Banner School.

(Banner School, about 1937. Mrs. Ola Griggs
the teacher, seated at end of second row.
In front row is my brother, Billy, 4th from
left. Another brother, Aaron is seated in 3rd row
behind the teacher and to her right. My sister,
Merle, is in the 4th row, the 4th person from the right.
My brother, Dean, is the dark haired boy in the
back row, 5th from the right.)

My siblings and I walked about a quarter mile to school. We walked along a trail through the woods, carrying our lard-pail lunch buckets. What am I saying? There was no such word as lunch back then. Not in my vocabulary. The lard buckets with handy little bails were dinner buckets. At night, our mealtime was called supper.

The bucket at left is the container my mother used to pick blackberries. I still have this bucket along with the 8-pound lard tin that was also my mother’s.  Our lunch pails were only half that size. My lunch always tasted good, especially the fried chocolate pies.~~Freeda Baker Nichols
Chocolate pie - 1 (2)

Bliss in Ozarks’ Winter

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From the maple, a blue jay zooms down to the feeder. Somebody said, “Snow!”

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Weatherman was right! But this is a small helping compared to New England.

photo101 – Day four – Bliss

These photos of Ozarks’ birds are my take on the photo101 assignment– bliss. Photography is one of my hobbies. Birds are a good subject and fun to watch.  When the snow fell last night, a delightful morning greeted me with many fine-feathered friends (birds of all kinds) flying into, out of, and around the feeders.

Bliss means much more than snapping a camera: family is top of my list. For this assignment, I chose to focus on pictures of birds as they scrambled for feed in the Ozarks’ “small helping” of pristine snow.