Don’t you love name dropping? Isn’t it simply fun to … um … get around and chat folks up?
Anyway … the thing is … I have been appointed, by the Governor himself, to be:
“…an Arkansas Traveler who is hereby authorized and commissioned to serve as an Ambassador of Good Will from Arkansas to the people of other states, the people of nations beyond the borders of the United States or wherever this Ambassador of Arkansas may hereafter travel or reside.”
Whew! Heady stuff.
And I was just doing my job … just doing what I thought was the right thing … telling stories, as I said, just chatting up folks. Good folks. And I am being perfectly sincere about this; Arkansas was a great travel experience, and a great story. But it’s always the people in the place that make or break the travel story for me.
Now I musn’t let this go to my head, because I was raised according to the very Canadian principle that is summed up in the sentence, “Who do you think you are?”
As a matter of fact, the Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, who writes in The New Yorker magazine, don’t you know, gave that title to one of her collection of short stories. By the way, she’s been called “the best fiction writer now working in North America”; and she lives in the small Ontario farming town where many of my relatives come from. Not far down the road from the medium-sized, very conservative city where I grew up. A city and culture where being a “show off” was definitely not de rigueur. I was told time and time again, that one doesn’t toot one’s own horn. Maybe that’s why I hated those trumpet lessons.
Nonetheless, I shall take my duties as Arkansas Traveler and Ambassador of Good Will very seriously. And to the Governor and good folks of Arkansas, as Andy Griffiths used to say with that big grin of his on his face, “Appreciate that.”
P.S. Here’s the story that got me the appointment: