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Statewide Culture 0

10 Favorite Stories of 2022


As the publisher of OnlyInArk.com, each year I have taken a few hours in December to reflect on the most-read stories of the year and share them with you. This time I decided to reimagine my story-about-stories post to share my favorites from the past year. Some of your favorites overlap with mine, but a few may have flown under your radar. So please skim my ten favorite stories of 2022.

Ozark Giraffe House Searcy, Arkansas

1. Ozark Architecture: Giraffe Houses

I’m not sure how I first learned of “Ozark giraffes,” but I have grown to love the simple and innovative style of these early-1900s homes and buildings of northern Arkansas and beyond. My family has passed the time on many road trips, counting them along Arkansas and Missouri roadways, and many times they numbered in the hundreds. Elizabeth Harrell shared the history of the native stone structures earlier this year, and my devotion has only increased since.

2. Arkansas Roadside Attractions

Speaking of road trips, my family loves a good roadside attraction to explore to stretch our legs. Kimberly Mitchell shared the best in Arkansas; I still have a few left to see in our great state! I’m most excited to get a selfie with the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Arkansas, though my family is admittedly tired of selfies in front of fun things.

3. 14 Hallmark Movie-Worthy Arkansas Scenes

I have shared this compilation of movie plots with all my Hallmark Christmas Movie-loving friends this year. I think writer Keisha Pittman McKinney may have a career in quirky screenplays one day.

4. 10 of My Favorite Soups in Little Rock

I love a great soup. The Mighty Rib has inspired me to try all ten on his list in 2023. How’s that for a New Year’s Resolution?

5. Remembering “Evening Shade”

I was just a teenager in Searcy in 1990 when “Evening Shade” premiered on CBS. And while I knew that Burt Reynolds and the rest of the zany cast of characters didn’t actually live in Arkansas, it was fun imagining them just up the road in the small north Arkansas town. And, in the 80s, my favorite show was “Designing Women,” also produced by Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth- Thomason.

6. Dinosaurs in Arkansas

Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Dinosaurs are cool. While my son didn’t have a “dinosaur phase” as a kid, we read many books together about the ancient giants. So when Kimberly Mitchell wrote about the “Arkansaurus fridayi” species that lived in southwest Arkansas millions of years ago, it captured my imagination immediately.

7. Arkansas Genealogy: Research Your Roots

My friend Jeanne and I have been devoted members of Ancestry.com for over 15 years, so I was very interested to see how I could go offline in Arkansas to find more information about my ancestors.

8. Natural State Celebrities

We may live in a small state, but we have an out-sized share of celebrities from Arkansas. Scottie Pippen, Bear Bryant, Wes Bentley, Mary Steenburgen, Billy Bob Thornton and Bill Clinton are just a few of the big names.

9. 7 Arkansans Tell Us Why They Love Arkansas

There are a million reasons to love Arkansas. But I liked that writer Julie Kohl asked people in her orbit their reasons. And it also reminded me that I want to take road trips to Wilson, Calico Rock and Historic Washington in 2023.

10. TIE: The Heights and Hillcrest: The Heart of Little Rock & The Quapaw Quarter: Little Rock’s Oldest Neighborhood

Both stories captured my attention because I love historic neighborhoods and have spent many afternoons driving these three in Little Rock. Nothing brings my heart more joy than restored historic homes, and the Heights, Hillcrest and the Quapaw Quarter never disappoint. I try to figure out if the houses are Victorians, Queen Annes, Mid-Century, etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading these and the over 200 more stories we have shared on OnlyInArk.com in 2022. Please let us know your favorites in the comments and share what you want to see in 2023!

Happy New Year!

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Kristi was raised in the Natural State and has lived most of her life in Searcy. She enjoys traveling, reading, drinking girly coffee, taking sewing classes at Make.Do. and volunteering for Main Street Searcy. Otherwise, she is managing OnlyInArk.com and marketing at First Security Bank.

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