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Statewide Culture 0

Celebrating a Decade of Arkansas Storytellers | Stephanie Buckley


Over the past 10 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as the editor and content curator for Onlyinark.com. With a passion for storytelling and a deep love for Arkansas, I’ve worked beside some amazing people to bring to light the hidden gems, fascinating histories, and natural wonders that make Arkansas a destination and a wonderful place to live.

I’ve been entrenched in Arkansas tourism for two decades. I am known online as The Park Wife because I’m married to an Arkansas State Park Superintendent with 26 years dedicated to state parks. Four years ago, I ventured into the role of a “man in the arena” by opening Petit Jean Coffeehouse. This endeavor extends beyond business, allowing me to engage with locals and tourists firsthand and understand their needs.

I depend on OnlyinArk.com daily as a primary resource for tourists, observing its pivotal role in bolstering Arkansas tourism and instilling pride in our state.”

The People Behind OnlyinArk.com

What an honor collaborating with many talented people who share my passion for showcasing the best of Arkansas. They have truly become an extended family.

Kristi Thurmon

Kristi Thurmon is the publisher, marketing extraordinaire and one of my dearest friends, resulting from a decade of this project. She is the driving force, the powerhouse behind its success. Even though she is not outdoorsy, she is lovely.


To each writer I get to interact with regularly, I’ve been privileged to witness and be a part of your life’s joyous milestones, your children growing up, and even the challenges you face. I’ve had a sideline seat in your lives, and I am grateful. There are many people, but below are a few that I work with often:

Keisha Pittman

She is always just a phone call away, radiating inspiration and support. Her professionalism and genuine camaraderie make this process even more enjoyable.

For Keisha’s OnlyinArk.com articles, click here. Here are a few of my favorites:
14 Hallmark Movie-Worthy Arkansas Scenes
reThink Spring Break Planning
Enchanting Fairytale Locations in Arkansas
She also covers Arkansas authors. Here is one of my favorites.

Julie Kohl

For over 15 years in this bloggy world, we’ve walked side by side. I’ve loved watching as she enthusiastically embraces both her professional endeavors and the joys of motherhood.

For Julie’s OnlyinArk.com articles, click here. Here are a few of my favorites:
Prettiest Bridges in Arkansas
16 Hidden Gems in Arkansas
Gilbert: The Coolest Town in Arkansas
Your Guide To Hiking the Buffalo National River
Roller Skating Making a Comeback in Arkansas

Lyndi Fultz

Exuding reliability, trustworthiness and kindness, Lyndi is one of the most accomplished food writers and photographers in Arkansas. Yet her humility eclipses her remarkable talents, as she quietly lets her work speak for itself.

For Lyndi’s OnlyinArk.com articles, click here. Here are a few of my favorites:
Two Friends Bookstore + Café in Bentonville
A Mix of Everything at Little Bread Co.
Susie Q’s in Historic Downtown Rogers
It Doesn’t Get Any Cooler Than Airship Coffee at Coler
And one of my faves where we meet often, MELD Kitchen + Sandwich Bar in Bentonville

Amanda Farris

I get to be an honorary big sister and most ardent champion, cheering her on in her entrepreneurial endeavors and celebrating her journey as a devoted wife and mother. Here are a few of my favorite stories:
An Arkansas Cabin Christmas
10 Tips for Hiking with Kids in Arkansas
Family Fun in Fifty-Six Under $56,
Pumpkin Patch Adventures 2020
It’s Time to Pick Blueberries in Arkansas.

Jim Yeager

Jim is the epitome of gentlemanly grace, a walking encyclopedia of baseball history, and a constant source of encouragement. Plus, on perfect weather days, I get to sit on the Coffeehouse porch and visit him and his wife.

For Jim’s OnlyinArk.com articles, click here. Here are a few of my favorites:
Schoolboy and Edna Rowe: A Baseball Love Story
Hazel Walker: Finding a Way to Play
A Tribute to Brooks Robinson,
A Ball Player Named Sue

With Kevin Shalin and Capi Peck judging the World Championship Chocolate Gravy Cookoff in 2022.

The Mighty Rib – Kevin Shalin

Kevin possesses an unparalleled knowledge of Arkansas cuisine and wholeheartedly champions its food scene. We trust in his integrity in delivering candid, impartial reviews. He approaches every restaurant with an open mind, ensuring each receives a fair evaluation. He is also an amazing human. Just click this link because he has so many I love that I cannot list them all.

Lacie Ring

Along with Dining With Debbie, she is a go-to recipe gal in Arkansas (and beyond). She leads the charge in preparing and sharing recipes from the “What’s Cookin’ at First Security Bank” cookbooks and creates easy and delicious recipes for busy families on her blog, Easy Peasy Pleasy.

Lacie’s OnlyinArk.com articles, click here.

Kimberly Mitchell

I always enjoy reading her pieces, which showcase her love of researching and writing about Arkansas’s rich history and vibrant community life.

Kimberly’s OnlyinArk.com articles, click here. Here are a few of my favorites:
The CCC in Arkansas
The Long Road to Prohibition in Arkansas
The All American Red Heads Women’s Basketball Team
Bringing Joy with Grace’s Toy Closet at Arkansas Children’s Northwest Hospital
Empty Coffins of Brashears Cemetery

There are so many more writers (Rhonda Franz, Debbie Arnold, Jeanetta Darley, Talya Tate Boerner and vloggers (shoutout to Busvlogger) that I have had the privilege of working with over the years on OnlyinArk.com. To all of you, thank you.

As I reflect on this decade of dedication and hard work, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity First Security Bank has given me to serve as a storyteller and ambassador for Arkansas through this site. It has been a journey filled with unforgettable experiences, cherished memories, and a deep sense of fulfillment, knowing that our efforts have helped to shine a spotlight on the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality that defines the Natural State.

Here are a few pieces I wrote that make me happy looking back. Our boys truly grew up on OnlyinArk.
Magical Day at Magic Springs
13 Arkansas Float Trips
Old South Restaurant Update & Garlic Dressing Recipe 100 Years of Arkansas State Parks
Mike’s Place | Great Food in Downtown Conway
8 Things to Love About Mountain View

Meet the

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Stephanie Buckley, aka The Park Wife, Wife+Mom+Founder+Tribe Builder+OG Blogger~ Community Entrepreneur, Southern-born storyteller, ❤️ Jesus. Coffeehouse Owner. Content Curator/Editor for OnlyinArk.com

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