Friday, June 10, 2011

Tywhappity, Two Mile, and Bark Camp

My cousin, Terry Joe, is the most charming country boy you'll ever meet.  I still think of him that way, even if he is 68 years old.  He sounds like Johnny Cash when he sings (even Johnny Cash said so) and was a member of Mike Huckabee's band for a while.  He's now retired from Arkansas state government and has a knack for storytelling.  He grew up on the family farm at Bark Camp, not far from my hometown of Kennett, Missouri.  I've recently learned of a place called Tywhappity from Terry Joe and I'll admit that I thought he was pulling my leg.  Tywhappity sounds mythical, doesn't it?  Like Glocca Morra or Yoknapatawpha County.  It turns out that Tywhappity is a real place and is also not far from Kennett.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of the tiny community of Tywhappity.

It happened because of Facebook.  I had recently become Facebook friends with Chris Kimbrow.  I had known Chris as a child and had lived next door to her in Kennett.  Chris made the connection and sent me an invitation to become Facebook friends. Terry Joe noticed that I had added Chris to my friends list and sent me an e-mail:  "Was Chris one of the Tywhappity Kimbrows?"

I wrote him back and told him that I didn't think Chris was a Tywhappity Kimbrow, but I wasn't sure since I didn't know what that meant.  Terry responded that Tywhappity was a place and shared this story: 


I remember a presentation I gave to the Rotary Club in Fort Smith in which I mentioned where I was born.  I told them the best way to find Bark Camp was to look on the map. We were four miles from Poole's Chapel, eight miles from Tywhappity and two miles from a place called Two Mile. The president of the club asked if that statement met the 4-Way Rotary Test, the first question of which is "is it the truth?"

I invited him to come with me to do some quail hunting.  After breakfast at Bark Camp and hunting at Poole's Chapel, we were driving down the road and I saw the Two Mile Church in the distance.  My brother, Tony, was with us and I asked him what the building was. He replied, "The Two Mile Church." I asked if anything significant had happened to him there and he answered ,"I was married there." Then I asked where his wife grew up and when he replied "Tywhappity".  My friend the Rotary President nearly fell out of the truck.

Back to Terry's original question:  Is my friend Chris one of the Tywhappity Kimbrows?  It turns out that she is, by marriage.  Her husband and his brother went to school with Terry Joe and Tony, after they moved from Tywhappity and Bark Camp Schools to a rural consolidated school.  Both Bark Camp and Tywhappity Schools closed years ago.

It's a small world -- made even smaller by Facebook, blogs and other tools that bring us together through technology.  But it's hard to imagine a place (in the real world) any smaller than Tywhappity or Two Mile or Bark Camp.  The only thing harder would be to imagine a world without such places.

Annie

2 comments:

Mollianne said...

Well, I lived in Kennett for six years and spent a lot of time roaming the surrounding areas once I could drive and I don't recall Twyhappity, either. Now I'm quite curious and may have to try to find it when we return.

Stacey said...

That sounds just like a conversation that would take place with my father in law. He loves to keep track of cousins and "who their people" are. I think it's very neat because my family just hasn't ever been that way. Isn't Facebook fun?

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recently Read Fiction Favorites

  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
  • A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  • Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
  • Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
  • Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
  • Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard
  • Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
  • Faithful Place by Tana French
  • Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
  • Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
  • Innocent by Scott Turow
  • My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
  • Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • Private Life by Jane Smiley
  • Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
  • Roses by Leila Meacham
  • Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
  • So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
  • South of Broad by Pat Conroy
  • That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
  • The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson
  • The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  • The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
  • The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  • The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  • The Sky Took Him by Donis Casey
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  • The Wind Comes Sweeping by Marcia Preston
  • Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom
  • Wolf Hall by Hillary Mandel
  • World Without End by Ken Follett
  • Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

Favorite Nonfiction and Memoir

  • All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  • Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason by Nancy Pearl
  • Getting Over Getting Older by Lettie Cottin Pogrebin
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Sharing the Journey: Women Reflecting on Life's Passages by Katherine Ball Ross
  • Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  • The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin
  • The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl by Timothy Egan