Welcome to southwest Arkansas, USA

Malvern, Ark. "Brick Capital of the World"

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I enjoy reading, Scouting with Troop 20, ham radio, bicycling, hiking, contemporary Christian music and woodworking. Find out more about my family at Who am I? Please visit my webrings and sign the guestbook.

Malvern, home of actors

Malvern is 45 miles southwest of Arkansas' capital city, Little Rock. It's the hometown of Billy Bob Thornton, director of "Slingblade" and "Armageddon." Billy Bob also appeared in "The Apostle," by Robert DuVall. Jerry Van Dyke, who starred on the "Coach" TV series, lives on a ranch in the Glen Rose community and has renovated the Royal Theater in Benton (20 miles northeast of Malvern). Jerry also has opened Jerry's Soda Shoppe and Jerry's Antique Shoppe. Jerry came to the tiny community because his wife was a Glen Rose native. A local furniture store owner, Rick Dial, leads a popular oldies band (Az Iz) and had key roles in "Slingblade," "The Apostle" and "The General's Daughter."

Hot Springs National Park is 20 miles to the northwest. Chicago gangsters, including Al Capone, enjoyed the Spa City's waters earlier this century. Theodore Roosevelt and later Franklin D. Roosevelt were among other famous visitors. Hot Springs is also the boyhood home of former President Bill Clinton. The formerly-neglected bathhouses are undergoing renovation and are regaining their past splendor. The Ouachita Mountains provide scenic vistas and opportunities for camping, hunting, mountain biking and hiking. Gulpha Gorge is a nice National Park campsite just outside of the city. Magic Springs & Crystal Falls opened in May 2000. The Hot Springs White River Excursion Train enjoyed a two-year run starting in 1999 but has now ceased operations.

As the self-proclaimed "Brick Capital of the World," Malvern hosts the annual Brickfest in June. There are three Acme Brick plants in the city. Brickfest is usually around the fourth weekend each June. It features myriad events, including the Brickfest 5K Run, 1K Children's Fun Run, a brick toss, brick making, horseshoes, and old car show, a big parade and many other events. Don't forget Malvern Brickfest's mascot, Jason the Brick Mason!

For more information about Malvern and the Diamond Lakes region, email me or write the Malvern Chamber of Commerce, 213 W. Third St., Malvern, Ark. 72104. I have a list of Malvern-area churches and also Christian colleges in this region.

To the southwest, the small city of Gurdon is the founding headquarters of the Fraternal Order of the Hoo Hoo (no kidding). The Hoo Hoo is an international forester's fraternity. (I suspect the founders were kind of tipsy at the time.) The International Order of the Hoo Hoo is now based in Boston, Mass. A monument in Gurdon honors the organization.

The "Gurdon Light" on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks is supposedly the lantern carried by the ghost of a murdered railroad supervisor.

Keep fit and have fun. Visit arkoutdoors' outdoor recreation for info on bicycling, mountain biking, racewalking, running, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping, birding and other great activities in southwest Arkansas.

Journey to our 1920s-era home and Malvern's Pine Bluff Street Historic Neighborhood, which is on the National Register. Please visit The Delavan's Old House.

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The Gadfly Thought-provoking political commentary, quotes and a book list with brief reviews. Your submissions are welcome at The Gadfly.

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Please come back soon and visit Malvern! (Returnez vous, s'il vous plait!)
This Malvern page is updated frequently.


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