Fishing Going "Home" Every Summer

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie

We Always "Went Home" During The Summer!

Jump in the car and head across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in the August heat.  Air conditioning, you got tobe kidding.  Sometimes we would travel at night to avoid the intense heat.

Destination... McRae, Arkansas

McRae Arkansas is a town of 718 people (currently) but was once a thriving community in the heart of strawberry country!  It is 1694.9 miles from my current home, drivable in 26 hours and 15 minutes.  It is southeast of Little Rock by about 40 miles, in White County . Dad was born there in 1906 and was the youngest of four having sisters named Opal, Edith, and Alma.

Grandparents We Always Happy To See Us

My grandparents were married in 1898. Grover Clifton Liles/Susie Kathryn Cook.  My real (biological?) grandfather died in 1913.  Susie (Liles) was 28 when she married Charles (Essig) who was 17 years of age.  Cris Essig from Indiana was my Great-Grandfather... He operated the lumber mill in the town.   Charlie was apparently quite colorful and a bit of a trouble maker until he married Susie and became the father of four.... and they had two more children. Susie died in 1960 and Charlie died in 1980.

Getting There Circa 1950

Like clock-work, every summer we would get into the car and head from California to McRae Arkansas... and do it in two one-half days! We were going just fast enough when the telephone poles looked like picket fences. First car I remember was a 1949 Pontiac.... then we did it with a 1951 and 1953 Pontiac, a 55, 58, and 62 Chevy. The question:  "Daddy. . . are we there yet???"  has real meaning for us!!  Now a days I ask myself..."Dad was very smart but why in the name of everything holly would anybody jump in a non-air-conditioned car, drive 2,000 miles across New Mexico and Texas to go to a spot where the temperature and humidity we equal?????

Temperature And Rain In Arkansas Was Terrible For Californians

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temp. (°F) 37.6 42.8 51.5 59.9 68.7 76.7 80.8 79.2 72.1 61.1 49.5 40.8
High temperature (°F) 48.5 54.8 63.6 72.5 80.3 88.1 92.4 91.4 84.7 75.0 61.1 51.5
Low temperature (°F) 26.7 30.7 39.4 47.2 57.1 65.3 69.1 66.9 59.4 47.2 37.9 30.1
Precipitation (in) 3.7 3.5 5.2 5.1 5.2 3.8 3.3 2.9 3.4 4.0 5.8 4.8

Climate

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Days with precip. 10 9 10 10 11 9 8 7 8 8 9 10
Wind speed (mph) 8.4 8.9 9.6 9.0 7.6 7.1 6.7 6.3 6.6 6.8 8.0 8.1
Morning humidity (%) 80 79 78 82 87 85 86 85 86 84 81 79
Afternoon humidity (%) 65 61 59 60 62 58 58 58 59 55 60 63
Sunshine (%) 55 59 66 71 72 78 78 77 76 73 60 54
Days clear of clouds 9 9 9 9 8 9 9 12 11 14 11 9
Partly cloudy days 6 6 7 7 11 12 13 11 9 7 6 6
Cloudy days 16 13 15 14 12 9 9 9 10 9 13 16
Snowfall (in) 2.6 1.9 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.5

What I Remember Most

The mainline of the Missouri Pacific railroad ran right through town and my grandfather lived about 6 houses off the tracks.... in the summer we would run down to the corner (about every 10 minutes) and count the cars on the trains.... sometimes 200+ cars.... I even remember the steam locomotives racing through at 60-80 miles and hour.

Fireflies were great... so bright they would light up the sky.

Grandparents house.... BIG BIG.  I used to love to go to the garden with my grandma and pick fresh vegetables.  Going to the well for a cool afternoon drink!  Until the 196's, there was a pump in the kitchen !

The haunted cellar... well, granddad said "Don't go in there!"... I found out much later that snakes had a habit of going into the cellar.

Afternoon thunder storms... like clockwork... about 3-4 pm, sky gets dark and rain/lightning flashes for an hours and then goes away.

The front porch... it had the best swing in the world... we could visit, listen for the next train, eat watermelon... at the same time!

Neat City Names

Bald Knob   Beebe   Bradford   Garner   Georgetown    Griffithville   Higginson   Judsonia   Kensett   Letona   McRae   Pangburn   Rose Bud Russell   Searcy   West Point

The Map; Check The Scale!

McRae

Current Information About McRae

The population of McRae is approximately 669.
The approximate number of families is 309.The amount of land area in McRae is 1.086 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.003 sq kilometers:.
The distance from McRae to Washington DC is 879 statute miles. The distance to the Arkansas state capital is 41 statute miles. (Statute miles are "as the crow flies")
McRae is positioned 35.11 degrees north of the equator and 91.82 degrees west of the prime meridian.