Kyle Troutman: A change of pace in Cassville
When I first moved to Cassville, I wasn't sure what to expect.
The oldest of six children in my family and always surrounded by close friends, moving four hours away from all that was a challenge. I was getting out of Arkansas, but I was doing it alone.
I grew up in Little Rock, a city of nearly 200,000 people, and I went to a high school with almost as many people as live in the city of Cassville. Going from a large metropolitan area to Barry County has made me notice a few advantages that smaller cities have over the larger ones.
The way people drive is a big difference. I have never crossed a crosswalk with as much ease as I do in Cassville. Cars will even stop on both sides when I'm not in the crosswalk, and that kind of courtesy would get you a good honking where I grew up.
Another new sight for me came on Friday, when members of the Cassville High School Class of 2015 were standing in the intersection at Main and Eighth, gathering donations for Project Graduation.
My first thought was, "It can't be safe for those kids to be in the road like that." As I began to slow down, I realized maybe that was their plan. It worked, too. As I slowed down, I realized I had some extra cash.
Such sights, for me, are highlights of the community dynamic enjoyed by smaller cities, and I was proud to make that Wildcats helmet a bit heavier and be a part of that dynamic.
Since I can't see my friends and family every weekend, I have to find other avenues of entertainment. Other than the office and my house, the place I spend most of my time is on the banks of Roaring River.
With my previous fishing hole being the Arkansas River, I have developed a great appreciation for the hatchery raising great-looking, and great-tasting, fish that do not have to be scanned for radioactivity like Arkansas River fish.
My only complaint is that with my last name, I feel the trout owe it to me to just jump into my net. It would be nice if they felt the same.
Even if I can never fill my stringer with three-pound trout, days spent at the river, where my phone does not get reception, are some of the most relaxing times I've had.
These are just a few of the many things I've seen that make Barry County a great place to be.
Kyle Troutman is the editor of the Cassville Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 417-847-2610.