When Barry mentioned that we might be driving near Hope, Arkansas on the way to our Memorial Day spot in the Ouachita National Forest, I immediately said "let's go there!"
I remembered the touching video during Bill Clinton's presidential campaign stating "I still believe in a place called Hope". The video featured this small Arkansas town where Clinton was born. I thought it would be fun to check Hope out in person.
We thought we might just drive through and stop for an hour or two, but I went online and found a place where we could park for the night -- turns out the city park had RV spots with water and electric hookups. Even better, they had laundry facilities, and we needed to do a couple of loads. So, we pointed Pearl towards Hope.
Fair Park was huge, and we had the RV lot all to ourselves. It would be a fine place for the night. The GPS took us down some skinny neighborhood roads to get to the park, when we should have just followed the signs to the park and stayed on wider roads. Make note of that if you ever visit.
Barry checked the map and determined that Clinton birthplace home was only about a mile away, so we could walk it. This part of town was kind of run-down and not a place we'd want to be walking around after dark, but during the day it was fine. Before we knew it, we saw the white house with green trim I recognized from my online research.
Here's the house, which has been designated a National Historic Site and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). Charming, I think.
According to the NPS website,
President William Jefferson Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope Arkansas on August 19, 1946. Named after his birth father who was fatally wounded in an automobile accident three months prior to a young Bill Blythe's birth.
While the home itself was closed for renovation, the visitor center and museum next door was open, so we checked it out. There were some photos of Clinton's actual room, which was very basic, with a narrow twin bed and small desk, showing his humble roots.
We bought a magnet for our magnet board and got our photo taken with the bust of Bill by a friendly NPS staffer.
We're really happy that we made this short stop and got to see the home of one of our nation's presidents, and a personal favorite of ours. We believe in a place called Hope!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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