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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On A Quest For...Famous Ladies of Arkansas




There have been some highly respected (and some, not so respected) ladies who were born, raised, or adopted by the Natural State, Arkansas. If I could host an Arkansas Girlfriend Ball, I would love to have the honor of these special girls to drop by:
  1. Maya Angelou Poet, Author  Born 1928 in St. Louis, MO  This great dancer turned writer was raised in Stamps, AR, and helped her grandmother run a small general store.  She has so many awards to discuss, that I will just mention three that come to mind: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970), Emmy award nominee for her portrayal of Kunta Kinte's grandmother in TV's Roots (1977), and reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Clinton's inauguration (1993).  I would just love to be Ms. Angelou's girlfriend...move over Oprah!
  2. Donna Axum Whitworth  Miss America  Born 1942 in El Dorado, AR  Arkansas' first Miss America, 1964! I remember watching that Saturday night, as she was crowned by Bert Parks.  Actually, we might be really great girlfriends (or totally despise one another) because after reading her story, I realized that we both have a lot in common.  We both graduated from the U of A in Fayetteville, both have been married three times, and both enjoy writing about beauty and inspirational messages. 
  3. Daisy Bates  Civil Rights Activist  Born 1914 died 1999  This fine lady fought hard for her dreams of equality to come true as she and her husband led the fight to integrate Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. What an ambitious and courageous person she was. And, to have Stevie Wonder sing at her 80th birthday bash...what an inspiration!
  4. Hillary Rodham Clinton  Secretary of State  Born 1947 in Chicago, IL  Hillary was one of those Damn Yankees...came to visit in the South and just would not go home!  Lucky for us, she stayed. I had hoped she would have been our first woman President, but that didn't happen at that particular time. I've continously enjoyed watching her catapulsion into the limelight, and believe she deserves all those accolades and even more! We could really have fun swapping man stories!
  5. Connie Hamzy Groupie Born 1955 in Little Rock, AR  Well known for her sexual liasons with just about every rock group who played in Arkansas!  From Grand Funk Railroad's 1973 hit, "We're An American Band":  "Sweet, sweet Connie, doin' her act/she had the whole show and that's a natural fact." I met her a couple of years ago...at a concert. Hummm...she's still getting back stage passes.
  6. Mary Steenburgen   Actor  Born 1953 in Newport, AR Great actor who has weathered the Hollywood scene, rather nicely, all these years.  I must name drop...We both went to the same schools and I'm very good friends with her cousin, Van Bell...  Love her movies and thought she was super great in Goin' South with Jack Nicholson (1978). Oscar winner in Melvin and Howard (1980).  She has married well...both times. She is also a great advocate for many, many charities in the Natural State such as Heifer International and the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Our daddys were both railroaders!
These are only a few of the famous Arkansans who the Natural State is able to boast about...however, the world is full of many more unknown ladies who deserve to be noticed for their special contributions.  What's your story...everyone has one, or at least has a special cause they support...toot your own horn...don't blow it!  I would love to include you at my Girlfriend Ball...whenever that may be! All comments welcome!