The stack of magazines bore the title Rayburn’s Ozark Guide. Here I was, in an antique store in Madison County, thumbing through these curious publications dating from 1943 to 1960 – each with a single color background and a black-and-white image. All had interesting covers: Blue Spring in Eureka Springs, a waterfall at Hog Scald and, on another, an Ozark woman standing next to her spinning wheel. With a price tag of a mere $10 for the 20-something issues, I was walking out of the store, clutching the stack with one simple goal: to go home and absorb it.
Once I did, one thing was obvious: This Rayburn guy loved the Ozarks. No, that wasn’t it. He lived and breathed it.