Thursday, July 21, 2011

Going Home Again, Thank You Gov. Rockefeller

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

After I married Big Buckaroo, I moved to Petit Jean Mountain State Park where he was a ranger. Of course, moving from downtown Memphis to the top of a mountain was a drastic change, but I was in love and would have lived in a cabin in the woods, eaten beef jerky and sewn my own clothes (alright a huge exaggeration there) for that man.

Thankfully, the Lord does provide because I landed a Public Relations job at an international development organization that was headquartered on top of the mountain. Yes, I said international development and mountain in the same sentence.  How does that happen? Well, one name says it all- Winthrop Rockefeller.

Yes, of THE Rockefeller Family, but Winthrop Rockefeller was a rebel. He chose not to take a job at the family business, Standard Oil, he quit Yale in his 3rd year, took a job as a roughneck in the Texas oil fields, and fought for our country as a commander in WWII receiving the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart. Oh, and he was a two-term Governor of the state.

Through his leadership and philanthropy, he transformed the state’s politics, economy, culture, and education for the better. And, he changed Petit Jean Mountain, the place he CHOSE as his home.
A year after I chose dirty diapers, Cheerios all over my floor and baby kisses over hopping on a plane to D.C., writing brochures, website hoopla and all the other stuff that goes with promoting an organization, Winrock International moved their headquarters to Little Rock. Now, on the estate of the late Governor sits the extraordinary Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, an educational institute and conference center centered around the legacy of the ideas of Rockefeller, a place where collaboration and change thrive. And.... I have been invited home.

You have seen my ramblings about that little group (403 women strong) I founded called Arkansas Women Bloggers, right? Well, the world-class convening center WRI has invited myself and the AWB go-to gals Fawn, Julie, and Beth, um, the ladies who make it all happen, for a day at WRI. They are not only allowing us use of one of their meeting rooms for brainstorming and organization that is going to launch AWB to a whole new level (more to come on that), but they are also hooking us up BIG TIME. At noon, their culinary staff will be sharing a demonstration with the AWB ladies and some foodie bloggers from throughout the state. Yes ma'am, my belly is already preparing for the yumminess.

Go learn more about WRI at, it is an incredible place. WRIs Heritage Farmstead and their Growing Healthy Communities Initiative fits right into my life as a farmers' market chic and community organizer, I can't wait to learn more. Plus, I am going to be able to visit with many of my friends from my life on Petit Jean. So much fun!

Watch The Park Wife on Facebook and Twitter this weekend, I can't wait to share with you about this extraordinary opportunity to go home again.

Arkansan By Choice,
The Park Wife


Marge said...

Can I move to Arkansas please? Sounds wonderful. Good for you all! Have a ball!

gina said...

Enjoy! Petit Jean is my favorite place here in Arkansas :)