Lasting Legacy

Five regions make up “The Ozarks” and I sit in the Springfield Plateau, closer to the White River Hills, which includes Branson and south to Mountain Home Arkansas. The peaks in the Ozarks of Arkansas are mole hills to some of you folks. Nestled in our rolling hills and plateaus are beautiful lakes, rivers, streams, and trails. Amid them, minus a bit of traffic near our “big” cities, if you listen…really listen, you might hear legacies leaving their sweet melodies. Even better? A living legacy.

K.L. Hale

Barn Burner

Older Ozarkians might describe last night’s event a barn burner. Small town and big city folks, combined with the young-un’s like me and the “older” generations, all gathered for ham and beans, cornbread, and bluegrass music. There was clappin’ and knee-slappin.’ Whoops and hollers could be heard with a good run of notes. Laughter lingered after the whoppers were told. My toes were tappin,’ and my soul was swirling with the sounds of times before me-and the times I wish would never change.

Only in the Ozarks, after nearly a foot of snow, would a Cabin Fever Variety Show be quickly scheduled for the community. And to beat all, I learned of a society (RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE) that was formed to PRESERVE the history, folklore, and traditions of our area. That’s not all! They aim to protect Ozarks’ wildlife, secure its proper recognition, the natural beauties of its historical spots, and to teach our own people the value of the great heritage we possess in these regions (https://societyofozarkianhillcrofters.com/our-mission).

My love and interest in my home area has only fattened since self-publishing my kid’s book. Gage, my illustrator, is an old soul like me. We often discussed our culture and traditions during our collaboration times and even chewed on the idea of a folklore project. Our culture and history are phenomenal!

If you’re familiar with this area you might be aware that the greatest interpretation of our people and ways might be felt by visiting Silver Dollar City (#2 Best Amusement Park in America by USA Today-July 2, 2021, and Best Theme Park holiday event, Old Time Christmas- Dec. 17th, 2021). It has changed with the times; yet I still find the Bluegrass & BBQ and Fall Festival to feel more like the traditional feeling of my childhood. The park’s founders have left a legacy. But I know an even greater legacy in my Ozarks.


Living Legacy

Lingering on legacies lulls me. When one thinks of a legacy you hope that whatever you leave behind is powerfully positive to whomever might be gifted it–will it be carried? Followed? Passed down? There’s been a legacy left in my family. Through tough times, good times, changing times, loss of time, everything that could happen in nearly 58 years, a legacy of love has been left. When Larry met Darlene, a Baptist preacher’s daughter, he had to toe the line. Traditions were set. Church activities would be considered “acceptable” for dates. Bowling and revivals might coincidentally be on the same nights 😉. They were small-town kids with small-town values.

Larry Hale was born 80 years ago today. He’s an overcomer-he’s left a legacy. But he’d be the first to tell you that he’s only half of any legacy-Mom’s the other half. 🤍 Oh, and did I tell you these two can sing? The legacy of music vibrates my veins. Daddy sang bass and tenor, we all sang alto and soprano! I’ve told this story before, but my youngest son one time asked my Dad, “Pop pop, can I have that fiddle?” (pointing at Great-Grandpa’s fiddle/violin hanging over Mom’s piano). “When I’m dead and gone you can have it, Jay,” Dad replied. “Aren’t you close enough to dead I could have it now?,”…oh boy! Dad was in his 50’s. The sound of laughter and music is what I hear walking into that living room.

Dad, thank you for teaching me about the Word and the never-ending, no-matter-what kind of love just as God, humility, responsibility, the right ways to swing a bat or club even if I couldn’t, shaking it off and moving ahead, wisdom on leadership, creating trip maps and then ignoring the itinerary if necessary, appreciation for history and learning…and the best? Marrying Mom. For what would we all be without her, too? You’ve been my rock. I love you both more than steak and the entire universe.

Happy 80th, Dad!


“Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” sung by the adorable and talented, Emalee Flatness. This song speaks of our family’s legacy (I can hear Grandma singing it!). Emalee is being accompanied by mandolinist, Larry Sledge, who will begin his 48th season at Silver Dollar City. He also spent time during his youth, after his service to our country, with Bill Monroe.
Legacy? The Ozark Mountain Music Association preserves and promotes traditional music of the Ozarks. They host an annual music camp and young musicians are mentored by experienced ones! Starting with the banjo player here are their ages: 20, 16, 17, and 13. They brought the house down, folks!

Some folks might not think they’ll leave any legacy, or a good one, anyway. Don’t sell yourself short. No matter the job, relationship, your IQ, your past, or whatever you feel has or hasn’t defined your life, you’re a legacy. So fix what needs fixin’ and just love what needs lovin’.

Have faith🤍

“We will not hide them from their children, but will tell the next generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” –Psalm 78:4

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”-Proverbs 17:6

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”-William James

“The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives.”-Billy Graham


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71 thoughts on “Lasting Legacy

    1. Thank you so much, Bill. I know he’ll appreciate the message! The videos are definitely amateur (me with a cell phone, lol), but I was hoping the sounds would be enjoyed. I was SO IMPRESSED by the age and gifts of these young musicians.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. You post brings back a lot of fond memories, Karla. My dad’s family is all from the Ozarks and I spent more than a little time there growing up. My cousin is the mayor of Jasper, Arkansas. Walnut (near Deer) is where my grandfather and uncle raised cattle.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s awesome, Steve! I love Jasper and all the areas around it~love the Buffalo River and every hiking trail around it. We’ll be down there the last weekend of February with our hiking tribe! I love Walnut, too. It’s a small world, really.

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  2. kriddy70

    This post reminds how proud I am to be raised in the Ozarks!! I could listen to that music all night, thank you for sharing. The musicians are incredible and that young lady reminded me of Dolly. Angelic voices. My most favorite part was how you captured the legacy of Dad! What a beautiful tribute ❤️ 🙌🙏 I absolutely howled reading Jay’s fiddle story. It is one I share often and makes me giggle every time i think about it. Ahh…those sweet days. I love seeing our lives written from your heart. You capture so much beauty and thank you for sharing your talent and God’s love with us. I love you so much…..Bunny🐰

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, bunny 🐰. What a beautiful response. It touches my heart deeply. I knew my pen might open up again one day. It’s like emptying my heart and filling my brain. Then I let my heart refill and my brain empty and then the next day or two it comes back. I can’t let it go. Yes, you’d love these young musicians and there was another couple of acts that I didn’t record. You just take care of you and I’m here always. I do love our Ozark’s. The older I get, the more I appreciate it. And I love you more than fried chicken. ❣️💙💚💛💕❤️😊🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love everything about this post, Karla! The first image, the description of your homelands, the summary of your joyful and festive night, the music shares and more. All delightful! Thank you for sharing. 🌻 🎶

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Michele! That is so encouraging and kind! I bet if anyone could dance to this music, you could dance to any style. In the summer folks will gather on the parking lot and kick up their heels. Expressions can be shared in so many ways. Thank you, again. 🙏🎵🤍

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My mother loved all music and was inspired to try to learn the banjo after attending a Bluegrass festival in Bean Blossom, IN. Music is tied to history and culture in every region of this great country. I’ve traveled through the Ozarks and can attest to the natural beauty!

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    1. How wonderful to hear, Val! Thank you so much for sharing! I tried a banjo once, lol! I love all the music traditions throughout our country. And I’m so glad you have visited the Ozarks’! Take care!

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  5. atimetoshare.me

    What an especially heart warming tribute to your dad. Paul is turning 80 on Friday and he sounds a lot like your dad. Happy birthday to two special men who love the Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kathy, I was thinking of you and Paul while writing this–knowing his bday was coming up. I’m so glad their bdays are so close. Please tell Paul I’m still praying for him. Yes, from what we’ve shared, they’re a lot alike! Sending love and hugs sweet Kathy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good morning dear Karla, I so enjoyed this post. I could almost hear the music and soul-stirring stories. And legacy! You and I are meditating on similar things, sister. You are more than blessed to have your mom and dad, together, weaving the fabric of loving clothing for you to wear long after they pass. I am reading Cicely Tyson’s Just as I am. I am pray-ing about how to write that first book. In the past, I think I was trying to think of titles to sell, organize it bitesize pieces. But legacy is not bite-sized. Much of what was passed on to me was pain, but God! He is helping me sift back through, that He would not have left me without testimony or blessing. Love and prayers for you and dear Finn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Julie, thank you so very much. Your words are a blessing! I think of your book and all you’re trying to do in bite-size pieces with a big God agenda! You’re exactly right, legacy is not bite-sized. I’m so glad you’re able to to paddle your way through the murky and rough waters BEFORE your new life. You’re not alone; thus, we’ll keep standing together and paddling, our effort and God’s oars, to the victory I know that’s waiting! Rocko, Aunt Karla says happy gotcha day! I’ll pop over to read today. Love and prayers for you all; I’m always praying for B’s battles, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You are truly blessed to be raised by the right people, in the right time, and at the right place. Happy Birthday to your father🎂. Great music, Karla. This is a beautiful post. I think a book about folklore would be a winner. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Let’s see if I can reply to your post in the form of an email response in this space!

    “I love this tribute to your dad. It brought a tear to my eye and made me think about my own father, now residing in his heavenly home. You are so right about legacies. Sadly, we don’t know what they are until we are gone. Wouldn’t it be great if we said the things about the person at birthday parties that we say at their funerals? What a difference that would make.”

    Hopefully that made it through the WordPress barbed wire fence!

    – Russell

    On Sun, Feb 6, 2022 at 4:44 PM Flannel with Faith wrote:

    > K.L. Hale posted: ” Five regions make up “The Ozarks” and I sit in the > Springfield Plateau, closer to the White River Hills, which includes > Branson and south to Mountain Home Arkansas. The peaks in the Ozarks of > Arkansas are mole hills to some of you folks. Nestled in our r” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It jumped the fence! Yay! And thank you so much for the beautiful response. I can imagine what a legacy your own Father was to you all~it does make one teary. I love the idea of telling people now why they’re a legacy. It really would make a difference. Thank you for your support and encouragement, always.

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    1. Thank you so much! Home…I struggled with that word for many years. The things that made home, during its best times, were gone. And the things that made home the worst times had left. Home now is where my parents raised me, where my sons were born, and where I accepted Christ. Home is also in my heart all across the United States in places where I felt most like home. The mountains, rivers, trails, most places in nature. It resides in my heart and where my sons and their families live. It took me years to establish my own home and it’s so wonderful to have its peace now-like you, I enjoy its charms too!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing, this is really beautiful. Music is something that can soothe the soul or stir up wondrous memories. I really enjoy playing music with my dad, and finding myself drawn into the joy God has provided through those gifts, and the keenness to spend that time together.

    Celebrate the goodness in people. I love that you share the wonderful skills and talents of people particularly the videos today. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish, it’s so good to see you. I hope you and yours are well! Thank you for this lovely comment. What a beautiful treasured memory of playing music with your Dad. I have those same memories with my family around the piano. I can’t imagine life without music 🎶! We have to celebrate the good or the negative could bring us down. Stay blessed and healthy, Hamish. 💛🙏🏻🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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