Helena and West Helena
by Lin Stone
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With a population of 17,186 Helena (and West Helena) are integrated cities: You can't tell most of the time when you are in the city, or out in the country. For a lover of country roads like me, it is heaven.
The Mississippi River Bridge is one of only six which cross the river between Memphis and New Orleans. Mark Twain once said that Helena occupied one of the prettiest situations on the Mississippi." That fact hasn't changed a bit.
The best of homes in this area are set on a hill so that you look up at them, making choice shots available for one and all. The location kept the residents out of the fevers zone. I was especially impressed with the school system at West Helena. The kids were bright, the teachers were eager, and the people in school management are truly dedicated.
Antiques are a natural for this area. THIS LITTLE PIG is the best I am personally aware of, with 8,000 square feet of remarkable treasures. The most fun you can have is during the King Biscuit Blues Festival each October, with 50,000 people showing up, and a new temptation is the Warfield Concerts with FREE tickets being available at the Chamber of Commerce, 111 Hickory Hill Drive. Phone number is 501 338 8327 Stop in and browse the area online.
West Helena's Delta Cultural Center at 95 Missouri Street is an exhibit IN PROGRESS. It is, if anything, too honest about the past. Life is shown as gritty, stark, as well as vivid and glorious. The little store at front offers steamboat caps, books, tapes, and I don't know what all. The prices were rather low for this type of product.
Hunting around West Helena includes deer, duck, dove, rabbit and squirrel. Fishing is quite successful for bream (brim), crappie, bass, and catfish. To feed the wildlife, local farmers raise soybeans, rice, cotton and wheat. There is a thriving livestock industry here too. Unfortunately, perhaps the most notable landmark in this area now is the encroaching kudzu. Perhaps they have yet to discover how much goats love kudzu.
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