Mother, wife, gardener, reader, coffee drinker, social media coach and friend who loves the Greater Fort Smith Region that I now call home.
I was born and raised across the Arkansas River in Crawford County. I lived most of my young life in Mulberry, AR where the population remained 1,444 for as long as I can remember. It was a big deal when the second bank was built. Oddly our existing bank president was the mayor’s wife and also ran the Little Theater. Our ball fields doubled as the fair grounds for the county.
Just across the “mountain” from the town I lived in was where I graduated from Mountianburg High School in Mountainburg, AR. Our graduating class was so small that our senior class picture was taken with us all standing on a large rock. Our class valedictorian was also the prom queen, the class president and the editor of the school newspaper among many other things.
When I started taking college courses at the local community college it was a huge deal, because I got to move into “town” for the summer, ride public transportation and attend Westark Community College. So by the time I was a sophomore in High School I had already taken Freshman English and journalism was a natural fit. High School was a blur. I learned a lot about writing, editing, layout and design. My first editorship was of the Friday Flame. Maybe I will share some of those early articles with you?
When I was 18 I took the 700+ mile bus trip (yes I took a Greyhound) to visit Berea College in Berea, Kentucky and did not want to come home. Berea College was like something out of a story book in a far away land, when I was accepted and offered a place there I wasted no time packing and moving.
While in Berea I took every English, journalism, sociology and communication class that was offered in the semesters I attended, but couldn’t find my niche. The then President Shinn nominated me to participate in a pilot internship program through the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). So I was fortunate enough to work for the then Kentucky Revenue Cabinet for 8 months working on an appendix to the Annual Report for Kentucky and learning from Dr. Chuck Martie and the Governor’s Office of Economic Analysis. I worked in Public Relations for Berea College, tutored students through the Center for Effective Communications, was a tour guide and helped raise a lot of money for the college hosting people from all over the world, did some event planning, made friends with the locals, worked at the local Applebees and a million other things. I particularly enjoyed singing in the Black Music Ensemble and traveling around the state singing African and African-American music.
When I drove away from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky I did not do so with a degree. September 11th really threw me for a loop and it took me some time to regroup. I moved back to Arkansas and took up residence in Fort Smith, AR, my current home. I took a position as a Sales and Marketing manager for a local home furnishings store and within months was back working at Applebees, where I met my husband. Within less than a year we moved back to his home in Raleigh, North Carolina. There we worked for a local swimming pool building and maintenance company that my son’s God-father now owns. Since we have lived in Saint Louis, Missouri, where our son was born and in Palm Bay, Florida.
Over the years, the moves, the job changes, the socio-economic adjustments and all the adventures some things haven’t changed. I still love learning. I value education above most things. It was a long journey but I’ve gone back to school and gotten an AABA in Business and a BS in Business and Psychology. When I can find the time and energy I help small business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as educators. When there is anything left, usually in the early hours of the night I enjoy connecting with the small world that I now live in and to write. Long story short – Sells likes to talk social media and business and I love my home in the Greater Fort Smith Region, the Arkansas River Valley and the Ozark Mountains. Pick a topic and let’s talk.
- “Book: US Universities as Waste of Money” and related posts (the-savvy-sista.com)
- Ignorance by Degrees (online.wsj.com)
- Brooms, Brushes and Cleaning (homedesign.marthastewart.com)
- Even the Unthinkable Connects Us (msanniesells.wordpress.com)
- Ten totally unique U.S. colleges | USA TODAY College (usatodayeducate.com)