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Jul 08/13

Wall Street Journal Talking Cash in Dyess Posted by: Dan | 0 Comments

“This is never going to be a tourist attraction,” a retired John Deere technician tells the Wall Street Journal about the tiny, boyhood town of Dyess, where Johnny Cash was born and raised.

The publication took an economic look at Dyess — its potential for tourism and revival — and found some people are still keeping the dream alive. The town has a plan, of sorts, to turn the hometown of one of country music’s most prolific icons into a shrine.

“With aid from Mr. Cash’s family, which is helping to raise money through an [annual Johnny Cash] music festival next month, the house is being restored to once again showcase the modest piano Mr. Cash’s mother owned, as well as her Singer pedal sewing machine,” the article said. “It will provide a peek into a time when destitute Southerners scratched out a living working little plots of land. The project, which also is receiving funds from Arkansas State University and backing from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is expected to cost $3.5 million, including the restoration of other town buildings.”

But will it be enough? And should we spend so much money on the revitalization of a town that may not be recoverable? “Some residents complain that Dyess leaders should focus on more practical matters, like fixing the town’s pocked roads,” the story said, indicating that even some of the residents would prefer a different plan.

What do you think?


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