“On This Hilltop” by Sue Hubbell

Before the internet and blogging, people like Sue Hubbell wrote columns for newspapers. “On This Hilltop” is mostly from those newspaper columns.

Writing a newspaper column really helps a writer learn to focus on a topic, edit the piece down to meet a word count and choose topics to interest a wide variety of other people. I know because I too wrote a newspaper column for a few years and later rewrote and added to those columns and put “Exploring the Ozark Hills” together.

"On This Hilltop" by Sue Hubbell
Sue Hubbell wrote a newspaper column in the 1970s and these are selected pieces from those. They give a glimpse into the lives of people in the Ozarks.

“On This Hilltop” was written in the 1970s and reflects the times. That is part of the book’s appeal and a good reason to read it. This was the beginning of both the women’s movement and the environmental movement.

One of the final pieces is called “Factory Women” and discusses how the coming of factories to the rural South changed so much for women. They were the ones getting that weekly paycheck. They learned to take pride in themselves and become a voice to be reckoned with instead of little more than a shadow of their husbands.

City people haven’t changed much since then. They are often a source of amusement to rural people.

The Hubbells were beekeepers. Bees are interesting creatures and figure in several of the columns. It’s strange to think that they could set up an outyard – a set of beehives away from home – for a mere gallon of honey a year.

My herd of Nubian goats waiting for me
Cities have lots of attractions like museums and stores. One thing they don’t have is my herd and that is a good reason for me to stay or return home. Sue Hubbell may not have had goats, but her Ozark home still called her back from the big city as she relates in some pieces in “On This Hilltop”.

“On This Hilltop” does have several pieces I, as a former city girl, can truly relate to. I do remember going back to the city after several years in rural Arkansas and finding the city to be another world, one in which I no longer fit. And like Sue Hubbell, I was so very glad to return to my rural home, goats and chickens.

Explore the plants, animals and natural happenings of the Ozarks in “Exploring the Ozark Hills“.