My Town - Keith Earnest
● By Enjoy Magazine
Keith Earnest, Rancher
Photo by Melinda Hunter
How Do I See My Town: Pretty Close to Mayberry
I live in McArthur, where there are no stoplights, no sidewalks and no Starbucks, and we like it that way. The only time there is a traffic jam is when there is a cattle drive. McArthur is located in the beautiful Fall River Valley with proximity to the best fly fishing in the world, hunting, kayaking and any other outdoor activity you can imagine. If you visit, roll down your windows and experience the smell of fresh-cut hay, mint being processed, sprinklers on the strawberry fields or mud of the wild rice paddies.
McArthur is the home of Fall River High School, where the stands at Bulldog games are full because the entire community is there. Academically, our school boasts the highest standardized state test scores in English, second only to a private school in the Bay Area. I am a proud graduate of Fall River High and blessed that after college I was able to find a job here, returning to live on my family’s ranch.
The population of McArthur swells every Labor Day weekend as family and friends return for the Inter Mountain Fair. For a century, my community has shown off livestock, baked goods, arts and crafts, and floral talent. For several years, I have had the privilege of announcing the fair parade. I have more good things to say about the community organizations and citizens in the parade than the script contains. I hope to see you at the fair.
A quick trip to the post office may end up being an hour of visiting with friends. You don’t have to live here very long before everybody knows your name. When a forest fire knocked out power for several days, Hiway Garage figured out how to get the gas pump* to work, neighbors sheltered evacuees and volunteers delivered water to pets and livestock. McArthur may not be Mayberry, but it’s as close as it can get.
*Note it is pump and not pumps, as there is only one.