BOONE COUNTY: SHANGRI-LA OF THE OZARKS by Kurt Saxon   copyright 1981

     During the final years of a mighty civilization, those who 
mean to survive its collapse must be able to make quick decisions.  
We've all seen films of refugees from the world's turmoils since 
the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies.  And now in the eighties, 
the pitiful trash from Cuba, Haiti, and Mexico.
     How long did our latest hordes of unwanted wait their chance?  
Moreover, how many of them just sat around watching their systems 
deteriorate without doing anything?  How many of them were a part 
of the problem?  How long will it be before they are met with guns 
at our shores and borders?  Their good fortune lies in having a 
destination before it is blocked.
   All too soon, not only national borders, but state and even 
county borders will be closed to increasingly unwelcome outsiders.  
So your decision to relocate to a more suitable area will soon be 
based more on the natives' permission than your own willingness to 
     Since beginning THE SURVIVOR several years ago I've studied 
several alternatives to survival in the densely populated, and 
therefore doomed, areas of our country.  I discounted the high 
mountain areas for several reasons.  Their altitude gives them a 
short growing season which forces the people to import nearly all 
their food.  Their winters are long and terribly cold.  The price 
of fuel prohibits the amounts needed to last the duration.
     Being almost totally dependent on outside supplies, mountain 
towns will prove to be vastly overpopulated when the really bad 
times come.  Anyone who has anything will be forced to share to the 
point of beggary.
     The isolated wilderness buff playing Grizzly Adams will find 
the game wiped out or driven off after the first hunting forays.  
Improvident townies will sack the homestead unless you have the 
ammo and determination to stack them like cordwood around your 
place.  It's not worth it.
     Desert towns are just as bad in their way.  There, the lack of 
water will doom any area packed with refugees.  The isolated 
dweller on the desert, like the lone mountaineer, would soon run 
out of supplies if he didn't die of boredom first.
     Northern California, Oregon and Washington state have long 
been touted as survivalists' havens.  The climate is mild and one 
can sleep outdoors, if necessary, much of the year.  But, aside 
from a few fortified holdings, these areas would be swamped with 
refugees.  The climate and road systems would insure that literally 
millions of California refugees would migrate there by car, bicycle 
and afoot.
     The north central states are too cold and barren to attract 
many refugees.  But, as in the case of the high mountain areas, 
their own surplus populations would be a considerable problem.
     It almost goes without saying that the densely populated areas 
of the midwest and northeast would be deathtraps for survivalist 
and refugee alike.  Only the most determined townies could fight 
off or reroute the milling bands of refugees there.
     The southern coastal states are being swamped by Cubans and 
Haitians, not to mention blacks, Mexicans and other non-white and 
shiftless types who simply squat where the living is easy.  When 
living ceases to be easy, these social dregs will become predatory 
much more intensively than working class and middle class whites 
who grew up with a stake in the system.
     The only part of the US I consider viable as any survivalist's 
refuge from the coming storm is the Ozarks.  Temperate climate.  
Plenty of water.  All but luxury foods grown locally.  Wood for 
fuel plentiful and cheap or free.  Highly defensible from 
outsiders.  Low population density.
     Most of the people here own farms or were raised on them.  
They were comparitively isolated from the outside until better road 
systems were put in.  They are doggedly independent and are 
unashamedly intolerant of parasites, thieves and degenerates.  
Their police officers are alert and dedicated.  Mostly local men, 
they know the territory and the people far better than officers in 
most other regions.
     The per-capita crime rate in the Ozarks is the lowest in the 
country and the police in the region have the highest record for 
arrests of lawbreakers.  Boone County leads the area in strict law 
     In the last year, not one woman has been raped.  There has not 
been one mugging or even an armed robbery here.  Even so, the 
police keep a low profile.  You seldom see them unless you're in 
violation of the law.
     Mainly, it's the honest and hardworking people, themselves, 
with their built-in contempt for inferiors, which keeps the overall 
crime rate so low.  A Boone County jury, presided over by a hanging 
judge, keeps most idiots out of the area.
     I've been here over a year and have yet to see a hippy, fag, 
beggar or tramp.
     Boone County is dry, which accounts for the lack of drunks and 
derelicts which infest most other downtown areas.  If you drink, 
you have to go to Berryville, 31 miles away.  There you can buy any 
kind of liquor you want and bring it back.
     Although very friendly and helpful, most area residents are 
gun owners and are very proficient due to a lifetime of hunting.  
The Ozarks will be a sorry place indeed for looters in the years 
     Employment opportunities are low and the minimum wage is the 
average pay.  Living is very easy here and inexpensive and no one 
seems to go without.  I've never seen anyone ragged or hungry 
     I wouldn't advise you to come here unless you've already made 
your pile, have a business, trade or service to offer or mean to 
buy land to grow marketable products on.  If you don't have 
anything going now, you ought to think up a business.  If you can 
make anything worthwhile you can sell it here.  But if you can't 
find at least one thing you can do in all four volumes of THE 
SURVIVOR, you might as well stay where you are and eat, drink and 
be merry.
     If you have a mailorder business, Harrison is perfect.  The 
last thing to completely break down will be the postal service.  
So, as long as you have stock to sell you'll be in good shape.
     Another thing about the mailorder business is that you can 
locate in the least expensive areas, of which Boone County is 
certainly one.
     If you have property in a high priced area and can get a buyer 
for it, you can pay for the move, get set up here and still have 
oodles left over for investment in your stock in trade.  Property 
here goes for about one third of what it would cost in or near the 
larger cities.  You can also rent here for much less than you would 
pay elsewhere.
     People here are honest by nature and you can even buy property 
over the phone with confidence.  The idea is that there is so few 
people in the area that a cheat would be talked out of business in 
no time.  Besides a realtor would rather be honest than get mauled 
every time you met him on the street.
     I bought my house over the phone.  I contacted Shirley Bell, 
of Bell Real Estate and told her I wanted a house with a basement.  
She called me back several days later and said she had what I 
wanted.  I visualized an old frame house leaning against a tree 
with a hole dug under it for pigs and chickens.  I bought it anyway.
     When I got here I found a modern house on a half acre right at 
the edge of town.  It has four bedrooms, a bath and a half, a full 
basement, wall-to-wall carpeting, drapes and a deluxe kitchen and 
all for only $38,500.
     In California, the place would cost $150,000.  And it wasn't 
unusual.  There are even better deals.  There are places right in 
town and others so secluded you have to guide people there.
     I've heard a lot of complaints about property taxes in other 
areas.  The go into the thousands of dollars per year.  I had 
Shirley Bell look up some average taxes here.  A $25,000 property 
is taxed at an average rate of $76.00 per year.  $50,000 - 
$150.00.  $75,000 - $272.00.  $100,000 - $395.00.
     Although time is running out fast, you may be forced to wait a 
few months to move anywhere.  If you want to get better acquainted 
with Boone County before coming here, you can subscribe to the 
local newspaper for six months.  $11.50 will get the paper sent 
anywhere.  Send to: The Harrison Daily Times, 111 Rush, Harrison, 
AR 72601.
     Another way to learn about a town is through its phone book.  
You can go to your local phone company and have them order a 
Harrison phone book.  It takes about ten days, and it's free.  From 
it you can get an idea of the businesses, services and facilities 
the area offers.
     If you have some idea of the kind of property you want, just 
call Shirley Bell at 501-741-8888.  She'll be glad to tell you what 
she can get in your line and I'm sure you'll be more than satisfied.