Dyess, Arkansas --- Hot Spot for Tourists

May 14, 2006 -- 6:30 PM CDT


DYESS, AR -- Tourists from all over have 'Walked the Line' in the smalltown of Dyess, AR, in rememberance of Johnny Cash.

Samantha Bovard of K ansas City, MO, and her family drove to the historic Mississippi County town to get an up close look at Cash’s boyhood home, and Mayor Larry Sims wants to keep it that way.

"We've got a log in there…we've got people from London, England…just from everywhere…from overseas coming, from New York, Illinois, Texas, Florida, everywhere...and Johnny Cash fans come looking for Johnny Cash stuff, where he grew up, and we don't have anything," said Sims.

Sims is on a mission to preserve the D yess C olony A dministration B uilding, and Johnny Cash's boyhood home.

According to the Associated Press, those two buildings topped the list of endangered A rkansas historic spots.  

"I think since it made the endangered list...I think it brought a lot of awareness to people not only just here locally, but state and nationally," said Sims.

Willie Stegaw has lived in Johnny Cash’s boyhood home for 30 years.    Although his home has become a hot spot for tourists, he said he doesn’t mind the extra attention.

"A lot of people come around all the time...looking, and taking pictures and stuff like that," he said.

Bovard and her family had a blast at the home.   They took a few snapshots, played around in the lawn and she hopes this is not the end of the road for the historic home.

"I hope that they can get the money together to restore it and save it so future generations can see it," she said.

The city of D yess will host a memorial event for Cash July 7-9, and they hope to raise money to start the preservation process.

"If we can raise the money and buy both of them, the city would love to take them and maintain them…just for the awareness and the historical part of it," said Sims.

History lives on in  D yess, and tourists have not complained.