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Jonesboro's alternate dimension - Joel Hall

Seeing how our newspaper is based in Jonesboro and that Jonesboro is the county seat, a lot of my online research is inevitably about Jonesboro.

Whether it's getting directions, finding about county meetings, or researching history, Jonesboro comes up a lot.

However, no matter what I type in the search engine before Jonesboro -- whether it is ice cream, radial tires, or street names -- unless I type "Ga." or "Georgia" behind it, there is almost always an equivalent in Arkansas.

The first time I searched for the City of Jonesboro's web site, I thought it was just a coincidence that there was a city in Arkansas with the same name. However, the longer I have worked here, the more there appears to be a trout in the milk.

If you type "Mount Zion Baptist Church Jonesboro," something that would seem pretty specific, the first thing that pops up is a map of "Mount Zion Baptist Association" in Jonesboro, Ark.

Jonesboro, Ark., had a massacre, while Jonesboro, Ga., had a battle. While one event was tragic and the other historic, it is interesting that both cities are defined by some kind of physical struggle.

A lot of cities have streets named "Church" and "Main," but it is interesting that if your Google Maps directions are not Georgia specific, your expected travel time can sometimes end up being five hours, instead of five minutes.

It's interesting to note that Jonesboro, Ark., while much larger than it's Georgia cousin, also serves as the seat of its respective county. Both cities were incorporated in 1859, spelled it "Jonesborough" before switching to the more modern spelling, and each have a famous railroad depot.

Let's look at a few more obscure, but notable comparisons. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the Arkansas National Guard was sent into Jonesboro in the early 1900s to end the "Church War," a battle between the followers of Joe Jeffers and Dow H. Heard, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro (in Arkansas).

Perhaps, it's also a coincidence that a few of the streets in Jonesboro, Ark., have the same names as city officials in Jonesboro, Ga., and that some of the historic figures in Jonesboro, Ark., share names with modern day figures in Clayton County.

If you have an hour or two to kill on Google, you'll see what I'm talking about.

There are cities named Jonesboro all over the place, in states like Texas, Illinois, and Indiana, but if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say there are one too many comparisons between Jonesboro, Ga., and Jonesboro, Ark., not to notice.

One day, when I have a lot of time, and gas in my car, I am going to drive to Jonesboro, Ark., to see if all the hype is true.

Hopefully, there won't be an army of body-snatching clones waiting for me.

Joel Hall covers government and politics for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached via e-mail at jhall@news-daily.com.