For a variety of reasons, the fact that Houston, Mo., exists can be confusing to many people.

It’s very common for the staff at your best local news source to receive correspondence from folks who – in one way or another – mistake the little old south-central Missouri Ozarks version of Houston with the much larger version in Texas. In fact, I frequently receive emails from public relations people who mistakenly assume I work at a newspaper in “Space City.”

Sometimes I almost wish I was down there, because oh man, my wife and I could take advantage of a tremendous number of freebies, some of which sound very interesting and enticing.

We could enjoy watching a movie premiere in the comfort of a refurbished theater.

We could attend opening night of Broadway-style plays performed by world-class theatrical troupes.

We could sample foods prepared by acclaimed chefs at new high-end restaurants.

We could go to home-openers for multiple sports teams and sit in VIP section seats.

We could be special guests at sneak-peeks at huge new retail projects the day before they open to the public.

We could take in the introduction of a new shark display at an aquarium.

We could test our driving, chipping and putting during the grand re-opening of a renovated championship golf course.

We could be some of the first people to try out a new ride at a theme park or water park.

We could read to kids on the first day of a school year at a new elementary school.

We could stay for a night in the penthouse of a luxurious new high-rise hotel.

We could drive a speedy go-kart around a big new indoor facility.

We could observe the operation of a sophisticated new piece of machinery at a manufacturing facility.

We could take test drives in brand new, state-of-the-art vehicles during major sales event at a huge car dealership.

We could mess around with interactive displays during the grand opening of a new science museum.

We could take a few shots at targets at a big new indoor shooting range.

We could lie back and revel in massages at the hands of skillful experts at a new, upscale destination spa.

We could go for a ride in a hot air balloon while enjoying an amazing four-course meal.

Yep, these are the types of things I’ve had offers to experience, if I lived in the Houston that’s about 666 miles south of the one I actually reside in and was a journalist for a daily newspaper or other major publication or media outlet. But alas, I’m not affiliated with the big Houston, so I can’t take advantage of any of it.

But the reality is, that’s just fine with me. I’m extremely satisfied with my life here in the little Houston and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with a lot of the big-city stuff that would go along with living in the larger one.

The fact is, I’ve done my time in the city, and that kind of lifestyle just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m happy with the “trade offs” that go with the territory of small-town life in a fairly remote section of the U.S., and if that means sacrificing some “amenities,” I’m completely OK with that.

But I should probably also point out that I’m not against receiving similar offers from local sources.

Just sayin’.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email:

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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  1. I was born and raised here in this little Houston, lived in that big city Houston for over 22 years and moved back to this hometown. I much prefer the small town. I do miss our family favorite food places, our friends and the access to grocery stores and other amenities. But the peace and being able to drive 90 miles here versus 5 or less miles during rush hour (or actually any hour) is worth my sanity. When we travel back, we have an itinerary of the people to visit and the food that we must eat (and bring back home).

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