The Observer headed to Lower Arkansas over the long holiday weekend to visit the in-laws, who live in the thickets outside of Strong, pretty much as hard up against the Louisiana border as you can get without dipping a toe over the line.
Arkansas has been identified by the Humane Society of the United States as one of the top 10 puppy-producing states, but that's not as warm and fuzzy a statistic as it sounds. It means, among other things, that Arkansas needs a state dog-breeder law to protect these puppies, according to the HSUS.
The Aug. 29 column mentioned that St. Louis is sometimes referred to as St. Looey, as in the song "Meet me in St. Looey, Looey." I asked the Times' Brian Chilson, a former resident of the Gateway City, if the people who live there call it St. Looey. He said no.
The other day someone mentioned Razz Poe, a colorful character in these parts some years ago, whose handle won him a spot on the list I used to keep of interesting and unusual Arkansas names. Razz Poe wasn't as good a name as Norvel Gooley or Duford Lafoon, but it beats a hacking cough.
The Amish we see at the Little Rock Farmers Market every week, selling their baked goods and produce, are a perpetually pleasant, unargumentative group, but some of their faithmates in Ohio are of a different temperament, evidently.
Back in my college days, a fellow from my hometown went around telling people he'd been an all-state high school football player. In reality, he'd been a benchwarmer. He was a big strong kid, but you could watch him walk down the stairs and see he was no elite athlete.
One diverting aspect of The Guardian-inspired hullaballoo over NSA surveillance has been watching people bicker about it on Facebook. In the old Soviet Union, people walked in the woods or hid in the bathroom with the faucets running to whisper forbidden thoughts. Here in the USA, people post them online along with cute kitten videos and photos of Reuben sandwiches.
Also, 'The New 22' at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Opera in the Ozarks, Johnny Winter at Juanita's, Juicy J at Clear Channel Metroplex, Black Flack at The Phoenix in Fayetteville and Bow Wow Wow at Juanita's.
Damien Echols, freed from Death Row in today's West Memphis Three plea bargain, released the following statement today:
To all my friends and family, my attorneys and advocates, and to those of you from every corner of this earth who have stood beside us these long years, please know that I will forever be indebted to all of you for helping me to become a free man. Each and every day I was the beneficiary of acts of kindness and humanity from people of all walks of life, of all ages, nationalities, religions and political persuasions.
Mike Huckabee, who left Arkansas, where he built the platform for his media success and which, incidentally, has an income tax, is putting down expensive roots in a beach development in Walton County, Fla., east of Destin — a $3 million home.
Over the past three years, his Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock has been on a buying spree, purchasing the vast photo morgues of 11 great (and greatly cash-strapped) American newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Denver Post, the Boston Herald and The Detroit News.