Park planner 

Here's an idea for the Zoo and the golf course (and the Stadium, later). First we find good zoos for all the animals, maybe see if San Diego would take them, though they might have to be Californicated with better social skills, how to share, express their inner feelings, honestly enjoy tofu, then we level the area and build really nice public housing. The golf course would be a park for the public housing residents and everyone else. We keep the green space.

It's just common sense. The housing would be close to everything, hospitals, downtown, the interstate, schools. Just look at what the city did with that old drug-infested slum off 12th St., Highland Courts. How many people does the golf course serve, anyway? And for what reason? Television and sponsors like Nike have sold golf to the world as legitimate exercise. In my world in order to be allowed to play golf a person would have to shoot close to par seven times out of ten rounds played. If not, you would be denied admittance. Gradually there would be no need for golf courses. With public housing close by, the city could build a good-sized playground and a day-care center so moms could work. Hire people to make sure the whole area is secure. Here's a campaign slogan for some lucky candidate: No to the Zoo and the Golf Course Too! A sure vote-getter.

Finally, the city stealthily takes over War Memorial Stadium, first the land around it and since there would be no room to park, no one would come anymore. We demolish the Stadium to make room for a laundry, a food co-op, a teaching restaurant-kitchen and a school to teach kids a marketable trade — heating and air-conditioning, automobile repair, roofing, plumbing, carpentry. This will work. This is America, by god. The people rule.

Ed Gray
Little Rock


I thought The Observer column May 27, was disappointing when discussing the requirement for a voter to provide ID. The author's discussion leads the reader to think those working in the election don't have appropriate procedures — they do.

It would have been appropriate, at the end of the discussion, for the author to conclude the requirement to produce ID is the "right thing" to do but not necessarily a prerequisite to vote except: when the poll book indicates the voter "Must show ID." Even then, if no ID is presented, it's possible for the individual to vote, except it's called a provisional ballot that must be authenticated by the election commission before it's counted. If the author of the column had called the Pulaski County Election Commission, I'm sure they would have provided the correct information.

T.P. Williams
Chief Judge, Precinct 50
Little Rock

Dreams of war

I had a dream the other night. I was taking one of those tours of famous World War II battlefields. My tour ended on the island of Okinawa. It was then I began a search for my tree. It was a very important tree, as it probably saved my life. June 16, 1945, the war had not yet ended. I was standing beside my company commander when he was shot by a Japanese machine gunner. We scrambled for cover behind the nearest tree which was no more than two feet in diameter. The sniper just kept on firing, tearing all the bark off our tree.

The next day I would have gone looking for the tree that had saved my life, as I was sure it would be filled with bullets, but then it was my turn to be wounded and I was soon evacuated from the island. In my dream my tree had disappeared. There was no tree, no battlefield, just freeways and high-rise buildings. Someone had stolen my war! That moment may have just been a grain of sand in WW II, but to me it was a monstrous sand dune.

Who are these people that sneak in after the battle, plant the grass, give the place a name and place all those white crosses, with no mention that the real terror of war lay six feet below each cross? Just the sight of that cemetery is supposed to give us pause and keep us from ever going to war again. It doesn't work.

I continued to dream. Could we avert wars if we left the D-Day landings at Normandy intact? Not to change one thing. Leave the sand blood-stained; leave all the thousands of bodies where they had fallen; let everyone see the bodies rolling in and out with the tide, in blood red water; all the detritus of war banked up; pile upon pile of destroyed boats, tanks, trucks..... A nation's lost treasure on display. When the sightseers come to stroll the beach and ask the guide what that strange piece of meat is that's lying in the sand, he tells them, "it looks like the larynx that's been torn out of a throat."

We must leave Hiroshima just as it was on Aug. 6, 1945, when one bomb left the ground littered with thousands of charred bodies.

My dream has become a nightmare and I am jarred awake, joining all the people who have never known war. The world's blackboard has magically been erased, only to await a new entry.

Gene Forsyth
Hot Springs



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