Smart Talk March 2 

Arkansas post

While trekking to the post office isn’t our favorite task in the world, Arkie lovers of postal history will have something to talk about March 13-15: a major auction of rare, Arkansas-related letters and stamps. Part of the collection of Little Rock physician and postal collector Chris Winters, the sale will be conducted by New York’s Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries. The foremost auction house in the country when it comes to stamps, Siegel set a world record last year for an American postal item, selling a four-stamp block of rare 1918 “Inverted Jenny” stamps for $2.97 million.

Included in the Winters auction are several hundred letters and canceled envelopes from the earliest days of the Territory, including missives addressed to and by Arkansas founding fathers like early attorney Chester Ashley, Little Rock pioneer William Russell, and Territorial Governor George Izard — not to mention examples of the first known usages of the name “Arkansas” in official correspondence.

For an extensive photo-catalogue of the upcoming sale (and details of a future sale of Confederate stamps and letters, including items from the Winters collection), go to: www.siegelauctions.com.

Food for thought

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance last week released results of the largest-ever domestic hunger study. Bottom line: more than one in every 10 Arkansans needed emergency food help, half of them children or the elderly. Abut a third of them needed help even though their households included at least one employed adult.

Some more facts to chew on:

• 56 percent reported having to choose between paying for utilities and food;

• 43 percent had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food;

• 48 percent reported having to choose between paying for medical bills and food.

Young Lyons

While university board of trustees meetings haven’t traditionally been — how should we put this? — as welcoming as they could be towards youthful exuberance, that’s about to change at Batesville’s Lyon College. Last week, the Lyon board, reportedly following a suggestion from member Skip Rutherford, resolved to allow room for two recent alumni in their ranks.

Under the terms of the resolution, each outgoing senior class will elect a “young alumni trustee” to serve a two-year term on the board. Each new alumni trustee’s term will begin immediately after graduation, beginning with service on either the alumni or student life committee. Elections for the first young alumni trustee will be held by the class of 2006. The two slots reserved for alumni trustees will expand the Lyon board to 42 members.

Bob Qualls, director of public relations at Lyon, said that university boards tend to be made up of older people, such as prominent members of the business community. “This is just a way of getting some younger people involved,” Qualls said.



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