Favorite

The Arkansas Traveler 

The Observer gets letters from folks, either directly or through the grapevine. Recently, somebody forwarded us one written by a former schoolteacher, writing to her granddaughter, who is a new student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs. The letter details a recent road trip through Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and particularly those encounters spurred by her decision to wear a different Clinton for President T-shirt every day of her trip, and to spread the good word about Hillary any time somebody commented on her shirt. The letter is a real gem, but we can't run the whole thing because of space. An abbreviated version follows:

Dear S______,

Enclosed, you will find a pair of sea turtle earrings. I bought these for you on St. George.

I want to tell you of my adventures traveling through the Deep South wearing my Clinton T-shirts. Before the trip, I decided to take with me all my Clinton T-shirts and campaign pins. My plan was to wear a T-shirt each day and see what happened ... .

You will remember Journeys of St. George, the place where we sign up for boat trips and shelling excursions. We went into Journeys to arrange for a shelling trip to West Pass later in the week. The late-middle-aged man at the desk complimented me on my Clinton shirt and I gave him a pin. We visited for a while, and I reminded him that I had known Jenny who founded the business in the early 1980s. She ran a one-woman business with her mongrel dog named "Namaste." Once we had settled on the date and time for the trip, he said, "You'll be with Captain Jessie. Now, he's a bit of a Trumper." I said that wouldn't be a problem.

On the day of the trip, Jessie met us at the dock. Of course, I had on a Clinton T-shirt. Jessie said to me that the owner had said I had known Jenny and that I knew Hillary personally. I explained both circumstances, and he said, "Well, I'm sort of independent, but I will vote for the best man or woman for the job." I told him that was a good policy.

Jessie is about 35, a good old boy, and chewed tobacco all day, spitting out the juice into an empty Coke cup. We stopped in the bay for the girls to watch the mama and baby dolphins play around the boat. We had a good day shelling. At the end of the day, as we got off the boat, Jessie said he'd keep an open mind. I said to him, "Jessie, I taught high school English for 25 years. Do you remember the girl who always sat at the front of the class? She always did her homework. She always had her hand up when the teacher asked a question." Jessie nodded yes.

I said, "That's Hillary Clinton." He laughed and said, "I hated her."

Then I said, "Do you remember the boy who sat in the back and was always cutting up and causing trouble? The class clown?"

Jessie said, "That was me."

To which I said, "No, that was Donald Trump."

He looked startled. I finished by saying, "Now, which one of those students do you want to have his or her finger on the nuclear button?" He said, "Not Donald Trump ... "

So, if I had to write an essay on how I spent my summer vacation, I would entitle it "Witnessing for Hillary, or How I Risked My Life Traveling Through the Deep South to Help Elect the First Woman President."

Of course, you remember that Hillary and Bill Clinton were the reason Arkansas created the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences (now ASMSA) and that I was the first teacher hired to develop the school and design the curriculum. It is so gratifying to me that you, my most beloved granddaughter, are beginning your studies at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in the very year that we elect Hillary Clinton as President of the United States.

Much love ...

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

People who saved…

Readers also liked…

  • The hart

    It is hard for a straight person, The Observer included, to imagine what it would be like to be born gay — to be shipwrecked here on this space-going clod, where nearly every textbook, novel, film and television show, nearly every blaring screen or billboard or magazine ad, reinforces the idea that "normal" means "heterosexual."
    • Feb 26, 2015
  • Arkansas's new anti-gay law forgets history

    It turns back the clock on civil rights.
    • Feb 26, 2015
  • Every secret thing

    The Observer came into the office on Tuesday morning, not quite bright-eyed or bushy tailed thanks to Daylight Savings Time jetlag, to find our colleague Benji Hardy conked out asleep in yet another colleague's office, Benji having pulled an all-nighter to bring you, Dear Reader, this week's cover story.
    • Mar 10, 2015

Most Shared

  • George H.W. Bush will vote for Hillary. Or will he?

    Politico reports that Kathleen Harrington Kennedy Townsend says former Republican President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton for president. The article quotes a Bush spokesman as declining to confirm or deny.
  • Who's harming women?

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
  • New normal

    No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
  • Additional rape charges filed against Conway doctor

    Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett has added 11 more victims to two others alleging rape by Dr. Robert Rook of Conway.
  • Big Dam Bridge 100 brings big damn complaint about celebrity rider Hincapie

    The Big Dam Bridge 100 is this weekend and one dedicated biker isn't happy about a celebrity rider, admitted doper George Hincapie.

Latest in The Observer

  • On fire

    On Monday, whilst taking a break and relying on others to shoulder the load, The Observer turned on Dr. Zuckerberg's Fantabulous Book O' Countenances around noonish to see a heartbreaking sight: photos of the storied Little Rock haunt, Midtown Billiards, on fire.
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Complaints

    he Observer has engaged in some egregiously bad science lately, from atop a skirtless kayak skimming the surface of the Great Backwash of Carpenter Dam, the twin sister of Lake Catherine sprung fully formed from the thigh of Arkansas Power & Light: Lake Hamilton.
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • Back to school

    Though The Observer has taught classes out at the college for many a year now — many, many a year at this point, 15 years on — it's been even longer since we've been on the Amen side of the desk.
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation