The Observer April 13 

The egg creams were good, the corned beef was tasty and Peter Miller had a smile plastered on his face the entire time he was on stage with the Meshugga Klezmer band at Sunday’s Jewish Food Festival. A teen-ager recognized Miller by that toothy smile, made famous by local billboards, and had a hard time putting lawyer and musician together. We assured her it could be done, and done well, and began to sing “Sunrise, Sunset” in her ear. Swiftly go the days, kid.

The Jewish Federation fund-raiser was a huge hit, packing the River Market with, we heard, more than 40,000 people on a brisk, beautiful Sunday. It was Palm Sunday, as it happened, and the same person who gave us communion bread at 11:30 a.m. was playing the drums with the band by 12:45 p.m. Inept but fearless goyim and some chosen people danced arm in arm (if not foot with foot) to a rousing “Hava Nagila” and a couple waltzed at 75 rpm to other Meshugga strains while the audience noshed on knishes.

We missed the latkes but made do with macaroons, and bought apple cake to take home. Cultural artifacts — like the groovy 21st-century ceramic menorah that looked like it was made for a teen-ager’s room — were sold along with fine jewelry, paintings, children’s toys. Among the latter, our favorites were the Soft Seder Set and the plague masks. The mask visible in the package was decorated with bugs and the word “Lice” was printed on it. Yes, we wanted it, but what, we should pay $9 for that?

The success of the festival made certain things abundantly clear. We here in Little Rock love to immerse ourselves in other cultures, we like dancing at the River Market on a beautiful day, and oy, those pavilions need to be bigger. We’re festival folk, especially when we can get lox and bagels, y’all.

People who want to know more about the Jewish Federation can sign up for “Jews in Canoes,” a float trip on the Buffalo River April 22 and 23.

It’s “Episcopalians in ECCO sandals” you’ll come across at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church on Hwy. 10. St. Michael’s has a casual, nature-oriented feel; the sanctuary faces a large window that offers a view of the woods behind the church. (In this, it is a lot like Temple B’nai Israel.) When you’re at St. Michael’s communion rail you can see a lake behind the trees, the playground behind the church and Wriggley (or is it Wrigley?).

Wriggley, the youth minister’s big black and brown hairy dog (and the priest’s granddog), likes to get on the picnic table and watch the action inside from there. What better thing to see from the rail than Man’s Best Friend?

He goes, as The Observer’s old friend used to do, to the Church of My Backyard.

The Observer recently spent some time in the hospital — better now, thank you — where we relearned that hospital stays have their moments of interest, if not pleasure, among the boredom and discomfort. There’s always something going on.

Not every daily drama is of the life-and-death variety. In The Observer’s case, there was an elderly woman on our floor who was obviously suffering from confusion as well as whatever else may have been ailing her. We never actually saw her — our bed didn’t offer a view of the door and the hallway outside — but we came to know her, in a way. Several times she came to the door, evidently wanting to enter, and several times she was restrained by a nurse or aide accompanying her. “Don’t go in there!” the hospital employee would say with some urgency. “That’s somebody’s room!” She usually had to say this several times. The Observer figured she was clutching the patient’s arm simultaneously.

The last time they stopped by, the lady was more insistent than ever. Strong wills clashed at the doorway to The Observer’s hospital room. “Come away from there!” the hospital employee commanded repeatedly. “Get her away from me!” the patient cried out to the unseen Observer and anyone else in earshot. The last thing we heard before they grappled their way down the hall was the employee’s irate demand: “Stop hitting me with that catheter bag!”

The Observer checked out the next day. We hope the conflicting pair eventually resolved their differences, that the catheter bag was restored to its proper, peaceful function. We are not entirely optimistic.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Thursday's open line and the daily video

    Here's the open line and the daily video.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • UPDATE: Ted Suhl gets seven years, $200,000 fine for bribery

    Ted Suhl was sentenced this morning by federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson on four counts of attempting to bribe a state official to help his mental health business supported by Medicaid money. He received 84 months and a $200,000 fine and is to report to prison in early January. He will appeal.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Question raised on Dallas Cowboy gift to NLR cops

    Blogger Russ Racop raises an interesting question, as he sometimes does, about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' gift of free tickets for North Little Rock cops to attend a Dallas Cowboy football game.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • Casting out demons: why Justin Harris got rid of kids he applied pressure to adopt

    Rep. Justin Harris blames DHS for the fallout related to his adoption of three young girls, but sources familiar with the situation contradict his story and paint a troubling picture of the adoption process and the girls' time in the Harris household.
    • Mar 12, 2015
  • Addendum

    he Observer has our regrets, just like everybody else. For example: last week, Yours Truly published a cover story on the increasingly ugly fight over Eureka Springs' Ordinance 2223, which is designed to protect a bunch of groups — including LGBTQ people — from discrimination in housing, employment, accommodations, cake buying, browsing, drinking, gut stuffery, knickknack purchasing, general cavorting, funny postcard mailing and all the other stuff one tends to get up to in the weirdest, friendliest, most magical little town in the Ozarks.
    • Apr 30, 2015

Most Shared

  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Latest in The Observer

  • Moving

    The Observer will be moving soon. Not out of The Observatory, thank God, as we're sure it will take the wagon from the 20 Mule Team Borax box to get us away from there after 14 years of accumulation, plus a team of seasoned Aussie wildlife wranglers to herd our pair of surly wildcats into a crate. No, just out of the office we've been in at the Fortress of Employment for going on five years, which is bad enough. We're moving to the other side of the building here in a few months.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Playing catch-up

    What with the big, clear-the-decks Road Trip issue last week — which we're sure you stuffed immediately in your motorcar's glove box, turtle hull or catchall, for when you get a hankerin' to gallivant — The Observer has had two glorious weeks to Observe since the last time we conversed.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Old Gray Lady rides again

    There was a reunion of Arkansas Gazette employees last Saturday night, nearly 25 years to the day it was shut down.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


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 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


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