The observer, Dec. 4 

OZARK SCENE: Don Nelms of Jasper took this shot of a cyote in the snow.
  • OZARK SCENE: Don Nelms of Jasper took this shot of a cyote in the snow.

The Observer recently attended a talk at the Clinton School of Public Service, lured there by the appearance of a NASA astronaut. His name was Scott Parazynski and he is one of these guys who can exhale his nitrogen, suit up and step into space to repair things on the International Space Station. Talk about the right stuff. How many people could do that? How many could jump into the void, spend hours there working, hope the orbiting space crap doesn't knock a hole in his suit? His audience, including The Observer, was rapt.

The lectures at the Clinton School are one of the great things about this town. The Observer has missed too many. So we are glad to see that Parazynski and 193 others who've appeared at the Clinton School are now online at www.clintonschoolspeakers.com. So if you missed E.J. Dionne or Alan Keyes … well, you didn't. Video of their presentations is all there.

You can have a little fun, too, on the site. If you sort by “popular,” the speakers come up in this order, from 5th most popular to most popular: 5) Historian Taylor Branch, on civil rights; 4) law professor John Yoo, defending the Bush administration's view of presidential power; 3) TV commentator George Stephanopoulos, on the historical importance of the 2008 election; 2) campaign advisor Bob Barnett, reminiscing on the War Room in Little Rock in 1992. Numero uno? TV's Jerry Springer, on “liberal societal shifts.”

The left and right stuff, in other words.


In 1982, The Observer went to see the group Rush at the St. Louis Arena. We were no stranger to concerts or high volume, but Rush's sound system was cranked up so loud that at one point we were sure our ears were bleeding. It was so loud that it was actually impossible to make out what we were hearing. Geddy Lee's vocals pounded like needles into our ears and we were thankful when it was over. Then came an hour of that ringing you hear when your ears have been under decibel assault.

It was, until Nov. 22, the loudest thing we'd ever heard. That's when we went to hear Metallica at Alltel.

Did we say hear? Metallica was so freaking loud that we have absolutely no idea what songs were played or what ANY of the words were. And we were wearing EARPLUGS! (Yeah — we got over feeling uncool for wearing them.) It was a noise that transcended music, sound beyond sound. Admittedly we were literally right at the edge of the stage, but … holy eardrums!


It is a truism in Little Rock that when you've stepped out in rags and untidy hair, you will find yourself surrounded by neatly coiffed women in Christmas sweaters, all of them smelling good and none of them with dirt under their fingernails.

The place: a bustling store in Little Rock's midtown. We were shopping for a trash can, wearing something we should have put in the one we have. We would have done well to put the trash can lid over our head. Unsure of dimensions, we decided to hunt for someone with a measuring tape, only to stumble into the middle of a circle of women holding long ribbons and paying close attention to two nice ladies in aprons.

One of the apron ladies said, “Don't you want to tie a bow, too?”

Not knowing what else to do, we threw our trash can lid, our purse and coat to the floor and, as in a trance, accepted the long white ribbon. We began to wrap and wrap, just as we were told. Then we were handed scissors to make a strategic cut. We went snip — right across our finger. Now we had crap at our feet and blood on our bow. Then a lady came up behind us in a dither about the purse on the floor. It might get stolen! Pick it up!

We grabbed the purse, the trash can lid, the sweater, all the while keeping the bloody bow in hand, and fled back to the trash can aisle to return the lid. Then we fled the store. We're never leaving the house again.






Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

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
  • Live long and prosper

    Before we get started, a request: The Observer got a press release earlier this week that said the office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson is asking Arkansans to send in their photos that shout Arkansas! — anything from the great outdoors to festivals to picturesque town squares — for possible use on the gov's new website.
    • Mar 3, 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

Most Shared

Latest in The Observer

  • 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
  • Thrifty

    The Observer is a known and incorrigible haunter of thrift stores. Some weekends, with Spouse in tow, we'll make the rounds of every Goodwill store in three counties, driving them on a carefully pre-planned circuit so we can stop midway and get coffee at our favorite little place.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Logoly State Park dedicates new visitors center

Logoly State Park dedicates new visitors center

Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.

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