The Observer, Jan. 12 

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The Observer wasn't the only person stopped dead in their tire tracks on Lee Street by the giant rainbow-colored hand giving the peace symbol to the world, nor the only one who photographed it. This peace sign is going down in history, thanks to Facebook postings.

We knocked on the door to find out who had crafted the snowy gesture, but no one was home. We had to look for clues to their character. Christmas decorations in yard and on and around the door still up. An American flag and a Razorback flag flying on a pole stuck in the garden. Conclusion: Relaxed, happy, artistic, and someone who got to stay home on Monday. Let's give him or her a hand.

If you're prone to guilt, as The Observer is, it's possible your delight in the big snow that fell Sunday was tempered by seeing drivers in distress. As we were walking to a playground to play in the snow and give the old dog a run, we saw a pair of men haplessly pushing a car up the steep street beside us, the driver trying her best to help by bouncing forward, as if she were encouraging a horse. They were hoping to find a flat street, which ain't easy in Little Rock.

Seconds later, a truck came barreling down the same snow-slicked street, too fast for dry conditions even, and the young man riding in the bed raised his Bud Light to us in salute. Woohoo! yelled the guys in the truck.

Guilt isn't on their list at all. Alas, they were acting their age.


In memoriam, from The Observer's friend:

"Fayetteville Country Club, circa 1971. Our band is playing for a dance. Some dorky little guy is right in front of me, not so much dancing as just hopping, hopping, like a pogo stick. He hops up to me and requests a song. I tell him we don't know that one. He hops away, hops back, and requests the same song again. I tell him we still don't know it. He hops away, hops back, and asks for the same song. This time, or maybe the next one, I tell him to get lost, or probably nastier words to that effect. He hops away.

"At the break I'm talking to the bartender and point out the obnoxious little guy. The bartender says, 'Oh, yeah. That's Don Tyson. Last month he tipped a band a thousand dollars for playing a song for him.' "


A check engine light winked to life on the futuristic gauge cluster of the Mobile Observatory the other day; a tiny glowing "Maint. Req'd," right next to the light that flashes when we arm the anti-tailgater missiles in the back bumper.

We're nervous about check engine lights. The Observer knows our way around cars, but ever since the good ol' carburetor gave way to fuel injection and computers, we think twice before opening the hood when something worse than a belt or hose goes wrong. Instead, we take our ride to Foster's Garage downtown. We've received no compensation for this endorsement, but we will say we have had very good luck there in the past, with them wrenching out more than a few mechanical gremlins that have left us stumped. This go-round, while informing beloved Spouse of the decision, we had the following familial exchange:

ME (to Spouse): The car's got a light on. We need to take it to Foster's Garage for a checkup.

JUNIOR (taking his nose out of a book): Did you say you're gonna put me in foster care?

ME: Yes.

JUNIOR: REALLY?!

And, scene.

Call us crazy, but we tend to think it's a good thing that he carries around a little bag of breadcrumbs like Hansel and Gretel. With him heading into the teen-age years soon, it's probably better to be feared than loved.

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