Fayetteville Square - Celebrating the New, Honoring the Past | Street Jazz

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fayetteville Square - Celebrating the New, Honoring the Past

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 9:34 AM

Well, the “new and improved” Fayetteville Square is finally beginning to take shape. Whether it will be ready for the Farmer’s Market opening is anyone’s guess.

Walking by the area this past week, I found myself reflecting on what might be a nice way to honor the past when the square is . .  What? Re-opened? Re-dedicated? Whatever.

25 years ago, the city of Fayetteville paid a woman by the name of Free Camman to play her violin nightly to the flowers on the square. You remember the 1980s, when the Powers-That-Be recognized that Fayetteville wasn’t the same as other cities, and actually capitalized on that fact, instead of desperately trying to say, “Why, we’re no different from Rogers or Bentonville. Really!”

But I digress.

The point is that it was an amazing thing to go walking at night, and to come across this wonderful sight - a woman in a long white dress, playing her violin in the dead of night on the Square. It was one of those moments when you realized that Fayetteville was the only city in Northwest Arkansas you really wanted to live in.

A few years later, cancer stilled Free’s music in mid-note.

But she had touched so many people in the community that folks prevailed upon the city government to have a bench in her memory erected on the Square. It was a good thing, that such a life  might be remembered and honored.

A few years ago, the bench was removed, to make way for another bench. The plaque from the old bench wasn’t put on the new bench; it was probably trashed, along with the old bench.

Woiuldn’t it be sort of nice if the Fayetteville City Council - once the revitalized Square opens up for business - finds a way to honor our past, by also re-dedicating a bench in Free Camman’s honor?

Because far more than the dvelopers, politicians and bankers in our midst, it is the men and women like Free Camman who are the true life’s blood of a community, and should be honored whenever we get a chance.

******

Fayetteville’s true Diversity Awards

I attended the Community Access Television awards ceremony on Friday night, and realized anew that the C.A.T. awards are the best Diversity awards that Fayetteville is ever likely to have.

It can never be emphasized enough that public access television is a tapestry of the community; through the threads of its programming, we are shown the heart and soul of the  community. Rich and poor, men and women (and boys and girls) of all faiths and political persuasions come through the doors, to use the equipment, to make their own programming, and to help others.

Friday night was the chance for people  to come and honor the folks at C.A.T. who put on the programming which entertains,  provokes thought, and amuses.

C.A.T. not offered on your channel line-up? Ask Cox why not! It’s still the only true arts, public affairs, religious and music channel in our area.

For a copy of the schedule, call 444-3433.

*****

Time’s Odyssey

I don't much like stories that take several books to tell the tale (the Thomas Covenant tales being an exception), but the late Arthur C. Clarke and collaborator Stephen Baxter have done a bang up job of storytelling in their Time's Odyssey novels, "Time's Eye,” "Sunstorm,” and the last in the trilogy, “First Born.”

Time travel, alternate earths, and fending off the machinations from a galaxy far, far away make this great bed time reading. And if you've ever wondered what might happen if the armies of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan ever met in battle (of course you have), well, these are the books for you.
 
rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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