Durango | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Durango 
Member since Jun 6, 2010

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It’s a wonder I haven’t been booed and hissed off the blog, since I think President Obama is doing a good job; believe that even… More »

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Updated on February 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Latest Review

Re: “Brave New Restaurant

Ever try to tell somebody from out of town (or here in town, for that matter) how to get to Brave’s? It’s almost impossible, so usually we just take them. Getting there is well worth the effort, though, since we’ve never met a Brave entree we didn’t like, be it veal, tenderloin, or sole. Splendid sauces and great salads, too, and a wide variety of wines. Wait service? Excellent. We especially enjoy dining out on the balcony which overlooks the river. It’s fun to watch the birds (even saw an eagle once), rabbits, raccoons, turtles, and other riverbank wildlife while dining, and there’s a nice view of the downtown skyline, too, which is quite spectacular after dark. Bottom line: This is one of our all-time favorite LR restaurants. We’re what Peter Brave would call “frequent repeats.”

Posted by Durango on 07/12/2010 at 12:34 PM

All Reviews »

Recent Comments

Re: “Frank Broyles dies at 92

As others have said, or will say, Frank Broyles was so much more to Arkansas and her people than the game of football. Just a couple or three examples:

1. When John White, then-chancellor, decided that crumbling Old Main was in such a state of disrepair that it should be torn down, Broyles shifted into high gear and spearheaded a campaign to raise funds for the restoration of the legendary old building. Thanks to him, the towers of Old Main still stand proudly where they have watched over Fayetteville since 1875.

2. And way back in the 1980s when the UofA's libraries were facing loss of accreditation due to a severe dearth of books and periodicals, it was Broyles who rushed to the rescue by chairing a fundraising campaign that raised enough dollars to add more than 100,000 volumes to the school's collections, thus preserving accreditation.

3. And then there's that little publication, "Coach Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers" that my cousin up on Crow Mountain says helped her more than anything else while caring for her elderly parents who, like Broyles and his first wife, Barbara, died of the affliction. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the first half-million copies were distributed free-of-charge.

I still have to laugh when thinking about the time Broyles was at the state Capitol and with a straight face told those at a legislative hearing that he didn't know why he'd been asked to be there to testify because, "I dont know a thing about politics."

On a closing note, it was wholly a pleasure to read a few months ago, that Dr. Jason Richey and his family of Paris, Ark., had given Broyles the game ball from his first or 144 career wins at the UofA. That very significant victory came against Texas A&M on November 1, 1958.

Also among the items in Dr. Richey's collection of Razorbacks sports memorabilia is the ball used in the 1969 Arkansas-Texas football game, the first of many billed as "The Game of the Century." No. 1 Texas defeated No. 2 Arkansas 15-14, after being down 14-0. The ball is signed by Broyles, Texas coach Darrell Royal, and then-President Richard Nixon, who attended the game in Fayetteville.

I'm guessing the good doctor knew batter than to give Broyles the ball from THAT game. It was the single most stinging defeat Broyles suffered. He never spoke of the game after that day, and never watched a replay of it. Not even once.

It's not likely that anybody quite like Frank Broyles will pass our way again. Enjoy a peaceful rest, Coach. Lord knows you've earned it.

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Durango on 08/14/2017 at 4:27 PM

Re: “Fanne Foxe: From firecracker to bombshell

Can already tell; gonna lurve this series. It'll add some badly-needed "kick" to the blog, in my not-so-humble opinion. And before I forget to ask, who's the young fella narrating? He's got terrific delivery. Hope he'll be a series regular.

Wanna hear one of my WDM stories? Well, here it is, since you insist. Sat with a small group in the old boy's D.C. office for three hours one morning waiting for him to show up for a meeting that had been scheduled at least a week in advance.

Gene Goss, his long-time administrative assistant, kept saying, "The chairman is on his way. He's caught up in traffic." Goss told that and several other lies that morning in his continuing efforts to explain the whereabouts of the tardy congressman.

Mills, of course, never showed. And we finally left. What Goss had known all along but wouldn't tell us was that the congressman was home drunk as a skunk. Few, if any outside his immediate circle in those days, knew that Mills was in a fight for his life with the bottle.

But then, along came the firecracker.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Durango on 08/11/2017 at 11:12 AM

Re: “The sweet child o mine early open line

A dapper widower in his mid-eighties walks into an upscale cocktail lounge. He's tall, evenly-tanned, well-groomed, and has a head full of thick silver hair. He's wearing a great-looking suit, has a rose in the lapel, and smells lightly of an expensive after-shave, all of which exudes an aura of class.

Seated at the bar is a well-dressed, classy-looking lady in her mid-seventies.

The sharp old gentleman strolls over and sits alongside her. He orders a martini and takes a sip. Then he slowly turns to the lady, gazes into her eyes, and in a quiet, soft voice says, "So, tell me . . . do I come here often?"

21 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Durango on 08/05/2017 at 9:34 PM

Re: “Thursday's video and open line

"I am beginning to really like this retirement thing. Got a check for doing nothing last month. Wait, let me correct that for the R's, I got a check for paying into [the Ark. Teacher Retirement System] for 24 years while taking a salary at lower levels v. private sector." - wannabee conservative (Tuesday night's open line)

Memo to wannabee: Couldn't resist quoting you while visiting today with a retired high school teacher friend who "hung it up in 2004." At age 58. And after 36 years in Arkansas classrooms.

He said to tell you congrats; and welcome to his "sunny side of the street."

Then, just for the heck of it (and maybe to show-off a bit, too) he pulled out a statement ATRS sent him a couple weeks ago. Said I could share the contents with you for an idea of what you can expect in the years ahead.

Based on his and the state's combined contributions of $104,000 to the system throughout his career, and with his T-Drop folded into his regular ATRS annuity, he has drawn $631,000 since retiring.

And thanks to a 3% increase for inflation ATRS has provided every year or almost every year, he'll draw a little over $57,000 this fiscal year.

That, plus Social Security, makes for "a pretty sweet deal," he said, even if he "had to put up with a lot of shit" his last five years of teaching.

Can't say I disagree with him about any of that.

Meanwhile, a longtime physician friend is still practicing at age 81. Says he will never retire. Says he can't afford to. Says his brother, also an MD, retired ten years ago at 65 and is about to run out of money. (Perhaps his brother doesn't know how to manage his finances? Many docs don't.)

Anyway, there you are, wannabee. You might occasionally wish you had mo'money (as eLwood would say), but so long as those monthly ATRS checks keep rolling in, you'll never run out of it.

Good on you for working with the state's young people for 24 years. And good on all our teachers, current and retired. It's very hard work. And you folks deserve every dime of salary and every retirement benefit you receive.

It's easy to forget, but none of us would be where we are tonight had we not had good teachers.

16 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Durango on 08/03/2017 at 10:33 PM

Re: “Another Saturday night line

NVR, my rose (and favorite movie reviewer), it was wholly a pleasure to wake up this morning, pour a cup of hot black coffee, and find your recommendation to see "The Big Sick."

It sounds like another good 'un so I've moved it to the top of the list (along with Dunkirk) for a couple of long-overdue movie dates with DSSW.

Like you, we haven't been to a movie since I can't remember when. But were fixin' to get that situation corrected as soon as summertime activities slack off, the grandkids get back into school, etc.

Cato: You are a man heavily blessed with generous friends and neighbors. Apparently, you are deserving of their gifts. But do they know you're a lib?!

cbb and Olphart: You fellows take care. Stay strong. Be well.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Durango on 07/30/2017 at 7:18 AM

Re: “Another Saturday night line

Letter from the editor:

Every time I hit the add to cart button, I feel a twinge of guilt. Just a twinge, mind you, and it doesn't stop me from ordering another item from Amazon that I could have bought at a retail store. Why drive? With a push of the finger, boxes arrive at my door: books, razor blades, gasoline stabilizer, dog food and poop bags, ashwagandha root, waterproof car-key bags for my kayak.

This habit, of course, makes me complicit in how Amazon laid waste to the bookstores I once loved to browse, and in its ongoing siege of specialty shops, department stores, and malls.

When I Google, I'm also complicit in what the search giant (and Facebook) has done to the newspaper industry that employed me for 25 years, and still provides the reporting we need to have a functioning democracy. Yet shaped by immediate rewards, I go on Googling and one-click ordering anyway, abetting these companies growth into $500 billion behemoths as dominant as the monopolies of the Gilded Age.

No doubt about it: Amazon, Google, and Facebook have earned their success, by providing near-magical levels of convenience, instant information, and connection. But the pursuit of ever-larger profit and growth can be an amoral force, crushing everything in its way; creative destruction is not always socially beneficial.

In the late 19th century, the rapacious behavior of robber barons sparked a populist rebellion and the trust-busting of Teddy Roosevelt. Today, the costs of the tech giants dominance have largely been accepted: a massive loss of privacy, the erosion of public marketplaces and jobs, the growing control just a few companies have over the news and information millions of people consume.

Amazon, Google, and Facebook know us. They cater to and shape our wants. Seduced and dopamine-addicted, we do not object to our dependence, as we click our way into the future they have imagined for us.

William Falk
Editor-in-chief
The Week
August 4, 2017

-------------

Editor Falk's letter makes me all the happier that I got a haircut at my nearby and neighborly barbershop this morning, bought tires at Firestone, got a couple bottles of pinot noir at Sullivants, found exactly the locks and hinges I needed at Kraftco, picked up some good-looking squash, okra, and peaches at a roadside stand, and retrieved a repaired watch at Robersons Jewelry. Oh, yeah: I bought a Dumas Clarion yesterday, too. Great little newspaper! Even if Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder has retired.

OK, back to the kitchen fer me; the okra needs a fryin'.

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Durango on 07/29/2017 at 6:49 PM

Re: “Saturday open line

Had dinner in the River Market tonight.

Drove past the state Capitol on the way home.

Which brought forth thoughts of the Arkansas legislature.

And its 135 members from all over the state.

Particularly the five most despicable individuals among 'em.

And, yes, all five of 'em are Republicans.

But on this night the mind zeroed-in on Justin Harris.

And some of his misdeeds.

The most shameful being "re-homing" his adopted daughters into a hell hole.

And then the remarkable reporting Benji Hardy did on that deplorably-sad saga came to mind.

To say nothing of all the other splendid work he turned in.

All of which caused me to ponder more about the young reporter.

And to wonder why we haven't seen anything of him in a spell.

And to inquire if he's departed from the Arkansas Times.

And if so, when?

And why?

And to ask what he is up to these days.

And to spread upon the pages of the Arkansas Blog that he is missed.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Durango on 07/22/2017 at 9:53 PM

All Comments »

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