Favorite

Hazy, good times 

Back when The Observer was a pup, new in Little Rock and working a real job for the first time, I lived in the second floor of an old brick house near MacArthur Park with a pair of roommates who lit out for bigger cities long ago. Our rent was cheap. Aside from the day we moved in and the day we left, our kitchen was never clean. Every time we had a party, a leg from our coffee table gave way. It was a good time. A time, I recalled last weekend at the wedding of one of the old roommates, that lives on in my mind as the hazy halcyon days. Which is to say, I can't remember that era with much specificity, but it gives me a warm feeling. Some of the fuzziness is a product of the passage of time; it's been a decade. Some might have to do with our lifestyle at the time. We went to a bar or had people over to our house Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Just like the Baptists, we needed a couple of days of weekly ritual in between. On Wednesday, your trusty scribe hosted a radio show, a recuperative soundtrack for the house and friends across the city, where I tried to never play the same song twice. On Sunday, we'd eat our breakfast on the porch and watch the Latino congregants eat mangoes on sticks after mass at St. Edward's Catholic Church.

Other blips of memory: one roommate, the one who recently got married, wearing the same purple tuxedo shirt every time we had a dance party and always dancing in front of the mirror; our furniture flying off the second floor porch (Why? To what end? I can't remember); a jilted flame of the other roommate riding her bike into one of the duck ponds at MacArthur Park in an attempt to get his attention.

The roommate who recently got married was the house mascot. People came to our house and later became enduring friends with The Observer because of him. He was mostly known for the loud times. The impromptu sing-alongs. The dancing. Surely he was responsible for throwing our furniture off the porch. But, as I said in a toast at his wedding, he was exceptionally good at the quiet times, too. My fondest, if still vague, memories of that time involve sitting around and talking about things that don't matter. I used that line at the wedding, too, and another friend called out, "But they do matter!" Which of course is true.

Speaking of our friend, befitting a person good at both the loud and quiet times, he threw a monster of a wedding in New Orleans. The wedding party, or at least all those aside from the bride, walked down the aisle to a mournful, achingly beautiful acoustic rendition of "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)." The groom and the officiate, both writers, put together the vows with input from the bride. Our favorites:

"Will you promise to always cook with salt, but never too much?"

"We will."

"And whoever doesn't cook, does the dishes?"

"Right."

"Knowing that D. will play too much fantasy baseball and G. will watch too many trashy cooking shows on The Food Network, will you strive to turn foibles into avenues of admiration?"

"We will."

The ceremony concluded with the groom singing an old song by Minnie Ripperton's band Rotary Connection to the bride, then the bride singing with the groom, then the wedding party singing with the wedding couple and then all in attendance singing along. The bride played a harmony line on her trombone on the last verse. Which segued nicely into a New Orleans brass band leading the wedding in a second line of hollering and singing and dancing joyously through the Lower Garden District.

Who knows what the next 10 years will bring for The Observer, but hopefully memory will save a place for a snippet of the wedding. The sound of the bass drum pounding down the street and "turn foibles into avenues of admiration" would be enough.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in The Observer

  • Dumb and smart, at the same time

    The Observer spent the week at a bar and thought a lot about a joke and its writer.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • -30-

    A newspaper died up in Atkins a few weeks back, not with a bang or a whimper, but with the sound of change jingling in a pocket, just too little of it to keep the printing presses rolling.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Does she know?

    Did Kim Walker-Smith, when recording "Throne Room" for her new record "On My Side," truly understand the power of her music? Does she now know that her song was the one that played on the radio as Michael Reed thumped into the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds and brought it on down?
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
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

  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Go Fund Me Page. https://www.gofundme.com/RuthCokerBurks

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: The ballad of Fred and Yoko

    • I grew up in Charleston and attended the College of Charleston, right around the corner…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: A week at Midtown

    • Beautifully & perfectly written. Maggie & Mistown are definitely unique & awesome!!

    • on July 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation