Jerry Dean | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Jerry Dean 
Member since Nov 9, 2011

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  • Jack Meriwether dies at 79

    I've just received word that Jack Meriweather, 79, died this morning at St. Vincent Hospice.
    • Jun 27, 2013
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Recent Comments

Re: “Boys State goes for Trump in a landslide

Only my friend and erstwhile newsroom colleague, Max, would have the cajones to enter that lions' den of kneejerk reactionaries and second-generation wingnuts, bearing aloft a torch of political Enlightenment. I much admire the Maxie Moxie he showed. But I fear any remedial education in that hall would be an Exercise in Futility, so thorough has been their teenaged indoctrination. If this is typical of where bright, young minds now are headed in this country, I weep for our future as a nation. My sons are daughters are reared with all their anti-Trump innoculations, and at least, I may be grateful for that!

13 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Dean on 06/01/2016 at 7:22 AM

Re: “In passing: James Merriweather, newsman

When MACE and I were friendly rivals, working for opposing newspaper war papers, we both were assigned to try and infiltrate a heated Leadership meeting of the Teamsters Local off Sixty-fifth Street. We both managed to get into the closed meeting, but the Local had no African-American members. So James was fingered and firmly evicted. I managed to duck the sergeant-at-arms and stay to take notes for a story on the meeting. Mercifully, he did not "rat me out." He had such a great sense of humor, we later laughed about the episode as friends. Later, we became newsroom colleagues. Always admired his spirit and sense of humor. He will be deeply missed....

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jerry Dean on 01/25/2016 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Stop the presses: Cordell's potato and chicken salads are back

That theatre on Beech St (not yet Beechwood Ave.) was the old Prospect, named for the avenue that had streetcar lines before it was renamed Kavanaugh. After theatre closed, 1952, it became state's first TV studio, KRTV which was a UHF Channel 17. It operated this for a year, just south of Churchman-Gill-Rhea Drugs until KATV Ch. 7, a VHF stn., bought its studio. Erected that 800-plus-foot tall tower everyone was certain soon would topple into their houses. It didn't and, in 1965, KATV built the 2,000-foot tower nar Redfield for its antenna. Took down the Hillcrest "stick." KATV operated in Hillcrest until a mysterious fire on Halloween night 1957 destroyed the studio, adjacent to the old wooden Safeway on Kavanaugh. KATV moved to Worthen Bank Bldg. at 4th & Main, and Safeway bult a new store at Woodlawn and Beech. That store later became a Harvst Foods and finally a Kroger after several remodelings. The old Prospect, Treet's Café and the KRYV/KATV studio once stood where Kroger's north pkg lot is now!

Posted by Jerry Dean on 01/25/2015 at 7:42 PM

Re: “Arkansas Times is 40 today

My congratulations to all former news colleagues at the Times, on having survived and thrived in four decades of excellent publishing! I well recall when Alan began the Union Station Times. I wrote then for the Democrat and doubted any such enterprise could survive amid a newspaper war. But later, at the Gazette, I had the pleasure of working with Mara Leveritt (then Margaret Arnold). By then, Alan had the Times on a good footing to compete. My former city editor, Max Brantley, since has capably steered its coverage, with help from veteran journalists like Leslie Peacock. Leslie and I worked the old Democrat's copydesk "rim" in '72. I still mourn loss of the Gazette, my home for a dozen years. But it's nice to know its proud traditions of news fairness, accuracy survive.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Dean on 09/06/2014 at 9:52 AM

Re: “The History of the Heights & Hillcrest

This is a good overview, but sure omits important parts of Hillcrest and Heights "history." Mentions the Heights Theatre, which many of us recall, but not the iconic Prospect Theatre near Kavanaugh and what once was Beech St. In 1952-3, that community theatre was remodeled as site of state's first TV studio, KRTV-UHF Channel 17.Old KRTV lasted just a year, but soon was succeded by KATV Ch. 7, a station licensed to Pine Bluff. The KATV studio burned one Halloween night, mid-1950s, and relocated to Main St. where Worthen Bank & Trust Co. once had offices. Much more history unrelated here from back when PH Baptist Church's building was Pulaski Heihgts City Hall, when Leo's Greek Castle was a Tastee-Freeze, when "dueling drugstores" occupied the Beechwood corner, when a suspension bridge crossed Allsopp Park and when Kavanaugh Blvd. still was a trolley car line known as "Prospect Avenue." Woodlawn, I believe, once was 'Fifth Avenue' in the old Town of Pulaski Heights.... Cheryl Nichols and others have compiled good research on much of this...

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Dean on 07/18/2013 at 7:11 AM

Re: “Robert McCord dies at 84

During my career as a journalist in Arkansas and Tennessee, I met no editor whose mere presence elevated our profession as did Bob McCord's. Bob set a sterling example for his many newsroom proteges to emulate. I was privileged to write 1970s Democrat editorials under his guidance, when he served us all as national SDX president. We remained colleagues and friends after moving to the 1980s Arkansas Gazette. Ever modest and unassuming, Bob was a gentle soul. Yet he was dynamic in his tireless advocacy of the First Amendment and open government. McCord columns, never mean-spirited or sniggering, were written only in the reading public's best interest. I shall miss his style, eloquence. And his easy humor.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Dean on 04/14/2013 at 7:42 AM

Re: “The History of the Heights & Hillcrest

I believe you wil find that swimming pool was once known as White City. There's also a lot of local history surrounding Fred W. Allsopp, an Arkansas Gazette official and owner of Allsopp & Chapple boonstore for whom Allsopp Park is named. The park once sported a footbridge so resident could readily cross the chasm to the Prospect Avenue carline bwlow. Only the bridge's pillars still remain now in the park. Much more local lore with names like Leo Whisenant, owner of the malt shop that once was Taft Moody's, druggists Troy Churchman and Roy Rhea, cobbler Dan Troilette, barber John Bush and the DeClues D&D Laundry and Spatz's wonderful German Bakery.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Dean on 02/17/2013 at 3:18 PM

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