Favorite

Observer, March 13 

The condition of “Crane Unfolding,” the sculpture in the middle of the River Market food hall, tells us something about Little Rock and its attitude toward art.

Kevin Box's sculpture, an 8-foot-tall stainless steel representation of an origami crane in its stages of creation, stood for the longest time on a rusty drum, like a bunch of lovely flowers stuck into an old can of Schlitz. The drum disappeared, finally, replaced by a smaller piece of iron on a circular base.

Now, the sculpture, painted white, is filthy with dust. You could write your name in it; surprisingly, no one has. Colored lights have been focused on it, as one would a 1950s Christmas tree. And the last insult: “Crane Unfolding” looks like it's been sideswiped by “Red Truck Oncoming,” thanks to a smear of red paint on one side.

OK, so “Crane Unfolding” isn't one of a kind. But neither is Henry Moore's “Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge.” Like Knife Edge, it will eventually be placed outside, in the playground being built in Riverfront Park, and there it will have to suffer the vicissitudes of weather.

Now, however, it sits uncared for, ignored. Heck, the tables in the River Market get swiped clean. (The floor not so much.) “Crane Unfolding” was a gift of sculpture to the city. Maybe the last.

Standing in line affects people different ways. Some, like The Observer, queue up quietly, just hoping to get through as soon as possible and not call attention to themselves in the meantime. Others, of a vivacious nature, see a line as a place to meet new friends and make new fans. The Observer was stalled in the express line at the supermarket when we noticed — couldn't keep from noticing — a fellow customer who was pronouncing loudly on the weather (“It's NOT gonna snow, people”) and other subjects. Then the man stared at The Observer and said, “Did anybody ever tell you you look like George Patton?” No, The Observer replied truthfully, no one had ever remarked on a resemblance to General Patton. (Nor to George C. Scott, who played Patton in the movie, either.) “Well you do,” the man said. And then he broke into song: “Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling ... ” Had a pretty good voice, too. The Observer tried not to look at him; so did the other customers. Eventually he stopped. No one applauded. The Observer imagined him going home and telling his spouse “Wow! Tough crowd at Harvest Foods.”

Mr. Pipes was almost right. The Observer, having awakened to clear streets, was filing a complaint with the Weather Service on Friday and demanding an apology when the snow finally started to fall. It was 10 hours late. However, all is forgiven. It was terrific snowball snow, which made up for its ephemeral nature.

From our paper to Holland: The Observer passed along a message from a high school teacher in the Netherlands requesting information about a soldier from Arkansas who is buried at Henri-Chapelle, an American cemetery in Belgium. The teacher, Rob Stal, takes flowers to the grave of Ssgt. Odis M. Isaacs. Why? He's grateful for the American soldiers. Why Isaacs? Just because.

Stal writes to say he's been sent via e-mail a picture of Isaacs and his obituary from a reader in Arkansas. Isaacs was 23 and in the 119th infantry when he was killed in action Dec. 19 in Belgium in 1944. He entered the service a little more than a year earlier. He was born in Greenbrier, and was survived by his father, a brother, two sisters and a step-sister, all of Arkansas. Stal will use the information in his classes to make the war “more personal.”

He's also received another letter from Arkansas, from a man whose brother also lies in Henri-Chapelle, asking if he could make a visit to that grave as well.

“Thanks from a friend in Holland,” Stal says.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

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

  • 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

 

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