Smart talk, Jan. 8 

Teach the children well

In his new book “Do The Right Thing” (see full review, this issue), former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attempts to tie up a chapter on the importance of self-governance with a strange anecdote — odd not because it makes his point, but because it refutes his point so totally. It's a story from the 2008 campaign trail in which his daughter, Sarah, made a run to a Houston bakery to get pie for the staff. On the way back, speeding to catch a flight, she was pulled over by the police. We'll let Mike take it from here.

“She figured she might as well tell the whole story. ‘Officer, I know I was speeding. I don't have any ID with me, or any proof of insurance. If I had the rental agreement, you'd see that I'm not authorized to drive this car, anyway. All I have is a business card showing I work for Governor Mike Huckabee, and I'm trying to get back to him and Chuck Norris with thirty-five pieces of pie.'

“The policeman stood at the car window, momentarily speechless. He looked at Sarah, looked at her card, looked at the pie. 

“Finally, he said, ‘You couldn't possibly make this up.' Another pause. ‘Tell you what. I'm a big Mike Huckabee fan. And a huge Chuck Norris fan. If you'll promise to send me an autographed picture, I'll let you slide this time.'

“Carefully observing the speed limit, Sarah drove the rest of the way back to the tennis center and we loaded up for the airport. Once in the air, there was pie in the sky for everyone, and three cheers for a very forgiving Houston police officer who, I hope, eventually got his picture. That's self-government in action.”

The moral of the story: When in doubt, name-drop.


Bring Kleenex


Booker T. Washington addressed a crowd of thousands there in 1913. On Jan. 20, in the third-floor auditorium of the historic Mosaic Templars building, now the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at Ninth and Broadway, the inauguration of the nation's first black president will be simulcast, starting at 11 a.m. The event is free to the public, but tickets are limited to two per person. To get a ticket, call 683-3734 or e-mail phyllis@arkansasheritage.org.

After President Barack Obama is sworn in, the student choir from Washington Elementary Magnet school will sing “You can grow up to be president.” 

The Department of Arkansas Heritage opened the Mosaic Templars museum of black Arkansas history in October.


Now in service


The University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service's River Market campus will start holding classes Jan. 12 in the newly refurbished 1882 Budget Office Building.

The building is part of the Central Arkansas Library's new Arkansas Studies Institute on President Clinton Boulevard, directly across from the River Market. The University of Arkansas paid for the $1 million renovation of the school and holds a 20-year lease, with 20 years renewable.

The building provides additional classroom, office and meeting space for the School of Public Service, located on the grounds of the Clinton Library.


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