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The Observer, Aug. 23 

Driving to the store yesterday afternoon, the temp at 100 or more, our attention was drawn to the handsomely landscaped brick home on Kavanaugh across from Pulaski Heights Baptist Church. This is the house, you may know, that has an illuminated image of a coyote howling at the moon, which memorializes, we suppose, Hillcrest's infamous cat-snarfing coyote.

Today, the light wasn't on. But a sprinkler was. And it wasn't sprinkling the yard. It was set atop the house, where it was madly sprinkling the shingled roof.

This had to be a heat-fighting measure of some sort. Or maybe just a guard against spontaneous combustion.

We don't know if this method provides any cooling inside. Or makes an air conditioner more efficient. But it couldn't hurt.

It reminded me of a summer trip we once took through Iowa. The August heat was stupefying. Our old convertible had an air conditioner, but could only crank so much cold air. We also had a squirming 3-year-old. Periodically, between visits to the Amana colonies, Pella, the University of Iowa, the Iowa State Fair and other totems of the Hawkeye state, we'd pull into an automatic car wash just for a cooling shower. Same principle as the house on Kavanaugh, I guess.

Our correspondent who misses nothing when it comes to signs at grocery stores about whose checks shouldn't be cashed passed on this one, posted at the Harvest Foods store in the Riverdale area.

Don't Take Checks

From Worthen Bank

It's Out of Business

Now who would try to cash a check on Worthen Bank? It's been suggested to us that a likely candidate would be a prominent, sweet old lady from old Little Rock whose regular merchants have found it less stressful to get her lawyer to make good on the checks than to tell her that her bank is closed.

Maybe — but she sure had to have bought a pile of Worthen Bank checks for them to last this long. It's been out of business for 13 years.

We called Bill Worthen over at the Historic Arkansas Museum to check the date of Worthen's purchase by Boatman's Bank. He said he had some Worthen Bank checks still — from the 1800s.

Worthen reminded us of a bet made years ago by a couple of creative Little Rock gentlemen. It was that a check was just one way to represent a person's promise that an amount owed was truly in a bank and would be transferred. To prove it, the better wrote his friend a check on his Worthen Bank account on a piece of wood. And the friend was able to cash it.

It's unlikely Harvest Foods would take a wooden check these days. It hasn't taken wooden nickels in forever.

The Observer got a call from a man purporting to be an old hippie. He'd read here about the North Little Rock cop seen dropping off a panhandler in Little Rock.

The caller was reminded of a ride he got from a North Little Rock cop once. He'd been stopped at a body shop for having a car with no plates, but our hippie explained to the officer that the car was an antique and he was there to get it in running order. He also confessed that the two cigarettes in his shirt pocket weren't of the tobacco variety.

The cop made him take one out of his pocket, throw it on the ground and stomp on it. That was for the benefit of the officers in the other police cars. Then he gave our hippie a lift to Little Rock. His fare: the other joint, and his lighter as well.

The Observer has received several responses to our plea for enlightenment on the end of the movie “Zodiac.” A person under 30 couldn't read the rolled type at the end of the movie, either. So we are not to feel bad.

We're told also that the major suspect managed to escape punishment by keeling over with a heart attack. And that DNA on one of the Zodiac's letters wasn't his. And we're told to read “Zodiac Unmasked.” We're looking for the large print version.

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