Favorite

The Observer Aug. 31 

Problems with the Mobile Observatory and an early-morn appointment at the Hospital de Automobile occasioned The Observer to undertake something we haven’t had the pleasure of in a long time: an a.m. stroll in downtown Little Rock. Back eons ago, when The Observer worked nights for awhile in college, we had the distinct joy of being able to drive through the still-dozing city a few times a week. Though we haven’t missed the 2 a.m. lunch hours, we do miss that.
There is something even more intimate about hoofing it — comparable to the difference between watching film of a beautiful sleeping woman and actually waking up next to her. For someone like The Observer, who loves this town boots to balls, as the cowgirls say, an early morning trip through Little Rock on foot is a glorious thing. The sun was already up when we left Eighth Street, where our truck doctor hangs his shingle (Foster’s Garage, just to give a shout-out). We had forgotten just how cool it could be in the mornings, even in August — especially if you keep to the sidewalks still varnished in shadow like little pockets of dawn. It makes for a longer trip, those hops back and forth across the street to catch the shade, but we didn’t mind it much.
Garbage trucks and delivery vans prowl the streets at that hour — mechanical mastodons. Once, somewhere between Main and Broadway, we squinted east through a gap in the buildings, and saw the sun speared on a church spire. A few blocks further, a homeless man looked wistfully into the window of Bennett’s Surplus for a moment, then adjusted his backpack and soldiered on. On the side of the Stephens Building, three chrome strips we had never noticed before reflected little hashmarks of sun, almost too bright too look at, and they crept up the face of building as we walked.
At the corner of Third and Louisiana, we couldn’t help but take a look through the window of the old Gazette building. The Observer is too young to have worked at the Gazette, though we do seem to remember a field trip or two there. Standing in the marble-cool atrium of the building, we cupped our hands to the glass. Inside, a broad, carpeted hallway, fronted by offices, ran to an iron staircase — all still and quiet enough to make us imagine ghosts; long-dead reporters shouting into telephones and phantom editors scratching away at copy long since put to bed. Behind us, a truck honked and a pigeon whirred away from the carved cornice over the door and our breath fogged the glass — a perfect moment, caught somewhere between light and shade.

When the Times reviewed the Faith Hill concert in July, the reviewer mentioned that the singer seemed to loosen up after she got a note that someone named Granny Bettye wanted to hear her sing “I Surrender All.” Granny’s niece, Laura Meacham, got word of the review and wrote us a note to set us straight about one of the details:
“Hi, I just wanted to correct an article I received via e-mail about the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill concert. That was my aunt (Granny Bettye) that Faith sang “I Surrender All” for and it wasn’t a little girl that handed her a note. Bettye’s daughter, grandson and a friend flew from Dallas to see the show. They made a poster beforehand that asked Faith to sing the song while my aunt was on the phone, in Texas. Her grandson is a teen-ager and he was the one holding the poster which Faith read, then later returned and asked “Is she still on the phone?” and then she sang. And that is the way it happened, no little girl involved at all. They went to the concert in Dallas and liked it so much they got tickets for Little Rock and got the idea to make the poster since they were on the front row — and it worked!
“I had no idea there was an Arkansas Times but it was interesting reading about my family from Texas! I’ll go online and read it often, it’s a good publication. I just thought I’d write and make a correction to the article since I knew the people!”
We who inhabit one strand of the World Wide Web stand corrected by someone in another. We feel just like the folks at Wikipedia must. Grateful.

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

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
  • The Grand Old Flag

    The Observer, like nearly everyone else with access to an internet connection, routinely sees our personal lighthouse battered by Hurricane Outrage, which — on a planet where billions of people struggle to find water and a crumb of daily bread — seems more like a tempest in a teapot inside a series of other, progressively larger teapots the longer we weather it.
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • The sweet hereafter

    This week, the Arkansas Times falls back on that oldest of old chestnuts: a recipe issue. Being who we are, of course, we had to put a twist on that; namely, the fact that most of the recipes you'll find in these pages are courtesy of people who have shuffled off to that great kitchen in the sky, where the Good Lord is always whipping up new things in his toque and apron, running the great mixers of genetics and time, maybe presenting the batter-dipped beaters and bowls to Jesus for a lick down.
    • Dec 8, 2016

Latest in The Observer

  • 'Isle of Dogs'

    The Observer is a big fan of the director Wes Anderson, so there was around zero-point-zero chance of our missing his new flick "Isle of Dogs" the weekend it opened.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Home place

    Even though it up and sleeted April 7, a sight so odd that even Junior looked up from his phone for a second, this time of year gets The Observer thinking about the old home place out Congo way, that big white house with the red roof that dear Pa and Ma rebuilt from a leaning cracker box with their own hands.
    • Apr 12, 2018
  • Mansplainin'

    The Observer has always been partial to strong women. Strong people in general, of course, but strong women in particular.
    • Apr 5, 2018
  • More »

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A Q&A with Hanna Al-Jibouri

    • So proud of you, Hanna, and the life- changing work you are doing for precious…

    • on April 19, 2018
  • Re: Kids leading

    • It's a shame that US still allows corporal punishments in school, it's an unacceptable act,…

    • on April 19, 2018
  • Re: Kids leading

    • Paddling in school is disgusting and it's a shame that US still allows that practice,…

    • on April 19, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation