Favorite

An obituary of Hugh B. Patterson, publisher of the Arkansas Gazette, said, “Patterson sold the Gazette to the Gannett Co. a short time later, and often professed unhappiness with the changes the national chain made to the state’s ‘gray lady.’ ”

The late Arkansas Gazette’s nickname was not “gray lady,” and Hugh Patterson would have known that. Nor was it “old gray lady,” as one of the Gannetoids called it during a staff meeting, apparently thinking of “the old gray mare” of song. (This was not the only evidence of confusion on his part.) No, the nickname was “the old lady,” and it apparently came from an essay by James Street, who was at one time a well-known writer of both fiction and non-fiction, mostly about the South, and who had worked at the Gazette early in his career. Street wrote:

“For more than a hundred years, the popular symbols of the state of Arkansas were a fiddler, a slow train, a razorback hog, and a hillbilly. But that’s not so these days and a lot of credit for the change goes to a sedate newspaper that seldom changes, a fussy old lady of a newspaper whose brass knucks never are visible under her prim white gloves. She is the Arkansas Gazette, oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River and published every morning in Little Rock, usually a quiet guardian who watches her state like an old Dominiquer hen scratching for her mixed brood while taking a few juicy worms for herself. … She’s a Southern lady from any angle … ”

This was written before the 1957 integration crisis, when the Gazette would gain its greatest fame.

The Gazette died in 1991. Some might say it makes no difference now what her nickname was. But at the Gazette, getting things right was always important, and those who worked there can’t break the habit.



If you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taut:

Both Mike Morrissey and Bob Lancaster took note of this sports-page item:

“The taught emotions boiled over with Terry punching Finley …”


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

  |  

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

January

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

  • Will Arkansas join the red state revolt? Part II

    Looking ahead to state Senate elections.
  • Sex crusaders

    Some years ago, a married woman of my acquaintance confided that a locally famous physician kept squeezing her thigh under the table at a dinner party. Actually, the fellow was famous for that, too. Removing his hand hadn't worked. She'd thought about stabbing him with a fork, but hadn't wanted to make a scene.
  • The Oval outhouse

    One thing all Americans finally can agree upon is that public discourse has coarsened irretrievably in the era of Donald Trump and largely at his instance.
  • Trump's 'Actual malice'

    While his words away from cameras in the Oval Office the following morning will have a more immediate impact on the futures of DACA recipients and America's reputation around the globe, President Trump's statement on libel law in the United States last week represents a more thorough assault on the country's fundamental values through its disrespect for the rule of law and lack of understanding of the nation's history.
  • Along the civil rights trail

    A convergence of events in recent days signaled again how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in civil rights.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Banned in 2018

    • I thought Faulkner said "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

    • on January 17, 2018
  • Re: Playing to a crowd

    • Somebody said 'WOKE' and ' Hilary Clinton was by and far the best candidate we…

    • on January 16, 2018
  • Re: Banned in 2018

    • By God, I think Bob covered every goddam one of 'em! Thanks.

    • on January 16, 2018
 

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