We married the following spring, and 17 years later we’re still married and call Arkadelphia home. I still have the scar on my lip from the accident, and it’s a constant reminder of how a horrible day somehow led to finding my soulmate, and a souvenir I’ll never lose.
We’d like to congratulate Facebook follower Derrick Derick Derek (D Beard) for being the first to accurately predict the outcome of the “Scars” series we’ve included in each “Bits & Pieces”. We know you’ll enjoy the six enormous cinnamon rolls from Ludwig’s Bakery. Thanks to everyone who played along and has kept up with the series. Maria Fields-Chism also predicted the marriage, but there never was a “perfect date” unless you count Taco Bell after I got a tattoo of a smiley face symbolizing how she made me feel. Lorrie Adams correctly predicted that I had found my soulmate. Honorable mention to Sarah Sykes for her humorously accurate knowledge of dating in college. Leftover pizza from work was a staple in our diet then. There were nights we stayed up until dawn, but I never vowed to keep my face shaven (as evidenced in the photo accompanying “Bits & Pieces”).
We plan to have another serial and contest, so pay attention!
We spent somewhere around five hours in the recent weeks waiting in a lobby while the Arkadelphia school board met in executive session during the hiring process of a new superintendent. That’s quite a lot of time just sitting by oneself with no one to talk to. After the first meeting, we found good company in a book from our personal library, one written by Matt Bondurant about his bootlegging grandfather and great-uncles in Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition. You might have seen the film adaptation, titled “Lawless” starring Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises”) and Shia Labeouf (“Holes”). It’s the second time we’ve thumbed through these pages.
We caught a little flack on Facebook when we broke the news that Arkadelphia Schools had a new superintendent because we didn’t outright name the person in our post. That’s not how this works, folks. We’re not going to spend hours waiting as the school board meets in executive session just to give details of a breaking news story in a Facebook post. We wanted you to know a decision had been made, and we went directly to work after that to write the story, which we did post on social media. In hindsight, we should have been upfront and said “Read the full story later this evening.”
Some days we get so buried in work, some good stories go left untold or forgotten altogether until we feel it’s too late. Story ideas come across our desk, but it seems they pour in during weeks when there’s plenty of big news happening. That noted we’re looking for some trustworthy folks who can write well and report accurately. If you know someone who’d be interested in some side work, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We had a conversation this week with our friend Joe May at The Southern Standard about the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission’s recent decision to open a bear season in Zone 4, which includes the southeastern portion of Clark County and most of southeastern Arkansas. Joe was unaware that there was a bear population large enough to sustain a hunting season, and we informed him there most certainly is! Bears have become such a nuisance in Dallas County that several years ago we stopped hunting at a lease near Manning where they seemed to run all the deer away and destroy our feeders. We started hunting in bottomlands in Ouachita County, below Tate’s Bluff, where bears (and Dallas County miscreants) were not an issue. Unfortunately, we learned last year that a black bear has been spotted on our lease there. If we have the time and resources this year, we might try to help fill the Zone 4 quota at our Manning lease.
We’ve somewhat kept up with the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial, but not because it’s the trial of the year. We were interested in whether Depp had a case against his former spouse because of their celebrity status, and also because we are big fans of “The Rum Diary,” a book on our shelves that’s been read more than once. The film adaptation, too, has been viewed at our home many, many times. We fancy our own parallels between how the newspaper journalist Paul Kemp (portraying a young Hunter S. Thompson) lives and works. Depp and Heard met and subsequently began their relationship while working on this film — Depp actually testified that he fell in love with her during the filming of a scene. The love story aside, we feel in good company with the young writer as he works on breaking a big story as the newspaper where he’s hired begins to fold. We see snippets of each character in ourselves — Kemp, Sala, Lotterman and even Moberg.
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We met and talked with a couple of fans of The Arkadelphian at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Clark County Courthouse. It’s always nice to hear from our readers who both appreciate our service and enjoy consuming our content.
Be sure and take a look at our Reader Poll, located on the right-hand side of the homepage (mobile users: scroll to the very bottom of the homepage). We’ll post the results of this one on June 8.
Joel Phelps is publisher and editor of The Arkadelphian. Any opinions expressed in this column are his own. Email him at email@example.com or call him at 501-304-2134.