BITS & PIECES: Friday, July 8

Pine Street looks quite different now, as more businesses are being razed to make way for what our community call a progressive move toward growth. In the past few days, the old El Mariachi located in the curve across from the Church of God was demolished. We snapped a photo of the happening and posted to Facebook. At the time of this writing the post had received 165 comments, most of them sentimental. According to our followers, the site had been a Food Center grocery store in the ’50s and a Phillips 66 gas station in the ’60s. At some point it became a restaurant, home to a Chicken Lickin’, an Asian restaurant and in past years been home to a number of Mexican restaurants. A couple of our readers even remember it being a car wash.

Call it whatever you remember it as, this building located in “the curve” on Pine Street was recently razed to make way for the widening of Pine Street.

Other buildings on Pine Street that have come down were Unique Barber (no worries, as owner Matt Pitman was ahead of the game here and had already built a new shop on the lot south of it) and the small Edward Jones office building at the corner of 14th and Pine streets.

Looking south from the site of the former Clark County Hospital and future site of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park is the old Unique Barber being torn down, with its newly built location of the same name behind.
Looking southwest from 14th Street is Arby’s (left), which will keep its location, the newly built Unique Barber (green), and the former site of Unique Barber in the final moments of demolition.
The Mexican restaurant Los Agaves relocated to Caddo Valley prior to the demolition of its former site on Pine Street.
Looking southeast from the present location of Domino’s, two buildings have been demolished on Pine Street in the past week. In the foreground was a recent Edward Jones office building, and in the background is the now-vacant lot/former home of several Mexican restaurants. | The Arkadelphian photos/Joel Phelps

Speaking of Pine Street and the work there, several of the comments were from readers confusing the widening of Pine with the Arkadelphia Bypass project. We regret to inform you we were stuck in the confinements of a smelly lumber mill at the time our state and local leaders unveiled this plan, so we’re a bit fresh on the topic but are learning a lot as the weeks go on. What we do know is that the projects are different. Pine Street is being widened to include two driving lanes and a turning lane, and the bypass will skirt south of town, tie into Highway 67 and somehow to 10th Street. Pretty much everything you want to know can be found by visiting this site and clicking through.

Residents look at an artist’s renderings of the proposed Arkadelphia Bypass project as it affects the intersection at 10th and Caddo streets. The renderings were on display at the June meeting of the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County. | The Arkadelphian photo/Joel Phelps

Many of the comments were from lifelong residents expressing great sentiment for the Arkadelphia they knew in their youth. It brings to mind a John Prine lyric from “Paradise”:
Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

We’re all sentimental, in some fashion, of our hometowns when we were carefree and the bad things in life were so few. But when we feel stuck in a rut, change is inevitable. Same logic applies for communities. Let’s count our blessings that the state is investing in Clark County and earmarking us for progress. Visit Dallas or Ouachita counties lately? Count yourself lucky if you haven’t.

We’ve had a few questions and comments lately about how we cover certain topics.
Reader: “You let us know about traffic accidents and to avoid the area, but never give any further info, like who was involved, who’s at fault, etc.”
Arkadelphian: In following the model we most trust,, we try our best to inform readers via Facebook when an accident is serious enough that firefighters are responding. For safety reasons, we advise readers to avoid the area if possible, to give authorities the chance to save lives and conduct their business. Unless a crash is a deadly one or greatly affects traffic, we see no news value in following up.
Reader: “Hey Joe — what happened to the marriage/divorce reports? The Oracle page is also down.”
Arkadelphian: In weighing the impact of this information being broadcast in a town of Arkadelphia’s size, the decision was made to halt publication of divorce filings. This information is available online on Arkansas Court Connect should anyone be curious enough to read about marital issues.

4,110 readers.

Creature in the Woods
Part 8/10
There’s something about a meal made using cast iron cookware. They take us to a simpler time when words like teflon, nonstick, aluminum and silicone would seem alien. One feels accomplished after cooking with cast iron, and rather satisfied upon dining on a meal made in a Dutch oven — especially when it’s coals you’re using above and below to heat the pot. This quiche was absolutely delectable: one we wouldn’t forget, but one we wouldn’t make again. After the S’mores were finished and we were all satisfied with our tame excursion, we walked back to the creek to wash the food smell from our skin.

We realize we’re a bit late to the conversation about the Roe v. Wade decision, but mark our words: the conservative right who wished for its reversal are not prepared for the outcome; our culture is far too liberal.

Joel Phelps is publisher and editor of The Arkadelphian. Any opinions in this column are his own, and he still detests everything related to the lumber industry. Email him at or call him at 501-304-2134.

Leave a Reply