By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian
If I could volunteer to do one thing the rest of my life, it would be to report on election nights. There’s so much energy in the air! One way or another there will be victory, and there will be loss. It’s in these moments that both the victor and (for lack of better terms) loser will use the media to speak honestly about their feelings. The trick to this is being in the right place at the right time. Being mostly a one-man news reporting operation, it’s impossible to be in two places at once. While election officials are announcing results as we livestream them, there are likely two major watch parties happening. Sprinting — or, rather, walking really damn fast — from the courthouse to one of these watch parties, one is likely to miss the raw emotion as candidates learn whether they’ve won or lost. Yet I somehow manage to capture a glimpse of what it’s like to win or lose.
That noted, my hat goes off to anyone with courage enough to put their name on the line, rain or shine, to seek a public office. It takes a special kind of person to step up and be heard, to have your face and/or name associated with your win or loss. I speak on authority here, as my byline goes above the stories I compose that are read by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of strangers. Both integral and minute details are sometimes unfortunately and erroneously excluded, and it can be a hard pill to swallow when called out on them. There once was a time I would wake in a cold sweat worried about the misspelling of a subject’s name, or even a misplaced punctuation mark. Nowadays, with the advent of social media, I often worry about the folks who leave potentially libelous comments. This happened just Tuesday evening as I was working the election and had to remove some comments. Although personally I’m a huge fan and user of pirate lingo, this publication will not allow libelous comments or foul language on our social media or website posts.
I’ve discovered recently that I’m the most popular person in town when there’s an election or a house fire.
This Saturday marks the opener of the 2022 modern gun deer season, and will likely be the second consecutive season opener I’ve missed. Last year I was in the midst of launching this website you’re so kindly visiting right now and was able to squeeze in one late-night hog hunt. Although this year is slightly different in the sense that I could step away for a weekend, I’ve found it more difficult to spend the money and time planning for the hunt. Inflation has put wildlife feed on the bottom of my list of essentials, and if I took the financial plunge to put corn on the ground it would only be vacuumed immediately by wild hogs and/or black bears (the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission will eventually own all Arkansans an apology for the reintroduction of this beastly omnivore). Vienna sausages, too, are a mite costly now for the thrifty hunter who thrives on certain traditional snacks. Far as I’m concerned, Walmart can keep certain canned goods and let them go on clearance once they’ve expired a decade from now.
We here at The Arkadelphian want to promote more community events. In fact, we’ve got an entire category dedicated to calendar events. If your organization has an event planned, please don’t assume we know about it because we’re “the news”! Just send us a kind note asking us to help promote your community event if the public is welcome to attend. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joel Phelps is editor and publisher of The Arkadelphian. He has little recollection of last year’s hog hunt, but don’t ask him why. He can be reached by phone at 501-304-2134 or by telegraph at •-•• • •- •••- • / — • / •- •-•• — -• •.