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First Stop … Santa Fe.

Patti and I, once again, enjoyed a leisurely road trip with several memorable stops along the way to Buena Vista. More about that later.

We always relish a little pause in the State Capitol of New Mexico. There’s something new every time we visit Santa Fe. Of course, we had dinner in the historic La Fonda Hotel and made the obligatory rounds of the Plaza where, this time, there was an antique auto show. We spent most of our time at the fast growing Railyard Artisan Market. I love their mission … providing the local artisan community a venue where they can sell their products. Many of these artists might have little chance of displaying on the square or Canyon Rd … The Railyard is a perfect place to get introduced to the public. Looks like it’s working!

Next Stop … another favorite place of ours … Las Vegas, New Mexico.

This small city is fast becoming a player in the destination tourism business. We have been coming through Las Vegas for years … most times to pass thru or merely stop for the night. One time we stayed in the beautiful historic Plaza Hotel on the square and last year we serendipitously happened on the SKILLET RESTAURANT. The couple pictured below (photo credit santafe.com) is the owner/founder, Isaac and Shawna. There story is pretty amazing. For example,if you look carefully above the entryway of their building, you can see the giant 3 foot iron skillet that started it all. Isaac has his art/sculpture studio next door … his creativity is obvious … both inside and outside.. Besides, the food is good too … our burgers were as good or better than any we have eaten anywhere.

This little city is definitely a place to visit … history, retail, business, etc. etc. While you are there, don’t miss The Skittle!

BUENA VISTA, COLORADO!!!

8000′ elevation, citizen population 3000, daytime population probably at least double that … most importantly … LOCATION … Roaring Arkansas River on the East side and 14.000′ Collegiate Peaks on the West side. For spellbinding beauty and thrilling outdoor recreation, there’s not a place in Colorado any better. And now, in addition to all these natural features, Buena Vista has become a city reinventing itself with new and modern housing, an entire South Main river community development, coffee bars, every day and fine dining restaurants, etc. Next time we will stay longer.

I think we’ve had a love affair with Buena Vista for years but based on short visits in the past. This time we had four days allowing us plenty of time to relax, explore and experience that “At Home” feeing in this beautiful community. Oh … did I mention … the morning temps ranged all the way from 40-44 degrees.

Not a bad City Park
Crave … our favorite restaurant in BV

I’ll finish up by saying this was another beautiful time for Patti and me to rest and enjoy time together. Our focus was Buena Vista. However, we did make it to Salida for lunch on the river and then Sopaipillas in Leadville at Casa Blanca … once again open Post Covid. We always learn something interesting while driving thru small towns … Did you know that Syracuse, Kansas in 1887 became the first city in the USA to have an ALL-FEMALE city council? The things you learn on the Blue Highways!

Check out the slide show below as well. SAFE TRAVELS! Jimd

In my last blog posting I wrote about a visit to New Orleans Loyola University Campus where I attended my first two years of College. What I failed to mention, or had forgotten or possibly never knew was the significance of the name to me personally. Obviously it had meaning because I went to school there. More than that is my connection to its root history … accidentally stumbled on yesterday. I was looking at my photo of the main building and a question popped into my head … Was there a Saint Loyola? A quick google search reminded me that there was not a Saint Loyola, but there is a Saint Ignatius of Loyola. He was one of the founders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Priest Oder) and became the first Superior General of the Society in 1541. And, on top of that, his feast day is July 31 … my birthday. Talk about synchronicity … or, is it more than that?

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, SJ

Loyola University, New Orleans, La.

I won’t even admit the number of years since I spent my Freshman and Sophomore years in New Orleans at Loyola University. I will admit to a flood of memories as Patti and I walked the campus a couple of weeks ago. The short story is this. I enrolled at Loyola with plans to study Dentistry only to change my mind one day before classes were to begin. My parents were pretty understanding, I switched to Business and, in my third year, transferred to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where I successfully graduated with a BSBA in Business and Marketing. Irony of Ironies … our son, DJ, is now a very successful Dentist in Little Rock.

I loved my time at Loyola and in New Orleans … Saint Charles Trolley, Audubon Park, Garden District, even Bourbon Street. I made great friends, especially one named “Ducky”. What a friend! He even dated my girlfriend after I left Louisiana for Arkansas. Yes, what a friend! Thanks Ducky!

Then there were the Jesuits. I was fortunate to have several as teachers finding them to be deeply intellectual, powerfully effective as teachers and spiritually wise in matters of faith, morals and religion. I had been raised as a Catechism Catholic using the instruction system of fixed questions, answers and precepts. The fundamentals committed to memory. My Jesuit instructors took all that and explained/taught the science, philosophy and spiritual basis. They taught us to “learn and think”.

Typical Tourist … We headed for Bourbon Street and the French Quarter and Saint Louis Cathedral

This was a favorite of ours … the Musical Legends Park.

The above Church is the Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church ,,, a beautiful downtown Catholic Church sporting a 24 Karat Gold plated altar and pews made of sculpted Moorish Cast Iron.

Casino Time … in our world of today, with a casino seemingly in every city, we did find time to spin a few wheels in Harrah’s New Orleans and Beau Rivage Biloxi, In addition we enjoyed a beach lunch venue and the captivating Dance of the Sea Gulls.

This was a wonderful road trip … time to be together, time to reminisce, time to recharge, time to eat too much and even time to enjoy the art of walking ,,, yes, walking, especially through an interesting, historic city like New Orleans. I commented to Patti when we first hit the road … my car was balking as I pointed it South. I wasn’t even sure the Navigation System would work in any direction other than West. It did … the trip was awesome … We loved it!! ……………………. now it’s time to head West!

It was with mixed emotions we embarked on our annual guys trip … I believe it was our 44th. We returned to Scottsdale to the same beautiful home we’ve rented for the last decade. Our group has gotten smaller due to the health of several, the reduced interest of a couple and now, the tragic heart attack and loss of our friend John. Before covering this year’s events, I’ve chosen to walk down the SST Memory Lane with special attention to the spirit, love, humor, wisdom and friendship of this rare unique individual God shared with us for the past four decades. He will always be remembered!

Kay and John

SST … otherwise known as Stanley Ski Team, primarily had it’s roots with a business group of non competing company and professional leaders. Holding weekly breakfasts and frequent open houses, we grew as friends and started having lunch together once a week and going on an annual skiing trip. Now, in our Senior years, we seek adventures in warmer climates … predominately, Scottsdale, Arizona. We mix our activities with golf, hiking, solving the world’s issues and continuing to strengthen our amazing brotherhood bond.

Here is a gallery of some pictures taken through the years.

Now … on to the happenings of 2022

We missed John, talked about him often. However, just like the shadow photo above, he was with us every step of the way.

As in the past few years, I drove my car … Loyd and Bill were with me. We traded driving, traded political opinions and sometimes got off the main roads to see sights of interest. Of particular note to Loyd and Bill was a visit to Montezuma’s Castle. a 700 year old Cliff dwelling near Camp Verde. Arizona. Then on to Scottsdale for four days where we met Renie and Bart.

Montezuma’s Castle

Return Trip … Las Cruces to Elk City to Little Rock.

On the return, Bill and I visited the Roadrunner Sculpture near Las Cruces, had a great dinner in the historic town of Mesilla, drove and walked White Sands National Monument (The missile range was closed), made a short Casino stop and continued our drive home. We thank God for our time together and our safe return.

In closing, I have this thought … Our group is getting old. In spite of this and the loss of one of our most committed brothers, I choose gratefulness over grief. We have been blessed as a group with a unique bond. For this I thank each SST member and especially thank God for all we have shared.

Mayorjim2000@yahoo.com

Jim Dailey at WordPress

My last pair of boots at WordPress.

Yes I did. The year was 1996 and I lost the Party nomination. End of story.

If the story ends, why bring it up today when I haven’t thought about it in years. Well, today, my wife and I were putting away Christmas Decorations and I found a stack of these stickers and felt an inner compulsion to memoralize a small vignette of my political history.

My failed attempt to be Arkansas Lieutenant Governor

Here is how it all came about:

I had been in and out of politics during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. In my mind, I thought I might like to run for Governor sometime. Serving as Mayor of the largest city in Arkansas, garnered considerable statewide media exposure, i.e., name recognition … I was ready if given the opportunity. Governor Tucker stepped down and Lt. Governor, Huckabee stepped in leaving a vacancy in the Lt. Governor’s office.

I’ll make this short by saying I filed for the position, proceeded to campaign statewide and lost in a caucus to a very capable State Senator from Saline County, Charlie Cole Chaffin. She then lost to Win Rockefeller in the General Election. So much for my pathway to the Governor’s office.

That’s the story in brief. “Brief” is a good word because this was a compressed campaign and I dare say most people, including my closest friends … maybe even my campaign Chairperson, Nancy Rousseau … don’t even remember that I was once a candidate for the second highest office in the state, Lieutenant Governor.

PS: I may have been the happiest loser ever I got to return to the greatest honor I could ever hold … Serving 14 years as Mayor of Little Rock, my lifetime home town. Thank you Little Rock. JD

Actually, I must say … the greatest honor really, is being married to Patti for fifty plus years.

Hard to beat a family Christmas gathering …

December 2020 our family and most of our friends were following Covid protocols and avoiding all indoor gatherings. The most bizarre memory I have … picture this … Patti and I standing with masks on at our open garage door – daughter Laura, her husband Mark and four children drive up, remain in the car, gifts are exchanged thru open windows, a few warm Christmas wishes are made and they drive away. Better than nothing but far from normal.

Fortunately, this year, all vaccinated and boosted, we came together for an evening inside with food, gifts, family bonding and even a little Single Malt Scotch tasting. Michael treated us to “Oh Holy Night” on his new guitar, while the rest of us smiled, laughed, sang and simply “had fun”.

Obviously we are concerned with the next Covid mutation … but for one night we came together … OH HOLY NIGHT!

JIM PATTI EILEEN JEFF KATHERINE MICHAEL LAURA MARK LESLIE JOY ASHLEY DJ MORGAN RYN DONNA JOHN

Ok … so, some of these photos are from Christmas Past. I’m still working with this WordPress program and ended up with some vacant slots in the gallery. Had to fill them … why not with a few memories of younger years and My Mom Ellen as well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Stay safe!

Once again, my two sons and three “crazy as I am friends” headed for the majestic limestone bluffs and crystal clear free flowing Buffalo National River near historic Jasper, Arkansas to celebrate Christmas in the Ozarks … Charlie Brown Style. The weekend started cloudy with powerful Friday night winds. (this was also the tragic night deadly tornadoes ripped thru Arkansas and Kentucky) Fortunately our tents held together and we awakened to a crisp sunny saturday … whereupon, wiith our Charlie Brown tree, Santa Hats and the Kyle’s Landing bluff line background we staged this official photo.

Because of the lives lost and the unbelievable devastation along the tornado path, I hesitated to post anything that seemed to “celebrate”. However, I decided to proceed and ask my few blog followers to send a few dollars to the American Red Cross. This is one way we can participate in the rebuilding and healing of those who have lost so much. I think Charlie Brown would agree.

Blessing to you and your loved ones during this Holiday Season!

The first time I ran for political office, I used a slogan … Being a City Council Member is a Dailey Job. This double entendre, played off my name,”Dailey”and the need to be on the job “daily”, Well, family is a daily job too and sometimes I take that for granted. Sure I show up for birthdays (we are celebrating our Granddaughter, Morgan’s birthday this evening). However, I’m not sure I/we fully embrace the significance and power of this family bond … so this year we did something about it. At the suggestion of son in law, John, we rented a six bedroom log house in Breckenridge, Colorado for Patti and me, our four adult children and their spouses. It was a heart warming, fun filled, reinvigoration of love and the true spirit of Family.

Even though this was “adults only” we loved having Colorado resident , our niece Grace, her husband, Luke and their beautiful three children come by for a few hours. Grace and Luke have climbed all the Colorado 14er’s and their three little one’s aren’t far behind.
We go to Colorado in the fall for the beautiful Aspen color. This year we saw some of the traditional shimmering golden leaves but, more importantly, we witnessed first hand the golden spirit and strength of family … Dailey/daily Family

Today I was cleaning out several … I’ll call them “clutter drawers” rather than “junk drawers”. and found this old post card from 1953. The photo of Fontana di Trevi from sixty eight years ago might have been enough to capture my attention but it was the reverse side that sent me back to my 5th Grade class room at Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic Grade School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

This hand addressed card, postmarked Vatican City, I assume, was sent to each student at Holy Souls. Wow! Just think about that … the Pastor of Holy Souls Church, who was, by the way, also our Religion Class Teacher took the time while in Rome to write a post card to each and every student at the school. I’m sure I didn’t appreciate this thoughtful gift nearly as much then as I do today. Thank you mom for saving this bit of childhood history.

Monsignor Francis A Allen 1907-1987

I guess I should’nt find it strange that he would send each of us a card from the Vatican. He loved the students and we loved him. He was a pretty darn good photographer and once a year took individual slide photos of each student in all grade levels. These were kept and at graduation a slide show was presented and the packets of slides were given to respective families. Patti and I still treasure our old photos taken by Monsignor. I even considered putting a couple in this blog. Maybe anther time!

One other memory as a wrap up … each month Monsignor came to the classrooms and handed out Report Cards … had to make that bold. He would rest each card on his somewhat round stomach, study it, offer encouragement always and a warm nudge for improvement as needed. He was tough but fair and motivational. Most of all, Monsignor Allen was a good man who loved his faith, his educational ministry and left a long positive legacy of character driven students and families. Thanks for the memories and for the post card. JD

My wife and I have always enjoyed a road trip and while I was Arkansas Tourism Director, I became even more aware of their significance … personally and to the huge Tourism Industry. Virtually every state now lays out suggested routes for one, two or three day trips within their respective state borders.

Clearly, we enjoy new routes in our home state of Arkansas but this year Arkansas was the starting point and ending spot. As I recap nearly three weeks … 4500 miles, 10 states, 10 different motels, 7 nights in a VRBO and one night with friends, it seems a bit overwhelming … sure travel can be tiring … but it was awesome!

I’ll save you some of the early details and focus on the target destinations. However, I must mention one of our favorite restaurants along the route … Napoli’s Italian Restaurant … in downtown Amarillo, Texas. It’s worth a night in Amarillo just for a meal at Napoli’s.

Now for some photos

For this blog, I’m trying something new and different … a slideshow. As a reference, it follows our route … Chaco Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon North Rim, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, Casper/Cheyenne, Wy and Lawrence, Ks. So, click on the arrow and take the road trip with two Arkansas travelers …

I must comment on Chaco Canyon … not the easiest place to get to but well worth it. It is located in New Mexico between Albuquerque and Farmington … washboard dirt road for roughly 20 miles. On the road in, i spotted the horses … i think they are wild horses … that’s what I am saying regardless. I really lucked out on this photo because they were close together and when I hollered at them the perked up, separated a little, looked straight at me and I took the shot.

Chaco is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site dating back 800 – 1200 years.

After a day at Chaco Canyon, we spent the night in Farmington, New Mexico and then on to Monument Valley. This was a special treat. Not only is it one of the most beautiful spots in the West, it has a hotel and small cabins … very small but adequate. Plus, the cabins overlook the valley of natural monuments and we were able to experience sunset and sunrise … truly amazing!

From Monument Valley we drove thru Page, Az. … FYI, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Canyons were closed due to Covid ,,, and on to Kanab, Ut. where we set up base camp for a week and took day trips to Zion, Bryce and the Canyon Rim. each of which has a photo in the above slide show.

From Kanab, we went to Ogden, Ut., Idaho Falls and then to Jackson Hole … a place of which I never tire. When we left Jackson we had a magical early morning drive along the Grand Teton Mountains. If you have not seen the Tetons … put it on your bucket list now. Always looking for animals, we spotted a moose … with my 400mm lens I captured a pretty decent shot (shown in the above slides).

Destination Casper, Wyoming was next … we spent two nights there enjoying a unique and beautiful Western City and dinner with the Director of Visit Casper discussing the 2017 Eclipse of the Sun. Casper has literally written the book on how to prepare for this once in a lifetime natural phenomena. Thanks to Brook Kaufman for helping Arkansas prepare for the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse. I am helping Morrilton prepare. More about this at another posting.

Casper is definitely a city to which Patti and I will return … beautiful setting, great restaurants, active downtown, awesome museums such as the National Trails Interpretive Center featuring the history of settlement and transportation Westward.

I will wrap up by again stating how we enjoy road trips and how this was one of the best. So, pick a destination, plan a route or JUST LET IT HAPPEN.

https://vimeo.com/user8759039/download/565329335/20de8e5119

As a little something extra, I have included the link to a musical slideshow I did on Vimeo. Take a look if you have an extra 3minutes and 22 seconds. Jimd