Archive for April, 2012

 Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park

While in East Arkansas visiting the wonderful Village Creek State Park on Crowley’s Ridge, I decided to take a side trip to personally see the marker of the Initial Point for the 1815 survey of the Louisiana Purchase Territory.

I recommend this to everyone. Not only is it probably the best Real Estate deal ever (830,000 square miles for less than 3 cents per acre) but also one of the most significant events relative to our history and
heritage as a nation.

I was truly awestruck just being here. Albeit in a swamp, the boardwalk allowed me to comfortably appreciate the beauty, the sounds, the interpretive signage and the monument.
I plan to return.

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This morning was just like most any other … crawl out of bed at 5AM, head for the fitness center, work out for an hour, head home for breakfast, then off to the office.  However, on this morning, July 26, 2011, I experienced one of those “conversations with God” experiences.

I had stopped for gas … while filling the tank I observed a middle age black man approach a car driven by another African American, apparently asking him a question whereupon that car drove away.  Assuming this unshaven man in stained, bedraggled clothes was asking for money,it did not surprise me when I was approached.  What did surprise me was his request … a request I give him a ride to his job.  In my mind having  already concluded he was not be trusted, or was too dirty or that I was not going his way, or I didn’t wish to be bothered I easily declined, cleared my conscience and stood there filling my tank with $3.60 per gallon gas as this poor man walked away.

Then the “God experience” hit me … I simply could not take my eyes off of this man as he crossed the bridge over the freeway and disappeared on the sidewalk past the Little Rock Zoo. Wow, now I’m really feeling conflicted … should I have agreed to take him to work, does he truly need help, should I go pick him up … what should I do.  Sure there are the concerns for safety but I am having these nagging nudges to go pick him up and take him to work.  So, I get in the car, still struggling and pull into the traffic lane that will put me on the freeway leaving him behind … but, no, I cannot just drive away, that “God conversation” is still going on in my head and in a split moment as the light changes, I change lanes confident I am making the correct decision … that is, to pick him up and take him to his job.

So, I picked him up, found he had already walked all the way from Southwest Little Rock, is semi homeless living sometimes with a relative, his car is in the shop and yet… this maintenance man, this misjudged person has the character, determination, personal dignity and pride to make it to his job even if he has to walk all the way across town.  Now, that’s a real local hero … my hat is off to you, Mr. K. Goins … Bravo and thank you for touching my soul today.

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With all the recent publicity about the firing of Coach Bobby Petrino, I must share something I witnessed wednesday evening while attending a joint meeting of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Parks, Travel and Tourism Commission and  Highway Commission.  We were all invited to a wonderful evening reception and dinner at the NW Arkansas Botanical Garden.  After dinner, UofA Chancellor, Dave Gearhart was the speaker/MC.  He began by acknowledging the media coverage of the firing reminding us he could say very little because of the pending appeal process.  However, he did say “I have never been so proud of a University of Arkansas employee than I was of Athletic Director, Jeff Long for the way he handled all aspects of this high profile situation.”  With that, approximately 300 people gave a standing applause of unanimous approval.
Clearly, the entire leadership deserves praise for making Arkansas proud … proud of the courage, integrity and character it took to stand on principle … the “Do Right Principle”.

Jeff Long is my hero of the week

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I remember the first time i sat down to a computer … actually the first and second times.  The first was a small Apple i had won in a drawing at the National Office Products Convention.  Frankly, i thought i was pretty “with it”because i could actually push the on button and the screen came to life.  Well, that’s about as far as i got with this little bit of technology.  The second time was in the mid 1990’s when the City of Little Rock IT Department decided the Mayor should become computer literate.  This attempt was a bit more successful and ultimately served as the gateway for my interest in computers and their practical applications in my business and personal world.  Thank goodness for the patience of our IT staff as i stumbled thru simple tasks such as left and right click, menus, control /alt / delete, and escape.
Today, as i post my first blog entry, i feel somewhat like that very first visit with a computer except i now am less intimidated and more excited as i travel down this new trail and adventure

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