Archive for June, 2012

For several weeks, my wife has been unsuccessfully attempting to contact the owners of this home seeking permission to take a photo.  Well, not just any photo but a photo with her 106 years young aunt standing out front. It all comes together once told that Marguerite Alford was born in this house June 16, 1906 … yes, one hundred and six years ago and this still sharp little lady wants an updated picture of herself in front of her birthplace.
After two attempts seeking permission by mail resulted in returned letters, my wife persuaded me yesterday to accompany her hoping to present her aunt’s request in person.  This is where the local hero enters.  Not only were we warmly greeted by the owners we were invited inside for a personal tour.  Shannon and Don ( I’ll stick with first names) have completely renovated, expanded and updated this home and made it available for rent.  Unfortunately, the immediate past renters did not respect their efforts as can be seen by the damaged blinds, so Don and Shannon were back in the house repainting and preparing this old piece of history for the next family to occupy. This brought back treasured memories to Patti as she remembered she and her sisters visiting grandparents , sitting in the front porch swing, watching the men clean the fresh fish catch on the lower level and so many more reasons to feel something special about our visit.  Don showed her the renovations, the addition made to the upstairs attic space.  He shared with us his long time job as fleet manager for a local beverage company and his passion for making a few extra dollars restoring old homes.
Now that Patti has gotten the permission to bring her Aunt over for the picture (note the picture above is Patti not Marguerite … as if you haven’t figured that out) and now that we have met a delightful couple working against the odds but making a difference preserving the history and heritage of Little Rock,  I proudly declare:

Read Full Post »

Ok … I must admit, this is a pretty pitiful Christmas Tree.  However, as one can readily see, where the decor fails, the spirit prevails.

In December of 2010, my buddies, Bryan, JC and I were backpacking and camping in the Richland Creek Wilderness area.  Just for fun, JC’s wife had given him some glow sticks.  Well, you guessed it … as darkness crept into the valley,these colorful chemically activated lights found a home on a nearby scraggly cedar tree. That was 2010.

Fast forward to December 2011.  The Ozark Santas returned only this time with more Christmas ostentation in our packs.  We camped at the same spot, brought more glow lights plus, ribbons, battery powered candles, aluminum foil for the star, candy canes for the animals and stylish seasonal Santa hats for the three amigos.

Clearly this was and is a very unique way to share the Christmas Spirit with friends.  The tree may be lacking but we plan to return next year with even more creative ways to give this” Charlie Brown Cedar” a moment to glisten before all the creatures of the forest.

Read Full Post »

This Hero entry was written in the fall of 2011.

Today was another very special day … A Cool, brisk and breezy fall day … certainly special in its own right but not the complete story of the day.   Over lunch I met with my old friend and former coworker, Ron King.  Ron was one of my first hires when I formed Dailey’s Office Productivity Center, an upscale office design company. In our years together we formed not only a great work relationship but a close personal friendship as well.  However, in the mid 1980’s I sold the company, left the business and unfortunately lost contact with Ron.

Today we reconnected and it felt really good.  Ron is still in the same business but now he’s the business owner.  What made this reunion even more meaningful to me was his invitation to tour the business.  What made this reunion a huge eye opening surprise to me was walking thru his front door, making a right turn and stepping into a cavernous warehouse space with more than one thousand bicycles neatly arranged row after row.  And, What made this reunion so heartwarming was seeing and hearing his story.

After reading a newspaper article highlighting the need for bicycles for kids three years ago he formed a charitable entity named “Recycle Bikes for Kids”… . In this same three year period he totally refurbished more than 2000 bikes and donated them to kids at Christmas.

Wow!!!   Talk about a “Local Hero” … I cannot imagine anyone more deserving than my recycling friend, Ron King.

PS: It’s also rather nice to have a recycled friendship.

Read Full Post »

Whether global warming is a scientific fact or not, whether humans are the cause or not and whether we can do anything about it or not is the conumdrum of the times.  Regardless, patterns of weather on earth today do seem to be more dramatic and irrefutably more extreme. One phenomenom which may not be weather related but can impact the weather is a volcanic eruption. The most notable of recent history in the continental United States was the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980. One can read the details, see the pictures and only begin to grasp a sliver of the enormity of this geologic event. I will attempt to share my personal feelings based on a climb to the rim with my friend Bryan in 2006.

Bryan and I were attending  a Little Rock Parks Department accreditation meeting and had gotten a permit to climb Mount Saint Helens.  Fortunately the day was grand and we were mentally prepared for this rugged, off trail, scramble gaining 4500 vertical feet in just a little less than 5 miles.


As we reached timber line the glow of morning painted a stunning backdrop silhouetting our first glimpse of  Mt St Helens and other mountains in the Cascades Range . The next couple of miles above timber was filled with razor sharp Volcanic rock from sand crystal size to car or house sized boulders. This section was more difficult on the return than on the ascent. The toughest part of the climb to the rim was the last three quarters of a mile.  Not only was it steep but  full of ankle deep volcanic ash in which each step forward resulted in almost one sliding step backward.


Finally we reached the rim.  I was speechless … breathless too … but was awestruck by the view of the enormous crater below us, the view of Spirit Lake and the majestic sight of snow capped  14,409 feet Mount Rainier.

I was struck by the incomprehensible power that literally obliterated the mountain top and evacuated one entire side of the slope.  The contrast with this surreal sight and the other still standing snow capped giants gave me an overwhelming insight into what that moment in 1980 must have been like.  And yet, here I was standing on this rim while Mount Saint Helens was and is being rebuilt at the rate of one dump truck load per second.  Even at that speed, it will take more than 100 years for the underground forces to refill the crater and for Mount Saint Helens to be what it was before 1980.

The hike down was easier but we were tired ,it was still dangerous and our brains were saturated with the sense of wonder  having seen in person the aftermath of nature’s power.  Be it  volcanoes, heat and cold, storms, floods or merely predicting the weather for a family outing, we inhabitants of the Earth, to some degree, are just along for the ride.

Read Full Post »


Read Full Post »