Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas’


Staying Alive And The Final Five

06 12 days of christmas treeLinda Burton posting from Annapolis, Maryland – Psychologically we love countdowns. We count down the twelve days till Christmas. We countdown rocket launches, till we arrive at blastoff, or the mission is scrubbed. We countdown the Final Four in basketball every spring, when the world of college sports reaches fever pitch. I counted down the days in the month before my 16th birthday; I was on pins and needles to get my driver license; something everyone in my little town did back in the 50s when all the cars had fins and all the girls wore bobby socks. The year I went to Antarctica – that was 2005 – I counted off the weeks till my Seattle departure at Pagliacci Pizza. I happened to go for a Friday 06 pizza logonight pizza at the 17-week point and noticed they had 17 pizzas on their menu. “Aha,” I thought, “if I begin with the Original, when I get to the Verde Primo it will be time to fly to South America.” I called for grandson help on big-meat pizza nights; Matthew for Spicy Pepperoni; Andrew for Extra Pepperoni; both of them on Grand Salami Primo night. The AGOG was my favorite – mushrooms, roasted garlic, Kalamata olives, goat cheese, Fontina, Mozzarella and parsley over olive oil; fresh tomato slices added after the bake. The journey through the Pagliacci menu 06 Alex on suitcasewas an experience; I developed new tastes, and learned some things I didn’t know before. I dealt with whatever came next; I adapted as needed. You know where I’m going with that thought. Annapolis finishes the countdown through the Final Five; the Journey Across America is 100% complete. This mission wasn’t scrubbed; we made it all the way (adapting as needed) – the Scion, the cats, and me. We’re travelworn and frazzled, but completely AGOG with success. » read more


Warm in Little Rock

Linda Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas White Christmas opened last night at the Arkansas Rep Mainstage. Remember all the songs from that show? Happy Holidays, White Christmas, and those happy tunes in between, like Sisters, and Count Your Blessings; and the grand finale, I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm. Pure Irving Berlin, The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing, but I can weather the storm!…. I’ve got my love to keep me warm. The packed house loved every minute; the Haynes sisters Betty and Judy (played by Jennifer Sheehan and Sarah Agar) were vocal perfection and looked stunning; the Bob and Phil duo (played by Shane Donovan and Case Dillard) charmed us from the start as they shook hands with everyone in the front row (where I had the good fortune of sitting) during the opening number. It’s a kid-friendly show; the two little girls to my left were entranced, never taking their eyes off the dancing feet that were just about eye level from our seats. They were particularly interested in Susan (played by Maddie Lentz, a 6th grader at Horace Mann Arts and Sciences Middle School), who portrayed the General’s granddaughter hankering to be in show business. Exiting the theater after the champagne reception, still humming White Christmas and thinking snowflakes, I had to unzip my sweater. It was 72 degrees and humid! And it stayed that way today, even during the after-dark Lighting of the Capitol and the holiday fireworks. » read more


It’s Pretty

Linda Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – I think you’ll agree with me when you visit the Arkansas State Capitol. It’s pretty. You start thinking that when you’re half a block away and can see the shiny bronze doors across the front; they are positively gleaming. The building is brilliantly clean and white; the grounds are neatly groomed; like I said, it’s pretty. Some capitols go for simplicity; some for magnificence. Many put their attention towards works of art; others are designed to reflect the cultural heritage of the state. The Arkansas capitol is pleasing to look at and makes you want to hang around and keep looking. Like I said, it’s pretty. And folks inside are friendly. The security guards greeted me warmly, directing me across the great hallway to the Visitors Desk, right past the decorations that were half in the box but rapidly being placed on the tree by a very patient person with a long-stemmed hook. “I think the tree is 32 feet,” he answered to my question, as I looked up and up through the next balcony into the soaring rotunda. I spotted touches of red on every floor above; I couldn’t wait to see it all. So April took me on a tour. » read more


Give a Cow

Linda Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – “It was my favorite job,” my father said of being a dairy farmer. He pursued that career path for only three of his ninety-three years, but the memory of that kinship with cows stayed in his mind as he sat behind a desk doing accountant things for most of his life. Those three years on a dairy farm imprinted me as well; I was a pig-tailed second grader when I began Life on the Farm; my father’s right-hand helper, or so he said. Today is his birthday (Craig Sherer Burton, 1918-2011); thinking about him seemed to stir up memories of cows, and the deliciousness of an absolutely fresh dipper of milk. It put the notion in my head to visit Heifer International, which I’d planned to do anyway; it’s an organization I’ve contributed to for years, and I knew that International Headquarters are here in Little Rock, just past the Clinton Center. It’s a beautiful setting at the edge of the Arkansas River, the building is a LEED Certified Green building; airy, light, and pleasant. I was greeted by colorful characters on storyposts and a live volunteer who gave me an overview of what I’d see – the timeline for the work of Heifer International; a map showing projects going on around the world; and the Cornerstones of the organization – spelled out in 12 descriptive blocks as “PASSING GIFTS.” The mission of Heifer International is to end hunger. And it started with a simple idea from an Indiana farmer: Don’t give a cup of milk to someone in need. Give a cow. » read more


The Quapaw Quarter

Linda Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – “You could call me a mutt!” said Janey. “I’m part Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Sioux, Irish, Scottish, German, and Canadian. Which means there is some French in there. But I’ve always lived in Little Rock,” she finished up, in answer to my question as to whether she was native to the area. That was yesterday, as I enjoyed my Saturday night supper in the River Market area; Janey was my exuberant, chatty server. We continued our discussion of family history and Little Rock history as I considered dessert. And that discussion inspired me to drive around the city today, browsing my way through the historic areas. Did you know that Little Rock has more than 200 homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places? I learned that more than fifteen separate Historic Districts make up something called the Quapaw Quarter, so named in 1961 in honor of the Quapaw Indians who once lived in the area. About the Quapaw Indians first – did you know the state of Arkansas is named for them? » read more


Mother’s Day

Linda Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – The Arkansas River was brilliant blue today, just like the after-Thanksgiving skies. This may be dubbed Black Friday by storekeepers, but I’m calling it Mother’s Day. Because today is my mother’s birthday – Winnie Ivous Sizemore Burton (1914-2003) – and because I visited the William J Clinton Presidential Center today and caught a special exhibit about two mothers named Dorothy Howell Rodham (1919-2011) and Virginia Clinton Kelley (1923-1994). The Center is an imposing glass and steel structure on the banks of the Arkansas River; open, airy, light, and crammed with exhibits showing everything from an exact replica of the Oval Office to Billy Clinton’s high school diploma. Christmas decorations were up; I caught my reflection in a giant golden ornament on one of the red-ribboned trees. The top floor shows Life in the White House; Floor 2 offers an orientation film and a timeline of Clinton’s 8-year presidency; videos and interactive stations involve the viewer in moments of history. The temporary exhibit honoring the mothers was on the ground floor; tender memories lovingly displayed with an intro by granddaughter Chelsea Clinton. » read more