Something to yodel about

December 28, 2009 I am always amazed at how many people born and/or raised in Arkansas have gone on to be famous. Those most known are singer Johnny Cash, authors Maya Angelou and John Grisham, actor/director/musician Billy Bob Thornton, former president Bill Clinton, actress Mary Steenburgen, General Douglas MacArthur, just to name a few.However, I’m always surprised when learning about someone I didn’t know had ties to The Natural State. Such is the case with a performer named Helen Hagstrom, aka Carolina Cotton, who would go on to be known as the “yodeling blonde bombshell.”

Smiles of Christmas

December 24, 2009 One of my favorite Christmas memories is from 2002 from shopping in the Ash Flat Walmart. I wasn’t really in the holiday mood as I wandered down the food aisles getting my last items for Christmas dinner when I saw a man who looked as if he may have been an immigrant from Czechoslovakia or a similar country 70 years ago when he was probably 4 or 5 years old.The elderly man had a look of pure joy on his face. In his right hand, clutched end-to-end in the one hand, were two cans of — something.

Road Trip, part deaux

December 23, 2009 You people thought I was kidding in the last column, I’m sure, when I told you we’d run into Spiderman when we got to the Big Apple. I gotta admit, even I was a bit surprised when we saw him on the very first night there — considering we were in Manhattan and Spidey lives way over in Queens. But, sure enough, there he was, on 7th Avenue, hanging out with a hot nuts vendor. You should never doubt me on matters such as this.

Last minute this and that

December 22, 2009 I’m hoping by the time this column hits the press, I have all my Christmas shopping done. I’m almost there — just got one more gift to finish.

Flirtation helps Halter

December 21, 2009 LITTLE ROCK  (AP) — Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is known for two things in Arkansas: fathering the state’s lottery and being a phantom candidate for the Senate.Two years ago, Halter was being touted in some circles as someone who could challenge Sen. Mark Pryor in the Democratic primary. Now, Halter’s being floated as someone who could take on Sen. Blanche Lincoln from the left in the primary.

Future Builder

December 21, 2009 In all my 26 years I’ve never built a gingerbread house at Christmas; now I’m beginning to wonder if I’m missing out.I suppose for some families building a gingerbread house at Christmas is as much a tradition as watching “A Christmas Story” is for mine. However, I always find myself looking at the kits at Walmart or Dollar General this time of year and thinking, “I should just buy one. So what if I’m not a kid? They’re fun for all ages, right?”

Mountains and molehills

December 18, 2009 Threats to religious liberty in 2009, mountains and molehillsA very bad year for religious liberty got worse earlier this month when the Russian Supreme Court upheld a regional court ruling prohibiting Jehovah’s Witnesses from gathering to worship and banning their publications as “extremist” literature.

Busy time of year

December 18, 2009 It was a busy weekend for our family, to say the least, with a wedding (and rehearsal dinner), family coming in from out of state, and the annual Compassionate Friends’ candlelighting service. But still, my stepmom caved in (as I like to think of it) and got a gingerbread house for my 7-year-old niece to do this past weekend. The gingerbread house has become an annual tradition, and while it sounds like fun in theory, in reality it is WORK.

Letters to the editor

December 17, 2009 City looks great Dear editor:I wish to take this opportunity to say a big Thank You to the city of Batesville and to Johnny Abbott for the Christmas light displays at Riverside Park and downtown Batesville. Obviously there have been many hours spent on the planning as well as the installation of the lights.I have the privilege of driving through the park each evening as I go home from work, and it is such a pleasurable experience.Gerrie WebbBatesville