Summertime and the living is easy

July 12, 2011 Ah, summer. It’s a love-hate relationship we seem to have with you.Grilling out, school’s out, fishing, swimming, vacations, ballgames, convertible tops down, garden produce, festivals and fairs, blockbuster movies, summer camps, flowers in bloom, for my friend Deb — the return of “Big Brother,” slushes and ice cream, lazy afternoons spent fishing, flip-flops and finally, longer days, which means less time for vampires to be out … there’s so many things to love, one could hardly name them all.

Great Passion Play

July 12, 2011 On a mountaintop just outside of Eureka Springs, from May through October, a cast of approximately 150 devoted souls take the stage of the New Great Passion Play to re-enact the Passion of Christ.Much has been written about the play, the largest attended outdoor drama in America, which has been performed in Eureka Springs since 1968 in a 4,100-seat amphitheater. Perhaps because of the nature of the play itself, not much has been said about the actors and support personnel who bring this story to life.

Take back America

July 11, 2011 “We sang beautiful patriotic hymns that only the adults knew because the songs are no longer taught at school.”This was part of an email describing the wonderful patriotic services held in a rural church in central Kentucky. The songs they were speaking of were basics to American patriotism: “My Country Tis Of Thee,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “America the Beautiful,” and “God Bless America.” I spoke with young people in my home area of northwest Louisiana and they confirmed also that patriotic songs are not taught in their schools.

Soldiers willing

July 11, 2011 One hundred and fifty years ago, military units were organizing across the state at a fever pitch while the ladies of Arkansas were gaining national recognition of their hard work in supplying the new recruits with uniforms. While Arkansawyers continued their preparations for war, masses of federal troops were trekking in a southerly course toward the Confederate Capitol in Richmond.

Cline at the Ryman

July 11, 2011 I knew we had good seats when I reserved them in October but didn’t know how good until we made our way to the front of the stage.Our tickets said row B which to me meant second row but as Luke and I neared the stage there was no second row, only front.Thirty minutes before showtime and I was beside myself. For years I have been a fan of country singer Mandy Barnett and now I was going to get to see her starring in “Always, Patsy Cline,” a play about the late singer’s life told through fan and friend, Louise Seger, portrayed by Tere Meyers.

Ledge update

July 11, 2011 LITTLE ROCK —  Thanks mainly to very conservative budgeting, Arkansas state government ended its fiscal year on June 30 with a surplus of about $94 million.State budget officials said the surplus was also evidence of a slow economic recovery. State revenue is a good indicator of the health of the Arkansas economy because taxes have not gone up. That means any increase in tax revenue is caused by an increase in economic activity rather than by higher tax rates.

American justice

July 8, 2011 I don’t know whether or not Casey Anthony killed her young daughter or, if so, how she did it or her intent or state of mind in doing it. Unless you’re Casey Anthony or one of a few possible accomplices, you don’t know those things either.What we do know is that after a month-and-a-half long trial and more than 10 hours of deliberation, a Florida jury of 12 men and women unanimously found reasonable doubt as to Anthony’s guilt of the specific charge: That she intentionally, and with premeditation, murdered Caylee Anthony.

Walking with God

July 8, 2011 I didn’t know a mufferless station wagon could pass an eighteen wheeler on one of those interstate loops, but at fourteen, I reckon I didn’t know a lot of things. I DID know if I wanted to see fifteen I’d better get “Drunken Yee-Haw man” to let me out of this hot-rod.

Obscene violence

July 7, 2011 The rejection by the U.S. Supreme Court of California’s video game law was a welcome victory for free speech, but a frustrating defeat for the protection of young people.In striking down the 2005 law — that was never actually implemented due to legal challenges — the Court continued its campaign to safeguard the First Amendment. Last year, it ruled 8-to-1 against a federal law prohibiting depictions of animal cruelty such as those in videos about dog-fighting.