I take a lot of guff from people who think Little Rock is an uncultured backwater for the fact that, although there are other places where I wouldn't mind living, if given the chance, there's no place I'd rather live. Little Rock has a lot going for it these days, especially if you're old enough to remember when University Avenue was a gravel road past Asher. (Well, my dad is. And he told me about it.) So, from time to time, I'll share with you all a few of the reasons for my hometown pride.
Part 1: As I mentioned a couple of posts earlier, Jay Bakker was in Little Rock from Atlanta this past weekend. And he brought with him the camera crew that is filming him for a reality series to air on the Sundance channel this winter. These out of towners brought with them some perspective on some of the positives about living in Little Rock; little things that impressed them about the city that people who live here take for granted.
For instance, you can drink the water here. All three visitor were shocked and amazed that you can actually drink the tap water here! Straight from the sink! These guys from Atlanta and Los Angeles use bottled water to make even ice cubes and coffee. They have to. The water there is either so laden with chemicals or pollutants they don't dare actually drink it. I told them Wal-Mart actually bottles Little Rock tap water and sells it nationwide. (Which is not in any way an endorsement of or encouragement to patronize Wal-Mart.)
Part 2: Secondly, by way of Arkansas Times' "Arkansas Blog," comes this report from the Christian Science Monitor about Little Rock's growing kick ball league and how it's bringing together divergent segments of Little Rock society:
Kickball has become to the '00s what bowling was to earlier generations. Adult leagues have sprung up across the country. But perhaps few cities have embraced the game with more fervor than Little Rock - nor seen more social barriers broken as a result.
More than 1,000 people now play on dozens of different teams in this city of 185,000. When people aren't playing, they come out with barbeques and ice chests to watch those who do. It has become the closest thing the city has to a community water cooler, a town hearth, drawing different social classes and racial groups together in a place where most people stick to their respective ZIP codes and political cliques.
The story was filed by Suzi Parker, with whom I used to work when I did grunt slave labor for the ArDemGaz. Now, who says the mainstream media never prints any good news?