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Thursday, June 24, 2010

On A Quest For...Freeing the West Memphis Three


Went to the Laman Library "Meet the Author" series the other night and was impressed with the expertly  researched book of award winning author, Mara Leveritt, Devil's Knot...The True Story of the West Memphis Three. The case dates back to May 5, 1993 when three eight year olds were horrifically murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas.
The chronology {of Devil's Knot} is the first time all elements of the case have been assembled in one narrative, which offers surprises, even for those familiar with the events.  As such, it is a true public service.  __Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Bought the book and yes, it is simply remarkable as Leveritt adeptly informs the reader of fascinating facts that, we the public, may not have been aware of at that time or even today! I am ashamed to say that although I lived in the Memphis area at the time of the murders, I had no idea of the facts, frenzy, and corruption that  become associated with the case.  Buy the book or check out the website associated with the West Memphis Three. Determine for yourself what many say is the injustice of these three guys and the real horror that lurks among us...our judicial system and biased critical opponents. And, heaven help any of us who are considered "different, crazy, or odd" by socially conservative do gooders! Oops, sorry... guess I was being a wee bit critical there...I always thought it was kinda nice being different from the crowd...

What is your opinion or comment on this Paradise Lost??? And, check out that "Meet the Author" series at the Laman Library!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On A Quest For...Famous Ladies of Arkansas




There have been some highly respected (and some, not so respected) ladies who were born, raised, or adopted by the Natural State, Arkansas. If I could host an Arkansas Girlfriend Ball, I would love to have the honor of these special girls to drop by:
  1. Maya Angelou Poet, Author  Born 1928 in St. Louis, MO  This great dancer turned writer was raised in Stamps, AR, and helped her grandmother run a small general store.  She has so many awards to discuss, that I will just mention three that come to mind: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970), Emmy award nominee for her portrayal of Kunta Kinte's grandmother in TV's Roots (1977), and reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Clinton's inauguration (1993).  I would just love to be Ms. Angelou's girlfriend...move over Oprah!
  2. Donna Axum Whitworth  Miss America  Born 1942 in El Dorado, AR  Arkansas' first Miss America, 1964! I remember watching that Saturday night, as she was crowned by Bert Parks.  Actually, we might be really great girlfriends (or totally despise one another) because after reading her story, I realized that we both have a lot in common.  We both graduated from the U of A in Fayetteville, both have been married three times, and both enjoy writing about beauty and inspirational messages. 
  3. Daisy Bates  Civil Rights Activist  Born 1914 died 1999  This fine lady fought hard for her dreams of equality to come true as she and her husband led the fight to integrate Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. What an ambitious and courageous person she was. And, to have Stevie Wonder sing at her 80th birthday bash...what an inspiration!
  4. Hillary Rodham Clinton  Secretary of State  Born 1947 in Chicago, IL  Hillary was one of those Damn Yankees...came to visit in the South and just would not go home!  Lucky for us, she stayed. I had hoped she would have been our first woman President, but that didn't happen at that particular time. I've continously enjoyed watching her catapulsion into the limelight, and believe she deserves all those accolades and even more! We could really have fun swapping man stories!
  5. Connie Hamzy Groupie Born 1955 in Little Rock, AR  Well known for her sexual liasons with just about every rock group who played in Arkansas!  From Grand Funk Railroad's 1973 hit, "We're An American Band":  "Sweet, sweet Connie, doin' her act/she had the whole show and that's a natural fact." I met her a couple of years ago...at a concert. Hummm...she's still getting back stage passes.
  6. Mary Steenburgen   Actor  Born 1953 in Newport, AR Great actor who has weathered the Hollywood scene, rather nicely, all these years.  I must name drop...We both went to the same schools and I'm very good friends with her cousin, Van Bell...  Love her movies and thought she was super great in Goin' South with Jack Nicholson (1978). Oscar winner in Melvin and Howard (1980).  She has married well...both times. She is also a great advocate for many, many charities in the Natural State such as Heifer International and the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Our daddys were both railroaders!
These are only a few of the famous Arkansans who the Natural State is able to boast about...however, the world is full of many more unknown ladies who deserve to be noticed for their special contributions.  What's your story...everyone has one, or at least has a special cause they support...toot your own horn...don't blow it!  I would love to include you at my Girlfriend Ball...whenever that may be! All comments welcome!

Friday, June 18, 2010

On A Quest For...the best Dad ever!

If you are On A Quest for the best dad ever...just check out my dad!  He is one of the nicest guys around!  He has always loved me unconditionally and supports everything I value or stand up for! He does this probably because I have accepted quite a bit of his values throughout my life. What are these values? Hard work, family first, avoid gossip, don't fret what others say about you, communicate clearly with everyone, and always do your best at everything you do...sure wish I had learned all those handy man things he has helped me with through the years! I always was a Paige Hemmis wannabe! Oh well...just like Paige, my Daddy always helps anyone who needs a helping hand!

Everyone loves my Daddy...and, I am his biggest fan! What values did your dad instill in you...good or bad?  Love your comments...and Happy Father's Day to all out there! By the way...check out my big and oh so easy Father's Day cook out menu on Di's Cup Cakes!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On A Quest For...Rave Reviews


Well, back to business...but, I did enjoy the heck out of the Real Women of Philadelphia contest...didn't win anything, but a ton of heavenly sent girlfriends! And even more friends via my Twitter account!  In fact, tonight is LRTweetup Thursday... drinks, social networking, and maybe dinner at the Red Door sound really swell!  The last time I visited this classy Little Rock restaurant was with my daughter, and we had a delightful meal. They had a special Spinach Artichoke Dip with Toasted Cheese Ciabatta Bread that I did make a meal out of...however, the French Onion Soup was just a little too exotic for me and my waiter noticed I was not eating it...I never complain for silly reasons such as my finicky taste buds...now, if it had been inedible, I would have said something....soooo he took it off my ticket!  He didn't have to, but he was very kind and did me a favor...I like that...If You Are Able To Pleasantly Do Something Nice For Somebody.....JUST DO IT!!!  Anxious to return tonight because I do love most of the dishes that nationally recognized Chef Mark Abernathy cooks up...can't wait to Tweet up, socialize out, and chow down tonight at the Red Door! Check it out and see why this place always gets rave reviews!


Oh, and speaking about rave reviews...if you want to do something nice for someone today because you are able...please go to the Best of 425 Magazine and vote for The Old Hen B & B...as Best of Hotels...be nice and JUST DO IT! ...and, thank you very much!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Diversity and Girlfriends...Making the World a Better Place...Savannah Bound Sweethearts



Chloë Agnew, Lynn Hilary, Lisa Kelly, Máiréad Nesbitt, Alex Sharpeare are the present members of Celtic Woman http://celticwoman.com/. When asked how the group members get along, member Lisa Kelly responded, "We get along because we're so different. Chloe Agnew is hip, Méav Ni Mhaolchatha (former member) is rational, Orla Fallon (former member) is angelic and Mairead Nesbitt is energetic."  According to Chloë Agnew, the friendship between the vocalists is the number one question they're asked.  She states, "I think people are always looking for a 'Desperate Housewives' story, that we all hate each other and nobody actually gets along. It's all for show. And the truth of the matter is, it's not. The reality is we do all get along. The five of us are like sisters, best friends."  

And, that's just how the sweet sixteen Savannah Bound Sweethearts from the Real Women of Philadelphia contest are...all so diverse, yet all working toward making the world a better place with their commitment to families and individual causes!  They are truly sisters and best of friends! Paula Deen, you have your plate full attempting to choose the Fabulous Philly Four from these girlfriends!  Anxiously awaiting the outcome...and by the way...Soon to be announced winners are KC Quaretti-Lee and Debbie Fabre! Check out these two remarkable women and their delicious recipes, who along with all the other gals are making the world a better place! See you in Savannah, Georgia on June 30 (or catch it online) to watch the outcome!

On A Quest For...North Little Rock...Biker Friendly Bronze Award


Betcha didn't know that North Little Rock earned the Bronze Award for its biker friendly environment from the League of American Bicyclists this year! Pretty good, huh?  Especially, because it is the only city in the state to receive this award, and one of 87 communities nationwide that gained the league's bronze achievement.  Twenty seven other communities earned silver status, 10 earned gold, and Boulder, CO, Davis, CA, and Portland, OR earned platinum status.

To obtain this recognition, a city has to respond to more that 90 questions concerning commitments to make the city more suited for people who use bikes for transportation, as well as, recreation. The application includes "an audit of the engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation efforts in your municipality." Special thanks to Mayor Pat Hays who has helped our city achieve this status and for knowing that bicycle friendly doesn't just include great bike trails (which we do have), rather it concerns building codes, re pavement of streets, and all other kinds of discernment where special attention is needed for helping us to become bikerholics!

And, about those great bike trails in the North Little Rock/Little Rock areas...I'm looking forward to checking out the proposed "Levy Spur" which will be a part of the River Trail that would shoot a foot and bicycle path across the city through many neighborhoods such as the Fort Roots trail which goes off North Military Road toward Camp Robinson.  Nice to see city leaders get off their butts and on their bikes in order to make a difference with innovative lifestyles, such as these, that make our city a more pleasant place to live and raise a healthier family.