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26 sexy singles

Orchids You'll Love!

P. Allen Smith's Valentine Alternative to Roses

chocolate haute

Restyle Your Room

Reuse * Recycle * Revamp

COMPOSTING 101

For Goodness’ Sake

AY IS ABOUT YOU February 2010

aymag.com


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Jeanne McNeill Johansson

Š2009 Jeffrey K. Garner, DDS, PA

Owner, Scarlet Boutique

2 . february 2010


Dentistry on a different leve l .

*Voted #1 five years running

The Smile Doctor速 501.227.0112 800.671.0767

w w w. s m i l e - d o c . n e t Text: SMILEDOC To: 74700 for our most exclusive offers and invitations! aymag.com . 3


4 . february 2010


contents

February 2010 page 16

Without a Word Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, made history as the first woman to hold that office. She’s most known for her intelligence, outspokenness and for her visible, yet silent, stance as communicated through her pins, which will be on display this month. page 22

Precious Jewels If your Valentine’s wish list includes gems, you’ll find just the thing in our Jewelers’ Picks.

«

page 50

Unified Dining Union, a new tapasinspired restaurant, makes sharing all the more fun with creative plates and a lively atmosphere. page 57

Exploring El Dorado We travel to this revitalized historic oil “boom town” of the 1920s to discover what this award-winning town has to offer today’s visitors. page 63

50

Making It Reality In celebration of Black History Month, we profile three individuals who have transformed their visions into reality.

On the cover Get a fabulous chocolate martini at the Chocolate Fantasy Ball, Feb. 13. Details on page 10. aymag.com . 5


contributors

57

Steve Bowman was outdoor editor for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for 14 years. His freelance writing has appeared in many national and regional publications, including Waterfowl, Bassmasters, and Ducks Unlimited to name a few. Bowman is currently the executive editor of ESPN Outdoors.com and is an outdoor television producer and content editor for ESPN2. He is the co-author of the Arkansas Duck Hunter’s Almanac and The Season, A Photographic Look at Hunting and The Series, a book on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Eliza Borné is the assistant Web editor at BookPage and has written for the Boston Globe Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and the Arkansas Times. Her favorite natural spots in Arkansas are Blanchard Springs Caverns and the White River. Roby Brock is the executive editor and host of “Talk Business,” a statewide business news organization with a Web site — talkbusiness.net — television and radio broadcasts and a quarterly magazine, TBQ. Brock has interviewed more than 1,000 business leaders in Arkansas during his TV show’s decade on the air. The Fayetteville native lives in Little Rock with his wife and three children.

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DEPARTMENTS 8 publisher's Letter 10 mailbag 12 calendar 16 artscene 19 my opinion 20 a List 25 Singles in the city 31 green Living 32 home 38 p. allen Smith 40 garden checklist 43 tobi's tips 49 cuisine 52 Dining guide 55 recipe file 57 Destination 67 Sports 69 your money 71 your health 78 crossword 80 the view from park hill

Tracy Courage is a public relations professional and freelance journalist. She worked as a reporter and editor for 15 years at daily newspapers, including eight years at the Arkansas DemocratGazette. She left newspapers in 2006 to work in public relations at Pulaski Technical College. She lives in North Little Rock with her husband, Peter, and their 4-year-old daughter, Madison. Sonny Rhodes has been committing journalism for more than 35 years. After stints with four newspapers, he stays busy these days teaching journalism at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He lives in North Little Rock with his wife, Julie, and their daughter, Abby. In his increasingly rare spare moments, he pretends to loaf. Little Rock native, P. Allen Smith is an award-winning garden designer and host of the public television program, “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home” and the syndicated “P. Allen Smith Gardens.” Smith is the garden design editor for national magazines, such as Woman’s Day, and the author of the Garden Home series, which includes his latest Bringing the Garden Indoors.


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from the publisher

ay Valentine’s Day is the special occasion in February for expressing love. Many of us send cards, flow-

ers or candy. For a woman, it’s almost a rite of passage to receive a Valentine’s gift. Working in an office full of females, we take notice of who’s getting flowers, going to dinner or receiving other terms of endearment. Women love to feel special on Valentine’s Day. If you want to send your valentine something special and roses are not your flower of choice, P. Allen Smith recommends sending orchids. The flower symbolizes “rare beauty.” If you haven’t found a special valentine maybe we can help with your search. Our Singles in the City spread features some of the state’s most high-profile singles. We also polled our readers and got the scoop on the best “date” restaurant, where to get the best chocolate martini, etc. This month “Tobi’s Tips” affirms the adage that … everything old is new again as she discusses the reuse of old furniture as earth-friendly. And speaking of earth-friendly, Linda and Bob Schwartz’s dream home on Lake Dardanelle used Arkansas stone mined from their own stone company to build their modern oasis. If you haven’t checked out my new blog, please do. The girls in my office have informed me that in order to have a blog, you have to … well … blog. The purpose for the blog was to discuss my recent diagnosis of Meniere’s disease. I appreciate all the kind comments regarding my disease. I promise, I will regularly update the blog. I hope you will join the conversation. So with love, we bring you our February issue and a word of advice: don’t forget your valentine.

february 2010 | Volume XXi | ISSUE 9 Publisher Vicki Vowell

EDITOR Angela E. Thomas athomas@aymag.com

Office administrator Rhonda Penn admin@aymag.com

Associate Editor Amy Bowers abowers@aymag.com

Senior Account Executive Bethany Robinson brobinson@aymag.com

art director Jennifer Freeman jfreeman@aymag.com

Account Executives Lauren Bridges lbridges@aymag.com

Graphic Designer Lauren Hampton lhampton@aymag.com

Erin Homeyer ehomeyer@aymag.com

circulation manager Wanda Lair wlair@aymag.com

Jessica Franklin jfranklin@aymag.com Linda Burlingame lindaaymag@aol.com

REgular Contributors Nate Allen, Faith Anaya, Steve Bowman, Roby Brock, Jill Conner Browne, Mary Ann Campbell, Marilyn Collins, Cindy Conger, Tracy Courage, Vic Fleming, Jay Harrod, Rob Holdford, Janie Jones, Letha Mills, Beth Phelps, Sonny Rhodes, Joe David Rice, P. Allen Smith, Susan Wallace, Rebecca Ward

Please recycle this magazine. AY Magazine is published monthly by Active Years , Inc. ®

corporate office 910 W. 2nd St., Ste. 200, Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone: (501) 244-9700 Fax: (501) 244-9705

aymag.com

Vicki Vowell, PUBLISHER

The contents of AY are copyrighted, and material contained herein may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher. Articles in AY should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Products and services advertised in the magazine are not necessarily endorsed by AY. Subscription rate is $15 for one year (12 issues). Single issues are available upon request for $5.

8 . february 2010


aymag.com . 9


mailbag

and KATV's Renee Shapiro (left)

"Pawsing" to Say Thank You On behalf of CARE for Animals, we would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for your generous in-kind sponsorship. Because of your support, our third annual Paws on the Runway Canine Style Show and Silent Auction was a resounding success. We raised more than $18,000. Each year, CARE continues to advance its mission of rescuing dogs and cats facing euthanasia and to promote spay and neuter programs in order to decrease the number of unwanted dogs and cats in central Arkansas. Since CARE’s inception in 1998, we have rescued 2,400 dogs and cats and have provided or partially-funded more than 8,400 sterilizations … again, we want to thank you for your generous support of CARE for Animals and sponsorship of Paws on the Runway. With your help, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of the animals in our community. Harry Light, president Summer Jones-Martinez, program director CARE for Animals

{

clicK & Win aYmag.com

Kudos I continue to enjoy your publication and look forward to reading it. Keep up the excellent work.

Ms. Law, We certainly understand your frustration, and we apologize for the confusion and inconvenience. This was an oversight on our part; we have since added the pattern to our Web site, and in the future, we promise not to run a craft that requires a pattern, unless we have room to publish the pattern as well. Angela E. Thomas, editor

Jesse Mason Little Rock, Arkansas

Along with our apology, we mailed a copy of the book Creating the Happiest of Holidays to Ms. Law; we hope she enjoyed it.

What a Disappointment I usually enjoy your magazine and look forward to reading it when I pick it up; however, I was extremely disappointed with the feature/cover story in your December issue. After seeing the article on “Yuletide Creations & Confections,” I went out, gathered all of my materials and got ready to make a pair of the fleece mittens for my 3-year-old nephew for Christmas. My first step was to print the snowman pattern to trace. In the magazine it says, “trace the patterns*” and I looked all over the article to find the footnote designated by the asterisk to see where to turn to find the pattern, only to find, “patterns can be found on aymag.com and in the book.” I then went to your magazine’s Web site and could

Congratulations to our winners: Sondra LaMar, Fort Smith, Ark., won the Dooney & Bourke “Erica” handbag; a big thank you to our sponsor Dillard’s, dillards.com, for providing the giveaway. Barbara Hastings, Little Rock, Ark., won the Aromatique Orange and Evergreen Container; a big thank you to our sponsor Aromatique, (800) 262-7511, aromatique.com. Every 50th person to sign up for our monthly newsletter “On The Fly” gets a free, one-year subscription to AY. The latest winners are Sandie Fields, Hot Springs Village, Ark., and Samantha Jo Brown, Little Rock, Arkansas. Log onto aymag.com and click on "On the Fly" to receive your monthly newsletter.

The PowerStation Traveller is one of the handiest gadgets we’ve seen in awhile. Plug your cell phones, MP3 players and organizer into one convenient carrying case and charge them all at once. Great for the techfamily that’s on the go. one lucky reader will receive a Power Station Traveller, courtesy of cableorganizer.com. enter online at aymag.com. Deadline for entries is March 1, 2010. Provided by cableorganizer.com, (866) 222-0030.

AY Magazine 910 W. 2nd St. #200 Little Rock, AR 72201

10 . february 2010

legged friends Melinda Mayo and their four-

not find the pattern. I proceeded to log onto leisurearts.com to see if the pattern was there, since your article said the idea was from Creating the Happiest of Holidays book published by Leisure Arts. After looking that site over and through the free downloads, I could not find the mitten pattern — only where I could purchase the book for $19.95. Can you imagine my frustration? I don’t feel you should publish an article, especially a feature article, without providing all of the information needed as indicated in the article.   Jennifer Law Via e-mail

We love hearing from you. Write to angela at athomas@aymag.com, or at ay magazine, 910 W. Second St., Ste. 200, Little rock, ar 72201

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calendar

february events

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

“Enchanting Taiwan” Through Feb. 28, North Little Rock. The William F. Laman Public Library, in conjunction with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of Houston, Texas, presents this exhibit of 38 photographs taken by native photographers, representing aspects of Taiwan’s culture, customs, people, religion, landscapes and more. (501) 758-1720 or laman.net. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” Feb. 5 through 21, Little Rock. Catch the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s rendition of this Tennessee Williams classic tale, which takes place over the course of the wealthy southern Pollitt family’s celebration of patriarch “Big Daddy’s” birthday. (501) 3780405 or therep.org. Synergy Brass Quintet Feb. 11, Jonesboro. This quintet, performing at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center, specializes in entertaining showmanship and outstanding musical ability. (870) 972-3471 or yourfowlercenter.com. A Valentine Affaire Feb. 11, Little Rock. Enjoy a romantic evening at this fundraiser for the Arkansas Chamber Singers at the Governor’s Mansion. Sip champagne and indulge in chocolates while being serenaded with love songs sung by Satia Spencer. Tickets are $65. (501) 377-1121 or ar-chambersingers.org.

Seventh Annual Chocolate Fantasy Ball Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at The Peabody Little Rock. This black-tie affair is a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. The evening will begin with a chocolate-themed cocktail reception, featuring the Chocolate Fantasy Ball Chocolate Martini courtesy of Glazer’s Distributors,* followed by dinner, a live auction and entertainment by The Rockets. Tickets are $200 per person; call the Ronald McDonald House at (501) 374-3318 for more information.

s *Find the recipe on page 55! 12 . february 2010

Second Annual Lanterns! Festival Feb. 26 through 28, Little Rock. The grounds of the picturesque Wildwood Park will be illuminated for this fun, family event that celebrates the first full moon of the year. Take a walk through the meandering pathways lit by fire pits and luminaries into Wildwood’s winter woodlands; and visit eight educational cultural displays representing Shakespearean England; Venice; Asia; Morocco; Egypt; old Americana; Mexico; and the Moon. Entertainment will be provided by Wildwood Park’s statewide educational touring production Art To Go! and musical acts. The festival runs from 5:30 until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6 to 12; and free for children 5 and under. Admission includes the cost of entertainment. Food and drinks are available for purchase. (501) 821-7275 or wildwoodpark.org.

Delbert McClinton Feb. 14, Fayetteville. This Grammy Award winner is known for his style of blending country, blues, rock and jazz into a sound all his own. Grab your Valentine, and don’t miss this performance at the Walton Arts Center. (479) 443-5600 or waltonartscenter.org.

in an unforgettable show at the Robinson Center Music Hall. The eight-member company uses anything from brooms to garbage cans to fill the auditorium with rhythm. Tickets are $22 to $47. (501) 244-8800 or celebrityattractions.com.

8th Annual Daffodil Days Feb. 15 through March 7, Hot Springs. Stroll through the winding pathways of the lovely Garvan Woodland Gardens. More than 150,000 daffodils from 327 varieties are in bloom at this 210-acre botanical garden on Lake Hamilton. (501) 262-9300 or garvangardens.org.

One Night of Queen Feb. 18 through 19, Fayetteville. Enjoy an evening of music by one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll acts of all time performed by Gary Mullen and The Works. This live, two-hour concert at the Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall is packed with stunning light displays, exciting staging and special effects. (479) 443-5600 or waltonartscenter.org.

6th Annual Go Red For Women Feb. 16, Rogers. Celebrate heart health for women with the American Heart Association at this fun and educational event at The John Q. Hammons Convention Center. Enjoy a heart-healthy lunch; bid on exciting silent auction items; and learn a lesson on the No. 1 threat to women’s health — heart disease. Tickets are $60. (479) 442-6540.

58th Annual Home Show Feb. 26 through 28, North Little Rock. This convention at the Verizon Arena has everything imaginable for the homebuilder and the do-it-yourselfer. Shop at the vendors’ booths and register to win prizes. Admission is $8 for adults; children 12 and under are free. (501) 758-3646 or hbaglr.com.

“Stomp” Feb. 16 through 18, Little Rock. Don’t miss this international sensation that uses creatively-arranged and unique percussion instruments, dance, theater and performance

19th Annual Arkansas Flower and Garden Show Feb. 26 through 28, Little Rock. If you have a green thumb, this event at the Statehouse Convention Center is for you. This year’s


theme is “A World of Gardening,” and it promises to be a fun-filled experience, complete with vendors’ booths, educational presentations, the popular Big Backyard Family Learning Center, silent auction and professional florists' tabletop competition. Admission is $7.50 for adults; $5 for senior citizens; and $10 for a three-day pass. (501) 821-4000 or arflowerandgardenshow.org. 8th Annual Kiss a Pig Gala Feb. 27, Rogers. The American Diabetes Association and Glucerna present this fundraising gala at the John Q. Hammons Center complete with entertainment, delicious fare, live and silent auctions and keynote speaker Sean Algaier, a contestant on “The Biggest Loser Season 8.” Headlining the event is a performance by BeatleMania. Don’t miss your chance to see community leaders compete to kiss a pig, the animal responsible for providing the first source of insulin for people with diabetes. (479) 4644121 or diabetes.org.

29th Annual Soup Sunday

Feb. 21, Little Rock. Warm up with a cup of soup at the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families’ primary annual fundraiser at the Embassy Suites. Sample soups, breads and desserts from more than 30 local restaurants, and bid on many fabulous silent auction items while enjoying live music and good company. New to the lineup this year: a V.I.P. room where chefs will prepare specialty soups and mingle with guests. Restaurants that have participated since the event’s inception include: The Faded Rose Restaurant; Dave’s Place; Bruno’s Little Italy; The Villa Italian Restaurant and Community Bakery. Last year, the turnout was unbelievable with nearly 800 in attendance and a grand total of $37,000 raised. The AACF’s mission is to ensure that all children and their families have the resources and opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives and to realize their full potential. They make this possible by working with other citizens, advocates and policy makers to create sound public policies for Arkansas’ children and families. Tickets are $20 for adults, and $5 for children ages 12 and under. (501) 3719678 or aradvocates.org. aymag.com . 13


14 . february 2010


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artscene

story by Tracy Courage / photography from Read My Pins

Brooching Albright Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright knew how to finesse difficult situations. She also knew when harsh words were needed.

Sometimes, she let her jewelry do the talking.

d

uring her diplomatic tenure, Madeleine Albright found and to Indianapolis in the fall. that brooches not only added a feminine touch to “Read My Pins” features more than 200 of Albright’s pins — some her male-dominated world of politico, but could also she purchased herself during her many travels, and others given to her send strong messages. So much so, that her brooches by family, friends, heads of state and world leaders. The pins are grouped — or pins as she prefers to call them — became a into 60 panels that detail Albright’s early life, communication device, a visual element that offered career and family. some insight into Albright’s mood or reflection on the day’s events. Included are whimsical costume pieces She might have worn a balloon to symbolize she purchased for as little as $3 as well high hopes, a turtle to convey frustration with the as precious gems and jewels. Her most slowness of peace talks, or a crab to symbolize her cherished piece: a pink clay heart pin made aggravation. by and given to her on Valentine’s Day by her While former president George Bush famously youngest daughter, Katie, who was 5 at the quipped, “Read my Lips,” Albright frequently told time. reporters to “Read my Pins.” The Clinton Center has already gotten An aptly-named collection of Albright’s inquiries about the collection said Christine brooches, called “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Mouw, curator for the William J. Clinton Albright Collection,” opens Feb. 15 and runs Presidential Library. through May 31 at the Clinton Presidential “She’s a very powerful, intelligent woman Library and Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. with a really cool collection,” Mouw said of The collection’s companion book by Albright Read Albright. “It’s a unique collection. There is My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box details meaning behind each pin. They tell stories and the stories behind the pins. make a statement. It’s really fascinating.” The pin collection debuted in September at the While Albright is a longtime pin collector, Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Little the pins didn’t take on political significance until Departing Marine One with President Clinton Rock will be the first stop for the traveling exhibit, 1994 while she served as America’s ambassador in Latin America in 1999 wearing Sunburst by which heads to Washington, D.C., this summer to the United Nations. The Iraqi press referred Hervé van der Straeten. 16 . february 2010


to Albright as a “serpent” after she criticized Saddam Hussein’s refusal to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors, so for her next meeting with Iraqi officials, she wore a pin featuring a gold snake coiled around a branch. When a reporter noticed and asked about the pin, Albright said it was “just my way of sending a message.” From then on, Albright’s accessory of choice took on new meaning. “Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal,” she wrote in her book, which will be available for purchase in the Clinton Library. In February 1996, when Cuban fighter pilots shot down two unarmed civilian aircraft airplanes off the coast of Florida, Albright wore a bluebird pin, with the soaring bird’s head pointing down instead of up, in honor of the pilots killed. For Middle East peace negotiations, Albright often wore a gold dove —

(above) With Yasser Arafat

sy mbolizing on a conference call with the hope for President Clinton, wearing Bee by an unknown peace in the designer. (left) Albright's Holy Land official headshot, wearing — that was Peace Dove by Cécile et Jeanne. a gift from the widow of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Albright also wore the gold dove to Rwanda in 1997 to pay respect to the victims of genocide. For a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Albright wore a trio of monkeys pin symbolizing “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil,” offering  unspoken commentary on Russia’s role in human rights violations in Chechnya. Albright, 72, is expected to visit Arkansas during the exhibit’s run, though no public dates have been announced.   

Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection WHEN: feb. 15 through may 31. opening Day, feb. 15, admission is free to the Library and the exhibit. WHERE: clinton Presidential Library and museum, Third-floor gallery; Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., monday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. HOW MUCH?: admission: $7 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, retired military, and college students; $4 for youth (6-17) and free to active military personnel, school groups and children under 6.

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good reads

@

$8 amazon.com Alibis in Arkansas: Three Romance Mysteries Romance runs in the family … Arkansas sisters/authors Christine Lynxwiler, Jan Reynolds and Sandy Gaskin have composed an anthology of mystery and love based in the Ozarks … add a bit of intrigue and you’ve got the perfect book to curl up with.

@

$23 amazon.com Enlightened Chocolate Freelance food writer, recipe developer and national cooking contest winner Camilla Saulsbury has penned a cookbook that includes more than 200 recipes that allow the chocoholic to savor this delicacy from morning to night.

@

$15 psychofthesouth.com Lost Souls Volume 2 This is the second CD compiled by music lovers Psych of the South; includes music from the legendary and the unheard of, great tunes from garage and psychedelic rock grounds of the 1960s all from reel-toreel tapes.

18 . february 2010


by Jill conner browne

IGMO february brings us that unique opportunity to make all men miserable. Valentine’s Day does not discriminate for any reason; there is no escaping its grasp for any man. It does not care about your ethnicity, your religion (or lack thereof), your size, your shape, your sexual orientation, your financial status, your mental state and/ or your geographical location (if there are any other variables I neglected to name, it doesn’t matter — V-Day doesn’t care about those either).

my opinion

a word to

the wise

Whoever, whatever, wherever, however you are … if you are a MAN, Valentine’s Day is out to get you. Because, without regard to any of the aforementioned potential, but futile exclusions, if you are a MAN, there is a WOMAN — or in some cases, another man but it matters not, same difference here — out there somewhere who is just WAITING for you to disappoint her/him by any number of ways in which you might fail to perform up-to-expectation on this one stupid, made-up holiday. It might be your spouse, your life partner, your significant other, somebody you just started dating — it could even be your MOTHER, for goodness’ sake — the Day is a total minefield. The sooner you accept that, the better your odds are for survival. Oh, she/he is not HOPING for your failure … quite to the contrary, she/he is desperately hoping against all hope that you will somehow be magically morphed into Someone Else, Someone Who, While Acknowledging That It’s a Totally Made-Up Deal and Although Admittedly, It Clearly OUGHT NOT to Be Such a Big, Fat, Hairy DEAL, Nonetheless Has the Sense to ACCEPT That, Regardless of How Stupid It Is, He Needs to Just Suck It Up and Buy the Stupid Flowers and Does So, Without Whining — With Feigned Sincerity and Enthusiasm Would Be Even Better … If It’s Not Asking Too Much. In the interest of world peace and harmony — two things which, as THE Sweet Potato Queen, I do work tirelessly for — I am going to share just the tiniest bit of wisdom with you here, and so if this magazine ends up on your desk and it just HAPPENS to be open to this page with my column on it, we can only hope and pray, for your sake, that

you take the five minutes to read it and then MIND ME. February is, after all, only month No. 2 out of the whole year, Igmo.

Diamonds: Hard to go wrong with these, but certainly not impossible. For instance, anything with a label that says, “Genuine Diamond” should be avoided.

Roses: Red ones are better than nothing, but they’ve just been Done to Death. Unless they are the personal favorite of your beloved/blackmailer, then go with some other gorgeous color, such as coral, yellow, fuchsia … since you have to ask for them specifically, it gives the impression that you actually thought about what you were doing. Carnations: DON’T YOU DARE. There’s

nothing more humiliating than to be the public recipient of a big wad of carnations. A dear friend of mine’s shiny, new husband made that mistake ONCE and sent them to her at work. She was a teacher, and every woman in the school, from the lunch ladies to the principal, came by her room and gave them a “tsk, tsk, oh, my” and her a look of abject sympathy. They are still married, but he will be digging out of that self-made hole for the duration.

Phony, made-up, absolutely unabashedly commercial? Yes. But, really — is it really such a terrible thing to set aside a special day for a little Public Display of Affection? Surely not — and it just might bode well for a more private display … couldn’t hurt. Igmo. 

Jill conner Browne is a multiple #1 new York Times® Best seller. Simon & Schuster published her latest book American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queen’s Guide to Preserving Your Assets. She is featured regularly in national and international magazines and television shows. You can learn more about “Her Royal Highness” at sweetpotatoqueens.com.

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a list

In the Red In celebration of American Heart Month, we’re painting the page red with gadgets and accessories. For information about National Wear Red Day, Feb. 5, or heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of American women, log onto americanheart.org.

Photography by Janet Warlick

20 . february 2010


1

This multi-strand red coral and antiqued brass necklace features a vintage crystal flower pendant, $82; available at robinsonlane.com, (501) 663-5333.

2

Capture memories with this Nikon Coolpix digital camera in scarlet red. Sleek in design, this camera features a 3-inch monitor, a 3.6x optical zoom and 20MB of memory, $90; available at Best Buy, bestbuy.com.

3

Whether you’re making smoothies or shakes, pureeing fruit or blending a soup, you’ll find this Viking Professional Grade Blender does it well and efficiently; features 40-ounce jar and stainless steel blades, $150; available at Kitchen Co., 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 910, Little Rock, AR , 72212, (501) 663-3338, kitchenco.net.

4

Green is red with this lightweight, waterproof bag. The print features shapes inspired by Australian rainforests. Looks good and carries up to 44 pounds of goods. It’s a steal at just $9; available at Rivermarket Books and Gifts, 120 Commerce St., Little Rock, AR, 72201, (501) 918-3093.

5

Tie the knot … a Windsor knot to be exact. This stylish striped power tie by Robert Talbott, $135; available at Mr. Wicks, 5924 R St., Little Rock, AR, (501) 664-3062.

6

Serve your sweetheart a dish made just for him or her in the darling Le Creuset petit casserole, $20; also available at Kitchen Co.

7

This silver scrollwork pendant with natural red stone is a nice touch to an outfit at $40; available at Mary’s Boutique, 1110 Oak St., Conway, AR, (501) 329-5600.

8

This red rose jump drive has 2GB of storage, a retractable USB connector and works with Windows and MAC OS, $25; available at usbgeek.com.

arkansas medical massage

501.663.9200

• • • • • • • •

carpal tunnel rotator cuff injury plantar fasciatis sciatica pain back pain cervical neck pain repetitive use injury frozen shoulder

arkmedicalmassag@aol.com aymag.com . 21


feature

jeweler's picks

Stunning, one-of-a-kind aquamarine diamond pendant set in 18 karat white gold, by designer Frederick Sage; Cecil’s Fine Jewelry.

Pandora bracelet with charms; Jones & Son Fine Jewelry. A wide array of diamond wedding bands in your choice of diamond carat weights and metals awaits you at Lauray’s The Diamond Center.

Beloved Baubles Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to invest in a stunning piece of jewelry for your loved one. Of course, though all jewels are valuable, you want to purchase a piece that fits the recipient. So to find timeless and timely gems, we turned to the experts.

3.07 carat, 1.19 carat total weight melee diamond ring in platinum; Sissy’s Log Cabin. One-of-a-kind 18 karat rose gold pendant set with .40 carat heart-shaped VS1 diamond with nearly .5 carat Natural Intense Pink Diamonds, exclusive to Lauray’s The Diamond Center.

1.65 carat total weight five-row pavé diamond ring; Sissy's Log Cabin.

Beautiful, durable and unique … chocolate and yellow gold diamond bracelet accented by brilliant diamonds, handcrafted by Lecil Henderson; Cecil’s Fine Jewelry.

s Cecil’s Fine Jewelry s Jones & Son Fine Jewelry s Lauray’s Diamond Center s Sissy’s Log Cabin 10720 Rodney Parham Road 11121 Rodney Parham Road 402 Central Ave. 2319 Camden Road Little Rock, AR 72212 Little Rock, AR 72212 Hot Springs, AR 71901 Pine Bluff, AR 71603 (501) 225-5068 (501) 224-3433 (501) 321-2441 (870) 879-3040 cecilsfinejewelry.com jonesandson.com laurays.com sissyslogcabin.com

22 . february 2010

20-inch sterling silver and 14kt gold necklace with lady’s .29 case silver and gold pendant; Jones & Son Fine Jewelry.


11121 Rodney Parham Rd. Little Rock, AR 72212 501-224-3433

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ES

AY

SINGL

February is a great month to meet someone special or to simply meet a new friend. With this in mind, we polled our singles and asked for their favorite places to mingle and date. We also asked our online readers who serves a delicious chocolate martini. Here are the results.

GU

ID

TY

E TO T H E C

I

1

Best place to meet someone new: CAJUN'S WHARF & UNION RESTAURANT

2

3 5 7 9

Best Place to purchase outfit for date: DILLARD'S & GREENHAW'S MENSWEAR

Best place to meet for drinks:

CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL & SONNY WILLIAMS' STEAK ROOM

4

Best location for group date:

BONEFISH GRILL & YA YA’S EURO BISTRO

Best place to buy engagement ring: SISSY'S LOG CABIN & ROBERSON'S FINE JEWELRY

6

Best first date place: FERNEAU & LULAV

Best place to pop the question:

GARVAN WOODLAND GARDENS & ASHLEY'S RESTAURANT

8

Best place for bachelor/ bachelorette party: CAJUN'S WHARF & RIVERMARKET

Best place to buy a gift for boyfriend/girlfriend: MACK'S PRARIE WINGS & COBBLESTONE & VINE

10

Best chocolate martini in Arkansas: INN AT CARNALL HALL & CIAO BACI

Now serving lunch Mon - Fri. LATENIGHT EVERYNIGHT 26 . february 2010

• Mon - Fri 11am-2pm & 5pm-2am • Sat 5pm-1am • Sun 6pm- 12am


WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION? i am an account executive for Fox16 and cW arkansas. WHERE IS YOUR HOMETOWN? Bloomfield Hills, michigan; it’s a suburb of detroit. DO YOU HAVE ANY CHILDREN? Yes, two adult children, daughter erin and son Jeremy. my nest is empty! HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR SPARE TIME? i am usually working outside in my yard or relaxing on my screened-in porch with friends. i enjoy trying new restaurants, happy hours, going to the lake, traveling and of course, watching FOX16! WHAT QUALITY DO YOU MOST LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? i consider myself a loyal friend; i'm dependable and a great mom! What you see is what you get. WHAT QUALITY DO YOU LEAST LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? my stress level can drive me crazy at times! WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? classic rock, alternative pop … just about all types — except rap and country. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? “Best in show,” it’s a hilarious movie! NAME YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD. choosing only one place is difficult. i love to travel and see new places; however, i would say the beach and nYc are my favorite places in the world. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? i find myself much too active to sit quietly and read, unless i am relaxing on vacation. WHEN I WAS LITTLE I WANTED TO BE … a veterinarian. WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE? my independence. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE EVER LEARNED? my dad would always tell me that i was capable of achieving anything in life, as long as i set goals — he was right! reaching your goals gives you so much satisfaction, and then leads to happiness. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTIEST PLEASURE? santa margarita Pinot grigio and chocolate. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S MOTTO? What goes around comes around!

KARYL WOOD

Photo by Kyle McLaughlin

Single in the City

aymag.com . 27


Bo mcdowell

dg new

mike moore

gina calhoun

Jud spillyards

linda rollins

steve Bates

donna skullman

mark Hoskyn

Jeannine smith

lance sullenberger

Julie Thompson

Joe Barrett

Beth milligan

charles marshall

Felicia Johnson

Tye Herring

manja morris

matthew Hartley

melody myers if you missed one of our 2009 sophisticated, professional singles, you’re in luck. To contact a single, simply log onto aymag. com/go/singles; if you'd like to be a single, tell us a bit about yourself on the recommendation form.

Brandon smith 28 . february 2010

courtnie Pledger

Harold alvis

Holly Fish


WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION? i’m in sales.WHERE IS YOUR HOMETOWN? little rock, arkansas. DO YOU HAVE ANY CHILDREN? Yes, two daughters. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR SPARE TIME? Playing golf and basketball and enjoying time with my close friends and family. WHAT QUALITY DO YOU MOST LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? The ability to be truthful with people. WHAT QUALITY DO YOU LEAST LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? The ability to be truthful with people.WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? classic rock, country and ‘80s. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? “Bull durham.” NAME YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD. greece and its small villages. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? Online news articles of what's happening in the world each day. WHEN I WAS LITTLE I WANTED TO BE … a professional baseball player. WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE? How much influence a father can have on their children. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE EVER LEARNED? The ability to listen rather than speak. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTIEST PLEASURE? Peanut m&ms and snickers bars. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S MOTTO? When in doubt, ask yourself WWJd? This answers any doubt.

NICK PLASTIRAS

Photo by Kyle McLaughlin

Single in the City

aymag.com . 29


The Arkansas Hospitality Association presents

ProStart & Lodging Management Program

Student Invitational February 25th and 26th

One sizzling hospitality affair See our state’s hottest talent compete in the 2010 ProStart & Lodging Management Program State Invitational. Students will dazzle judges with their most spectacular recipes, knife skills and knowledge.

AHA NEEDS YOUR INVOLVEMENT: Sponsorship Opportunities for the Competition Judges for both ProStart and LMP events Culinary Competition (ProStart)

The two-day competition will be topped off by a grand competition of our state’s competition champions at the Awards Luncheon. The competition is open to the public, so come and support the future of our industry.

Competition Location: Embassy Suites - Little Rock

Quiz Bowl (LMP) Case Studies Room Inspection Hospitality Project (LMP) Night Audit (LMP)

For more information, contact Jillian Ely, Education Coordinator, by phone at (501) 376 2323 or by e-mail at jillian@arhospitality.org. 30 . february 2010

ay

MAGAZINE

Arkansas’ Premier Lifestyle Magazine


by eliza borné

green living

composting 101:

Turn Your Kitchen Waste Into Plant Food

Composting is a green solution to kitchen and yard waste that almost seems too good to be true. By using the decomposition of food, leaves and grass, you contribute positively to your community’s waste management system and give your garden a major boost.

a

ccording to the University of Arkansas Division of Simply piling waste in a can or mound is not enough to encourage Agriculture, yard waste makes up about 13 percent of speedy decomposition, however. “It’s important to understand that the municipal waste stream; 10 percent is food waste. composting is an active process,” Phelps said. “Just piling stuff up is not By maintaining a compost, you can recycle nearly all compost. You have to turn the pile, and get the heat up. The heat kills of that would-be garbage. A rich, organic compost the seeds that could become weeds, if you incorporate the compost in will help plants fare “300 percent better,” said Chris Olsen, of Botanica your garden.” Gardens in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Compost gives you the richest soil After you decide on a location for your compost, keep a sealed you can get. It is richer than buying compost container in your kitchen. Toss in your coffee in a bag.” grounds, vegetable peels, fruit cores and Beth Phelps, AY contributor and County eggshells daily. Every few days, dump the Extension agent staff chair with the Division contents into your outdoor compost. You can of Agriculture, asserts that composting is easy. also put your waste in a plastic bag, and store Composters may choose to either work it in the freezer until you’re ready to add to the with a can or a pile. To build a compost in compost. Do not include meat, bones, dairy or a can: drill a few holes around the sides and anything greasy or oily. base of a garbage can with a cover. The holes “These items are slower to break down are important; once you fill your can with and could attract animals,” Phelps said. vegetables, leaves and other waste, the compost “Another tip is to take your hand, and make will need good aeration to accelerate the an indentation in the top of the compost pile; decomposition process. dump fresh waste, then cover it up with fresh Next, pile a few inches of sawdust or wood leaves and grass,” she says. This will help keep chips at the bottom of the can. Add food and away critters that might be attracted to fresh yard waste, and regularly turn the compost fruit and veggie matter. with tool, or, try rolling the can on its side. Depending on the size of your compost Alternatively, you can make an open-pile — and how often you turn it — you will have compost. This method might be easier to turn, ready-to-use humus in a few months to a year. although you must have space in your yard for It’s worth the wait. Because Arkansas’ soil is a mound. rocky and heavy in many places, “a good comIf odor is a problem with your compost, try post helps break it down and allows for better A container for a compost pile should be kept on adding coffee grounds to your mix. Olsen uses drainage,” Olsen said. Phelps agrees, “Organic fairly level ground, preferably in the sun. Almost any organic matter, such as lawn clippings and kitchen this trick in his own compost, and the grounds matter loosens clay soil, and then, the soil is waste, can be added to your compost container. “keep it smelling good.” Many coffee houses better for plant root systems. Building root will save bags of grounds for gardeners. systems is important to a successful garden.”  Visit arhomeandgarden.org for more information.

aymag.com . 31


home

32 . FEBRUARY 2010

story by Angela E. Thomas / photography by Janet Warlick


cozy

on the

cove

When Bill and Linda Schwartz decided to build a weekend getaway on Lake Dardanelle, they knew exactly who they’d call upon to design the cottage — longtime friend and architect Reese Rowland.

B

Bill and Linda Schwartz’s New Blaine, Ark., home is truly a balance between comfort and design. Their 2,800-square foot home is just the right size for the couple … but with enough room to easily accommodate their children and grandchildren and with their additional 1,800 square feet of outdoor living space, it’s perfect for parties. Schwartz owns Schwartz Stone Co., a residential and commercial stone company his father began in 1949; so it was a given that the home, which began as a “weekend place,” would incorporate stones. “We owned the lot,” which sits along a cove in Dublin Bay on Lake Dardanelle, “so I talked to Reese [Rowland, architect with Polk Stanley Wilcox] about designing the house,” Bill Schwartz said. “It was just going to be a weekend place,” Linda Schwartz said, “So he drew it much smaller. We loved the design so much, we added to it … it just got bigger and bigger. So we thought ‘Let’s sell our house in Paris, Ark., and move.’” “Yes, we’d talked about living in a rural area. So when we decided to make it our permanent home, we wanted to still have a ‘lodgy’ feel, but we knew being on the water we’d want to have a large outdoor kitchen, patio and fireplace.”

Rowland is a Schwartz family friend. So it was easy to take into account their personalities and style while designing the home. “Bill and Linda wanted an open space for their kitchen and living spaces and as many views of the lake as possible. They also love the outdoors, so we definitely wanted to create a great outdoor kitchen and patio space. We designed the house as a series of pavilions, using heavy timber tresses and tongue-and-groove wood decking on the ceiling,” Rowland said. The outdoor kitchen features a large fireplace, stainless steel grill and seating for four. The upper patio has ample seating with several dining and pub tables; a lower patio has a fire pit for cool fall nights. The Schwartz quarry, which is still family-owned and operated is located in Paris, so each of the many stones used to construct their home was quarried within six miles. The exterior of their home, including the fabulous patios, uses Schwartz’ chopped Smokey Mt. Blue dry stack. Construction of this lakeside dwelling took about two years. “Building with stone is labor intensive, so it takes a while,” Bill said. They worked with now-retired builder Bill Reith. Reese’s design was right on the money; the Schwartzs didn’t change a thing.

(left) The heart of this home is truly the open living space. One enters the home, and just to the left are a wetbar and an alcove with Bill’s office, which has a fabulous view of the lake. Entering the great room, which consists of the living and dining rooms and kitchen, you are immediately greeted by sunlight. (above) A portico leads from the main house to the Schwartz’s garage above, which are guest quarters. Schwartz’s company quarried all the dry stack stone, pavers and ornamental stones shown here.

AYMAG.COM . 33


"We designed the house as a series of pavilions, using heavy timber tresses and tongue-and-groove wood decking on the ceiling." Kitchen Linda chose black countertops in the kitchen and black furnishings in the dining room, and designer Lona Hayward added touches of crimson throughout to add splashes of color. Cherry-blend flagstone is used on the floors throughout the main living areas. Wood timbers, braces and pine along the ceiling, and maple window casings and cabinets add warmth. Master Bedroom The master bedroom, just as the majority of the rooms, features a fantastic view of the lake. A pair of rattan wingback chairs, with jewel-toned cushions and pillows, sits on either side of French doors. The side tables and lamps are dressed in coordinating fabrics. Great Room The great room, which consists of the living and

dining rooms and kitchen, are awash in sunlight. “The home stretches from east to west, which follows the sun’s movement. With the large windows in the ceiling, we take full advantage of this,” Rowland said. The covered patio along the rear provides shade and prevents overheating in the room. In the winter, a large chestnut drystack gas fireplace provides warmth. Linda used neutral colors in the main area. A comfortable latte-color sectional facing the fireplace and large flatscreen television follow this theme.

Powder Room One of the most spectacular features of the home is a stone sink in the powder room. It was honed from a solid stone, quarried from Schwartz Stone and weighs nearly 1,800 pounds. 34 . february 2010


aymag.com . 35


The House That GREEN BUILT

The Home Builders Association of Greater Little Rock (HBAGLR) broke ground Oct. 22, 2009 on its first ever GREEN BUILT model home. The house is located in west Little Rock’s Woodland’s Edge, the 2009 Green Development of the Year. The project is a sustainable construction set to ANSI-approved National Green Building Standards. The standards state: “a builder, remodeler or developer must incorporate a minimum number of features in the following areas: energy, water, and resource efficiency, lot and site development, indoor environmental quality, and home owner education.” One of the ways developers are building “green” is by minimizing the impact of construction and maintaining the current vegetation in this Green Development. Rocket Properties, LLC, a Little Rock-based company performed a site analysis for the property. Ron Tyne is managing partner of the company. “A site analysis includes a natural resource inventory and takes into account: the orientation of a property; the slope and terrain; site hydrology; existing vegetation; and what’s adjacent to the site,” Tyne said. “We also look at soil conditions, solar orientation and prevailing winds.” The site analysis for the GREEN BUILT home shows the many details that were taken into account. Notes include utility locations, easements and setbacks; and existing veg36 . february 2010


etation — trees that are in good condition and will be preserved as well as information about trees that would require work to preserve. “We also take into account details such as solar orientation, prevailing winds and views,” Tyne said. The GREEN BUILT home’s site analysis drawing shows the company accounts for southern sun exposeure in the winter, views of green space — there’s an abundance in Woodlands Edge — and the direction of cold winter and cooling summer winds. Rocket Properties does the planning for the infrastructure at Woodslands Edge. In a recent HBAGLR meeting, Tyne and Bradford Gaines, land development coordinator with Rocket Properties, LLC, shared how a fairly simple action such as flipping a home on a site can save trees, green space and costs. In the example given, nearly $4,000 in clearing, building, excavation, landscaping and labor costs were saved. For more information about the HBAGLR, visit their Web site hbaglr.com. 

11525 Cantrell Road Little Rock, AR 72212 501.375.7820 vestasboutique.com

check AY each month, as we’ll feature monthly updates through the completion of the greeN buILD home in may or June.

THE ELECTRIC CONNECTION 9221 Maumelle Blvd. • North Little Rock, AR 72113 501-758-5483 • 1-800-294-5483 • www.tecelectric.com

aymag.com . 37


P. Allen Smith

story by P. allen Smith / Photography by Jane colclasure and Hortus Ltd.

Follow these instructions, and you could enjoy flowers for nearly six months after Valentine’s Day. This will make a great long-lasting

V

Valentine’s Day gift plant, and show your loved one how much you enjoy and cherish them.

saywith it style

Valentine’s Day comes in February to help lift our winter weary spirits and brighten our moods. The customary Valentine’s present is red roses, considered to be the symbol of passion and love. However, if you want to speak to your special someone in the language of flowers and deliver a message that will be long remembered, consider a flower that is more distinctive and adventurous, such as an orchid. The symbolic meaning to those who receive an orchid is “rare beauty,” which reflects the plant’s exotic qualities and sends a message to the recipient of how special they are. Orchids are also known for their longlasting flowers; so rather than present your Valentine with a clichéd bouquet of red flowers that will fade in a week, surprise her with an orchid that will bloom for a month or more. There are several beautiful varieties of the plant, but the one that I have found to be the easiest to grow is the “Moth orchid.” The botanical name for the plant is Phalaenopsis, pronounced (fa-lun-NOP-sis), which comes from the Greek word phalanaia, meaning “moth” and opsi meaning “appearance,” which refers to its beautiful blooms that look 38 . february 2010

very much like a tropical moth in flight. They require little care, thrive in low-light conditions and have elegant, arching spikes of flowers. Dutch botanist, C.L. Blume, discovered the flower during his explorations in Java in 1752. For years, the orchid was thought to be a “specialty” plant, hard to find and fussy to grow, but today it has been developed into a much more accessible plant, found everywhere from garden centers to the floral departments in grocery stores. There’s even a brand called “Just Add Ice”; caring for these orchids has been simplified to the point that all you need to do is add three ice cubes once a week to keep it watered. You can even sign up on their Web site (justaddiceorchids.com), and they will e-mail you a weekly reminder when it’s time to add the cubes. The Moth orchid is available in a large array of beautiful colors. Favorite Valentine hues are hot pink, but they are also found in white, lavender and yellow. Some are bi-colored and even have spots or stripes like peppermint candy. Since it is a tropical plant, when you transport the orchid from the


store to your car or home, be sure and cover the plant to protect its leaves and flowers from cold temperatures and winds. It may be “giftready” when you buy it, but it is also easy to dress it up a bit. Slip the pot into a more decorative container, and cover the top with moss. Or nest the plant in a wicker basket along with a scented candle and some chocolates. You can also create an indoor container garden by combining orchids with other houseplants, such as cyclamen, variegated English ivy and ferns. As far as care, I like to tell people that when it comes to indoor temperatures, if you’re comfortable, the orchid will be too. The plant flourishes in a home or office environment with bright, indirect light. Most homes, particularly in the winter, can be dry, and orchids prefer humidity at 50 percent or higher. It’s easy to create a microenvironment of higher humidity around the plants by placing the container on a saucer or tray with a layer of gravel. As the water evaporates, it will bathe the plant with moisture. Orchids are light eaters. You only need to fertilize them with 25 percent of the recommended amount on a liquid fertilizer label. They should be fed about every other week. They don’t like salt build-up from fertilizer, so it’s important every few weeks to run water for a minute or two through the planting medium to remove that. Just put the plant in the sink, and let the faucet run slowly at the base of the plant for a couple of minutes. Avoid getting any water on the flowers as that may shorten the life of the bloom. After the blooms fade, cut the stalk above the second or third node and reduce fertilizing to once a month. Sometimes you can urge a second flowering from each spike with a timely pruning. When the last flower of the spike finishes, examine the spike; look for small, fleshy bumps or nodes. From the base of the spike, count out three fleshy nodes, ignoring the dried ones. Cut these spikes one inch above the third node. If the plant is healthy and it is not too late in the season, this process will produce a new array of fresh blooms in just a few weeks.  P. Allen Smith is an ardent vegetable gardener; professional garden designer; host of two national TV programs; a regular guest on the “Today Show,” and author of P. Allen Smith’s Bringing the Garden Indoors and other books in the Garden Home series. For more video tips and ideas, sign up for his free weekly newsletter at pallensmith.com. aymag.com . 39


Gardening Tips for FEBRUARY

• It is time to get the vegetable garden planted; try these healthy items: broccoli,

cabbage, radishes, kale, turnips, Swiss chard, beets, English and snap peas, Irish potatoes and onions. • Crabgrass and other warm-season weed seeds begin to germinate as soil

temperature warms; apply a pre-emergent herbicide to stop these weeds as they emerge. • As spring bulbs poke out of the ground, it is time to fertilize. An application of

10-10-10 or any general fertilizer provides the nutrients needed. • Prune summer-blooming shrubs, hollies, boxwoods, liriope and ornamental

grasses. Do not prune the spring-blooming shrubs, or you will remove this spring’s flowers. • The coldest part of the winter is over, but songbirds will still appreciate a full

feeder. Try black oil sunflower seeds as they attract the largest number of different species.

{ Daffodils } Daffodils announce that spring is just around the corner as they emerge from the cold winter soil. With early-, mid- and late-season varieties in the garden, daffodils will bloom through March. These spring-blooming bulbs naturalize easily in the Arkansas landscape. Plant them in a sunny, well-drained spot; daffodils do best in areas that are not heavily watered during the summer months. Too much water when the bulb is dormant is a death sentence for all our spring-blooming bulbs. Daffodils also fare well in woodland gardens, receiving the sun when needed in the early spring before trees leaf out. After daffodils bloom, leave the foliage to ensure next year’s bloom.

Don’t miss the 2010 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, Feb. 26 through 28, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. For more information, log onto arflowerandgardenshow.org.

Beth Phelps is a University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension agent in Pulaski County. For more horticulture information, visit their Web site uaex.edu. 40 . february 2010


5507 Ranch Drive, Suite 103 • Little Rock, AR • 501.868.9882 • tobifairley.com aymag.com . 41


42 . february 2010


I

story by Tobi fairley / photography by Nancy Nolan and provided by manufacturers

everything old

is new again

Here are a few products to help you achieve a similar look: Robert Abbey gourd lamps, NDI floral tulip arrangement, Garbo mirror by William Sonoma and Believeable Buff paint by Sherwin Williams

tobi's tips

In recent years, America has seen the resurgence of old-fashioned values, and with it came a return to antique-inspired interiors. Many furniture companies are paying homage to pieces designed in generations past. The idea of infusing antiques into your home is as popular as ever. It seems as if the adage is true … everything old, really is new again. I think there are several factors that have played the role in the return of our grandmother’s dining room furniture or a replica that is hard to distinguish from the original. First, using products that are made in America is of great importance to many of us. This movement to support bringing jobs back from overseas has caused a revival of American style, including reproductions of designs by the great Duncan Phyfe (shown here in my Hickory Chair dining table). My friend and Hickory Chair president Jay Reardon calls his furniture company “the new antique.” He often says, “It’s your grandmother’s furniture but better.” A second trend that is bringing back the furniture of old is the idea of sustainability and green design. It is so much more earthfriendly to reuse something that you already have than to buy new. So if you are the proud owner of family heirloom furniture, giving it new life and a new look is certainly a responsible choice. It’s easy on both the earth and your pocket book. Whether your furniture is antique or reproduction, if your look reminds you of your grandmother’s home, you are likely right in style.

aymag.com . 43


44 . february 2010


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2010 READER S ’ P O L L SEND US YOUR SURVEY TODAY AND BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN $200!

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BEST SERVICES Alarm Service _________________________ Attorney _____________________________ Bank _______________________________ Credit Union __________________________ Dry Cleaner___________________________ Internet Provider________________________ Home Improvement Co. _________________ Home Builder _________________________ Wealth Manager________________________ Wireless Service Provider_________________ Real Estate Company____________________ Interior Designer _______________________ Spa ________________________________ Hair Salon ___________________________ Health Club___________________________ BEST HEALTH SERVICES Hospital/Medical Center _________________ Local Pharmacy _______________________ Cardiologist __________________________ Cosmetic Dentist ____________________ Cosmetic Surgeon _____________________ Dentist ___________________________ Orthopedist __________________________ Optometrist __________________________

ay

MAGAZINE

Arkansas’ Premier Lifestyle Magazine

As a reader of AY Magazine, your opinion matters to us. That’s why each year we conduct “AY’s Best” readers’ poll, allowing you to voice your thoughts on some of the best venues in the state. Just by sending in the survey, you could win $200. All surveys must be postmarked no later than March 12, 2010 and contain your contact information. Entrants must complete 75 percent of the survey to be counted. A random drawing will be held, and one entry will be selected. Only one entry per person.

Name _____________________________

BEST SCHOOLS Private _____________________________ Business ___________________________ Public ______________________________ Address ____________________________ Parochial ____________________________ In-State College _______________________ City _______________State ___ Zip ______

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E-mail _____________________________ BEST PRODUCTS BEST TRAVEL Antique Store ________________________ Bed and Breakfast _____________________ Daytime Phone Number ________________ AR Made Product _____________________ Day Trip _____________________________ Send your ballot to AY MAGAZINE: Automobile Dealership __________________ Hotel _______________________________ 910 W. Second St., Suite 200 Boat Dealership _______________________ Resort ______________________________ Little Rock, AR, 72201 • aymag.com RV Dealership ________________________ Ozark Resort _________________________ (501) 244-9700 • Fax (501) 244-9705 Flooring Store_________________________ Southern State other than AR _____________ OR VOTE ONLINE AT AYMAG.COM aymag.com . 45


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For more than 20 years, AY has successfully showcased the best of living in Arkansas — our beautiful homes, our fascinating people, our delicious food and our interesting Southern culture. We pride ourselves in providing you with informative articles and advertisers offering products and services you can actually use. If you would like to receive AY, please fill out the subscription card and soon you’ll be enjoying each issue when it arrives conveniently at your home. If you’d like to send more than one gift subscription or prefer to subscribe in person, please call (501) 244-9700 and we’ll get your name on the list today!

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PLACE STAMP


INN AT THE MILL

Luxury You s t i a w A Our Executive King Guest Rooms are luxuriously furnished with the following amenities:

Take advantage of our Gold Package special throughout the month of February. This exceptional value includes a one night stay in one of our Executive King Rooms and a three course dinner for two at our top rated restaurant James at the Mill. This special offer is priced at $195 throughout February.

• A fully marble-wrapped bathroom • Complimentary Wi-Fi high speed internet • Egyptian cotton robes • 27” LCD flat-panel television • iPod dock, mini-refrigerator • Security safe • King-sized bed dressed with 600 thread count Fili-Dioro linens • Molton-Brown toiletries • Optional spa services provided by East Meets West • Designer suites & multi-level suites also available We offer complimentary breakfast service, fruit, cheese, and wine reception every evening with each reservation. Reserve any King room in February and receive a $100 dollar per night discount off our regular rate of $189.

For more information, please call: (479) 443-1800. 3906 Great House Springs Road

Johnson, AR 72741

www.innatthemill.com aymag.com . 47


48 . february 2010


CUISINE THE REGION'S PREMIERE GUIDE TO GOOD TASTE

TASTY TRUFFLES If you’re buying sweets for your sweetheart, you’ll find none better than Cocoa Belle’s sinfully, delicious and creamy truffles. Each is handcrafted and individually decorated by owner Carmen Portillo. February’s specials include white chocolate hearts with strawberry filling and white chocolate roseimprinted truffles filled with rose water. Prices start at $18 for a nine-piece box. Cocoa belle • 400 Pres. Clinton ave. • riverMarket • Little rock, ar 72201 • (501) 372-4099

aymag.com . 49


Tomato stack with basil, mozzarella and balsamic redux.

state of the union

Union Restaurant is a leader in Little Rock’s trend toward tapas. With innovative and always-delicious plates designed for sharing, reaching across the table is readily encouraged. Tapas are an innovative trend that has picked up steam recently in Little Rock. We are seeing the addition of the “tapas” section on many local restaurants’ menus and a few — including Union Restaurant on Old Cantrell Road — that are even dedicated entirely to the theme. According to epicurious.com, tapas, which are popular throughout Spain, can be defined as appetizers that usually accompany cocktails. What’s great about these little plates is that you don’t have to pick just one menu item for your meal. Do steak, pasta and honey glazed chicken all sound good to you? Have no shame — order them all! After a complete remodel, business partners Scott Marks and Lucille Snider opened this restaurant and bar in July 2009, in an old Lenny’s Sub Shop location. Marks got the idea for the restaurant from a friend, who 50 . february 2010

started a very successful tapasbased establishment in Virginia. Marks is no newcomer to the restaurant business; he has been responsible for the fabulous fare of much-loved past bistros such as Mango Tango and Bella Italia. The atmosphere at Union is laid back, yet polished and classy. It has an upscale feel, but it won’t break the bank. “When we first opened we had white tablecloths,” Marks said. The interior is visible from outside, as the entire street side of the building is comprised of windows. “People thought it was really upscale and were apprehensive. The day we

union

3421 Old Cantrell Rd. Little Rock, AR 72202 (501) 661-8311 Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

replaced the tables, we were super slammed,” he said. The décor at Union is modern with sleek couches in a lounge area and rich earth-toned colors throughout. Dine at any of the intimate tables with a partner, put tables together for a large group of tapas sharers, or just pull up a seat at the bar for a relaxing drink after work. The menu at Union is divided into hot and cold tapas. Prices range from $3 for a bread plate to the most expensive item, $14 for the New Zealand lamb chops with rosemary honey glaze and gouda grits, which according to Marks is one of the restaurant’s top sellers. Other popular menu items


ouer! Ahi Tuna $10  fav

include the petit filet of beef over garlic polenta cake and truffle mousse demi-glace; honey glazed chicken and waffles; and the sesame seared Ahi tuna with wasabi aioli, avocado and caviar. On our visit, we shared the tomato stack with basil, mozzarella and balsamic redux ($6). This fresh dish is a great way to get a meal started. The heirloom tomatoes were fresh and juicy, and the mozzarella slices were soft and delicious. The dish was topped with a handful of sprouts for added aesthetic and substance and drizzled with a flavorful balsamic vinaigrette. The charred asparagus with ginger and almonds ($6) is a plate of thick stalks of crisp, fresh asparagus with a fresh-from-the-grill and slightly-charred flavor. They are sprinkled with toasted almonds that bring a smoky flavor to the dish. Our final selection was the sesame seared Ahi tuna with wasabi aioli, avocado and caviar ($10). If you are a sushi fan, you will appreciate this fresh, healthy spin on tuna. The tuna steak is cut into thin, cracker-sized discs sprinkled with sesame seeds for a crisp, toasted taste, then slightly seared around the outer edges and served rare on a plate with complementing condiments. For the perfect bite, we suggest you start with the fish, top it with a chunk of fresh avocado, spread a little caviar, dab on a dollop of the creamy wasabi aioli — depending on your taste — then swipe the concoction in a bit of the red hot sauce beautifully displayed on the plate. As you can probably tell, this was by far our favorite dish and the one we have never left off of our order on previous visits to the restaurant. As the definition states, tapas are a dish normally served with drinks. Union offers approximately 30 wine choices in a price range from $20 to $60 per bottle; wine is also available by the glass. The beer list is especially impressive with premium brews, such as Smithwicks, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Moretti and Abita Purple Haze, as well as domestics and Diamond Bear products. Enjoy happy hour at Union Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m, and live music on Monday and Wednesday nights. Late last month, the restaurant extended its hours and its menu to include lunch.  - Story by Amy Bowers / Photography by Lauren Hampton

aymag.com . 51


dining guide

branson Andy Williams Moon River Grill, 2600 W. Highway 76, (417) 337-9539. Located next to the Moon River Theatre; you can now enjoy lunch or dinner before or after the show. Menu choices include some of Andy’s mother’s recipes, such as rhubarb shortcake (in season). Enjoy a glass of Andy’s signature wine along with your meal. Sun. through Sat., 11 a.m. until 1:30 a.m.; $$; andywilliams.com. The Chateau Grille, 415 N. State Hwy. 265, (417) 334-1161. Lakeside dining at the Chateau on the Lake features unique dishes such as Chateau chicken vanilla; special dining experience available such as the Grand Meal and a Chef’s Table; Daily 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.; $$$; chateauonthelakebranson.com. I* Buckingham’s Prime Rib & Steakhouse, 2820 W. Hwy. 76 (417) 337-7777. Located at the Clarion Hotel, you will find a very special restaurant hidden inside. Specialty items include steaks, seafood and pasta dishes. Enjoy the safari atmosphere and cocktails before dinner or after the shows in the Oasis Lounge. Lounge opens noon to 4:30 p.m., dinner served 4:30 to 9 p.m., Mon. thru Sun.; $$$; clarionhotelbranson.com.

EUREKA SPRINGS Casa Colina Mexican Grill & Cantina, 173 S. Main St. (479) 363-6226. “House on a Hill,” Casa Colina serves authentic Mexican cuisine in a beautifully-restored 1890 home. Try the Chihuahua Chorizo Flamada appetizer or specialties like Casa Colina Crepes and the House Specialty Aztec Boudin; Mon., Wed. through Sun., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 to 9 p.m., happy hour: 3 to 5 p.m., closed Tue.; $$; casacolinagrill.com. I* 52 . february 2010

Gaskins Cabin Steak House, 2882 Hwy. 23 North, (479) 253-5466; Prime Rib is the specialty at the renovated, beautifully-landscaped 1864 log cabin just north of Eureka Springs; cozy, rustic atmosphere. Enjoy dishes like Atlantic Salmon and Shrimp Scampi. Begin your meal with savory appetizers such as Smoked Salmon with Capers or Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Torta; Wed. through Sat., 5 to 9 p.m., Sun. 5 to 8 p.m.; $$; gaskinscabin.com.

through Thu., 5 to 11 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., After Work, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; $ and $$; bordinos.com.

CONWAY

FORT SMITH

Michelangelo’s Italian Ristorante, 1117 Oak St., (501) 329-7278. Dine on fine Italian fare at affordable prices in this fully-renovated historic downtown location. Daily lunch specials include the Value-Express Pasta Bar from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with drink specials and $5 appetizers. Look for live music on the rooftop during the warm months; Mon. through Thu., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; $$; michelangelosconway.com. I'*

Rolando’s, 223 Garrison Ave., (479) 573-0404. Unique blend of North and South American foods, Nuevo Latino cuisine, fine wines. Reservations recommended; Mon. through Sat., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mon. through Sat., 5 to 9 p.m; $$; rolandosrestaurante.com.

Mike’s Place, 808 Front St., (501) 269-MIKE. New Orleans by the way of Conway, this bistro combines outstanding service and food for a winning formula. With delicious entrees like their seafood crepes, Shrimp Brantley and mouthwatering steaks, you’ll soon become a regular; Sun. through Thu., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; $$; mikesplaceconway.com. '*

FAYETTEVILLE Bordino’s, 310 W. Dickson St., (479) 527-6795. Northern Italian cuisine in a relaxed dining atmosphere, fullservice bar and an extensive wine list. Reservations required; Lunch: Tue. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner: Mon.

Theo’s, 318 N. Campbell Ave., (479) 527-0086.Gourmet appetizers and entrées, great martinis, extensive wine list. Heated patio. Reservations recommended; Mon. through Thu., 5 to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 to 11 p.m.; Lounge open Mon. through Sat., until 2 a.m. $$ and $$$; theosfayetteville.com. *

21 West End, 21 N. 2nd St., Ste. 102, (479) 4344213. This modern, fine dining eatery and martini bar offers an eclectic menu and an extensive bar featuring more than 40 martini options. Entrees include Spinach Fettuccini, Chicken Oscar and Cognac Pork Loin, and more. Martinis vary from the classic Manhattan to Banana Bread, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Kiss; Tue. through Thu., 5 to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; $ and $$; 21westend.com. 

$ Most entrées are less than $10 $$ Most entrées are $11 to $25 $$$ Most entrées are $26 or more A Breakfast or brunch  Live music ' Membership required * Outdoor dining Y See ad in this issue w Member of ARKANSAS GREEN RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION


HOT SPRINGS Central Park Fusion Cuisine, 200 Park Ave., (501) 623-0202. This upscale, yet affordable, restaurant is a cozy place to dine in the Spa City. The eclectic menu includes items from a hearty steak cobb salad to Hawaiian rib-eye, burgers, Okinawa purple sweet potatoes and much more. Look for daily specials; don’t miss the popular fresh fish special on Fridays; Tue. through Sun., 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; $$ and $$$; centralparkfusion.com. * J’s Italian Villa, 4836 Central Ave., (501) 525-1121. Enjoy fresh fish or one of the many pasta dishes, outdoor dining available with view of beautiful Lake Hamilton. Happy hour from 4 p.m. to close. Reservations recommended; Mon. through Sat., from 5 p.m. until close; $$; jsitalianvilla.com. 

JONESBORO

Ashley’s, 111 W. Markham, (501) 374-7474. One of the crowing jewels of the luxury, boutique Capital Hotel. Each meal is a stellar experience … traditional Southern local and organic ingredients, prepared on-sight with imagination. Don’t miss chocolate French toast; gulf shrimp (or any seafood selection); purple hull peas with pot liquor; roasted chicken; and homemade ice cream and sorbets. Elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere, excellent service; breakfast: daily 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; lunch: Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner: Mon. through Thu., 5:30 to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5:30 to 10 p.m.; brunch: Sun., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $$ and $$$. Iw YBest Impressions Restaurant, 501 E. 9th St., (501) 907-5946. Located in the Arkansas Arts Center, this upscale café offers diners an assortment of fresh and delicious lunch items from soup and sandwiches to salads and pasta; popular Sunday brunch menu offers an array of egg-based dishes such as the popular Traditional Eggs Benedict; Tue. through Sun., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $; bestimpressionsrestaurant.com. I*

Brickhouse Grill, 218 S. Main St., (870) 3362441.This New Orleans-influenced menu touts a wide range of eclectic Cajun cuisine including Rockin’ Chicken Salad, Born on the Bayou Pasta and Chair de Crabe. Enjoy lunch or dinner on the New Orleans-style balcony or come inside for the live music up to five nights a week. Sun. through Tue., 4 p.m. until close, Wed. through Fri., 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., Sat., 12 p.m. until 2 a.m. $; mightybrickhouse.com. '*

Brave New Restaurant, 2300 Cottondale Lane, Suite 105, (501) 663-2677. Restaurant, staff and menu live up to owner Peter Brave’s reputation for innovation, excellence; favorite lunch spot for locals, beautiful for nighttime dining. Seasonal menus, great selection of fresh seafood; don’t miss dessert, includes ice cream, local produce; scenic deck overlooks Arkansas River. Lunch: Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m.; $ and $$; bravenewrestaurant.com.*

Godsey's Grill, 226 S. Main St., (870) 336-1988. Godsey’s Grill is a lively location for lunch, dinner, drinks and entertainment. They have an upbeat atmosphere and a delicious menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza and more. Try more than 15 different variations of the burger including the Godsey’s Burger, Fire Burger, Jtown Burger and more. Pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven and are built-to-order; Mon. through Wed., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thu. through Sat., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; $ and $$; godseysgrill.com. '

Capi’s Restaurant, 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 917, (501) 225-9600. Fresh, locally-grown produce, international influence, delicious mixture of flavors, textures and colors. Menu includes small plates, tapas, as well as big plates. Don’t miss Cuban picadillo, artisan cheese sampler, tequila mini-shots. Any dessert is well worth every calorie. Tue. through Thu., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; brunch, Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; capisrestaurant.com; $ and $$. I*w

Omar’s Steakhouse, 2628 Phillips Dr., (870) 972-6501. Casual elegance, ambiance; specialties include filet mignon, veal marsala. Reservations required for parties of 8 and up; Mon. through Thu., 5 to 9:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 to 10:30 p.m.; $$; omars501club.com. '

YCapriccio Grill Italian Steakhouse, 3 Statehouse Plaza, (501) 399-8000. Relaxed atmosphere with stylish dining in one of the city’s premier hotels; great selection of prime steaks and chops, traditional Italian dishes; Mon. through Sun., 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mon. through Thu., 6 to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 to 10 p.m., Sun., 6 to 9 p.m.; $$$; peabodylittlerock.com. I

Piero’s Restaurant and Club, 320 S. Main St., (870) 802-3636. Fine art adds to the atmosphere of this downtown eatery. Menu features antipasto platter, delicious salads, pasta and entrées including scaloppini and piccata dishes; watch for daily specials — up to 14 each day; Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mon. through Sat., 6 to 10 p.m.; $$. ' *

LITTLE ROCK Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse, 27 Rahling Circle, (501) 821-1848. This American steakhouse serves only the finest cuts of beef; they are aged and cut in-house. Or choose from a wide variety on the upscale entrée menu including pork, lamb, fish, chicken and seafood. Enjoy great food, a beautiful presentation and friendly staff; Mon. through Thu., 5 to 9:30 p.m., Fri. through Sat., 5 to 10:30 p.m.; $$$. 

Ciao Baci, 605 N. Beechwood, (501) 603-0238. Great selection of appetizers featuring seafood, entrées with unique sides. Daily soups and specials; known for marvelous martinis; Mon. through Fri., 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; $$; ciaobaci.org. * Fatsam's Louisiana Café, 400 President Clinton Ave., (501) 244-4720. Selections, all tasty and filling, include hot water cornbread and purple hull peas along with traditional Louisiana dishes, such as po’ boys, gumbo and jambalaya. Barbecue ribs and chicken, catfish and jerk chicken sandwiches with owner’s secret sauce and desserts like peach cobbler, bread pudding and sweet potato pecan pie are all a feast for taste buds; Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat., 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; $.

Ferneau, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., (501) 603-9208. If you love breakfast, but don’t like rising with the birds, check out brunch served Sun., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the menu includes a BLT with Applewood smoked bacon, spinach, hot house tomatoes and black pepper mayo on toasted bread. Don’t miss Late Night at Ferneau, Thu. and Fri., 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sat., 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Dinner: Tue. through Sat., 5 to 10 p.m., Bar 5 p.m. to close; $$$; ferneaurestaurant.com. * Loca Luna, 3519 Old Cantrell Road, (501) 663-4666. This “bold Arkansas bistro” is well known for its flair, flavor and creative dishes featuring grilled meats, fresh seafood, delicious pastas and brick oven pizzas. Loca Luna is open for happy hour Mon. through Fri., 4 to 6:30 p.m.,Lunch Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sun., from 11 a.m., until 2:30 p.m. Dine from the dinner menu Sun. through Thu., from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and Fri. and Sat., from 5:30 to 10 p.m.; $$; localuna.com. * Maddie’s Place, 1615 Rebsamen Park Road, (501) 660-4040. Maddie’s features New Orleans-infused southern comfort foods, such as fried green tomatoes with crabmeat remoulade and po’boys. Don’t miss the hot sausage po’boy, the sausage is made in-house. You’ll also find smothered green beans, cornbread pudding and for dessert traditional bread pudding and pecan pie with homemade butter crust; Tue. through Thu., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; $ and $$; maddiesplacelr.com. * Red Door Bistro, 3701 Old Cantrell Road, (501) 666-8482. Eclectic menu comprised of inventive dishes; check out the blackboard specials, which include a $5 glass of white or red wine. Entrees available in small or big plates. Customer favs include the Red Door Outrage, a sandwich with six ingredients, and dishes from the adjacent Loca Luna; Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. lunch; Sun. through Sat., 4 to 7 p.m. Happy Hour; 5:30 p.m. until “people stop coming in,” about 10 p.m.; $ and $$. * YSonny Williams’ Steak room, 500 President Clinton Ave., Ste. 100, (501) 324-2999. Quality service and excellent food — variety of sides, steaks prepared to perfection; extensive, award-winning wine list; Mon. through Sat., 5 to 11 p.m., Piano bar: Wed. and Thu., 7 to 11 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 7 p.m. until close; free valet parking; $$$; sonnywilliamssteakroom.com.  Vieux Carre, 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd., (501) 6631196. A delicious mix of Creole, French, Italian and Southerninfluenced foods; inventive dishes, fresh locally-grown ingredients. Don’t miss jazz brunch! Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mon. through Sat., 5 p.m. until close, Jazz Brunch, Sun., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $$; afterthoughtbar.com. I ZaZa Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza, 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd., (501) 661-9292. This bistro uses locally-made products and produce in a health-conscious menu of gourmet salads, Italian-style wood-fired pizzas, steaks, homemade gelato, beer, wine and more. The “salad bar” includes your choice of more than 100 farm-fresh ingredients, and a choice of 15 dressings, eight of which are low or no fat. The fast-cooking Italian-style pizzas are baked in the 900-degree wood-burning oven in 90 seconds. Sun. through Thu., 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. through Sat., 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. $ and $$. *w aymag.com . 53


NORTH LITTLE ROCK Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 301 Main St., (501) 376PINT. Irish from ship to stern, you’ll find every meal well prepared, well portioned and tasty. Try their fish and chips, made of cod; their authentic bangers and mash; and delicious desserts. Don’t leave without having a perfect, two-part pour pint of Guinness. Monthly beer dinners feature multi-course meals paired with beers; lunch, daily 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner, Sun. 3 to 10 p.m., Mon. through Wed. and Sat., 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thu. and Fri., 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $; cregeens.com. I*

See this month's Recipe File (pages 55-56) for pairings.

Ristorante Capeo, 425 Main St., (501) 3763463. Located in charming Argenta District. Intimate gathering place serving authentic Italian food, fine wines. Mon. through Thu., 5 to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 5 to 11 p.m. $$; capeo.us. Starving Artist Café, 411 Main St., (501) 372-7976. The Starving Artist Café is known not only for its fantastic fare, but also for its beautiful artwork by local artists all of which is for sale. Enjoy lunch and dinner items, such as panini, crepes, gourmet salads and soups as well as daily specials; Tue. through Sat. 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.; starvingartistcafe.net. $ and $$.* Ump’s Pub & Grill, Dickey-Stephens Park, 400 W. Broadway, (501) 324-BALL. Enjoy a variety of Italian and American entrees, such as veal chops, lasagna and ribeye steaks, as well as sandwiches, burgers and subs in this upscale ballpark restaurant. Sit on the patio or enjoy intimate dining inside; Tue. through Sat., 5 p.m. until close; $ and $$. *

ROGERS

 WINES OF THE MONTH Pair with Chocolate Raspberry Shortcakes: Chateau Haut-Bergeron Sauternes, $30 Pair with Gourmet’s Chocolate Pudding: EOS Late Harvest Moscato Tears of Dew, $24 Pair with Last-Minute Chocolate Cake: Renwood Amador Ice Zinfandel, $35

}

Henrik Thostrup / Colonial Wine & Spirits

Basil’s Café, 3300 Market St., Ste. 136, (479) 4644190. Basil’s Café specializes in “global flavors,” acquired by foodies/world travelers/owners Kelly and Wade Jones. Everything on the varied menu is creative, hearty and pleasing to the palate. Enjoy a lunch or dinner of entrees ranging from Crab Cake Pasta to Rack of Lamb Au Poivre. Lunch: Mon. through Fri. 11a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner: Mon. through Thu. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. through Sat. 5 p.m. to close. $$ and $$$. * Bread-N-Butter, 113 W. Walnut St., (479) 2460100. Located in historic downtown Rogers, this cozy restaurant is tucked inside Steamboat Annie’s Antique Shop. Delicious, all-natural products create hearty soups, sandwiches, quiche and fresh salads. Don’t miss the “baby” cakes — petite and scrumptious to top off your lunch; catering available. Mon. through Fri., 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; $. Mister B’s Steakhouse, 1043 W. Walnut St., (479) 636-3122. Good and consistent quality, delicious and expert preparation. Steak, ribs, salmon, pork … it’s all prepared to perfection. Don’t miss the salad wedge or potatoes — fried or mashed — and save room for the chocolate cake. Great dining experience; Tue. through Sat., 5 to 9:30 p.m., $$; misterbsteakhouse.com.

11200 W. Markham St. • Little Rock, AR 72211 (501) 223-3120 • colonialwineandspirits.com

Need directions? Visit aymag.com and search our dining guide. 54 . february 2010


alas,

Gourmet magazine is no more;

luckily, the recipes remain — archived in cookbook form, in electronic form, in countless recipe boxes on cooks' counters, in old stacks of magazines and, of

chocolate haute

course, in the minds of many who loved perusing the pages for new, and old, ideas. Many of my long-time favorite recipes came from those hallowed pages. This month, I thought I would share three standout recipes from the chocolate category. None of the three recipes is over-the-top, and, in fact, they are quite understated. Enjoy the aroma and bliss of these chocolaty creations! by Faith Anaya

Chocolate Raspberry Shortcakes For the shortcakes: 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup flour 2 tablespoons sugar ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into bits 4 tablespoons heavy cream For the filling: 1 ½ cups raspberries 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided 1 tablespoon Framboise, optional 1/3 cup heavy cream, well-chilled Confectioners’ sugar for garnish Mint sprigs for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make the shortcakes: Into a bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cream, and stir the mixture with a fork until it forms a dough. Divide the dough in half; arrange each half in a mound on a lightly-greased baking sheet, and bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes or until a tester comes out with crumbs clinging to it. Carefully transfer the shortcakes to a rack and let them cool. Make the filling: In a bowl, mash ¾ cup raspberries with a fork, add 1 tablespoon sugar and Framboise; and mix until sugar dissolves. Beat the cream with a hand mixer in a small bowl until it holds soft peaks. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat until cream holds stiff peaks. – Source: Gourmet magazine, May 1991

We asked our readers “Where can we get a good chocolate martini?” and the responses came pouring in! Overwhelmingly, you said “At the Chocolate Fantasy Ball.” So we called in a few favors and got the recipe. Of course, this martini tastes best when mixed with a fabulous night out at the Ball (see page 12). Make the recipe! 3 aymag.com . 55


Gourmet’s Chocolate Pudding 2 tablespoons cornstarch ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, divided 2 cups whole milk 4 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely-chopped 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 cup whipping cream ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together cornstarch, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa and a pinch of salt in a heavy, medium-size saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly; then boil, whisking until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter until melted. Transfer pudding to a metal bowl, and quick-chill by setting in an ice bath and stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat cream with vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cocoa until it just holds stiff peaks. Layer pudding and cream in parfait glasses. Dust with cocoa. Makes six servings. – Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, February 2008

Last Minute Chocolate Cake 4 ounces fine-quality unsweetened chocolate 6 tablespoons unsalted butter ¾ cup brewed strong black coffee (decaffeinated is OK) 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional ¾ cup sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup all purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt Freshly-whipped cream to serve

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by5 inch loaf pan. Combine the chocolate, butter and coffee in the top of a double boiler or in a very heavy pot and stir constantly over low heat until melted. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes. Then add the Grand Marnier, sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir well. Stir the flour, baking soda and salt together, and add this to the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with freshly whipped cream. – Source: Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Riechel

stop fighting over the last issue of AY!

Chocolate Fantasy Ball Signature Chocolate Martini                                                 1 ½ shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur 1 ½ shots creme de cacao                             ½ shot Ultimat Vodka 2 ½ shots half-and-half                                                         

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled martini glass. – Source: Glazer's Distributors.     

aymag.com/go/subscribe 56 . february 2010


by amy bowers / photography by Jennifer freeman

destination

el dorado, arkansas

This oil “boom town” once flourished and has recently had a resurgence thanks to a passionate community, downtown association and local businesses. See what this award-winning historic town has to offer. El Dorado, Ark., got its start as a prosperous oil town in the 1920s. Money rolled in, and construction downtown prospered. Since that time the city has seen many ups and downs in development progress until a big push for revitalization began in the 1980s. A major benefactor, Murphy Oil Corporation is located in El Dorado’s downtown area and has been a major help to the community, most recently with their El Dorado Promise, which provides college scholarship funding to graduates of El Dorado High School. El Dorado's downtown is lined with beautiful historic structures, most of which remain from the construction boom of the ‘20s, situated around the Neo-classic 1928 Union County Courthouse. It is not only the unique facades of storefronts that makes El Dorado stand apart from others, but quirky additions, such as antique European-style working phone booths on corners and creatively-decorated sculptures throughout. In 2002, El Dorado honored its oil heritage by installing oil drums donated by Murphy Oil Company and painted by local artists in locations throughout the downtown area. Recently, local artists were hired again to decorate large replicas of Les Paul guitars to install throughout the town square. This gesture is to honor the great reputation El Dorado has earned for its dedication to music. Each October, nine city blocks are roped off for the popular MusicFest El Dorado. According to Mark Givens, Main Street El Dorado executive director, the festival brings in approximately 15,000 music fans. The event features national and regional acts that perform during the two-day festival. In 2009, El Dorado caught the eye of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was one of only five recipients of the annual Great American Main Street Award, which recognizes communities that have transformed their historic downtowns and shopping districts into “vibrant places to live, work and play — without sacrificing what makes them special.” El Dorado’s downtown meets all of these qualifications and more. There are many places for vacationers and residents to shop, dine and enjoy the city. Downtown you’ll find a multitude of shops, including bakeries, cafes, boutiques, art galleries and much more. If you are looking for a place to stay, you won’t find anything better than Union Square Guest Quarters right in the heart of downtown. This quaint and classy hotel consists of 21 suites, many of which overlook Corinne Court, a beautifully-landscaped courtyard with a fountain. The Guest Quarters is just steps away from the Central of Georgia train car where a complementary breakfast is served. For lunch or dinner, try the “King Kong”-themed Fayrays. This bistro has a delicious and creative menu that appeals to a variety of tastes and price ranges. From the lunch menu, sample salads, such as the Creole soaked salad, tarragon chicken and shrimp remoulade. They also

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Antique European phonebooths as well as guitar sculptures designed by local artists give historic downtown El Dorado added character.

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offer burgers, grilled Portobello mushroom sandwiches and the delicious pork tenderloin cubano with mango salsa. Dinner entrees come in six categories, including “grill of my dreams,” “a fish called Wanda,” “veal of fortune” and more. For the best crawfish etouffee in the city, go to La Bella Gourmet Gifts and Deli. This shop carries coffee beans, gifts and local spices and sauces. The café in the back is a great place for lunch. Be sure the stop at the homemade fudge counter on your way out; you’ll find rich, moist and delicious fudge in many flavors, including chocolate pecan, jalapeno, rocky road, cookies ‘n’ crème, snickers, pistachio, peanut butter cup and more.

El Dorado’s Finest Lodging!

Union Square Guest Quarters 234 East Main El Dorado, AR 71730 usgq@seark.net www.usgq.net Toll Free 877-864-9701

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(from top) Elm Street Bakery is a local favorite. Spudnuts are potato flour donuts created in the 1940s.

If you are looking to recharge, nothing is better than a cup of flavorful coffee or tea at the Elm Street Bakery. This coffee shop and bakery has been refurbished to look just as it did when it was constructed as a pharmacy in the 1920s, complete with a soda fountain. Find specialty coffees and teas, bread, bagels, lunch items, cookies and specialty cakes at this quaint eatery. Shopping is quite an adventure in downtown El Dorado with shops at nearly 100 percent occupancy, according to Givens. Satisfy your needs for outdoor wear at Sports Alley. They carry men and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories in popular brand names, such as North Face, Columbia, Kavu and more. Shelly’s Shoes provides shoe therapy in the form of pumps, flats, boots and sandals. Shop the variety of styles and brands in shoes as well as great and dazzling accessories. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as fun and entertainment goes in El Dorado. For more information log onto goeldorado.com.


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60 . february 2010


story by amy bowers / photography courtesy of arkansas.com

destination

fort Smith, arkansas

A unique blend of old and new with a vibrant downtown full of great restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues, and some of the most beautiful, historic structures in the state is waiting for you there.

Get a bird’s eye view of downtown from the 57-foot antique Ferris wheel at the Park at West End, which was recently taken over by the city. Be sure to stop in at Miss Laura’s. This historic site is a former bordello and the first to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It now serves as the Fort Smith Visitor’s Center and is a fully restored Victorian mansion where you can find a plethora of information to plan your stay in the city. The Fort Smith Museum of History celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Learn the history of the town as you tour the three-story historic building filled with artifacts and exhibits, including a 1908 American Fire Engine Company Steam Pumper; the Museum of Tools, which houses tools that date back to colonial times; and “In the Shadows of the Gallows,” which addresses the federal executions at Fort Smith from 1873 to 1896 through photographs, newspaper accounts, artifacts and souvenirs. In celebration of the museum’s centennial, new exhibits will be unveiled throughout the year. “Bass Reeves and Fort Smith’s AfricanAmerican History,” will be on exhibit through March 28. Reeves — a legendary marshal — was born into slavery in Texas in 1838, and died in Oklahoma on Jan. 10, 1910.  This exhibit not only focuses on the story of this prominent marshal, but also explores the history of African Americans in Fort Smith and the surrounding region from 1817 to the present day.  For a dose of fine art, visit the Fort Smith Art Center, which is located in the Vaughn-Schaap home; constructed in 1875, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Art Center is home to more than 100 local and regional works including paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry and mixed media pieces. There are many fabulous restaurants that serve a variety of flavors in downtown Fort Smith. Neumeier’s Rib Room is a local favorite. It

OUR TOP

Antique Ferris wheel at the Park at West End

recently expanded to two floors and is one of the premier venues for live music in the city. They serve ribs, chicken, pork shoulder and pork loin that are smoked for hours in a hickory wood-burning smoker. La Huerta Mexican Grill is great for delicious and fresh Mexican fare and live music at night. A new, popular bar on the square is the Hanging Judge Saloon featuring live music seven nights a week. Delicious and authentic German fare is always a treat at Emmy’s German Restaurant. Don’t forget one of Fort Smith’s old favorites, Sacred Grounds Café, an Italian-inspired café and coffee house. 

5 MUSTS IN FORT SMITH

Climb aboard a trolley to tour the sites of Fort Smith.

Learn about the city’s military history and more at the Forth Smith National Historic Site.

Dine on some of the state’s finest barbecue at Neumeier’s Rib Room.

Plan your trip at the visitor’s center located in the historic Miss Laura’s Social Club.

Grab a slice of pizza and a cold brew at Papa’s Pub and Pizzeria. The kitchen is open late. aymag.com . 61


ENTER THE 2010 AY READER RECIPE CONTEST!

2010 Reader Recipe Contest

three exciting categories Appealing Appetizers, enticing entrees and decadent desserts and Creative Cocktails. Finalists will receive a fabulous prize pack and the opportunity to “perfect� their recipe with one of our celebrity chefs.

hurrY! DeaDline is sept. 4, 2010. log onto aYmag.com for more information anD to submit Your original recipe toDaY!

62 . february 2010


VISIONARY "VISION IS THE ART OF SEEING WHAT IS INVISIBLE TO OTHERS." – JONATHAN SWIFT

This month, in recognition of Black History Month, we feature three individuals, who work in three very different venues, but for whom a vision has come to fruition.

STORY BY ANGELA E. THOMAS / PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREN HAMPTON AND COURTESY OF RHODES, SMITH AND STEELE

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EMMA KELLY RHODES

AJ SMITH

(from left) Rhodes; Smith's "Little Gerald Gray"; Steele, second from left, with former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, Pres. Nelson Mandela, South African officials and Coca-Cola executives.

MICHAEL STEELE

Spend a few moments with Emma Kelly Rhodes. You’ll walk away inspired, smiling and certain of her belief in God and the human capacity to achieve. Rhodes, 72, is one of 16 children born in Wilmer, Ark., to loving parents, whose educational opportunities were limited. “At that time, in the rural areas, you only went to school to the 8th grade. You had to come to Little Rock to further your education. My mother was a great woman, and she encouraged each of us to get an education. She’d always say, ‘It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.’” Rhodes wanted to teach. So she planned to get her diploma and a degree. Her plan derailed when she was 15. “I got married; back then you couldn’t go to school if you were married. You were considered a bad influence,” she said. She soon had her first child. She had a second child at 17, a third at 18 … she’s the proud mother of seven children, all born by the time she was 27. She was widowed at 29. So, Rhodes decided to pursue her dream of becoming an educator. “At 28, I assumed the role of the head of the household. It was just me and the children. I got my GED at Arkansas Baptist College. I worked fulltime during the day and went to school and raised my family at night,” Rhodes said. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith College. “I had a great desire to go on, and the Lord kept promoting me.” While her parents could not assist her financially, they encouraged her. Each time, she earned a degree her mother asked “Is there another degree you can get? Well, get it.” So she did. She has a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. A retired educator and administrator for the Arkansas Department of Education, she now encourages others to “get it” through the Dr. Emma K. Rhodes’ Institution of Special Education Center. The center offers Life Skills, Computer Literacy and GED classes. Her House of Vision is a non-profit agency that provides free office space for community programs that offer services to clients free of charge; services include mentoring programs, health screenings and seminars for ex-felons. Rhodes, whose contributions have been recognized through numerous awards and accolades, assures others: “If I can do it, you can do it. If you really want to achieve, you can do it.”

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For artist Aj Smith, a piece of art begins in his mind, “the hard part, the work begins with the paper.” The Jonestown, Miss., native has drawn all his life. “I can remember sitting in Ms. Poindexter’s first grade class. I finished [my work] and thought ‘Now what?’ So I started to draw. In second grade, I had a classmate who could really draw horses. I wanted to draw a horse as well as he; I’d practice and practice. There were these cookies called Wagon Wheels with a picture of a horse on them. I’d sit and try to draw that horse perfectly,” Smith recalled, smiling. He continues this process in a different form now. For example, he fashioned a black and white drawing of a friend’s mother Ms. Cora Ammons. The drawing is lifelike; one imagines that Ms. Cora is within arm’s reach, reflecting upon a thought or conversation. Smith felt “it wasn’t quite finished,” that he’d not quite captured Ms. Cora’s essence or “said all that needed to be said,” so he created the same image in silverpoint, watercolor and as a lithograph, thus creating a series. It was featured in the exhibition “Collaborations: Two Decades of African American Art.” Smith has been featured in more than 200 solo and group exhibitions. His works include drawings, watercolors and lithographs of various subjects, however, he is perhaps most known for his faces. Whether small or large — his largest work measures 51-by-60 inches — they are thorough, expressive and striking. Smith has received a multitude of awards, grants and fellowships, and this summer, as a part of a grant, Smith will travel to sparsely-populated areas in the Delta to study and draw. “I want to capture the ordinary person. Everyone knows who the celebrity of the moment is, but someone has to acknowledge the everyday person, the individual who works, loves, lives and who, when he dies, no one other than family and friends will know they’ve been here. This is a way of keeping all of us grounded,” he said. Smith’s works have been acquired for private and public collections in several states and in countries as far as away as China. He is a professor of art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “As a professor, I am 100 percent in the classroom. In the studio, I am 100 percent an artist. As an instructor, I share [techniques] and my experiences; but in the studio, I fight the same battle as my students, the battle to get the images just right. When I know I’ve got ‘it,’ I say ‘OK, that’s it. I can stop.’”

A self-described reclusive worker, Michael Steele, has lived and worked in a progressive industry during some of the most interesting times and areas. This experience along with a desire to inform, educate and inspire change is a driving force for the president and CEO of Advantage Communications, Inc. Steele, an Arkansas native, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. For a time, Steele worked for Stroh’s Brewery; however, in 1984, he joined the Coca-Cola Company. “There I worked on a plethora of brands,” Steele said. “The brand of Coke was stable, but not dominant when I started with the company. But I had the honor of working with Roberto Goizueta. Under his direction, the company grew dramatically.” As did Steele’s business acumen. “I was very fortunate to work with brilliant people. Coca-Cola is one of the companies people yearn to work for because of the education you receive,” he said. During his tenure with the international company, Steele worked in


France, London and South Africa. These years are among his favorite. “I learned to speak French and Zulu. I was in South Africa when the great Nelson Mandela, one of my heroes, was freed. During that time, we introduced Sprite to South Africa. I met Mr. Mandela … I got my second wind there. I learned the social consciousness of marketing. It was about more than selling soft drinks.” While in South Africa, Steele spearheaded Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the South African Rugby team in 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match; former Pres. Mandela used the team and sport to build unity in the then-racially divided country (This story is told in the 2009 movie “Invictus”). Steele also worked in the community, donating computers and teaching children to read. “The job was good, but what I learned was incredible — the measure you give is the measure you get back — tenfold.” Steele, wife E’van and their two sons moved back to Arkansas in 2000. Steele took some time off to spend with family. During this respite, he noticed the Arkansas business landscape did not reflect its population. “I didn’t see diversity in marketing. Minorities were not represented in corporations in Arkansas. Someone challenged me, as did E’van, to do something about it,” Steele said. So he did. In 2001, he founded Advantage Communications, Inc., a very successful marketing firm. Some of their clients include Alltel Communications, the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Diagnostic Clinic. “I’ve never made so little money in my life,” Steele said, with a smile, “but everyday is so rewarding.” 

(clockwise from top left) Emma Kelly Rhodes encourages single mothers and ex-felons to pursue their dreams. Artist Aj Smith inspires his students' visions as a professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Michael Steele is helping to change the landscape of business in Arkansas through his vision Advantage Communications Inc.

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66 . february 2010


story by Steve bowman / photography by Jim gaston and Steve bowman

sports

Living Large on the White River Hank Wilson, Gaston's fly tyer (left), and Frank Saksa, on the White River.

There were moments this past December and January when there was enough water flowing down the White River, some folks expected to see the Ark coming around the next bend. Now that February is here, there's still a lot of water, and trout anglers are looking for a bigger boat for other reasons. All the water that created floods on the lower end of the White River is now creating some of the best fishing in years in one of the nation’s premier trout rivers. “Big water means big fish,’’ said Frank Saksa. Saksa, the top guide at Gaston’s White River Resort, doesn’t mince words when it comes to his expectations for trout fishing this year. After 28 years of guiding, 2010 looks as if it could set standards. “I’m excited,’’ he said. “It’s as simple as that. It looks like the best future we’ve had in a very long time.” He’s not the only one. Steve Wright is a White River trout historian. His book Ozark Trout Tales is considered a must-read for all trout anglers. Like Saksa, he sees the White River shaping up to be exceptional. “As most of us know all too well, the quickest way to

gain weight is sitting in front of the television, moving nothing but your hands — one on the remote control and the other feeding your face. That’s the equivalent of what trout do in the White River tailwaters during periods of high water,’’ Wright said. “The long periods of high-water flows this year are the trout equivalent of the college bowls games, the NFL playoffs and the NCAA basketball tournament being broadcast round the clock, seven days a week.”

So how does all that water that created flood conditions in December create such a good thing for Arkansas’ trout fishing? The biggest reason is a small transplanted fish. As water temperatures drop in Bull Shoals Lake, hundreds of thousands of threadfin shad die, flow through the power generators and spill into the river, where they provide a gravy train for trout. Becoming aware of this annual phenomenon will help you understand why the White River trout grow so quickly.

Chuck Meyers, White River guide, and two Gaston's guests enjoy a day on the water.

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Threadfin shad are a subtropical and southern temperate fish. They are native to the Arkansas River, but were introduced in U.S. Corps of Engineers lakes, like Bull Shoals, to provide forage for gamefish. Most of the year, the lake provides the warm-water environment threadfin shad require. But during the winter, when water temperatures drop below 40 degrees, the shad die. During power generation, huge numbers of dead and dying shad are sucked through the turbines and dumped into the tailwater. That influx of shad takes place every year. January’s rigid blast of cold should mean more shad spilling into the river. The neat thing about the shad push is it coincides with the end of the brown trout spawn. The shad start dying after that spawn, creating a feeding frenzy of browns and rainbows that not only need the sustenance, but also are more than ready to feed constantly. “Instead of having to go hunting for food, trout simply find a place to stay out of the fast water currents, like behind a log, a rock or an indention in the river bank or bottom, and wait for the food to flow by in front of them,’’ Wright said. “More water means an all-youcan-eat buffet for trout.” What makes it a great year is the large flushes of water that have been taking place. The White River Dam has been running eight generators straight since November, sending almost flood condition flows of water down stream. That doesn’t subdue the migration of trout up the river, but it can aid in keeping them in places where anglers can find them and catch them. Saksa said. “A big reason for that is that the fish don’t sense the boat traffic, and as an angler you don’t have to be as precise. On low water, trout are skittish, and they can feel boats moving up and down the river, and when it comes to casting, trout will move away from the splash of a bait — not toward it. Current puts trout in places where you can actually target them and cast to them.” Thanks to the high water flows, trout are living large in the White River right now. 

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story by Roby Brock

WITH MORE THAN 140 FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS CLOSING ACROSS THE UNITED STATES IN 2009... Arkansas banks — for the most part — avoided the spotlight … that’s a good thing. “As far as the people out there putting their money in banks, in terms of deposits, it creates an atmosphere that banks in Arkansas do not have the problems that we read about in the paper everyday,” said Garland Binns, an attorney with Dover Dixon & Horne in Little Rock, who specializes in banking legal issues. The bursting bubble from the residential real estate market did not torpedo our state like it did California, Florida or Arizona. However, there were plenty of in-state subdivision developers, construction-related companies, and owners of high-priced homes who would argue differently, empathizing with their counterparts in those economically-troubled states. Arkansas’ conservative business culture and our relative isolation from the sub-prime mortgage crisis largely kept state banks out of trouble, but risks in the commercial real estate sector still pose a serious threat. “There will be more pain and more losses in commercial real estate loans going forward,” said Tim Yeager, the Arkansas Bankers Association Chair in Banking at the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business. He predicts that northwest Arkansas will remain sluggish with an excess supply of commercial properties, but the real pain will take place out of state in major metropolitan areas that are suffering from extremely high vacancy rates. Yeager and Binns contend that ranking Ar-

kansas banks on strength is both objective and subjective, because it involves measurable statistics like capital-to-asset ratios and profitability, but it also includes intangibles like leadership and management structure. With that background, which Arkansas-rooted banks stand out as superior in their field? I’ll offer my assessment based on what’s happening in the market and what’s looming on the horizon. Keep your eyes on these high-profile banks and the moves they make in 2010:

Arvest Bank Arvest Bank posted the highest profits of any Arkansasbased bank for the first nine months of 2009 with net income of $40.1 million. The Fayetteville-based financial institution, guided by the Walton family, has been in an acquisition mode lately, gobbling up troubled banks in the Kansas City area and its appetite doesn’t appear likely to slow down soon. Bank of the Ozarks Little Rock-based Bank of the Ozarks also was highly profitable in 2009, ranking second behind Arvest. However, a string of record quarterly profits was broken in 2009, and Bank of the Ozarks seems determined to get back to setting records. Company officials have been candid in addressing the few blemishes in its portfolio, and its handling of problem loans has resulted in very modest losses. First Security Bank This privately-held bank, which originated in Searcy, has been a player in the bigger Arkansas markets for years. It is a diversified banking interest and is well-capitalized. Don’t be surprised to see First Security acquire a smaller bank in an opportunistic region in the next year. Centennial Bank (Home Bancshares) Conway-based Centennial Bank, whose parent company, Home Bancshares, is headed by one of Arkansas’ most colorful entrepreneurs John Allison. He vacated his CEO seat in 2009 to focus his efforts on long-term strategies for the bank. Recently, Home Bancshares secured

your money

more than $100 million in new capital through a public offering with a stated purpose of buying banks in or out of Arkansas. Simmons First This Pine Bluff bank has been a steady, conservative leader throughout Arkansas for decades. It has one of the biggest footprints in the state with locations in 47 communities. In late 2009, Simmons First raised $70 million for potential acquisitions. Southern Bancorp Based out of Arkadelphia, Southern Bancorp serves a wide swath of clients across the Delta, and it has a very different mission than some banks. It targets lower income and historically-impoverished areas of the Delta region. Many of its loans are aimed at transforming communities. Delta Trust Delta Trust has its roots in three distinct areas of the state: southeast, central and northwest Arkansas. That diversity cushions Delta Trust’s business as it is spread across agricultural, old-line and fast growth companies. It had one of the most profitable years in its 100-year history in 2009. IberiaBank IberiaBank made a name for itself when it became the first bank in the country to return borrowed funds to the federal government. The Louisiana-based bank has established a large footprint in state through acquisitions in central, northeast and northwest Arkansas in the last few years. It has also raised significant capital to buy banks, purchasing two south Florida banks in late 2009. BancorpSouth BancorpSouth may seem like an Arkansas-based bank with its proliferation of branches across the state. In fact, it is based out of Tupelo, Miss., but is run by a former El Dorado banker. At a recent shareholders’ meeting, management said it had been asked to review all of the possible bank buyouts in its territories. The bank’s financial condition has it in the top tier of banks its size as ranked by the FDIC.

Roby Brock is the editor and host of "Talk Business," a weekly business television and radio program airing statewide in Arkansas.

AYMAG.COM . 69


Q&A HEART HEALTH NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY is FEBRUARY 5, 2010!

Heart disease is the # 1 cause of death in the U.S. Stroke is the # 3 cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious disability. Heart disease is the # 1 killer of women in the U.S. Heart Attack Warning Signs • Chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.    • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. 

Stroke Warning Signs • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Q&A Sponsored by

Q: What kind of activity or exercise is heart-healthy? A: Move with the following in mind: AT HOME • Do housework yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it.     • Work in the garden or mow the grass.  • Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.     • Go for brisk walk before breakfast, after dinner or both!  Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.  • Pedal your stationary bicycle while watching TV. • Park farther away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance.  AT WORK • Brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while taking a walk.     • Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone.     • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  • Participate in or start a recreation league at your company.     • Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during lunch. AT PLAY • Plan family outings and vacations that include physical activity.     • See the sights in new cities by walking, jogging or bicycling.     • Make a date with a friend to enjoy your favorite physical activities.     • Hit the dance floor on fast numbers instead of slow ones. • When golfing, walk instead of using a cart.    

Q: What are the risk factors for heart disease? A: Controllable - Smoking, High Blood Pressure,

High Blood Cholesterol, Diabetes, Overweight or Obese, Physical Inactivity

A: Uncontrollable - Increasing Age 65 years and older, Male Gender, Heredity including ethnicity Q: What are trans fats? How do they affect my health? A: Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in

an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.  Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils.”  Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels.  Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.  It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Q: How can I lose weight effectively and safely? A: To lose weight effectively, you need to set real-

istic goals and create a personal action plan. Your planning should focus on you, your commitment to yourself, and the three essential circles — think smart, eat well and move more. These circles will overlap as you work toward your goals, and you will need to embrace all three to achieve successful weight control for life.

Q: Why go to USA Drug? A: Every day, USA Drug pharmacists and staff

work hard to provide you with exactly what your doctor ordered. As a vital link in your healthcare chain, we’re committed to meeting all your healthcare needs, and at the lowest price possible. If you find a local competitor with a lower price, let us know and we’ll gladly match it. The best part is that we strive to fill your prescriptions in a timely manner – generally in 15 minutes or less. We invite you to visit your local USA Drug store today and experience what our customers have come to expect...convenience – service – price. – Megan R. Scott, BS, PharmD

It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of any treatment with your doctor.

For medication questions, ask our pharmacists • 870-535-2411• www.usadrug.com Customer Service USA Drug Corporate Office • 3017 N. Midland • Pine Bluff, AR 71603 70 . february 2010


story by Angela E. Thomas / photography by Janet Warlick

your health

occurrence an odd

Rebecca Griebel is young, vibrant, active and eats a healthy diet. Yet, as this runner found out last October, heart disease is sometimes silent.

A heart attack waiting to happen.

This phrase conjures up the image of an overweight, sedentary man or woman with a greasy triplestack bacon cheeseburger in one hand and a cigarette in the other … admit it, we’ve all seen it. But one look at Rebecca Griebel dispels this image. Griebel, 39, is thin. She is a non-smoker; she’s active — her last big run was the 2009 Race for the Cure Oct. 12 — and she rarely eats meat. Last March, she got a clean bill of health at her annual exam. Yet, Griebel had a heart attack. “It was a typical Monday, Oct. 19. I shuttled the kids to school and went through my usual routine. I didn’t feel bad at all. I left work about 12:30 p.m. for lunch and ran errands. At about 1 p.m., I suddenly felt a tingling sensation, a burning sensation across my whole chest. I was on Cantrell Road [in Little Rock, Ark.], so I pulled into [a shopping center] parking lot and sat for a few minutes.” Just as many suffering a heart attack, Griebel thought she was experiencing heartburn or indigestion. “I seemed to feel better, so I headed back toward the office. By the time I got there, the pain was so excruciating, I knew I couldn’t go back to work. I needed to go to the doctor’s office. So I called my boss, Micky Drennan. She said ‘Wait a minute. What do you mean you’re having chest pains?’ At this point the pain was in my arms, the tingling/burning sensation was down both arms to my elbows, and it felt like a 3-inch leather belt had been wrapped across my chest at my breasts. I was starting to cry, and I thought it might be because I was upset. Drennan asked, ‘Are you having a hard time breathing? … I think we need to call an ambulance.’ But I was still hesitant, because I didn’t want to feel like an idiot … you know, have them get there just to find out it was heartburn.” When EMTs arrived, minutes later, they asked an array of questions: Do you smoke? Have you drank [alcohol]? Do you have a family history of heart disease? What have you eaten? Do you have a history of anxiety attacks? After assessing Griebel, they loaded her in the ambulance and started a chest pain protocol. Her blood pressure was 160 over 140.

“They gave me baby aspirin and nitroglycerine. They did an EKG in the ambulance; it didn’t show anything abnormal. However, my blood pressure would not drop. They gave me more nitroglycerine. When we arrived at Baptist Health’s ER, doctors asked the same questions, did the chest pain protocol and took a chest X-ray and an EKG. The tech who did the EKG nearly hit the floor … they called for the cardiologist on call.” Cardiologist Dr. Gary Collins diagnosed Griebel’s condition; she was experiencing a spontaneous dissection of the Left Anterior Descending Artery (LAD). “I think Dr. Collins was absolutely shocked, based on his reaction.” Because Griebel is relatively young, Collins was somewhat surprised at the extent. Within minutes, doctors whisked her off to the heart catheterization lab. Once there, Griebel received six stents. She was awake during the process and asked questions throughout. Collins said this is normal. “We want to know if patients are having trouble breathing or additional pain.” Griebel received coded stents, or taxus stents, which are basically made of material to prevent tissue growth inside the artery, which could close the artery. Collins said Griebel’s case is rare; while she does fit some of the criteria for this spontaneous episode — she’s in the age range — she does not fit most of them. Griebel has the disadvantage of not knowing her family history as she was adopted. Spontaneous dissection of the LAD is diagnosed mostly in women ages 35 to 45. Known causes include high cholesterol and plaque build-up. Women who are pregnant, postpartum may be more at risk due to hormonal changes, and women who are perimenopausal or menopausal are at risk. The condition is usually diagnosed post-mortem as it has a significant mortality rate. Griebel considers herself fortunate to be alive, “When I recount the experience, people ask ‘How did you know?’ I didn’t. I tell people: always take chest pain seriously.”  Garnet pendant set in 18 karat gold and bronze by Rebecca, provided by Cecil’s Fine Jewelry, 10720 Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, AR 72212, (501) 225-5068, cecilsfinejewelry.com.

aymag.com . 71


Achievements in Healthcare Arkansas is home to some of the top medical facilities in the country. Each day these hospitals and clinics strive to learn more, cure more people and make leaps and bounds in the medical field to better serve their patients. Here are a few noteworthy recent advances. in healthcare in Arkansas.

“Arkansans are very fortunate to have outstanding medical centers from one end of the state to the other. I’m not sure they realize the quality of the institutions we have, and the institutions are providing their best at a time when it’s financially difficult to do so due to the economic state in our country. But our hospitals are committed to providing the best quality healthcare to our citizens and they are doing so. We are very proud of that,” said Phil Matthews, president and CEO, Arkansas Hospital Association. The association has about 100 hospital members. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute recently received a nearly $10.5 million-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will be used to construct the expansion of the research floors of the institute. Dr. Peter Emanuel, director of the institute, Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas System and UAMS chancellor Dan Rahn were joined by Gov. Mike Beebe last month to announce the grant, which is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant will fund an additional 33,660 square feet of research laboratory space; construction is expected to be complete mid2011. Emanuel said the cornerstone of the Cancer Institute is research. “Completion of these two research floors will be a huge step in expanding our research capabilities and our ability to search for the causes and future treatments of many types of cancer.” For more information about UAMS, log onto uamshealth.com or call (501) 686-7000; for information about the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, log onto cancer.uams.edu. Baptist Health recently performed a procedure using the NanoKnife system. The hospital was the fourth in North America to offer the new technology. The NanoKnife system uses a “series of microsecond electrical pulses — instead of extreme heat, freezing, radiation or microwave energy — to permanently open cell membranes in 72 . february 2010

cancerous tumors, prompting the death of the targeted cancer cells”; the technology is known as irreversible electroporation. Dr. David Hays used the NanoKnife to treat a patient with a cancerous tumor in the liver; ultrasound or CT (computed tomography) was utilized to insert the NanoKnife’s probes. Once the cancerous cells die, they are dissolved and removed from the body through its own natural process. Healthy tissue will grow in place of the tumor. Hays said the system allows for a “very advanced and selective way of attacking cancer in the liver, kidney and other sensitive organs without exposing patients to traditional invasive surgeries” and chemotherapy and radiation therapies. “Using the NanoKnife system provides us with the potential of better precision and faster treatment as well as for fewer complications.” For more information about Baptist Health, log onto baptist-health.com or call (501) 227-8478. St. Vincent Health System has recently become one of the only health care facilities in the country to operate a world-class, community-based, neuroscience institute. The Arkansas Neuroscience Institute is a comprehensive program that utilizes all aspects of neurosurgery and treats an extensive array of neurological disorders. The facility is headed by renowned physicians Dr. Ossama Al-Mefty, Dr. Ali Krisht and Dr. Ian Dunn, who lead a team of highly skilled neurosurgeons in skull-base surgery,

vascular neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, spine and spinal cord surgery, epilepsy surgery and surgery for movement disorders. With a focus in cranial neurosurgery, Drs. Krisht and AlMefty have gained international reputations for their work with rare tumors and aneurysm treatment. Dr. Dunn has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and written more than 20 book chapters. His clinical interests include skull base surgery, pituitary surgery, spinal neurosurgery, and cerebrovascular surgery. For more information on this state-of-theart facility, log onto stvincenthealth.com/ani. Last year, Arkansas Heart Hospital was named as one of the first recipients in the nation — and the only Arkansas recipient — to have earned the Medical Partners International 2009 C.A.R.E.S. (Compassion, Attitude, Respect, Environment, and Service) designation. This award is given based on a nationally-standardized survey provided through HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) that measures patients’ perceptions of the care they receive in health care facilities. Fields considered in the decision-making process include: nurse care, doctor care, dietician care, and environmental service group care. Arkansas Heart Hospital was the only hospital in the state to achieve this designation, and one of only 33 to receive the award in the entire country. For more information about Arkansas Heart Hospital, log onto arheart.com.


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aymag.com . 73


74 . february 2010


ATRIAL FIBRILLATION(AF)

is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm diagnosed, affecting more than three million people in the United States and over seven million worldwide.

AF occurs in the upper chambers of the heart and is a very fast, disorganized heartbeat that can be 400–600 beats per minute within those chambers, giving a pulse up to 150 beats per minute or more. There are many risk factors for AF and include age, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, heart valve disease, thyroid disease and obesity. Symptoms are highly variable and many never know they have a problem. Others may have significant symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, palpitations, breathing difficulty, chest discomfort or congestive heart failure. All are at risk for significant problems, the most common being stroke. Generally, atrial fibrillation treatment involves three options of oral medicine. First, a daily pill may be given to thin the blood to prevent stroke, based on the patient’s risks. Often, aspirin is enough for stroke prevention. Second, a common blood pressure pill is given to slow the rapid heart rate, which often improves many of the symptoms. Third, a rhythm medicine may be added to keep

the heart rhythm normal. After these medicines are used, an outpatient procedure, a cardioversion, can be required to “reset” the rhythm using a brief electric shock to stop the irregular heart beat. All of these treatments are considered suppressive. Rarely, the patient might require a pacemaker. Treatment to “cure” AF is available with a procedure, known as an ablation, which can be with surgery or a catheter. Ablation is the use of high-energy radio waves from the tip of a catheter to cause a small scar inside the upper heart chambers where the irregular rhythm begins. As an electrophysiology procedure, it is done at a hospital, in a cardiac catheterization lab and involves catheters inserted into the veins in the groin, and advanced to the heart. The scar made by the ablation catheter within the heart creates a roadblock to stop the AF rhythm at its source. Overnight stay is required, and all medications will be continued until normal rhythm is confirmed for several months. Currently, the success rate is more than 70%, allowing a second procedure if the AF returns after the first treatment.

If successful, ablation can allow the patient to return to their previous level of activity, often with a much shorter list of daily medication. As with all procedures, there are risks and every patient is not treatable with ablation.

aymag.com . 75


76 . february 2010


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aymag.com . 77


Uncomfortable Reality Do you agree or disagree with the axiom stated in this puzzle? by Victor Fleming ACROSS 1 Rookie surfer 6 Missile found in pubs 10 Creole stew vegetable 14 Deliver a keynote 15 Toward shelter, nautically 16 Have in mind 17 Aquatic mammal 18 Lose brilliancy 19 No, to Natasha 20 Start of a quip by Shana Alexander 23 Troop movement 24 "The Sweetheart of Sigma ___" 25 TV listings abbr. 28 "C'est ___" 31 Knucklehead 33 Sudden inhalation 37 First-rate, slangily 38 "Toodles!" 39 Part 2 of the quip 42 "Don't worry about me" 43 "___ Gang" 44 Holiday suffix 45 Is concerned 46 Prepare, as tea 48 "___ for the money" 49 Buddy Holly's "Peggy ___"

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22 "Hello, Mother," less formally 26 Femur and fibula 27 Uneasy feeling 29 Flight formation 30 "___ for You" (Bob Dylan song) 32 Norway's patron saint 33 Insurer the employs a lizard and offends cavemen 34 Guy in charge of pink slips 35 Bridge needs 36 Chinese lap dog, for short 38 Cool and calm 40 Rodeo rope 41 Pool tool 46 Merchant 47 Regained strength, with "up" 50 Win for the underdog 52 Avoid, as capture 53 Ill-fated ship Andrea ___ 54 Greg Evans cartoon 55 These, to Jorge 57 Engrave deeply 58 Lira successor 59 Gas used in lamps 60 ___ Kapital 61 Letters on some TVs and VCRs

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aymag.com . 79


the view from park hill

by Sonny rhodes

Let me recount the ways … Since it’s February, this is a love letter. Not to a person, but a place and some of the things that make it special. I love Arkansas. It sometimes disappoints me, and there are things I would like to change about it, but love is blind. If not blind, at least forgiving. So today, as a passionate and forgiving lover, I will focus on the positives, beginning with my adopted hometown of North Little Rock, though merely scratching the surface of places I hold dear. Roy Fisher’s Steak House. Sadly, Fisher’s is closed now, but in its day it was a haven on U.S. 70 for the hungry and weary coming into North Little Rock from Memphis and other points east. Here, when I was 5 years old, way back in March 1958, I sat on Elvis Presley’s lap and sang “Hound Dog.” My dad, a Greyhound bus driver, had called us at our Pine Bluff home to let us know he was driving none other than The King and his fellow Army inductees from Memphis to Fort Chaffee — and they would be making a rest stop at Fisher’s. It didn’t take us long to pile in the Chevy and head north. Burns Park. This place offers almost endless possibilities for those who love the outdoors. I’ve run road races; hiked trails; gone birding; played softball; taken my kids to the amusement park; attended a wedding; and enjoyed myriad other activities here. Central High School. This Little Rock school helped not only with my own education, but also with that of my older daughter, Katie. I wasn’t here as a high school student, but as a practice teacher working toward my bachelor’s degree. I realized I had a lot to learn about teaching. Years later, Katie went here and received an education that prepared her to flourish in college. Knoop Park. A little gem at the end of Ozark Point, on Hillcrest’s eastern edge, this place offers an outstanding view of downtown Little Rock. I discovered Knoop back in the 1980s, when it had been longneglected, overgrown with brambles and littered with years and years of beer cans and bottles. Fortunately, the city restored the place not long afterward, and one Easter morning my girlfriend and I watched the sunrise from here. We liked the place so well we decided it would be a great spot to get married … and we did. Pinnacle Mountain State Park. I can’t count the times I’ve climbed Pinnacle since my first hike in 1976. On that first climb, Pinnacle was 80 . february 2010

way out in the country. Now, Little Rock subdivisions are a stone’s throw away, and each time I climb I’m reminded of the wisdom of making the area around the peak a state park. Fayetteville. In the fall, Fayetteville is a great place to amble along sidewalks adorned with blazing red maples. No athletic contest anywhere can rival the experience of a football game on The Hill on a crisp autumn afternoon. I’ve spent many pleasant days here as a responsible adult and quite a few as an irresponsible youth. It’s probably best not to go into details about those long-ago times. Eureka Springs. It’s hard to know where to start, other than to say every trip I’ve made to Eureka had a mystical quality about it. Eureka has artists and artisans, streets and houses like nowhere else in Arkansas. Maybe it’s the water. Pine Bluff. In the town of my birth, it’s easy to choose a good place to start: the Saenger Theater. Now long closed, this was THE place to go to a picture show when I was a kid. It was cavernous and plush and had a curtain that grandly opened as the movie began. “Gone With the Wind” was re-released when I was in the third grade, and Mom and Dad took my brother and me to see it on a school night. We wore our Sunday clothes, complete with black ties. Bayou Bartholomew. This ancient stream snaked behind the homes of my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. As a kid, I fished and swam here. I suspect there’s still a little of the bayou’s muddy water in my blood. I’ve canoed, fished and swam in many streams — the Little Missouri, Buffalo, Spring and Saline, to name but a few — but none is so dear as Bartholomew. You can’t read poetry to a shutH O D A D D A R T O K R A tered theater. You can’t give cards A L E E M E A N O R A T E to parks, or chocolates to a muddy F A D E N Y E T O T T E R T H E S A D T R U T H I S stream. You can, however, pledge S O R T I E C H I T B A your devotion to the memory of L A V I E M O R O N O L O N G things that are gone and show your GE AX CS PE L DL EE NF C ES M A K E S O U R F E S T I M O K A Y love in various ways for the places S T E E P C A R E S that remain, which I do. O N E S U E N E E D L E P E O P L E N E R V O U S Sometimes with money. SomeS L U E K A R A T D R A T times with words. E E R O E D I N A A C D C S A S H

T R O N

D E A N S



AY Magazine February Issue 2010