Tag Archive | Anita Davis

Another day

Maybe it’s a misnomer to call this post “Another day,” since it’s been a week since the last one – the days have flown so quickly and so busily. But I love that song (and Paul, of course), and today is just another day in the life of a random little grandmother in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I’ve been 58 for a week. Feels like 57, which felt like – well, not 47, but the differences in years are minuscule the older you get. The cumulative effect is definitely felt, but there’s nothing you can really point to and say, “Well, boy, that’s changed since last year!”

Mother says it’s still that way for her. Hope it holds for me.

OK, so where did this blur of a week go, and why have I been such a bad blogger (bad girl! bad!)? In addition to work, we had the first garden club potluck of the year Tuesday – we didn’t join for years because we thought it was really a “garden” club. Nope. The Quapaw Home and Garden Club is a social club for eating, drinking, visiting with neighbors and seeing people’s historic homes.

We dig it, even if we don’t dig in the yard much.

Wednesday was the first night of 2013-2014 volunteer usher gig as Friends of the Rep, our fabulous local repertory theatre. This season is our 11th year, if I’ve counted backward right. I started in mid-season 2001-2002, I think, then John and  I met in July and he joined me as a regular that fall. We’ve been privileged to see so many plays.

Peace, love and ecology, baby, just like in my high school art classes. Somethings never change.

Peace, love and ecology, baby, just like in my high school art classes. Somethings never change.

Thursday was the fifth Sculpture Party and Fall Fest at The Bernice Garden, and though I work for Anita Davis, the lovely owner, I played hooky from working that night and just attended and enjoyed. You can see photos at thebernicegarden.org or on the  garden’s Facebook page. Here’s one little picture, of my lock on the Wish Locks Arkansas piece that was introduced Thursday night.

Speaking of art, I signed up to take a weekend class at the Arkansas Arts Center from my friend Catherine Rodgers, “Paint like Rothko – Color: Complement, Shade, Tone and Tint.” I haven’t painted since high school. We’ll see how well I do, but I’m looking forward to it. The small class sold out quickly and will be great, even if I’m not.

And speaking of art, let me just show off my husband’s handiwork again, now that the floors have cured.

John's design at the top of the stairs. He did it to surprise me a few years back, but with the finish, it really pops.

John’s design at the top of the stairs. He did it to surprise me a few years back, but with the finish, it really pops.

And here are the baseboards he's building. The walls look gray in the light, but they're periwinkle.

And here are the baseboards he’s building. The walls look gray in the light, but they’re periwinkle.

And just because this is a cool photo (to me anyway), I’ll add it. I pick the colors, but my painting days are few and far between with these damn shoulders.

Periwinkle to turquoise to teal.

Periwinkle to turquoise to teal.

Yesterday we upgraded phones, which always creates  a learning curve, but that’s good for our brains, though John is a little stressed over the leap from an old-school flip phone to my old iPhone, which he promptly upgraded to the new operating system. He’s dealing with my pink phone case and accessories for now,

Real men can carry pink.

I upgraded to the new iPhone, which prompted me to finally update my iPod Touch and get my iCloud and iTunes settings straightened out. Now I just need to upgrade this computer so I can fully live in the cloud. One thing leads to another.

Just like in life.

Downtown

When Petula Clark was belting out “Downtown” on KAAY (1090 on your dial) or on the Ed Sullivan Show – or on my little stereo, because, yes, I owned the album in elementary school – the lyrics weren’t far-fetched at all.

Even in Little Rock, Arkansas, before the late 1970s, downtown was exciting, vibrant, a place to be. Few things were more thrilling in junior high in the late ‘60s than getting up on a Saturday morning, getting dolled up in our mod clothes (and, once we were allowed to wear it, our mod Yardley of London makeup) and catching the bus from Indian Hills to downtown Little Rock for the day.

Oh, the stories I could tell, the memories I could share – and I will, but not right now. Because downtown is alive again, or at least waking up, and that’s what this is about.

Exciting times are here for downtown dwellers, thanks to people with vision – like our friend and Southside Main Street Patron Saint Anita Davis, she of Bernice Garden, the mural next to The Root Cafe, the Cornbread Festival, and a host of other SOMA projects.

Tonight was the fourth Bernice Garden Sculpture Party and Fall Fest. It was hopping and happening, and if you missed it, you missed out.

Bernice Garden has brought so much to the Southside Main Street area. Anita Davis, SOMA patron saint, is the owner – and the striking lady in black and white in the center of the photo, which I shot with my iPhone. Should have brought the big Nikon because the Sculpture party was a beautiful sight. And site.

We were a little south of the old downtown retail area of the bus trips of old, but I still managed to run into two high school friends, just like in the old days.

My friend Kerry owns Dreamland Ballroom, another downtown-revival dream-coming-true. We’re so proud of what she’s doing to restore a noble building with an important history.

Visiting with my friend Toni made me feel like a kid again, even as we discussed our impending 40-year high school reunion. (What? Us??)

This has been a good week for downtowners, and Tuesday was a huge day for the future of downtown. I was moved to tears by the presentation at City Hall of plans (and hopes and dreams) for the creative corridor that is in the works thanks to an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, matching city funds, private investments and more people with vision.

The photos of downtown in the glory days had to have made more eyes than mine misty, but the incredible vision of Stephen Luoni and Marlon Blackwell for the future that could await us is what moves me so – and fills me with hope.

The fences are up around the buildings between Capitol and Sixth. The Rep (where compadre and fellow downtowner Julia and I saw a great Henry V Wednesday night) is going to have artsy neighbors. It’s happening, baby.

Believe it or nay-say (as many continue to do), but exciting times are returning to downtown. You wait and see. The baby steps toward revitalization are getting a longer. Before you know it, we’ll be making great strides.

And someday my grandkids will be talking about the fun they have downtown.