PEOPLE IN HOPE, Prescott and Arkadelphia didn’t get to read the obituaries in their hometown paper this week. Kids didn’t get to look to see if they got their names or pictures in newspaper accounts of Bobcat, Badger or Curley Wolf games. Church events, garage sales, classified ads for lawn care, police reports, recipes, service and merchandise advertising from local businesses, election results, etc. Nowhere and no more.
The newspapers in those towns had all been around for a long time. Now, like Abraham Lincoln, they belong to the ages. My opinion is that they weren’t very good newspapers in recent years, and that may have hastened their exit.
Newspaper circulation and influence have been declining for a decade or so. So much so that in some places, even venerable newspapers are closing the doors or are cutting way back.
We hope you will continue to support the ‘News-Leader.’ We will continue to support you.
WHO STABBED SANTA?
In response to a question from a reader, last week, we have information on a notable event in Nashville history.
The question was: “Who stabbed the late Glen Power when he was wearing his Santa suit?”
Glen’s wife, Ouida, brought us a clipping from the late, lamented ‘Arkansas Gazette’ about the incident. It was impossible to determine the date from either side of the clipping but Ouida and I believe that the event occurred in the late 1960s. The ‘Gazette’ probably just rewrote a ‘Nashville News’ article.
Ouida says that Glen continued to be Santa for a few more years after the incident.
Here’s what I can tell you from that newspaper article:
Glen was in his Santa suit, headed for a company Christmas party at the Coca-Cola bottling company when a man — described as ‘obviously intoxicated’ — tried to crash the party which was at the old ‘Coke’ plant at the intersection of Second and Hempstead Streets.
The man’s name was Joe Johnson, and I have no other information about him. I’m sure he has been rehabilitated and is now a model citizen.
Glen told the man he couldn’t come in, that the party was for Coke employees and families only. The guy got mad and pulled what was described as a large pocket knife. He slashed at Glen’s tummy several times and actually cut the cloth once.
Glen’s own tummy was protected by a pillow stuffed inside the outfit.
The town’s night watchman, the late Cecil O’Bryant arrested the man and hauled him away. Johnson was later charged with public drunkeness, resisting arrest and wielding a weapon.
Glen was quoted as saying that he was “shook,” but was able to go on with his Santa act at the party. ”I’m sure I wasn’t as jolly as I usually am,” he was quoted.
If any of you have more information, my mysterious caller and I would love to hear it.
Another reader who recalled something about this incident also recalled a time when the town marshal, arriving a bit late for a Sunday nite service at Immanuel Baptist Church, charged down the aisle and subdued a communist agitator who was interrupting the service. The problem was that the agitator was an actor and it was all part of a service theme about freedom of worship.
But the incident provided the community a good look at the bravery of Marshal Otis Icenhower. I do remember a few years later when Marshal Icenhower retired, the newspaper quoted him saying that he never had to draw his firearm in the line of duty.
Don’t know about the rest of you, but I was scared to death of him.
WOOOOO PIG, SOOEY! Well it didn’t take long for me to resume my role as World’s Number One Fair Weather Razorback Football Fan. In fact, it took just the final quarter of last week’s game on the campus of Colorado State University.
It was all due to a misunderstanding, I’m fairly confident.
We’ve played CSU before, but they were the visiting ‘cupcake’ who was providing us an opponent in return for a nice paycheck. Now, the Razorbacks are the visiting cupcakes. I hope the athletic department got a cupcake paycheck. We’ll need it to offset all of those empty seats in the newly-expanded stadium.
One way the athletic department saved some money is that they apparently kept the defensive backs coach from former head coach Burt Bulimia’s staff. The UA is paying this guy the same salary and so far there has been no dropoff in results.
THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
WORD GAMES. Another set of triplets: Readin, Writin and Rithmatic.
HE SAID: “Children need to get a high-quality education, avoid violence and the criminal-justice system, and gain jobs. But they deserve more. We want them to learn not only reading and math but fairness, caring, self-respect, family commitment, and civic duty.” Colin Powell, General of the US Army, and first black US Secretary of State
SHE SAID: “I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” Queen Elizabeth II, monarch
SWEET DREAMS, Baby