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REX NELSON: Celebrating Sister Rosetta

Subscriber onlyLast month, The New York Times published a lengthy story with multiple photos that used this headline: "A Dying Southern Town Needed a Miracle. Marijuana Came Calling." That dying town is Cotton Plant. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The ol' college try

Subscriber onlyI'm taking part these days in a series of luncheons during which Little Rock residents discuss the future of the state's largest city. These are off-the-record events, so I won't list any of the participants or quote anyone directly. But there's an emerging consensus with which I wholeheartedly agree: Little Rock needs to become more of a college town. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The Sultana disaster

Subscriber onlyIt's a slow day in downtown Marion as I pull up to the Sultana Disaster Museum at 104 Washington St. I get out of my car and hear someone calling out to me. It's the museum's one volunteer on this Thursday morning. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The Yawn Patrol

Subscriber onlyIt's still dark as I pull out of the hotel parking lot in Forrest City at 6 a.m. on Good Friday. I'm headed north on Arkansas 1, and the radio memories are flooding back as I follow Crowley's Ridge to Wynne. I first went on the air at age 13, and I've loved radio ever since. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Where celebrities play

Subscriber onlyThe photos could be found all over social media last weekend. Kevin Costner--the actor, director and musician who has won Academy, Golden Globe and Emmy awards through the years--was in Hot Springs. A photo of Costner standing alongside the new owner of the Arlington Hotel popped up in my Facebook feed. Later, I saw a photo of Costner with the owner of the Gangster Museum of America. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Fly fishing with Lefty

Subscriber onlyLefty Kreh, perhaps the most famous fly fisherman of them all, died at age 93 of congestive heart failure last month at home in Maryland. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Along Spavinaw Creek

Subscriber onlyA creek runs through it. It's Spavinaw Creek, to be exact, a spring-fed stream that begins in a far corner of Northwest Arkansas and flows west into Oklahoma. It's here that Adam Maris, a former college baseball player, has created his field of fly fishing dreams. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Our national pastime

Subscriber onlyIn 1984, Tom Boswell of the Washington Post came out with a collection of essays on baseball that had the alluring title "Why Time Begins on Opening Day." Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Gone, not forgotten

Subscriber onlyAs soon as I looked down from the podium and saw the tears in Coy Theobalt's eyes, I knew the award meant something. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The Peck legacy

Subscriber onlyWhen the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame held its induction ceremony earlier this month, one of the four finalists in the Proprietor of the Year category was Capi Peck of Trio's in Little Rock. For two decades, I lived walking distance from Trio's, and the trips up the hill from our condominium were frequent. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Hall of famers

Subscriber onlyWhen the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was formed a year ago, the founders decided not to repeat a mistake that other halls of fame often make. The temptation for a new organization is to induct large classes for several years in order to make up for lost time. After four or five induction ceremonies, these organizations sometimes discover that all the good nominees already have been honored. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Fred Allsopp's Freiderica

Subscriber onlyIn 1982, when I was covering sports for the Arkansas Democrat, I wrote a column about W.H. "Scoop" Halliburton, who was a newspaperman in my hometown of Arkadelphia for more than 60 years. The following week, a package arrived in the mail from his daughter. It contained a signed copy of a small book titled Little Adventures in Newspaperdom. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Tale of two parks

Subscriber onlyWilliam Frank Norrell loved south Arkansas, especially historic sites such as Arkansas Post. Born in August 1896 in the Ashley County community of Milo, he studied at what's now the University of Arkansas at Monticello but was then the Fourth District Agricultural School. Norrell passed the bar in 1920 and began his practice at Monticello. He was a leader in the local Ku Klux Klan, which was a powerful force in south Arkansas in the 1920s. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: At the post

Subscriber onlyThe rain was coming down hard as we exited U.S. 165 and made our way to the Arkansas Post National Memorial. Tom DeBlack, the well-known Arkansas historian from Arkansas Tech University, was driving. Paul Austin of the Arkansas Humanities Council and I were trying to help him watch the road in the blinding storm. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Steamboats to cyclists

Subscriber onlyWe're at the corner of Natchez and Kate Adams streets. It's obvious from the street names that we're in a historic river town. Continue reading...