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'Old' Dickson Street wasn't so terrible

Being one of Dickson Street's oldest sons, I think it is pretty harsh to make Dickson Street sound so bad [Fayetteville men win leadership awards, Jan. 25] back in the late '60s and '70s, and even in the '80s. And I know Joe Fennel will tell you it was a different time. And without these so-called "dives" there wouldn't have been a Dickson Street, places like The Swinging Door, The Library, Rogers Rec, The Landing Strip and the UARK bowling alley. These places and Joe's place, Jose's, were full every Thursday through Saturday, back then until 2 a.m.

And believe it or not, the most trouble we would get in was when we would build the Texas bonfire in the middle of the street in the intersection of Dickson and College. ... That was a good time, I don't care what you say. And the cops didn't mess with you unless you were making an ass out of yourself. And there were enough of us who would clean up the next day.

The Swinging Door is where Jed Clampit started playing, him and Zorro and The Blue Football and Windy Austin, God bless his soul. And Roger's Rec run by Roger Koetter and later Bob Reynolds, known as Swifty. He got his nickname because he cut meat for years at Swift Meat Co., where the Walton Arts Center sits.

So I take issue with the word "dives." Back then you could go to Dickson Street with a $20 bill and close it down. And now, people like me, we don't have $50 to $100 a night.

I love Joe Fennel and times change, but without those clubs and bars that someone is calling dives, there wouldn't have been a Dickson Street, and I bet if you asked Joe he would say the same thing. I, for one, miss those days and a lot of my friends who have passed. All I'm saying is I try to go along with change and it's hard when I see so much change. But when these new city leaders talk about the old Dickson Street, just remember, it was a different time. And we old-timers loved our Dickson Street just like people today love the new.

Watch the language.

Billy Long


Paper's editors reflect loss of critical thinking

If there is one skill that is often in short supply in our society today, it is critical thinking skills. Without the ability to effectively analyze all of the information presented to us in this modern society leaves one at the mercy of politicians, salesmen and theologians, all of whom hope that you do not try and think too hard about what they present as truth.

Unfortunately, your newspaper suffers from a serious lack of editorial judgment in the selection of articles for your style section. Your article "Harmony in the House" truly puts the "woo" in pig sooie. The author describes the art of feng shui, and begins by claiming Gwyneth Paltrow as an enthusiast. Well, Ms. Paltrow sells a very expensive coffee enema kit as well as a jade egg whose use cannot be properly described in this letter, but let me just say it is intended for women to wear in their most private body locations. For me, Ms. Paltrow's endorsement is not a positive.

The article tells me how to balance the five elements. I don't think "fire" has been considered an element since the days of the Greeks (unless you are having a Tarot reading). And of course we have a discussion of chi, a concept that has absolutely no basis in any scientific study. And who knew that if my stove was too close to my sink that water might put out my flame? It is all enough to put my humours out of balance.

I will stop there, but in closing I guess I can add newspaper editors to the list of those who don't want you to think too much about what they publish in order to sell a newspaper.

Kevin Elsken


Commentary on 02/14/2018

Print Headline: NWA Letters to the Editor

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