I enjoyed Gigi Cottrell’s memories (Feb. 17) of growing up at 478 Ridgeway. I have memories of the house she writes about at 476 Ridgeway, now a vacant lot in Hillcrest. My grandfather’s sister and her husband, Kathleen and Edward Toby, built the house around 1906. After Aunt Kathleen moved to Memphis, my Feild grandparents, Russell H. and Mary Feild, moved in, along with Papaw’s parents. My father Robert (1921-2002) grew up in that house. Papaw and Mater lived there until she, and then he, died, in 1969.
While in less than perfect condition, the house had the best porch in Hillcrest, on a hot or rainy day. The carport, or as spoken in the Old South, porte cochere, had a step designed to be level with a running board.
During the depths of the Depression, a young Philander Smith student lived in the small “servant’s house” in the backyard. For room and board, he exchanged cooking, which my grandmother hated, and help around the house.
At one point, that same structure housed the “Feild Brothers Library,” my dad and uncle proprietors. The library was for the neighborhood kids, and was featured with a photo in the Arkansas Gazette (gone and lamented as well).
I grew up on the story of the destruction of Louise Loughborough’s house up the street at Kavanaugh and Oak. It was a sad end for a house once owned by the woman who rescued the Hinderliter Tavern and other historic structures that are part of the Historic Arkansas Museum. Now the house where I heard that story is gone as well.
The continued destruction of classic housing stock, by teardowns replaced by Chenal-wannabe architecture, is a shame. You destroy a home, then homes, then a neighborhood, then the community. The same “progressive thinking” supports the destruction of the Lake Maumelle watershed.
The sewage plant
The citizens of west Little Rock have every right to be concerned that a new wastewater treatment facility is being planned for the Little Maumelle River Basin. The track record of municipalities constructing facilities that are visually unsightly by residential standards, malodorous by anyone’s standards and a source of noise pollution is undeniable. The good news is that there is proven technology available that precludes the necessity of any of these sensory problems and that can actually produce an effluent (discharge) that exceeds even the Lake Maumelle water quality. If done properly, this plant can have a very positive effect on the immediate area and also be a role model for future growth in our city.
The effluent from this plant could be used safely for irrigation. The solids that are a byproduct of this facility can also be used likewise for valuable soil conditioning. Contrary to some opinion, no chemicals are applied to the wastewater as part of the treatment process. This eliminates the necessity of storing a toxic chemical on the premises.
The reason the existing wastewater facilities look and perform the way they do is that they were located away from the populace and having the Arkansas River as a discharge point did not require an advanced degree of treatment. As Little Rock continues to grow this practice needs to stop. It is both expensive and a total waste of our precious natural resources.
Citizens should be vigilant to see that no expense is spared in the design, construction and operation of this new facility. If done properly, the area will be even more attractive to the residents and to those who want to develop it.
Bob gets it
Bingo! Bob Lancaster gets it. He knows what is important, and marriage is not a covenant made possible or sanctified by the state — even though it is, in part, a contract with the state.
Much of what I have read in modern prose is skeptical and cynical. It is about how individuals lose their freedom in marriage, or that it is all right as an institution as long as the good karma between the spouses holds out. And no institution seems so important to individuals in these times as their personal freedom.
My wonderful wife, Kay, and I have been married for 49 years in April. I think we know what is important in human relationships.
Marriage is loving together, not just living together. It is not enough to say, “I love you,” unless the words are followed up with loving actions.
Marriage is not designed to make a couple happy. Each person has to bring happiness into a marriage.
Each married person marries a mystery — a counterpart — a stranger we choose to share our lives with. And we do it because we have a wonderful hunch about them. We agree to come together for a mysterious future to see where life’s journey will take us.
Marriage is the incubator of love. It is the protected environment where love can grow and develop in us our highest capabilities as loving human beings.
James W. Giltmier
Hey, you guys are making a big mistake by dropping The Advice Goddess column. It provides a splendid catalog of human relationship folly and the correctives that need to be applied. Even if you don’t agree with all the advice (I do!), the column is worth reading just for the humor and evocative language. For a couple of examples, “. . . not only sewing her wild oats, but a soybean crop” and “lying on the floor in a three-piece linoleum suit.” Face it: Amy Alkon is the Raymond Chandler of the advice column industry!