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Smart Talk

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They ought to know

Looking for a recipe for Dorito chicken? Or turkey with sweet potato hash and chipotle cranberry sauce? Recipes for both and everything in between are in the River Market 10th Anniversary Cookbook, now on sale for $10 from the River Market office. River Market vendors offered theirs (beefalo recipes from Armstrong Farms, pork sandwiches from Andina Cafe, etc.), as did Farmers Market participants and River Market employees. To order, call 375-2552. A warning: You’ll have to curl up with this book and read it cover to cover to make the best use of it. The compilers didn’t alphabetize the index, River Market spokesman Daman Hoffman said. The Dorito chicken is on page 117. The hash/chipotle cranberry sauce is page 88. The recipe for squirrel gravy was inadvertently omitted.

Badmen’s nemesis

Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickock, Bass Reeves … who was that last one?

He was a U.S. deputy marshal — a black U.S. deputy marshal — working out of the federal court in Fort Smith in the late 19th century. That was the court of Judge Isaac C. Parker, remembered today as “the hanging judge.” Parker was tough on crime, and so were his deputies, who ventured into Indian Territory to bring wrongdoers to justice. A former slave, Reeves is said to have captured more outlaws than did the better-remembered peace officers of the Old West.

But Reeves’ reputation is about to grow, 100 years posthumously. A movement is underway to erect a statue of him at Fort Smith, near the Fort Smith National Historic Site that commemorates Parker’s court. The Fort Smith Rotary Club is leading the fund-raising effort, and recently produced a DVD about Reeves, who also is the subject of three new books.

Circuit Judge Jim D. Spears of Fort Smith, a Reeves booster, says, “The true story of Bass Reeves is the stuff of legends — legends hidden by decades of racism.” Spears said the Reeves statue would be the only equestrian statue in Arkansas, “unless you count the rider on a horse in the infield at Oaklawn, and I don’t.”

Good by comparison

Gov. Mike Huckabee won praise, if faint, from an unlikely source after he spoke at a “Values Voter Summit” in Washington that was sponsored by various Religious Right groups.

Church and State, a monthly publication of the organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State, reported on the meeting. Americans United is a strong critic of the Religious Right, and vice versa. Church and State noted that Huckabee was one of a number of Republican social conservatives, all potential presidential candidates, who spoke at the meeting. The group included Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback of Kansas and George Allen of Virginia, and Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. While the others spewed conventional Religious Right invective, according to Church and State, “It was left to Huckabee to dare to introduce some unexpected themes. The Arkansas governor, an ordained Baptist minister, started off predictably with a blast against same-sex marriage — but then went on to chide heterosexuals for their high divorce rate. Huckabee decried the nation’s abortion rate, but a moment later called on conservative Christians to do more to help families raising children in poverty.

“Challenging the audience to ‘get as interested in all of life,’ Huckabee endorsed ideas like better public schools, improved sanitation in poor areas, food programs for the poor and even better roads for those trapped in rural pockets of poverty.

“ ‘We need,’ he said, ‘an evangelical version of shock and awe.’ Huckabee, however, did not endorse any new government spending, instead saying churches need to pick up the slack in this area. In essence, he argued for a greatly expanded ‘faith-based’ initiative.”

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