The count: 4 Up. The amount: Priceless.
A new photo in the possession of the University of Central Arkansas shows the former top-ranked news team of KARK, Channel 4 – Tom Bonner, Roy Mitchell and Dave Woodman -- an invaluable look back at the suits, hairstyles and news approach in the world of Arkansas TV. It’s part of the papers that Bonner, now a senior vice president at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, has given to his alma mater. Archivist Jimmy Bryant has been acquiring papers from a number of well-known Arkansas media figures. UCA President Lu Hardin said the papers, which should be open for researchers by spring, will be valuable to students of Arkansas TV history. We just hope to find out why we never were called on Dialing for Dollars.
Who says Arkansas is closed-minded? According to a recent weekly New York Times ranking of various media, Arkies seem more interested in the cowboy love story “Brokeback Mountain” than residents of other states.
The Times said: “According to Hitwise, which measures Internet traffic, 57 percent of the visitors to the official movie Web site in the four weeks ending Jan. 28 were male, and 54 percent of them were ages 25 to 44.”
By region, the highest index of visitors was from Arkansas. That is, Arkansas residents who went online were more than two times as likely to visit www.brokebackmountain.com as the overall Internet population in the United States.
The National Park Service has scheduled an official groundbreaking at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 for the new visitor center at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. It will be a much larger facility across the street from the current center in a restored former Mobil station. The hope is that the center will be ready for the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock school crisis in September 2007.
Several speakers are planned. But the interesting words might be unofficial. Ralph Brodie, student body president at Central in 1957-58, has been encouraging people to attend the groundbreaking to object to what he believes will be deficiencies in the exhibit, details of which have not been released. Brodie has objected for years to the lack of attention paid to the white students at Central in 1957. The Little Rock Nine required intervention of a federal court and federal troops when Gov. Orval Faubus stopped desegregation with the Arkansas National Guard. Nobody ever tried to stop white students from going to class, of course.
In recent remarks quoted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Brodie said, “Everything Minnijean [Brown Trickey] and the Little Rock Nine faced that year, we faced, too.” Historians have tried for some time to get Brodie to participate in an oral history project being done for the Central museum, but he has so far been unwilling.