A parent writes to The Observer:
“I truly enjoy reading what is put in this column each week, and I've noticed that normally during football season there's a lot to be said.
My son, who is now in 11th grade, has attended NLR schools and participated in the band since 6th grade. I've wondered if The Observer has noticed over the last few years how the band(s) (not just NLR) are sadly shrinking in size as is the funding for them, and that the bands are now restricted on when they can play during the games. To me part of football season has always been about football but also the bands pumping up the crowd, the team and giving the cheerleaders and pep squads the added boost they need as well.
Over the last two years in particular, there has been quite a bit of arguing over the ‘need' for there to even be a band playing at the football games. Many in the athletic department feel that a band is more disruptive and unnecessary and that the little funds going to support bands would be better placed into the athletic programs and more and more administrators are leaning that way as well. I am a huge supporter of the arts and seeing them slowly be smothered and deleted from schools is deplorable.
I was wondering what The Observer's point of view is on school bands at football games and if he is noticing this trend as well of bands more restricted participation during games?”
In The Observer's high school days, both teams' bands played at half-time. We're thinking this is no longer true, but it probably hasn't been for some time. Otherwise, the Observer was not aware of any de-emphasis of bands and strongly disapproves. We hope that this disturbed parent has inadvertently overstated the threat. The Observer would like to hear from others knowledgeable on the subject. Let the bands play on.
The brother of Theresa Lipsmeyer, who died last week, tells the Times he just didn't think the daily paper was the best spot to run his sister's obituary. He thought the Arkansas blog and this paper a better fit. Here's some of what he wrote about Theresa, who died Sept. 16:
“Theresa Lipsmeyer of Little Rock died suddenly after a brief and painful illness. Some say it was the recent loss of her beloved dog, Scoutboy, that pushed her over the edge, others say it was the kidnapping (or dognapping) of another beloved pet, Mr. Mann (who is reportedly being held against his will by a former lover somewhere in North Little Rock).
But her family knows differently. It was fast living and hard lovin' that brought our beloved sister down. She lived life fully and went out with a smile. In her last week on this earth, she discovered she had been consumed by cancers in her liver, lungs, and bones. We hope that in those last precious moments, she became fully aware of the wealth of love and affection held for her by her family and the dozens of best friends who rushed to be by her side as she made the transition from this world to the next.
‘Not a Well Woman' was her moniker and she wore it like a badge of honor, a challenge. … She never met a stranger and was well regarded by a host of friends and acquaintances. … She was a take-no-prisoners kind of gal who lived full-throttle.
Theresa found her true calling as a lesbian, a warrior for women's rights and human dignity, a defender of stray dogs, and a champion of the human spirit. She had a quick and sharp wit and Theresa's barbs and worldly observations are frequently quoted by all who knew her. They collect them, share them and swap them like rare trading cards.
Theresa was well known among many of Central Arkansas's finest dining and drinking establishments, several of which shall dim their lights briefly in her memory on Saturday next. She was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and reminds all those who bet with her last week to pay up so that she can clear her tabs.
A celebration of her memory will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Jacksonville Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Theresa's wishes were that you send a donation to the Animal Shelter of your choice or simply lift a pint with us on Saturday night as we cherish her memory.”