Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Tall Arctic Peak

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Tall Arctic Peak

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SOUTH HOWARD COUNTY NATIVE Dr. Joycelyn Elders is among a group that will be inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame at a bigtime soiree in Little Rock, Aug. 25.

In addition to being a former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Elders is a nationally respected pediatric physician.

She was the eldest of eight children born to a sharecropper family in the Schaal community.

Can you imagine the obstacles she overcame?

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HOW HIGH THE MOON? Perfessers have settled (after 50 years of shouting and arguing) the vexing question: What is the tallest peak inside the Arctic Circle?

Just about every schoolboy and schoolgirl and schooltransgender grows up knowing that the tallest peak in North America is Mt. McKinley, named after President Something McKinley, the 25th president of these United States.

But residents of Alaska never liked the name. They wanted it to be officially called by the traditional Native American name of Denali. So, this past year, the name of the peak was officially changed in one of the rare things Congress could agree upon.

So now it’s Mt. Denali.

Mt. Denali is outside the Arctic Circle, however, and that is why it is sooooo important for us to know what is the tallest peak ‘inside’ the Arctic Circle.

It is — I won’t keep you waiting any longer — Mt. Isto. It’s not near as tall as Denali, but it is farther north.

I had never even heard of President Something Isto.

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WHO CARES ABOUT AWARDS? I always give this speech just before (and sometimes after) the annual Arkansas Better Newspaper Contest awards are announced.

I like to remind my colleagues (and myself) that the first place award was merely the opinion of one person on one particular day.

Further, the sports photo contest might’ve been judged by someone, for instance, who only wrote editorials, or for some other reason was pressed into service as a judge in a category with which they were unfamiliar.

Those are always good excuses for why you didn’t win. Or, more importantly, why someone else did.

This year it was even worse because the entries were judged by newspaper people from Nebraska and we all know how incompetent Nebraska newspaper people are!

Over the years I have won a few first place awards for my humorous column, Mine Creek Revelations (most likely you are holding it this very instant). I have been very proud of the awards whether or not I really deserved them. That’s called ‘ego.’

Pride goeth before a fall

So it was a shock last year when I not only didn’t win, but that the winner in the category of humorous columns was my brother who was writing for the ‘other’ paper down the street.

It was so humiliating that I had to go home and take to my bed for two days. I may have set a world record for pouting.

I hate for you to think that awards are so important to me, but my newspaper colleagues this year noticed that I worked myself into a frenzy in the days leading up to announcement of the awards. The announcement is always at the summer meeting of the Arkansas Press Association.

At the newspaper summer convention, held this year in Bentonville, News-Leader editor JR Schirmer even told the press association manager that if Mikey’s column beat me again the convention hotel security office needed to put me under a suicide watch.

It all worked out alright. The judges were influenced by my small but well-placed bribe and they once again awarded the blue ribbon to Mine Creek Revelations.

I cannot remember which particular column won, but I’m fairly sure it was the best the judge had seen all day.

(UPDATE: I have been reminded that my winning column was about my pickup truck being the victim of a Main Street traffic accident.)

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Friends JB and Freda Davis are hosts to a pair of loud, large owls which invite themselves over to the Davis house at sundown each day.

The birds make a very unpleasant screeching noise. They circle around the Davis estancia a few miles north of Nashville before landing on JB’s tall tall tall amateur radio antenna. Their perch puts them high enough so that they can easily see mice, lizards, birds, newborn calves and other edible critters.

When JB transmits on his radio, the birds shivver, squawk and fly off in a huff.  Just joking. Owls don’t understand the squawking on amateur radio. 10-4?

I hope you’ll forgive me for saying that if (1) the screeching of the owls is so bad it could raise the dead, then (2) would the aforementioned dead arise in a fowl mood?

I know, I’m sorry. You should have been warned by the apology which preceded the intellectual gem.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: If all is not lost, then where in the heck is it?

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HE SAID: “True happiness is … to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher

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SHE SAID: “I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.” Elayne Boosier, comedian

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby