YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out of the newspaper’s window on Main Street and I am glad to tell you that none of my teeth fell out when I drove thru the Central Business District, Monday morning.
My buggy went bump bump ….. bump bump ….. bump bump. Really jarring bumps.
The bumps were when I drove over each of the seams between the concrete sections that hide under asphalt on our Main Street.
I felt two bumps close together.
Bump bump …. bump bump.
Front wheels going over a seal; then back wheels going over the same spot.
Bump bump …. bump bump …. bump bump.
I mentioned this to our police chief and she wasn’t impressed at my revelation.
She just cautioned “You better not go ‘bumpitybumpitybumpitybumpitybumpitybumpity”’ because it would mean you’re going too fast.” She was right. I have noticed there is a difference in time between bumps according to my speed.
We’ve got the bumps in the first place because of a noble experiment in 2006. The city decided to do something about old bumps.
Mayor at the time was Mike Reese, and Larry Dunaway was the nearly-new director of the Public Works Department.
I asked them about the event, and their recollections were nearly the same. At one time, State Highways 278 (4) and 27 went through the middle of town. One left Main Street at the Russell Street intersection and headed south toward Ozan; the other continued for Mineral Springs.
One day some genius at the Arkansas Highway Department said that if the town didn’t change from angle parking to parallel parking in the Central Business District then the highway department would no longer take responsibility for maintenance of the street.
Nashville said “Okay, we’ll change to parallel parking.”
Parallel parking lasted two days, until citizens began burning down the homes of aldermen.
“We quit,” Nashville said. “We’re going back to angle parking.
So, the highway department said, “Okay, it’s all yours.”
Nashville’s original Main Street was thick concrete from (roughly) the Main Street corner in front of City Hall, and going south almost to the railroad tracks. The former mayor thinks the concrete was poured sometime early 1920s.
The concrete was in sections ranging from 12 to 25 feet long, depending upon who is telling the story, and they reached all the way across the street from one curb to the other.
Over the years the sections of concrete shrunk and drew apart slightly. Nashville overlayed the original concrete with asphalt. After a few years the space between concrete sections again began affecting the onetime smooth drive on Main.
Finally the mayor and council said we’ve got to do something about bump bump bump bump on Main Street.
The Arkansas Highway Department came back in to advise. And the University of Arkansas sent a delegation to study.
Someone — whoever was in charge — okayed an experimental solution. Some big equipment came in and ground off the layer of asphalt and exposed the sections on the two center lanes of Main. Then the thick concrete sections were leveled by squirting some liquid underneath. Then some kind of patch was placed in between the sections. This is what the UofA was studying — they were looking for which treatment of three worked best.
Finally, Main Street was paved with asphalt all the way through the Central Business District to Russell Street. Nice and smooth.
The divided concrete sections of the Central Business District — Sypert to Howard; Clark to Shepherd; College to Bishop — all got different treatments. The University would come back and see which of the three different treatments worked best over time.
That lasted for about two years. The University stopped coming.
Then all of the treatments stopped working so good.
Bump bump got worse, again.
I’m thinking that the stretch of Main between Sypert and Howard is maybe the smoothest of the three. I could be worng.
I can’t drive to Fayetteville to ask why they stopped coming and why bump bump has returned. I’m afraid to go because the campus police might still be looking for me. And I’m also fearful that the campus cops would ratfink my presence to the U.S. Navy and the Shore Patrol would come and forcibly remove my Good Conduct medal.
=—-= — =
PLEASE GET the Covid vaccine. It seems like every day we hear of another wonderful person who has died from the virus or its variant. The gov says to get the shot. The president and the pope say get the shot. Arkansas hospitals are overwhelmed with Covid patients who are in dire straits, and almost none of them were vaccinated.
=—-= — =
THE GOOD EARTH. Are you as alarmed as I am about the wildfires raging on practically every continent? Droughts in some places; floods in others. Record cold snaps and heat waves. Don’t deny global warming. My fear is that things will get worse ‘til Mother Earth forgives us.
=—-= — =
HE SAID: “I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing Happy Birthday.” Steven Wright, comedian
=—-= — =
SHE SAID: “Before a big event, I usually go to church and light a candle for St. Sebastian, who is the patron saint of athletes.” Simone Biles, U.S. Olympic gymnast
=—-= — =
SWEET DREAMS, Baby