December 16, 2009 Edition

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Frankly speaking...

John Bland

In case you missed it, the 50th annual Williams Baptist College High School Invitational Basketball Tournament ended in style. In the finals of the boys division, Black Rock trailed behind Viola, 39 to 41, with just a few seconds left to play. However, as the buzzer was sounding to end the game, Black Rock's Tyler Newell sank a three-pointer from 30 feet away. The Zebras won 42-41. Congratulations to Black Rock coach Jeff Womack and his team.


Former TD editor Tom Moore of Walnut Ridge shared a story that he received through a Google News Alert for "Walnut Ridge." The story, "Usinger's gift box knives cut a popular figure" was posted Dec. 8 on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal website. The story states that since 1965, Usinger's Famous Sausage, a 130-year-old Milwaukee sausage-maker, has been packing knives in a variety of gift packages. "All over the city, indeed the country, Americans' utensil drawers are well stocked with sausage knives. Whatever the color, people collect the knives."

The article continues, "Usinger didn't know how the knife bonus came about, but the Quikut Corp. in Walnut Ridge, Ark., has furnished the knives since the beginning. Now owned by a Berkshire Hathaway company, Quikut has been making cutlery since 1920. It is the manufacturer of the original Ginsu knife of memorable TV pitches."

Former Quikut executive Bill Wilcoxson of Walnut Ridge, who traveled as far as China promoting the knives, said of them, "They are everywhere."


We recently received a copy of this nice letter from a Roland, Arkansas, couple.

Dear Mayor Rogers:

On a rainy Thursday, Sept 24, 2009, my wife and I stopped at City Hall and asked directions to the airport. We wanted to eat at the Parachute Inn. A very nice lady in your office carefully wrote out the directions to get there and gave us her phone number "in case we got lost." We didn't. We found the restaurant, and we were given a personal tour of the 737 Jet even though it was not in use at the time. We are grateful to the lady in your office for her kindness. Please thank her again for us.

I covered the aviation industry in Arkansas for 25 years for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, but the Airport Restaurant opened the day I retired, and it was good to see it in operation.

Thanks again for making our trip to Walnut Ridge so memorable.

Our best to you all,

Randy & Elizabeth Tardy

Roland, Arkansas

Note: Shirley Guy is the administrative assistant in the mayor's office.


The days leading up to Christmas seem to be an exercise in finding the right balance. While the number of activities and events related to the holiday are numerous, the other events of life continue. Ball games, births, deaths, illness, business dealings and other day to day routines continue, holidays or not. If there is one lesson I've learned, it is that you can't do everything you want to do at this time of year.

Here's hoping you can find that right balance and have healthy, happy holidays.

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