Arkansans of the Year

Transformation. Determination. Dream. Courage. Scrolled in chalk on a wall in photographer Nancy Nolan’s studio, the words chosen as personal mantras by our inaugural class of Arkansans of the Year—a group of folks selected by the Arkansas Life editorial team for their tireless commitment to making our state a better place to live—are as varied…

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Shore Enough

[maxgallery id=”3934″] Just shy of a year later, there’s not much left. Grains of sand once trapped between their toes have been pinched away. Color soaked in from the near-equatorial sun has faded. The food—fish hefted onto the deck of a chartered boat, pineapple and mango purchased from a market, smoothies, juices—every last trace long…

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Logged On

  The cabin Billy Reeder built with his own two hands measures some 800 square feet and, both inside and out, smells wonderful. This especially holds true of the front door which is heavy, almost requiring a shoulder to open or close, and makes you consider if a splinter to the nose would really be…

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State of Play

While his friends celebrated around him, Javier Carbonell emerged from a pile of bodies, staggered to the sideline of Bentonville High’s football field and collapsed. The junior defensive end had just suffered a blow to the Adam’s apple and a stinger to his leg after throwing his 259 pounds into an offensive line as big…

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Write On

When Pam McFall’s daughter was planning her wedding eight years ago, pens played a major role. Along with a friend, McFall hand-wrote dozens of invitations in steady, swooping cursive. “To me, that was important,” says McFall, a special-education teacher at Tucker Elementary School in White Hall. “It said. ‘I took the time. I want you…

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One on One: Hometown Hero

University of Arkansas guard Kikko Haydar entered a game early last season and earned a round of applause. It happened again when he checked out. “After the game, I asked my dad (Adnan Haydar), ‘What happened when I came in the game? Why was everybody so excited?’ He said, ‘Because you got in.’ I said,…

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The Decisive Exhibition

Walking into the Arkansas Arts Center’s darkened Winthrop Rockefeller gallery three weeks before the unveiling of its newest exhibition, you feel compelled to whisper. Tiptoe, even. When executive director Todd Herman pulls back the gray velvet panels concealing the entrance, beckoning you to follow him inside, you consider pausing—out of reverence, almost—in the dimmed light.…

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Arkansas Sketchbook

Drop the mind. Drop the mind. Drop the mind. The imperative phrase only skimmed the surface of her consciousness when Melissa Gill first heard it. But with each successive repetition, each time the visiting Buddhist teacher said it during the weekend retreat she attended three years ago, it sunk a little deeper. Meditation and reflection…

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Ozark Legends

Rick Stagner’s online store looks like autumn in Arkansas. From throwback Stanley canteens to chunky knit caps and plush wool-and-Sherpa blankets, each piece of merchandise looks like it could have been found stashed under the bench seat of a ’65 Ford pickup on a hazy November morning. And that’s the whole idea. Stagner describes his…

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Excess Baggage

The holidays are here, and you’re packing your suitcase, tucking in your favorite sweater and all the little pieces of home that comfort and keep you. As you joyfully envision your family gathered in loving celebration, you focus on images of holidays past: Mom’s pies, your brother’s jokes, your first bike. But inevitably, warm fuzzies…

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