Tricks and Treats on Little Rock Streets: Halloween 1950 in Downtown

A recent romp through an ARKANSAS GAZETTE gave insight into Halloween in Little Rock in the middle of the 20th Century.

Apparently by late afternoon on Halloween 1950, downtown Little Rock was filled with kids and teens in costumes. Much of the focus seemed to be on tricks as many of these revelers were utilizing water guns to soak people, throwing enough talcum powder to create an aroma downtown, shooting off firecrackers, and soaping store windows. Several industrious store owners had coated there windows with glycerine so that soap would not mark them.

The mayhem was enough to cause even more problems to traffic at rush hour. Police officers were helpless as they were directing traffic.  One city bus filled with passengers was attacked by a phalanx of waterguns, until the windows were all closed.

GAZETTE writer noted that two teen boys were dressed rather convincingly as girls. One was described as “rather pretty.” It was not until the teen let out an expletive (which the paper reported as “g— d—–”) that the reporter was certain it was a male.

Not everyone was focused on tricks.  Merchants in the Heights neighborhood created a block party with a carnival. It was deemed to be so successful that it would become an annual event.

Artspace Public Survey Launch Party tonight

No photo description available.The Windgate Foundation invited Artspace, a national nonprofit leader in the field of affordable creative space development, to explore the feasibility of creating an affordable live/work community in the Little Rock/North Little Rock metro region, a region organizers are calling “The Rocks”.

Tonight (9/24) from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, there will be a reception and launch party for a public survey which is an important part of the Artspace process.  It will be at the UA Pulaski Tech CHARTS center.

A series of meetings with the community and local leaders occurred in July and August, setting the stage for this next big step, a Creative Space Needs Survey of creative people, especially those interested in affordable space.

Input will help the local stakeholder group and Artspace determine if there is ample need for new space, what type of space to create, what “affordable” really means to you, where to build, and if this idea should be taken to the next step.

*Complimentary shuttle service to and from the event will be provided by Rock Region Metro. The shuttle will pick up at 5:00 from Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (501 W. 9th Street) and return to this location following the event. Shuttle seating is limited so please make your reservation by calling 816.309.1939 or emailing kennedym@hendrix.edu.

For more information go to https://www.artspace.org/ArtspaceRocks

CALS Receives $30,000 Grant to Increase Access to Little Rock Summer Healthy Foods Feeding Program Through Transit

No photo description available.Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has received a $30,000 grant to increase access to healthy foods and parks and recreation sites. The gift is part of a $1.5 million grant NRPA received from the Walmart Foundation to increase access to healthy foods in park and recreation agencies across the country.

The grant supports the City of Little Rock’s Be Mighty Little Rock afterschool and summer meal program by funding a new venture with CALS, Be Mighty Little Rock and Rock Region METRO to increase access to meal sites and activity centers by providing free bus passes to children and youths 18 and younger. The program, called Be Mighty METRO, allows participants access to free meals and activities provided in coordination with the Be Mighty Little Rock campaign. The passes provide unlimited rides on any Rock Region METRO route June 1 through July 31. CALS will receive additional support for meals provided through USDA after-school and summer meal programs, as well as nutritional literacy materials to help ensure life-long healthy habits for Little Rock’s youths.

“The Access to Healthy Foods grant is a perfect way for CALS to expand its existing afterschool and summer programming for youths in our area,” said Nate Coulter, CALS executive director. “We are a natural partner to the local school districts and Rock Region METRO, and in administering this grant, we are bringing these groups together to meet an existing community need. We hope to reach as many as 1,000 children and teens visiting our local libraries this summer.”

The Be Mighty METRO pass, which is good for June 1-July 31, is only available to participants age 18 and younger. Riders 11 and younger will be provided a pass for themselves and a guardian. Passes may be reserved starting May 13 at bemightylittlerock.org and picked up at any CALS branch. The pass reservation form and list of available meal sites can be found at www.bemightylittlerock.org.

“Lack of transportation is often an insurmountable barrier for many children and youths who need healthy food,” said Charles D. Frazier, METRO executive director. “Most Be Mighty Little Rock meal sites are located along a METRO fixed route, and we are happy to participate in this program that enables our community’s youths to access healthy meals and safe places to spend time during the day.”

In Little Rock, libraries have been one of the largest providers of healthy meals to children in low-income communities through the USDA child nutrition programs, working to address hunger, provide nutrition education, and keep youths safe and engaged during out-of-school times. Building upon this strong foundation and the existing strengths of local agencies, NRPA seeks to expand the role and capacity of local parks and recreation to improve food access across diverse communities and generations by piloting and evaluating transportation and infrastructure barriers in communities. Little Rock’s Be Mighty METRO pilot leverages existing resources and assets, builds partnerships, and utilizes innovative systems to transport youths. Partners involved include CALS, Rock Region METRO, the City of Little Rock, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the Little Rock School District.

According to Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, 1 in 6 youths across the country struggle with hunger every day. During the school year, more than 21 million low-income children receive free or reduced meals to help them meet their daily nutrition needs, but only 3 million of these youths receive these meals during the summer. During summer months, these youths may not have access to quality and healthy food to help them grow — making the Be Mighty Little Rock program partners’ work during out-of-school times that much more critical.

“NRPA is thankful for our partnership with the Walmart Foundation to support local park and recreation agencies who make health and wellness a priority in the communities they serve — especially during out-of-school time,” said Kellie May, NRPA vice president of programs. “Parks and recreation are proving their critical role in the health of their communities and we can’t wait to see the impact this year’s grants will have on fostering life-long healthy habits in children across the country.”

To learn more about Be Mighty Little Rock, visit www.bemightylittlerock.org. To learn more about NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign, which supports the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating Physical Activity standards in park and recreation sites across the country, visit www.nrpa.org/committohealth.

About Be Mighty Little Rock
Be Mighty Little Rock is a citywide campaign to connect children and teens 18 and younger to free meals. Summer meals will be offered at schools, libraries, parks, splash pads, community centers and other sites. Some sites offer breakfast and lunch; others offer dinner or a snack. The campaign is made possible through the CHAMPS grant from the National League of Cities (NLC) and Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Little Rock is one of only six cities to receive the grant. NRPA, NLC, and FRAC work in partnership with the Walmart Foundation.

About the National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

Little Rock Look Back: Tricks, Treats on Little Rock’s mid-century streets

A recent romp through an ARKANSAS GAZETTE gave insight into Halloween in Little Rock in the middle of the 20th Century.

Apparently by late afternoon on Halloween 1950, downtown Little Rock was filled with kids and teens in costumes. Much of the focus seemed to be on tricks as many of these revelers were utilizing water guns to soak people, throwing enough talcum powder to create an aroma downtown, shooting off firecrackers, and soaping store windows. Several industrious store owners had coated there windows with glycerine so that soap would not mark them.

The mayhem was enough to cause even more problems to traffic at rush hour. Police officers were helpless as they were directing traffic.  One city bus filled with passengers was attacked by a phalanx of waterguns, until the windows were all closed.

GAZETTE writer noted that two teen boys were dressed rather convincingly as girls. One was described as “rather pretty.” It was not until the teen let out an expletive (which the paper reported as “g— d—–”) that the reporter was certain it was a male.

Not everyone was focused on tricks.  Merchants in the Heights neighborhood created a block party with a carnival. It was deemed to be so successful that it would become an annual event.

Happy New Year – Sixteen “16”s for 2016

Here are sixteen images of various 16s from throughout Little Rock.

 

1616 Scott

The intersection of 16th and Scott Streets


1616 Bus route

Rock Region Metro route 16


1616 fox

KLRT Fox 16 tower in downtown


1616 Firebird

Sixteenth notes from FIREBIRD SUITE which will be played by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra later this month.


1616 candles

Sixteen Candles movie is available for checkout from the Central Arkansas Library System


1616 june novel

The novel THE SIXTEENTH OF JUNE is available at Barnes & Noble


1616 Gas

Gas for $1.60 9/10 a gallon in Little Rock. (Yes, this is a slight cheat on the 16, but the 1 and 6 are still next to each other)


1616 Tons

Tennessee Ernie Ford’s LP “Sixteen Tons” available at music stores and in many homes in LR


1616 street

A street address which reverses the year – 1620 instead of 2016


1616 LRFD

Little Rock Fire Station Number 16 servicing Walton Heights and parts of Pleasant Valley


A clock in the Culture Vulture's car

A clock in the Culture Vulture’s car


A detail from an Arkansas license plate

A detail from an Arkansas license plate


A 16th birthday card

A 16th birthday card


A grocery store aisle

A grocery store aisle


Roswell Beebe, Little Rock's 16th Mayor

Roswell Beebe, Little Rock’s 16th Mayor


Little Rock has the 16th square on the new Monopoly Here & Now Game. And rent is $160

Little Rock has the 16th square on the new Monopoly Here & Now Game. And rent is 160