Friday, August 21, 2009

Patrick Henry Hays Senior Citizen Center

Recently, I was able to visit my hometown of North Little Rock, Arkansas. I enjoyed cruising through the expanded infrastructure and stopped often to reminisce at some familiar Levy sightings. Many of my old stomping grounds were long gone, but a few old stand bys (and an impressive new structure) were still there, and I might add, certainly thriving!

For instance, The Spot, a cherished old dairy bar and a place I went on my first date, was now a used car lot. Can't remember much about the date, but I do recall enjoying that coney dog! On the contrary, just down Old Conway Highway, Andy's Dairy Bar was still alive and flourishing with customers scattered all over their parking area. Rudy's Oyster Bar and Cafe was also bustling with business as the longtime favorite Levy watering hole. Hummm...wonder if Rudy still serves 50 cent beer on Wednesdays. Don't ask me how I know this. However, Cancun, the Mexican restaurant and lounge on the corner of Pike and Conway Highway, was nowhere to be found. On around the bend, US Pizza Co., after all these years, as usual was enjoying their cherished prime real estate right in the heart of Levy. I remember when they opened in the 70s and served their famous Salad Supreme with House Dressing in a small pizza pan. But I am curious why Shakey's Pizza Parlor and their amazing pizza did not last through the 80s. One does reflect why some survive and others do not. Anyway, I was really impressed with a new structure built in 2003 named after the mayor of NLR, the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Citizen Center and especially excited about what it had to offer the 13,000 plus members it boasts of having.

The facility looked like a large hospital with its sweeping circular driveway which gave members easy access as they arrived for their various activities. Whether members came for swimming, working out, or socializing the front desk was full of eager volunteers to help or answer any questions. A friendly lady directed me straight to the artist's display for the month of July which just so happened to be my mother, Eloise Montgomery. Mother had worked extremely hard for a good while to get her oil paintings assembled, and the final display was really nice to see. I've posted a few photos of her paintings and I hope you enjoy them as I'm sure plenty of other people did. My brother in law, Kenny Robinette is the artist of the month for August. If you hurry, you might be able to catch some of his amazing photos like the elk in Ponca or the Old Mill, another NLR treasure.

It's nice to see the elderly, as well as the baby boomers taking advantage of this more than ample facility that Mayor Hays has helped to build. Go to his website and check out other great things he has accomplished in NLR. Yes, it's a nice place to live and a nice place to visit and after all these years, I am still able to say"I'm a Levy rat and proud of it!"

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