Filed by Darren Epps
As I was making the mind-numbing, painful, are-we-there-yet drive through Arkansas to Little Rock for the SEC womens basketball tournament, I realized my trip would not require me to actually step foot in Little Rock. I was going to inform my editors of this phenomenon, but I couldnt get any cell phone reception. Youll find more snow-capped mountains than cell phone towers in Arkansas.
I was going to North Little Rock. Alltel Arena is in North Little Rock. The hotel is in North Little Rock. All the bars, featured restaurants and scenic riverside walks are in North Little Rock. Using Little Rock as my dateline, I was told, was incorrect. Its North Little Rock.
My immediate quest was to find out what happened to Little Rock. (And to see if the Tennessee Lady Vols would play defense. Both seemed to be disappearing.) Also, what makes North Little Rock so cool? Theres no East Little Rock, West Little Rock or South Little Rock. Did a nasty civil war take place between Little Rock and North Little Rock? I can imagine thousands of Little Rock citizens wearing straw hats and fighting with rakes and shovels like, say, five years ago in an attempt to gain freedom.
As it turns out, and this is no fun, North Little Rock has existed since the Civil War (before then, it was known as opposite Little Rock. Very creative). Apparently, North Little Rock gets its own precious city because the Arkansas River divides it from Little Rock. This is strikingly similar to the make up of Chattanooga. We all know North Chattanooga is way cooler than the rest of the city, but you dont see anyone pushing to divide the area, incorporate North Chattanooga and get its own post office.
Now imagine if north Chattanooga hosted every sporting event in the city. The Arkansas Twisters of the af2 arena football league, the Arkansas-Little Rock basketball team and the Arkansas RimRockers of the NBA D-League all play in North Little Rock. The Arkansas Travelers, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, are ditching Little Rock for North Little Rock in 2007.
North Little Rock is like the new kid in class who looks better, tells funnier jokes and wears cooler clothes than you. Pretty soon, all of your friends are going to hang out with him instead of you. Actresses Mary Steenburgen and Joey Lauren Adams are from Little Rock, but both attended North Little Rock High School. At least the good people of Little Rock didnt have to hear Adams annoying voice.
Now, North Little Rock is the third most populous city in the state behind, of course, Little Rock with a population of 60,433. So, basically, outside of the Little Rock/North Little Rock area, theres about 52 people and three red lights.
But Ive found both cities, despite their differences, share a common bond unique to Arkansas.
Cell phone reception.
E-mail Darren Epps at firstname.lastname@example.org