Tag Archives: Bishop Park

DP: Bryant, Arkansas


Today’s Daily Prompt is: We Built This City. What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?

The city that I live in, Bryant, is a fast growing city. It covers nine square miles and has every fast food chain you can think of. It also has a Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Kirkland’s, two Starbucks, Lowe’s, and numerous other small and big businesses. I loved how people in our community was once generous, friendly, and hospitable. Now, you can look forward to sitting in a turn lane forever as no one is considerate to not block driveways to businesses. Or you’ll sit at a stop sign, forever waiting on someone to let you into the flow of traffic.

The problem with this city is that all the businesses are in one area, clustered, making traffic a nightmare to endure in the mornings and when school has let out for the day. Instead of clustering all businesses into one big area, why not spread them out? It makes it very difficult to get in and out of those businesses, as everyone is rushing to get some where and would not think twice to let you cut in front of them.

When I first left for the Navy in 2000, Bryant only had a Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and a small grocery store, as well as three gas stations. The population was a little over 9,000. Bryant was better known as the ‘bedroom community’ due to it mostly being houses and not the huge booming town it is today. After I got out of the Navy, Pizza Hut was demolished and a gas station was put in it’s place. We still have Wendy’s and McDonald’s, but the grocery store went out of business due to Walmart moving in just down the street. The current population is over 16,000. Almost doubled from when I first left in 2000 for boot camp.

There’s construction going on presently, albeit they’re building another fast food restaurant…that we don’t need. There was a town meeting the other day for a millage tax, requesting money to build another middle school and elementary school, to upgrade the middle school’s cafeteria, to build more things that our ever growing town needs for its community, yet the millage tax didn’t pass. Guess the towns people don’t see the things we need here or they believe the new High School that was finished last summer was enough as far as educational buildings go.

This city literally has grown immensely within the last fifteen years, that someone like me would have a hard time recognizing it. When I had gotten out of the service, I moved to Colorado to attend college for aviation. I stayed there for almost 4 years, then moved to Oklahoma for a few years, then moved back here in late 2009. I had been gone for 9 years and was astonished as to how much my hometown had changed. The service roads weren’t even two way anymore. They had changed to one way service lanes…good thing my grandmother warned me about that or I may have made a huge error by going the wrong way.

With the current mayor we have, our city has built on a new Recreational Center with an indoor pool and more fast food buildings. What our city needs is less fast food and more buildings for the community. The new rec center was nice, though the indoor swimming pool is mostly for swim teams. I had taken my daughter swimming to the new indoor pool and there were five other parents, gathered in a five by ten area that was sectioned off for ‘free swimming’. Ten of us collided into one another in the tiny space, just to allow our kiddos some time to cool off from the hot summer heat.

The other swimming pool that we have here, is a tiny pool, yet it is overly crowded every summer. We do need a bigger pool that is open to the public and not used for swim teams. Yes, we have a splash pad, to which you have to pay for, but my daughter is terrified of it, due to her autism.

There aren’t enough things here for special needs children. Or I should say, there isn’t anything for special needs children at all, other than a couple of daycare centers. We could use more parks with playgrounds; we only have one playground. There is a park currently being built that is accessible for disabled children. It isn’t here in Bryant, but it’s a twenty minute drive, without traffic. It’s actually a first of its kind park, which is sad as we need more parks that are accessible for all walks of life, disabled or not. (Click here and here for details on that park)

I would love to see a park with outdoor exercise equipment. Gyms may have dropped their prices so that us poor people can go workout, but what about daycare services? There’s only one gym here with a small childcare service while mom works out, yet it’s pricey. Some parents may only have a few minutes to workout after work, yet that’s when they have their kiddos with them. So, why not have an ‘Adult Fitness Playground’ along with our kids playgrounds? Family’s would be more active, would they not? It’s free and open to the public, so there would be more people out there working out, getting healthy.

As a mayor, the community and environment should be the most important things to think about and not what goes in and out of our pockets.

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5th of July


The thing about having a major holiday in the middle of the week is that you can’t relax the following day as things need to get done. Whereas a holiday landing on a Friday calls for rest and relaxation the following day.

My daughter and I had a wonderful 4th of July. After a short family reunion with my dad’s side of the family I took her to Bishop Park’s Bryant Fest here in Bryant, Arkansas. I was extremely grateful that it wasn’t as hot as it was last years unbearable 104 degrees. Although it was a little hot, it was tolerable for both of us to walk around and find things to do.

I was happy to see that Bryant Fest had more to do this year than the last two years combined. It makes finding things to do on the fourth for those of us with kids a lot better. I’m not one for sitting at home and doing nothing when I know there’s fun to be around town, especially on or around holidays such as the 4th of July.

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Dublin and I walked around looking at the few carnival rides set up at Bryant Fest. She wanted to go down the slide, but no one was around to assist us. I’m guessing the carnival rides opened later. We ended up in the bouncy houses area where she got in one and jumped for about twenty minutes. She always picks the same one to jump in each year. It is always fun to watch her light up with excitement as she seems to jump endlessly until she’s ready to move on to something else, which happened to be the horses.

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Two years ago she just sat on a horse for a few minutes, she was too small to ride by herself and I was too big to ride the horses. Last year she and I rode a bigger horse together, she wouldn’t ride it unless I was riding with her, I didn’t mind, I love horses. This year she wanted to ride by herself. I was ecstatic for her to want to ride by herself and for her to enjoy doing so.

After the pony ride we walked over to the games where I got her a Nemo fish from popping balloons with darts and she won an inflatable dolphin from a simple child’s game, picking up a rubber ducky and looking at the number on the bottom. The dolphin is about as big as she is, but she wanted it. We started to head back to the car, but Dublin cried out to ride the ponies one more time, of course I gave in.

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We didn’t stay to see the firework display, kids with Autism don’t like the noise they make and I can understand. Though we did walk out into the front year to watch them for a few minutes. The trees seemed to have block most of the view, but what we saw was beautiful even though she wasn’t enjoying it. She was mostly reacting to the popping, fizzes, and crackles coming from our neighbors popping their own fireworks that I decided it was time to go inside and find something on TV to help distract her.

Pumpkin Bling and Fall Fest



Yesterday was our Fall Fest here in Bryant, Arkansas. My daughter helped me decorate pumpkins for the Pumpkin Bling Contest. First time I’ve ever heard of Pumpkin Blinging. I had to check it out on the City of Bryant’s Facebook page to see what that meant. They really didn’t have a preference  They said we could carve, paint, or bling it out. ‘Bling it out’ only meant to decorate it with sequins, gemstones, or glitter. Something interesting, I thought. I’m only use to painting or mostly carving, but I wasn’t going to carve a pumpkin with a two year old.

With some help of a friend, who directed me to her Pinterest page, i was able to figure out a few design ideas. I bought three pumpkins, some fabric paint, gemstones, gauze (for the mummy pumpkin), and paint brushes.

Dublin helped me paint her pumpkin and even tried, unsuccessfully, to eat her paint brush. Yes, I was watching her that closely as I know her all too well. After a few hours we had three nicely decorated pumpkins; which I left on the kitchen table to dry overnight.

The next day my daughter and I got up early. My parents, who brought along my eight year old nephew, followed me over to Bishop Park. The temp was 44 degrees F and the forecast called for rain. I put Dublin in her stroller and bundled her up with two blankets, put one of my extra jackets on my nephew since his was too thin, and we walked our way up to the Fall Fest booths.

The first thing we did was dropped off our pumpkins. There were only a few entered in the contest already. Some very cute ones in the youth category. Mother’s and mine were the only ones in the Adult category and there were a few and the last category, which was business.

It was still early yet and booths were still being set up. So, we stopped at the ones that were already up and ready. Some of them had games, which my nephew played for toys or candy. I had his and my daughter’s pictures drawn. Then later my nephew learn how to make a pen in the shape of an airplane. I had one made for Dublin in the shape of a star. It was interesting just watching how it was done. The guy heated up the pen, lays the certain shape down on a wheel, gets the pen out of the heater, and has about 3 seconds (because of the cold temp outside) to shape the pen.

There were a few ‘guess how much candy is in this jar’ contests. Some booths had things for us adults to enter to win this or that. There were many booths selling all kinds of arts and crafts and handmade jewelry. Almost every booth was giving away free samples of their products and/or candy. All and all there were 112 booths.

By the time the parade was over and the Bryant Hornet Cheerleaders came over to dance and shout cheers for the crowds, it had started to sprinkle. I told my dad that now would be the time to make and exit before we got stuck with everyone leaving at the same time.

On our way out we ran into Ronald McDonald and suddenly I was five years old again. I just had to have my picture taken with him. I was grinning so big my dimple was showing in my right cheek. We had finally made it safely to our cars just as the bottom fell. Now I don’t feel bad for making the decision for leaving when we did, as we would’ve all been soaked.

We probably spent forty minutes at Fall Fest, but we’re hoping next year the forecast will be somewhat drier. And if there’s a Pumpkin Bling Contest, I’m a bit more prepared this time. Happy October everyone!