February 21, 2017

Thumbs column

By Melinda Gassaway Guest columnist
This article was published February 15, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

Before getting into the up-and-down focus of today's column, here is an on-the-record wish that our readers' Valentine's Day was punctuated by an abundance of sweet treats and heartfelt greetings.

Speaking of greetings, Barbara Thexton, of Hot Springs, gives a double "Thumbs-down" to some annoying telemarketers via her recently submitted email to the hometown newspaper.

On Feb. 7, she wrote, "Down-turned digits to telemarketers 'Heather' and 'Rachel,' who call to represent card holders' services and want to save me money. Between them, they've phoned me four times today, beginning at 8:03 a.m.

"Even though I block their telephone numbers, they invent new numbers! They don't even have the courtesy to speak to me personally, but they treat me to a recording.

"I'm rather bored by the same recording. Who on earth would talk to a telemarketer? No Garland County dweller, I hope."

In a related item, here is a definite "Thumbs-down" to thoughtless persons who persist in carrying on cellphone conversations in restaurants, talking so loudly that they are a nuisance to other diners.

Such was the case recently when this writer and two friends were enjoying a nice lunch at a small eatery, trying to carry on a casual chat that was made all the more difficult by the next booth's occupant who was engaged in a lengthy verbal exchange over his mobile device.

Guess the so-called telephone etiquette does not include toning down one's voice when in the earshot of others.

On the other hand, here is a great big "Thumbs up" to the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts team that recently won the Dolphin Challenge, a northern Texas regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

Two ASMSA teams participated in the regional event and "Team A" now joins 24 other regional winners at the NOSB competition finals April 20-23 in Corvallis (Ore.) at Oregon State University.

The winning ASMSA team is coached by Lindsey Waddell, a chemistry and geoscience instructor at the school. As reported in staff writer Jay Bell's story in The Sentinel-Record's Monday, Feb. 13, edition, this is the first time in her five years as coach that one of Waddell's teams has earned a trip to the national competition.

Congratulations to her, the team members and everyone at ASMSA.

Here is a "Thumbs-up" and "Thanks" to Dolores Justus of Justus Fine Art Gallery from Lynn Simmons of Hot Springs. In a letter to this columnist, Simmons wrote, "Just when I was entering my application for acceptance to The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, my computer crashed so I mailed the completed package."

She decided she would also send the package to Justus, adding she admired the gallery owner's work and had spoken to her two years earlier, but they were not acquainted. In a follow-up telephone call, Simmons said Justus graciously told her she could not take on any more artists, but that since the museum in Little Rock wanted everything online, she was in the process of doing that for her.

"That's where the 'Thumbs-up' came to mind," Simmons added. "I did not know her or ask her to help and she is a very busy career woman. When I took her a token 'Thank you,' she greeted me with a smile sand said I'd been accepted by The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts for its online registry. Total shock, total surprise. It's official. I am an Arkansas woman artist.

"Thank you, Dolores Justus. I want to 'give back' and will teach two women who cannot afford classes if they bring their supplies and are serious. My phone number is 501-701-3103."

And, finally, "Thumbs up" to a women's basketball coach with Natural State ties whose own team's Big Monday (Feb. 13) achievement preceded the historic 100-game consecutive win mark reached by Geno Auriemma and his UConn Huskies when they beat South Carolina, 66-55.

Coach Karen Aston, an Arkansas native who played collegiately at UALR, and her No 8-ranked Texas Longhorns of the Big 12 bested No. 4 Florida State, 92-88, in double overtime, extending their win streak to 19, second to Connecticut's amazing run.

Kudos to Aston and Auriemma and their players for giving basketball fans many reasons to cheer these days.

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions, which should be submitted in writing with a name, telephone number and address for verification.

Editorial on 02/15/2017

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