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If one were to create a personal list of songs that might be applicable to these challenging times, my "golden oldies" might include ABBA's "S.O.S," the Beatles' "Help," and Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man."

However, the Mamas and the Papas' "Safe in My Garden," James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend," and Kitty Kallen's "Little Things Mean a Lot" are worthy of a "Thumbs-up" as more indicative of the spirit and hopefulness of Spa City residents.

By the same token, here is a salute and a "Thumbs-up" to U.S. Army Sgt. David Scudder, a Hot Springs native who last month was awarded a Purple Heart.

Scudder was wounded last September while serving with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, in Afghanistan.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-District 4, cited Scudder for "bravery in action." The Purple Heart recipient served six years in the U.S. Air Force before enlisting in the Army.

Let's also congratulate and give another "Thumbs-up" to Navy veteran Steve Johnson, who was the featured artist at Whittington Gallery during the Sept. 4 Gallery Walk.

Johnson has long had a passion for art and noted in a recent story in the hometown newspaper how the innovative pastime had been therapeutic for him after active duty and especially following eye cancer surgery in May 2019.

In 2016, he won a regional award at the Veterans Administration Creative Art Fair.

Kudos and "Thumbs-up" as well to Ariana Hays, 5, of Hot Springs, and now one of 500 worldwide children with Down syndrome selected to appear in the National Down Syndrome Society's annual Times Square Video presentation that appeared online earlier this month.

Her mother, Elena Hays, explained that the primary point of the video "is to show that people with Down syndrome are doing things like all of us are doing." According to a news release, the collective images promote the "value, acceptance and inclusion" of people with Down syndrome.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the video will begin celebratory nationwide "Buddy Walks" throughout the rest of the year. Hot Springs' Buddy Walk is now planned for Nov. 8 at 2837 Malvern Ave. and more information may be obtained by calling 800-221-4602.

And another "Thumbs-up" goes out to Mike Edgar and Marty Torres of the Arkansas Adult and Teen Challenge staff for rescuing a woman from her vehicle after it was stuck on a flooded bridge on Walnut Valley Road on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

After dropping her daughter off at school, the driver attempted to get through about 2 feet of water when her Chevrolet Trailblazer stalled. Fortunately, Edgar and Torres were on the scene and brought her to safety.

Meanwhile, Arkansas football fans are giving a big "Thumbs-up" to the Arkansas State Red Wolves after last Saturday's 35-31 fourth-quarter rally win over the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan, Kan.

Cheers to ASU coach Blake Anderson, offensive stars Jonathan Adams Jr. and Logan Bonner, and a stalwart Wolves' defense for the never-say-die effort in defeating a Power-5 gridiron opponent.

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 and home address for contact and verification purposes. This information is kept confidential.

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