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Thumbs column

by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | September 6, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Having just read Marie Benedict's "The Mystery of Mrs. Christie" -- an opus about the actual 11-day disappearance of the renowned author, Dame Agatha Christie, in 1926 -- let me share the following quote by one of her most popular characters, Hercule Poirot.

"It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within -- not without."

That said, let's begin today's digit doings column with a "Thumbs-up" to the apropos decision to honor the life and legacy of Willie Gilbert of the American Art Gallery during the September Gallery Walk.

Per a news release from the Hot Springs Cultural Alliance, "Gilbert, co-owner of the American Art Galley & Gifts, has been an integral force in shaping the creative culture of Hot Springs." Ann and Willie Gilbert began their artful trek together at the Arkansas Art Gallery, then moved on to the American Art Gallery & Gifts at 724 Central Ave.

That gallery is the last of the original ones in the 34-year-old Gallery Walk history. Congratulations to everyone associated with this celebratory remembrance and with the Gallery Walk events that add so much to the panache of the Spa City.

Speaking of another established tradition that is always a winner with locals and visitors alike, here's a "Thumbs-up" to the recent Hot Springs Baseball weekend that again drew big crowds to the convention center where four Hall of Famers spoke and attendees enjoyed the baseball card show.

Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison noted how the event also piqued interest from those who wanted to sign up to play baseball and softball at Majestic Park. He also pointed out that next year's baseball weekend will be Aug. 23-24.

Kudos to everyone involved in once again making this happening such a success.

A Hot Springs resident last weekend sent in this "Thumbs-up" award.

Via email, Key Ekey explained, "If I had four thumbs, I'd upturn them all for Jordan Freeman, a theater attendant at the Hot Springs 8 VIP Cinema. With glasses, hearing aids, and the straps from my mask all vying for space behind my ears, it shouldn't be a surprise that one of my hearing aids was eventually displaced.

"Unable to feel it around the seat cushions or get up and down from the floor myself to search under the seat, I requested Jordan's assistance when he arrived to clean the theater.

"He spent at least 10 minutes searching -- getting down on his stomach on the floor several times to look under the armrests and adjoining seats with a flashlight and his hands. He never gave up and eventually, the wayward hearing aid was found under the armrest between the two seats.

"His customer service went above -- and below -- the call of duty. Many thanks, Jordan."

Meanwhile, the following "Thumbs-up" was submitted to this columnist by another resident out of gratitude for a recent good deed.

In her email, Sharron Lloyd wrote, "On Tuesday, Aug. 29, some friends and I were enjoying a late breakfast at Mueller's Bistro & Bakery. We were laughing and chatting and having a lovely time.

"I made another stop on my way home and could not find the credit card I used to pay for my breakfast. I called Mueller's and the lady who answered the phone asked some specific questions and then said, "We have your card at the register." I immediately drove back to Mueller's and after showing my photo ID, retrieved my credit card.

"I told the cashier to thank my server for finding the card and turning it in. These two young women are to be applauded for their honesty and customer service. What a relief!"

And without question, a "Thumbs-up" is due the Savannah Walters Memorial Foundation, which will hold a Sept. 23 event for children with cancer and other childhood diseases.

The Harvest for Gold gathering at Family Farm, 18448 Highway 67, north of Malvern, will feature a variety of "autumn activities," according to Kim Walters, the foundation's CEO. Walters explained that several churches and school groups will set up booths for "face painting, tabletop s'mores, and snow cones." Safety, she said, will be a priority for all pediatric and immunocompromised children.

Persons who wish to take part should register at Organizations that wish to help sponsor the event or have a booth should contact the foundation through its Facebook page.

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

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