Here’s your New Year’s Eve open line and an early video roundup. A family obligation calls.

If I can check back in, I will. Otherwise, holster those weapons. Pop corks not handguns to celebrate. Those bullets fall on the just and the unjust alike.


UPDATING WITH A FINAL WORD: I had to leave today for the funeral of Jeanne Gallman Akins, who would have turned 90 in March. She was the mother of former Arkansas Times colleague Judy Gallman, now living in Oakland. She was also a lifelong and dear friend of my mother-in-law, Martha Bass. My relationship with Ellen Bass, which began shortly after my arrival in Little Rock in 1973, landed me, by happy chance, in a nest of the extended circle of women who formed the Women’s Emergency Committee and the Panel of American Women and then became the backbone of just about every progressive organization in the city you could think of since, including today’s Arkansas WAND.  Msgr. John O’Donnell remarked that, though the audience at Holy Souls was small this afternoon, we need only close our eyes and think of the continuing spirits of the remarkable and large band of brave women who gave courage to others to act when the male leadership had failed during the school crisis. Some are still with us today — Jean Gordon and Pat Youngdahl to name  two at Jeanne’s funeral. Msgr. O’Donnell said he was proud to have known Jeanne and all the rest. Me, too.