The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - News -

Hot Springs re­cently donned its win­ter coat, re­mind­ing us of sea­sonal changes that al­ter the re­sort area’s pace and per­spec­tive through­out the year.

While strains of Scots­man Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne” linger in the brisk Jan­uary air and re­mind us of “times gone by,” we look ahead to the prom­ises of each new day in 2013.

And Hot Springs has ev­ery rea­son to be op­ti­mistic about what is yet to come: En­trepreneur­s and com­pany lead­ers dis­cov­er­ing new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in our town; fam­i­lies find­ing a host of new friends and neigh­bors, plus out­stand­ing ed­u­ca­tional re­sources, for their chil­dren; an­nual vis­i­tors re­turn­ing to en­joy a range of new ac­tiv­i­ties and amuse­ments; re­tirees learn­ing about new ways to share their tal­ents and pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ences through com­mu­nity vol­un­teerism.

When Shake­speare penned his play, “The Tem­pest,” which in­cludes the oft-used metaphor, “What’s past is pro­logue,” he could not have imag­ined, per­haps, how a sim­ple, four-word phrase per­fectly de­scribes how his­tory sets the stage for the fu­ture.

Cer­tainly that is the case here. I vividly re­mem­ber tak­ing Sun­day af­ter­noon rides with my pa­ter­nal grand­mother and step-grand­fa­ther in their sil­ver Packard. On th­ese weekly ex­cur­sions, we trav­eled not so far as much as we tra­versed old ground to see what was new on the hori­zon. Both “grands” were de­lighted when they came across signs an­nounc­ing the open­ing of an eatery, a com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ment, or a res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment. But, they also took great plea­sure in giv­ing me the his­tory of cer­tain lo­cales, re­call­ing in fas­ci­nat­ing de­tail the peo­ple who helped set­tle this city and en­vi­sioned what it could be­come.

To­day, I find my­self say­ing to a new­comer, “That’s the Arkansas School for Math­e­mat­ics, Sciences, and the Arts, but it used to be St. Joseph’s Hospi­tal,” or “The Land­mark Build­ing is aptly named be­cause it’s on the site of the former Como Ho­tel,” or “I and sev­eral friends took drama lessons from Cissy and Charles Bey­ers on the sec­ond floor of the Culi­nary District build­ing” or “My par­ents and I once lived across the street (Wood­bine) from the Gar­land County Li­brary – but, my has it grown.”

Hot Springs’ land­scape is a slideshow in progress. Hot Springs’ tra­di­tions – thor­ough­bred horse rac­ing at Oak­lawn Park, the an­nual Choco­late Fes­ti­val to ben­e­fit the Chris­tian Char­i­ta­ble Med­i­cal Clinic, Fri­day night Gallery Walks, in­trigu­ing in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays at Mid-Amer­ica Sci­ence Mu­seum, eclec­tic mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment – give us verve and in­spi­ra­tion.

What­ever your dreams and as­pi­ra­tions, it’s time to re­new them with pas­sion.

Melinda B. Gas­s­away Ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor

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