Terry Hartwick, Director of North Little Rock Parks and Recreation and former North Little Rock Mayor, will appear on Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy this Friday at 2 p.m. on KABF 88.3 FM. As a lifelong resident of North Little Rock and graduate of North Little Rock High School, Hartwick has spent a great deal of his life serving his home town.
After graduation from high school, Hartwick attended the University of Central Arkansas and served in the United States Air Force. He is a Veteran of Foreign Wars.
Hartwick began his professional career as Sales Manager for Haverty Furniture Company in 1975 and was elected to the prestigious “Wall of Fame” for being one of the top 20 sales people nationwide for Haverty Stores.
In 1984, Hartwick was elected Mayor of the City of North Little Rock and served as Mayor until 1989. After serving as Mayor, Hartwick returned to Haverty’s as Manager of the North Little Rock division.
In 2001, Hartwick became President and CEO of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce where he served 15 successful years. Under Hartwick’s leadership, the North Little Rock Chamber has grown to become the third largest Chamber in the State of Arkansas. Hartwick’s focus in the Chamber was helping small businesses grow and be successful.
In addition to the Chamber’s growth, Hartwick has worked closely with the City to grow and improve North Little Rock. A few of the projects Hartwick has worked on include relocating the Arkansas Travelers to North Little Rock, the development of the Dickey-Stephens ballpark, the revitalization of downtown North Little Rock, and the expansion and bringing new businesses to the East McCain and Maumelle Boulevard areas.
On January 1, 2016, Hartwick was appointed as the new North Little Rock Parks and Recreation Director. The department has already expanded by adding three new rental facilities, upgraded the Burns Park Golf Course and equestrian parking, brought special events to North Little Rock to raise funds for One Heart Playground, an all-inclusive playground, and worked with staff to develop a new logo and bi-weekly newsletter.
[0:00:03.2] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the show to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.
Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
[0:00:16.8] KM: Thank you, Tim. Like Tim said, I’m Kerry McCoy and it’s time for me to get up in your business. For the next hour, my guest, Terry Hartwick, the director of North Little Rock Parks and Rec, and I will be getting up in the business of growing up in North Little Rock, supporting local businesses and ways you can enjoy some of the parks of Arkansas. We hope through our conversation and storytelling you will learn something, want to get involved, or be inspired to take action in your own life, and we’ll be answering questions via phone and email.
For me, the taking action began over 40 years ago when I founded Arkansas Flag & Banner. During the last four decades Arkansas Flag & Banner has grown and morphed from door-to-door sales, to telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales, and now relies heavily on the internet. Each change in sales strategy required a change in company thinking and procedures. My confidence, leadership knowledge and my company grew. My initial $400 investment now produces nearly four million in annual sales.
Each week on this show you’ll hear candid conversations between me and my guest about real world experiences on a variety of businesses and topics that I hope you’ll find interesting. Starting and running a business or organization is like so many things. It takes persistence, perseverance and patience. I worked part-time jobs for nine years before Arkansas Flag & Banner grew enough to support just me. It’s now grown so much that to operate efficiently we require 10 departments and 25 people to maintain them. Thus, reminding us all again that small businesses are not only the fuel of our economic engine, but also impact and empower people’s lives.
Before we start, I want to introduce you to the people at the table. We have my technician, Tim, who’ll be running the board and taking your calls. Say hello, Tim.
[0:02:08.4] TB: Hello, Tim.
[0:02:09.0] KM: And we have a new technician, Jessie, today. He’s going to get us on two channels so we’ll have better editing. Say hello, Jessie.
[0:02:16.5] J: Hello.
[0:02:18.5] KM: My guest today is lifelong resident of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Mr. Terry Hartwick. Terry graduated from North Little Rock High School, attended the University of Central Arkansas, served in the United States Air Force and is a veteran of foreign wars. In 1984 Terry ran and was elected Mayor of his hometown, North Little Rock. Later in 2001 Terry became the president and CEO of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce where his focus was helping small businesses grow and be successful.
Under his tenure at the Chamber, the Chamber grew to become the third largest in the state. During his time Terry worked closely with the city on projects such as relocating the Arkansas Travelers baseball team, to the new Dickey-Stephens Ballpark, revitalization of downtown and the expansion of businesses to East McCain and Mall Mail Boulevard areas.
After 15 years with the Chamber, Terry made yet another career move as he became the director of North Little Rock Parks and Rec. Since taking this position, in 2016, he’s added three new rental facilities, upgraded Burns Park Golf Course and equestrian parking, brought special events to raise funds for One Heart Playground, a playground made accessible for children and parents with special needs, and worked with his staff to develop a new logo and a biweekly newsletter.
[0:03:45.4] TH: Wow!
[0:03:46.5] KM: You sound good. It’s a pleasure to welcome to the table the loyal and competent Mr. Terry Hartwick.
[0:03:52.3] TH: Hey, how are you doing? Good to be here. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
[0:03:55.4] KM: You’re welcome. We’re both from North Little Rock. We’ve been in here reminiscing about North Little Rock.
[0:04:00.5] TH: Yeah, I can remember back in the old days for sure.
[0:04:03.1] KM: It’s good. It was good to grow up in North Little Rock. You know why they call North Little Rock dog town? I’m sure you do.
[0:04:08.1] TH: Yeah, I know why.
[0:04:09.3] KM: Tell everybody.
[0:04:09.7] TH: North Little Rock was the [inaudible 0:04:11.1] Little Rock and that time we were trying to succeed and create our own town. When Little Rock people found about it they kind of took the dogs that they picked up and brought them to North Little Rock and put them on our side of the river.
[0:04:24.8] KM: We didn’t have any leash loss.
[0:04:26.3] TH: We didn’t have any leash loss then. Long story short it was just kind of a payback for Little Rock for us trying to become our own city. Anyway, it’s been good.
[0:04:33.4] KM: You know, I love that story because we had no leash loss and it harkens back to that part in the movie Tequila Mockingbird.
[0:04:42.5] TH: Yeah. If you remember, you may not, but when I was a mayor we actually buried Dog Town. We had actually a cemetery plaque or whatever you call it and it as in city hall and it says, “Here lies Dog Town.” Jackie [inaudible 0:04:57.1] we had in city hall for a long time. We buried Dog Town back in those days.
Nowadays, we kind of like saying [inaudible 0:05:03.3] Dog Town.
[0:05:05.4] KM: I know. I’d agree. It’s come full circle. You said that you added three new rental facilities. What does that mean?
[0:05:14.1] TH: We had a place called Stone Links. It was a golf school and the pro shop had closed up and it was just lying there in ruins. What I did, I took Stone Links to the pro shop and made it a hospitality house. Now we’ve rented out to many people from anywhere from birthday parties, to graduation parties, to wedding receptions, to so on. In fact, last week, we had over 2,000 there that had Conquer the Gauntlet. It was a thing where you climb over, I guess, fences, crawl through mud and then you run a course for about two miles. It’s well served for the east end of our town. They had nothing to go to.
[0:05:45.8] KM: It’s for the kids.
[0:05:47.1] TH: Well, kids, adults, anybody. You’d be surprised, we’ve had birthday parties as I’ve said, receptions, wedding receptions, showers. It has been redone completely. It’s on the east end of our town. It was just lying there kind of like nothing was going on, so we took it and I will say this year we probably do $2,100 worth of rentals by that one unit.
Then I went to the Heritage Room, the golf course.
[0:06:12.4] KM: Where?
[0:06:12.5] TH: The Heritage Room. We called it the Heritage Room, mainly because we’ve named it after Glen Day. He won the Heritage Classic.
[0:06:17.2] KM: Oh, I get you.
[0:06:18.2] TH: It’s at the golf course, but it was a ruined old pro shop. What we’ve done now is kind of the same thing. We’ve taken it and cleaned it up, made it where you would be proud to go into it. Again, it gives people in our city more opportunities to rent places, because it’s tough. If you’re trying to find a place that, like I said, for birthday parties, wedding receptions, whatever, just even a sales meeting. Where do you go that it didn’t cost you $400? You come to the park. We can rent that to you for about $200. The third one is I took the old river half done. It used to be a bike shop and it was completely destroyed. It’s right on the river. Overlooks the Arkansas River, and we did the same thing to it and it rents two to three times over the weekend. In fact, last week they had a cotillion there.
[0:07:02.8] KM: Who manages these?
[0:07:05.0] TH: We do it through the parks now. You call in the parks and say, “I’d like to have a room rented,” and we go, “Here’s your choice.” Plus, we still have the Hospitality House out there where everybody has probably been to at one time or another.
[0:07:15.6] KM: Where?
[0:07:16.5] TH: in Burns Park. Actually, in Burns Park. It will hold about 200 people. Many, many events we’ve had there, but now we have opportunities. If you live in the east end, you go, “You got anything out here closer for my people?” Now, we got Stone Links. Now, we got one in the river.
[0:07:30.7] KM: Where was the third that you said —
[0:07:31.9] TH: The Heritage Room.
[0:07:32.8] KM: Where is that one?
[0:07:33.3] TH: That’s actually in the golf course.
[0:07:36.6] KM: The same golf course.
[0:07:37.2] TH: Same golf course, same Burns Park. We just took an old building and redid it and it is rented — All of these are rented two or three time a week usually.
[0:07:44.1] KM: Oh, it’s the golf course at Burns Park.
[0:07:45.7] TH: Yes, ma’am.
[0:07:46.4] KM: Okay.
[0:07:46.5] TH: Yeah, Kerry. Yes, ma’am.
[0:07:49.5] KM: Yes, son.
[0:07:51.1] TH: Alright. Yeah, we’ve taken those. They are all renting quite heavily and it’s very much used and it’s something that I saw a need for it and, guess what? People are taking advantage of it.
[0:08:04.1] KM: You had the property already.
[0:08:05.8] TH: Yeah, we did. It was sitting there in ruins, so we fixed them up, made it pretty.
[0:08:09.4] KM: How do people find out about it if they want to rent it?
[0:08:14.2] TH: What happens if people will call asking for the Hospitality House, but now there’s enough people that go — Well, the Hospitality is full. What we just do is like anybody else, we’d go, “Would you consider going to the golf course? We have a place there that will hold 80. We got a place on Riverfront that will hold 120.” They’d go, “Riverfront?” “Yeah, [inaudible 0:08:31.8].” They’ll come by and get a key or they’ll go to the golf course and we’re going to show them, and after we show them, they’re usually hooked.
[0:08:38.3] KM: Is it online? You can go and learn about it online at — What? North Little Rock Parks and —
[0:08:42.9] TH: Parks and Rec, yeah.
[0:08:44.0] KM: Northlittlerockparkandrec.com or .gov.
[0:08:45.9] TH: It’s .gov, yeah. nlr.ar.gov.
[0:08:50.8] KM: Oh, okay. Go there and learn about the opportunities. Then you can call and find out if they’re available and the people will help you figure out if one’s full, to use another one. That’s good. What about this Equestrian Parking? Is that for horses?
[0:09:04.5] TH: Yes. What happened, I went out there and there was a lady, her name is Lee Bell, and Lee has been a friend of mine for — Oh, gosh! Many, many years. She loves horses. She’s just a horse freak.
Well, she come to me and said, “Terry, if you have three or four trailers and you have your horses, they were sitting on kind of a slanted hill, it’d got kind of tough.” I said, “Let me just fix that.” What we’ve done, we’ve moved the equestrian trail where you go and park and made of flat spot. Where before you could only put maybe three or four trailers, now we have 20 and they’re flat and it’s easy for women to get on it. We have stepping stools [inaudible 0:09:42.3] jump on the horse. We just kind of made it better and easier. You just got to look at what people need and with a little ingenuity and little people saying, “Yes, you can go do things that are so simple.” We have other areas they could park, that all it took, is a new parking area.
[0:09:58.8] KM: Is that in Burns Park?
[0:09:59.6] TH: In Burns Park too.
[0:10:00.5] KM: If you want to come ride your horse, you can trailer it at Burns Park and you can ride it.
[0:10:04.8] TH: Yeah. There’re trails after trails after trails after trails, and it’s really neat.
[0:10:11.8] KM: It’s alongside the river.
[0:10:13.9] TH: They could get down by the side of the river. Yeah, you can be up in the mountains or you can be — We got some pretty good sized mountains up there in Burns Park, [inaudible 0:10:20.9] mountains, hills I’d guess you’d say. In fact, one of my new plans for next year is making a mountain biking trail. Mountain biking has become very, very popular. I’ll probably going to hire a firm in this next year to look what it takes to a mountain biking trail in and clean up some of the trails [inaudible 0:10:36.9] make them better. I saw your son shaking his head. Mountain bike is a big thing.
[0:10:42.8] KM: You like that.
[0:10:43.8] TH: Yeah. You shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not just his age. You got kids that are 9, 10, 11 years right now mountain biking. Burns Park to me is a hidden jewel. Now, [inaudible 0:10:56.0] mayor and it was there, and then I went parks and rec, but when Joe, the mayor, gave me the opportunity to run parks, at first I went, “Let’s you and I talk about this to see I want to do it.” Then the more I looked at what the opportunities where, I went this, “This is brand new. We could do things that no one else has done, such as the one at Heart Park.” Here I run probably one of the second largest municipal parks in the world.
[0:11:20.1] KM: Are you talking about Burns Park?
[0:11:20.7] TH: Yeah, Burns Park. [inaudible 0:11:21.8] Burns Park. I’ve got 35 community parks too in our city. There’s always like [inaudible 0:11:28.7] and there’s Crestwood. What I found out is we didn’t have anything for what I call special needs. Here we are, we had that opening. I had a sinkhole back at June. We just opened last week.
[0:11:43.4] KM: What? Now?
[0:11:44.6] TH: Well, we built it two days before I was about to open what we call One Heart Park. It has sinkholes there.
[0:11:54.1] KM: That was unforeseen.
[0:11:54.6] TH: You’re telling me. They call me out there and the first thing I’ve seen is this [inaudible 0:12:00.5] plate pad is very experience, but I had them cut it open. When we cut it open there was actually three and four foot holes all in the playground area. What we did, I’ve just had to think it out and get back and what I said, “Let’s take the equipment down. Let’s dig it out and do it right and do it over.” We did and just last Thursday we had probably 300 people showed up. What gets you? I may tear up, but people — There was a man 30 years old in a wheelchair and he says, “I’ve been waiting for something like this for 30 years so I could do the things that other kids didn’t.” Works a slide. Just ride something, get in a little swing, because they don’t — People with special needs don’t have this, and you got to know that what I found out with this — I got this from Emma. If everybody knows Emma, she’s four years old [inaudible 0:12:56.4], she is special.
When I saw her first time I kind of got to thinking, “How is her mother and father swing with her? How do they put her on a slide? How do they interact?” That’s when I kind of took it on and said, “We’re going to make one of these.”
[0:13:12.3] KM: Who’s Emma?
[0:13:13.4] TH: Emma is a four year old little girl who has Turner syndrome, and she belongs to Jerilyn and Kenny Wasson. If you go online and pick up Emma, she has like 5,000 or 6,000 followers. She drew me a heart, and that’s why we call it One Heart Park.
[0:13:29.8] KM: Is she local?
[0:13:29.6] TH: Mm-hmm.
[0:13:30.8] KM: She’s from Arkansas?
[0:13:31.5] TH: She’s from North Little Rock. She really is.
[0:13:33.1] KM: I wish I could see her face.
[0:13:35.2] TH: It was in the paper last week. Long story short, she is a special young lady. The first time I met her, I was talking to her brother and father and she can hear, but it’s tough for her to communicate, but she was humming You Are My Sunshine. I got to listen to her. She was singing. She’s special. There’s a lot of special ones just like her.
[0:13:58.5] KM: She named the park.
[0:13:59.9] TH: Well, we were going to call it Emma’s park, but I [inaudible 0:14:03.0] talk about it. It’s more than just Emma out there. There is so many people — Let’s say you’re an older gentleman and you’re in a wheelchair or you can’t move. How do you play with your grandchildren? It’s not just for Emma’s, it’s also for older people. I call it a universal park now, because it’s for so many people. We built it, and it’s [inaudible 0:14:28.0] neat.
[0:14:29.5] KM: And it’s high overdue, time overdue, isn’t it?
[0:14:32.9] TH: Yeah. I’m very proud of that. I guess when Joe — I couldn’t talk [inaudible 0:14:37.5], because I’d always tear up. It’s a special friend. It really is.
[0:14:44.7] KM: We’re going to talk about it again at the end of the program, because I want everybody to realize it’s out there and it’s worth saying all over again at the end of the program. This is a great place to take a break. When we come back we’ll talk more with Terry Hartwick, director of parks and rec in North Little Rock, Arkansas. We’ll find out about the park facilities and activities that you might want to try out. I’ll ask him about his stent in the U.S. Air Force and what he knows about Vietnam. He was there.
[0:15:11.2] TB: You are listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. If you miss any part of this show, a podcast will be made available next week at flagandbanner.com’s website. If you prefer to listen on iTunes, YouTube or Blog Talk, you’ll find those links there as well. Lots of listening options.
[0:15:42.5] KM: You’re listening to Up In Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. My guest today is Terry Hartwick, director of parks and rec in North Little Rock, Arkansas. While we were on break we played the music from — What was that from, Tim?
[0:15:53.6] TB: The show parks and rec.
[0:15:54.6] KM: The show parks and rec. Do you watch that show, Terry?
[0:15:58.6] TH: I’ve seen it, but I don’t watch it all the time, but I’ve seen it. It’s pretty neat.
[0:16:03.3] KM: It may be your life now.
[0:16:04.9] TH: No.
[0:16:05.0] KM: No?
[0:16:05.2] TH: I tease Joe Smith, our mayor. I said three years, three months, and right now seven days.
[0:16:11.7] KM: That’s how long you’ve been there?
[0:16:12.3] TH: No, that’s how long I got left.
[0:16:14.4] KM: Oh! Okay. What?
[0:16:18.1] TH: You and I are going out together.
[0:16:19.8] KM: You’re? Let’s learn about you. AFB is currently sponsoring the AETN documentary about the Vietnam War. You are the right age to remember it. Can you tell us about your involvement?
[0:16:33.0] TH: Well, my involvement was — I’ll start back when I was about 17 years old. I’m from Rose City. We didn’t have a lot of money, so I went to what you call ASTC then.
[0:16:43.0] KM: What’s ASTC?
[0:16:43.4] TH: Arkansas State Teachers College.
[0:16:45.6] KM: Yeah.
[0:16:45.8] TH: That became [inaudible 0:16:47.6], as you say. I went there and got playing around too much like usual, like a lot of us I lost my grades. Back then if you lost your grades you better find something, maybe Air Force or you were going to drafted in the Army. I went Air Force. Went through basic training, got in in ’67, came out in ’68 went to [inaudible 0:17:08.2] and next thing you know I’m being shipped to what they call an isolated tour, which was Southeast Asia.
I can admit in the Air Force, what I saw was not near what you’re seeing no TV. I was insulated from it. We did what we call set teams that throw the planes. I guarded a KC135 which fuels your B52. Did I see action? No, I saw people, as close to people who saw the action. That’s the best way to put it.
I can tell you though, all of us were young. We were very young guys. Most of us 17, 18 years old. Just left home. I never got on a plane before till I got on one at Adam’s Field and took off to San Anton. Then going to — We went to Northwest [inaudible 0:17:54.6] before we flew in to our base of operations. But we were young. When I say young, it’s not like the people today. They’ve got families. They’ve got wives. They’ve got kids. I don’t know how they do it. I really don’t.
We take our hat off to these people [inaudible 0:18:12.6] us young, full of energy. We didn’t fear anything. We didn’t know what fear was. I can tell you though, first month and the last month I was there on my 13th month tour what you served. The first month was always the craziest. You’re new, you’re kind of scared. Well, you are scared. In the last month, if you’re there, you’re saying, “I almost made it, so don’t screw it up now.”
Vietnam was kind of crazy time. When we came back from the United States, I remember [inaudible 0:18:47.7] my hair is not that long, but I’ve tried to grow it longer back then because that was the fad and we’d take gel and put it on our hats and stick it on with their hats and put our hats down low so we could look like we were part of the in-crowd when we came back.
Vietnam was a time where young people went to fight. Didn’t always know what they were fishing for. Some of them were drafted, didn’t even believed in war, but they gave their all. Had some good friends that gave their all. I was lucky. I served my 13 months. Came back to United States and gave another 2-1/2 years and probably the smartest thing I ever did was join the service at that time. I was not mature enough to get grades. As I told you, I lost my grades, but I can remember walking on KC135s and I could remember walking — In fact, I was reading an article in the SR71 the other day, that’s what they call that, the Blackbird they called it and fly 80,000 feet and take a picture of a golf ball and you’ll read the label. I guarded that.
I guess I’m saying, but the friends you made were really special. I could remember we’re guarding [inaudible 0:20:00.4] Indian Ocean I guess it was, yes. Between us and China, and it was cold. You wouldn’t think it’d get colder, but it gets cold and rainy and it rains and rains and rains and rains. I remember this guy named [inaudible 0:20:13.3]. We called him Poo. He was from Madison, Wisconsin. It’s so called we slept together and didn’t think a thing about a thing. We’re hugging each other. It was something else. But you have friends — It was called war. You just didn’t know it was war. [inaudible 0:20:29.6] There were some guys that saw a lot more than I saw and I take my hat off to them.
Like I said, I lost a lot of friends.
[0:20:37.0] KM: Did you lose some friends?
[0:20:37.3] TH: Yeah. You asked me if I watched it. I don’t know.
[0:20:44.3] KM: The documentary?
[0:20:44.5] TH: Yeah. Even when we talk about Vietnam. I’ve never talked it very much. It’s just what it was. Did I see anything big? I was lucky. I didn’t, but there was a lot of guys that I saw back. One time we were sitting in a C130 and the bay was done and I kind of clogged up in it, thought, “What is this?” Dark, and it was body bags. It was body bags after body bags laying there.
Anyway, it is what it is and it’s a horrible time, but I very seldom watch things like that. I hardly ever talked about it to my kids. It’s just something you did and you came back and you go forward.
[0:21:31.1] KM: My father was a prisoner of war in World War II and I didn’t know about it years before he finally started talking about it, but it did. It took years and years and years before he was ready to talk about it.
[0:21:44.9] TH: Yeah. I can think of Michael Griffin from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. If you think about Michael, he was one of these guys that gotten a service that probably never had a girlfriend. We get over there and the first thing you’re seeing is you’d see some girls at R&R. Next thing you know he goes AWOL.
[0:22:06.6] KM: What?
[0:22:07.8] TH: I remember walking around two planes and taking [inaudible 0:22:14.8], because if he hadn’t, I took his place because I didn’t want to get caught. He finally got caught [inaudible 0:22:19.8] these girls. You hear stories like that all the time. We were young. Some of them had never dated before. You got to remember.
I remember, I think the older guy I remember during my basic training was only 19. I was 17, about to be — No, I was 18 about to be 19. We’re also young and you go over there. I remember one guy from Texas [inaudible 0:22:41.2] and he’s sitting there and drinking a bottle of vodka. You’re also young, you’re going through emotions and all you do is support each other. That’s the biggest thing I’d take, were the friends I’ve made. It’s that time in my life. In fact, a lot of guys were Googling this said, “I see you — Is this Terry Hartwick that was at CCK?” Yeah. Where was it? [inaudible 0:23:03.8]. Yeah. Then they’ll see me. They remember. We all remember.
[0:23:08.7] KM: Y’all are connected through the internet.
[0:23:11.6] TH: Yeah. I think a lot of people have connected through me. Like I said, I think they’ll be sitting there trying to think of the old days. This guy named Don Johnson just texted me the other day and says, “Is this Terry Hartwick that was in CCK?” He’s talking about, “Remember when you did this?” I’m going, “Man! You got a good memory, because I don’t remember any of it.” He knew the color of my car and everything back then when I was at — [inaudible 0:23:33.8]. Excuse me, not in Amsterdam. They get a hold of you [inaudible 0:23:39.9]. We have a special time.
[0:23:40.7] KM: Y’all may have to have a reunion soon.
[0:23:43.2] TH: [inaudible 0:23:43.1] might probably be dead and gone, but it gets to that time.
[0:23:47.3] KM: When you came back, you went to work at Havertys Furniture, selling furniture?
[0:23:52.2] TH: Right after that. When I came back, my dad died soon. I kind of took his job. He was an insurance man, but I didn’t like it. Then I remember a guy named OJ [inaudible 0:24:04.1], very well thought off man. He said, “Terry, go work for a big company. Get to work for a big company.” [inaudible 0:24:10.5]. Still alive, I still talk to him at least once a month.
[0:24:16.3] KM: He’s a mentor of yours?
[0:24:17.6] TH: Yeah, he became one. He was [inaudible 0:24:18.5]. He made me better than I wanted to be. When you sit there and think, “Well, I’m going home. It’s 9:00. I’m through selling furniture.” Some guys walked out. Me, I’d see a lampshade that’s [inaudible 0:24:32.3] and I’d go back in and open it up and fix it, because of him. He would get you. He made better than I want to be.
[0:24:44.2] KM: Well you were at the top 20th salesman in the nation? I don’t think it was all him. I think you’re pretty ambitious. I can always — I always know people that are going to make a difference, because walk by a trashcan and see a piece of paper on the floor and they —
[0:25:04.1] TH: That’s my motto. Have you heard that before?
[0:25:06.0] KM: No!
[0:25:07.1] TH: What made you say that?
[0:25:08.8] KM: Nothing. ESP.
[0:25:12.3] TH: Yeah, he made me better than I wanted to be, because [inaudible 0:25:16.1]. You do the extra. I used to get — When I was at the Chamber, I’d give speeches to all these kids. What happened, I was in the mayor’s office and there’s this young man, walked up and I didn’t know how he got there. He says, “Are you hiring?” I went, “No.” I’m a little bit rude. I don’t know how you got there.
I’m at the window looking out over Maine Street and I looked up and he bent over and picked up a piece of paper. I talked to Don [inaudible 0:25:44.9]. I said, “Don, go get that guy. Go get him right there. There he is.” Don brought him back hand cuffed. I went, “No! No! No! No! No! Don’t do that.”
Make a long story short, I said, “Do you want a job? You’d got one then.” He didn’t understand why. I said, “Well, up and down Maine Street people have been walking all day long and that piece of paper has been blowing and you wound up, picked it up and threw it in the trash. Okay?” I hired me.
Here’s to take it from there to my son, Darrel. I’d see Darrel, and Darrel [inaudible 0:26:19.4] three years in North Little Rock, went on to try to be a Razorback, but I could [inaudible 0:26:23.5] him, “Darrel! Pick up the paper,” which meant do the extra. Don’t just sit there. Why not talk to these kids in high school, I go, “I know you got to do your homework. I know you’ve got to call your girlfriend. I know you’re going to go do something else. When you think you can’t do anything else, guess what? You can’t.”
[0:26:46.2] KM: Do one more thing.
[0:26:47.4] TH: Yeah, pick up the paper.
[0:26:49.4] KM: I cannot believe I mentioned that. Yup.
Then, after Havertys, you decided to quit and go to —
[0:26:58.5] TB: Mayor.
[0:26:59.7] KM: Yeah, I know. What made you decide to run for mayor?
[0:27:02.7] TH: [inaudible 0:27:02.4]. I don’t know. I’ll tell you, me and my brother started a little company and it was [inaudible 0:27:09.9]. Well, we weren’t part of the good old guys. We bought a bond. We bought the equipment. We’re going to clean this building. Next thing you know, they take it from us. I got mad. I’m sorry.
[0:27:24.3] KM: You got mad because they were going to take it from you?
[0:27:25.9] TH: Yeah, they took the [inaudible 0:27:26.5]. Anyway, I went there next meeting, at the council meeting, I said, “My name is Terry Hartwick and I want to run for mayor.”
Every morning I’d get up and go visit businesses, [inaudible 0:27:39.0]. I’d walk there in a neighborhood and, guess what?
[0:27:43.1] KM: What?
[0:27:44.0] TH: I got elected.
[0:27:45.4] KM: I also know you got elected, because you were extremely handsome and still are.
[0:27:50.3] TH: Thanks. A lot of people don’t think that, but — I’m sorry. I’m tearing up. This brings back to me memories about —
[0:27:55.3] KM: I know. I’m dragging your through the old time. We’ve been through Vietnam, we’ve been through Emma’s Park. You are giving me a great interview. I wish everybody could see how emotionally you are about the things you’re passionate about. What was the most challenging about being a mayor?
[0:28:11.4] TH: Learning that nobody means it personal. I remember one guy calling up, he said, “I’ve put my trash in your doorstep.” As you all remember [inaudible 0:28:20.6] in the middle of that thing. She was the majorette. I was the mayor. Probably the best thing ever happened. Long story short —
[0:28:29.8] KM: [inaudible 0:28:30.5] because you were the mayor?
[0:28:32.2] TH: She was working for me downstairs at that time.
[0:28:33.9] KM: Oh! That would have made the newspaper.
[0:28:35.6] TH: It did. If you go back, there’s many, many, many, many, many newspapers. In fact, [inaudible 0:28:41.7] he’s calling me mayor heartthrob and the majorette. What is the toughest thing? I don’t think the mayor was tough. I enjoyed people. Even if you’re fuzzing at me, I can understand that because usually you’re calling a problem, and I always say a problem is a chance for me to pick up that paper or a problem was a chance for me to do good.
I didn’t mind it. I really enjoyed it. I still embraced people. I went to the Chamber and same thing. It’s really very political. I embrace it. If you’ve got a problem, if you’re got something wrong with the park and you sit there and don’t tell me, that’s not the right way. I want you to tell me, so give me a chance to fix it. Don’t just sit there and talk about Terry. [inaudible 0:29:23.4]. Just give me a chance to fix it, and if I don’t, after that, then you get a chance to pitch it.
[0:29:31.5] KM: There is no way to get anything done if your ego comes first.
[0:29:36.0] TH: No. I always say, a lot of people — I remember when I got elected, it was funny. You’d go from Terry to mayor, everybody’s mayor, your honor, your mayor, your mayor. I just said, “Guys, I’m Terry. I’ll be Terry long after I’m mayor.” It was easy to say Terry.
[0:29:51.5] KM: Did you run a second time?
[0:29:52.8] TH: I did. Pat Hayes has beaten me. In fact, Pat Hayes has now became very close friend. In fact, I call him one of my best friends. He and I got very, very close. I think he was an unbelievable good mayor. I think Joe Smith is unbelievable. We were just different. Back then when I ran, it was [inaudible 0:30:09.3] and my CFO and two people. We get together in the morning. I always remember, and I’ll tell this funny story. Coach Burnett was the principal of high school. A lot of people, maybe your listener remember him. He was very big.
I remember he’s walk down the hallway and all those guys would just backup.
[0:30:28.1] KM: Why?
[0:30:28.7] TH: Because he was big. He would [inaudible 0:30:31.6]. I get elected and he was on my staff. He was already public works director. Everyday we’d go in and we’d talk about roads we’re going to fix, ditches we’re going to do and I’d sit there and he’d be saying, I’d say, “Yes, sir,” and yes, sir every time he’d say something, he said yes, sir.
After about the first month, he called and said, “Can I come and speak to you?” I went, “Yes, sir.” He came in there and he said, “You do know I work for you now.” “Yes, sir. I do.” I go back to high school, so always, “Yes, sir, Mr. Burnet. Yes, sir.” I love that story.
[0:31:06.7] KM: What was it like to lose?
[0:31:10.8] TH: Oh, at the time it’s hard because [inaudible 0:31:13.4] I’ve talked about this. Some of the friends you had was — They’re not your friends as close you were. Frank Fletcher is still very close to me. Sam [inaudible 0:31:22.5], Bud Matthews. A lot of people who are close to you are still very close. I have a great — I have a very good support group, but there are those people, but you can’t get mad at them, because a lot of them are making their living through the city. A lot of stayed loyal to me when they got a new mayor, and Pat and, like I said, became very close.
When I took over the Chamber, we had 288 members. When I had, we had 16. If you think about it, Pat could have probably said, “I want Terry there,” and they probably wouldn’t hire me. He didn’t, and so with that, with Caterpillar to Dickie Stevensfield. I could go on and on. For me, I don’t know if you know it, but I was mayor we started [inaudible 0:32:05.2], me and David Jones did.
[0:32:07.3] KM: Oh, I didn’t know that.
[0:32:08.6] TH: [inaudible 0:32:08.0] was just nothing. We used to have what you call [inaudible 0:32:11.8].
[0:32:12.7] KM: That’s my father’s. You better not say anything about it.
[0:32:14.9] TH: A1?
[0:32:15.3] KM: Mr. Crows is my father.
[0:32:16.5] TH: Oh! My goodness! What I call it was — scoop and run is what I used to call it.
[0:32:22.0] KM: Oh! We could tell you stories. I guess you could tell me stories. I wish I really hadn’t busted out on that and let you tell me some stories.
[0:32:28.5] TH: No. I always thought A1 was good, but I remember a long time ago you’re not [inaudible 0:32:32.5], you’re not saving lives on the street. [inaudible 0:32:34.3] does make a difference when you’re right there. Me and David Jones got together and he says, “I’ll do this if [inaudible 0:32:40.7]. I actually got — And we took on this. I’m very proud of that one too.
[0:32:47.2] KM: You should be. This is another great place to take a break, and when we come back we’re going to talk about you moving from the mayor’s office to the Chamber of Commerce and all the things you kind of touched on just a minute ago. We’ve already talked about your Air Force stent.
[0:33:02.9] TB: Alright, you’re listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. If you missed any part of this show, a podcast will be available next week at flagandbanner.com’s website. If you prefer listening on iTunes, YouTube or BlogTalk, you’ll find those links there as well. Lots of listening options. We’ll be right back.
[0:33:35.0] KM: You’re listening to Up In Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. My guest today is Terry Hartwick, director of parks and rec in the North Little Rock, Arkansas. If you’ve got questions or comments for my guest or me, this is your chance to call.
[0:33:46.6] TB: The number is 501-433-0088.
[0:33:51.6] KM: Or you can email me at —
[0:33:53.6] TB: The email is email@example.com.
[0:33:57.3] KM: And I am tweeting, so if you want to tweet me, you can tweet at @askkerrymccoy, and we’re using the #upyourbusiness. Now you lost to Patrick Hayes, the mayorship. Did you get appointed to the Chamber of Commerce?
[0:34:13.2] TH: No. Really, I went back to Havertys for a few years. I already did, and worked at Havertys, granted the North Little Rock operation. I always thought I’d probably run a Havertys store someday, and then me and my wife, we started building subdivisions and we owned storage units. We owned probably 1,300 —
[0:34:34.9] KM: That was a good business back then. I don’t know if it still is —
[0:34:37.3] TH: It still is. We still have a couple. That would be hashed out soon, I’m sure. Yeah, we did those things. Long story short, we started expanding doing the things. But then they asked me to move, and I said — For another Havertys. I went, “Alright. Give me Pensacola.” They went, “We’ll give another one.” I said, “Pensacola.”
[0:35:00.3] KM: Hawaii.
[0:35:00.2] TH: Oh, yeah. No, they won’t have Hawaii. [inaudible 0:35:00.2] Pensacola, fine. They looked at me and said, “You’re going to back to sales floor .” They’ve demoted me. Well, you’re getting that chained and you plug it up. I went back the sales floor, but at that time I knew I was going to make a different decision.
I was reading the paper, North Little Rock was trying to hire a Chamber of Commerce president, and I remember they kind of had a guy, person [inaudible 0:35:26.8]. I went to see Rick Ashley and Bob Birch and some of the guys who are very influential I would say in North Little Rock, and still are, and looked at them and said, “I deserve an interview.” They went, “Okay.”
I remember going to that committee [inaudible 0:35:45.2], I can still see their face. All I told them was I just came as salesman again, says, “If you want the Chamber to be bigger than your expectations, I’m your guy, and I’m going to make it something that people can be proud of or going to do things that you’ve never seen or heard. If you remember, I put on a state basketball championships.”
[0:36:04.7] KM: Oh! I forgot about that.
[0:36:06.1] TH: Yeah, we did those.
[0:36:07.3] KM: With big important people.
[0:36:08.3] TH: Oh, yeah. Then I still do the tip off if you remember. We had the RV Convention where I had over a thousand RVs all over North Little Rock. Make a long story — I thought trying to think outside the box. People — I didn’t want you to join the chamber and slap you on the back, see you next year. I want you to get something out of it to see that I could get businesses from being part of this chamber, and that’s still my philosophy.
If you don’t know, we started our own HIPC program which gave people health insurance. We did that back — I don’t know, probably 2002 or ’03, a guy named [inaudible 0:36:43.2] came to me and said, “People are paying enormous fees for their health insurance,” so we started HIPC. If you’re a small business and had two or three, we’d put two or three with this two or three, with this 15 or 20, we’d made a big package and we sell the package, so everybody got cheaper insurance.
[0:36:57.8] KM: Do they still do that?
[0:36:58.4] TH: They still do that, but Obamacare has kind of knocked it out, but one time we had, and I may be exaggerating, but we had like 3,000, 4,000 carriers. It got big in our state. We offered then to other chambers. I didn’t want to be the guy who just says, “You got to buy from me.” We offered it to Conway, Fayetteville, Spring Dale, all the chambers like that. A lot of people were involved with the HIPC program at that time, which was very successful.
[0:37:22.7] KM: Seems very hard to manage.
[0:37:24.1] TH: Well, we had a person. I hired a person named Richard Eaton, which was really good. With him, and at that time, [inaudible 0:37:29.8], it was easy. We just joined hands and [inaudible 0:37:33.7] is in the insurance business. Richard was our agent of choice, and then he would go around and sell the program to other chambers, which became very successful.
[0:37:39.9] KM: I bet he sends you a Christmas card every year.
[0:37:42.3] TH: He’s still at the chamber. I saw him the other day, but he’s a good man. He deserved everything.
[0:37:46.2] KM: What’s the most important thing about creating and motivating a group of individuals or volunteers like that or getting something —
[0:37:51.9] TH: Gary Brooks told me one time, he’s a friend of mine and still is very close to me, that I — And don’t take this egotistically, but I can motivate people and people like maybe just getting behind me and we’re working together.
What’s the biggest thing is getting people to believe in what you’re believing in and showing them how it works. To me, it’s not that hard. You get them to looking at you and you’d get them to shaking their head like you’re doing it and you know you’ve got them.
[0:38:20.1] KM: Yeah, I’m doing it.
[0:38:22.0] TH: You are. What’s that? You gave them — You show them the importance of it. If you’re just a self-person in your business, if I can get you clients — I used to look at some people like this and go, “Your membership due, let’s say, 250.” [inaudible 0:38:37.8]. If you cannot get back $250 out or your membership, then you need to find something else to do. Before people had even joined, I’d go, “I don’t want your money. I want you to just see what we’re about.” I started FYI probably 2001, had 15 people. I’m sure John Owens and the group over there now still like we were doing 150 to 200 people.
[0:38:58.9] KM: What FYI stand for?
[0:39:00.4] TH: For your information. We just bring people in to speak and tell them about — And you have sponsorships, and you do like maybe [inaudible 0:39:07.4] is what they’re doing. I think the [inaudible 0:39:07.4] has spoken of it. It’s just a speaking thing, but what’s neat is you can come to lunch and you could do it in Little Rock too. My son works for Little Rock Regional Chamber now. You can come to lunch, you can sit down with a group of people and not make them mad at you. You can actually say what you do and talk business, and that’s an asset when you don’t sit — Networking.
I made ours more about networking. I would almost call every person that joined. I want to make sure they’re getting their dues and get what they thought [inaudible 0:39:42.6] if they wouldn’t tell me. In fact, I remember Tyson out there call me one time and said, “You got us to join the chamber.” I went, “Yeah.” He said, “We need our street fixed.” I went there and they showed me this big pothole. I call it, I was lucky, I could still Bobby Ward who’s [inaudible 0:39:57.2] they just asphalt the street, because it need it. He went, “Wow! What do you need now?” I said, “I just need you to start sponsoring stuff.”
[0:40:00.5] TH: He went, “Wow, what do you need now? I said, “I just need you to start sponsoring stuff.” It’s a give and take, and that’s what it takes to — I like it. Let’s just put it this way, I like it, and it’s worthwhile. Chambers is worthwhile. Parks is worthwhile. The city’s worthwhile. You should be part in it, and I’ll tell you one more story. When I was at Havertys, you’re asking about that. I remember Ray Fury one time, he held my checkup for me.
[0:40:21.3] KM: Who?
[0:40:21.7] TH: Ray Fury. This is the guy that’s made me better than I want to be. He held onto it and he said, “You did your community service yet?” Then I went, “Yeah.” He said, “No, have you done your community service yet?” I didn’t really know what he meant, but what that means is here you are. You want to make a living in the city and you want people to buy furniture from you, or you turn around, do something in return to help other people.
I kind of got it after that. Even today, I’ll see people come up to me. In fact, that guy just did today. He says, “You’re Terry Hartwick, aren’t you? I went, “Yeah.” He says, “I bought furniture from you.” He was talking about 35 years ago, and I’m going, “You [inaudible 0:41:03.4].” It’s funny that [inaudible 0:41:07.1] from mayor or something like that. You’d be surprised I made people break down because I sold them furniture.
[0:41:12.7] KM: You did a good job and you cared and you listened.
[0:41:15.1] TH: I like it, so it was good.
[0:41:17.1] KM: You like everything. I think that just emotes from you.
[0:41:23.5] TH: If I don’t like what I’m doing, it’s my fault. Why am I doing it for?
[0:41:29.2] KM: Move on.
[0:41:29.9] TH: Move on.
[0:41:30.7] KM: What are you most proud of? You’ve done a lot. You’ve done [0:41:32.9]. You’ve done the Equestrian Park. You’ve grown the Chamber from—
[0:41:36.5] TH: It was about 288 to 1,600 when I left.
[0:41:39.7] KM: You’ve helped facilitate moving the Dickey-Stephens Park. You’ve—
[0:41:44.3] TH: Bill Valentine, he was one of [inaudible 0:41:45.6].
[0:41:46.9] KM: You’ve grown. You’re part of the revitalization of downtown North Little Rock. You were part of the [inaudible 0:41:51.7].
[0:41:53.1] TH: We were [inaudible 0:41:53.5]. In fact, when I was there, I tried to annex everything. I almost annexed [inaudible 0:41:59.0], if you remember that. We had election loss by 800 votes. I could see that there is a lot of expansion going out there. We got pretty far out there, but again, I don’t know. I guess—
[0:42:12.6] KM: It’s hard to pick. You’ve done so much.
[0:42:15.0] TH: I don’t think of it that way. I guess it’s just part of the job. I’m not trying to play goody-goody to you. I’m just saying I wake up every day and I likethis. Your son is shaking [inaudible 0:42:26.4], and he loved it. Then I see people, they’re like pick a ball. Have you ever heard pick a ball lately?
[0:42:34.0] KM: No, never heard of it.
[0:42:34.8] TH: Guess what? It’s coming and—
[0:42:36.8] KM: What is it?
[0:42:37.4] TH: I have no idea, but I hear more people saying pick a balls on the curve.
[0:42:41.8] KM: We’ve got a phone call. Let’s see who this is. Hello. You’re on Up in Your Business with me and Terry Hartwick. Have you got a question for us?
[0:42:50.5] Q: Yes. I was hoping that Mayor Hartwick could talk about the zipline park that’s going over at the core review.
[0:42:58.9] TH: Hi. I just spoke about it this morning. The zipline park was something I proposed probably a year and a half ago. Now, it’s illegal. What happened? They kind of got on to me because I was leasing the property but I didn’t go out for bids. What they said now, they rerevise it so they can go out for biz. It’s been sitting in what I would call illegal sinkhole. I will try to resurrect it at the late part of this year. Believe it or not, we just talked about this [inaudible 0:43:27.2]. When can I start to go back to this again?
[0:43:29.9] KM: Where are you going to put it?
[0:43:31.2] TH: [inaudible 0:43:31.1] The quarry go to the top.
[0:43:34.3] KM: On the river? That river quarry?
[0:43:35.5] TH: Yeah, that river quarry. At the top, we have what we call a rope building course that our company was going to build. A very fine company that were doing it, but I was going to put a zipline from the top, all the way down towards where you come into the FOP Lodge. Man, I appreciate you calling in.
[0:43:49.7] KM: Tell me about the business of parks and rec.
[0:43:52.3] TH: Parks and rec. Joe Smith and I were sitting around one night, and I looked at him. I was still at the Chamber and I said, “Make me a [inaudible 0:44:01.0]. I was just teasing because there’s been one of the days where I’d—
[0:44:05.1] KM: What’s a [inaudible 0:44:05.3]?
[0:44:06.3] TH: It’s just one of those—
[0:44:06.5] KM: You mean where you drive around and write people tickets because they make signs on the building.
[0:44:10.4] TH: Yeah. I just said, “Give me a job.” [inaudible 0:44:11.8] I said, “I hate one of those days where a pro made two or three speeches and maybe nothing is going right.” He looked at me and he said, “I think I’ll make you my parks guy.” I went, “What?” We talked about it for a little bit and I said, “Nah, let’s talk about it in two or three more months and see if we’re still in the same phase.”
Three or four months went by. Joe said, “I’m still offering it,” and I said, “I had to get the training for six months.” That’s what I said at that time. I said, “You got me. You got me for as long as you’re here.” That’s what I did. I said I’d give him five years at that time. We’re down three years, three months, and as I said, seven days.
[0:44:51.4] KM: You were just burn downed at your other place.
[0:44:53.7] TH: Yeah. You kind of get that way sometimes. I could do it again but I want to do a little bit more to see if this makes sense. The Chamber’s great. I love my Chamber. I love Little Rock Regional Chamber. They’re such good people, but I saw an opportunity to do some special things. Such is one hard park. Such is equestrian playground. Such is a new bare golf course. With the time I had left, I thought that I really wanted to work. I said, “Let’s go [inaudible 0:45:26.2]. Being the mayor, I struck up a deal, and here we are almost two years later.
[0:45:32.0] KM: We’re not going to take a break but I am going to just remind everybody that you’re listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. My guest today is Terry Hartwick. He’s the Director of Parks and Rec at North Little Rock, Arkansas. We’re going to the last. We’ve only got about five minutes left. If you want to make a phone call, you could do it really quick. What’s the number, Tim?
[0:45:50.4] TB: The number is 501-433-0088.
[0:45:55.6] KM: How many parks does North Little Rock have? You said something like—
[0:45:57.9] TH: 35 separate parks in [inaudible 0:46:00.7].
[0:46:00.8] KM: That’s a lot of parks. Is that more than most cities?
[0:46:03.7] TH: No. You got to know that at one time, I remember Paul [inaudible 0:46:08.4] called me about maybe coming to work for Little Rock Regional Chamber. I remember saying, “Paul, Terry Hartwick in Little rock just didn’t sound right.” It’s one of these things that I don’t know that urges special [inaudible 0:46:21.4]. I bet this weekend alone, we’ll have 17 soccer fields going at the same time, which means multiple soccer games all day long. We got the BMX track with these kids riding these bicycles and girls and boys. They’re going up in all these little humps, the finals of that. Then we got the big damn bridge going and covering up through the middle of us.
This weekend, I would imagine 30-, 40,000 people may be coming through the park. I have no idea. Just think about that 17 soccer fields going all day long for two straight days, and then BMX track, and then the big damn bridge going up. [inaudible 0:47:00.2] people 2- or 3,000, and then you’re not even counting the people who take their dogs to the park or a guy fishing or some at the tennis courts. In fact, I just finished three new tennis courts. We got a big hugetennis court coming out first of October, so I just finished that. The court’s four, five, and six was just front of brand new tennis courts. Then a bit of people riding the horses, then who’s mountain biking, who’s just biking? It’s amazing.
[0:47:27.3] KM: It is amazing. Does it have a playground? It has the MS playground or the [inaudible 0:47:30.9]—
[0:47:31.3] TH: We always have sunlight. I didn’t mention, but we still have Funland Park.
[0:47:34.1] KM: I was going to ask you. Do you still have Funland? Tell everybody what Funland is.
[0:47:37.4] TH: When I was a kid, it had lots of rides, and we still got the choo choo train that takes around the park. We’ve still got little Ferris wheels. We got little merry-go-rounds. We got climbing walls. We got—
[0:47:37.4] KM: Tilt-A-Whirl.
[0:47:48.6] TH: I don’t know if the Tilt-A-Whirl still— We still got climbing walls. We got a bunch of cord jumper. We got multiple things. We still got two pavilions there that we rent. It’s pretty neat what we all we have. Then you still got many, many slides and rides there. I know I’m forgetting something.
[0:48:04.4] KM: I need to bring my grandkids over there. I forget about Burns Park. You said at the top of the show, it was the second largest park in the United States.
[0:48:12.0] TH: In my check, it might be third now. [inaudible 0:48:13.4] won’t talk about. It’s up there. Whatever it is, it’s big. It’s like 1,793 acres, and that’s not to say not counting the other little parks around.
[0:48:24.6] KM: I don’t know how you keep up with all them. Is your office on Burns Park?
[0:48:27.9] TH: No. Believe it or not, down by the community center. I have five community centers where we have Sherman Park, North Heights, the North Little Rock Community Center, Rose City, and Glenview. I have five big community centers that we—
[0:48:38.5] KM: Which one are you at? The North Little Rock?
[0:48:39.6] TH: I’m at the big North Little Rock [inaudible 0:48:40.9] Center.
[0:48:43.4] KM: Let’s talk again about the One Heart Playground. We talked about it at the beginning of the show, and I said that it was such a special park that I think that’s what you need to advertise in my Brave Magazine. I really did because it’s statewide, and you said there’s not very many—
[0:48:58.1] TH: There’s not very many. One Heart Park, as we name it, is what I call a special— This is called a universal park for people, sometimes, who has special needs.
[0:49:09.6] KM: For the parents and the children.
[0:49:11.1] TH: It’s why I call it universal park, because it’s not just for the kids but— There was this one young boy that was there when we did the thing. You can tell he has special needs, but what got me more angry was the 30-year-old man that there. He said, “I’ve been waiting for this for 30 years.” He was in a wheelchair. Here he is, 30 years old, but he says, “We had nothing like this.” When other kids were swinging and sliding and playing, he couldn’t.
We’re going to continue to make it grow. I plan on next year. I do tip off. I’ve still got [inaudible 0:49:45.1]. I do tip off [inaudible 0:49:46.8] touch down, so we have these events. [inaudible 0:49:48.9] the One Heart Park. In fact, Walmart just gave us a nice contribution, so it’s still catching on. It’s a neat thing. When you can see these kids put on walkers or on wheelchairs being able to participate on [inaudible 0:50:06.8], rides that they couldn’t before, [inaudible 0:50:10.9] tear up.
[0:50:11.9] KM: Every time. Be mad at me because every time you talk about it, you get emotional about it. I love it. You’re a special guy, Terry. It reminds of the Miracle League in North Little Rock.
[0:50:22.1] TH: I’m still trying to get that a rope course, and I think it would be something else. We can just say it to a mix of— You could come and enjoy and—
[0:50:29.7] KM: I guess people with special needs could ride that.
[0:50:32.1] TH: There would be a way. We’ll have to do it. We got to make it all inclusive, so yes.
[0:50:35.9] KM: That’d be nice, and you started a newsletter. I think that’s really interesting. Why did you feel the need for a newsletter for the parks and who does it go to?
[0:50:44.3] TH: I forget but it goes to anybody who wants to sign up for it. I think right now when I came. I just found out that parks are the biggest, baddest department we have, but sometimes, you don’t know what’s going on. When you—
[0:50:57.0] KM: It’s the what? The biggest, baddest?
[0:50:58.2] TH: I thought yeah because we’re big. We got a lot of things going on, but nobody knew that, so I looked around. I went, “Why don’t we do our newsletter and start— All you got to do is put your card in, and we’ll start sending it to you.”
[0:51:11.5] KM: That’s sending it to everybody in North Little Rock. That’s probably too many.
[0:51:14.2] TH: No. We could do that. It’s just a matter of— We’re trying to do that. I don’t know how many we’ve got subscribing now, but it tells we got soccer this weekend, we got the BMX [inaudible 0:51:23.1], we got tennis this weekend, we got the One Heart Park this weekend. It tells what we’re doing these next two weeks. It keeps people informed, and that’s been a pretty good thing. People seemed to really like it.
[0:51:34.6] KM: That just seems like something that should have been going on forever.
[0:51:37.7] TH: Yeah. A lot of things that we’re doing now seems normal. It’s just sometimes getting up off your tail and doing it.
[0:51:44.7] KM: Executing the obvious is what you’re really, really good at.
[0:51:49.5] TH: I thank you. I appreciate it.
[0:51:51.1] KM: You’re welcome.
[0:51:52.1] TH: It went by fast, didn’t it?
[0:51:53.2] KM: I know. It does.
[0:51:54.9] TH: I hope I haven’t bored you all. Got bored by me?
[0:51:56.4] KM: No, no. You got any last words of wisdom for everybody before we go?
[0:51:59.0] KM: Do you got any last words of wisdom for everybody before we go?
[0:52:01.2] TH: No, I’ve enjoyed it. I appreciate it. Like I said, our cities, our state are pretty good places. We need to sometimes kind have lessons of what we really have and [inaudible 0:52:09.8] what we don’t have.
[0:52:13.2] KM: Yeah, it’s great advice. I brought you something.
[0:52:16.5] TH: Oh, flags! Of course.
[0:52:17.1] KM: Of course! It’s a desk set.
[0:52:19.1] TH: I love it.
[0:52:20.0] KM: There’s U.S. Arkansas and Air Force.
[0:52:21.8] TH: Thank you. That’s nice. I appreciate it.
[0:52:23.3] KM: You don’t have that, do you?
[0:52:24.1] TH: No. I don’t have that. I bought all my flags. Every time we need something at the Chamber, I always go over to Flag and Banner.
[0:52:30.3] KM: You better, because I’m a member.
[0:52:31.1] TH: I always had. I love it. I really do.
[0:52:35.3] KM: Thank you, Terry.
[0:52:35.5] TH: Thank you.
[0:52:35.7] KM: You’re a special person. Really, thank you for coming on.
[0:52:38.8] TH: Thank you y’all for listening. I hope I didn’t you bore you about it.
[0:52:40.2] KM: No. You’re great. Who’s my guest next week?
[0:52:42.3] TB: Next week is going to be the mayor of Little Rock.
[0:52:44.5] TH: Mark Stodola.
[0:52:46.7] KM: What is this? A mayor week?
[0:52:50.2] TB: It’s a mayor month.
[0:52:50.8] KM: Mayor month! He’s been elected three times. He’s been mayor since 2007.
[0:52:58.9] TB: He ran unopposed last time. He is actually going to be opposed this time.
[0:53:03.3] KM: Is it a year away? Two years?
[0:53:06.6] TH: They start running in campaign after the first year [inaudible 0:53:09.4]. His election would be like November, a year from November.
[0:53:14.7] KM: A year from this November. A year from two months. He’s got 14 months to start campaigning. Did you know he recently put a bid in for Amazon Distribution Center to be in Little Rock?
[0:53:23.5] TH: Sure. [inaudible 0:53:25.8]. It’s normal, natural. Go for it. Why not?
[0:53:28.1] KM: Little Rock is right in the center on I40, but our airport — I’m wondering about the —
[0:53:32.9] TB: You know, if you have Amazon Prime and you’re in one of the major cities, they have delivery that could like take an hour. You order it and then an hour later it’s at your door. If we’re going to have one of those here, Amazon Prime members of Little Rock are going to have hour, two-hour delivery time, which is awesome.
[0:53:52.0] KM: For products, they stuck.
[0:53:53.6] TH: They stuck everything.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:53:57.0] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Want to hear today’s program again or want someone else to benefit from it? Jot this down. Next week a podcast will be available flagandbanner.com. Click the tab labeled “Radio Show”, there you’ll find today’s segments with links to resources you heard discussed on this program. Kerry’s goal: to help you live the American Dream.