What if you could hop on a high-speed ferry in Maumelle and be at work downtown in 10 minutes? A Big Dam Bridge stop could take ADEQ staff from their office to the Arkansas State Capitol complex in under 5 minutes. Realistically, though, I don't think we have the population or the right kind of riverside development to support such a scheme. And there's no way I would trade in the excellent string of parks that make the Arkansas River such a pleasant place to be in Little Rock. I'm holding out for high speed hoverbusses to make movement easier around our lovely city.
Many of you know that water has a very special place in my life for multiple reasons. Growing up, I spent a good deal of my non-school waking hours in the pool training as a competitive swimmer. My namesake is a seaside National Park where the waves crash against the craggy coastline in awe-inspiring demonstrations of power. My family spends a good deal of time on the Buffalo River, possibly the coolest river in the US.
My water obsession followed me to college. I joined the crew team for a semester, then moved on to water polo. My study abroad mates in Thailand dubbed me "dugong" because of my playful water-based antics. After I moved back to Little Rock I joined the Master's group of my old swim team. Because I plan to continue with that in September, I have had the best of intentions for swimming to stay in shape while in Australia. There are pools everywhere and most charge only a few dollars per visit. Haven't made it there yet. Maybe it's the intimidation factor-- after all, Australia always gives the US a run for its money in Olympic swimming events.
I recently learned that freestyle was (first?) developed as a competitive swimming style in Australia. Originally called the "Australian crawl," it was actually stolen from the Solomon Islanders. A young boy sent by his Australian father (Islander mother) to school in Sydney won many a race using the technique commonly employed by people from his island. This style, combined with a similar front crawl learned by John Trugden from Native Americans, is the freestyle stroke we learn across the world today.