Little Rock, AR

Because where I’ve stayed does not have an internet connection, this is getting posted later.

11:48 PM

This gets typed in the house of Gary, a friend from college where I’ve been calling home this week. I am spent after a great day. It started by packing both work and golf clothes for the day and heading towards the Riverwalk, which is where many new bars and restaurants are located. I wasn’t going to hit the bar scene at 9 AM, I was going to visit the rather new William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

After getting lost for a few minutes, I drove down the tree lined street to the entrance of the complex. The architecture of the building had an appealing and unique look, like a silver shoe box fit for a giant. My guess is the designer would not like that description, but if a shoe box can be cool to look at, this was it. It was also interesting to see part of the building jutting out over the Arkansas River.

I paid my $7 and entered around 10 AM. My time was short as I had a lunch meeting downtown starting at 11:30. I asked one of the hosts what would be the best use of my short time window. They said the movie was good and after watching it, I agree. It took you from Clinton as a boy in Hope, AR, to a teenager getting a picture with JFK, to and through his presidency. His voice over talked about his motivation for public service. To make a change. Whatever your political views are, to be in the presence of one of our Presidents is very powerful. The passion. The achievement.

I was amazed at all of the exhibits. They had a replica of the Cabinet meeting room. They had a replica of the Oval Office. And they had the daily schedule for his entire presidency both in hard copy and touch screen. Life as a President is jam packed every day.

As I read different topical exhibits and listened to various items about this administration, it made me think about how times have changed. Some of those changes were forced on us, others were not. One of the videos that will stay with me is of Nelson Mandela speaking about the rousing, from the heart, standing ovation Clinton received during an introduction to the United Nations. I think the reception would be different today.

I will not get into politics here. Well, maybe slightly. I was not a big fan of his back in the day. But I have to say that has changed some. He lied under oath and a master wordsmith, but his results are hard to argue with. Clinton’s legacy is about much more than an intern and a dress. The budget was balanced (there was even a surplus). The U.S. and the world worked together. He put people first. I’m sure there were poor results in areas too. The goal here is to say I was in the presence of a President of the United States of America. Awesome. If you get the chance to visit one of these libraries, take the time. I only had 75 minutes, but it was amazing.

After Clinton I was excited to reconnect with a previous interview, Betty Dickey. You may remember her as the first female ever to hold the position of Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court of Arkansas. I had kept in sporadic touch, but knew when I was going to be in Little Rock for a few days that I had to meet up with her. We had lunch at the new Arkansas Arts Center. Nestled amongst many galleries and wonderful pieces of work was a cafe.

Walking in, I was glad to see two familiar faces. Two fraternity brothers who I hadn’t seen in years were working. I didn’t get a chance to speak them too long, but I love seeing my friends. Justice Dickey brought her son in law who is more of a traveler than I am, going around the world with his wife on a 444 day journey ( The three of us spent the hour catching up and sharing stories. She has since retired from the supreme court, but may have a new position on the horizon. Sitting at lunch with them, I couldn’t help but smile. These types of relationships are exactly what this entire journey is about. Meeting and becoming friends with great people doing great things.

This trip has continued my knowing that sharing all of these people’s stories in my book and the speaking that follows will be another amazing journey.

After lunch I headed off to a golf outing. The 90 degree heat was offset by a strong wind. This was good for temperature, but not for the golf score.

The night ended by having a few drinks with the webmaster of Bobby and I caught up and shared some new ideas on different topics. Some of them concern this website. We think it might be time for a facelift. More on that later.

This was a great day. I learned more about one of our Presidents, I reconnected up with one of my favorite interviews, played golf, and talked about the evolution of this website. Gotta love it. Time for bed. I have to be up early to go over my talk.