alternative fuel, Anthro-Pop Records, Asa Hutchinson, bicycle, Ding-Dong-Daddy Days, Fat Tire Festival, global warming, Governor, Green Party, ho-hum, Interface Carpets, James Howard Kuntsler, James Sevier Conway, Jim Lendall, kenaf, Landau Zeal, Little Rock Free Press, Mike Beebe, Mike Huckabee, Pink Tomato Festival, Rod Bryan, soil conservation, The Long Emergency, Warren, water, William Jefferson Bill Clinton
Rod Bryan has a cold.
He smiles while refusing a handshake, explaining he doesn’t want to pass along whatever it is that’s making him consider missing Blackalicious, a show he’s been wanting to see for some time. He disappears for a moment to check on a track from a mix-disc somebody gave him. He returns, noting the cut features a Little Rock band.
The 37-year-old owns Anthro-Pop Records, open since September 2001 on the corner of Markham and Kavanaugh in Little Rock’s Stifft Station area. The store caters to eclectic tastes — audiophiles come in and out to thumb through books, LPs, cassettes, VHS, CDs, DVDs and other musical paraphernalia. Vinyl dots the ceiling and lurks in bins, waiting to be discovered. Obscure magazines beg to be opened.
Some question the seriousness of the Independent candidate for governor, claiming Bryan’s candidacy only serves as free advertising for his store. Yet listening to him quenches those doubts. His interest in politics shows in his store as copies of “Voting 101: A Pocket Guide to Voting in the Natural State” can be found, as well as his unique campaign cards.
The cards say something about this no-frills candidate. Each starts as an empty cardboard box from cereals, crackers, facial tissue, etc. Bryan breaks down the box then stamps it with all-natural ink and cuts it into individual rectangles. The novelty alone makes some people keep the cards for years, but the primary benefit comes from savings in printing costs.
His frugality is noteworthy in a gubernatorial race expected to be the most expensive in Arkansas history. Compared to candidates from established parties, Bryan’s shoe-string budget slows the delivery of his message like his cold impedes the air struggling to reach his lungs.
The Road Less Traveled
But people are receiving the message: little-by-little, bit-by-bit, byte-by-byte.
To become an Independent candidate for governor, aspirants must have gathered at least 10,000 signatures from registered Arkansas voters by May 1. Bryan’s Web site, www.rodbryan.com, kept observers abreast of his candidacy. He gathered 11,800 signatures on 494 pages of petitions and stored them in a shoebox. He rode his bicycle to the state Capitol to hand-deliver the signatures to the secretary of state’s office. Continue reading