From the Vault: Alan Leveritt’s first day on the job

HERE’S TO 50 YEARS: Alan Leveritt (left), Mara Leveritt (then known as Margaret Arnold, at center), David Glenn (right) and other Arkansas Times staffers meet in September 1974 at The Shack. Originally, the Arkansas Times was going to be a monthly comic book. I’d been publishing Essence, an independent student newspaper at UALR, when I met Patrick McKelvey, who ran a sort of artist/musician collective called Art Farm (which later became the Greasy Greens). I was hitchhiking from UALR one day when Patrick picked me up in this big, shambling 1950s Oldsmobile. By the time he dropped me off at my apartment downtown, he was our newly minted editorial cartoonist, and he was going to help me gather a group of artists to create a comic ’zine about life and politics in Arkansas. The concept was fluid, though, and when I saw the debut issue of Texas Monthly the next year, the idea for the Arkansas Times became clear to me. We were going to tell the story of Arkansas — its culture, its history, its politics and the people who lived here. How could life be any better? Advertisement So, in the spring of 1974, I sent a letter to every journalism school in the country inviting young writers to come to Arkansas to start a magazine and become an owner. We had no money, so everyone would be paid with a monthly stock certificate. Really, the only requirement for working here back then was having another means of support. We got a response from a guy at Washington and Lee University, another at New York University and a young woman in Boston. I decided to hitchhike to each location, interview the prospects and give them the pitch on why they needed to come to Little Rock and […]

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