As it was for everyone, 2020 was a unique year for AY Media Group. We worked remotely for three months and otherwise traversed the ups and downs as best we could. And we grew.
Here at AMP, we’re grateful to the readers who helped enable us to keep growing, even in a year like this. We think there’s a place for shining a positive spotlight on the best Arkansas has to offer in business and politics in a monthly print format. And our plan is to keep doing so in 2021 while extending our reach further across the state. We hope you like this continued focus, the new look introduced in March and of course, our plans to grow even more.
AMP evolved in 2020, thanks to you, and our covers over the past year reflect our mission:
Oaklawn’s Louis Cella; Arkansas Business Hall of Famer Olivia Farrell; Graham Cobb of the Bentonville Chamber, Andrea Albright of Walmart and their bikes; Dr. Joe Thompson of ACHI; Producers Rice Chairman Jay Coker; Little Rock native Jessica Dean of CNN; Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.; ABCBS chief Curtis Barnett; Junior Achievement honoree and AG Leslie Rutledge; financier-extraordinaire Bill Sowell; Victoria Ramirez, mid-construction, at the Arkansas Arts Center; and Rory Herndon of Xpress Boats.
This heady list represents a pretty good variety of industry in the state — finance, media, politics, health care, insurance, nonprofits, agriculture, retail, tourism and manufacturing. Not to mention the arts and outdoor recreation.
We’re grateful to all the businesses and civic leaders who’ve worked with us this year, but there’s one final act to play out before the curtain falls on 2020. Inside this month’s issue, we focus on manufacturing and nursing homes and talk to Rory down in Hot Springs, the roguish Andrew Meadors of Sunstar Insurance, Grady Harvell of W&W/AFCO Steel and Josh Davenport of Seal Solar, among others.
Plus, we’ll visit Welspun at the Port of Little Rock, the steel mills of Mississippi County and more. Enjoy the ride. (And The Steel Mills of Mississippi County — Arkansas’ gritty, Southern answer to The Bridges of Madison County, amiright?)
For many, Christmas couldn’t come early enough this year. Not great news for Thanksgiving, we suppose, now poised to become further lost in the holiday shuffle. But Christmastime proper is upon us, and therefore our Word of the Month is devoted to it: Magi.
Let’s take a look at the origins of this term so closely associated with Christmas.
For many of us, the magi = the wise men. It’s an automatic association. Anyone growing up in the Christian church — or remotely cognizant of Western culture — is familiar with the story of Christ’s birth as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, and of the role of the wise men. Magi is plural for the Latin “magus” and entered the English lexicon around the 13th century to refer to kings and eventually, of course, “wise men.”
Its origins date back to Zoroastrianism and other early Persian religions, for which the term was used to describe priests. (Magician, it should be noted, derives from magus. Turns out the Greeks believed ancient Chaldean prophet Zoroaster to be the creator of astrology and magic.)
Then, of course, there’s The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry’s 1905 short story about a struggling young husband and wife who each sacrifice a most prized possession to buy the other a Christmas gift. Despite the ironic twist at the end, the author’s intent was to convey wisdom upon the protagonists for their selflessness. You know, magi…
And finally, asking readers’ indulgence, we’ll leave things in the capable, blanket-wielding hands of Linus van Pelt, who one evening several decades ago explained for the Peanuts gang the meaning of Christmas, with help from Luke the Evangelist:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding
In the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
And the glory of the Lord shone round about them:
And they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
Which shall be to all the people.
For unto this day is born in the city of David a Saviour,
Which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
Heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
Good will toward men.
Luke 2: 8-14 (KJV)
All together now… And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
As always, let us know how we’re doing, good or bad, and thanks for reading. Hit me up anytime at MCarter@ARMoneyandPolitics.com. Here’s wishing everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas and holiday season.