Grady Fish Fry is a big success in 2013!!!!!!

Grady Fish Fry

Published on Aug 15, 2013

We visit the annual fish fry at Hardin Farms in Grady, Ark., where the hushpuppies are popping, the Cummins band is playing and the politicians are plentiful. We have brief chat with Arkansas House District 16 candidate Ken Ferguson.

____________________

I had a good visit down at  the Grady Fish Fry with the many politicians that showed again this year. I got to visit with both Republican candidates for State auditor  Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville,  and Ken Yang of Benton, with both candidates for State treasurer, Dennis Millingan of Bryant and Duncan Baird of Fayetteville.

Asa Hutchinson took time to let my son Wilson get his picture with him.

I got to introduce Robert Venable to Rex Nelson, and Robert has never missed a Grady Fish Fry!!! Rex asked him if there had ever been one this cool and he said that had not been even one that he can remember this nice and cool. A lady sitting across from me said that she usually skipped the Grady Fish Fry because it was usually  too hot but this year she came out. Mr. Venable also said that the fish fry had never been rained out before.
That was partly because of the beautiful large trees in the Ned Hardin Pecan Grove. When I was walking up to the Grady Fish Fry yesterday I commented to my son Wilson, “I wonder when these trees were planted,” The fellow behind me answered, “Mr. Hardin is 93 years old and he said his father planted them over 100 years ago.”

My friend Sherwood Haisty Jr., was born and raised in Grady and he pointed Mr. Hardin out to me later and Robert Venable is Sherwood’s uncle. Senators Boozman and Pryor both attended and we got to visit with both of them. When I told Senator Pryor that Mr. Venable had never missed a fish fry, he commented that he felt like he had made all of them too since he enjoyed them so much. Then I mentioned a story about a mutual friend of ours who had helped the Broom man Melvin Pickens out a couple of years ago by having several friends come over and by brooms from him. By the time we told a couple of stories it was time to move on to the next politician. In Grady there is always a long line waiting for the catfish and after you get the catfish you have the long line of politicians waiting for you inside!!!!

Grady fish fry stirs appetites, politicians

Pryor, Hutchinson among minglers

By Sarah D. Wire

This article was published today at 5:58 a.m.

GRADY – On a surprisingly cool Thursday evening in August, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor spoke with constituents under pecan trees heavy with nuts at an annual must-attend event for many politicians.

The Democrat called it “getting his marching orders” as he tucked scribbled notes into his pockets.

The 58th annual Grady Lions Club Fish Fry drew hundreds to the Hardin Farm outside the 523-person town south of Pine Bluff off U.S. 65. Attendees sat at long picnic tables wrapped in paper, eating fried catfish, hush puppies, fries, coleslaw and watermelon. Occasionally, they stopped to shake hands or talk to the politicians circulating through the crowd.

Aside from Pryor, several other politicians made the rounds. Republican candidate for governor Asa Hutchinson of Rogers balanced a chunk of watermelon in one hand as he greeted people. State auditor candidate Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville, handed out campaign stickers; Rep. Johnny Key, R-Mountain Home, cracked jokes; and treasurer candidate Dennis Milligan mingled as people ate their catfish.

Pryor’s 2014 opponent, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Dardanelle, is in Israel this week but said Wednesday that he plans to attend the fish fry next year.

Pryor, who is seeking a third term, said he’s attended the fish fry at least a dozen times.

“I try to make it every year I can,” Pryor said. “It’s a great event. You see the whole community roll out. It’s just part of Arkansas, and it’s a little bit part of Arkansas politics.”

U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers agreed. He said he first attended during the 2010 campaign. The first term Republican attended this year even though he isn’t up for re-election until 2016.

“People are so nice, there’s so much good food to eat, good fellowship, and tonight the weather’s just perfect,” he said. “This is what America’s all about.”

Light bulbs strung between pecan trees flickered as a four-member band made up of Cummins Unit prisoners played “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger.

Arkansas, Pages 9 on 08/16/2013

Print Headline: Grady fish fry stirs appetites, politicians

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