Did you know that one of the most popular home improvement projects during the pandemic was installing a pool? True story. The problem: There was so much demand last summer that many had to wait a few months longer than they’d have liked for that backyard grotto, a little too late to curb the stay-at-home times of 2020. For those of you who fit into this demographic, the time is near to finally put that new pool to the test. I know I’ve been looking at mine with an anxious eye since the weather began to warm. One thing’s for sure — if I’m not in a donut floaty by the end of this month, well, like Justin Timberlake (almost) said, “It’s gonna be May.”
But the pandemic-inspired home trends didn’t stop with pools last year, and we’ve got all the home goods here for you in this issue. For starters, there’s that jaw-dropping cover story by Julie Craig set at a River Rock Builders home. Then, we have a special feature on the 69th Annual HBA-GLR Home Show, which kicks off our semi-annual special section on all things homes. You don’t want to miss all this great material, nor the home show. Mark your calendars!
Similar to the weather, the societal air seems to be warming closer and closer to a sense of normalcy these days. That’s perfect timing for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on April 25. The event might be taking place in LA, but we still jumped at the chance to put an AY spin on it. Dwain Hebda has a feature in this issue on Kathryn Tucker, executive director of the Arkansas Cinema Society; Joe David Rice talked to the El Dorado-based folks at Bespoke Works about their new film Molto Bella; our editor, Dustin Jayroe, penned a profile on filmmaker Graham Gordy; and Tyler Hale, our online editor, reviewed the Oscar-nominated film Minari, which has ties to Arkansas. One of our newest team members, Jason Pederson, even fitted an Indiana Jones analogy into his This Side of Seven column this month.
And since the calendar will bring us back around to Earth Day this month, we have plenty of material for your most “natural” inclinations, like a story on the fragile lives of Monarchs, a feature on the Arkansas Nature Conservancy and on LIVSN, the Fayetteville-based, sustainably focused clothier. If that alone doesn’t get you hooked, our friends at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission could seal the deal with a rod and reel. Oh, yeah: Fishing was another popular trend during the pandemic. (But not in your pool, I assume.)
It’s another packed issue of AY Magazine — and now I’ll leave you to it.
President & Publisher