New “Radio CALS” is an auditory exploration of Arkansas


A new weekly radio program from the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) will allow listeners to explore Arkansas without even leaving the house. Radio CALS, which debuts on KABF 88.3 Friday, Jan. 8, at noon, is a two-hour show that will feature a mix of conversation and archival material such as music, interviews and oral histories, plus information about programming at CALS libraries.

In the regular segment “Chewing the Fat with Rex and Paul,” Rex Nelson and Paul Austin will riff on a wide variety of topics—many of which are food-related—that this week will include tamales, Newport, bygone basketball tournaments, great steak restaurants at auction barns, where to get calf fries, Bryce’s Cafeteria and boll weevils. Also on the Radio CALS menu Friday are excerpts of an interview with the late Sen. Dale Bumpers and a concert by Little Rock supergroup the Wildflowers; history buffs will love a segment on the Battle of New Orleans, the 201st anniversary of which begins Friday.

Topics slated for future episodes include the Slovak Oyster Festival, family holiday meal traditions, the Black River, Crowley’s Ridge, the Grady Fish Fry, Mennonites, Staves and the annual Wilson brothers barbecue, DeVall’s Bluff and Dalton (among many, many others).

Sounds like this new program will be not only a way for Arkansans (and outsiders!) to do a little armchair exploring, but inspiration for some great future travel ideas. I foresee my Arkansas Bucket List getting longer by the week.

To listen to Radio CALS, tune in to KABF 88.3 FM Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. You can also listen live online at For more information, contact [email protected] or 918-3029.