LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- When Craig O'Neill was 11 years old, the dance called "The Twist" was the rage. When Bobby Lee Trammell came out with "The Arkansas Twist," Craig just had to have that 45 RPM record.
There was only one thing Craig could do, and that was take a city bus to downtown (yes, by himself) and head to Moses Melody. That's what you did back then. Whatever you needed you headed downtown to get it. From tires, to fashions, to haircuts, to makeovers ... downtown had it all.
"It was an exciting place. To me it was as good as being in downtown Chicago," recalls real estate developer Jimmy Moses, a baby boomer who also grew to love downtown. He is the same Moses as the one in Moses Melody. It was his grandfather who opened the store, and his ancestors were a part of its development in the early 200th century.
Moses had to watch urban sprawl destroy downtown's allure and integrity. It's one of the reasons Moses was in on the ground floor of the River Market's rebirth. And now he has his eyes set on bringing back Main Street. It's Moses' feeling that in order for that to happen, the public sector has to make the first move.
"If they'll step out and make a commitment to a particular area of the city, then the private dollars will follow," Moses thinks.
The first steps are being made at refurbishing the old Pfeiffer Blass building at 4th and Main. Moses admits progress will be slow. But, he is optimistic.
"I think within the next three or four years, people will come downtown, they'll drive or walk to Main Street and go, 'I never believed this could happen but it has.'"
And those people might also take the bus.