Every community has something that stands as a symbol, and has endured through the years. For North Little Rock, one of those symbols is the Rocket Slide.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) —Every community has something that stands as a symbol, and has endured through the years. For North Little Rock, one of those symbols is the Rocket Slide.
"It symbolizes a time of yesteryear, of simple enjoyment," said North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith.
The slide has been in the community since 1969, and was refurbished in 2006 to replace metal parts with sharp edges.
"The whole kid issue comes back out," said Tabatha O'Neal, who used to play on the slide when she was younger. "You want to be that kid again and you want your kids to have the same experiences."
The iconic slide endured much more than time, however, after two teens vandalized it in January.
"My husband and I were very upset about it," continued O'Neal.
O'Neal's son Anthony Collins wasn't too happy about the damaged slide either.
"I was like ugh," said Collins, verbalizing his disgust. "How can a kid do that?"
But instead of watching a piece of North Little Rock History burn away, the community decided to take action.
"I actually heard the news story that vandalism had taken place and all I could think was I went down this slide as a child, I love this slide," said Jeanne Hyde, who helped raise money to bring the slide back to life. "It meant a lot to me and so for that reason I said whatever I can do to help."
Jeanne reached out to the community and collected little bits of change at a time to go towards rebuilding the landmark. Before she knew it she helped collect more than $6,700 in donations.
"We would not have this [reopening] if it wasn't for the community," she continued. "It's the people. It's the people's slide, it's the people's money and everyone supported it."
All-told it cost the city $110,000 to rebuild the slide. More than half of that total was covered by insurance.