Photo of a small spoon laying on a white surface next to a postcard featuring a picture of building.
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Story by Donna Rayford-Graves

Little Rock, AR

I am the great-granddaughter of the late Norman Ridgell, my “Papa.” One of my favorite memories was visiting Papa at the Marion Hotel in Downtown Little Rock where he worked as the head “bellman,” or in today’s terms, “concierge.”

I loved visiting the Marion. It was a busy place and Papa always introduced me to so many people. Later in life, I would come to understand just who those people were.

I remember driving down to witness the implosion of the Marion in 1980 and a feeling of sadness. My Papa would come out of retirement to serve at the Excelsior Hotel.

A few years ago, my mom gifted me a shadow box with the engraved spoon and postcard pictured here. The shadow box also includes a history statement with the fact that the builder, Herman Kahn, was originally from Frankfurt, Germany – my birth place. How interesting is life?!


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