Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kris Allen Wins

I don't think it is an overstatement to say that this is probably the biggest night in the history of my hometown.

I wasn't living in Conway, Ark. — in fact, I wasn't even living in Arkansas — on the night in 1992 when Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States.

I did meet Clinton on a couple of occasions when I was living in Conway. Clinton made some appearances at his Faulkner County campaign headquarters during his gubernatorial races, and I still have a political button that Clinton himself gave me during one of his appearances. But he never lived in Conway, to my knowledge.

As big as that night in 1992 was for the state of Arkansas, tonight is bound to be even bigger for Conway.

Because Kris Allen won the "American Idol" competition. If you've been watching the show, you know that Allen lived, for a time, in Conway, which happens to be my hometown.

His victory was announced only a matter of minutes ago. It is already being considered an upset.

I can't tell you whether I think it was an upset or not. I haven't been watching the show, although I knew that a young man who lived in Conway was a finalist. And I've been reading articles about him on the Conway newspaper's website.

Earlier this month, thousands of people turned out for a rally for Allen in Conway. I'm sure there will be a huge welcome–home rally for him when he returns to Arkansas after his "American Idol" triumph.

Well, congratulations, Kris. I hope you enjoy your moment in the spotlight. I know Conway will.

By the way, have you heard the phrase "kick awesome?" Apparently, that is a phrase Allen came up with. I have no doubt some bright marketer in the Conway area will be selling bumper stickers and T–shirts with that phrase.

It might even show up on the "Home of Kris Allen" signs that I'm sure will be erected on the city limits — if they haven't been installed already.