10 things ABOUT: Chris Zimmerman

Story by Johnny Sain

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Age: 46
Occupation: Graphic Designer / Publisher of ABOUT magazine
Hometown: Dover. Lifelong resident of the River Valley.
Family: Lydia (wife), and children, Grace (20), Anita Claire (15), and Lucas (13).

1) What is your favorite book and why?

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Aside from periodicals, I’ve never been much of a recreational reader, but this was one of the few books I read as a teen that wasn’t an assignment which inspired me to read even more in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then, after seeing the movies as an adult, I read them all again.

2) Dog or cat? Why?

As much grief as I’ll catch, I’d have to say cat…as long as I don’t have to care for it. We’ve had varying luck with dogs over the years (except for our current Schnauzer, Pepper,) but regardless, we’ve always had a cat. While it’s hard to knock a dogs loyalty, I can’t help but to love the unearned arrogance of a cat.

3) What do you think is the most positive aspect of living in the River Valley?

Its speed. The River Valley has always been my home, so I’m inclined to like all the inviting aspects of the area. However, the one that stands out to me the most is the speed of the River Valley. It’s not too slow, but it’s never too fast. You can get pretty much anything you need locally, without all the hustle and bustle of a larger town. From people you know at that! This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate growth in our community, but I’m perfectly happy as well with what it is now…and will be equally as happy to grow with it as it goes.

4) What’s something no one would ever guess about you?

I’m not all that adventurous. I’ve come to prefer the comfort and familiarity of my regular routines. From getting up in the morning to managing my day to vacations with the family. If I can work something into a schedule or a spreadsheet…I’m happy.

5) What is your favorite music genre and artist? Why?

I can honestly say I don’t have a favorite. My music tastes have always changed in step with where I’m at in life. For instance, over the past several years my eldest daughter played regularly in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra. While traveling with her and learning about what she was playing, I began to really enjoy classical music. Then, for awhile it was big-band and easy-listening music that my mother and her parents introduced me to when I was young. Today, I’m enjoying main-stream jazz, as my youngest daughter begins to discover it as well in her school’s jazz band. Ask me again in a few months and I’m sure it will be something different.

6) What do you nerd out on?

Reality television. To be specific, Discovery Channel, HGTV and Food Networks reality programming. I’m neither a builder or a cook, let alone all that adventurous as previously established. Yet the satisfaction of watching someone else cook or wreck a meal I’d never dare try, or building a homestead in the middle of nowhere, or digging for gold in the Alaskan wilds, I can’t seem to get enough of.

7) If you could change one thing about the River Valley, what would it be?

More investment in old buildings. In Russellville particularly, we have several large buildings in prime locations that look like they could be so much more. If only someone with the vision and backing could find a way to make it work. Wouldn’t it be great to see more of them be developed as entertainment hubs or industrial centers?

8) Where is the one location in the River Valley you would tell a first-time visitor that they must go?

Probably Long Pool Recreational Area on Big Piney Creek. Spent a lot of time there over the years, swimming and floating. It’s a perfect snapshot of the areas natural aspects; in the hills, on the creek, not far away, surrounded by people you already know or soon will. If that’s too far out-of-the-way, then I’d encourage them to spend an evening on Mt. Nebo.

9) Pizza, tacos, cheeseburger, or fried chicken? Any particular reason why?

Pizza, hands down. While typically, almost any pizza will do, I especially enjoy diving into one from Venezia’s in Russellville. After that, it’d be a cheeseburger from Center Valley Grocery, and then tacos from Taco Villa. Yet to find some local fried chicken to scratch that itch.

10) What is your favorite quote? Could be from an inspirational person, could be an original.

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

While that quote or variations of can be attributed to many different people, I heard it from Lou Holtz. It stuck with me through the years and I still do my best to apply it every day…even though I regularly fail.