10 things ABOUT – Richard Harris

Story by Johnny Sain

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Age: 60
Occupation: Mayor of the City of Russellville
Years in the River Valley: Since 1982.
Family: Lisa Harris, and three grown children.

1) What is your favorite book and why?

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick. It is an incredible nonfiction recount of the loss of the whaler Essex in the Pacific Ocean in 1820 and is the precursor to the literary classic, Moby Dick. The book narrates the crew’s struggle for survival after a vicious attack by a sperm whale that leaves them stranded. I like this book because it captures the rawness of human nature and shows the crew’s physical and mental battle against their dire situation.

2) Dog or cat? Why?

II am more of a dog person if I had to pick one. Growing up, we had guard dogs and hunting dogs. Now, I tend to gravitate towards dogs because of their loyalty to their owners. Dogs help our society in so many different ways from being sight dogs to K9 police dogs. My kids all have dogs and they bring pets with them whenever they visit.

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

The River Valley is one of the most beautiful places in all of Arkansas. We have natural beauty that is hard to find these days. We have rivers, streams, mountains, trails, and is home to an amazing community.

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

This question is a challenge because I feel that I am open book. However, I guess most people do not know that all three of my children are adopted. My wife and I have been blessed to have raised and provide a loving and caring environment our children. I am very proud of all my kids.

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

I am a big country fan. I grew up listening to country music and I always have it playing on my radio. A few of my favorite are old school artist like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty.

6) What do you nerd out on?

I don’t really “nerd out” on anything. If I had to pick something it would be golf. I spend a lot of my free time playing golf and watching golf. I have traveled to watch tournaments and even have my favorite golfers that I follow. It is a relaxing pastime for me.

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

More opportunity in our city for young adults to work and raise their children. The current economic climate makes it difficult at this time to recruit any business, much less high tech industry. However, we as a community, by continuing to work towards making our city more progressive in appearance and improving the quality of life aspects can provide incentive for businesses to grow and relocate to the River Valley.

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

Mount Nebo at Sunset Point is one of the most beautiful views in all of Arkansas. From that point you will see the most amazing sunset. I suggest packing a picnic and eating while watching the sun set.

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

I love a good greasy cheeseburger. However, the older I get, the less often I can have one.

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

Psalms 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”