On a day that marijuana sales became legal in one state and a day after a petition drive to see that happen in Arkansas fell short of ballot amendment status, grass was a big topic in Booneville.
But, obviously, not that type of grass.
Instead a small crowd stopped by to watch the “sprigging” process at Bearcat stadium and the practice field beside Rippy Fieldhouse.
Keeping with the project theme of one-liners, superintendent of schools John K. Parrish joked the man on the tractor was being afforded rock star status.
The process involved a tractor pulling a machine containing discs, tires and rollers that worked together to open the ground throw in the springs and roll it flat.
Now all that remains is the wait.
A couple weeks ago Parrish said school officials were warned the growth process would appear to be nonexistent for the first 10 days or so — until this Friday — but that in six to eight weeks the field would be fully developed.
Until that time the jokes about the school starting motocross as a recognized sport and playing away games are apt to continue.
Actually the latter could have some truth in it. Although the first senior high games are away, the first two junior high dates are at home and there have been conversations about moving the first one, if necessary, Parrish said recently. Should that happen, that would mean trips to Ozark on back-to-back nights on Sept. 4 and 5.
The problem with getting to the sprigging of the field has been the weather. The seventh wettest June on record in Booneville slowed the dirtwork and shaping of the field that had to be completed before the sprigging.
Ideally the grass needed to be in place by July 4 but, Parrish said, he was assured that a delay to as late as July 15 would be when officials really needed to start worrying.
With the grass now ready to begin growing the school has been prescribed a specific fertilizing and watering regiment to follow. The latter began when the tractor left the field.
There are four different types of fertilizer involved at the start and the care is detailed for every day of the calendar.
The Booneville Education Foundation is paying about two-thirds of the $60,000 project to redo the grass on both the game and practice field.
“We are very thankful for the Booneville Education Foundation,” Parrish said. “Most schools do not have a resource like that to help their students.”