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A patients’ home is where the heart is and the Unity Health Foundation wants to help patients get home quickly. Donations to the ‘Home is Where the Heart is’ campaign go toward continuing to improve both patient and associate safety at Unity Health. Improvements include renovations to the Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation Center such as patient rooms, family room, dining room, gym area remodel and a covered entrance. These improvements help empower patients to reach their highest potential so they may stay closer to home and heal more quickly.

Two ways to give:


Text UNITY to 444-999 to give today!

Unity Health Foundation: (501) 278-3191 or foundation@unity-health.org


‘We had joy, we had fun’

501 LIFE

OWNERS Donna Spears, Sonja J. Keith OFFICE MANAGER Tracey Wilkinson EDITOR Sonja J. Keith


ART DIRECTORS Jennifer Godwin and Nick Walker ASSOCIATE EDITOR Levi Gilbert PHOTO DIRECTOR Mike Kemp

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Tom Keith CONTRIBUTORS Donna Benton Don Bingham Kellie Bishop Adam Bledsoe Tanner Cangelosi Brittany Gilbert Laurie Green Linda Henderson Vivian Hogue Karl Lenser Mark McDonald Mark Oliver

Kiera Oluokun Todd Owens Bill Patterson John Patton Susan Peterson Dr. Robert Reising Robin Richards Jan Spann Donna Lampkin Stephens Callie Sterling Jaison Sterling Megan Stroud


Bo (front row) and Melanie Conner along with Ginny and Jack Bell were “Loving LIFE” with members of Straight No Chaser prior to the group’s performance at the University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall. It’s interesting how often a song or show tune comes to mind when I consider a particular topic or phrase. While working on this “Celebrating seasons” edition of 501 LIFE, I found myself humming the 1970s tune “Seasons in the Sun.” (For those too young and unfamiliar with 45 RPM vinyl records, Google it.) The song took me back to elementary school when my parents, three sisters and I made the trek in the family station wagon, in the middle of winter, from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Oak Harbor, Wash. Even though Dad only had less than two years left of his 20 years of service to Uncle Sam, the Navy thought it was time for a change of scenery. Needless to say, there were a lot of seasonal differences about living in South Texas vs. the Pacific Northwest. When it wasn’t raining (and it rained a lot), it was beautiful. Having spent time at the beach on Padre Island, it was difficult for me to understand why someone would want to swim in what I considered frigid water off the coast of Washington. We still tease Mom that she never warmed up while we were stationed on base on Whidbey Island. Half of the time we were stationed in Washington,

Dad was on a “cruise” aboard the USS Coral Sea. He missed Christmas and other holidays as well as birthdays. Back in the day, there was no Facetime or overseas phone calls, just precious letters and cards. Boy, did we miss him. Mom deserves a medal for all those months Dad was away. She was amazing (and still is). When Dad’s unit returned, there was a big welcome home party with lots of hugs and tears. Daddy was home, safe and sound. Our family of six was reunited again. (It’s no wonder that I can’t help but cry when I see those surprise homecomings on TV when children are reunited with a deployed parent. I have an idea of what it is like.) Before too long, Dad retired from the Navy and my sweet family made its way to Arkansas to be close to my grandparents. One season was over and we embarked on another. No matter the change in seasons or surroundings, I have been blessed with one constant in my life – my loving parents and sisters. What joy and fun we have had as the seasons have rolled by. Until next month, here’s to “Loving LIFE” in the 501. A discipleship group from Second Baptist Church in Conway was “Loving LIFE” during Girls’ Nite Out at Dazzle Daze: leader Amy Reed (front, from left), Hope Carter, Alex Wilmoth; Karen Carter (middle), Ainslee Hoffpauir, Allie Glenn, Gretchen Graham, Elisha Johnson; Kendra Romig (back), Leslie Spurgers, Kittie Klepacki and Stephanie Irwin. (See more photos on Page 18.)

4 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Johnny Adams Jack Bell Don Bingham RaeLynn Callaway Glenn Crockett Kay Dalton Beth Franks Russ Hancock Spencer Hawks Mathilda Hatfield Roe Henderson Jerry Hiegel Mike Kemp

Julie LaRue Karl Lenser Lori Melton Kiera Oluokun Deanna Ott Pat Otto Jon Patrom Amy Reed Lori Ross Margaret Smith Jan Spann Kim Tyler Jennifer Whitehead

CONWAY COUNTY EDITORIAL BOARD Mary Clark Shelli Crowell Dr. Larry Davis Shawn Halbrook Alicia Hugen Alisha Koonce

Stephanie Lipsmeyer Stewart Nelson Kristi Strain Jim Taylor Morgan Zimmerman

WHITE COUNTY EDITORIAL BOARD Betsy Bailey Tara Cathey Cassandra Feltrop Phil Hays Natalie Horton Matt LaForce

Hannah Owens Mike Parsons Brooke Pryor Carol Spears Kristi Thurmon

To subscribe or order back issues, visit www.501lifemag.com. The subscription rate is $20 for one year (12 issues). 501 Advertising and Publishing 701 Chestnut St. Conway, Ark. 72032 501.327.1501 info@501lifemag.com 501 LIFE is published monthly by 501 Advertising and Publishing (701 Chestnut St., Conway, Ark. 72032, 501.327.1501). The contents of 501 LIFE are copyrighted and materials presented may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publishers. Articles should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Products and services advertised are not necessarily endorsed by 501 LIFE. 501 LIFE is produced on recycled paper.


January 2020

Volume 12 Issue 9



38 Feature

Conway County’s Matt Stell has racked up more than 45 million digital streams of his hit “Prayed for You.”

On the cover

As Central Arkansas embarks on a new year, 501 LIFE is all about “Celebrating seasons” (Pages 42-46) in this month’s edition. (Bill Patterson and Mike Kemp photos)

56 Home

Jodi and Jeff Pryor have a gift of seeing the potential in a structure and making a space their own – this time in Bigelow with an old church.

70 Women in Business

Seven women were selected to receive special recognition for their accomplishments.

neighbors 24 Couples

Drs. Jennifer and Matthew Woods have a love for one another as well as their shared profession of dentistry.

26 Youth


For Willow Harper, the inspiration for her Girl Scout Gold Award came from, of all places, her own backyard.

30 Jacksonville


Frank Osborne vividly remembers the day nearly 80 years ago when he knew his life changed forever.

34 Morrilton


Surveying instructor Terry Cleaver can still imagine how the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton appeared in the early 1980s.

82 Person of the month


Amy Burton is the executive director of Main Street Searcy, an organization that works to preserve, promote and enhance Downtown Searcy.

‘501 Kids’ section

4 8-9 10-17 52-60 82

LIFE pics 18-23

501 LIFE contributors Kellie Bishop and Brittany Gilbert have great tips in the 501 Kids section (Pages 62-64). Have a story idea or a young person you would like to see featured? Send suggestions to info@501lifemag. com.


6 | 501 LIFE January 2020


Editor’s Note Calendar Loving LIFE Home Person of the month

501 LIFE would like to thank its advertising partners for their continued support and encourage our readers to support these businesses:

501 LIFE is you!

twitter.com /501lifemag

A Arkansas Dental Centers, 25 Arkanas Dermatology, 48 Arvest (Birch), 71

facebook.com /501lifemag

B Brookdale Senior Living, 37

C Central Arkansas Pediatrics, 63 Conway Corporation, 21 Conway Institute of Music, 33 Conway Regional Health System, 73, 79, 83 Conway Regional Rehab, 23

D DJM Orthodontics, 27

E Edward Jones, 29 EL Clinical, 51

F First Security Bank, 84 First Service Bank, 13 Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling Inc., 57

H Hartman Animal Hospital, 81 Harwood, Ott & Fisher, PA, 75 Heritage Living Center, 5 Hiegel Supply, 59

Get “LIFE” at home! For a limited time, 501 LIFE is offering a special subscription rate for new subscribers - have the magazine delivered to your home for only $20 for one year, $40 for two years. While the magazine is distributed through more than 700 locations in Central Arkansas, copies go fast. Home delivery ensures readers they won’t miss a single issue. Readers can visit 501lifemag.com or call 501.327.1501 to subscribe.

Tune in at 12:30 p.m. the last Tuesday of each month to KARK Channel 4 for a segment on the current issue of 501 LIFE.

Writers’ Room

J JM Wellness, 50

M MSC Eye Associates, 55 Methodist Family Health, 39

O Ott Insurance, 61

P Patterson Eye Care, 45 Pulaski County Special School District, 66, 67

S Salem Place Nursing and Rehab, 31 Shelter Insurance, 45 Sissy’s Log Cabin, 19 St. Joseph Schools, 41 Superior Nursing & Rehab, 2

U UCA Reynolds Performance Hall, 47 Unity Health, 3 University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton, 35 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 49 University of Central Arkansas, 53

W Wilkinson’s Mall, 55

Vivian Lawson Hogue is among the rare “native” segment of pre-mid-20th century Conway residents still living where she was born in 1943. A graduate of Conway High School, Vivian attended Hendrix College for two years and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of science in education degree in art education. Vivian writes a regular column for 501 LIFE, oftentimes with an historical perspective. “Writing just slipped into my life by a happy accident.” To contact Vivian, email vhogue@ conwaycorp.net.

A regular contributor to 501 LIFE, Susan Peterson writes the “Authors in the 501” feature. Susan has lived in Conway nearly 35 years and enjoys most the abundant Crepe Myrtles in the 501. She has a PhD in education from the University of Akron in Ohio and is retired from the University of Central Arkansas. She has two children, Ashley and Dan, and their families live in the 501. Susan enjoys traveling, reading and making art, especially painting and pottery. To see her work, visit susanleepeterson. wixsite.com/suzart.

A resident of Central Arkansas most of her life, Linda Hoggard Henderson shares her love of photography and traveling Arkansas each month with 501 LIFE readers. “I enjoy most our small town life in the 501, but we are close to Little Rock and our state parks,” she said. “Also, most of my family and friends live in the 501.” In addition to photography, Linda enjoys traveling backroads and blue line highways, and cooking. “I enjoy eating at every dive, drive-in and every mom and pop restaurant in the 501.” A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, Linda retired from the Conway Human Development Center, where she grew up. She and her husband, Jim, have a son, John Mark, and daughter-in-law, Jenni Henderson. Other family include her dad and mom, Tommy and Peggy Hoggard, and Jim’s parents, Jack and Joanne Henderson. To contact Linda, email lindahenderson@conwaycorp.net or follow her on Facebook (Linda Hoggard Henderson) and Instagram (lindahenderson).

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 7


The Main Stage EdUCAtion Series will present “Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks” for area schoolchildren on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas. For more information, visit uca. edu/publicappearances/ mainstage.

January S 5

M 6

T 7











10 11

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Woolly Hollow State Park will host two First Day Hikes on Wednesday, Jan. 1. A guided hike of the entire length of the Huckleberry Trail is planned 10 to 11:30 a.m. From 2 to 2:45 p.m. there will be a hike of the scenic Cabin Loop Trail. Admission is free. Please bring water, sturdy shoes and a hiking stick, if you like. For more information, call 501.679.2098 or visit arkansasstateparks.com/woollyhollow. A First Day Fun Run 5K will be held Wednesday, Jan. 1, at DeGray Lake Resort State Park. The run will be along a mixed surface course split evenly between trail and road. This is a self-timed, non-competitive event. All ages and abilities are welcome. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the winter weather. Meet in front of the state park lodge for starting line briefing around 2 p.m.Contact the park for more information at 501.865.5850. Chick-fil-A Maumelle and the Maumelle Parks and Recreation Department will host a New 8 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Year’s event from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Jan. 3, in the Jess Odom Community Center. Activities will include giant games, basketball, dancing, a bounce house, face painting, a new year's resolution board and a COWnt down to a special surprise at noon. For more information, visit the restaurant’s page on Facebook. The Maumelle Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual recognition banquet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Maumelle Event Center. The chamber will honor members who have gone above and beyond during the previous year. The event begins at 6:30 p.m., with the program and awards at 7:30. Walt Coleman of Coleman/Highland Dairy and an NFL Football referee will be the featured speaker. To help sponsor the event or for more information, call 501.851.9700 or email macc@maumellechamber.com. The University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall will present “The SpongeBob Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21. For tickets, call 501.450.3265 or visit uca.edu/ publicappearances. The Cabot Chamber of Commerce will present its membership banquet on Thursday, Jan. 23, at Veterans Park Event Center. A reception is planned at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. The event will feature The Big Game Show. Tickets are $30 per person for chamber members and $40 for non-members. Table sponsorships are available. To RSVP, call 501.843.2136 or emailchamber@cabotcc.org by Monday, Jan. 14. St. Joseph School in Conway is planning a

community open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. There will be PreK-12th grade tours, an opportunity to meet teachers and free refreshments. For more information, call 501.327.1204. The Main Stage EdUCAtion Series will present a play titled “Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks” for area schoolchildren on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Main Stage performances are selected to be entertaining while educating the audience on an academic topic and integrating arts into school curriculum. For more information on this performance or Main Stage, visit uca.edu/ publicappearances/mainstage. The University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall will host Dr. Temple Grandin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Grandin, currently a professor in animal science at Colorado State University, is considered to be one the most well-accomplished adults with autism in the world. She currently has a bestselling book titled “The Way I see It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asbergers.” Grandin will address how helping different kinds of minds solves problems. For tickets, call 501.450.3265 or visit uca.edu/publicappearances.

To submit a calendar item, please send information to info@501lifemag.com. To see a complete list of items, please go to 501lifemag.com.


Arkansas Duck Derby

Plans announced for event Jan. 6-7 Organizers have announced plans for the 501’s premier hunting event – the Second Annual Arkansas Duck Derby. The event benefits the Conway Regional Men's Health Initiative and the Lodging Assistance Program that provides short-term housing for patient families in need. The competitive one-day hunt features a team of four hunters and a landowner or designated host who compete for a grand prize that can be equally divided. “Nothing pulls guys together like a great hunt and this also is an opportunity for us to focus on men taking care of their health, a topic that men rarely discuss,” said Thad Hardin, M.D., a family practice physician at Conway Regional and chairman of the organizing committee. “We are fortunate to provide comprehensive men’s health services to our community, but they do us no good if men don’t take a proactive role in taking care of themselves. So, our goals are two-fold with this event.” Hardin joins fellow physicians Andrew Cole, M.D., and Lew McColgan, M.D., in planning the derby along with Mike Armstrong, Bret Carroll, Kevin Carter, Chip DeBoard, Kelley Erstine, Cora Gray, Jon Ross Henderson, Jim Rankin Jr., Josh Robinson, Reggie Rose, Jason Smith and Jeff Standridge. Planning for the inaugural event began in 2016. “We’ve been having monthly meetings as a committee since that time,” Hardin said. “We knew that for it to turn out well it would take a lot of planning and hard work. We wanted to make sure that the event was a success and that people would want to come back.” The event kicks off with a Pre-Hunt Community Banquet planned Monday, Jan. 6, at the University of Central Arkansas HPER Center. It will include dinner, drinks, a gun raffle, silent and live auctions, men’s and women’s raffles and big ticket raffle items. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 each.

The winning team in the inaugural Arkansas Duck Derby last year with contest representatives: event committee chairman Dr. Thad Hardin (from left), Jacob Trammell holding his daughter (Lettie Jane), Cole McNeill, Stephen McNeill, Carson McNeill and Conway Regional President and CEO Matt Troup. The competitive hunt takes place Tuesday, Jan. 7, on multiple parcels of privately-owned land in Central Arkansas. Teams will be randomly paired with landowners and hunting locations at the conclusion of the banquet. The entry fee for the four-person team is $1,200 and includes four tickets to the Pre-Hunt Community Banquet and four gift packages. After the hunt concludes, point values will be assigned to the duck species. Teams will return to C2 Powersports in Conway for final check-in, scoring and an awards ceremony. The team with the most points will go home with some serious prizes - not to mention Derby bragging rights for a year! Prizes will also be awarded for the second and third place teams.

Michelle Nichols of Conway was the winner of a decorative sign from Daisy-A-Day that 501 LIFE gave away as a door prize during Dazzle Daze.

While there are other duck hunts in the state, the Arkansas Duck Derby is unique to Central Arkansas. “This is an event that will benefit our community tremendously. It will bring awareness to Central Arkansas through a great event,” said Hardin. “We all know that men’s health is sometimes out of sight/ out of mind and men typically don’t go to the doctor until it’s too late. We are hoping that through this hunt we will be able to augment the men’s health Initiative to create more opportunities to make men healthier. The Arkansas Duck Derby is certainly an event you won’t want to miss.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ArkansasDuckDerby.com or contact Marla Hambuchen at mhambuchen@conwayregional.org.

Waldo Magie was featured in the December issue of 501 LIFE. Unfortunately, he was suffering a terminal illness and lost his battle Nov. 25. 501 LIFE Photographer Mike Kemp captured a wonderful portrait of him for that issue. Our condolences go out to Waldo's family. - 501 LIFE Team January 2020 501lifemag.com | 9


Sharing the 501 LIFE spirit

501 readers are enjoying LIFE and sharing their trips and special occasions with others. An overwhelming number of readers are submitting “Loving LIFE� photos for inclusion in the magazine, and every effort is being made to publish them as soon as possible. Headed out on a special trip? Pack a copy of 501 LIFE in your suitcase, snap a photo at your destination and send it to us for publication in a future issue. Have a special occasion or get-together coming up? Take 501 LIFE along, take a photo and send it to us. Photos can be submitted by email to info@501lifemag.com or by mail to Reader Photos, c/o 501 LIFE, 701 Chestnut St., Conway, Ark. 72032. Please include the names of those in the photograph and their hometowns along with contact information. (Sorry, photos will not be returned by mail but can be picked up at the 501 office.) Here’s to “Loving LIFE.� – Sonja Keith

Doretta Bright (center) was “Loving LIFE� at a gathering of “Raymond’s Boys,� players who were coached by her late husband, Raymond. The event was held at Bobby and Julie Hill’s home in conjunction with Hall of Fame Weekend at the University of Central Arkansas.

“Loving LIFE� at the Little Rock Zoo: Tricia Fine (from left), Vanessa Fine, Stan and Mary Clinesmith and Stacey Witherell.

10 | 501 LIFE January 2020

The staff at Arkansas Pediatrics of Conway was “Loving LIFE� at Halloween. “Our patients really enjoyed seeing everyone dressed up and enjoying the holiday,� said office manager Donna Strickland.

The McDaniel Family was "Loving LIFE" in Dallas and Cedar Hill, Texas, at a family reunion and niece Selese's high school graduation: LaCarol (front, from left), Dewana and Selese McDaniel; Rashanna, Gwen and Kim McDaniel (second row), Chania Kemp, Charlotte Kindle, Tyra, Renata and Marilyn McDaniel, Jackie Potts; Fred (back), Veronica, Timothy, James and Tiryn McDaniel, Tasha Toney and Torre Kindle.

St. Joseph High School’s Homecoming Queen senior Gracie Keathley was “Loving LIFE” with her father, Conway Fire Department Assistant Chief of Operations Bill Keathley, who escorted her during her walk at the homecoming basketball games with Rose Bud on Nov. 15.

“Loving LIFE” as Vilonia High School’s Kaylee Partee signed to play softball at National Park College: Rodney Partee (from left), Jerrod Partee, Heather Partee, Kaylee Partee, Jessica Taylor and Kevin Sullivan. A daughter of Rodney and Heather Partee, Kaylee plans to study early childhood development. She has played softball for 13 years and plays outfield, shortstop and third base. “I would like to thank my family for always supporting me; my high school coach Kevin Sullivan and tournament coach Chesley Shepard for always believing in me; and for Jessica Taylor for giving me this opportunity to play for her,” wrote Kaylee.

Line dancers and cloggers from the Ola and John Hawks Senior Wellness and Activity Center in Conway were “Loving LIFE” while being the featured entertainers for the annual “Luau”: Sue Sims (front, from left), Doris Tate, Donna Bivens; Cathy French (middle), Linda Hayes, Retha Rider, Patsy Paul, Wanda Strong, Karla Humphrey; Guadalupe Sepulveda (back) and Debbie Mohnkern. The group, directed by Donna Bivens and Debbie Mohnkern, performs at retirement centers and nursing homes.

“Loving LIFE” at the Robinson and Center Church of Christ Ladies Retreat at Shepherd of the Ozarks retreat center in Harriet (Searcy County).

Forty-nine senior members of Oak Bowery Baptist Church took 501 LIFE along on a fall trip to Branson, where they saw a beautiful rendition of “The Miracle of Christmas.”

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 11


‘Loving LIFE’ at NAACP banquet The Conway County branch of the NAACP hosted its Frank W. Smith Freedom Fund Banquet 2019 at the Morrilton High School Cafeteria. The theme was “If there’s no struggle, there is no progress.� State Sen. Joyce Elliott was the guest speaker. At the event, first vice president Billy Sanders was presented the Leadership Award and Alma Byrd (98) was recognized with the President’s Award.

Sen. Joyce Elliott (from left), Alma Byrd and Joe Canady.

Zennettie Black (left) and Sen. Joyce Elliott.

Ciera Newsome (from left), Sen. Joyce Elliott and Mary Newsome.

Morrilton Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer (from left), Sen. Joyce Elliott and Conway County Branch President Joe Canady.

Joe Canady (from left), Sen. Joyce Elliott and Billy Sanders.

12 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Sen. Joyce Elliott and Bill Smith, son of the late Frank W. Smith.

Jasmine Canady (from left), Marsha Canady, Janette Jones and Jomika Morris.


Community Market President and Sr. Loan Officer Kevin was raised in Clarksville, AR and is a 1994 graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he majored in Financial Management. He began his banking career in 1994. Kevin and his wife Alison have called Conway, AR home since 1998. They have three children, Emily, Natalie, and Anna Claire. Kevin currently serves on the Conway Airport Advisory Committee, Arkansas Aviation Historical Society Board, is a member of Kiwanis Club of Conway, and is a 2002 graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute.


Small Business and Consumer Loan Officer Dawn is a graduate of Vilonia High School and UCA, where she earned a Bachelors of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance. Dawn is married to her husband, Chris Johnson, and they have one son, Brayden. They reside in Conway and attend Second Baptist Church, where she is active in small group and choir. Dawn is a 2018 graduate of the Conway Area Leadership Institute (CALI) and has been a Conway Chamber Ambassador since 2013. Come see Kevin, Dawn, or any First Service Bank associate and experience our superior service for yourself!

We are... CONWAY | 501.932.5050 | CONWAY | 501-932-9700 CLINTON | 501.745.7200 | GREENBRIER | 501.679.7300 | LITTLE ROCK | 501.801.7402


Bert Lackey (from left), Beth Ruple and Wanda Eason took 501 LIFE along on a cruise to Antarctica. “It was an amazing trip,� wrote Wanda. It was the seventh continent for Bert to visit.

Reed (from left) and Sondra Odom along with Connie Trent, all of Conway, were “Loving LIFE� at the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M.

14 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Son and mother duo Wesley and Robin Tyler took 501 LIFE along as they walked the Camino de Santiago, Spain on the French Way from Sarria to Santiago. It included a stop at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (pictured).

Roe Henderson (from left), Charlie Palmer, Jim Henderson, Eric Christenson, Jeb Brant, Brad Hohbach, Jeff Jennings, 3J Jennings and JoJo were “Loving LIFE� during a hunt in Southlake, S.D.

Becky Benedetti (from left), Karen Ladd, Jennifer Fulfer and Travis Fulfer took 501 LIFE along on a trip to Forsyth Park, Savannah, Ga. “We take my dad on a yearly trip. We went to Charleston with a stop off at the Whistle Stop café for some fried green tomatoes,” wrote Becky.

“Loving LIFE” on an educational trip to New York City with seventh grade students, teachers and parents from Carl Stuart Middle School and Ruth Doyle Middle School in Conway.

Karen Burgin (from left), Logan Freeman and Kim Fleming took 501 LIFE along to the southernmost point in the continental U.S. The three took an 18-day trip down the west coast of Florida through the Everglades to Miami and Key West, making their way back up the east coast of Florida. “This was a trip of a lifetime,” wrote Kim.

New Life Church members from the Conway and Hot Springs campuses took 501 LIFE along on a mission trip to Cojimar, Cuba.

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 15


Arkansas native Anthony “Lil Tony� Lutes was “Loving LIFE� and celebrating his climb to Mount McKinley (Denali) in Denali State Park, Alaska. He was born and raised in the Jacksonville area until he was a junior in high school, when the military moved the family to Anchorage. He still visits family in Arkansas regularly, but now resides in Eagle River, Alaska. He says “he was lucky to go from the Natural State to another state known for its nature.� McKinley is the third most prominent and isolated peak on earth. The left photo is before the climb and the right photo is from basecamp at 7,200 feet elevation. He wanted to do something special on Mother’s Day weekend for his mom, Theresa Lutes, a religion teacher at St. Joseph High School in Conway, so he took along “The Mom Squad� issue of 501 LIFE.

The Perryville High School Beta Club took 501 LIFE along to the National Beta Convention in Oklahoma City: Kenzie Chambliss (front, from left), Ashlynn Snyder, Mallory Hawkins, McKinley Boyette, Jenna Webb, Shelby Powell, Lauren Rudolph, Mason Roland, sponsor Jamie Chambliss; Garrett Farnam (back), sponsor Paula Trafford, Evan Cates, Annalise Strecker, Macey West, Maddie McGrew, Luis Chinos, MaKenzie Crawford, Crete Tippen, Marly Brand and Sydney Chambers. 16 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Karen Hall of Greenbrier (left) and Kay Harris of Austin (Lonoke County) took 501 LIFE along to Arlington Cemetery while vacationing in Washington, D.C.

StoneBridge Assisted Living’s senior ladies took 501 LIFE along on an outing. “We had a wonderful time watching Broken China Jewelry Project participants make necklaces out of pieces of plates,� wrote Anita Harris. “Their continued generosity to the Conway Women’s Shelter through the sale of these jewelry creations is an inspiration to us all. Also shown are several project participants.�

Cloie Lovell Davis and Caimbre Hess took 501 LIFE along as they participated in the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Okla. The event drew more than 1,200 contestants from across the U.S. and Canada.

Copperas Springs Baptist Church completed Vacation Bible School at Saddle Ridge Ranch under the direction of Hillary Tennyson. The kids brought food each night to donate to The Station, a food pantry under the direction of Pete Hutto. Students donated more than 1,000 cans. Members of the Pre-K class were “Loving LIFE” while riding the wagons loaded with cans: Lincoln Mask (from left), Anthony Walker, William Wingfield, Trevor Reeden, Weston Mask and Aviley Lynch. Not pictured: Keirstyn Mask, Bentley Lynch, Audrey Glover, Suede Fowler, Henry McGinty, Lillie Jean Crossland, Walker Crossland and Paisley Fowler. Pre-K leaders included Hannah Tennyson, Marrissa Simone and Lillian Grimes; the adult leader was Lynda Harmon.

Ronnie Newton of Greenbrier and Dennis Strom of Conway took 501 LIFE along on a trip, which included Glacier National Park in Montana.

Lincoln Mask was “Loving LIFE” at Saddle Ridge Ranch Vacation Bible School at Copperas Springs Church in Guy.

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 17


Lori Ross (from left), Mathilda Hatfield and Dot Welch.

Shelia Isby (left) and MissE Newton.

Amanda Bledsoe (left) and Rayla Hearne.

Women's council hosts annual Dazzle Daze The Conway Regional Women’s Council recently presented the 18th Annual Dazzle Daze at the Conway Expo Center and Fairgrounds. Since its inception, Dazzle Daze has raised more than $760,000, which has been used to purchase equipment at Conway Regional Medical Center, fund scholarships, patient and community programs and provide teacher grants. Dazzle Daze co-chairs Shelia Isby and MissE Newton led the efforts to plan the event and help raise funds to help purchase the latest in 3D mammography equipment, improving screening and diagnostic results for women from all walks of life. 501 LIFE served as a Presenting Sponsor for the event. “We want to thank our friends Julie Goodnight and her team at Julie’s Sweet Shoppe and Reita Johnson and her team at Daisy-A-Day Florist and Gifts for their help with the 501 booth this year,” said 501 LIFE co-publisher/editor Sonja J. Keith. For more information, visit DazzleDaze.com.

Kalyn Henry (left) and Tracey Rappold.

Julie Goodnight (from left), Susie Wallace, Teilla Bradley and Lisa Goodnight.

Barbara Smith (left) and Shelia Balentine. Shawn Holland (left) and Annette Rice.

Carol Zimmerman (left) and Kimberly Growns.

18 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Carissa Mitchell (left) and Lily Harrod.

Barbara Shaw (left) and Mitzi Reynolds.

Treva Branscum (left) and Diana Hensley.

Teresa Huff (left) and Liz Hamilton.


Scott Kelly Rocio Gonzalez Torres Luke Bannister


The Aviation Pioneers Squad


New UACCM chancellor honored at reception The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton recently welcomed Lisa Willenberg as its new chancellor during a reception in the Workforce Training Center. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and community members greeted Willenberg and offered well wishes for her and the college’s future. She is the fourth person to be named chancellor — and the first woman to assume the role — since the college’s establishment in 1963. Her tenure as chancellor began on Nov. 1. Willenberg has served at UACCM for 27 years, starting as a general accountant and later becoming a vice chancellor in 2011. She also has experience as an adjunct instructor of accounting while at UACCM. For more information, visit uaccm.edu.

Wonderview High School graduates with superintendent Jamie Stacks: Sandra Sponer (from left), Mary Newsome (assistant to the chancellor), James Burgener, Jamie Stacks, UACCM Chancellor Lisa Willenberg, Joe Canady (UACCM Board of Visitors member), Martha Sullivan, Stacy Stracner, Sherry Kaufman and Sandra Gangluff.

Lisa and Chris Willenberg.

Joe Canady (from left), Darren Jones, County Judge Jimmy Hart and Robert Keeton.

Sen. Mark Johnson (from left), Linda Beene and Chrissy Miller.

Linda Stanley (from left), Judy Sanders, Lisa Willenberg and Carolyn Massingill.

Lisa Willenberg (from left), Mary Newsome and former chancellor Dr. Larry Davis. Mary has served as the assistant for the current and two former chancellors.

UACCM officers Richard Ates (from left), Wesley Martin and David Hall with Lisa Willenberg.

Chris Willenberg (from left), Linda Jaramillo and Ron Beckman. 20 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Mary Clark (left) and Melissa Rust.

Lisa Willenberg (center) with Dr. Larry and Carlene Davis.

Former chancellor Nathan Crook and new chancellor Lisa Willenberg.


St. Joseph School holds Roaring '20's fundraiser

Chris and Lenisa O'Dwyer.

St. Joseph High School seventh-graders Bailey Pope (left) and Sarah Beth Sammons.

St. Joseph School Principal Diane Wolfe and her husband, Keith, who teaches Industrial Technology at the school. Ray Nielsen photos

St. Joseph School in Conway recently held a Roaring '20's Gala fundraising event in support of purchasing a new school bus.

Many couples dressed in Prohibition-era attire and several posed with classic cars from that decade, which were parked at the St. Joseph Spiritan Center. The fun-filled evening brought in close to $40,000.

Jenifer Tucker (from left), Jan Smith and St. Joseph Elementary School Principal Courtney Pope.


Just like you.

You don’t take a break from taking care of the ones who matter most. Our people can appreciate that. At Conway Corp, we never stop thinking about the families we serve throughout the community. We’re a part of the big moments, as well as the mundane. And the goal? Making sure you don’t have to think about us.


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January 2020 501lifemag.com | 21


First Service grand opening First Service Bank recently held grand opening festivities for its West Little Rock location. The bank, located at 700 Hardin Road along Financial Centre Parkway, made donations in recognition of the grand opening to Community Bible Study Student Ministries in Arkansas for an afterschool program, JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), CARE for Animals and Travis Ward 4 Ball benefitting Safe Haven. First Service Bank has locations in Greenbrier, Conway, Marshall, Mountain View, Dermott, Shirley, Yellville, Flippin, Clinton and Little Rock, with its headquarters in Faulkner County. A majority, family-owned and operated bank for 57 years, First Service employs 105 people at 11 locations around the state.

Jon Patrom and Whitney Long.

Donation to CARE for Animals: Casey Severns (from left), Abbie Reeves, Anderia Mahon, Amy TurpinFrazier and Meaghan Ferneau.

Janet McPhate (from left), Courtney Magie and Justin Zimmerman.

Little Rock Branch Manager Anderia Mahon (left) and Haile Babers.

Bill Puddephatt and Caroline Bonifant, area director for Community Bible Study Student Ministries.

Matthew and Kurstee Carter.

Robin and Ryan Hackett.

Fairfield Bay Oktoberfest Robin Richards photos

Wendy Henderson (from left), Tommy Trusty and Leeanna Brown.

Marleigh Clark (from left), Emma Rose Sadler and Thomas Clark Jr.

Cherie and Jon Brandhorst.

Samantha Beavers (from left), Kadence Garrison and Stevie Beavers.

22 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Fairfield Bay hosted its Sixth Annual OktoberFest on Oct. 5. The Fairfield Bay Conference Center was the place to be for games, music, arts and craft vendors, authentic German fare and a FREE KidsFest. For more information on the event and other activities at Fairfield Bay, go to VisitFairfieldBay.com or FairfieldBayConferenceCenter.com.

Ben and Jenny Bradford.

Searcy chamber banquet


Megan Stroud photos

The Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards banquet Oct. 29 at the new White County Cooperative Extension Building. The Wizard of Oz “There’s No Place Like Home” themed, fun-filled event featured Branson comedian and musician Paul Harris, a White County native. Awards presented: • Arkansas Community Development Society Innovative Program Award – Mat Faulkner and Mayor Kyle Osborne • Leadership Searcy Award – Steven Webb, CEO of Unity Health • Non-profit of the year – White County Single Parent Scholarship Fund • Emerging Business of the year – Whole Hog Cafe • Volunteer of the year – Logan Russell • Business of the year – Bobby T's Mattress & Furniture Sponsors were Unity Health, First Security Bank, Bulldog Aviation, Ritter Communications, Oasis Car Wash and First Community Bank.

Brian Edelman (from left), Tamra Shafer, Shell Quinn and Diana Crawford.

Brian Mize (from left), Rachelle Mize, Hannah Anderson and Phillip Mize.

Dana Montgomery (from left), Logan Rivers and Brittany Rivers.

Kenneth and Kay Mills.

Father and son, Paul Harris (from left) and Paul Harris, with Patrick and Rachel Stegall.

Brandon Moss (from left), John McKnight and Matt LaForce.

Mayor Kyle Osborne (from left), David Evans, Richard Cargile, Steve Foster and Buck Lane.

Buck Lane (from left), Steve Foster, Paul Harris and Patrick Stegall.

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 23



Jennifer Woods

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Conway since I was 3 years old. EDUCATION: Bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas; and a doctorate of dental surgery from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. JOB: General dentist at Centerstone Dental Center, near UCA. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: At a young age, I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field somewhere, but didn’t actually decide on dentistry until I was in college. During my freshman year, I job shadowed various medical professionals, one of which happened to be the original dentist at Centerstone Family Dental. I loved how much she got to interact with patients of all ages and help them get back to better dental health, and also make them feel more confident with their smile. I think it’s special that the exact office I decided upon dentistry as a career is where I ended up getting to work! NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Get back into running. PARENTS: Robert and Debbie Brown of Tulsa. HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: Reading, working out at Glover Fitness, traveling, shopping and activities with our dogs. WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I was born in Canada, and have dual citizenship.

Drs. Jennifer and Matthew Woods have a love for one another as well as their shared profession of dentistry. (Mike Kemp photo)


Matthew Woods

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: I was born and raised in Conway.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas; and a doctorate of dental surgery from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. JOB: General dentist at East Oak Dental Center. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: Growing up, I always had a good relationship with my dentist and enjoyed my visits, which were probably a little too frequent due to my love for chocolate. I was always intrigued by the procedures he did and after job shadowing for a class in middle school, I decided to pursue a career in dentistry and never changed my mind. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: I would like to get more involved in the community. PARENTS: Jim and Carol Woods of Conway. HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: I enjoy anything outdoors but my passion is duck and deer hunting. I have also recently gotten into cycling and am trying to get back into running, which was a long lost hobby. I love going to see movies with my wife but also really enjoy lazy Redbox nights. WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I was the 1996 Toad Suck Daze Mr. Tadpole.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO: Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO: “There are no insignificant or ordinary jobs when they’re performed by significant and extraordinary people.” - The Fred Factor book

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: It’s just home! Both Matt and I only ever left Conway to go to dental school, and we returned as soon as we could. The community here is so friendly and welcoming, and I love how it has continued to grow and expand with new activities and restaurants.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: The 501 is home to many favorite people and places, including some of my favorite hunting and fishing spots. I can’t see myself living anywhere but here, and think it’s the best area to raise a family.

24 | 501 LIFE January 2020


CITY: Conway. WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING IN THE SAME PROFESSION: We have many close friends in the dental profession, but there’s nobody we can talk about concerns or interesting cases with like we can with each other. Although we don’t constantly talk dentistry when we aren’t in the office, it is nice having someone so close who can understand everything you’re saying and bounce ideas off. HOW WE MET: Although we went to the same high school, we didn’t meet until college. We met through mutual friends.

THE PROPOSAL: Matt woke up early to pick daffodils out of his grand-

parents’ garden. He then arranged the daffodils on a large boulder on Greers Ferry Lake with one daffodil in the center that held the ring. He persauded Jennifer to go fishing with him, and led her out to the boulder where the flowers were arranged and got down on one knee. WEDDING BELLS: May 13, 2017, at Trapnall Hall in Little Rock. PETS: We have two dogs, Greer and Zoey. Greer was adopted from the Humane Society of Memphis. His favorite hobby is patrolling the borders of his backyard. Zoey was adopted from Out of the Woods Animal Rescue and her favorite hobby is playing fetch.

Jennifer and Matthew with two mixed breed dogs they adopted, Zoey (left) and Greer. (Photo courtesy of Sterling Imageworks Photography)

Jennifer and Matthew were married May 13, 2017, at Trapnall Hall in Little Rock. (Photo courtesy of Erin Wilson Photography)

TWO LOCATIONS IN CONWAY TO SERVE YOU! Visit one of our two locations today and see why Dr. Mathew and Dr. Jennifer Woods have earned the reputation as some of the best dentists in the Conway area.

ARKANSAS DENTAL CENTERS • CENTERSTONE 2235 Dave Ward Dr • (501) 932-0192

Dr. Jennifer Woods


Dr. Matthew Woods


ARKANSAS DENTAL CENTERS • EAST OAK 1600 East Oak Street • (501) 358-4101

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January 2020 501lifemag.com | 25

 Gold Award NEIGHBORS youth

Scout creates garden to educate, protect A Green Lynx Spider spotted in the garden.

Willow Harper, now a student at the University of Central Arkansas, achieved her Girl Scout Gold Award. Fewer than 6 percent of eligible Scouts will earn their Gold Award, and it takes significant time, dedication and community involvement. (Mike Kemp photo)

26 | 501 LIFE January 2020

by Katie Kemp

A Gold Award serves as the crowning achievement of a Girl Scout’s time in scouting. Planned, executed and completed during the Scout’s senior year of high school, the project serves as the culmination of the lessons learned over the years and a reflection of what they’d like their scouting legacy to be. For Willow Harper, the inspiration for her Gold Award came from, of all places, her own backyard. “The year prior to starting my project, I planted my own raised bed garden in my backyard. Out of curiosity, I planted some milkweed to see if I could really attract monarchs to my garden with them,” she said. It worked – that year she estimates between 30 and 50 monarch caterpillars appeared in her garden. As she watched them grow and began to do more research on monarch butterflies, she learned that pesticide use was contributing to a declining population. With her senior year on the horizon, it made perfect sense to use her Gold Award to take action. Willow joined Girl Scouts in 2006 when she was just 5 years old. It’s a significant accomplishment to graduate from scouting, and graduating with a Gold Award is even more impressive. Fewer than 6 percent of eligible Scouts will earn their Gold Award, and it takes significant time, dedication and community involvement to attain. For her Gold Award, Willow decided to create a space where the community could not just observe the beauty she found in monarch butterflies, but a place where they could be protected. The garden’s mission would be to educate the community on the simple things they could do to help boost a declining population. With the wheels in motion for a butterfly garden, Willow got to work and pieces started to fall into place. She contacted Ellen Smith Elementary School, where she attended, to see if they would be interested in providing the location for the garden. “As it turns out, Ryan Raup, a teacher at Ellen Smith and the father of my friend (and fellow troop member) Madeline, had created a vegetable garden a year or so prior, so the school was very excited to expand upon it with a butterfly garden.” A Gold Award requires several steps before it can go into motion. Scouts must identify an issue in their community, research it thoroughly and present a plan to take action to the local council. Once her plan was approved, Willow spent the fall of her senior year creating a general layout plan for the garden as well as lesson plans about the butterfly life cycle and pollination. She started sowing seeds for the garden plants in her own greenhouse to gear up for the spring, when she planned to open the garden. She set up everything in the garden herself – from the waterproof cedar raised bed frame and the soil to the garden’s first plants. “I didn’t have a wheelbarrow and didn’t have enough budget room to purchase one, so I moved roughly 2.5 cubic yards of dirt with nothing but my shovel.” Once the garden was constructed and the plants from her home garden were

in place, Willow added flowering plants. Using some leftover boards from the garden bed frame, she crafted a sign that tells visitors what kinds of plants are in the garden and includes a tribute to her original troop leader, Leslie Cagle. “She fostered my love of scouting and got me interested in camping and nature itself,” Willow said. “It was heartbreaking when she unexpectedly passed away in 2010.” The garden is dedicated in her memory. While the planning and construction of the garden are complete, Willow doesn’t consider her project to be done just yet. This year, Willow will teach a class of fourth grade students at Ellen Smith about the importance of monarch butterflies and other pollinators to the health of the planet – with the garden as a hands-on learning tool. The garden has been a wild success so far, with plants producing seed pods for the next growing season and – most importantly – a host of butterflies and caterpillars stopping by to check it out. It was her enthusiasm for the outdoors and gardening that inspired the project, but Willow feels that she’s grown, too. “I feel more confident communicating my ideas with others and working in a team toward a common goal after working closely with Ellen Smith staff and the Gold Award counsel,” she said. Now a student at the University of Central Arkansas, Willow has been able to use the skills she learned as a Girl Scout to connect her love of nature with the world around her and get others excited about it, too. With a full, vibrant garden ready to educate and inspire students, that love can only continue to grow.

Willow created a butterfly garden at Ellen Smith Elementary School in Conway.

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 27

NEIGHBORS sherwood

A man of all seasons

KARK’s Pat Walker passionate about work by Sonja J. Keith Mike Kemp photos

KARK Channel 4’s Pat Walker is passionate about his work and the weather. A Ward (Lonoke County) native, Pat graduated in 1992 from Cabot High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1996 from the University of Central Arkansas. After college graduation and a decision not to pursue a teaching career, Pat worked at a church camp and waited tables. With a plan of attending seminary, he served as a youth pastor in Ward and Cabot. He also worked for the postal service and was a substitute teacher. “I did a lot of things and finally, one night I decided I needed to make a change,” he said. While pondering what he could do, an idea popped up. “I thought, ‘I bet Ned Perme makes a lot of money.’ I love the weather. I think I can do that.” Pat researched different university programs and in 2001, enrolled at Mississippi State University in Starkville to study meteorology. He rented a bedroom in the oldest house in the county and there was no cable television. “I started reading my textbooks,” he said, adding that he was two or three chapters ahead before the semester started. “I was focused. I knew it was time to fish or cut bait. I thought ‘you are going to do this or you’re not going to do anything.’ It was time to grow up. I buckled down and did it.” In 2002, while still a graduate student, Pat interned and later worked at a Columbus, Miss. TV station. His first weather segment was in June. Throughout the summer, he worked on the weekends in Columbus and during the week at a Cabot golf course while interning at KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock. “It was really a good experience.” In 2003, he earned a master’s degree in geoscience. While at Mississippi State, Pat met his wife, Kim. They were married in 2005 while living in Oklahoma. It is also where they welcomed their first child. Kim was born in Vietnam and her family fled in 1974 to Thailand before traveling to the United States. Kim, who previously attended the University of Colorado, was already a journalist when they met but was pursing meteorology. “She was unlike any other girl I had ever dated.” Pat and Kim have had three children. Josiah Chase is 11 and Selah is 8. They lost their middle child, Abianna, due to a birth defect. In all aspects of his life, Pat’s faith is important. The family attends Fellowship Bible Church. “I don’t compartmentalize my life. They all tie together. I’m not going to wear my faith on my sleeve and say ‘here 28 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Ward (Lonoke County) native and Cabot High School graduate Pat Walker is a meteorologist at KARK Channel 4.

A day in the life of a meteorologist 3 a.m. – Get up 4 a.m. – Arrive at the studio 4 - 5 a.m. – Review data and finalize forecast 5 -7 a.m. – On air Channel 4 7-9 a.m. – News anchor on Fox 16 9:30 a.m. – Meeting, eat, prepare for noon show (sometimes a school talk) Noon – On air on Channel 4’s statewide news show 12:30 p.m. – Pack up and go home (sometimes filling in for the 12:30 show) 3 p.m. – Pick up kids at school, homework, afterschool activities Evening – Heat up dinner 7:30 p.m. – Bedtime for kids 8:30 p.m. – Pat’s bedtime

Originally from Ward (Lonoke County), meteorologist Pat Walker joined the KARK/Fox 16 team in March 2013.

is your forecast and verse of the day.’ That’s not the case because it’s not appropriate, but they all affect each other. I weave them through. “I have a Christian perspective on things because that is who I am. It has to be done in grace and not in legalism.” Pat’s work has taken him to several states – including Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa – where he was a chief meteorologist. While early in his

career Pat had wanted to return to his home state, he and Kim were happy and loved living in Iowa. Even though they had no plans to move, Pat stayed in touch with news directors in Arkansas and applied for a job in Little Rock. “When I came down here for the interview, I was hoping not to like it because I didn’t want to come,” he said. But he did. Pat started as the weekend meteorologist at KARK/Fox 16 in March 2013. In 2015, he moved to the weekday morning show. There are positive and negatives about working early in the morning. “The lack of sleep really gets to you. Summer is the worst because it’s still daylight. But, it does allow for me to pick up my kids at school so I’m with them from afterschool until bedtime. By being in the morning and not the evening, I do get to spend a lot of time with the kids. I’m tired after that time, but find me a parent who is not tired.” Kim is also an on-air meteorologist and does TV weather forecasting outsourced to smaller stations that are new or have limited resources. One is in Arkansas and the others are out of state. She goes to work at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and gets home around 7 p.m. “There’s a lot of shop talk. We knock ideas off each other, too. It’s good to have someone who understands what your job entails and understands the science of your job. It helps both of us.”

Walker continued on Page 79

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 29

NEIGHBORS jacksonville

Frank Osborne enlisted in the Army Air Force during World War II and had a 22-year active military career with 22 more years with the Veterans Administration. (Mike Kemp photo)

‘An obsession’

Flying a big part of veteran’s life by Donna Lampkin Stephens

Frank Osborne turned 94 in November, but he vividly remembers the day nearly 80 years ago when he knew his life changed forever. “I was cultivating corn on the northeast 40 (acres) in ‘39 or ‘40, and two airplanes from Fort Sill, Okla., flew over,” he recalled. “They were painted blue and yellow, and they came over real low. “I looked at them — I was sitting on a cultivator between two ornery old mules, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do. Everything from then on was geared toward that.” From his teen years on a dirt farm “on the edge of the dust bowl in Oklahoma” to enlisting in the Army Air Force during World War II, through a 22-year active military career and 22 more years with the Veterans Administration, and more than 55 years — and counting — as a charter member of the Mid-Arkansas Radio Control Society, flying has been a big part of the 30 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Jacksonville man’s life. “It’s just been a passion since I can remember,” Osborne said. “Even when I was a pre-teen, I would take old lumber and make airplanes out of it. I learned how to carve a propeller. It’s just been in my blood the whole time. “It’s an obsession, I guess you’d say.” On Dec. 8, 1941— the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, leading to the United States’ entry into WWII — Osborne and a buddy decided to try to enlist, even though they were just 15. “We didn’t think they’d let us in, but we hitchhiked 10 miles to the recruiting office, which was in the post office,” he remembered. “When we got there, there were four lines four-deep around the post office with people trying to enlist. It was moving slowly, and we decided they wouldn’t take us anyway, so we went on back to school.” With his eye toward his future, Osborne took several correspondence courses on such topics as

aeronautics and navigation that helped him graduate from high school in Verden, Okla., in three years. He enlisted in the Army Air Force on 4-4-44. “I spent the first year-and-a-half, two years waiting to go to pilot training,” he remembered. “It was kind of late in the war, and they had more pilots than they knew what to do with. I saw a notice that they were looking for B-29 flight engineers, and I saw that as a way to get to fly, so I applied and was accepted.” After graduating from pre-flight school, B-29 mechanic school and flight training in late 1945 — after the end of the war — Osborne was commissioned a second lieutenant and sent to Guam in early ‘46, shortly after marrying his high school sweetheart, Imogene, “the prettiest girl in school,” he said. They were married 58 years when she died. They had two children — David, who lived in Morrilton before he died several years ago, and Darlene, who lives in Lewisville, Texas. Imogene joined him on Guam for nearly a year, one of the “third boatload of wives to get

Frank Osborne in 1944 in Kingman, Ariz. to Guam after WWII.” The B-29 was a new, long-range plane that could fly from Guam to Japan and back, Osborne said, with the engineer essentially in charge of cruise control. “That was the first plane where the flight engineer had a position,” he said, pointing to duties that included control of engines, pressurization and gas flow to each engine as well as moving gas from control tanks to regular tanks. “The engineer had a regular seat where most of the engineers on other planes didn’t. They were glorified gunners.” Besides the engineer and pilot, he said the B-29 crew also included a bombardier, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator, central fire control (gunner), two side gunners, tail gunner and, in later versions, a radar operator. He joked that the pilot was “usually reading a magazine because he had the autopilot on.” But the Oklahoma boy loved it. “As long as I could fly, that was a childhood dream,” he said. His 22 years of active duty included the major conflicts of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, but he never got to a combat zone. “In Korea, they needed B-29 flight engineers, and friends around me would go and come back in six months with 20 missions and medals, and they never did call me,” he said. “I looked on it as a blessing at the time, but now I wish I would’ve gone over and done something. “Of course, I might’ve been killed.” After returning from Guam, he spent time on B-17s and flew military transports all over Europe and North Africa, still as a flight engineer. He remembered during the Cold War transporting big loads — tanks and road graders, among other items. “One time we were going to a little base in Greenland, and we hauled 30 great big telephone poles,” Osborne remembered. “That was quite an escapade. The airplane was heated, and all the creosote melted out of the poles. When we landed in Greenland, it was a mess. “It was about 30 below (zero) when we

Veteran continued on Page 32 January 2020 501lifemag.com | 31

Frank Osborne in his military uniform in 1950 (left). He enlisted in the Army Air Force on 4-4-44. After graduating from pre-flight school, B-29 mechanic school and flight training in late 1945 — after the end of the war — Osborne was commissioned a second lieutenant and sent to Guam in early ’46.

Veteran continued from Page 31 landed, and I asked the guy who was unloading the poles to clean it up, do the best you can. We came back from eating, the plane was spotless. It took them about 10 minutes to clean it because all the creosote froze and they just scraped it out.” Osborne came to the Little Rock Air Force Base as a navigator bombardier on B-47s in February 1959 and retired from active duty in 1966. After retiring on Saturday as a major, he went to work as a civilian in office equipment sales on Monday. “I was a poor salesman, and I finally got a job with the Veterans Administration,” he said. His 22 years with the VA included six months in Vietnam as a benefits counselor, an irony he finds amusing after he never saw conflict during his 22 years of active service. While he said his only regret from his military career is that he didn’t make it through pilot training, he has made up for it ever since, with more than 10,000 hours of flying time. “I did a little flight training when I was a kid,” he remembered. “I managed to buy an old cow for $5, sold it for $80 and put that money into flight training. I soloed when I was 16 and had about 20 flying hours when I got in. “Then there were aero clubs throughout the military, and I flew there just for fun and built up time. When I came here, I went to work and got all my commercial, instrument, and flight instructor licenses. I owned a couple of airplanes along the way, and my wife and I flew all over the country with them.” Osborne was an independent flight instructor and gave up flying only after he had bypass surgery in 2001, although he continued to do flight checks until his instructor license expired. And he still isn’t done with his hobby. Osborne is one of two remaining charter members of the Mid-Arkansas Radio Control Society, which meets several times a week to fly model planes via radio control. He said the group began in 1963 and incorporated in ‘65. “I won my first model airplane contest when I was 11 or 12, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. “I’ve progressed. At first I couldn’t afford anything, but 32 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Frank Osborne under a B-17 that flew into Little Rock in October. I’d usually get one or two for Christmas. Later on when I got paid I got a gas engine, and then later I got into the radio control thing. “The first radio outfit I built out of plans and a magazine. It was semi-successful. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.” He said he had two or three that he’d built, but that the process had evolved over the years. “You don’t build; you assemble,” he said. “I had assembled a couple of others like one I ordered, and just for fun I timed myself. From the time it came to the front door, it took me 40 minutes to get it ready to fly. All you needed was one crescent wrench and a crosspoint screwdriver. Thirteen screws held it all together.” Now married to Susanne, whom he worked with at the VA (“I was her supervisor,” he said. “Now the roles are reversed.”), Osborne joins other retirees to fly at least a couple of mornings a week. “We have anywhere from three or four to 15 or 20 of us assemble on any given day,” he said. “We limit it to five people in the air at one time. With the old guys, if you’ve got two or three in the air, that’s a whole bunch. I usually fly twice, and on a real good day, I’ll get three in.”

His planes now are electric- and battery-powered. “You usually drain the battery pretty fast, anywhere from five to 10 or 12 minutes,” he said. “We gather about 7 a.m. and hang it all up at 11 and all go somewhere and have a meal. It’s a lot of camaraderie.” Looking back over his life and career, he marveled at the gumption of his “Greatest Generation.” “They were young people, and we thought we were immortal,” Osborne said. “In Europe when 30 percent of the airplanes that went out on a raid were shot down, it was hard to believe that somebody would get on an airplane voluntarily and go. “I used to fly with a fellow who flew B-17s in Europe and had 175 missions. I always told him he had a death wish. But they just had no qualms about going out and putting their life on the line.” A few days before the interview for this story, someone hit Osborne’s truck from behind and totaled it. After flying early the next morning, he was headed truck shopping. “I’ve got a truck spotted, and I’m going to go buy it,” he told a reporter. May we all be so vital at 94.




Student Appreciation Party

Come celebrate our 10th anniversary!

Also a Thank you to our students for voting us “Best of Faulkner County� in the Log Cabin Democrat. We offer Piano . Guitar . Drums . Voice . Violin & More!

Event is open to the public so please stop by! 2-5pm Sunday, January 19th @ Conway Institute of Music 945 Carson Cove, Conway, AR

Make music in our instrument Petting Zoo! Free fried Oreos, funnel cakes, corndogs, lemonade! Win great door prizes, 3 months of lessons, or even a guitar!


945 Carson Cove, Conway, AR 72034 info@conwayinstituteofmusic.com


NEIGHBORS conway county

UACCM Surveying Instructor Terry Cleaver was named faculty member of the year by the campus community. (Trevor Mize photo)

A passion for education UACCM surveying instructor recognized by Jared Craig

Surveying instructor Terry Cleaver can still imagine how the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton appeared in the early 1980s. That’s a tell-tale sign of his history with the college, with his first exposure dating back to when he was a student. Recently, the campus community voted him as faculty member of the year. Cleaver didn’t always plan to be a surveyor. When he graduated from Clinton High School, he went to college at Arkansas State University-Beebe, left a couple years later, and got a job at a local grocery store. It was solid work that paid well. He liked his prospects of making a career of it, as he climbed the store’s hierarchy. Then something sparked in his mind: he wanted to be outside. He didn’t see a future being stuck inside a grocery store, restocking goods or working a cash register. He romanticized a profession surrounded by nature and explored possibilities to fulfill that dream. He found that Petit Jean Vocational-Technical School (now UACCM) stood as the best place for 34 | 501 LIFE January 2020

him. “I had the options of Arkansas Tech and UCA. They are four-year universities; you went there to get a degree for some professions. But you came to Petit Jean if you wanted a job,” he said. “Petit Jean guaranteed you a better shot at good, substantial work.” The college looked completely different back then. Most of the current buildings for academics and student life were not constructed yet. Buses brought in students from nearby counties, which Cleaver used to commute from Clinton at no charge. “At that time, the school was a training ground for a wide variety of career opportunities,” he said. The college focused on technical fields in high demand at the time: horticulture, printing, carpentry and cabinet building, among others. Heavy equipment classes met on a swath of land, barren with neither vegetation nor any development. Currently the bulk of the college’s buildings are located there, but in the past students trained on bulldozers and other construction machinery. Class time consisted of digging holes and moving mounds of dirt. When he chose surveying and drafting, he quickly found his passion. It included everything that he

wanted, including spending some time in the outdoors. Among his favorite memories, he appreciated that the program consisted of comprehensive on-thejob training that spanned 11 months. The college placed him at an engineering firm in Heber Springs, where he gained field experience and expanded his knowledge of the fundamentals. He was able to take what he learned from the classroom and make a survey out of it. It’s clear he feels a personal affinity to the profession. He notes how the field is rooted in the development of the United States. You can’t mark boundaries or make measurements without a professional surveyor. “We utilize these measurements to establish boundaries, help build roads, bridges and buildings, the infrastructure of America,” he said. “Boundaries are what built this country.” When he graduated from the surveying program, Cleaver’s career took him to Conway County, where he joined a firm. He earned a bachelor of science in engineering degree at the University of Arkansas, and rose as a partner. A few years later, he became the sole owner of that firm. He always lived a county away

Monica Frey (left) and Terry Cleaver.

Blake Johnson (from left), Daniel Seal and Terry Cleaver. from the college and kept up with the “transformation of the school to the community college that it is today.” As his firm grew, the work demanded the need to bring in interns to carry on the load. He got students from his alma mater, because of the proximity, but he knew that he wouldn’t have to train them on the field’s basic principles. “I suppose this is where my training and teaching others first started,” he said. The surveying firm grew over the years, as Cleaver added more crews and even elevated a few of his previous interns to the full-time staff. Then one day, he saw an advertisement for an adjunct instructor position at Petit Jean to teach surveying. The prospect of working at his alma mater attracted him. He never doubted his grasp of the field and had several advantages since he ran his own business. Getting himself to apply took some soul searching. “I didn’t know if I would be good at it. I think the administration thought that as well,” he said. “That’s

why they brought me on as an adjunct for a year.” Halfway through the second semester, he knew he wanted a career in education. He smiles thinking about how now he gets to spend only half of his time inside and dives into surveying theory. He reads material that he never had time to explore when running a business and carrying out assignments. He enjoys being able to dedicate time on the finer points of something he recently read. “There are so many things to learn. There’s no way to learn all of that in just a couple of years,” Cleaver said. He took a full-time instructor position the next year. After 17 years, he now has former students who are now his peers. He calls that a good feeling. The benefits of owning a business proved to be useful in the classroom. Soon after he left his firm, he taught students some valuable lessons in managing an office. More often today, he stresses the need for students to develop their interpersonal skills. On nearly a daily basis, surveyors interact with clients, employees of municipal or county government, someone in a title company or other figures in the business and legal communities. He said fostering those relationships is critical. Even simple gestures of kindness can make a difference. “Go there with a box of donuts and some business cards, tell them who you are, and tell them that you’re going to be around,” he said. Cleaver feels that practical advice helps students become better professionals. He talks to them about what they need to do when first entering the survey-

ing field. His advice helps newly-minted graduates not make mistakes. Ultimately, he says that these graduates need to adapt their employers’ methods. “Don’t say ‘Well, Cleaver said to do it this way.’ Don’t ever let those words get out of their mouth,” he said. “Then after they get to know you, if you still think that you have a better way, you may offer a suggestion to the chief.” He also tells his students to be at work every day on time. Punctuality is especially important in the field as surveyors will need to drive 30 miles to reach an assignment. He even suggests that they should offer to go in the office a half hour early to build a reputation of reliability. A long practitioner, his knowledge of surveying borders on the encyclopedic. He can walk the campus and note where new buildings can be placed relative to the distance of other structures — he knows the campus boundaries that well. He talks about how total station technology uses wavelengths to measure the distance between two points, and when it’s best to use that method. He can get a quick reading when calculating 600 feet, as light waves are traveling at approximately 186,000 miles per second. “We are considered expert measurers but the way we measure today is considerably different than in the past. Surveyors today use electromagnetic wavelengths and satellites to help us achieve our measurements utilizing some of the best technology available in the field of measurement.” Today, satellites can give surveyors measurements in just a few seconds. He is still active in the surveying profession. In 2019, he was elected as president of the Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors. He also presents at conferences, most recently at a session on writing land descriptions and along with two other presenters “The Future of Surveying in Education.” In addition, he is the county surveyor for Conway County. The demand for more surveyors grows, he warns, as there are not enough new, licensed surveyors in Arkansas — and many other states — to fill the jobs of retired surveyors. Many are even retiring later so that a firm can keep up with the workload. As UACCM has one of two surveying programs in the state, Cleaver feels that he can help his students find the opportunities to enter the surveying profession and work toward licensure and a great career with few boundaries.



501-977-2000 WWW.UACCM.EDU

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 35


A love of cooking

Williams enjoys new role at Conway Regional

36 | 501 LIFE January 2020

by Kiera Oluokun Mike Kemp photo

Tiffany Williams has a passion for cooking that has led her to the role as executive chef at Conway Regional Medical Center. Since her start in 2019, the lunch and dinner menus have been revamped and catering has expanded. Tiffany’s new role has kept her busy and on her toes, but that has not stopped her from creating signature, delectable dishes that are helping to rebrand the cafeteria experience at Conway Regional. A native of Conway, Tiffany’s love for cooking came at an early age by observing her grandparents who she referred to as “chefs in their own right.” Her passion continued to flourish throughout high school and adulthood. Prior to graduating from Conway High School, Tiffany took cooking classes that kept her involved and that is where she “really fell in love” with cooking. Tiffany went on to pursue higher education at University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College and obtained her culinary degree in 2013. Tiffany said that since then, “It has been one adventure after another.” Before assuming her role at Conway Regional, Tiffany also worked as the executive chef at the Clean Eatery and a sous-chef at the Capitol Hotel in Little Rock. With the expansion of catering, Tiffany has had the opportunity to prepare more upscale dishes for events such as a quarterly Pastor’s Dinner. She said these dinners give her a chance to prepare dishes that you typically do not see in a hospital setting —dishes expected at a formal event.

Cooking is a way to experiment and really pull out some of those real, creative, deep ideas.

— Tiffany Williams

One of those dishes is an edible chocolate cup with white chocolate mousse and an array of berries on top. Tiffany has received many compliments from this dessert dish alone. With the revamping of the menu and the hospital cafeteria experience, Tiffany is urging people outside hospital staff to come in and grab a bite. From pulled-pork to banana pudding, the Conway Regional cafeteria is shedding the stereotype of hospital food. Tiffany refers to cooking as “therapy” for her. “Many people, when they are stressed, go to their creative outlet which can be music, painting, singing — stuff like that. But for me, cooking is therapeutic because it is something that I really enjoy. Cooking is a way to experiment and really pull out some of those real, creative, deep ideas.” Tiffany said she does not have a specialty dish; however, most of her ideas come from smells. She can typically smell the combination of things just walking around and it will give her an idea. She gave the example of the coffee kiosk at the hospital. “We have the coffee kiosk, and a lot of times I can smell

the different flavors of coffee with syrups and it will spark an idea for something else.” Most chefs, according to Tiffany, cook by taste, which is not the case for her. The only thing that she tastes for is to make sure there is enough salt in the food that she prepares. She also enjoys going out to eat, which gives her the ideas for her dishes. When it comes to her job at Conway Regional, Tiffany enjoys her staff the most. “I like having a great staff because when you’re in there just kind of creating, you’re able to bounce ideas off of people and you come up with something super amazing,” she said. Tiffany refers to herself as a people person, so she enjoys having daily conversations with everyone who comes in and out of the cafeteria, as well as those involved in catering consultations. Her interactions range from environmental services to CEO Matt Troup. “It’s not very often that you work at a place and you see the CEO often. We see him throughout the hallways hanging out — he knows people by name and that’s really cool.” Not only does Tiffany appreciate her staff, but the entire staff at Conway Regional has welcomed her with open arms since her start in January 2019. “Everybody that works there is different in their own right. They have their unique personalities, and everyone is super nice.” She said that working at Conway Regional is unlike anything that she has ever experienced because everyone is genuinely nice. Working in the cafeteria has also afforded Tiffany the opportunity to learn everyone’s name and their specific order, which she says makes working “really personable.”

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NEIGHBORS center ridge

Conway County’s Matt Stell has racked up more than 45 million digital streams of his hit “Prayed for You.” (Photo courtesy of Matthew Berinato)

Rooted in the 501

Local boy Matt Stell hits the big time by Dwain Hebda

It’s a surreal experience when the skinny kid next door is singing country’s No. 1 song through your radio, but that’s just what the people of Center Ridge have been experiencing of late. One of their own, Matt Stell, has racked up more than 45 million digital streams of his hit “Prayed for You,” putting it in heavy rotation on country radio. “I wanted to be playing my own songs as much as I could, and I wanted to be a songwriter. That’s what I set out to do,” Stell said. “I have a little perspective about it now because I can look back and see what a long shot that was, but I had no idea at the time.” Making it in music is a moonshot under any circumstances and Stell’s background didn’t improve the odds. Coming out of high school, his first and

38 | 501 LIFE January 2020

most conspicuous talent was basketball, landing him at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., on a hoops scholarship. Few people knew of his musical aspirations early on, including Stell himself. “I guess I always knew I could sing a little bit. I could carry a tune,” he said. “You never really know, or at least I didn’t, how good I was or wasn’t. What really got the ball rolling for me was writing songs. That’s the part of it that I was sort of infatuated with. “I was in college, playing basketball and over the winter break you don’t get to go home. My mom got me this guitar when I was 12 that I never touched, and I asked her to bring it up to a home game. I sat and learned how to play in front of my computer. It wasn’t very long after that that I started writing songs. That was the bug that bit me.” Stell started playing locally – under a fake name to duck the wrath of his basketball coach – and eventually met up with some touring acts.

Those encounters led him to write for other artists and when those songs made the charts, he set his sights on Nashville. There, his dreams got caught up with the millions of others seeking stardom and after a while the grind made him wonder if music was his path after all. In fact, a medical mission trip nearly ended his quest altogether. He came home from that experience inspired to apply for the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Harvard. He got in, but it would demand nine years of his life and the rigorous courses would likely crowd out music. It was decision time when he crossed paths with Ash Bowers of Wide Open Music who offered him Matt Stell with his mom, Lisa Todd (left), and a publishing deal. grandmother, Shirley Gilbert. “I knew that if I didn’t do it, I would feel like I was quitting,” Stell said. “It was like, ‘This is what you came here after and now you have an opportunity. You need to see it through. They’ll still be A really underrated holding class up there if it doesn’t work out.’” thing, as I’ve noticed with But work out it did. “Prayed for You” was part a little bit of perspective, of his EP debut and immediately started grabbing is there’s a flourish of attention online. Even today, Stell is a bit stunned by the way it took off. language, the way it’s used “We put out a little EP, just my publishing and how a turn of phrase company, and ‘Prayed for You’ was on it,” he said. is appreciated whether “It got the ball rolling on its own and we sort of built a machine behind it to try to get more ears it’s a good joke or just a on it. Fast forward, that turns into a record deal particular way of getting a with Arista Sony Nashville and a No. 1 song on story across. the radio.” — Matt Stell A subsequent track “I bet Whiskey Would” continues his momentum as does “Home in a

Hometown,” an ode to small town life that one can’t help but think echoes particularly true in one Conway County community. “When I think of Center Ridge, it’s hard for that not to be synonymous with family. I’ve still got a lot of family there,” he said. “Even when I was a kid and I wasn’t living there all the time – I spent a good portion of my childhood in south Florida – I was always back in Arkansas every summer and Christmas and spring break. “When I think about that, I think about the people I’m related to, I think about how hard they work. A really underrated thing, as I’ve noticed with a little bit of perspective, is there’s a flourish of language, the way it’s used and how a turn of phrase is appreciated whether it’s a good joke or just a particular way of getting a story across.” Stell credits a lot of his success to his parents – Ronnie Stell and Lisa Todd – who not only kept a lot of music on in his childhood home but set an example of hard work and sacrifice that leached into him. “My dad passed away going on two years now, and I think about the way he was able to come from where he did and build a successful business, and how hard he worked to do that, and how I have much of that same self-belief and confidence and the wherewithal to learn new things,” Stell said. “My mom is one of the most driven, accomplished people that I know. There were times when I would doubt myself, but she never did. She’s been as impactful a part of my life as anybody. She’s the sweetest person in the world, but she gets it done. “So, I would say there’s not much I do that I can separate out from roots there in Central Arkansas.”

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 In so many words COLUMNIST

There are some in my generation who are the last to have memories of living in and around older people and their ways of living. I’m sure current younger ones will someday tell tales and make fun of their parents’ “antiquated” ways. However, I am glad I did get to observe some family culture that Vivian Lawson was closely related to the Hogue early days of our country. Theirs was a hardscrabble A native of Conway, Vivian Lawson Hogue graduated life that is rarely seen from the University of Central today. I am sometimes Arkansas with a degree in art asked about Arkansas education. A retired teacher, she worked in the Conway School traditions and word District for 23 years. She can be and phrase origins and reached at vhogue@conwaycorp. net. meanings – I have many to draw on, but the winter months of old made long-lasting country-life contributions.

Blackberry Winter I have some stray, wild blackberries that are a nuisance, but I recall how the old folks would often say there could be a cold rain and wind in May when the blackberries bloomed. Even though that weather could ruin farm crops, it seemed to make the blackberries larger. This was good for blackberry cobbler, but for me, blackberry winter just meant the chiggers would be more abundant.

Full as a tick I remember using this phrase once and seeing my mother’s reaction. I brought a boyfriend home from college for a Sunday meal, and as we were finishing up I said I was “full as a tick.” It was intended as a compliment to the cook. Obviously it didn’t sound appropriate at the table, so the “cook” kicked my innocent shin and gave me the evil eye. The term could be taken two ways, but my city-bred boyfriend wouldn’t know about either one, anyway. It could refer to the insect, of course, but it also referred to a “tick,” or what has evolved into today’s “mattress cover.” Tick, or “ticking,” was originally the fabric “shell” of a sleeping pad that was stuffed with straw or feathers. My grandparents only had feather beds, but in my youth our own beds had striped ticking stuffed with cotton and were secured overall with several fabric covered buttons. In much earlier days, people gathered heaps of straw and tightly stuffed it into their ticks to last the winter.

Angel Crowns You won’t find many people knowing about this anymore because feather beds and pillows are rare. 40 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Vivian's brother's hand drawn depiction of his dad as a child sleeping in a feather bed. In my parents’ youth, most people died at home and it was common for family members to later open the feather pillow of the deceased to look and hope for an angel’s crown or wreath. This was a round or swirled pattern of the feathers where the person’s head had lain. The presence of at least one meant they had gone to heaven. I heard of this tradition concerning my great-grandmother’s death and it left quite an impression. There is a probable reason, but I don’t want to ruin the legend.

were small gas stoves and a large Dearborn heater in the living room. To add to the winter sleeping comfort needed, however, quilts were required. My mother and sometimes an aunt would sit at the ever-present quilting frame made by my dad and they would stitch for hours. They would first “piece” or stitch together the pieces of fabric for quilt tops by hand, not by sewing machines as is done today. The bottom fabric was pinned on the frame, topped with batting or padding, then the colorful quilt top was secured and ready for hand-stitching. Occasionally Mother had friends over to help hasten the making of a quilt. She would reciprocate by helping others with theirs. This activity is centuries old and I didn’t appreciate that at the time. Helpers never expected anything but conversation, laughter, sharing of “household hacks” and perhaps some homemade cookies and coffee. Our state has a modest profile with a wealth of foreign cultural effects, particularly those from what is now the United Kingdom. This includes manners of living, cooking, expressions and a wish to not lose them. If your grandmother made Tennessee stack

Hog Killing Time People in the Ozarks or other southern hills knew when it was hog killing time. Everything was done by moon phases, so they followed the almanac. I recall my first experience observing the process. I had watched the men skin squirrels before, but not “process” a hog. It was a very cold November day and we had gone to my grandparents’ cabin in the northeastern Arkansas hills. Male friends and family had gathered at a convenient tree for the occasion, while the women stayed in the house for “wimmin talk” regarding their children, cooking and “sich as that.” All participants generally ate first, as it was an all-day affair. Several preliminary steps were taken to prepare the unfortunate hog, but it was the hog-scalding and butchering that has remained in my mind. I learned the source of the old phrase, “bleeding like a stuck pig.” I apologize here, but people’s language reflected their ways of life! If you wanted to eat, you had to kill farm animals, fowl and wildlife! When all was done, bacon and hams were hung in the smokehouse and shared with helpers, and cracklings were saved for cornbread. They would eat “high on the hog” as the upper parts were the choice ham and loins. Speaking of hogs, perhaps I should mention here that my parents felt some unknowledgeable person must have invented the Arkansas Razorback call, as hogs are called with “Hoo-EE!” and shooed away with “Soo-EE!”

Quilting Bees The sources of heat in our house in my youth

“Restroom facilities" at the Lawson farm. cakes, then you’ve had a piece of heaven on earth. If she ever sent you down to the spring house for two buckets of water, you knew not to whine. If she ever gave you a Sears/Roebuck catalogue to take to the outhouse, you knew it wasn’t for reading. If your grandmother ever said, “Well I’ll swanee!” or said your shoes looked “tacky,” then you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’re missing connections with your ancestral past! Editor's Note: The drawings accompanying this column were created by Dr. Noel W. Lawson, MD, and appear in Marvin Lawson's book titled "By Gum I Made It."

A season of peace and joy By the time you find yourself reading this article, I can assure you that we've celebrated several different seasons. It all started back on Oct. 1, when even though Arkansas was insisting on hanging onto the sauna-like Laurie Green summer heat, inevitably pumpkin spice A Greenbrier native, Laurie is the EVERYTHING wife of Will Green. The two share seven children, five grandchildren went on sale. I and a golden retriever named hadn't even had Marlo. They own and operate a lawn care business and are time to test out my members of New Life Church in new pumpkin spice Greenbrier. Laurie can be reached at thegreens@ymail.com. scented deodorant when suddenly it was the last day of the month and we were celebrating Halloween. Then you go to bed, hopefully with a belly full of candy if you're lucky enough to still have little trick or treaters at home who believe that ol' "checking their candy" story. You wake up Nov. 1 to Christmas carols and find all the stores in town are suddenly ready for the holidays! I'm pretty sure that at the stroke of midnight on Oct. 31, everything pumpkin spiced magically transforms into hot cider and candy canes. Seriously, if you aren't paying close attention, you could almost forget we still have Thanksgiving smack dab in the middle of all the holiday chaos. Don't get me wrong, I love the celebration of all the seasons as much as the next gal, but I truly believe it's important to have yourself grounded in all the "fruits of the spirit" beforehand or you may catch yourself caught up in the chaos. So what are these "fruits" I'm speaking of? They are found in Galatians 5:22-23 and consist of nine attributes – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I can honestly say that the more time I spend with Jesus, the easier it is to keep myself rooted in these fruits. That is important because these qualities are always in a constant battle with the confusion of worldly measures such as – successes, failures, talents, faults, wealth, poverty, titles and appearance. I decided quite a while back that I was much more likeable, to myself and others, when I quit chasing after worldly measures and started pursuing after the things that held eternal values, things such as those fruits of the spirit I mentioned earlier. While all go hand in hand, two of my favorites are peace and joy. You see, celebrating seasons can have different meanings for people. It can be the passing of one holiday (and crazy Arkansas weather) to the next, but it can also be the different seasons of life

which you are facing with those mountain tops of happiness or the valleys of despair. Either situation requires massive doses of joy and peace to hang onto your sanity.


Joy and peace come from a place deep inside you; it's something that you can't find anywhere but through Jesus. It's a confident feeling and knowledge that no matter what happens, you believe that "all things work together for those who love the Lord…" and you know God's got this! So if you're reading this and wondering how to get your hands on some of this peace and joy I've been telling you about, take heart! We have some really helpful truth and skills to survive this daily grind. And lucky for us, you can usually grab your cell phone and search any piece of scripture you need clarity on. (I personally still enjoy the good old fashioned feel of looking things up in my Bible and writing them down in my journal.) It doesn't matter how you do it, just that you do it. After all, these fruits of the Spirit are wonderful and never spoil, no matter how quickly the seasons seem to change.

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January 2020 501lifemag.com | 41


Seasons in the 501

Black-eyed-susans and coneflowers are abundant at the Camp Robinson Special Use Area. I used a filter to give an effect that captured the hot day I was out taking the pictures. story and photos by Bill Patterson

One of the many reasons I enjoy living in the 501 is the change in seasons. My son lives in Southern California along the Pacific coast. Most days are sunny and in the 70s; now that sounds very inviting during the dog days of August and the cold nights of January, but I still prefer to see the seasons change as we pass through another year. The anticipation of spring as the birds start chirping and the trees start budding out; seeing the forsythias and redbuds being the first to show their color and my favorite tree, the dogwood, with its reminder that Easter is near. Nothing says spring to me like a trip to Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs to see the tulips. I have made several trips to photograph these beautiful flowers and always come away in awe of their beauty and with the reminder that spring is here. As the beauty of spring turns into the dog days of summer, it gets harder to find things to photograph. One place I discovered with my photography buddy, the late Roger Taylor, is Camp Robinson Special Use Area. It can be full of wildflowers just waiting to show their unique beauty. There is also an abundance of wildlife there as well. The area that I visit most is on the north side of Lake Conway. After entering the area near the gun range, ride the gravel roads and you will see a large variety of wildflowers. Some are planted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and others are native seeds just waiting for the right conditions to sprout. When September has its harvest moon and we get that first cool breeze after another hot Arkansas summer, my mind starts dreaming of fall colors in the 501. Fall in Arkansas seems to give all photographers the renewed fever to get out and start capturing the color. With the weather being so unpredictable in the fall, it is hard for a working guy to set a day to go take pictures, so I have a list of a few places nearby 42 | 501 LIFE January 2020

in the 501 that I can get to quickly if the weather turns nice and I only have a short time to take pictures while the colors are at or near peak. One place for me is a little known place in Perry County called Browns Creek. It is off Highway 9 and it is one of the roads that leads to Flatside Pinnacle Wilderness. Along Browns Creek there are some cascades and if you like fall color and water, it can really be nice. Check it out. You won t be disappointed. While close by, climb to the top of Flatside Pinnacle. With almost a 360 degree view of the surrounding hills, the view is spectacular. As the leaves start falling and the wind becomes crisp, winter is upon us. While we don t get much snow in the 501, when we do, it is an event that can clear store shelves

While there was not much snow in the 501 last year, this snow scene from a few years ago is a good reminder to grab that camera and take some pictures. You never know when the next white Christmas will happen.

This group of tulips (left) captured my attention because of the rainbow of colors and because they were all at their peak. Near Lake Sylvia and Flatside Wilderness, Browns Creek (below) has some nice areas that to me just say “Arkansas.�

in a matter of a few hours. Snow can be hard to photograph and have any color. I usually end up with pictures that look better as black and white because of the lack of contrast in the images. One exception is a nice building like the Old Mill in North Little Rock or the President s Home on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas. A few years ago, we had a snow on Christmas day and it made the images even more fun to capture. The seasons change and so do I. In the 501, the seasons will continue and so will I, trying to capture the beauty that surrounds us in this place we call the 501. January 2020 501lifemag.com | 43

A sunset captured while playing with a new lens at Cadron Settlement Park near Conway.

A favorite place to watch the sun dip behind the Ouachita Mountains is the Palisades Overlook on Highway 154 at Petit Jean State Park.

A love of capturing beautiful landscapes photos and story by Mike Kemp

I think everyone gets interested in photography just by seeing beautiful landscapes that they want to capture. It happened to me as a sophomore in college while taking a summer photography course. I had always had an interest in photography, and that summer I took my first course that introduced me to the magic that a camera could create. I spent time along the White River, and on one of those outings I photographed piles of sand along one of the sandbars. The angle and finished result looked like

craggy mountains somewhere out west. I thought that was really cool. Now, most of my subject matter involves portraits of people rather than scenic vistas. However, I do still enjoy trying to capture the beauty that surrounds all of us with my camera. Living in Arkansas, we are definitely fortunate to have some beautiful scenery. I love a trip to Petit Jean Mountain to watch a sunset off of Red Bluff Drive or the fog over Ada Valley while looking off Stout’s Point. Petit Jean State Park offers some of the prettiest views in the 501 and is probably my favorite place to visit in the state. The neighboring Ouachitas compete with larger mountain ranges for their

A stand of cypress trees is silhouetted against a sky ablaze with color on Lake Conway near Mayflower.

44 | 501 LIFE January 2020

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A quiet, snowy day made for a beautiful view of the Arkansas River Valley from Stout's Point on Petit Jean Mountain.

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The changing seasons bring beautiful dogwood blooms as well as other colorful flowers. This tree was spotted along College Avenue in Conway.


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beauty. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in Arkansas was climbing Flatside Pinnacle one November day to see the fall colors unfolding like a patchwork quilt. But, there’s beauty all around us. One of my favorite photos was a stand of cypress trees taken on Lake Conway one summer evening. My wife, Crystal, was with me, enjoying an evening of watching sunsets. I was frustrated because of the clutter in the way of the sunset to the west, and I decided to start packing up. As I packed, I happened to look to the north, where the cypress stand was situated. The sky had erupted in beautiful orange and blue hues, which immediately made me break the tripod back out for some more images. The moral of that story is to always look around you when you’re taking photos, and make sure to be open to any changes in conditions before you decide that you have captured all you can. Most photographers would prefer the hues of fall or the new birth of spring flowers to go on their outings, but winter can be a beautiful time of year as well. With the sun being lower in the sky, it extends the length of time you can exploit the lighting versus the harsh conditions of summer. And, a fresh layer of snow makes everything new. I made a trip up Petit Jean one winter’s day with a fellow photographer after one such snow. The lighting combined with the beautiful white blanket made for one of my favorite photographs from Stout’s Point. Everything was quiet and still, and I was able to line up the bare trees with the morning sun for a nice landscape image. The summer evenings also have been one of our favorite times to photograph sunsets at Petit Jean, but often it’s more just to enjoy the scenery and painterly colors in the sky. I have photographed a few sunsets from the overlook on Highway 154, and the Red Bluff Drive overlook has a wonderful view of the sunsets to the west. If you look closely, you might even be able to pick out Mount Nebo near Russellville.

A pine tree frames a sunset over the Arkansas River from a bluff at Cadron Settlement Park. Being based in Conway, one of the spots with easiest access would be Cadron Settlement Park. With bluffs facing the west overlooking the Arkansas River, it makes for a great place to watch a summer sunset after dinner. There are many other spots in the 501 that feature panoramic views. My advice would be to get out as often as possible to enjoy and photograph them.

A beautiful Sunday morning in October at the Buffalo River near St. Joe (Searcy County). “The fog shown over the river, along with the fall foliage along the edge of the bank, was just enough to create a mystical look that we know to be a staple in The Natural State,” wrote Callie Sterling. (Sterling Imageworks Photography) 46 | 501 LIFE January 2020

on my

January 2020 501lifemag.com | 47


Unity names chief medical officer Dr. Roddy Lochala was recently named the new Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Unity Health – White County Medical Center in Searcy. Lochala received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and attended medical school at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City. Before joining the Ray Montgomery Department of Graduate Medical Education Family Medicine Residency program as associate program director in January 2019, he worked in private practice for 17 years in Newport. Lochala said in his new role, he is looking forward to building relationships with other servant leaders as they work toward being one of the top hospitals in the country. As CMO, Lochala is a member of both the physician and administrative teams, with a focus on ensuring patient safety, quality and efficiency. He will also continue to work with the Family Medicine resident physicians in the Continuity Care Clinic at Searcy Medical Center. “I am focused on providing patients the right care in the right place and at the right time,” Lochala said. “Quality care and patient safety is everyone’s responsibility at Unity Health. I want to create an environment of patient-centered teamwork through every department in the hospital focused on quality and safety.” Lochala’s focus is also on looking to the future and striving to keep Unity Health current in healthcare treatments. Already, the Family Medicine Continuity Clinic, along with infectious disease specialist Dr. Courtney Hicks have increased awareness of a local option to treat Hepatitis C. Providers have also worked with Hispanic community leaders to remove barriers to treatment that present a risk to patients and their families.

48 | 501 LIFE January 2020

As a physician and CMO, I have an opportunity to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of our community by ensuring quality care in our hospital and encouraging healthy behaviors outside of our hospital.

— Dr. Roddy Lochala

Dr. Roddy Lochala is the new Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Unity Health – White County Medical Center in Searcy. Unity Health has implemented the use of telemedicine technology as well. Patients and physicians no longer have to be in the same location to receive many types of care, and telemedicine helps bridge the gap between patients and providers. As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Unity Health providers also have the resources to conduct eConsults, which allow providers to consult excellent physicians and researchers at Mayo

Clinic at no cost to the patient. Unity Health surgeons also utilize the da Vinci Surgical System to aid in precision and control during surgery. “As a physician and CMO, I have an opportunity to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of our community by ensuring quality care in our hospital and encouraging healthy behaviors outside of our hospital,” Lochala said. In addition to being CMO, Lochala is an Air National Guard flight surgeon and currently serves as chief of aerospace medicine for the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis. He is on the board of directors of El Puente Hispanic Services Center in Searcy, where they help provide services to the Hispanic community to aid in access to medical care, help with documentation and provide English lessons. In his free time, Lochala enjoys spending time with his wife and high school sweetheart, Mary Kathryn, and their two daughters, as well as traveling, reading and duck hunting.

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Mako robotic surgery growing in Faulkner County Since Mako robotic arm-assisted technology arrived in Faulkner County last September, the number of knee and hip replacements using the surgery system has steadily increased. More than 400 total Mako procedures have been performed, including about 300 total knee replacements, according to information provided by the manufacturer and Conway Regional Health System. Conway Regional is the only hospital in Faulkner County, and one of only a few in Arkansas, offering Mako robotic arm-assisted joint replacement. Mako is a new approach to joint replacement that offers the potential for more precise, customized positioning of implants for each patient. A CT scan of a knee or hip is uploaded into the Mako System Software, where a 3D model is created. This 3D model is used to pre-plan and assist surgeons. The surgeon can then proceed with or adjust that plan once in the operating room by controlling the robotic arm that helps execute the procedure with greater precision and accuracy. The Mako has advantages over the traditional manual replacements, according to Dr. Grant Bennett, an orthopedic surgeon with Conway Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic. Bennett, along with surgeons Dr. Tod Ghormley and Dr. Scott Smith, have performed knee and hip replacements using the Mako for more than a year. “I believe in the technology,” said Bennett. “If I were going to have my knee replaced, this is the way I would choose to have it done.” Bennett has performed numerous orthopedic procedures over the past seven years. “From my patients’ perspective, the only difference they will notice is that the CT scan will be performed preoperatively; the incision will look the same and we will use the same implants,” he said. The Stryker Triathlon Total Knee Package has an excellent 10 plus-year data record in the replacement market, he added. The advantages from a surgeon’s perspective are the precision and intra operative customization provided by the Mako. Many times, that precision enables Bennett and his colleagues to remove less bone or decrease the amount of soft tissue trauma. “For many patients, this may translate into improved range of motion and less time on crutches or a walker,” Bennett said, adding that the majority of his patients return home the day after surgery. Another advantage from a community perspective is the accessibility of this technology with having three surgeons performing Mako procedures at Conway Regional. “I tell my patients that we have the innovative Mako technology in Faulkner County and it’s providing excellent results in joint replacement surgery.” Bennett joined Conway Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic in August 2012 after completing a 50 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Sports Medicine Fellowship at Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas. He holds a medical degree from UAMS and completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center in Greenville, S.C. He is a boardcertified orthopedic surgeon. After he completed his fellowship training, Bennett was looking for a new home for his family and practice when a relative encouraged him to check out the Faulkner County community. “It’s a great place to live, especially with all the growth that is taking place here,” he said. In his spare time, Bennett enjoys spending time with his wife, Meg, and their two children and participates in a number of sports and outdoor activities. In addition to general orthopedic surgery, his professional interests include the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries and involvement with the athletic programs at Conway Public Schools, Conway Christian, Greenbrier and Vilonia, as well as Hendrix College, the University of Central Arkansas and Central Baptist College.

Dr. Grant Bennett


‘It’s a wrap’ According to recent data by payments company Square, it's true: the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's sees a consistent spike in Botox and filler procedures each year. I am sure there are many reasons for this growth, but without question, the holidays Susan Isom can be a difficult time of Susan Isom has acquired year for many women of considerable experience in all ages. Before the hustle the world of skin care and has received numerous awards and bustle of Christand special recognition during mas comes off its sled, her career. She has deservedly earned an excellent reputation receiving Botox can be a in Arkansas for her skincare welcomed boost to your expertise. She writes monthly morale, not to mention skincare articles for state and local publications. Consultations and your eyebrows too! assessments are conducted in the Regardless of when privacy of her beautiful facility in a relaxed, congenial atmosphere. or how you celebrate the She partners with cosmetic holidays, the period besurgeon Dr. Michael Devlin of Little Rock. tween Christmas and the New Year is a time when we all want to look our best, whether you’re reuniting with old friends, seeing former work colleagues again after many years or visiting with relatives from out of town. Soon you will be having your photo taken countless times. If you are dreading the holiday reunions rather than looking forward to them, “Be camera ready!” So when is the best time to have a little something done to ensure the results from your treat-

ments are in full swing by the time you sit down to Christmas dinner? Choosing Botox and or dermal fillers two weeks before your special event is generally an adequate amount of time. If you have used Botox or fillers in the past and know your individual results, a few days may be plenty of time. You will see filler results immediately. However, you will be a little swollen and asymmetry is possible for several days up to a week. By two weeks, all bruising should be gone. Botox can take three days to a week before you will see less wrinkles. If your travels include flying, it is recommended that both Botox and dermal filler be injected two weeks prior to your trip. Land travel can be done immediately following Botox or fillers without hesitation. Absolutely, no dermal filler the day of flying because of the air compression on the plane. If you want a good head start before the holiday chaos starts lining up at the doors, these can be administered about a month ahead of the holiday season. Better still, because these treatments are completely noninvasive, you won’t have to take any time off work in order to have them. This quick in-office procedure allows you to take years off your appearance with little to no downtime. You can schedule these procedures during your lunch hour and head back to the office afterward, meaning that you’ll be able to save all of your vacation time for the things that really matter. This time of year also marks the "giving" season. Believe it or not, but gifting Botox and lip injections, has become very popular — and who doesn't like surprises during the holidays? So, why not give yourself or someone else the gift of confidence. January 2020 501lifemag.com | 51


Soup’s on!

A regular at winter mealtime Soups are generally liquid food, mostly served hot and made with a combination of liquid, stock or juice. Various forms of vegetables are cooked in the liquid/broth mixture until tender. Soups and stews may often have the same characteristics. Soups are a regular Don Bingham at our home, especially in the colder months. Recognized throughout the Just like many of you, state as an accomplished chef, we have collected our Don Bingham has authored cookbooks, presented television favorites through the programs and planned elaborate years and have printed events. some of them here for you. The Potato and Cheese Soup (made for years at Zinzendorf ’s restaurant here in Conway) was a creation of Katheryn McManis; the Apple and Squash Soup (pictured) was from Annabelle Andersen; the Navy Bean Soup is Nancy Bingham’s; and the French Onion Soup is from Anne Dykstra of Greenville, S.C., served at the Evangelical Institute of Greenville. Soup can be “dressed up” or served in its simplest form. We enjoy doing both! I have included two recipes for cornbread. One is my favorite, and the other is Nancy’s creation that has become the standard cornbread staple; it is gluten-free, but even the discriminating taste will love either one. During these cold winter months, the aroma of chicken or beef stock coming from the kitchen serves as an announcement that “soup’s on!” Although we will always return to our tried and true favorites, branch out of your soup comfort-zone and experiment with a new liquid entree for these winter months. They make great gifts for the neighbors, as well!

APPLE AND SQUASH SOUP Cut one large butternut squash (about 1 pound) in half; seed, peel and cut in chunks. Peel, core and chop one medium onion. Peel, core and chop three tart apples. Combine all three ingredients with 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon marjoram, 3 cans of chicken broth, 2 cans of water, 2 slices of white bread and salt and pepper to taste in a heavy

52 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Apple and Squash Soup hits the spot on a cold, winter day. (Mike Kemp photo)

saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Cool, then put half in blender and puree. Return to saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add 1/2 cup heavy cream. Serve hot. Soup can be made beforehand and refrigerated after it has been pureed. Add cream when ready to serve.

NAVY BEAN SOUP 1 cup dried navy beans 5 cups water 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped carrots 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube 1/2 cup diced lean cooked ham 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon catsup 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon dried whole basil 1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano Grated Romano cheese (optional) Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water two inches above the beans; let soak overnight. Drain beans. Combine beans, 5 cups water, celery, onion, carrots, parsley and bouillon cube; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Add next six ingredients; cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle each serving with Romano cheese, if desired. Makes about 6 cups.

KATHERYN’S POTATO AND CHEESE SOUP 2 cups potatoes 3 cups water 1 stick margarine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups chicken broth Carrots, onions, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic to taste Cook diced/chunk potatoes in boiling water. Add sliced carrots, onions, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Boil until all is tender. Melt margarine, add flour; add chicken broth and cook until thick and smooth. Combine broth mixture with potato mixture and add cheese of choice to desired flavor and color.

DON’S FAVORITE CORNBREAD 2 large eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 cups self-rising enriched yellow cornmeal mix 1 cup all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 450. Spoon 2 tablespoons of oil into 8-inch iron skillet and place skillet in oven to heat. Mix all ingredients for cornbread; batter should be thick but pourable. Add additional buttermilk or oil if needed. Bake in iron skillet until cornbread is crusty and browned, approximately 25 minutes.



7 cups onions, sautéed in 1 lb. butter Choose one of the following: 10 cups beef stock 2 large cans beef consume and 10 cups chicken stock 2 large cans chicken broth, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup sherry Loaf of french bread

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal 1/2 cup gluten-free flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup corn oil 1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 1 egg

Put ingredients in a pot and heat together. Slice bread and butter each slice. Toast until dried and brown. Place slice of toast in soup bowl and top with Swiss cheese. Pour hot soup over toast. Serves 20-23.

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix well and add additional buttermilk if needed for thick but pourable batter. Heat iron skillet in oven at 425 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon oil when skillet is hot. Pour in batter and bake 20 minutes.


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A color palette made with the neutral shades of January creates a peaceful, relaxing table scape which is perfect for a delicious meal featuring soup. (Mike Kemp photos)

Welcome winter Winter seems to ignite nostalgia. We crave the company of friends, delicious comfort food and laughter to warm our souls. There is something about a piping hot soup ladled into a bowl that signifies total comfort. Come along with me as I host a casual winter soup supper for a few Julianne Milner good friends, serving two delicious family favorite A self-taught baker, Julianne soup recipes. Milner is a caterer, seasonal stylist I gathered my tableand owner of Julianne’s Southern Table. She can be reached at top color palette from the julianne60@gmail.com. neutral shades of January to create a peaceful, relaxing tablescape. Cream placemats were layered on top of a white tablecloth. Straw placemats added yet an54 | 501 LIFE January 2020

other layer as well as texture and warmth to the table. In keeping with the winter theme a snowy pine cone was clipped to each cream napkin instead of a more formal napkin ring. In keeping with a casual vibe, the soup was placed in the center of the table and served with an olivewood ladle. Mini salt and pepper shakers were placed at each setting. Gruyere toast stacked on a narrow, olivewood board presented guests with an easy way to help themselves. Gold flatware added a warm glow to the peaceful setting.

BLUE CRAB AND CORN SOUP 1/2 cup butter 3 tablespoons corn flour 1 cup chopped onions 1/4 cup chopped green onion, plus more for garnish 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper 1 quart half and half 1 cup chicken broth

2 (15-ounce) cans cream-style corn 3 cups fresh corn kernels 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 (8-ounce) container jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shells In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in corn flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and slightly darkened in color, about 5 minutes. Add onions and jalapeno. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add half and half, broth, all corn, soup, Creole seasoning, cayenne and black pepper, stirring to combine. Cook for 20 minutes. Add half of lump crab meat to soup; cook 10 minutes. Stir in remaining crab meat before serving, and garnish with chopped green onion, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator for up to three days.

BABY DOE'S BEER CHEESE SOUP 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup shredded carrot 1/4 cup all purpose flour Dash of salt and black pepper 2 1/2 cups of whole milk 16-ounce jar of Cheez Whiz 1/2 can of beer (I use Coors Light)

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add shredded carrot and chopped onion. Cook until tender. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add Cheez Whiz. Stir to melt, blend in beer and heat. This soup is very rich and delicious. Enjoy! A wonderful accompaniment to a hot bowl of soup is this Gruyere Toast!


4 slices whole wheat country bread Cooking spray 1 1/2 ounces aged Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup) 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives Preheat broiler to high. Arrange bread on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat bread with cooking spray. Broil 1 minute or until toasted. Remove pan from oven and turn bread over. Divide cheese evenly among bread slices; sprinkle with chives. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

These soup recipes will earn a permanent spot in

your recipe box! For me they bring back heartwarming recollections of meals past and will help you make delicious new memories. As the evening entertainment ends, my favorite chair, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate await. I love winter. It simply doesn’t get any better than this.

HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE Makes 4 servings 1 1/2 cups 2 percent reduced fat milk 1 cup half and half

2 tablespoons sugar 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional) Whipped cream (optional) In a large saucepan, bring milk, half and half and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; whisk in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract (if using). Divide hot chocolate among four demitasses or tea cups. Top with whipped cream (if using).


January 2020 501lifemag.com | 55


Renovation Church building ‘feels like home’

Jodi and Jeff Pryor bought an old, abandoned church building in Bigelow and converted it into their home. (Mike Kemp photos) The renovation features an open floor plan, with a kitchen island (left photo) and storage along a wall that was added to create a master suite. Jodi has created a fun and functional space for her office (right photo). 56 | 501 LIFE January 2020


When asked what her favorite thing is about her home, Jodi found it difficult to name just one thing. “I love all of it,” she said. “I just like everything about it.” by Sonja J. Keith

Jodi and Jeff Pryor have a gift of seeing the potential in a structure and applying their talents to make a space their own. The couple bought a United Methodist Church in Bigelow that was built in 1908 and converted it into their home. Jodi and Jeff were high school sweethearts. Jeff was born in Texas and Jodi in Tulsa. Both were raised in southeast Oklahoma and met in 1985 at Panola Public School in Wilburton. “We started dating at 16, got married in 1990 and have been together ever since,” said Jodi. A job transfer for Jeff brought the couple to Arkansas in 2001. In 2007, Jeff started his own business, Advance Fleet Management in Little Rock. It is a trucking company and a diesel repair shop for corporate fleets. “I have been an accountant and business teacher for years, but this year started my own company, Blue Wren Logistics, as a freight broker,” said Jodi. The couple has two sons, Jarin and Justice. They were living in Alexander when they decided it was time for a change. “The boys were getting ready to move out and we wanted to downsize. Jeff, just on a whim, looked at realtor. com for listings under $50,000 within a 30-mile radius of Little Rock,” said Jodi. “He saw this church building, was intrigued and we asked for

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Above the foyer in the home, the Pryors placed a sign they feel is appropriate for the space which once housed a church. a showing. We’ve always enjoyed remodeling/fixing up any homes we’ve bought, and this was no exception. “It is the most intensive remodel we’ve ever done!” The church building is about 2050 square feet and sits on five city blocks. Jeff describes it as a “cottage church” that was built when Bigelow had three lumber companies. He said the lumber for the building was all rough cut. “It had been let go for some time,” Jeff said, describing the condition of the building. “We believe the last service held in this church building was 2001. No one has been able to tell us for certain,” said Jodi. “Another couple had purchased it with hopes of doing something with it, but never did, so they listed it.” The couple purchased the property in October 2016.

“We didn’t start doing anything on it until spring 2017, and took it slowly. I designed it all and later decorated it all. It was different than anything I’d designed before, so I wanted to take my time and let the ideas come to me.” “Jodi is a real good designer,” Jeff said. “She does a good job making it feel homey.” Jodi drew inspiration for the renovation by sitting in a lawn chair in the middle of the former sanctuary, turning in every direction and thinking about what they wanted in a house. Pinterest and Houzz were also helpful. “We had a handyman do some of the remodeling in 2017. We hired licensed electricians and plumbers for those specific areas,” Jodi said. The couple listed their house in Alexander in April 2018, thinking it would take about six months to sell.

The original bell was discovered in the bell tower and relocated to the living room. 58 | 501 LIFE January 2020

The dining area in the renovated home, which features beautiful wood floors. “We had a full price offer within 48 hours,” said Jodi. “We had to move much faster at that point! Jeff and I then did a lot of the work ourselves.” Windows and doors for the structure were custom made. The original chandeliers were in bad shape but the couple was able to incorporate them into their plans. The wood floors had been stained a blonde color and the Pryors restored them to their original color. Structurally, a wall was added in the former sanctuary area to create a master suite. The couple also went with a metal roof. When they acquired the property, Jodi and Jeff discovered some things left from when the building was a church, including pews and hymnals. The 1886 church bell, made in St. Louis, was still in the bell tower. It was removed and placed in the living area.

School lockers have been included in the foyer area, providing a place for storage. “I love the foyer and having that space to come in to,” said Jodi.

Jodi created two pieces of art with wood from flooring removed in the master suite.

Guest bedroom.

Master bedroom.

Jodi’s creativity shines through in several features in the home. She relocated the doors that were in the foyer to use as an art element above the copper tub in the master bathroom. One of the pews found in the building was taken apart to create a mantle. She also cut sections of the original floor, which was replaced in the master bedroom, to create two unique art pieces. “That was a fun little project,” she said. In addition to the renovation work, the couple added a detached garage and a shop building. The most challenging aspects of the renovation were related to the age of the structure. “We had to realize and accept the fact that this was most definitely built over 100 years ago and it was a community project – thus, nothing is square or plumb,” said Jodi. “We had to be ok with that.” Still, Jeff said the craftsmanship and quality of the wood products is evident. “It’s really built well,” he said. The Pryors bought the property for $30,000 and have put about $70,000 into it. While it is nearly finished, they have plans for landscaping, privacy fencing and paving the driveway/parking area. Jodi and Jeff have had a few visitors who recalled when the structure was a church. They have been pleased to see

the old church revitalized. Jodi and Jeff are especially pleased with the results of the renovation and have settled in to their home. “I love walking into my house every day,” said Jodi, adding that it doesn’t feel like a church. “We respected the history and architecture of the premises, but had the liberty to make it our own. We kept the 13-foot ceilings in the former sanctuary and made it what I like to call our Great Hall. We have an open concept living/dining/kitchen. I really like the ceiling height, original hardwood floors and original chandeliers. “It feels like ‘home.’” Jeff’s favorite thing about the home is the “quiet, country living” that Bigelow offers. “A huge plus, though, is we’re only 14 miles from Conway, where we can get basically anything I need,” added Jodi. For others considering similar renovations, Jodi has good advice. “People can make a home out of unconventional structures,” she said. “Don’t put yourself in a box and think it can only be done one way. If you have vision and determination, you can accomplish anything.”

Master bedroom.

Master bathroom. January 2020 501lifemag.com | 59

 Energy Smart Challenge ENERGY SMART

New year a good time for changes It’s that time of year again. The holidays are nearly over. We will soon be putting away the decorations and making lists of what we hope to accomplish in the months ahead. This year, you can resolve to save energy and money by participating in the Conway Corp Energy Beth Smart Challenge. The challenge helps Jimmerson Conway residents make A long-time Conway resident, Beth McCullough Jimmerson is home energy upgrades the manager for marketing and easy and affordable. communications for Conway Corp. She has a bachelor’s degree Customers can work at from the University of Central their own pace, choosing Arkansas and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. to start with small upShe can be reached at beth. grades like replacing old jimmerson@conwaycorp.com. lightbulbs with energyefficient LED bulbs, or you can request a free energy audit from Conway Corp to identify goals and develop a tailored plan for your home. Zero percent interest loans from Conway Corp are even available for many upgrades, including attic insulation and appliances. No matter how large or small you start, saving energy is a resolution you can stick with that will save money in the long run while making your home more comfortable too. Start with these five tips and put them into action in the next three months – you will definitely start to notice changes.

START USING POWER STRIPS Many electronic devices and equipment continue to consume unnecessary energy even when not in use. Often called energy vampires, these devices cost families more than $100 a year. Use a power strip for electronic devices and turn it off when not in use to eliminate energy vampires. And be sure to unplug your chargers – they draw energy even when they aren’t connected to a device.

REPLACE INEFFICIENT LIGHTING About 10 percent of the energy your home uses goes to lighting costs. By replacing five of your home's most frequently used lights with energyefficient ENERGY STAR bulbs, you can save $75 a year in energy costs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs can yield as much as 75 percent energy savings and last six-times longer. You can get even more energy savings, longer life span and less wasted heat by 60 | 501 LIFE January 2020

seeing how your current energy usage stacks up, prioritizing your projects and ultimately making a dent in your utility bills. The myConwayCorp app is a great resource for the past 13 months of electric and water usage in your home. switching to ENERGY STAR LED bulbs.

UPGRADE APPLIANCES Installing and utilizing a smart thermostat can save 15 percent or nearly $150 on yearly utility bills while switching to ENERGY STAR certified appliances can save nearly $750 over the lifetime of the item.

REDUCE WATER HEATING EXPENSE Water heating is a large energy expense in your home, accounting for about 14-18 percent of your utility bill. By taking low-cost steps, you can reduce a water heating bill. Make sure the water heater is set to no higher than 120 degrees. Install low-flow showerheads or temperature-sensitive shower valves. Newer water heaters have more insulation than older ones. If a water heater is more than five years old, wrap a water heater jacket around it to stop heat loss from the tank.

BENCHMARK YOUR ENERGY USAGE Staring down 12 months of utility bills can be daunting, but benchmarking is a key step toward

2020 ENERGY SMART CHALLENGE Set an energy-saving goal that will both challenge you and serve as an attainable milestone to reach by year-end. Aim to reduce energy use by 5 percent or save $300 from last year. Whatever your goal – set it and work toward it. Once you’ve made the commitment, visit ConwayCorp.com/EnergySmartChallenge to officially sign up to take the Energy Smart Challenge and pledge to reduce your energy usage and footprint in 2020. You will find other ideas and tips for energy efficiency along with information on free residential energy audits and zero percent interest loans for qualified energy-efficient improvements. Customers who register to take the Energy Smart Challenge and schedule their free residential energy audit during January will be entered to win a $100 gift card to help with energy efficiency improvements around the home. A winner will be selected by random drawing in February. To schedule your energy audit or learn more about the zeropercent interest loan program, call 501.450.6000.


Rooted: Central Arkansas Table & Farm

Susan Peterson Susan Peterson holds a PhD in education and taught at the University of Central Arkansas and Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She retired in 2004 and now spends her time doing artwork (painting and pottery).

You’ve probably heard of carnivores and herbivores, but do you know the term locavore? Locavore is defined as a person whose diet consists of locally produced food. Originating as an environmentalist movement, its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Supporters say it’s a great way to enjoy better tasting, healthier food while lowering your carbon footprint. Writers Sara Mitchell and Lacey Thacker recently published a book about the Central Arkansas locavore movement –- “Rooted: Central

Arkansas Table & Farm.” Published in June 2019, this book will appeal to any food lover or anyone interested in learning about local agri-business success stories. Lacey and Sara first met while taking classes in the technical and professional writing graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. After graduating, as fate would have it, they both ended up teaching in Conway about five years ago and they reconnected, meeting occasionally for lunch. Soon after, Lacey became the editor of Arkansas Food and Farm magazine, and she began spending a lot of time with farmers, chefs, and farmer’s market coordinators. Sara was teaching writing at Hendrix College.During lunch about three years ago, Lacey mentioned her idea for a book about farmer’ss’ markets. The idea took hold, but they decided to broaden the topic and give it a wider agricultural scope. After questioning local food growers and others, they nar-

A tractor from Dunbar Garden. rowed their list of featured producers. Lacey is quick to note that although the book was initially her idea, it would not have happened without Sara. “We both get equal credit,” she stated. Phillip Thomas, a commercial photographer from Nnorthwest Arkansas, took photos that were shot on location. It was a challenging assignment, but Lacey had worked with him previously. “I knew he wasn’t afraid of getting hot, dirty, or too sweaty." “Rooted” tells important successes and struggles of those committed to local artisanal food production within a 75-mile radius of Central Arkansas. They

include producers, farmers, restaurant owners, and others. The majority of those featured in the book are from Little Rock. They are: St. Joseph’s Center of Arkansas; restauranteur Capi Peck; The Root Café; Scott McGehee/Yellow Rocket Concepts; Loblolly Creamery; Anita Davis/The Bernice Garden; Heifer International; Mylo Coffee Co.; Wye Mountain Mushrooms; Dunbar Garden; Ben Pope; and Access Garden. Other local producers are: Honeysuckle Mercantile and Cattle (Rose Bud); Barnhill Orchards (Lonoke); Rattle’s Garden (Vilonia); Josh Hardin (Sheridan); Ratchford Buffalo Farms (Marshall); Rozark Hills Coffee Roasterie (Rose Bud); and Farm Girl Meats (Perryville). Once the book was completed, they sent queries to various publishers. Lacey said they received several rejections and were told that the content was too localized. Eventually they met up with Et Alia Press in Little Rock. Its mission is, in part, to consider manuscripts with close ties to the state. It was a perfect fit. Lacey now works for Apptegy, an education technology company in Little Rock. She and her husband Scott reside in Conway with their cat and dog “children.” Sara and her husband, Jay, have two young children, whom Sara wrangles in between working on writing projects. Sara and Lacey enjoy attending book signings and speaking at meetings and libraries. And yes, they still have that occasional lunch together. And they have another book in the works. Rooted may be purchased from Et Alia Press (etaliapress.com), local bookstores, or other online retailers. Writers Sara Mitchell (left) and Lacey Thacker.

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501 kids


Celebrating seasons with kids

Kellie Bishop Kellie Bishop is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Central Arkansas Pediatrics in Conway. She lives in Plumerville with her husband, Greg, their son and two dogs. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Central Arkansas and her master’s and doctorate degrees in pediatric primary care at UAMS.

Once the holidays pass and the excitement of the cooler weather subsides, we are left with bored kids who are stuck inside due to cold weather. Winter tends to be the most difficult season in regard to keeping kids occupied. The summer heat can be escaped through water activities and both fall and spring are enjoyable due to beautiful weather. Winter, however, is much more difficult because you often cannot put on enough clothes to be comfortable outside. Therefore, kids tend to stay cooped up in the house, watching television or playing video games this time of year. However, there are some fun activities you can do with your children to pass the time during these cold months. We often get cold temperatures without much snow. If we are going to have the cold weather, we may as well have the snow to go along with it, right? This winter you can make paper snowflakes with your kids if Mother Nature decides to deprive us of the natural kind. This activity helps to develop and refine your child’s fine motor skills while also allowing them to create unique snowflakes that they can either leave white or decorate. Another craft idea is to make homemade bird

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feeders. Collect pine cones from outside and coat them in peanut butter, then roll them in bird seed. You can tie yarn at the top and hang them from tree branches outside your house, then watch the birds enjoy the seed from inside your warm home. Board games are another fun way to enjoy spending time together while being stuck inside. Make some hot chocolate or another warm treat and play your family’s favorite board games together. If your family prefers cards or other games, play those instead. Games are a great way to spend time together and laugh on cold winter nights. If we happen to get a decent amount of snow, there are many activities you can do outside with your children to enjoy the winter weather. Ensure you and your children are dressed appropriately with plenty of layers. Keep as little skin exposed to the cold air and snow as possible. Kids often enjoy lying in the snow and making snow angels. You can also build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Just make sure to set some rules before a snowball fight to avoid anyone getting injured or upset. If there is enough snow on the ground, it is also fun to build a snow fort and crawl inside. Children love playing in the snow, but just make sure to take your kids back inside if they become too cold. The winter months can be long and cold with fewer activities to do with kids than the other three seasons. Hopefully your family will have fun doing some of these activities this winter to help pass the time in a healthier way than just spending hours of screen time. Happy winter, everyone! Stay warm!




Cooper (7) Owen (5) and Miles (almost 3 months) Johnson FAMILY: Trey and Stacey Johnson (dad and mom); grandparents, J.R and Sharon Ross of Conway and Terry and Marcia Lasiter of Prescott. SCHOOL: Cooper, first grade, and Owen, Pre-K. FAVORITE SUBJECT: Cooper enjoys PE and recess. Owen likes “Show and Tell.” FAVORITE SNACK/MEAL: Cooper’s snack is cereal and favorite meal is chicken and rice. Owen’s snack is fruit and favorite meal is pizza and salad.

The Johnson brothers: Cooper, Owen and Miles. (Photo courtesy of Sommer Holden/SoHo Photography)

Owen loves to sing and dance and Cooper loves to play the drums! “We are hoping baby Miles will like to play the guitar so they can start a ‘brother band!’” wrote mom.

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501 kids


Family fun for every season Morrilton • Schedule a beach vacation or a lake day with family • Celebrate dad with breakfast in bed or doing his favorite things • Go for a snow cone

July • Go to a July Fourth celebration complete with fireworks • Host a cookout • Go get ice cream or pineapple whip for no reason

August • Purchase tickets for events at UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall • Attend the annual St. Joseph School Bazaar in Conway • Donate school supplies to families in need • Enjoy a last-minute getaway before school starts • Host a back-to-school party

September • Start decorating for fall • Take a final summer camping trip • Go somewhere local that you’ve never been • ACANSA Arts Festival in Little Rock

October The Gilberts enjoy a trip to Schaefers and Collins Pumpkin Patch every October.

Brittany Gilbert Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have three children and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at b.gilbert37@gmail.com.

I know planning fun activities with your children can sometimes be daunting, especially during certain seasons of the year. But the 501 area has so much to offer. To help make it easier, I’ve compiled a list of activity ideas for each month. Let it inspire you to look into activities and events in your area. Planning ahead can help you have fun family moments.



• Toad Suck Daze in Conway • Visit a farmers’ market • Enjoy living history at the Territorial Fair in Little Rock

• Have a New Year’s Eve party with family and/or friends • Stay up late to celebrate the ball drop • Declutter the house after Christmas • Rhea Lana’s in Conway 64 | 501 LIFE January 2020

• Monster Jam, Simmons Bank Arena, Little Rock • Make Valentines to send to friends and family • Rhea Lana’s in Little Rock • Go ice skating at Arkansas Skatium in Little Rock

March • Visit the Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival • Take a quick trip to Fairfield Bay for spring break • Check out a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hot Springs

April • Attend the egg drop at Second Baptist in Conway • Celebrate Autism Awareness month • Plant something new in your garden


June • Attend the annual Sacred Heart School Bazaar in

• Visit a pumpkin patch • Visit local fall fests sponsored by churches in your town • Carve pumpkins • Go on a hayride or drive around to see the fall foliage • Arkansas State Fair, Little Rock

November • Check out the Pioneer Village during its Annual Fall Fest • Visit Dazzle Daze in Conway for unique gifts and a visit with Santa • Take time each day to say what you’re thankful for • Participate in a Thanksgiving meal program that helps those who won’t normally have a way to celebrate

December • Go to a local tree lighting • Visit the Motley Christmas Tree farm, even if you don’t buy a real tree • Participate in the Christmas Mall organized by the Arkansas Dream Center • Garvan Woodland Gardens holiday lights in Hot Springs • Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights • Bethlehem Revisited at Antioch Baptist in Conway • Go ice skating at Spring Park in Searcy


The Maumelle High School Band earned its first “First Division” award.

Maumelle High band earns top recognition The Maumelle High School (MHS) Hornet Marching Band is among a handful of Class 5A bands to receive a superior rating at the Arkansas State Marching Contest. MHS was one of only seven schools to receive this highest possible rating at the competition. This is the school’s first “First Division” award since the State Marching Contest’s inception in 2016. “This year’s Hornet Marching Band is honored by this recognition at the State Marching Contest,” said MHS Band

Director Kerry Blakemore. “The students and staff have been working on the details of the show since summer, and it is rewarding to see all of our work pay off with a superior rating at state.” The theme of Maumelle High School’s competition show was “The Cure: A Survivor’s Story.” The show was dedicated to everyone at Maumelle High who has been impacted by cancer.

Band members Avery Champion (left) and Camryn Joyner were “Loving LIFE.” The theme for this year’s competition show was “The Cure: A Survivor’s Story.” January 2020 501lifemag.com | 65


Equity and excellence District helps students reach potential

Students in lab at Robinson Middle School: PCSSD strives to include innovative methods of education in every classroom.



COMES ALIVE REGISTER NOW pcssd.org/register 66 | 501 LIFE January 2020

• Preparing students for life • Cultivating future leaders

• Strengthening our communities

• Strengthening public schools • Driving innovation in the classroom

by Jessica Duff

Serving 25 schools and spanning more than 800 square miles, the Pulaski County Special School District is one of the largest school districts in the state of Arkansas. Every student has a purpose in life and the district strives to help each student discover their full potential. The Pulaski County Special School District is where purpose comes alive and every day faculty and staff are ensuring equity and excellence for every student.

Preparing students for life The Pulaski County Special School District works diligently with every child to ensure he or she is prepared for life beyond the classroom. PCSSD has nearly 1,000 certified teachers including more than 75 nationally board-certified teachers who help every student learn in a comfortable, safe environment. Every student possesses the potential to become a great leader. Every school within the Pulaski County Special School District executes the promise to guide each student on a path of success. Whether it’s finding his or her niche in the classroom, on the court, in choir or any other program offered, PCSSD supports students in the pursuit of their passion.

Strengthening public schools In order to become one cohesive educational institution for future leaders, it is necessary to strengthen the public school system in Central Arkansas. The Pulaski County Special District employs strong teachers and rigorous curriculum to improve the learning environment at every school, cultivating a sense of equity and excellence. By strengthening public schools, communities are impacted as well. A strong community centers around a sense of equity, inclusion and support that stems from each school within the Pulaski County Special School District.

Driving innovation in the classroom The Pulaski County Special School District understands the future of education. Every school of PCSSD strongly supports the drive for innovation. Whether

A PCSSD bus outside Robinson High School.

it’s WiFi on school buses or virtual classrooms, PCSSD is giving students access to the technologies that are shaping the world. Why should parents choose PCSSD? The district prides itself on offering a combination of academic opportunities, extracurricular activities and special programs not found anywhere else. PCSSD implemented two initiatives districtwide for the 2019-2020 school year A student sits on a couch at Robinson Middle AVID and PBIS. School. PCSSD provides students with various AVID (Advancement Via study environments to enhance the learning Individual Determination) is experience. a college and career readiness system centered on engaging professional learning. It shows educators how to increase student engagement, promote classroom collaboration and activate deeper levels of learning in their classrooms with practical, immediately useful tools and instructional strategies. “I love seeing the partnerships. These are partnerships among students, classrooms and grade levels,” said Chenal Elementary Principal Yolanda Harris. “It’s not just here [at Chenal], it’s a partnership with other schools, feeder patterns as well as families, and communities.” Meanwhile, PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) changes the focus from punishment to prevention to improve school safety and promote positive behavior with the understanding that kids can only meet behavior expectations if they know what the expectations are. Schools will still use discipline, but the punishment isn’t the focus – instead the focus is on teaching expectations and preventing problems. “PBIS is what good teachers have been doing for a long time. It gives students the opportunity to be successful. Rather than telling them what they can’t do, they are given procedures for what they can do. It encourages creativity, within the constraints of safety and security,” said Robinson Middle School teacher Deborah Grimmett. PCSSD schools offer expansive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs like EAST that give students an advantage in today’s economy. For those students with a more artistic drive, the Fine Arts department includes a wide variety of both Visual Art and Performing Art classes, providing students the opportunity to be in a visual art and music class every year in their educational career at PCSSD. Additionally, more than a dozen sports offered at all of the district’s schools compete at the highest levels. In the past five years, several PCSSD schools have won championships in cross country, basketball, track and baseball. Editor’s note – Jessica Duff is the executive director of communications for the Pulaski County Special School District.


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Seasonal beauty

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Ray Armstrong, a member of the Maumelle Photo Club, shared his seasonal photos from the Maumelle area with 501 LIFE.

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The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Women in Business honorees for 2019: (seated, from left) Donna Seal (LCSW), Diamond Achievement winner Velda Lueders (Coldwell Banker RPM Group), Melissa Allen (CAPCA); (back) Jamisa Nuness-Hogan (Kids World Child Care Center), Rebekah Fincher (Conway Regional Health System), Cinda Montgomery (Yours Truly Consignment Inc.) and Rita Birch (Arvest Bank). (Todd Owens photos)

Women in Business

Seven recognized for accomplishments The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced its Women in Business honorees for 2019: Diamond Achievement – Velda Lueders, Coldwell Banker RPM Group Outstanding Women in Business Rita Birch, Arvest Bank Rebekah Fincher, Conway Regional Health System Cinda Montgomery, Yours Truly Consignment Inc. Jamisa Nuness-Hogan, Kids World Child Care Center Donna Seals (Donna Seal LCSW) Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit – Melissa Allen (CAPCA) The award winners were honored Dec. 10 at a luncheon at Centennial Valley Special Events Center. (Visit 501lifemag.com for more information about each of the award winners.)

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Diamond Achievement Award Velda Lueders (Coldwell Banker RPM Group) For more than 25 years, Velda Lueders has worked in real estate. As someone who initially planned to work in an office and help with clerical tasks, Velda later modeled the behavior of those she now considers role models, and stepped out from behind the desk and took on leadership roles. In an industry where men held the leadership positions for many years, Velda now prides herself on not only her success in business, but most Jamie Gates and Velda Lueders. importantly on the relationships she’s built with her colleagues and clients. “The thing that I love most about being in real estate is the connection that I have with my clients, the relationship that I have built with my fellow colleagues and the joy that I have from getting to work a career that I truly enjoy each and every day.� Recognized by her peers in the industry as a successful realtor and effective leader, she has served as the president for the Faulkner County Board of Realtors twice, was

inducted into the Faulkner County Hall of Fame and received recognition as the Faulkner County Realtor of the Year as well as the Arkansas Realtor of the Year. “I love giving back and investing in our community,” Velda said. “I am on the HAVEN Board of Directors; active in the Wampus Cat Baseball Parent Association, Wampus Cat Booster Club and Conway chamber; and I participate in many community events throughout the year.” Velda said she strives daily to empower women to reach their goals and life aspirations. “Work hard, push forward and overcome hardships. Enjoy your achievements and be true to yourself.” Velda said her government and econ teacher, Pam Lene’, and choral/drama director, Kathy Ewing, were a big influence in her life. “They encouraged me, believed in me, and challenged me every day,” she said. “In real estate, Pam McDowell, Pete Hart, Vickie Crutchfield and Pat Edwards have all been great examples for women in real estate.” Velda and her husband, “Coach” Barry, have two daughters, Elisabeth and Catherine, and a granddaughter, Zoe. “I love calling the 501 area home,” Velda said. “The 501 community is everything to me. I enjoy giving back and building relationships with my clients. Working with many of them multiple times throughout my career is a huge blessing. When working with my clients, I love taking their dreams and helping make them a reality.” Velda said she is honored to receive the chamber’s Diamond award. “There are so many deserving women in the community. This award is a huge honor and I am blessed to be the recipient.”

Women in Business Award Rita Birch (Arvest Bank)

Angie Davis (left) and Rita Birch. Rita Birch is a business development officer for Arvest Bank. She chose a career in banking because she wanted to help others and be a part of a positive atmosphere. In her 28 years in the industry, she has had the opportunity to serve as team leader, offering training for those just starting out in banking, as well as coaching members of the community to achieve their goals through financial courses offered through United Way. Rita takes pride in her dedication to helping others, and perfected the practice of hard work to the time she spent growing up on a dairy farm. Rita’s mother was her greatest inspiration. “She was married at 15 and had five children by the time she was 25. She went back and got her education and became a very prosperous business

woman in a clothing industry. She became a regional manager over two states and was always showing us that you work hard for what you want, stay honest and follow God’s guidance.” A graduate of Morrilton High School and Morrilton Vocational Technical School, Rita is involved in United Way of Faulkner County, the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Area Agency on Aging and the women’s shelter. She is also a member of Mallettown Community Church. Rita and her husband, Robert, have a son, Chris, and his wife Mallory, and a daughter, Morgan, and husband, Joe. They have three grandchildren, Lucas and Emalyn Hart, and Annie Birch. Her advice to other women in business is always go the extra mile and take a chance when an opportunity presents itself. “Never think that you cannot do something you want. Make decisions today that can change your world tomorrow.” It is the hometown atmosphere in the 501 that Rita loves the most. “We have a small town feel in a big town of opportunity. People come together as a family and stay involved to make a better community.” Rita is honored to be chosen for the chamber award. “There are a lot of outstanding women in the workforce today that deserve recognition. I want to be an example and a mentor for other women. The true value of getting this award is something I’ll always treasure.”

Women continued on Page 72

CONGRATULATIONS RITA BIRCH Arvest would like to congratulate Rita for receiving the Women in Business award, presented by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. Serving as Business Development Officer, Rita represents our commitment to Conway and to you! Stop by to visit with Rita today. Rita Birch Business Development Officer 2590 Donaghey, Conway (501) 416-9815 office NMLS# 635422


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Women continued from Page 71 Rebekah Fincher (Conway Regional Health System)

Angie Davis (left) and Rebekah Fincher. As chief administrative officer, Rebekah Fincher is responsible for strategy, growth and business development for Conway Regional Health System, one of the largest employers in Faulkner County. A collaborator by nature, Rebekah has worked with her team to achieve growth in the number of the hospital’s providers, spanning across seven counties. With accomplishments recognized by those within as well as outside her local circle of influence, she recently received the C.E. Melville Young Administrator of the Year Award, presented by the Arkansas Hospital Association. A native of Shirley (Van Buren County), Rebekah earned a bachelor’s degree in 2007 from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in 2010 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Growing up in rural Arkansas inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare. “I have seen firsthand the difficulty in accessing a needed healthcare provider. Focusing on strategy, growth and business development are my primary responsibilities for Conway Regional. Each day I identify ways to increase access to healthcare for Arkansans in our community. There is no greater joy than being able to help fulfill a need for the people and the communities we serve.” Rebekah’s community activities include UCA alumni board member (2014-present), Arkansas State Chamber, Leadership Arkansas Program (2018-2019), Delta Zeta national recruitment chairman (2019- present), Faulkner County Leadership Institute graduate (2016), UCA Delta Zeta Advisor (2007-2019) and UCA Greek Alumni Advisory Board member (2012-2019). Rebekah said she enjoys most the way of life in the 501. “I enjoy the kindness of people, the amenities of living in a city like Conway but with the ease of access to Greers Ferry Lake and the Ozark Mountains, and the assurance of a community that wants to continue to evolve, adapt and grow to meet the needs of its citizens.” She and her husband, John, have a son, Ethan Parker Fincher.

Cinda Montgomery (Yours Truly Consignment Inc.) Cinda Montgomery is the owner of Yours Truly Consignment, Inc. Over the past 20 years of busiAlison Cowles (left) and Cinda ness, the Montgomery. store has expanded seven times and welcomed items from more than 26,000 people. It was recently honored as a 2019 Outstanding Small Business in Conway. Cinda said her motivation for her business included “a passion for a good deal, a desire to serve and help others, a talent for organizing, problem solving and a great love for people.” Investing in the next generation of leaders, Cinda’s staff of 30 largely consists of local college students whom she leads with high expectations for work ethic and customer service, but also with an understanding that learning from mistakes is what’s most important. Cinda said she enjoys finding ways each day to love and serve others through her business. “If we listen to our heart and look around, there are people with needs everywhere, whether it’s a helping hand, a word of encouragement, meeting a need, helping with a child or just sharing a smile and a friendly ‘hello,’ people respond with kindness and appreciation.” Cinda recently joined the Conway Symphony Orchestra board and enjoys helping with Life Choices of Conway. Her advice to other women in business includes a commitment to learning from everything and teaching it to others. “Good attitudes are a choice and we are better off assuming the best. We don’t know the challenges people are facing and it’s best to leave judgment at the door.” Cinda is married to Greg Montgomery and has three children, Jordan, Logan and Makenzie. “I’m humbled to be named with such an amazing group of women. What an honor to be chosen to receive this award. I am grateful to my team that rallied behind me and nominated me. They are truly the best and hardest working team of ladies in the 501.”

Jamisa Nuness-Hogan (Kids World Childcare Center)

Angie Davis (left) and Jamisa NunessHogan. 72 | 501 LIFE January 2020

With more than two decades of experience in the childcare industry, Jamisa NunessHogan oversees a staff who

shares her dedication to the well-being of children and families. Kids World Childcare Center accommodates more than 100 children each day, providing families with a safe and engaging environment that is ripe with growth. “There were many influences that went into my decision to select this career field. This is my passion. I love children. I started out babysitting to make a few extra dollars as a single parent. I moved from babysitting to an in-home childcare, keeping children 18 hours a day, two different shifts, so working parents could have a safe haven for their children. “Today, I own Kids World, which is one of the largest childcare centers in Faulkner County.” A Conway High School graduate, Jamisa has a degree in Early Childhood and has been a certified childcare provider for more than 20 years. As owner/ director, Jamisa is particularly moved when children she once cared for, grow up, have children of their own and then return to her for their care. Jamisa said her late grandmother, Mary Beard, played a vital role in who she is today. “She was a true representation of hard work. She was my biggest supporter even when I was expecting a child as a teenager. She would say in my lowest moments to never let having a baby early in life keep you from becoming your best. Finish school and hold your head up, and always understand that God does not make mistakes. Because of her words of encouragement, I can truly say, although I am still growing, that I am living the life she said I could live.” With the support of her husband James, Jamisa has enriched the lives of countless families, in addition to her own, which includes 11 children and 24 grandchildren. “Truly, living in the 501 helps me realize that someone is always there for you no matter what.” Jamisa’s advice to other women includes “be an example” and “be a lifelong learner.” “Don't just work for money. Work for a greater purpose. Aligning to a purpose has been the foundation of my personal and professional life.” Jamisa said receiving the chamber award has boosted her confidence. “It gives recognition to all the people that have worked alongside me and to my family and the community who have supported me through it all.”

Donna Seal (Donna Seal LCSW) As a consultant, national speaker, a small group leader at church or as a therapist Alison Cowles (left) and Donna Seal. in private practice, Donna Seal has shown patience, understanding and encouragement. She is a licensed psychotherapist/ board certified Christian counselor and has been in private practice for 26 years. For 23 years, she has provided corporate training and consulting.

“After being a stay-at-home mom until my two children went to college, I wanted to invest in helping people,” she said of her career path. “Whether it is in mental health or being more fulfilled in a work setting, I enjoy getting to know people and helping them live a healthy and productive life.” Donna has a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Arkansas State University and a master of science degree in social work from the University of Tennessee. Donna encourages other women not to be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. “It is important to pursue the gifts God has given you and the desires He has put in your heart.” When it comes to maintaining work/life balance, Donna said she always puts family first. “Whatever is going on in the family goes on my calendar first. That allows me to enjoy my work since I am not missing anything with my family in order to continue my work as a therapist or travel as a consultant,” she said. “My relationship with God grounds me and continues to guide me into what matters most.” In addition to mentoring several young mothers, Donna’s community involvement has included the Conway chamber, Conway Regional Medical Center and several local churches. “This is a wonderful community with so many caring people,” Donna said about the 501. “My husband and I have been so blessed with the friendships we have made here. Of course, our favorite part of living here is being with our family.”

Donna has been married to her high school sweetheart, Jim, for 50 years. They have a son and daughter, and three grandchildren. Donna is humbled and honored to be recognized by the chamber. “I truly hope my clients can see this as a way of honoring them and the mental health work I do in this community. I have met and worked with the most wonderful people. I consider it a privilege to share life with my clients and to hopefully make a difference,” she said.

Woman in Nonprofit Award Recipient Melissa Allen (CAPCA) Melissa Allen is the community programs director for the Community Action Program for Central Alison Cowles (left) and Melissa Allen. Arkansas. For more than 10 years, Melissa has worked to empower families to transition out of poverty. “Imagine that you get to live your life helping people and making a difference in your community on a daily basis,” said Melissa. “This is what I am blessed to do.” A 1992 graduate of Bauxite High School, Melissa said every aspect of her life is community involve-

ment. “I have the privilege to supervise over 20 programs at CAPCA and support our community partners in their endeavors; this keeps me quite busy during normal business hours, after hours, weekends and even some holidays.” Melissa is the mother of two sons, Skylar and Justyn, and the proud Mimi of her grandson, Andrew. Melissa credits her parents as her role models. “My mother admired my tenacity and taught me I could do anything I set my mind to,” she said. “My dad taught me to have an impeccable work ethic and to realize that no matter how well I did, I could always improve.” Her advice to other women in business is “work ethic means absolutely everything. Arrive early, stay late if needed, pay attention to detail, meet deadlines, help your teammates out, be straightforward, keep your word, have passion, be tenacious, know you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to, stay busy - don’t just look busy, own your mistakes, don’t make excuses, constantly grow and never become stagnant.” Melissa considers the 501 as one of the most generous and loving communities. “Witnessing generosity and team work across every nonprofit, business, organization, and community member is quite a sight to see!” Melissa is appreciative of the award. “This tremendous honor means more than I can put into words. The spotlight is not a comfortable place for me and to be recognized by my community for the work I love truly brings me to tears.”

Conway Regional Health System congratulates our Chief Administration Officer

REBEKAH FINCHER for being named a 2019 Outstanding Woman in Business!

Thank you for your leadership, passion, and service to our community. We are proud of you! January 2020 501lifemag.com | 73

Perry County: Whitney Kerth Campbell

Whitney (top photo) competes at the UALR Cross Country Open at Rebsamen Park in September 2008. At the 2008 Sunbelt Cross Country Championships (middle/ left photo) in Bowling Green, Ky. Whitney and her teammate, Katarina Lovrantova (right) at the 2007 Sunbelt Cross Country Championship in Bowling Green. The women's team was runner-up and the men's team won that year. U.S. Bank coworkers (bottom) on a semiannual hike at Pinnacle Mountain for some fresh air: Mikita Jews (from left), Marcus Sokamnouay, Whitney, Vanessa Ramirez and Mitul Patel. 74 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Hardly a decade ago, Whitney Kerth was enjoying success as a two-sport scholar/ athlete at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Today, Whitney Kerth Campbell is enjoying nothing less as vice president of commercial banking/portfolio manager with U.S. Bank in Madison, Wis. What prepared her for and propelled her through such a productive, fulfilling period is a tribute to enviable natural ability, noteworthy initiative and uncommon perseverance. It is an inspiring illustration, too, of the quality humans enriched by and Dr. Robert in “The Natural State.” Reising Born on June 23, 1987, in St. Louis, Whitney arrived in Perry County at age 8. Dr. Robert Reising retired A daughter of public-school educators, she from the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 after holding a adjusted and progressed admirably, and in variety of teaching, coaching and administrative posts during more 2005 graduated as Perryville High’s Class than a half-century in education. Valedictorian. His doctoral dissertation at Duke Particularly because of her mother, a treated literature and sports. committed runner, Whitney had narrowed her multi-sport school commitments to cross country and track and field after her junior year, and athletic excellence immediately embellished her lustrous academic record. The recently retired Milton Williams, long-time coach of cross country and track and field at UALR, detected extraordinary potential in the late-blossoming runner and offered Whitney financial aid enabling her to join his program. The potential he detected in Whitney’s senior-year achievements morphed into intercollegiate success so quickly and completely that in 2010 she earned the label “most-decorated” women’s long-distance runner in program history. She wasted no time in her race to stardom. In the fall of her freshman year, she set a UALR record by placing fourth in the 5000-meter run in the Sunbelt Conference Women’s Cross-Country Meet. The

501 LIFE is once again profiling noteworthy athletes, men and women who were born outside of Central Arkansas but who made their mark in the 501. The “Celebrating athletic excellence” series will feature one from each of the 11 counties in the 501. The 11 are representatives of the quality of athletes found throughout Central Arkansas and are not meant to be the best or the most noteworthy. This is the seventh installment in the third “Celebrating athletic excellence” series.

Tax rules are changing.


Whitney and her husband, Graham, and their son Henry on a recent weekend getaway to Door County, Wis. following winter saw her earn national recognition by gaining and accepting an invitation to compete in the Junior National Cross Country Meet in New York City, a race limited to the top distance runners, ages 18 and younger, in the United States. While adding only A’s to her academic transcript, she continued to register eye-catching finishes in her running specialties. She claimed seven Top 10 program highs, including first place in the Indoor 10,000 meters; 10 career Sun Belt Conference Runner-of-theWeek honors; four All-Sun Belt Conference honors; and four NCAA All-Region Cross-Country honors. Capping her success were the designations announced after her final seasons of intercollegiate competition. In 2009, ESPN The Magazine named her a third-team Academic All-American, and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette placed her among its “20 to Watch in 2010.” In her last year, she earned first team Academic All-American accolades on the ESPN The Magazine cross country and track and field teams, only the second UALR runner ever to gain multi-year Academic All-American recognition. A member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, she also claimed a place on the UALR Chancellor’s List and on the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List. In the spring of 2010, Whitney earned a bachelor of business administration degree in economics and finance with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and summa cum laude honors. It simultaneously signaled her completion of a two-year U.S. Bank-UALR Internship and advanced her to a leadership post with the nation’s fifth-largest bank. The first Arkansas resident to complete the internship program, she married in December 2014 and now resides in Madison with her husband and their soon-to-be 2-year- old son, Henry. She accommodates her demanding U.S. Bank responsibilities from home while Dr. Graham Campbell, a graduate of the University of Arkansas Medical School (UAMS), completes the first year of a five-year residency in radiation oncology at the University of Wisconsin. Whitney readily admits that she “loves” her job, which U.S. Bank Regional Manager Michael Richardson says she handles so capably that he “can’t speak highly enough of her.” Understandably, she can find time to run just twice a week. Yet she hopes to return to competitive running next summer, a decision that would undoubtedly please her old coach, Milton Williams, who terms her both “a great athlete” and “a good ambassador” for UALR. The transplant harbors two other hopes. Whitney would be delighted “to see Henry in cross country in Arkansas” and “to return to Arkansas one day…. Graham and I love the state.” Perry County and the 501 are proud they do.

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In the 501 Sky watching opportunities in 2020

Germinids Meteor Shower photographed in Van Buren County.

76 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Conjunction of planets in the sky above Four Winds Church in West Conway. It is a brand new year and it is time to make plans for observing the night sky if you are an amateur astronomer like me. I love watching and photographing the heavenly sky. I am planning my schedule for Linda the astronomiHenderson cal events I want to observe and Jim and Linda Henderson are lifelong residents of the 501. exploring the best They travel the 501 and other places to be in to areas of Arkansas. Jim drives and capture an image hauls equipment. Linda takes photographs of Arkansas. During of the best events their travels, they have gained in 2020. appreciation and love for The Natural State. They have found There are sevthe 501 has so much to offer for eral excellent spots fun and beauty to photograph. in the 501 to catch glimpses of the shows going on in the firmaments. Some of my favorite spots to watch the sky are Petit Jean State Park, Brock Creek in the Ozark National Forest, rural areas north of Clinton, White Oak Mountain in Van Buren County and rural areas west of Little Rock in the Ouachita National Forest. There are lots of celestial events to appreciate in the night sky. Each night is different and

there are some rare events taking place this year. Some of the best events this year will be meteor showers, winter constellation sightings, planets aligning and multiple Super Moons. Here are a few things you need to know if you are going to be a successful sky watcher. The moon will outshine everything except the sun. The closer it is to the full moon phase the less you will see in the sky. There are lots of smartphone apps that will keep you informed of the current moon phase. The less artificial light there is the more you will be able to see in the night sky. If you watch a meteor shower in a suburban area you might see one or two very bright meteors every hour but in a rural, darker area you might be able to observe several meteors a minute. Check the weather before you plan a sky watching event. Cloudy nights are a bust but a clear cold night is the best for sky watching. It is important to observe the stars well after sunset. Wait at least one to two hours after sunset to start your gazing. What to bring to a sky viewing? Nothing required and nothing to buy. Dress for the weather, bring a blanket or a lawn chair and get comfortable. 2020 astronomical events According to the NASA website, the first event of the year is the Quadrantids Meteor Shower, which occurs Friday, Jan. 3, and Saturday, Jan. 4. The Quadrantids shower is an above average shower with up to 40 meteors per hour. Best viewing will be after midnight.

A Super Moon photographed at Bee Branch (Van Buren County).

Constellations seen in Perry County. A crescent moon over Beaverfork Lake. January 2020 501lifemag.com | 77

A full moon over Faulkner County.

Multiple Super Moons will occur in 2020. It is very unusual for there to be four Super Moons in one year but this year they will occur Sunday, Feb. 9; Friday, March 6; Wednesday, April 8; and Thursday, May 7. A Super Moon will look slightly larger and brighter because its orbit is closest to the earth. On Monday, Feb. 10, the planet Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation. The best time to view Mercury (it will look like a very bright star) is right above the western horizon just after sunset. On Tuesday, March 24, Venus will be its brightest and can be seen close to horizon in the western sky after sunset. The Lyrids Meteor Shower will peak Wednesday, April 22, and Thursday, April 23. The Lyrids will produce about 20 meteors per hour. This shower will occur during a new moon so viewing should be spectacular. This shower can produce bright dust trails and occasional fire balls in the sky. Jupiter at Opposition will occur Tuesday, July 14. The giant planet will be at it closest orbit to the earth. It will be brighter than at any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. A medium size telescope, a 400 mm or greater camera lens or a good pair of binoculars should allow for viewing of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands and possibly its moons. Perseids Meteor Shower will be best seen Wednesday, Aug. 12, and Thursday, Aug. 13. The Perseids is one of the year’s best meteor showers. The moon is a waning crescent and it will rise after midnight. Perseids can produce up to 60 bright meteors per hour anywhere in the sky. Orionids Meteor Shower is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour. It can be seen Wednesday, Oct. 21, and Thursday, Oct. 22. The moon will be in waxing crescent and will rise after midnight. This shower is remnants of Halley’s Comet and has been observed since ancient times. A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur Monday, Nov. 30. A penumbra lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the earth’s partial shadow. Dur78 | 501 LIFE January 2020

Constellations photographed in Conway County.

ing this type of eclipse, the moon will darken slightly but not completely. Penumbral will begin at 1:32 a.m. and will reach maximum at 3:42 a.m. It will end at 5:53 a.m. The Geminids Meteor Shower is known as the King of Meteor Showers. It can produce up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. The best nights to observe Geminids is Sunday, Dec. 13, and Monday, Dec. 14. The new moon will ensure that 2020’s shower will be an excellent shower. You can see it anywhere in the sky. A rare conjunction or union of Jupiter and Saturn will take place Monday, Dec. 21. This rare conjunction of these two planets is known as a great conjunction. The last time this occurred was 20 years ago. The two bright planets will arc only seven minutes apart and will appear to be so close that they will look like one very bright large star. Look west just after sunset for this striking and rare planetary pairing. A few man-made sights may also be seen in the

night sky, including a flare or a flash. This happens when the sun’s beam reflects on an Iridium Satellite’s antennas. These are known as Iridium flares. 2020 will likely be the last year to observe these flares as the Iridium Satellites are being discontinued and replaced with other satellites with different antenna designs. The International Space Station can be seen as it passes over. The Space Station is most visible in the sky at dawn and dusk. It appears as a bright moving object. The Space Station flies at approximately 18,000 mph and moves very quickly across the sky. If you to want to keep up with my sky gazing and astronomical photography, follow my Instagram account @lindahenderson. So, take a nap to prepare to stay up all night long, grab a thermos with a hot beverage, get a coat and head for a rural back yard, an overlook, the hood of your vehicle, the side of the road, a state park, a national forest or a wide open field somewhere in a dark spot of the 501 to enjoy God’s heavenly show.

Walker continued from Page 29 After a full morning at KARK, Pat heads home to Sherwood about 12:30 p.m. most days. He typically spends some downtime before picking up the kids at school. Homework and sometimes afterschool activities follow. He warms up dinner prepared by Kim and then they usually finish up about the time she returns home. As soon as the kids are in bed, Pat heads to bed, usually around 8:30 p.m. “If I can get six hours, that’s good,” he said. “I’ve done two-hour nights before, one-hour nights…. Naps happen. I don’t schedule them. They make themselves happen.” Pat said if he ever decided to leave meteorology he thinks he would enjoy being a farmer. With an interest in agri-tourism, he would like to have a large plot of land to grow flowers and berries. “We love to garden and growing things in our yard.” One of the fun aspects of Pat’s work involves sharing with viewers his colorful themed socks. He admits when he started at KARK, he was a “black or brown sock kind of guy. I had no sock game at all.” Inspired by co-workers who wore interesting socks, Pat started buying and wearing more fun socks and sharing them on

social media. “I’ve bought so many socks, I can’t fit them all into my sock drawer,” he said, estimating that he has over 100 pairs of socks. The socks led to “Sock it Forward,” where viewers bid on a duplicate, unused pair of socks and the money goes to charity. The first year, $1,400 was raised. Pat said the most challenging aspect of his work is juggling many tasks, which have changed with the industry. “TV is not just TV anymore. It’s all media.” In addition to his work on-air, he also produces content for the station’s website and social media platforms. “They don’t have hard deadlines but newscasts do. That red light is coming on and they are going to punch you up on air whether you are ready or not.” While he enjoys presenting severe weather coverage, Pat said it is during those times that he thinks about and is concerned for those who may be in harm’s way, especially if he has been to the area or knows someone who lives there. He won an Emmy for a segment from the station’s tornado coverage. Pat said his favorite season is winter and he “loves” snow. Unfortunately, Arkansas doesn’t see a lot of the winter precipitation. “When the seasons change, that’s so much fun. It gives you something to talk about.”




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January 2020 501lifemag.com | 79

NEIGHBORS special friends

A move to Wye Mountain gave Bob and Cathy May an opportunity to expand their pet family. (Mike Kemp photos)

A menagerie

Couple enjoys Wye Mountain with pet family by Donna Lampkin Stephens

As a teenager, Cathy May was the Dr. Doolittle of her Broadmoor neighborhood in Little Rock. Now 61, she has expanded her reach — and her menagerie — to the 10-acre Wye Mountain spread she shares with her husband, Bob. Although it once reached nearly 30 members — including nine cats, six dogs, four miniature horses, six pygmy goats, two miniature donkeys and a cockatoo — their current pet family includes dogs Roxie, a 12-year-old miniature schnauzer, and Molly, 12, a border collie mix; elderly cats Lily and Velma; and miniature donkeys Paolo and Bella, both 17. For 20 years, the Mays have embraced the chaos. They wouldn’t have it any other way. “Oh, absolutely,” Cathy said. “The hardest part of having a pet is always when you lose one. One of our miniature schnauzers, Frisco, adored Bob. She was basically his shadow. She loved me, too, but she got pancreatic cancer and we had to put her down two years ago. She was like a family member. “I know some people will never understand that, but when we lost Frisco, it was devastating. Bob couldn’t even talk about her loss for months because it was 80 | 501 LIFE January 2020

so hard.” Before moving to the country in 1999, Bob, 70, who teaches creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas, had owned the occasional dog or cat. “But here we had a barn, and I fenced in several acres,” he said. “It was the novelty of having these bigger animals. “It was her dream more than mine, but at the same time — one thing about animals, it’s unconditional love. When they give it, you can’t help but give it back to them.” Cathy said growing up, her family always had a dog and a cat. She especially remembers Rex, an Airedale, and Thomasina, a cat named after a Disney movie. “I was a country girl at heart,” she said. “I was one of those people, when somebody would find a sick or hurt animal, even when I was a teenager, they’d say, ‘Call Cathy; she’ll know what to do. Take it to Cathy.’ “In my teen years, I raised a chimney swift, several sparrows, squirrels, a rabbit and a quail. I was kind of like the Dr. Doolittle of Archwood.” After the two married in 1997, they looked to buy their first home outside of Little Rock, where Bob taught theatre at UALR. “It was more about getting away from the city and the people,” Cathy said.

Cathy May watches her husband, Bob, feed two of the animals in their menagerie.

“Bob saw in the paper a place in Little Italy, and for some reason, that appealed to him. We drove out here, drove up the driveway and he saw the barn. Immediately, he was like, ‘I want to buy it.’ “The barn was bigger than the house, but he immediately said, ‘I want it.’” And thus began their combined love affair with animals. “I don’t know how it came about,” Bob said, chuckling. “Cathy thought everything was cute.” Their original country pack included three cats and two dogs. Then came

pygmy goats, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, the cockatoo and other dogs and cats over the years. “We had two miniature horses — a male and a female — and the next thing you know we had four miniature horses,” Bob remembered. “Then Cathy saw a picture of a miniature donkey and fell in love. Next thing I know, we’re getting one.” The donkeys were small enough that they brought them home in the back of their SUV. Most of the May menagerie have lived to or beyond their life expectancy with them on Wye Mountain. And although Cathy, a SNAP advocate for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, knows too well the pain of losing a member of their furry family, she also knows it’s worth it. “Some people say, ‘I’m never going to get a pet again because it was so hard when we lost our dog or cat,’” she said. “But I always say, ‘Look at all the years of joy they gave you, and also look at the joy that you can give a pet from the shelter or an animal that’s been neglected. “Don’t turn your emotions off. Give yourself time to grieve, then go forward and get another animal to love.” For 20 years, she and Bob have practiced what they preach.

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January 2020 501lifemag.com | 81

NEIGHBORS person of the month

A my Burton

CITY: Searcy WORK: Executive director of Main Street Searcy, a

501(c) 3 non-profit organization working to preserve, promote and enhance Downtown Searcy.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB: I love being a part of the Searcy community. There are so many people working to make Searcy great and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do my part…to leave a legacy for my children and future generations.


Committee, Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce, Planning, Growth and Transportation Committee, humane society board, Searcy Beautification Committee, Small Business Revolution (town representative), Get Down Downtown (director) and farmers’ market (director).

CHURCH ACTIVITIES: Valley Baptist Church (Mission Matters Committee and Bible school teacher). FAMILY: Married to Brett Burton for 22 years. We have two daughters: Kinley (16) and Emma Kate (6). EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in mass communications-journalism with concentration in public relations (Arkansas State University); master’s degree in mass communications (Arkansas State University). FAVORITE BOOK: I can’t really narrow down my choice to one favorite. Reading is a way to decompress from a hectic schedule so I usually choose to read light fiction, especially from authors like Michael Lee West and Mary Kay Andrews. MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION: My family. If I have to choose a material possession, I’d say a 1900 silver dollar that my grandfather gave to me before passing away. He carried it in his pocket every day so I knew it had special meaning for him before passing it along to me. MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: I love going Amy Burton is the executive director of Main Street Searcy, an organization that works to preserve, promote and enhance Downtown Searcy. Amy’s favorite season is summer. “I know we all complain about the heat, but I love summer activities and the beauty of green grass and colorful foliage,” she said.

to Arkansas festivals, events, exhibits, etc. There are so many fun things to do in the state.



WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: I’ve lived in another state and other areas of Arkansas but they never really felt like home. I love the people and sense of community that I feel in Central Arkansas.

82 | 501 LIFE January 2020

A Growing Health System for a Growing Community

Left to Right: J. Tod Ghormley, MD, James T. Howell, MD, James L. Head, MD, H. Scott Smith, MD, Grant W. Bennett, MD, Tom Roberts, MD, Robert F. McCarron, MD, Glenn D. McClendon, DPM

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Profile for 501 LIFE

January 2020  

As Central Arkansas embarks on a new year, 501 LIFE is all about “Celebrating seasons” (Pages 42-46) in this month’s edition. (Bill Patterso...

January 2020  

As Central Arkansas embarks on a new year, 501 LIFE is all about “Celebrating seasons” (Pages 42-46) in this month’s edition. (Bill Patterso...