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FREE

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Hotline

(501) 380-CARE (501) 380-2273

During a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is common to experience increased levels of stress and anxiety. If you are experiencing these emotions please take advantage of our free and confidential Emotional Support Hotline. This hotline is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and is staffed by licensed counselors and therapists who want to help. Self-care is incredibly important during this challenging time. Unity Health is here for you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Unity Health - Clarity Health & Wellness Searcy (501) 203-0055 Unity Health - Clarity Health & Wellness Newport (870) 495-1260 Unity Health - Clarity Health & Wellness Cabot (501) 422-6431

Unity-Health.org June 2020 501lifemag.com | 3


EDITOR'S NOTE

Fly like an eagle

501 LIFE

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

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Donna Spears

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

FAULKNER COUNTY EDITORIAL BOARD 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

An eagle floats along Greers Ferry Lake near Sugar Loaf Mountain. (Sonja J. Keith) In early December, my husband, Tom, and I placed an X by one of the items on our 501 bucket list as we hiked Sugar Loaf Mountain. We had attended and taken photos at a Christmas event at the Fairfield Bay Chamber of Commerce (what fun!) and decided to check in and check out the new hotel in the community. Fairfield Bay is a wonderful community, and we consider it such a treat to spend time there. We had a wonderful stay. The next morning, we made our way to the Fairfield Bay Marina to catch the shuttle out to the mountain for our hike. It was an unseasonably warm and bright December day. The sky was an incredible shade of blue, and we knew we hit the jackpot on timing our trip. It was my first time to hike Sugar Loaf. Tom had previously hiked it with a group of Boy Scouts. Soon we had to shed our jackets as we began meandering along the marked trail. We had stopped along the way to sit on a bench and take in the beauty of the area when out of nowhere an impressive C-130 buzzed by at what seemed like eye level. Wow! We just kind of looked at each other, amazed 4 | 501 LIFE June 2020

at what had just happened. As we continued our trek, the trail upward became a bit more demanding, but we pressed on. At the top, we were treated with a spectacular view of the lake and surrounding area. Wow! You could see for miles and miles, and the water was so smooth. We took our time to take it all in and only decided to leave when we saw how soon the shuttle would be returning to the dock for our ride back. As we turned toward the trail, out of nowhere, two majestic bald eagles came floating by. The eagles were amazing to watch as they flew so high with what seemed to be little effort. It was a perfect bucket list moment. In this edition, as 501 LIFE “Celebrates seniors,” we want to encourage this special group of young people to fly high no matter the challenges or the circumstances. The sky is the limit. Also, take time to take in all that life has to offer and be mindful when those special moments come along and hold tight to loved ones. Congratulations and we wish you all the best. Here’s to “Loving LIFE” in the 501!

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 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.


Thank you Heritage Heroes!

1175 Morningside Drive • Conway, AR 501.327.7642


CONTENTS

June 2020

Volume 13 Issue 2

features&departments 52 Entertaining

m

501 LIFE Contributor Julianne Milner offers creative ways to spend the days with the “new normal.”

64 Sports

Before the world as we knew it changed, Conway’s Wampus Cat swimmers won the Class 6A state championship.

This month, 501 LIFE is “Celebrating seniors” (Pages 26-47) from across Central Arkansas. (Jeremy Higginbotham design)

18

68 Travel

On the cover

501 LIFE Contributor Linda Henderson offers some suggestions for exploring the 501 during summer.

72 Pet

There are workplaces that allow employees to bring their animals, and there are scenarios where the animal IS the employee. But in the case of Ollivander Aloysius Smith and the University of Central Arkansas, the situation is a little bit of both.

20

neighbors

48

18 Couples

Morrilton natives Kristy and Robert Hogan are loving life in Conway County.

20 Conway

As one look at Dr. David Myers’ orthodontics clinic in Conway tells you, he’s not your run-of-the-mill dental professional.

52

74 Person of the month

501 LIFE celebrates Julie Goodnight, a successful business woman with a big heart for her community.

'501 KIDS' 501 LIFE contributors Kellie Bishop and Brittany Gilbert have great tips in this month’s issue. Have a story idea or a young person you would like to see featured? Send suggestions to info@501lifemag.com.

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72

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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

C Centennial Bank, 33 Central Baptist College, 41 City of Morrilton, 37 Conway Corporation, 21 Conway Institute of Music, 23 Conway Regional Health System, 75 Conway Regional Rehab, 58 Crow Construction, 39

facebook.com /501lifemag

D DJM Orthodontics, 61 Double Springs Grass Farms, 67

E Edward Jones, 51

F First Security Bank, 29, 76 First Service Bank, 13 Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling Inc., 19

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.

G Glenrock Apartments, 71 Greenbrier School District, 31

H Hartman Animal Hospital, 73 Harwood, Ott & Fisher, PA, 55 Heritage Living Center, 5 Hiegel Supply, 67

Writers’ Room

J Julie’s Sweet Shoppe, 71

M MSC Eye Associates, 17 Methodist Family Health, 65 Middleton Heat & Air, 53

O Ott Insurance, 24

P Patterson Eye Care, 69 Pulaski County Special School District, 63

Q Quitman School District, 47

S Salem Place Nursing and Rehab, 57 Shelter Insurance, 69 Sissy’s Log Cabin, 15 South Conway County School District, 35 Spencer Hawks for Arkansas, 43 Superior Nursing & Rehab, 2

U Unity Health, 3 University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton, 25 University of Central Arkansas, 49

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.

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 resident of Wooster for the past eight years, Laurie Green enjoys most the hometown feel of living in the 501. She graduated in 1990 from Greenbrier High School. “I attempted college at UofA Fayetteville, but found I was a much better mom than student.” She and her husband, Will, have seven children, five grandchildren and a golden retriever named Marla. A regular contributor for 501 LIFE, Laurie writes a faith column. “I love writing. I spend 24/7 with my husband doing lawn care, which we love. Sunday evenings are dedicated to spending time in fellowship with our NLC Lifegroup, which is the glue that keeps me together.” Laurie said that most people probably don’t know that she and her husband have two sets of twins 18 months apart. “I also think it’s funny that we have two daughters named Brittney/Brittainy (one of the perks of a blended family). Will likes to tell people I’ve only been pregnant twice, but we share seven kids and two named Brittney/Brittainy. It gets some funny looks.” To contact Laurie, email thegreens@ ymail.com.

Recognized throughout the state as an accomplished chef, Don Bingham has called the 501 his home for 47 years. “I enjoy most the people of the 501 – their heart and passion for life and for each other.” A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Don has a bachelor’s degree in communications and is a certified chef. He and his wife, Nancy, have five married children and 12 grandchildren. His interests include music, interior design and event planning. He can be reached at donaldjbingham@gmail.com.

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 7


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NEWS/NOTES

‘Stay at Home Bazaar’ Sacred Heart School seeks support Sacred Heart Catholic School has announced plans to host the first (and hopefully only) “Stay at Home Bazaar,� in lieu of the usual large dinner and midway event. The goal of the (non)event is to raise $80,000 for the school. The bazaar typically raises $110,000$120,000, which represents approximately 11 percent of the school’s budget each year, “so it is critical that we find a way to generate revenue,� stated a news release issued by the organizing committee. “As much as we long to fill our gym with spaghetti and sausage and our parking lot with midway games and kids, we know it just isn’t time yet.  And yet, we still need to ensure that our school can be ready and able to meet the needs of students and families in the fall so it is imperative that we come together, albeit virtually, and provide the funds needed to operate.� The “Stay at Home Bazaar� encourages donors to consider what they would normally have donated or spent at the bazaar and to instead make a taxdeductible donation in that amount. Families and the community provide a great deal of support, be it

donating toward the purchase of raffle prizes, buying bingo prizes or baking pies, providing or buying

silent auction items, and paying for dinners – it all adds up and makes a major impact for the school. Giving to the “Stay at Home Bazaar� is easy. Gifts can be given in advance by mailing to the school (106 N. St. Joseph, Morrilton, AR 72110), online via PayPal (sacredheartmorrilton.org), or dropped in the locked box in front of the church. The week of June 1-5, when volunteers would typically be engaged in a flurry of bazaar setup, will be the official non-event week, with a live giving portal available for online gifts and reflecting how much has been raised toward the $80,000 goal. School representatives added, “We know that many of our families have been financially impacted by recent changes and cannot make a gift at this time; we ask that those who have not suffered financially to consider filling the gap for those who have. We sincerely appreciate your consideration, support and your prayers during this uncertain time. We also offer our sincere appreciation to our sponsors.� More information is available at sacredheartmorrilton.org.

Spirit of Unity

Unity Health Foundation presents award The Unity Health Foundation recently presented Brandi Crowell, RN in the New Life Center, with the Spirit of Unity Award. A gift to the Foundation was donated in Crowell’s honor by Mary Gallaway for the care she provided to her daughter, Sarah O’Brien, during the recent birth of her granddaughter, Millie, in February. “When our daughter entered the department at the nurse’s station in active labor, Brandi stopped what she was doing to welcome her,� Gallaway said. “So much of her anxiety subsided because of Brandi’s obvious compassion and true calling to be a labor and delivery nurse. [She] stayed with our daughter through her entire labor and delivery, even though shift change had come and gone. Brandi’s subtle confidence and control of the situation provided our family a soothing and calming environment.� Unity Health Foundation Specialist Jonathan B. Murphy presented the award to Crowell in a small

8 | 501 LIFE June 2020

gathering of hospital associates. “Our families have wonderful, positive memories of the births of our grandchildren,� Gallaway said. “The [New Life Center] at Unity Health is a true asset to the community, and we feel blessed to have had it available to us.� The Spirit of Unity Award is a way for patients, or family members of patients, to show their gratitude by giving a gift in an associate’s honor to the Unity Health Foundation. These gifts go toward special projects and equipment upgrades that will help to ensure that Unity Health cares for patients and generations to come. For more information about Spirit of Unity awards or to honor a Unity Health associate, please call 501.278.3186 or visit unity-health.org/foundation/donate-now. Brandi Crowell, an RN in the New Life Center in Searcy, has been presented the Spirit of Unity Award.


Last day St. Joseph students continue tradition St. Joseph School’s Senior Class of 2020 celebrated its last day May 1 by renewing a school tradition in a slightly different way. In the past, seniors rode to school on bicycles and briefly went through the hallways to resounding cheers from students and teachers. COVID-19 changed all that.  There were no younger students on hand to applaud the graduates due to the school’s shutdown in March. Senior class sponsor Karen Davis organized the last ride in such a way that social distancing could be maintained. Assistant high school principal Teri Breeding, who decorated the hallway, was also there to lend encouragement as was middle school principal Matt Tucker. The class of 21 seniors came in two separate waves. The first group of 10 went in opposite directions. Half rode through the high school while the others made their way through the middle school. They were kept six feet apart and were signaled through in 10 foot intervals. The two groups then switched campuses. When they were done, the next group of seniors repeated the sequencing. 

St. Joseph seniors Abbie Flake (from left), Brooklyn Kordsmeier and Emily Briggler participate in their school’s last day tradition, modified due to COVID-19.

St. Joseph senior Erika Gonzalez rides through the school.

St. Joseph senior Timmy Coney enjoys the last-day tradition.

Rose joins Conway Corp board The Conway Corp Board of Directors recently elected Reggie Rose to serve a seven-year term beginning Friday, May 8. Rose is community executive at Simmons Bank in Conway and prior to joining Simmons Bank, he spent 19 years as general manager of Centennial Valley Country Club. He has been active in the community for several years, serving as a former board member of the United Way of Central Arkansas and Boys and Girls Club of Faulkner County and serving as chairman of the Conway Advertising and Promotion Commission. Currently, Rose is a member of the Conway Noon Lions Club and serves on the Arkansas Duck Derby Committee for Conway Regional Health System.

Rose graduated from Leadership Arkansas Class XIII, and credits that experience with providing a clear understanding of the unique role that Conway Corp fills in the community. “The economic impact of municipal utility ownership Reggie Rose cannot be overstated,” Rose said. “Conway could be a much different community

without the sustained job creation, economic development and affordable rates provided by Conway Corp. I’m excited to join this leadership team.” Rose is a graduate of Pangburn High School (White County) and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He and his wife, Natalie, live in Conway along with their two children, Will and Ella. The board elects one director annually to serve a seven-year term. Other board members are Tom Courtway, Lindsay Henderson, Ray Kordsmeier, Jake Nabholz, Denise Perry and Brad Teague. Rose replaces Bob Whitehouse, whose term ends on May 8. June 2020 501lifemag.com | 9


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LOVING LIFE

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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

The Greenbrier High School Class of 1977 was “Loving LIFE� at its 42nd class reunion held at Sally and Blake Lieblong’s home, who are part of the 77-member class.

The Conway County cast of “Love, Sex and the IRS� was “Loving LIFE�: Ainsley Herrick (front, from left), Irene Taylor, Stephanie Atkinson; Jesse Burgener (back), Shane Atkinson, William Breahears, Brandon Williams and John Nelson. 10 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Marla Hambuchen and her daughter, Caroline, were “Loving LIFE� as they enjoyed Pi Phi Mom’s weekend at the University of Arkansas on March 6-7.


‘Loving LIFE’ and CCS play Conway Christian School students selected “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Mariner’s Wraith” for its spring play. Sherlock was played by senior Matthew Gilleran with junior Drew Strickland as Dr. John Watson. Garrett Bullock was Inspector Lestrade with Bo Cunningham as Mycroft Holmes, Emilie Williams as Mary Watson, and Haley Shourd as Mrs. Hudson. The play was to be performed March 19 but the COVID-19 outbreak forced cancellation. “We were able to film a dress rehearsal in front of faculty members and parents on the Sunday before the schools closed,” said CCS Drama Director Laura Shelton.

Londoners: Taylor Sinele (from left), Lyndall McSpadden, Carson Ward, Katie Grace King and Emma Kate Elliott.

Haley Shourd as Mrs. Hudson (from left), Matthew Gilleran as Sherlock Holmes and Emilie Williams as Mary Watson.

Bo Cunningham as Mycroft Holmes (from left), Matthew Gilleran as Sherlock Holmes and Drew Strickland as Dr. Watson.

The Chesterfields: Anne Pratt (front); Evie Dean (back, from left), Makenna Jones and Abby Jolliff. Shipyard workers: Tyler Cossey (from left), Spencer Strickland, Jory Fulmer, Jace Kramer and Payton Lentz.

Dancers: Anna Hartley (front, from left), Savannah Spradlin; Kara Keathley (middle), Allie Tibbs, Gracie Hubbard, Jordyn Barnett, Brady Callaway; Rachael Blacketer (back), Kayla O’Kelley, Mallory Malone and Ola Gavronskaia.

Emilie Williams and Drew Strickland.

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 11


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LOVING LIFE

Lucian and Mona Lou Cato were “Loving LIFE� at the birthday parade.

‘Loving LIFE’ and celebrating a WWII veteran

The parade, which included the Patriot Guard Riders, lasted about 30 minutes. (Sonja J. Keith photos)

World War II veteran Lucian Cato was honored May 3 on his 95th birthday with a drive-by celebration which featured the Patriot Guard Riders, the Conway police and fire departments, area fire departments and antique and sports cars. The Catos live at the Brookdale Senior Living center on Hogan Lane in Conway. Lucian was born May 3, 1925, in Heber Springs. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 at the age of 17. During WWII, he was a 1st Class Motor Mechanic (MOMM1C) assigned to LCI(G)-441 (Landing Craft Infantry Gunboat), including the Battle of Okinawa (April 1, 1945/Easter – June 22, 1945). Lucian served his entire enlistment of almost three and a half years without taking any leave time. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on his 21st birthday and five days later married the love of his life in Heber Springs. Lucian retired after a lengthy government career at White Sands Missile Range.

Fire departments set up across the street during the parade.

Motorcycles, emergency vehicles, sports cars and vintage cars lined Hogan Lane.

12 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Some of the Patriot Guard members held signs.

Patriot Guard Riders sang “Happy birthday� and saluted Lucian, who returned the salute.


INTEGRITY.

WE TREAT OUR NEIGHBORS LIKE WE WANT TO BE TREATED

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


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LOVING LIFE

Ashlie and her dad in front of a tomb.

‘Loving LIFE’ and dream trip (Editor’s note: These photos and information from a trip that took place last year were submitted by Ashlie Green of Greenbrier) Every parent wants the chance to show their children where they grew up. For my father, this was near impossible to do; he had grown up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I heard many stories about what life was like over there, and I even learned some Arabic my father and his family remembered. Ever since I was a small child, it had been my dream to visit Saudi Arabia. The Saudi ARAMCO (Saudi Arabian-American Oil Company) began sponsoring reunions so expats (like my grandfather), brats (like my father) and children of the brats (like myself) could go back and visit the place they called home. By luck, I was chosen to go along with my father, grandfather and aunt. On March 9, 2019, I boarded a plane that would take me on the trip of my dreams. The Saudis greeted us with grace and kindness and were hospitable the whole time! Interestingly enough, when we were loading into our taxi that would take us to our hotel in Al-Khobar, we heard prayer call. My father said that when he heard that, he knew he was home. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip. In Dhahran, my father showed me the house where he grew up and the fields where he would play sports. We also attended a CEO dinner at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Al-Khobar hosted by the Saudi ARAMCO CEO Amin H. Nasser.

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The group went to Al-'Ula/Mada'in Saleh.

Ashlie Green with Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud. Dinner in Riyadh with Princess Reema bint Bandar was a real highlight of my trip, along with our visit to the archeological site at Al-'Ula/Mada'in Saleh.

I can honestly say that Saudi Arabia is a very underrated, misrepresented country. It is full of lovely people who care. Saudi is the place my father calls home. It will forever hold a special place in my heart.Â


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 15


501 IN PICS

Park and Pray Mike Kemp photos

Communities across the 501 have shown their support for local health care workers in a variety of ways. In Conway, a special group has come together to present a weekly Park and Pray event on Sunday evenings at Conway Regional Medical Center and Baptist Health-Conway. “These events are meant to inspire, encourage and unite the community of Conway and Faulkner County in support of the two general hospitals serving our community as a whole,” stated the organizing group’s Facebook page. “We encourage you to join us weekly at each hospital for prayers and to show support by honking horns and flashing lights in the parking lots of these two great hospitals!”

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June 2020 501lifemag.com | 17


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NEIGHBORS couples

HER

Kristy Hogan

NATIVE OF: Morrilton.

Bible School.

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Oppelo (Conway County).

HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: Enjoying my kids, traveling and reading.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of science degree in nursing, Arkansas Tech; and a master’s degree in nursing, University of Central Arkansas. JOB: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at the Arkansas Department of Health. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: Love and compassion for people. PARENTS: Jerry and Thresia York of Oppelo. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Most activities are centered around Devil Dog sports activities that my kids are involved with. CHURCH ACTIVITIES: Small group hostess, Vacation 18 | 501 LIFE June 2020

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF: Fun loving and loves to laugh. WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I played AAU basketball at age 14, and we won the state championship. MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Chasing my kids and watching them do what they love. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO: Dream big, love bigger. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: The variety of activities from camping/ nature to great shopping and food. It’s a great place to raise a family.

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Kristy and Robert Hogan, both Morrilton natives, are loving life in Conway County. She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at the Arkansas Department of Health, and he is the principal at Morrilton Junior High School. (Mike Kemp photo)

HIM

Robert Hogan

NATIVE OF: Morrilton. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Overcup community (Conway County). EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in education, Arkansas Tech University; and a master’s degree in educational leadership, Harding University. JOB: Principal at Morrilton Junior High School in the South Conway County School District. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VOCATION: A love of athletics and a desire to coach kids; a love to serve others. PARENTS: Bob Ed and Carol Hogan of Morrilton. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Current board chairman for the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer coach for youth sports. CHURCH ACTIVITIES: Small

group host, Vacation Bible School and a security team member. HOBBIES/SPECIAL INTERESTS: Hunting, fishing, golf and watching and coaching my kids’ sports teams. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF: Positive, glass half full attitude with a willingness to serve others. WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I wanted to be an FBI agent. MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Following my kids at ballparks, gymnasiums and stadiums. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO: Have courage and be kind. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: Most of my family lives in the 501. I enjoy the slower pace of life. Everything is within reach. It is a wonderful place to raise a family.


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The Hogans enjoy traveling, camping and watching St. Louis Cardinal Baseball.

THEM

RESIDENTS OF: Morrilton. WHEN/HOW WE MET: We were high school sweethearts at Morrilton High School. THE PROPOSAL: A candlelight surprise dinner. I decorated my house and cooked a steak dinner. I got down on one knee, and she said yes. WEDDING BELLS: June 24, 2000, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church at the foot of Petit Jean Mountain. CHILDREN: Kamryn Olivia Hogan, 16; Maddox Stanford Hogan, 14; and Asher Isaac Hogan, 12. FAMILY ACTIVITIES ENJOYED TOGETHER: Traveling, camping, cruising, watching movies and watching St. Louis Cardinal Baseball.

Kristy and Robert Hogan married June 24, 2000, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. June 2020 501lifemag.com | 19


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NEIGHBORS conway

Rolling in the years DJM Orthodontics celebrates 25th anniversary by Dwain Hebda

As one look at Dr. David Myers’ orthodontics clinic in Conway tells you, he’s not your run-of-themill dental professional. The practice, located at 1050 Morningside Drive in Conway, looks more like a sock hop than a sterile place to get your teeth straightened. Decorated as it is with vintage gas pumps and furnishings, DJM Orthodontics is a one-of-a-kind environment that hints at Myers’ passion for collecting. But ask him what’s the most valuable thing he’s accumulated over 25 years in business and he’ll tell you it’s the relationships he holds with his clientele. “Orthodontics is a little bit different than dentistry from the standpoint that a large majority of our patients are kids, and we see them for an extended period of time on a regular basis,� he said. “I’ve got a lot of kids that I started seeing when they were 8 or 9 years old and observe for three, four, five years to grow their teeth in and be ready to start braces. Then we see them for two years to straighten their teeth, and then we see them for two more years to follow their retainers. “By the time I dismiss a kid and graduate them, they’ve gone from an 8-year-old little kid to a 15-, 16-, 17-year-old young adult. To watch that transformation and play a small part of it, that’s the best part of the whole job right there.� Myers, who also maintains on office in Greenbrier, always wanted a career in teeth. 20 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Dr. David Myers with his vintage automobile in front of his clinic in West Conway. (Mike Kemp photo)


“As a kid, I loved going to the dentist and spitting into the little baby toilet bowl, back when they still had such a thing,” he said with a laugh. “I always liked messing with little stuff. By the time I was, probably, 5 or 6, my grandfather told me what an orthodontist did. I thought that sounds kind of fun, messing with wires and little things. Of course, I had zero appreciation at 5 or 6 years old what the whole prospect of orthodontics really was, but that set my mind on a course.” While it’s unusual to decide that early on a career — and stick with it — it was also useful to Myers as it allowed him to be strategic in every phase of his education. “All the way through junior high and high school, I was picking classes to work my way towards college and then picking all my classes to get into dental school,” he said. “Then in dental school, I already knew I needed to be competitive and at the top of my class to be selected to get into orthodontic school. I always knew where I was going, so I was prepared for the challenges that it brought.” Originally from Wisconsin, the Myers family moved to Conway in the 1980s when he was in high school. He graduated with his class up north, then made a beeline for Arkansas where he earned a bachelor of science degree from University of Central Arkansas and completed dental school and orthodontics residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. From the start, he knew he wanted his own practice. “I finished residency in the spring of ‘94 and then came to Conway to get everything all set up

Myers remembers the early days of his practice as challenging. At the start, he was the sole employee handling appointments, receptionist chores, billing and collections in addition to his orthodontist duties. Money was always tight. Looking back, Myers credits God and his family — wife Michelle and daughters Logan and Katherine — for surviving the lean years. “I remember once, I needed $600 and rent’s due in three days,” he said. “I opened my mailbox and my Sunday school teacher from Memphis had just felt led that David could stand a little money, and there was a $600 check in my mailbox. Or low on food, come home from church and there’d be a box of food sitting on my front porch. Don’t know who brought it, where it came from.” As the COVID-19 pandemic reminds him, no matter how long you’re in business, there will always be things you can’t foresee. Myers readily admits 2020 hasn’t yet provided ideal conditions for celebrating a 25-year milestone, but his patients and his invaluable employees have made it a trip well worth taking. “Running a business is not what I was trained to do. I was trained to straighten teeth,” he said. “So, running a business and managing people is not my gift or forte. I seek and pray for guidance and wisdom all the time at that, and the Lord has been nothing but faithful all along the way. “It was quite the challenge. But getting to be your own boss and doing things the way you wanted to do them, I wouldn’t have done it any differently.”

It was a huge risk. I was probably pretty close to the end of a generation that you could finish school and go right out and start your own practice from scratch. There are still some people who do it, but the debt load out of school anymore is incredible; folks getting out of dental school, medical school, it’s half a million dollars or more in student loans.

— Dr. David Myers

and opened my practice in Conway in February of ‘95,” he said. “It was a huge risk. I was probably pretty close to the end of a generation that you could finish school and go right out and start your own practice from scratch. There are still some people who do it, but the debt load out of school anymore is incredible; folks getting out of dental school, medical school, it’s half a million dollars or more in student loans.”

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June 2020 501lifemag.com | 21


COLUMNIST

Remembering a special friend [The following is a eulogy Vivian Hogue composed and presented in 2017 in honor of her 65year best-friendship with Carolyn Hazel Lewis. In response to special requests, she shares this edited version along with additional comments.] A best friend means you need not worry about your shared ideas Vivian Lawson or words. He or she Hogue knows you better than you know yourself, A native of Conway, Vivian knows what to expect Lawson Hogue graduated from the University of Central from you and forgives Arkansas with a degree in art you anyway! education. A retired teacher, she worked in the Conway School In about 1952, District for 23 years. She can be Carolyn Lewis’s life reached at vhogue@conwaycorp. net. and mine intersected at church. From the beginning, we found we had a lot in common. She had a pesky brother; I had a pesky brother. We went to church camps where we were once chased by turkeys. She wore my clothes and shoes and I wore hers. She giggled; I giggled more. Amazingly, the church allowed us both to sing in the choir and serve as acolytes. In high school, we raced to my house after school where we watched Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.” She taught me to do the “Twist” and “Fast Dance” in case a miracle occurred and I had a date. She was in the drill team; I was in the drill team. She was the Wampus Cat newspaper editor; I wrote columns and drew cartoons. She made good grades, went to Girls State, and graduated with honors. And I . . . well, I was just really proud of her. Unfortunately, we did not go to the same college, although that was perhaps fortunate for the college. While I was elsewhere having my first dates ever, she was meeting, then marrying Joe. Sadly, I moved from Conway and was “missing in action” for several years. Circumstances and moving prevented us from communicating much. After all, long distance phone calls cost so much per minute and Carolyn’s and my conversations could never have afforded many calls. Stamps were a price-gouging 6 cents, and as with phone calls, a cheaper postcard couldn’t contain our words.  But there finally came an occasion when I was able to move back to Conway. Carolyn was the first one I called, of course, and we were struck by the realization that it was as if we had never been separated by time. By then Carolyn and Joe had their son and I had my two children. We still had our pesky brothers and still giggled, but I couldn’t wear her clothes and shoes anymore! Things in common continued, however, and when we both lost brothers, we grieved together. We were both in a service club once that sold 22 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Best of friends Carolyn Lewis (left) and Vivian Hogue. corn dogs at the county fair with faithful Joe at the iron kettle. He stood at the back of the small room dropping our renowned corn dogs into boiling hot peanut oil. On hot September nights, he stirred and sweated, but on cold October nights he did the same. He stopped now and then to replenish his still-secret mustard mixture. Carolyn and I stood at the counter selling the dogs-de-jour to long lines of people of every age and social level. Many said the corn dogs were the only reason they came to the fair. Carolyn was never prepared for things I said or did anywhere at any age, so for years she laughed as she told one corn dog story. A customer, a man reeking of nicotine and looking quite disheveled and possibly “liquored up,” sauntered up to the counter and asked me if we sold cigarettes. I said, “No, we don’t sell cigarettes and you don’t need to be smoking anyway.” Joe just kept his head down and continued sweating and stirring. There are many other tales of mischief, hopefully still under statutes of limitations. In the years I was away, and not to my surprise, Carolyn had become the best teacher her students could have ever had. She understood their varied backgrounds, abilities and personalities and gave them all equal attention with a soft voice. Her diplomacy earned her respect from students, parents and peers. She made her way to higher positions, not because of who she wanted to become, but because she loved her work and wanted to experience all aspects of education. Following the “things in com-

mon” theme, with her encouragement I became a teacher as well, although she liked the tykes and I leaned toward the teens. In 1983, it was Carolyn that I went to with personal issues and who listened to my decision to go back to school. Her encouragement was similar to words spoken in the story, “Winnie-the-Pooh,” when Christopher Robin said to Piglet - “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” In 1991, it was she with whom I first talked about possibly dating again. She heartily approved, and the next June, she, as my matron of honor, and I giggled as we drove around town the morning of the wedding, hunting for magnolia blossoms. My own tree was lagging behind. With blossoms located, a story in itself, we then hurried to decorate the chapel at Hendrix College. Afterward, we picked up the three-tier wedding cake she had purchased, and I held it in my lap as it undulated precariously as we laughed all the way to the chapel.  I still miss my sister-friend. But there’s one more thing she and I had in common. We were both Christians and knew our separation would be temporary. Someday, probably as she laughs while holding heaven’s gates closed for a few seconds so I can’t get in, she’ll joyously fling them open and we will finally be the real sisters neither of us had. Again, Winnie-the-Pooh said it for me: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart; I’ll stay there forever.”


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June 2020 501lifemag.com | 23


COLUMNIST

A friend for life Considering the theme “friends for life,” I spent weeks thinking about who to write about. I have so many different people to mention, but to do so with one could possibly leave out another and so on. That left me thinking a little too much, which in turn allowed my procrastination to Laurie Green kick in. Ultimately, I A Greenbrier native, Laurie is the decided to just wait and wife of Will Green. The two share see what God would seven children, five grandchildren and a golden retriever named reveal to me (which Marlo. They own and operate is typically on the day a lawn care business and are of my deadline, lol); members of New Life Church in Greenbrier. Laurie can be however, with patience reached at thegreens@ymail.com. and/or procrastination comes revelation and I know exactly who the friend for life is that I want to write about. I’ve not always treated this girl with the respect she has deserved. In fact, I would probably dare say my attitude and actions toward her for the most part were cruel and borderline abusive. The thing is, we’ve been together for as long as I can remember. In our youth, we were so full of big dreams and hopes for the future. We’d spend countless hours sitting outside on an old swing set in the yard and talk about how when we grew up, we would be a world-famous singer. We’d swing and perform endless concerts to an audience of no one but the angels in the sky and we couldn’t wait to see what the future had in store. Then came those awkward pre-teen years when everything started to change. Long gone were those innocent

24 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Laurie and her husband of 20 years, Will, at New Life Church in Greenbrier on Mother's Day last year. days of swinging, sky singing and dreaming. Those were things for little kids and we were well on our way to adulthood...or so we thought. We suddenly found ourselves aware of everyone and everything and it became so easy to criticize every detail about my friend. Her hair was too big; she didn’t wear enough makeup and then too much. She gained weight, her clothes weren’t

in fashion and she wasn’t nearly as confident as she should be. How was she ever going to make it if she couldn’t get these basic things about herself under control? I wasn’t trying to be mean; it was just that she had to get herself together if she wanted to be

Friends continued on Page 71


COLUMNIST

Defining a friend for life Howdy, friends and neighbors. The definition of a friend, according to Wikipedia, is “a relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association and has been studied in academic fields such as communication, sociology, social psychology, anthropolAdam ogy and philosophy.” Bledsoe The definition goes on Originally from Northeast Ohio, and on. During a time of Adam Bledsoe moved to Arkansas crisis, I feel we find the in 2000 to attend Harding University after active duty true definition of what a service in the U.S. Air Force. He is friend for life looks like. married to Dr. Amanda Bledsoe, and they have two children, I grew up in a Audrey and Hunter. very social home. My parents were both very friendly and would do anything for their friends. Oftentimes, needs of others came before their own. Years of dedicated loyalty to their employers and church family were seen when the rubber met the road. This was most evident after the passing of my mother in 2013. The visitation was exhausting. We reunited with people from years past who wanted to pay their respect to our entire family. My mom’s boss spoke during the celebration and stated how much she would be missed. I break friendship down to a few different categories: work, church and personal. Sometimes those lines are blurred if you’re doing the friendship thing well. Does it feel awkward when these groups of friends happen to gather at an event at the same time? Maybe you don’t know what to do with your

hands. That has happened to my wife and me at times which put me on edge. Many times this happens at birthday parties or similar events. The main thing in that moment is to remember to enjoy their company. Jumping around from job to job throughout my life gives me an extended list of friends from one line of work to another. The great thing is I could call any number of people in the case of an emergency, or simply in a time of needing a shoulder to lean upon. The neat thing is you never actually know who your true friends for life will be until down the road. Sometimes friends for life can pop up without warning. My motorcycle broke down at a gas station several months ago. I was stranded as I tried to make it to work one morning. As hard as it was, I put out

a plea on Facebook to indicate my need. Several people immediately contacted me, willing to drop everything to come to my aid. It’s hard to ask for help. Sometimes I’m just downright stubborn and will do everything I can to avoid asking for help. My buddy, Osmar, jumped to action and drove me to Little Rock. Thanks Osmar! You became a friend for life that day. Whether you call it your “Tribe, BFFs, Pal, Compadre, Amigo” or whatever else, it is important to invest in those relationships. 1 John 1 talks about how important it is to fellowship with one another and to hold each other accountable. So, have yourself some sweet fellowship and invest in those who will wrap their arms around you when you find yourself in need…kinda like now. I love you. Have the best day of your life!

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June 2020 501lifemag.com | 25


COVER STORY

Celebrating the Class of 2020

Conway High School

Ashleigh Darnell is a senior at Conway High School. A daughter of Tim and Kristen Darnell, she plans to attend Southern Arkansas University to play tennis and major in animal science/pre-vet.

Conway High School senior Makayla Reed, a daughter of Stephanie Brooks and Marcus Reed, plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in business administration.

Conway High School senior Madison Lipscomb was a member of the school dance team. A daughter of Brad and Rachael Lipscomb, she plans to attend the University of Arkansas and major in secondary education.

Conway High School senior Nick McCuin will attend the University of Arkansas. He is a son of Mark and Rebecca McCuin.

26 | 501 LIFE June 2020

501 LIFE is “Celebrating seniors” in this special “Loving LIFE” section with photos of students from across Central Arkansas. “The COVID-19 pandemic has turned everyone’s world upside down,” said 501 LIFE Editor Sonja J. Keith. “So many have been impacted by the state mandated directives and safety precautions, including high school and college seniors who unfortunately have seen their semester cut short and special activities/events associated with their final year in school either postponed or cancelled. “In light of the challenges and disappointments seniors have faced, 501 LIFE is honoring them with this edition. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2020 and wish all of the graduates the very best!”

Lia Wilson, a senior at Conway High School, will attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in political science. She is the daughter of Janet Wilson and plays violin in the CHS orchestra, as well as participates in Debate and Model UN.

Conway High School senior Robert Wyatt Toal, a son of Jimmy and Audrea Toal, plans to enlist with the Navy. Upon returning home, he plans to work on his degree from the University of Central Arkansas.

Conway High School senior Lawson Townsend, a son of Chuck and Mandi Townsend, plans to join the Navy and then attend Henderson State University to major in theatre.


Abigail Christine Robnett is a senior graduating from Conway High School. A daughter of Scott and Rhonda Robnett, she plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas. 

Allie Lynn Sample is a High Honors graduate of Conway High School. She plans to attend Ouachita Baptist University. With a heart to serve and help others, she is obtaining her EMT certification and will be in the OBU / Baptist Health nursing program. She is a daughter of Tally Thornton and Phillip Sample.

Tannar Moix, a son of Patrick and Lorri Moix, is going to pole vault for the University of Central Arkansas, where he plans to major in physical therapy.

Carson Cahill is an honor graduate of the Conway High School Class of 2020. A son of Mary Jane Cahill Pettit of Conway and Doug Cahill of Whitehall, Carson will attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and major in finance.

Conway High School senior Anna Collums, a daughter of Ken and Robyn Collums, plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and play beach volleyball.

Hunter Norris, a daughter of Lara Norris, is a senior at Conway High School. She plans to attend Arkansas Tech University to major in mathematics and communications on the path to one day becoming a broadcast meteorologist.

Conway High School senior Jadah Denise Pickens plans to attend Henderson State University, where she will study psychology and play basketball. She is a daughter of Stephanie and Adrian Pickens.

Kayla Keng, a daughter of Jeremiah and Anna Keng, was a member of the CHS dance team. She plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin with a major in biomedical engineering.

Lydia York, a daughter of Nick and Elicia Garza, is an honor graduate from Conway High School. She has received academic and basketball athletic scholarships to Central Baptist College, where she plans to major in health sciences.

Maggie Reese Mathis is a senior at Conway High School. A daughter of James and Ruth Ann Mathis, she was “Loving LIFE” at her signing ceremony in December. She plans to play volleyball at Rhodes College in Memphis, where she will major in international studies.

Conway High School senior Rachel Webb is an honor graduate. A daughter of Traci and the late Eddie Webb, she will attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in biology. She plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician.

Conway High School senior Reed Allen Hughes, a son of Greg and Kim Hughes, plans to attend Auburn University to play football and major in broadcast journalism. Among his honors, Reed was named to the 2019 edition of the 501 Football Team and was among the players featured on the cover of last year’s 501 Football magazine (pictured).

Noah Smith, a son of Malcolm and Susan Smith, is a Conway High School senior. He plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in business. June 2020 501lifemag.com | 27


Conway High School senior Reid Harrison will attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. A son of Joe and Wendy Harrison, he plans to pursue a degree in criminology.

Conway High School senior Rodrigo Patrick McCarthy-Galván was involved in the school marching band, Quiz Bowl, the tennis team, Debate and Forensics. A son of Erick and Zarina McCarthy, he will attend the University of Central Arkansas (Honors College) for teacher education. He would like to one day teach in the Conway School District.

Conway High School senior Slayde Christian Smith will attend the University of Central Arkansas, where he plans to play football and major in education. He is a son of Chris and Kristie Smith.

Lexy Dill is graduating from Conway High School with High Honors. A daughter of Jason and Lindsey Dill, she will attend the University of Central Arkansas with a major in exercise science and minor in sports psychology. She plans to obtain her doctorate in occupational therapy.

St. Joseph High School St. Joseph High School senior Abbie Flake, a daughter of John and Tina Flake, plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas in the University Scholars Program to study nursing.

St. Joseph School senior Caitlyn Simon, a daughter of Jason and Carrie Simon, plans to attend the University of Arkansas to study animal science. 28 | 501 LIFE June 2020

St. Joseph High School senior Brooklyn Kordsmeier is a daughter of Tim and Linda Kordsmeier. She will attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in health sciences. 

St. Joseph High School senior Autumn Davis is a daughter of Chris and Tina Davis. She will attend the University of Arkansas to study engineering.

St. Joseph High School senior Hunter Watkins plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas. He is a son of Matthew and Lily Strack.

St. Joseph High School senior Ryan Davis is a son of Michael and Lori Davis. He plans to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton for welding.


Congratulations

2020

Seniors Seniors, you deserve to be celebrated – and then some. This year has been unprecedented. Challenging. Defining. But here you are, overcoming it all and getting ready for a brand-new journey. Wherever life takes you from here, we have no doubt you will succeed. Enjoy it all!

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 29 Member FDIC


Greenbrier High School

Greenbrier High School senior Cassidy Lear is a daughter of Buster and Melissa Lear. Cassidy was a three-year three-sport athlete in softball, volleyball and track. Upon graduation, she will attend Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., on a softball scholarship.  She plans to pursue a degree in the medical field.

Greenbrier High School senior Josiah Bickers is a son of Jessie Bickers and Kristen Waldrup. He also participated in the Homeschool Ten Blessings Family Academy.

Kyndal Johnston is graduating with highest honors from Greenbrier High School and will attend the University of Central Arkansas to pursue a degree in elementary education. Her parents are Julie and Randall Johnston. 30 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Greenbrier High School senior Emla Caroline Holsted is a daughter of Randy and Amanda Horton and Keith Holsted. Emla will attend Southeast Missouri State University, where she has been accepted into the musical theatre program. She plans to pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre.

Haleigh Moss, a senior at Greenbrier High School, is a daughter of Shawn and Angela Moss. She will attend Henderson State University to major in biology (predental) and play volleyball for the Lady Reddies.

Greenbrier High School senior Karson Logan, a daughter of Darrin and DeAnna Logan, plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and pursue a nursing degree.

Greenbrier High School senior Lillee Mahan is a daughter of Larry and Miranda Mahan. Lillee is on the GHS softball, basketball, track and volleyball teams. She is the school’s first four-sport athlete. Lillee will continue her education at Crowder College in Missouri where she will also play softball. (Lillee is pictured with the September 2013 edition of 501 LIFE, where she is on the cover with her family.)

Kenli Cox (left) and Daelyn Phillips, seniors at Greenbrier High School, were “Loving LIFE.” Kenli, a daughter of Russell and Ashley Cox, plans to attend the University of Arkansas and major in nursing. Daelyn, a daughter of Danielle and Danny Phillips, plans to attend Liberty University and major in forensic science.


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 31


Greenbrier High School senior Madeline Garrett is a daughter of Ryan and Nicole Garrett. She pitches and plays first base for the GHS Lady Panther Softball Team. She plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in communication sciences and disorders.

Michael Connor Flagg is graduating with highest honors from Greenbrier High School. A son of Todd and Misti Flagg. He will attend the University of Central Arkansas on baseball and academic scholarships. He plans to major in business finance. Madi Spears is a senior at Greenbrier High School. A daughter of Justin and Dena Spears and granddaughter of 501 LIFE Publisher Donna Spears, she plays second and third base on the school softball team. “I will attend Central Baptist College and play softball while studying health science,” she said. “I will then attend UAMS to become a registered dental hygienist.”

Greenbrier High School senior Peyton Greiner, a daughter of Kara Brooks, will attend the University of Central Arkansas to study nursing. “I will then continue my education at UAMS to be a Certified Registered Nurse of Anesthesia.”

GuyPerkins Emi Acre, a daughter of Bartt and Denée Acre, is a senior at Guy-Perkins High School. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. 32 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Greenbrier High School senior Taryne Gunnels is a daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Gunnels. “I plan on attending Central Baptist College this fall in hopes to eventually get a degree in teaching, fulfilling my passion to work with children and hopefully be a light of Christ for people around me!”

Greenbrier High School senior Ryan Barnard is a son of Kenneth and Rebecca Barnard. He plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and major in accounting and finance. Ryan was selected for the 2019 edition of the 501 Football Team.

Mount VernonEnola Mount Vernon-Enola High School seniors Paige Bentley (left) and Alyse Ellis were “Loving LIFE.” Paige, a daughter of Ken and Natasha Bentley, plans to attend ASU-Beebe. Alyse, a daughter of Malissa Ellis, plans to attend Central Baptist College.


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 33


Morrilton High School Morrilton High School senior Anna Smith is a daughter of Bill Ed and Angela Smith. “I plan to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton to get my basics and then transfer to Arkansas Tech or the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to major in agriculture education.”

Morrilton High School senior Keagan Voss, a son of Shane Voss and Noann Huerta, will attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton and the University of Arkansas to learn computer science. Morrilton High School senior Payton Jewel Charton, a daughter of Jeff and Teisha Charton, plans to finish an associate’s degree at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton and transfer to Arkansas State University to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English. Her plans include transferring to UALR to complete a doctorate degree to teach college literature and composition at the university level.

34 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Ethan Anthony Kuettle is an Honor Graduate at Morrilton High School. Ethan is among the very first seniors graduating with an Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy in the history of the South Conway County School District. After graduation, Ethan plans to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton and then transfer to the University of Central Arkansas to major in business. Ethan is a son of Anthony and Aida Kuettle.

Morrilton High School senior Marcel Lemmer, a son of Steve and Christy Lemmer, will attend Central Methodist University in Fayetteville, Mo., where he will play golf for CMU. He is majoring in political science and wants to attend law school.

Morrilton High School senior Michael Canady, a son of Marcus and Vicki Canady, plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and pursue a degree in theatre with a minor in film. “I am excited about the future and can’t wait to see what it holds!”

Morrilton High School senior Jaden Jackson finished in the top five in her class and plans to attend the University of Arkansas to major in biology/pre-med. She’s also a member of the Puppies to Dogs, a freshman mentor and a member of the Math Club and student council. She was also a member of the Lady Devil Dogs Volleyball Team. She is a daughter of John Brockman and Mechele Jackson.

Morrilton High School senior Erika Arellano, a daughter of Erika Jimenez and Rudy Rodriguez, plans to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and major in biology and minor in political science or Spanish.

Morrilton High School senior Lily Balding, a daughter of Diane Balding and Daniel Balding, plans to attend a trade school to become a welder.


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 35


Preston Booker, a member of the Morrilton High School Class of 2020, was “Loving LIFE.”

Rhiannon Neely, a member of the Morrilton High School Class of 2020, was “Loving LIFE.”

Morrilton High School senior Shelby Tindall is a daughter of Logan and Michelle Tindall. Shelby plans to attend National Park College in Hot Springs on a softball scholarship and major in elementary education.

Morrilton High School senior Tessarae Gulledge is a daughter of Dustin and Tina Gulledge. Tessarae will attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton and major in business.

Sacred Heart Catholic School Sacred Heart Catholic School senior Ryley Jade Welcher was a cheerleader and a member of the softball team. She plans to attend Arkansas Tech University and major in broadcast journalism. She is a daughter of Bernadette Welcher and Todd Chism.

Sacred Heart Catholic School senior Sarah Duvall is a daughter of Virgil and Mary Lynn Duvall. Sarah will attend the Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas to become a mathematics teacher. 36 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Sacred Heart Catholic School senior Madeline Kai Bottoms plans to attend Arkansas State University and major in civil engineering. She is a daughter of Kerry and Patti Bottoms.

Sacred Heart Catholic School senior Qualyn James is a son of Dennis and Becky James. He is an honor graduate and plans to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and major in business.

Aden Swindell is a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic School Class of 2020. A son of Chris and Mandi Swindell, he plans to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

Gregory Hoelzeman is a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic School Class of 2020. A son of Mark and Annie Hoelzeman, he plans to attend the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 37


Bigelow High School

Nemo Vista High School Victoria Lehmann is a member of the Nemo Vista High School Class of 2020. A daughter of James and Christina Loyd, she plans to attend the University of Arkansas to major in animal science/pre-vet. “Once I graduate college, I plan on attending graduate school to become a mixed animal practice veterinarian.”

Bigelow High School senior Jazmine Mayo is a daughter of Kendall and Erin Carter. She will be attending Southern Arkansas University to play softball and pursue a degree in nursing.

Nemo Vista High School senior Kaylee Harrington is a daughter of Ross Harrington, Hope Harrington and the late Cheryl Harrington. “I will graduate with 19 college credits and I will then transfer to UCA to pursue a master’s degree in radiography.”

Nemo Vista High School senior Kate Davies is a daughter of Cheryl and Brian Bryant and the late Tom Davies. “I’ll be attending the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton for two years and then attend the University of Central Arkansas to complete my studies.”

Wonderview High School

Taylor Nicole Zimmerman is a senior at Wonderview High School and plays first and second base on the school softball team. A daughter of Jeffery and Angie Zimmerman, she plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas. 38 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Wonderview High School senior Jacob Reynolds is a son of Jason and Laura Reynolds. He plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas and work toward becoming an anesthesiologist.

Wonderview High School senior Sydney Stover is a daughter of Tammy and Greg Zachary and the late Charles Stover. She will attend UACCM to receive basics and then transfer to Arkansas Tech University to major in fisheries and wildlife biology.

Wonderview High School senior Alexis McClaren, a daughter of Eric and Carla McClaren, plans to continue her basketball career at Central Baptist College and major in psychology.


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Vilonia High School Vilonia High School senior Dylan Briggs, a son of Jennifer and Jeremy Briggs, plans on becoming an electrician.

Vilonia High School senior Jordan Rogers, a daughter of Lee and Sheila Rogers, will attend Ouachita Baptist University and major in communication sciences and disorders.

Vilonia High School senior Austin Wader, a son of Diana Wader and Ken Wader, plans to attend UACCM and then University Of Arkansas to become a sports broadcaster/analyst. 40 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Vilonia High School senior Kayla Stahl, a daughter of Candis Lyles and Nick Stahl, plans to attend UCA and major in broadcast journalism to pursue certification in meteorology.

Vilonia High School senior Emily Standridge, a daughter of John and Rhonda Standridge, plans on continuing job training at Jobs 4 You by AEDD Inc.

Vilonia High School senior Emily Williams is a daughter of Kim and Steve Wilson and K.C. and Jennifer Williams. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Monticello.  

Faith Ventura is a member of the Vilonia High School Class of 2020. A daughter of Frank and Amanda Ventura, she plans to attend Arkansas State University at Jonesboro to pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s in athletic training.

Jake Goff is a member of the Vilonia High School Class of 2020. A son of Shannon and April Goff, he will attend UCA for pre-chiropractic.

Vilonia High School senior Jordan Bierbaum, a daughter of Kimberly and Robert Mills, plans to attend UACCM and major in nursing.


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 41


Vilonia High School senior Micaela Grace Reeves, a daughter of Micah Reeves and Aimee Reeves, is “excited to start at UACCM in the fall!”

Vilonia High School senior Nick Ray, a son of Chris and Manika Ray, has raced Motocross since he was 3 and plans to continue his racing career. He is undecided on college.

Vilonia High School seniors Paige Kelley (left) and Cade McWilliams were “Loving LIFE.” Paige, a daughter Coby and Kim Kelley, will attend Lyon College to play basketball and major in nutrition. Cade, a son of Elissa McWilliams and Scott McWilliams, plans to attend ASU-Beebe and major in a STEM-related field.

Vilonia High School senior Noah Kasper, a son of Brian and Dawn Kasper, will attend UACCM for two years and then transfer to the University of Arkansas to pursue a degree in psychology and a minor in criminology.

Vilonia High School senior Reagan Bates, a daughter of Susan and Tommy Bates, will pursue a degree in elementary education at the University of Central Arkansas.

Vilonia High School seniors and band members were “Loving LIFE: (from left) Wyatt Barron, a son of Tracey and Tammy Barron, will attend ASU-Beebe to major in music; Ben Land, a son of Jeremy and Marie Land, plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas to major in music; Jacob Nowlin, a son of Chris and Cendy Nowlin, will attend Hendrix College to major in math; Josh Huskey, a son of Butch and Julie Money and Sam and Christy Huskey, will attend UCA to major in accounting; and JT Burns, a son of Jay and Whitney Burns, will attend UCA to major in music.

Mayf lower High School More ‘Loving LIFE’ photos 501 LIFE is still accepting “Celebrating seniors” photos. “We invite seniors to take a photograph in their cap and gown, school spirit shirt, with their musical instrument or in their ball uniform with a copy of 501 LIFE to email to info@501lifemag.com,” said 501 LIFE Editor Sonja J. Keith. “We will need the student’s name, parents’ names, school and their plans after graduation. “Photos will be included in the ‘Loving LIFE’ section of the magazine in an upcoming edition.” 42 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Mayflower High School senior Darren Raney is a son of Tim and Jo Ann Raney. Darren currently runs his own lawn care service and has already started his journey to become a tool and die maker. He has played center for Mayflower Football for six years, is the student council president, is an active member of Mayflower First Baptist, a member of the bowling team and participates in FFA, Beta and National Honor Society.

Mayflower High School senior Lakyn Phillips is a daughter of Shawn and Ron Phillips. She will attend UCA’s Honors College through the Scholars Program. “I plan to major in biochemistry. Afterwards, I plan on studying at UAMS for my doctorate, launching my career as a pediatrician.”


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 43


Catholic High School for Boys

Catholic High School for Boys senior Matthew Shofner, decked out in his school uniform and senior tie, is a son of Greg and Joan Shofner. Matthew will attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he plans to study aeronautical and astronautical engineering.Â

Catholic High School for Boys senior Walter Flanagin, a son of James and Celeste Flanagin, plans to attend Texas Christian University.

Arkansas Colleges

Ouachita Baptist University senior Savannah Leigh Edwards has earned a biomedical science degree. She plans to attend medical school. She is a daughter of Jimmy and Angie Edwards of Searcy.

University of Central Arkansas senior Amanda Craig is a daughter of Kyle Brown and Dianna Mare. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and plans to pursue a job in publishing or technical writing.

Conway Christian High School

Conway Christian High School senior Blake A. Belcher, a son of Chad Belcher and grandson of Doug and Margaret Smith, plans to attend Arkansas Tech University to pursue a degree in computer science.

44 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Conway Christian High School senior Jayla Kramer, a daughter of Justin and Jill Kramer, plans to attend Central Baptist College and be a part of the worship choir and women’s choir.

Conway Christian High School senior McKenna Vaught, a daughter of Mark and Penny Vaught, plans to attend Harding University and major in communication studies with a minor in psychology.

Conway Christian High School senior Miguel Thorpe, a son of Stephen Thorpe and Ana Galdamez, plans to attend UCA and study business.


Heber Springs High School

Heber Springs High School senior Katelyn Vanlandingham is a daughter of Billy and Mary Vanlandingham. She plans to attend Lyon College to study psychology and continue her volleyball career.

Homeschool

Heber Springs High School senior Hunter Griffin is a son of Crystal and Marc Griffin. Hunter has been class president all four years of high school. He is also the HSHS National BETA Honor Society President, a member of Arkansas Boys State, the Interact Club, FCA and GodPleasers. Hunter is also a member of the Panther football, basketball and track teams. This fall he will attend the University of Memphis and major in computer science.

Garrett Pendergraft, a son of Buck and Kim Pendergraft, is graduating from home school but was also involved with the Conway High School Orchestra and UACCM and CBC. He’s graduating high school with two associate degrees and his high school diploma (summa cum laude) with 92 college hours. Garrett plans to attend John Brown University in Siloam Springs and major in construction management.

William Douglas Crockett, a son of Stephanie and Glenn Crockett, is graduating from home school and plans to continue writing music and pursuing a music career.

Searcy High School

Bryce Dixon is a member of the Searcy High School Class of 2020 and an Honor Graduate. A son of Tammy and Jim Dixon, he will attend Ouachita Baptist University, where he will be a scholarship player on the OBU Tigers Football Team.

Searcy High School senior Shelbe Faith Edwards, a daughter of Jimmy and Angie Edwards, will attend UCA.

Searcy High School senior Chastin Reed, a son of Berkley Reed and Stephanie Williams, plans to attend ASU-Beebe.

Searcy High School senior Lillian Henry, a daughter of Bobby and Teresa Henry, plans to travel and later attend college.

Searcy High School senior Maggie Greer is a daughter of Stuart and Mindi Greer. She was a member of the varsity cheer team and the Lady Lions volleyball team. She is the current Junior Miss White County Fair. Maggie plans to attend Harding University and major in health sciences. June 2020 501lifemag.com | 45


Clinton High School Clinton High School senior Abby James, a daughter of Dale and Amanda James, will attend UACCM to receive her general education and then transfer to another university to pursue a career in broadcast journalism/ communications.

Clinton High School senior Brooke Davenport, a daughter of Steven and Felicia Davenport, plans to attend Baptist Medical College to pursue nursing.

Clinton High School senior Tayler Rachel, a daughter of Jenni Morris, plans to attend Pulaski Tech College to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

Quitman High School Quitman High School seniors Lillie Webb (left) and Carsyn Broadaway were “Loving LIFE.” Lillie is a daughter of Scott and Bethany Webb and plans to pursue a degree in political science. Carsyn, a daughter of Blake and Monika Broadaway, plans to attend Harding University and major in psychology.

Quitman High School seniors Jordan Mauldin (left) and Zachary Shue were “Loving LIFE.” A son of Josh and Tiffanie Mauldin, Jordan will attend Central Baptist College to play baseball. Zachary, a son of Timmy and Tonia Shue, will attend ASU-Heber Springs.

Quitman High School senior Ethan Brantley, a son of Jason and Kathy Brantley, plans to pursue a degree in education/coaching. 46 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Quitman High School senior Halle Bennett, a daughter of Dale and Pam Bennett, plans to attend UCA and pursue a degree in biology.

Quitman High School senior Autumn Johnson, daughter of Scott Johnson and Michelle Blakley, plans to pursue a nursing degree at UCA.


June 2020 501lifemag.com | 47


1 HEALTH

#Godgetstheglory Runyon thankful for hospital, doctors by John Patton

Conway radio personality Jay (JR) Runyon is showing his appreciation for health care providers by helping lead Park and Pray, a community support event for Conway hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients. For Runyon, it is more than a show of support during a time of crisis; it is a way of saying thanks to the physicians and staff at Conway Regional who saved his life. Runyon hosts an early morning radio show for Y107 and is known as JR by most of Conway. He rarely thought about health care until late November 2019 when everything changed. Most of the cars had cleared the parking lot at John McConnell Stadium as JR wrapped up his radio coverage of a Wampus Cat win in the first round of the high school football playoffs. Carrying his broadcast equipment from the press box to his car was a routine task that he had completed thousands of times during his 40-year broadcasting career. This time it took him 40 minutes to reach his car. “I had a heavy feeling in my chest. I was exhausted. It was a stressful week and I thought I had just hit the wall,” recalled Runyon. “I sat in my car for about 30 minutes with the air conditioner on. The doctors say that is probably as close as I came to a heart attack.” As the weekend progressed, JR felt better and had begun to attribute the experience as a bad day. But his chest began hurting again on Tuesday, so Runyon set up a visit with Craig Cummins, MD, his family medicine specialist at Banister-Lieblong Clinic. Cummins had diagnosed Runyon with diabetes eight years earlier. Cummins ordered an EKG and a chest X-ray at the clinic. The results came back negative. “He said your EKG and your X-ray look fine but there is nothing else about this that I like,” Runyon recalled. “Dr. Cummins asked me if I had a cardiologist and I said my wife (DeEnna) went to Dr. Don Steely for a stress test a couple of months ago. He called Dr. Steely and said ‘you are not having a heart attack right now, so you are fine to drive over to Conway Regional; they are going to admit you.’” The plan was to do an arteriogram and possibly put in a stent. An arteriogram uses contrast material, or dye, and X-rays to produce an image that shows the flow of blood through the arteries and detects blockages. JR hesitated. “I tried to talk my way out of it,” he said. “I had a remote to do. Dr. Cummins said ‘no, you are going.’ I had never had heart issues. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I had been rather uncomfortable for a while, but I passed it off 48 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Jay Runyon at one of the Park and Pray events at Conway Regional Medical Center. (Mike Kemp photo) as signs of things that were not true. I should have paid attention earlier.” After the arteriogram, Steely decided that Runyon would need much more than a stent to treat his heart condition. “The next thing I knew, I was being prepped for triple bypass heart surgery the next day,” said Runyon. The surgery was performed at Conway Regional by Dennis Woodhall, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon. “He had a great bedside manner, super physician. He walked me through what was going to happen,” recalled Runyon. Runyon had surgery Thursday morning and helped run the second round Wampus Cat playoff game for Y107 on Friday night remotely from his hospital bed “much to the chagrin of my doctors, parents and family.” By Christmas Eve, Runyon was back on the air live. “There were more surgeries afterward. Because of my diabetes, the incision did not heal properly. I lost 45 to 50 pounds while I was recovering,” he said. “I wouldn’t recommend it for weight loss.” One of Runyon’s favorite memories of his treatment during the hospital stay was the sugar-free Jello and the Diet Dr. Pepper. “One of my favorite treats is frozen sugar-free Jello. The nurses began putting it in the freezer for me,” said Runyon. “It›s one of those little touches that made me feel like I was their only concern.” After completing the second phase of cardiac rehabilitation in March, he remains exuberant about his experience at the hospital. “From the

time I walked in the door and said ‘I’m here to be admitted’ until today, the staff, from the doctors to the nurses, nurse practitioners, aides, to the rehab folks to everybody, has been absolutely fantastic,” he said, adding: “Jimmie and Allison in Cardiac Rehab were fabulous. The care received in the CVICU was incredible. I made several trips back to the hospital just to say thank you because of people that I became friends with, people who were involved with saving my life. Dr. Cummins is at the top of the list. The test may have said things were OK, but he knew it was not OK, and he was right.” A family practice doctor with 31 years in practice, including 26 in Conway, Cummins recalled, “His EKG was normal, but his story just didn’t add up.” Cummins was not surprised that Runyon was having difficulty carrying his radio equipment from the press box until he learned that “he took the elevator.” He also learned that Runyon had several risk factors for heart disease, including diabetes and weight gain. “It really wasn’t that much of a stretch that he was in cardiac distress.”

#Godgetstheglory The story could have ended very differently. “I had 95 percent blockage in what they call ‘the widow maker artery.’ If I had had a heart attack in the press box that night, I wouldn’t have made it. I know God isn’t done with me yet.” Runyon isn’t shy about his faith. As JR was recovering from multiple surgeries,


DeEnna was journaling his recovery on Facebook under #Godgetstheglory. “God’s the reason the doctors knew what to do, why Dr. Cummins said, ‘I don’t like this.’ He’s the reason that Dr. Steely read the arteriogram and said, ‘This is not right.’ From the nurses who took care of me before and after surgery, God put those people in the right place at the right time to do the right thing.” A current member of Woodland Heights Baptist Church, he said, “I grew up in church. My faith is very important to me. I don’t hide it, but I don’t try to force it on anyone either, I just try to live it.”

Ticket to talk Runyon began his radio career in Oklahoma City in 1980, after winning a radio promotion for tickets to a car show. “When I went to pick them up, the receptionist asked, ‘You’ve got a nice voice, have you ever thought about being in radio?’ I was working on my car that day. I was wearing dirty clothes and a ball cap and I was in one of the nicest office buildings in Oklahoma City,” he recalled. “I was in high school and wasn’t thinking about a career in radio.” While he was filling out an application, the program director came downstairs and took Runyon into the studio to make a tape. “An hour and a half later, I walked out of there with a job and I’ve been doing it ever since. I found out I could play music, talk to girls and get a paycheck. I was in.”

Community connections He moved to Arkansas 18 years ago to begin work for Larry Crain and Crain Media Group.

Jay Runyon credits his doctors and Conway Regional for saving his life. (Mike Kemp photo) Crain owns radio stations in Searcy, Batesville and Conway. During a ribbon cutting the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce arranged for Y107, he was photographed together with DeEnna for the first time. “It was several years before we got to know each other and then we got married in 2012,” he recalled. DeEnna Runyon works for Simmons Bank as a vice president market retail manager. Two of their three children have graduated through Conway

Public Schools, and JR’s daughter Hailey Rose Runyon is heard at the end of his show each day – a tradition going back 20-plus years. Inspiration for Park and Pray began when JR and Tonya Coats began discussing community support for health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We saw the people singing in Italy and it

Runyon continued on Page 70

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ENTERTAINING

An idea for a summer ‘stay-cation’ Summer is here, and with it comes the COVID necessity to stay home, enjoy Arkansas and discover new and innovative things to do in our own backyard. On a recent trip to Houston, Texas, I had the privilege of meeting and visiting with Brent and Melissa Courtney. Don Bingham Brent is a pilot for Southwest Airlines, and he Recognized throughout the and Melissa have bought state as an accomplished chef, property off Highway 9 Don Bingham has authored cookbooks, presented television in Northwest Arkansas programs and planned elaborate for their retirement years. events. Long before COVID-19, Brent had a passion for trains. Growing up with small electric trains and subscribing to magazines with train themes, his desire to have a train was fueled to the point of action. Learning that the cost of parts was too prohibitive to purchase led to further dreaming and waiting, until Brent and Melissa took their niece and nephew to the zoo and discovered the beginning of a backyard project that would become believable for them. Although it was too costly to purchase the necessary parts, the couple was not to be discouraged and decided to build their own ingredients for this enormous project. The first step involved joining with others of like mind in a club in Houston, and with this came the encouragement Brent needed to build a depot, tracks, locomotive engine, caboose, two gondola cars, passenger cars and a boxcar, all in their backyard! Melissa was the epitome of the “helpmate,” and the two built 8,000 concrete crossties for the track (working for months making one batch of concrete crossties a week) and 3,300 feet of track, all winding through the five acres of wooded property in their backyard. They built the train station themselves, along with three amazing engines fired with coal and fuel oil. It is a beautiful, mile-long ride through the five acres of wooded delight, with occasional stops along the way. This backyard wonder has not been limited to private use only. When social distancing is not in force, the Courtneys have opened the train ride experience to hundreds of guests, with more than 250 rides given in a fundraising effort during the Christmas season. The cost for a ticket to ride is to bring a toy donation that is presented to a local charity. As the guests enjoy the route, one stop is a quick photo op with Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by the treat of hot chocolate and even petting cages and craft displays. This has been a tradition for the holiday season for five years. So as we consider what we might do while endeavoring to stay at home during these waiting days, we might consider building a 3,300-foot long track, depot, three locomotives, passenger cars and caboose 50 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Texas Caviar reflects neighboring state’s culinary palate. (Mike Kemp photo)


while we enjoy the hot days of an Arkansas summer. There is also a group of people called Live Steamers, who share the same backyard-style train vision. We might want to join this amazing group of fun-loving train experts! While in Houston, I found these wonderful recipes that reflect the flavors of the Texas culinary palate – but who doesn’t love gumbo and the trimmings any time of the year?

TEXAS CAVIAR (Compliments of Janna Williams) 1 can black-eyed peas, drained 1 can hominy (white), drained 1 green pepper, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 red onion, chopped 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 2 jalapenos, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 package zesty Italian dressing (prepared with red wine vinegar and oil) Mix everything together and serve with Tostito Scoops.

DIRTY RICE 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 8 ounces chicken livers, trimmed and diced Kosher salt 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice 2 dried bay leaves 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic

Brent Courtney has a passion for trains. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper 3 tablespoons each finely diced celery and sliced scallion greens Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat

until foamy. Add chicken livers; season with salt and cook until browned, 2 minutes. Stir in rice, bay leaves, garlic and thyme to coat, then stir in broth and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring rice to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook according to rice package timing. Off heat, stir in bell pepper, celery and scallion greens. Let rest, covered, 5 minutes, before serving.

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 51


ENTERTAINING

‘New normal’ Suggestions on creating fun In these uncertain times, there are so many “new normals” with Plexiglass barriers, gloves, masks and social distancing to name a few. No backyard barbecues, baby showers or supper club get-togethers. No book clubs, Sunday school parties or spring weddings to attend. While we’ve found Julianne Milner other creative ways to A self-taught baker, Julianne spend our days, we’ve Milner is a caterer, seasonal stylist discovered new interests, and owner of Julianne’s Southern Table. She can be reached at new hobbies and learned julianne60@gmail.com. new things about ourselves and our family. Come along with me as I share some of the things my family and friends have been doing to stay busy, creative and upbeat! Mexican Train Dominoes – One of my family favorites! If you don’t own these dominos, you definitely should. I saw these available at Kroger and also from Amazon. It is fun for the family. We’ve been known to play this until the wee hours of the morning. Jigsaw puzzles – These are great fun while challenging your mind! Choose from famous paintings, landscapes, modern art, famous cities and more. You can find puzzles in 3-D, reversible and even floor puzzles for the kiddos. They are great fun by yourself or with a small group. Designate a corner of your den or living room for a puzzle table and keep one going. The selections are amazing! Try a new recipe – Remember that recipe you tore out of that magazine or the one that looked so delicious in your new cookbook? Well, now is the perfect time to try it out. Gather the ingredients and cook it up for the family. Contacting a favorite relative to get a copy of a recipe they cherish is a wonderful way to pass down family traditions to your children. Cooking feeds the soul and warms the heart. Read a best-seller – I love to check out the New York Times best-seller list each week and read the summary and reviews on each one. Order a book from Amazon to be delivered to your door, or, if you have a public library card, download a book to your device using the ABBY app. Reading books helps you learn, understand and makes you smarter. Not to mention the knowledge, vocabulary expansion 52 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Mexican train dominos is a fun game for the family! The object of the game is for a player to play all the dominos from his or her hand onto one or more chains, or “trains,” emanating from a central hub or “station.” (Mike Kemp photos)


Keep a puzzle going at your house. Family members just tend to gather around and then laughter follows.

and thinking skills it develops, so read a good book today! There’s nothing better than diving into a great book — it takes you to another world! Clean out your closets – Go through one piece at a time. If you haven’t worn it in one year, it goes in the donate box! As Marie Kondo, author of “The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up” tells us, if it doesn’t “SPARK JOY,” out it goes! This is one of my least favorite things to do, but I will have to say, nothing is more gratifying than a neat, organized closet. Listen to a podcast – It’s safe to say we’re living in the golden age of podcasting! If you’re not familiar with podcasts, this is the best definition I found: It’s all of your favorite blogs, shows, topics (some you didn’t even know you’d enjoy) wrapped up in a huge hub of recordings that you can listen to on your own time — in the car, at work, at home, working out, anywhere. They come in a range of genres, from

Having a set date and time each week for a special family brunch or dinner gives the kids and grandkids something to look forward to! Serving brunch items from this large platter makes it simple and easy.

There are so many collections of gorgeous notecards and stationery sets to choose from as well as pretty stamps to adorn the envelopes. Choose papers that show your personality and touch base with long lost friends and relatives. It’s like sending a little hug by mail!

comedy podcasts to true crime, storytelling, cooking and even celebrity interviews. The options are endless. You can Google top podcasts to binge. Warning: These are addictive! Write a letter – Yes, I’m serious! Actually write a letter. It’s a hug in an envelope, and I guarantee it will make YOU feel as good as the recipient. Start a Saturday morning breakfast tradition – Now is the perfect time to start a new tradition that the kids look forward to each week. You can search under “fun food ideas for kids” on Pinterest. There is a plethora of cute ways to serve breakfast foods that your kids or grandkids are sure to love! Research and try a new hobby – Always wanted to play the guitar, learn to knit, paint with watercolors, but never found the time? What better time to dive into a new hobby than now. My friend ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour and is creating all kinds

of yummy breads including loaves of cinnamon pecan bread! I’m trying my hand at ornaments made from cookie cutters and air-dry clay! Board Game Night – Gather the family around for game night with a collection of “old school” board games! Scattergories, Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Sorry! These are classics. Break one out tonight and fun is sure to follow. My wish for myself and each of my readers is that in the process of slowing down and practicing social distancing, we will discover new interests and make some wonderful memories with our families. We will listen harder, love bigger and laugh louder. As we move back out into society again, we will not forget to enjoy the simple things, take care of each other and use the talents God has given each of us to make this world a much better place. Follow me on Instagram @juliannessoutherntable for summer happenings ahead!

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 53


Heading home

Story continues for twin historic homes In the fall of 1917, Effie Lincoln had just paid her poll tax to participate in the first primary election where women were allowed to vote. She was hosting a tea party at her stately new home in Conway’s first neighborhood, which we now know as the Robinson Historic Donna Benton District. Invitations went out to the ladies of the Donna Benton is a maker of town and attendees custom home furnishings and specializes in classic painted were requested to bring finishes for antique and vintage a donation equal to one furniture. You can see her work at WaterHouseMarket.com. penny for each inch of their waist size. Guests were treated to music and dainty refreshments served in the dining room. Twenty-five dollars was raised that day for the Young Ladies’ Missionary Society of The First Methodist Church. Mrs. Lincoln was married to Lewis, a prominent attorney and real estate dealer and a relative of the late President Abraham Lincoln, but she was a civic and social leader in her own right. She was celebrated for the construction of her notable home on Robinson Avenue as well as a matching home right next door. Each home was fronted by a sweeping porch, upstairs and down, in the double gallery-style made popular in southern cities like Savannah and New Orleans. The matching home next door was a mirror image of Mrs. Lincoln’s home and was built into apartments. In the summer of 1917, the Log Cabin Democrat described the new home as Conway’s first up-to-date apartment home with five room suites and sleeping porches with plaster walls and ceilings finished in artistic tints. Mrs. Lincoln’s home was a premiere place to hold civic events and parties when Conway was still young.

Spring 1984 Denise Seiwert and her roommates were sitting on the upstairs porch of the White House, the name affectionately given to Mrs. Lincoln’s apartment home at Robinson and Ash Street. Students from the University of Central Arkansas choir had claimed this home as their communal lodging for several years running; girls upstairs, boys downstairs. The girls were lounging in a mismatched collection of secondhand furniture acquired at Quattlebaum’s Antiques. The same furniture would be sold back to Quattlebaum’s upon graduation. They were enjoying takeout from Stoby’s, where one of the girls was a waitress. The paint on the porch railing was peeling, 54 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Double front porches make a great spot for watching neighbors stroll through the historic district. (Makenzie Evans photos) revealing several colors beneath. The house was old and starting to sag in some places, but it still had a stately prominence with its sweeping porches, tall

ceilings, majestic trim and a clawfoot bathtub for study break soaks. After choir concerts, the White House would


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come alive with thumping music from oversized speakers; a dance floor in the front, refreshments in the back. Merry revelers would spill out onto the porch and into the yard until the landlady, Louise Wilcox, would step out of the home next door with a gentle reminder to tone it down a bit.

Fall 2018 Ken Jones and Leslie Allen were in town to visit their son, Jaxon, who had joined the lacrosse team at Hendrix College. Ken and Leslie were enamored with the charming historic neighborhoods near Downtown Conway and had taken up lodging in a cottage bed and breakfast there. “From the kitchen window of the cottage we could see the once proud twin houses on Robinson Avenue slowly being swallowed by the weight of time and neglect,” Leslie recalled. “They called out to us like a siren’s song and we fell under their spell.” The homes had been officially unoccupied for several years, although an occasional overnight guest could still be spotted taking a morning smoke on one of the well-worn porches. Over the years, many had admired the towering twins with their giant front porches and estate-worthy character, and entertained thoughts of a grand renovation, but the voice of reason would always prevail. The pair of homes had waned far beyond a little paint and patch and it was a double whammy to boot! But Ken and Leslie were not deterred. “We obviously took leave of our senses,” said Leslie with a laugh, “but we felt strongly that they were worth the effort. We looked at the homes as pieces of art. The more we looked, the more they appealed to us.” And with the approach of artists to a masterpiece, Ken and Leslie began their work restoring the homes on Robinson Avenue. This kind of project was right up their alley. Ken and Leslie met in the 80s while working in the film and television industry. Ken is a production designer for TV and movies and Leslie owns a production company that makes commercials you have probably

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seen before, so creating beautiful things is second nature to them. Ken’s father was a building contractor so Ken grew up working in the building trades. “Leslie and I have been together for 30-plus years and I don’t believe there’s ever been a time that we did not have one phase or another of remodeling or construction going on in our lives.” said Ken. ‘The homes had been chopped into many rooms over the years in an effort to create as many small apartments as possible,” said Leslie. “Over the years, the homes had evolved into short-term rentals. One of the homes had 13 doors that led to sleeping rooms. There were literally doors nailed shut and kitchens built in front of them with complete disregard for any aesthetic appeal.” Before the real fun could start, the homes had to be stripped to their bones and made structurally sound. Much of the supporting structure of the homes had to be replaced. Ken got lucky and sourced some vintage structural timbers at an area salvage yard. For one of the homes, 7,000 pounds of concrete had to be hauled by hand underneath to shore up another. The giant windows in the homes were a favorite feature that Ken went to great lengths to preserve. Remarkably, even though the homes had been abandoned for some time, the original glass remained intact. There were 102 window panes removed and completely restored to their original condition, which involved carefully removing the glass, stripping off up to 16 layers of paint, sanding, repairing, re-glazing, repainting and restoring the weight and cord opening systems. With the help of a family friend, they spent months on the windows alone. It may seem like a minor detail, but when you stand inside the home and look out through the giant windows of wavy vintage glass, the flowering trees and green grass take on a magical watercolor effect that makes you feel like you are standing in a jewelry box. Through the maze of sagging, water-stained walls and creaky doors, Ken and Leslie imagined homes that would be the perfect place to host friends and family. All of the interior walls were stripped to the studs and the living spaces were reimagined: an open kitchen with a giant island that would serve as each home’s central station, a great master suite that opened onto the upstairs porch, bathrooms like a spa retreat and a two-sided fireplace that could be enjoyed from a sitting room and an adjacent library/ bar. Keeping the homes’ grand architecture and historic aesthetic was top priority for Ken and Leslie, but they didn’t shy away from melding a modern twist to the renovation. Restoring a historic home is challenging, but two homes side by side is an epic undertaking! “We have always called them The Twins,” said Leslie. “Like twins they are alike in many ways, but definitely each has their own personality.” Each home got its own certain style, without straying too far from that historic-meets-modern flair that makes them so incredible. Ken and Leslie have claimed the easternmost home as their own, and they have completed the one next door and are offering it for sale, an opportunity to be the forever family in one of the most notable homes in the up-and-coming historic district. The interiors are finished in whites and light neutral tones that highlight the historic architecture but also give Ken and Leslie uninhibited reign in their home to go crazy with color in their art and 56 | 501 LIFE June 2020

The twin homes have watched over Robinson Avenue for more than a century.

This historic home has a modern master bath.

Fabulous entertaining spaces are around every corner.

A salvaged mirror gives a funky nod to the history of this stately home.


furnishings. In keeping with the idea of historicmeets-modern, they furnished the home with vintage furniture pieces, reimagined in bold velvets and linens and fun finishes that explode with color in the natural light and against the neutral walls, much like artwork on display in a museum.

Spring 2020 Ken and Leslie completed the restoration of their historic home on Robinson Avenue and were starting to get settled in to their new home and neighborhood. They hosted a celebration to honor the Hendrix College Lacrosse Team, of which their son Jaxon is a member. Team members and their families, who were in town for a game, were treated to a crawfish boil and all the fixins’ on the stone patio. The sitting rooms, kitchen and patio were alive with conversation and laughter. That night there were rumors of some seemingly extreme precautionary measures to address this thing the media was starting to call a “pandemic.” There was talk of canceling sporting events and maybe even closing schools, and something new called “social distancing.” Thinking that this might be their last game together, the families used this event to honor the seniors and the accomplishments of the team. Word came that the remainder of the season would be canceled, and with it, orders for the students to pack up immediately and go their separate ways. This home was built more than 100 years ago for entertaining and reimagined as a gathering place for family and friends. It also serves well when it’s time to shelter in a safe place and protect your family. It has survived devastating storms, wars, the Great Depression, a near brush with the wrecking ball and even a pandemic or two. For more than a century and still today, its walls stand strong for those who have called it home; early century socialites, families, lovebirds, students, people passing through town, and sometimes folks who just need a little shelter for the night.

Velvety colors and florals intermingle in the dining room.


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ENERGY SMART

Time for an AC tune up Summer is officially here, which means temperatures are steadily rising. Sometimes it’s hard to balance comfort and cost, but staying relaxed and cool in your home on the hottest days of the year without worrying about energy bills going through the roof is possible. One of the easiest things you can do to stay cool this summer is have a professional tune up your air conditioning unit. Over the course of 12 months, a home’s heating and cooling will easily run thousands of hours. Left un-serviced, the average unit will lose 5 percent of its efficiency each year from dust and dirt Beth accumulation as well as regular wear and tear. Conway Corp recommends customers have a Jimmerson preventative maintenance tune up on their central air A long-time Conway resident, Beth McCullough Jimmerson is conditioning unit every year to keep it working efthe manager for marketing and ficiently. Having your home’s cooling system serviced communications for Conway Corp. She has a bachelor’s degree is one of the best things you can do – both from a from the University of Central comfort perspective as well as a financial one. Plus, Arkansas and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. small problems can be detected long before they turn She can be reached at beth. into big, expensive problems when temperatures are jimmerson@conwaycorp.com. likely at their worst. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a checkup of your home’s HVAC system can extend its life by several years as well as save you up to 10 percent a month on energy bills. On average, a tune up will cost $70 to $100 which easily pays for itself in monthly efficiency savings. Plus, a well-looked-after unit will last up to 15 years, compared to seven years for ones that are left ignored. Extending the life of your unit will save up to $5,000 in replacement costs. Conway Corp Energy Smart professionals recommend scheduling a local, certified HVAC contractor to perform a system tune up that includes four basic steps: Measure airflow of the system to test capacity and efficiency. Most air conditioners require 400 cubic feet per minute of air to operate to capacity. Clean the condenser. The outdoor unit should be sprayed with a foaming cleanser that soaks for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Measure indoor and outdoor conditions including indoor wet bulb, indoor dry bulb and outdoor dry bulb. After all measurements are taken, they should be plotted on a sliding chart to determine super heat that will set the proper refrigerant charge.

58 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Adjust refrigerant charge. One of the most expensive repairs for units is a refrigerant leak. Homeowners can also play their part in keeping the system in good working condition by changing the filters on their heating, ventilation and cooling system four times a year. This helps to keep the system running smoothly and improves the home’s airflow, providing better air quality and less temperature fluctuation. When you clean or replace the filter, you enhance your air conditioner’s efficiency by 5 to 15 percent. If your air conditioning unit is more than 10 years old or frequently needs repairs, consider replacing it. New units with a high-efficiency rating of at least 13 are 25 percent more energy efficient than their older counterparts and can save you up to 30 percent on your energy bill. Conway Corp customers replacing their air conditioning unit can apply for a zero percent interest loan. The loan program, funded by the City of Conway through the American Recovery Act of 2009, is available only to Conway Corp customers. Although there are no income limits, applicants must have a good credit history with Conway Corp. Loans are available between $500-2,500 and are repayable over a 36-month period. To learn more about the loan program or Conway Corp’s Energy Smart program, call 501.450,6000 or visit ConwayCorp.com/EnergySmart.


AUTHORS IN THE 501

Book ‘a dream come true’ When Pattie Howse-Duncan held a copy of her published book, “Letters on the Table,” she said it was “a dream come true.” But achieving the dream of being a published author did not come easily for Pattie, who retired in 2016 after a 39-year career as an educaSusan tor, most recently as Peterson instructional specialist for the Conway School Susan Peterson holds a PhD in education and taught District’s Department at the University of Central of Special Services. Arkansas and Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She Pattie’s book project retired in 2004 and now spends began about 10 years her time doing artwork (painting and pottery). She is the executive ago when her family secretary of the Arkansas Reading commitments abruptly Association, a professional organization for educators changed. The oldest that has about 800 members of her two children statewide. received his master’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas and moved from home. Pattie was also assisting with the care of her mother who had dementia and was in a residential facility in Maumelle at the time. As Pattie was driving home from a caretaking visit with her mother, she asked God for guidance in what she should do. Immediately inspired, she pulled onto the side of the road and story mapped the plot of a book. It included themes she had been thinking about — family dynamics, inheritances and bequests. But having a story to tell and publishing it are two very different things. Knowing that she needed help, Pattie attended two writing workshops, one in Alabama and another in Northwest Arkansas. She even met an agent who could possibly represent her after completing another project. Adhering to her commitment to complete her book and incorporating strategies learned at the workshops, Pattie arranged dedicated writing days for herself. “Some days went very smoothly and the words just flowed. Other days were horrible.” She said that her characters, each of which is written in a different voice, seemed to take on a life of his or her own, and she often thought about them, their likes and dislikes, even during the times she wasn’t writing.  Pattie was disappointed when, after six months and numerous communications, the potential contract with the agent fell through. It was Pattie’s husband, Keith, who encouraged her to persevere. After searching online, he discovered Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for her to submit her work.

Conway author Pattie Howse-Duncan recently penned “Letters on the Table.” (Mike Kemp photo) Pattie then worked with a professional editor from Little Rock to polish her story. Months later, she received the suggested edits. Finally, after more corrections and edits, she was ready to submit her work. She had the choice of an e-book or printed version, and she decided to do both because it was important to her to hold a printed copy and to see it on a bookshelf. However, uploading and formatting the document proved to be more challenging than they expected, and she had to enlist help for that process. KDP listed several possible companies on their website, and Pattie chose ebookpbook. com, which proved be a good choice. The woman she worked with even helped Pattie find just the right cover for her book.    Finally, the book went “live” and Pattie received her hard copy in January.  Elements of “Letters on the Table” resonate with Pattie’s own life. The setting is Kingston, a small southern town whose inhabitants have stories that intertwine. The themes include loss, family, redemption, promises and secrets. The opening paragraph reads, “None of them had any idea how their lives would be connected by the reading of the will. Having been summoned by her attorney, they gathered to hear what Katherine had bequeathed to each of them.” The why and how of Katherine’s gifts form the basis of the book.

Now Pattie’s dream continues as she watches others clutch her book and then hand it to her for her autograph. She has had various book signings in Conway, and within the first two weeks, more than 300 copies were sold. What amazes her the most is the backing of family, friends and neighbors. “I personally know of readers in 24 states and four foreign countries who have read it,” she said. “It has sold over 1,000 copies, and of course, that changes frequently.” Pattie credits her husband for his support. It was during the “book birthing” process that the couple re-connected, got married and built a home in The Village at Hendrix. In true storybook fashion, the two were college sweethearts, but each went separate ways for 42 years. They were married just four years ago. (She says her friends are clamoring for more details about that story in a future novel.) Pattie’s two grown children and their spouses were cheerleaders for her throughout the process. Her son, Nathan Howse, is married to Caroline. Her daughter, Mary-Phillip, is married to Tim O’Connell. Pattie says her four grandchildren, Reed and Annie Kate Howse and Molly and Lauren O’Connell, “share my love of books, which makes this writer tremendously happy.” “Letters on the Table” is available from Amazon.com, and signed copies can be purchased at Park Hill Home in Conway and at Wordsworth Books in Little Rock. Pattie can be contacted at lettersonthetable.com or the Letters on the Table page on Facebook. June 2020 501lifemag.com | 59


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Celebrations

Finding creative ways to mark milestones Celebration and quarantine seem like an oxymoron; however, there are still so many reasons to celebrate. Birthdays still happen, students are still working hard and graduating from school, babies are being born and some weddings are still taking place. Life definitely goes on, even in a pandemic, and people are worth celebrating. I reached out to several friends who had reasons to celebrate and asked for advice. I asked basic questions about Brittany how they celebrated, what the planning Gilbert process was like, what they thought went well, what they would change Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. and what advice they would give other She and her husband, Levi, families who are planning a celebration have three children and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at during social distancing. b.gilbert37@gmail.com. Birthday parades are really popular right now, and I spoke with several people who have organized one for a child. These work best when they are planned in advance, so that friends and family can be prepared. One friend even said they were sure to let their neighborhood know ahead of time what they were planning so they would know that cars would be honking their horns and making more noise than normal. It’s really fun when you decorate your car or have posters that you wave from windows. As for treats and presents, don’t feel pressured to do any of that; however, depending on your level of comfort, you have a few options if you want to include them. You can buy or make homemade treats and then have them individually wrapped. Bakeries in your town should be able to individually wrap or package treats if you don’t want to do it yourself. Just be prepared that it will cost extra. For presents, you could have a table set up to receive gifts, but you could also create a “registry� or wish list from places like Amazon, and friends and family can have the gifts sent directly to you. The fun thing about a parade is that if you plan it carefully, it can be a really fun surprise. Another surprise is a yard sign. These are a big hit and a great addition to any celebration. Wingding Signs and Sign Gypsies-Vilonia are great local businesses that can customize an impressive sign to surprise and celebrate any age or occasion. I’ve seen signs lately for birthdays and graduations. Other than a parade and a fun sign, most people are just trying to fill their child or loved one’s day with special activities, food and a party atmosphere. What I’ve learned from asking friends is that the details made the day important. Decorate the house and surprise them with

Gilbert continued on Page 71 60 | 501 LIFE June 2020

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Declan Gilbert celebrates his kindergarten graduation. (Photo courtesy of Sommer Holden)


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Water safety an important topic The summer heat is just around the corner! Living in one of the most hot and humid states leaves most of us searching for water to get relief from the heat during the summer months. One of the most common questions I get from parents in clinic during the spring and summer is “What is dry drowning?� and “What are the signs I Kellie need to look for?� Bishop Drowning is an Kellie Bishop is a pediatric nurse important topic to discuss practitioner at Central Arkansas and understand heading Pediatrics in Conway. She lives into the summer months, in Plumerville with her husband, Greg, their son and two dogs. She so let’s talk a little about obtained her bachelor’s degree what it is and how it can in nursing at the University of Central Arkansas and her master’s be prevented. and doctorate degrees in pediatric Drowning is a serious primary care at UAMS. issue and one of the leading causes of unintentional death in children. It occurs when you cannot get oxygen into your lungs because you are in or under water. Typically, one of two things occur in a drowning incident. When the body cannot get oxygen, it will become agitated, panicked and desperate for air. This can lead to the individual taking a breath while under water, leading to fluid in the lungs. This is the typical course of drowning that most are accustomed to.

Drowning prevention tips • • • •

Watch the swimmer without distractions. Install four-sided fencing around pools. Use self-latching gates. Use door, pool and sound alarms if you own a pool. • Use Coast Guard approved life vests. • Everyone needs water safety swim lessons. • Learn CPR and be prepared to administer it before first responders arrive.

The second type of drowning occurs when the voice box becomes very agitated and closes off, also known as a laryngospasm. This is a reflex to keep fluid from getting in the lungs and can happen if the individual is forced to hold his or her breath to the point of losing consciousness. These are the two ways that drowning occurs, so swallowing water is not drowning. The term dry drowning has become more popular over the last few years, especially on social media, and there is some misconception about what this actually means. Medically speaking, dry drowning is not a true diagnosis or condition. When an individual, usually a child, takes too much water into his or her mouth and begins coughing and spitting out water, it is because too much water got into his or her stomach. When this happens, it is possible for some of the water to get into the lungs, as well, which leads to the cough. This small amount of water in the lungs typically clears on its own with coughing. If the

• When at a beach, swim in a life guarded area and always follow the flag system. A red flag means no one goes in the water. • Learn how to escape a rip current and teach your family before visiting a beach. • Boating, swimming, water activities and alcohol do not mix.

Source: swimsafety.org symptoms linger, however, and the person seems to be having difficulty breathing, they should receive medical attention as soon as possible. If they do not receive medical attention promptly, they can worsen over time. Drowning is very real and can happen to anyone; however, it is a result of a lack of oxygen due to the individual being in or under water. Therefore, “dry drowning� as it is typically discussed, is not a true condition. The best prevention for any type of drowning incident is to follow safe water play recommendations and know the signs and symptoms to watch for if someone does inhale water. Make sure children are always using approved and appropriate flotation devices, and make sure they are never in or around water unsupervised. If you witness someone inhale water and they are coughing, ensure they are not struggling to breathe or in respiratory distress. If the coughing lingers or they appear to be having trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 61


EDUCATION

Registration

Deadlines listed for fall semester

Pine Forest Elementary students. by Jessica Duff

The Pulaski County Special School District serves nearly 12,000 students in Pulaski County, with almost 3,000 students attending schools in the Maumelle feeder zone. As we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, PCSSD encourages families to explore the opportunities available at schools in the Robinson feeder (Crystal Hill Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, Pine Forest Elementary, Maumelle Middle and Maumelle High). AVID and PBIS are two of the “Big Rock” initiatives that PCSSD started district-wide in the 2019-2020 academic year. All schools in the Maumelle feeder have flourished with these approaches to education and behavior. AVID is a college and career readiness system centered on engaging professional learning. AVID 62 | 501 LIFE June 2020

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. It is research-based with nearly 40 years of evidence. Teachers who participate in AVID professional learning begin to shift their beliefs about teaching and learning, allowing them to cultivate a growth mindset both for themselves and their students. PBIS changes the focus to prevention from punishment 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 respond to inappropriate behavior, but the punishment isn’t the focus - instead the focus is on teaching expectations and prevention of inappropriate behavior.

Registration officially opened earlier this year for new and returning students. Although the window for school choice closed on May 1, there is still time to register if you are new to PCSSD or returning to the district for the 2020-2021 school year. Everyone must complete the registration process in order to attend a school with PCSSD. Jan. 13, 2020: Online registration window opened for students new to Pulaski County Special School District in grades K - 12. Feb. 3: Online registration window opened for students returning to the Pulaski County Special School District May 18, 2020: Equity and Pupil Services began accepting permits

NEW STUDENTS Parents of students who are new to the district


Students at Pine Forest Elementary School.

In class at Robinson Middle School. In class at Mills University Studies High School. can register their children online in the district’s online registration gateway. The NEW STUDENT registration portal is only for students K-12 who have never attended a PCSSD school and reside in the PCSSD attendance zone. The online registration portal can be found on the PCSSD website at pcssd. org/register.

RETURNING STUDENTS Parents of students returning to PCSSD for the 2020-2021 school year will use the online registration gateway. Students must be registered online to the school for which their address is zoned. You can find your zoned school as well as a link to the online registration portal on the PCSSD website at pcssd. org/register.

PRE-K STUDENTS PCSSD’s Pre-K program is a free, standardsbased program that aims to build strong

foundational skills that help prepare students for kindergarten. It is open to all qualifying students who turn 3 or 4 on or before Aug. 1 of the enrollment year. Pre-K registration for the 2020-2021 school year opened on Jan. 13. Parents of new Pre-K students can register at any elementary school that has a Pre-K program. Pre-K students will be assigned to schools based on the PCSSD zone map.

IN-DISTRICT TRANSFER Parents who would like to request a transfer for their student, from one school in our district to another school in our same district, must complete a Permit to Transfer Application and submit it to the PCSSD Division of Equity and Pupil Services, by email to yrichards@pcssd.org. Approval of permits is based on several criteria, including program capacity and the reason for the transfer. You will be notified by phone and/or email if your permit application is approved after June 1.

QUESTIONS For more information on registration for K-12 grades, please email Yolanda Richards with the Division of Equity and Pupil Services at yrichards@ pcssd.org. For more information on registration for Pre K, please email Ebony McKinzy in the Pre-K Office at emckinzy4772@pcssd.org.

ABOUT PCSSD Pulaski County Special School District spans more than 600 miles in Central Arkansas and requires highly skilled and passionate personnel to adapt educational policies and personalization to 25 schools. Every school is accredited by the Arkansas State Board of Education. PCSSD has served schools across Pulaski County since July 1927. PCSSD is committed to creating a nationally recognized school district that assures that all students achieve at their maximum potential through collaborative, supportive and continuous efforts of all stakeholders.

REGISTER WHERE PURPOSE COMES ALIVE

NOW

pcssd.org/register

501.234.2000 June 2020 501lifemag.com | 63


SPORTS

State champs Conway swim team claims title

The Conway High School Boys Swim Team claimed a state championship, the first boys title in 32 years.

by Donna Lampkin Stephens

Before the world as we knew it changed, Conway’s Wampus Cat swimmers won the Class 6A state championship — the school’s first boys title in 32 years. Conway, which had won the 6A-Central title, notched 436 points to knock off perennial power Little Rock Central by 55 points at Bentonville High School. Bentonville was third with 374. Cabot and Bentonville West rounded out the top five with 221 and 183 points, respectively. “The last three years, we’ve had just a really good team,” said first-year Wampus Cat head 64 | 501 LIFE June 2020

coach Craig Conner. “In 2017, we finished third. In 2018 and ‘19, we were state runner-up, so we’ve been building for this the last several years. “This group of seniors has been a part of all of those teams, so it was a neat way to send them out — to finally get to the mountaintop.” Conway won seven events at the state meet and set two state records. Ty Wingfield set the mark in the 50 freestyle with 20.36 seconds. He also won the 100 free in 45.82. Ethan Marotte won the 200 individual medley (1:53.45). Duncan Troup won the 100 breaststroke in 56.80; Andrew Rogers took the 100 backstroke in 52.81. The 200 free relay team of Troup,

Jordan Mosby, Marotte and Wingfield won in 1:24.70, a state record. The 200 medley relay team (Rogers, Mosby, Marotte and Wingfield) won in 1:34.36. The Wampus Cat seniors included Wingfield, who has signed with Auburn; Marotte, who will swim next year for Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania; Jeffery Bloomfield, Gavin Teague and Cullen Odom. “Ty has been the heart and soul of this team for the last four years,” Conner said. “He’s a very outspoken leader who pushes everybody around him to be better. “Ethan is more of a lead-by-example type. But you will not find a finer human being on


the planet. Academically, socially, athletically — he’s the total package. “Ethan and Ty together — you couldn’t ask for two better senior leaders for the younger kids to look up to.” Another important piece of the championship puzzle was the January addition of junior Duncan Troup, a former home-school student. Troup’s family moved to Conway last fall, and he started swimming with the Aquakids club team, the home club of several Wampus Cats. “Our guys started working on him to come on board, and he joined us at the start of the second semester,” Conner said. “The thing about him that I loved is that he is willing to do whatever it takes for the team. He’s just the ultimate team player. “Whatever we asked him to do, he said, ‘Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it.’ At the state meet, he swam better than he ever has. It was really a treat to see that.” Troup has committed to Penn State. Based on their state-meet showings, several Wampus Cats earned National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association All-America honors, including Wingfield, Troup and the 200 free relay team. At press time, Conner said the 200 medley relay squad would also likely be named All-American. Other state meet highlights included the 400 freestyle relay team of Troup, Teague, Bloomfield and Rogers, who finished second in 3:21.05; and Rogers’ runner-up finish in the 100 butterfly (51.47).

Wampus Cats earning all-state honors included Rogers, Troup, Marotte, Gavin Blaylock, Teague, Bloomfield, Mosby and Wingfield. Marotte, Wingfield, Rogers and Troup were named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s AR Preps All-Arkansas team; Conner was named the AR Preps Arkansas Boys Coach of the Year. Rising seniors Troup, Blaylock and Cade Robinson will lead the Wampus Cats in 2021. “We have a chance to go back-to-back,” Conner said. “We won’t be quite as strong as we were this year, but none of the good teams in the state will be either. “We had a crazy-good senior class. Little Rock Central had an incredible group the last four years, and their seniors this year were that last group. “This was a great year for swimming in Arkansas. We felt really fortunate to be able to put it all together and win.” Conner, 36, is a CHS alumnus, but he never swam for the Wampus Cats. He taught math at North Little Rock High School for a couple of years before landing back at his alma mater to teach quantitative literacy. At CHS, he asked then-athletic director Steve Daniels about getting into coaching. Conner, who had played football and tennis for the Wampus Cats, found that he related well to teenagers and felt he could combine his teaching gifts with his love for sports. Daniels told him the only coaching job available was assistant for swimming and golf.

SPIRITUALITY-

“He asked, ‘Would you be interested?’” Conner recalled. He was. “That turned out to be a really rewarding and great career for me,” Conner said. He spent seven years working under Christie Rye before moving into the head position after she retired last year. “I give her tremendous credit for this team because of what she did for our program and all that she taught me over our seven years together,” Conner said. “A head swimming coach is more of a manager than a coach, managing parents, kids and getting them entered in the right events. So I learned a lot of that through her. We were a really good team.” His coaching philosophy is simple — but effective. “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and it makes you look good,” he said. “The good thing about swimming in Conway is that we have great clubs for kids in town. I have built a really great relationship with Steve Hall from the Aquakids. I lean heavily on him to train our athletes over there. I brought Chris Brynell, coach of the Conway Crocs, on as an assistant coach. “Both Chris and Steve have forgotten more about swimming than I know.” Finally, Conner brought on Jordan Bell, trampoline coach at Sunshine Academy, as assistant diving coach. And together, they made it to the mountaintop.

One Crucial Component of Our Continuum of Care

MethodistFamily.org June 2020 501lifemag.com | 65


SPORTS

War Memorial Stadium Facility home to big names, games

A photo from the “Miracle on Markham.” (Photos courtesy of War Memorial Stadium, a division of Arkansas State Parks.)

War Memorial is striped out for a football game. No facility in Arkansas has a higher calling. None honors a nobler, more admirable, more deserving group: the men and women of the state who have died in the service of the nation. Nor has War Memorial Stadium been static in meeting its acclaimed commitment. Originally, in 1948, Dr. Robert it was dedicated only Reising to the dead of the two Dr. Robert Reising retired World Wars; in 2020, from the University of Central it pays tribute to all Arkansas in 2013 after holding a Arkansans who have variety of teaching, coaching and administrative posts during more surrendered their lives in than a half-century in education. America’s battles. His doctoral dissertation at Duke treated literature and sports. Similarly, over the 72 years, War Memorial has evolved structurally and aesthetically. From an initial seating capacity of 31,075, the Stadium welcomes crowds of 54,120 in 2020. Its concession stands and restrooms have been modernized; its press box, the best in the nation at one time, has been raised, rebuilt and reopened, with amenities again rivaling the finest to be found elsewhere. The Sturgis Veterans Plaza arrived a dozen years ago, its centerpiece an eye-catching 5-star, 25-foot “Stars and Stripes” sculpture representing the five branches of the military in which the war dead of Arkansas have served. 66 | 501 LIFE June 2020

In 1948, the stadium was dedicated only to those who died in the two World Wars. Unchanged, however, is the quality of the celebrities and athletic contests creating the storied history of the facility. The country’s, if not the world’s, best have enlightened and/or entertained the throngs thirsting for the likes of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, jokester Bob Hope or music virtuoso Sir Elton John. Exciting athletic clashes, however, have topped Stadium agendas. On July 23, 1959, boxing earned a slot, providing a four-bout card that included Faulkner County native Sonny Ingram, two decades ago one of the nation’s most successful middle weights. Little known in the United States at that time, soccer – probably the nation’s fastestgrowing sport – now occupies a significant place among the sports events hosted by the Stadium. The Little Rock Rangers of the National Premier Soccer League call the Stadium home, while in just

three years climbing to third place in attendance in the NPL. Yet it is football that has dominated athletic play on War Memorial’s soil. On Sept. 8, 1948, it launched its presence before 24,950 frenzied fans as the University of Arkansas walloped Abilene Christian University, 40 to 6. Two Razorback gridiron All-Americans played key roles. Maurice “Footsie” Britt, the state’s most celebrated World War II medal winner, soon to be its lieutenant governor, delivered the Stadium’s inaugural address, and Clyde Scott, perhaps its finest multi-sport performer ever, started at running back for the Hogs, en route to his first-round selection in the year’s National Football League draft. More than 225 University of Arkansas football contests have followed, many of them


classic clashes. Six years after Scott led the romp over ACU, one of those clashes featured gifted Preston Carpenter, who after grabbing Buddy Bob Benson’s fourth-quarter pass of 33 yards, raced another 33 for the lone touchdown in a 6 to 0 upset of Mississippi. Almost as memorable as Coach Bowden Wyatt’s win with the “Powder River Play” was Coach Frank Broyles’ seasonopening 14 to 10 triumph over Oklahoma State on Sept. 19, 1964; sealing that triumph was a third-quarter 2-yard 6-point run by Bobby Burnett, whose Cotton Bowl line-vaulting score 10 weeks later in Dallas assured the Hogs of an undefeated 11-victory season and a national title. War Memorial, however, has never seen a more exciting contest than the brawl occurring decades later, on Nov. 29, 2002. “The Miracle on Markham” was decided only in the last seconds by a Matt Jones-to-DeCori Birmingham touchdown, followed by a David Carlton point-after-touchdown, for a 21-to 20 Hog victory over nationaltitle-seeking Louisiana State. U of A has been joined at the Stadium by several other state football-playing institutions, including two from the 501. In 1993, Harding University recorded two victories over in-state rivals, the first over the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, by forfeit, the other by 25 to 7 over Ouachita Baptist University. The University of Central Arkansas has played at the Stadium more often, 11 times, between 1960 and 2008. The Bears have enjoyed commendable success, too, with seven wins, all over in-

The first game played at War Memorial Stadium in September 1948. state opponents except one, a 51 to 0 romp over Eastern New Mexico in 2005. Interestingly, in the most recent contest, the Bears topped Henderson State 38 to 14, with current UCA Head Coach Nathan Brown quarterbacking and throwing for 367 yards and three touchdowns. War Memorial has also long been a home to numerous key Arkansas high school football

games. Noteworthy from the 501 is the annual “Salt Bowl,” featuring Saline County’s Benton and Bryant, which draws crowds in the tens of thousands. Pulaski County and the 501 have a valuable, versatile resource in their midst, one with a fascinating past and a promising future. They are proud they do.

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COVID-19 and summer Welcome to summer. 2020 has been a most unusual year so far. The economy is shaky and we are all facing many unknowns. We have had to socially distance ourselves to prevent the spread of and to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, families have chosen to cancel their sumLinda mer vacations and trips out Henderson of state. Why not car travel Jim and Linda Henderson are within our beautiful state lifelong residents of the 501. and especially in the 501? They travel the 501 and other areas of Arkansas. Jim drives and Arkansas and the 501 have hauls equipment. Linda takes so much to offer even from photographs of Arkansas. During their travels, they have gained your car. appreciation and love for The So, what can we do to Natural State. They have found the 501 has so much to offer for safely get out and explore fun and beauty to photograph. the 501? I suggest we use our vehicles as a traveling quarantine pod and explore two-lane highways like Highway 60 in Perry County or Highway 64. Enjoy a ride into the Ouachita National Forrest or the Ozark National Forest. We can get to know towns of the 501 like Morrilton or Bald Knob. We can take in the beauty of the foothills of the Ozarks by traveling up Highway 65. We can enjoy historic Hot Springs with a drive down Highway 7. Stop along the roadside to enjoy the wildflowers, old barns and old homesteads. Take snacks and cold

drinks to minimize stops. Take the necessary precautions and stay away from crowded places, maintain excellent hygiene and listen to what the infection control professionals recommend as safe distancing. If you want to get a bite to eat, use your cell phone to call ahead and carry-out your meals. Please support local 501 restaurants and cafes. Small businesses of all kinds need us to support them during these troubling times. It is so important that we do what we can to rid ourselves of this pandemic and get the economy and our lives back to normal. Have faith in God. Pray for first line medical professionals and those working on a vaccine. Pray for our nation to have patience and tenacity to get us through this emergency. Everything will pass and this too shall become history. It is a daunting time for everyone. Nothing is normal and business is not as usual. Our nation and world will move past this pandemic. We will return to a normal way of life. Possibly because of COVID-19, medical/ infection control procedures will improve, and new medications and treatments will be discovered. Family values will be reinforced and bonds will be strengthened. It is a unique time and America will survive and become stronger. (See more photos on Page 70)

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Runyon continued from Page 49 inspired us to do something here,” said Runyon. “I got an email Sunday morning from Tina Prout about using a sound system for a Park and Pray that night and knew it was a great opportunity. Things took off from there! I stood up the first night and said I am here because I personally know the quality of care at Conway Regional. I feel for those patients who don’t have access to family because of COVID-19, especially in the critical care situations. It’s another opportunity to say thank you.” He added, “I appreciate smaller market radio because we can be local, and I know the people who listen to the radio station. You can have a bigger impact. I’m grateful for the community that loves me and my family and showed support when I needed it. I’m grateful we had Conway Regional which was connected to my doctor who was connected to Dr. Steely. I’m forever grateful for all those connections.”

Life-changing takeaway Dr. Cummins added, “Jay’s a super nice guy with a great family. I think he has a new purpose in life and is doing what he is supposed to be doing.” Runyon said, “My biggest focus now is that I worked too much. While I still work hard, I want to work smarter not harder and put more value and emphasis on time with my family and the things that really matter.” His response when he tells people about his health care experience: “If you don’t know where you’re going in case something happens, let’s get that 70 | 501 LIFE June 2020

Jay scheduled an appointment with his physician, Dr. Craig Cummins. right. Listen to the doctors; they do know what they are talking about. Listen to your body. It was by the grace of God that I didn’t have a heart attack in that press box. I was packing up the equipment and I was the last one to leave. If I had a heart attack that Friday night, I wouldn’t be here now.” He has also pledged to take better care of himself. “DeEnna has my promise to take better care of

myself. DeE was right there with me all the way. She’s been a trooper. I can’t imagine going through this journey without her and without my family and some amazing friends like Eric King, Jeff Wicks, Mike Binko and many others who stepped up when needed. My co-workers and staff at the radio station including my boss, Larry Crain, were right there supporting and praying for me all the way and all that means the world to me.”


Friends continued from Page 24 popular or even halfway cool. I honestly never realized how all these little critical things I would constantly point out to her would carry into her adulthood. She unfortunately became someone whose only identity was found in what others said or thought about her. Trust me when I say with the wrong circle of influence around, this was a bad situation. I never could find the proper tools to dig us out of the pit of rejection that I had dug for us, but guess what? Jesus did! Finding a relationship with Jesus changed EVERYTHING! I’m not talking about religion, but a true relationship with the creator of the universe. I’ll admit, I was afraid about the way I had basically torn down and destroyed this important friend in my life and I wasn’t sure I knew how to fix all the years of abuse, but God was the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. You see, this “friend” I mistreated for so many years was myself. What got me thinking about all of this was my mom recently gifted me and my siblings with boxes of photos from our childhood. It has been so much fun looking through all the moments captured in time, but I couldn’t help but look at some of those photos and remember how insecure and unhappy I felt. I was seriously my biggest critic

growing up. Isn’t it funny how you can look back at old high school photos and realize you weren’t nearly as “fat” as you thought you were? Back in the day, photos weren’t cropped or edited. What you saw is what you got, be it good or bad. It would have been nice if my future self could have somehow told the younger and unappreciated version of me that she is beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made, and that other’s opinions or criticisms do not change that. I think it meant so much more learning my blessed identity in Jesus exactly the way it all played out. The more I saturate myself in the promises of God, the more I have learned to love myself and be happy with who I was created to be. The reason I wanted to share this is because I feel like some of us still are our worst critics. We are so busy tearing ourselves down that we completely miss the opportunity to use our experiences to build others up. People need to see the goodness and the grace of God smack dab in the middle of our chaos. Jesus will never waste a hurt. “In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good.” - Max Lucado While it’s impossible to go back and warn myself of too much blue eyeshadow, bad hairstyles, fashion choices and selfesteem issues, I feel honored for each day that God allows me to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sibling and most importantly, a friend for life to myself and others.

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Gilbert continued from Page 60 balloons and streamers and themed fun cups and plates. Make or buy their favorite food and make the day all about them. Invite friends and family to celebrate via Zoom, and have them sing “Happy Birthday” if it’s a birthday celebration. Some even mentioned going on a special hike or scavenger hunt as part of the day’s festivities. Some events have been planned way before the pandemic hit. Brides have been looking forward to their wedding day for a long time, and the response to having to change their plans has been mixed. Some opted to postpone, wanting to keep the plans they’ve worked so hard on, so they just moved to a different date so everyone on their guest list could attend. Others have chosen to roll with the new limitations placed on them. One friend decided to keep their original wedding date, but instead of a larger crowd, they had a very small, intimate ceremony with family. Instead of a reception, they had takeout. Instead of a beach honeymoon, they stayed local. Getting married was most important, so they decided to have a small ceremony now and something bigger when they can. The goal of any celebration is to make someone feel loved and special, and in these times, it’s probably more important than ever. When you get creative, you can still have big moments. Churches around the area have gone out of their way to create drive-thru experiences for graduates with balloon arches and photo-ops. Photographers around town are doing porch sessions, so not only did we have one come out to capture our family and new house, but we also made sure to snap our recent kindergarten graduate in a cap and gown, and a special picture of our daughter dancing with her dad because our church’s father/daughter dance was cancelled. Again, the whole point is to celebrate our loved ones and make them feel special. You can agree to throw a big party when everything is back to normal, but there are far too many ways to celebrate now.

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NEIGHBORS special friends

Ollie is a therapy dog assigned to the UCA Athletic Training Department with his master Aaron Smith, a professor and athletic trainer. (Mike Kemp photo)

72 | 501 LIFE June 2020


Ollie the Collie

Therapy dog is one of a handful in the nation by Dwain Hebda Mike Kemp photos

There are workplaces that allow employees to bring their animals, and there are scenarios where the animal IS the employee. But in the case of Ollivander Aloysius Smith and the University of Central Arkansas, the situation is a little bit of both. Ollie, who turns 3 in June, is a therapy dog assigned to the athletic training department with his master Aaron Smith, a UCA professor and athletic trainer. But while the collie is a familiar sight in the classroom, on the sidelines and around training facilities on campus, he’s hardly that outside of Conway. “As far as I’m aware, and this may have changed because you can’t keep up with everybody, he is the only therapy dog being used in college athletics in the state of Arkansas,” Smith said. “When we first started, he was definitely the only one.” In fact, Smith said, when he first got Ollie in 2017, he only knew of one other therapy dog in all of Division I athletics nationwide. Smith came up with the idea for incorporating a therapy dog into athletic training while an undergrad at UCA. He’d become interested in the mental aspects of athletic performance, especially when it came to healing. A therapy animal, especially a dog, seemed to be a tool that was missing from the toolbox. It would be several years before he’d actually voice his idea, following graduate school at Valparaiso and returning to his alma mater. By that time, mental health had gained more attention in the sports

medicine field, such that Smith was emboldened to resurrect his idea. His superiors gave it the go ahead, and the hunt for the right animal began. “There’s a lot of breeds that are really good for therapy work, working in hospitals and schools,” Smith said. “I did my research to make sure I got a breed that was going to have a good, calm temperament. “I decided I wanted a dog with longer hair because eventually I want to start taking him down to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and tactically, children like having hair to pet. It pretty much came down to golden retrievers and collies.” His choice of a rough collie immediately presented Smith with challenges. Unlike in the 1960s and 1970s when the TV show “Lassie” boosted the breed’s popularity, collies have become steadily less common, so much so that Smith scoured adoptable pets for months without finding a suitable specimen. When he finally found one at a breeder in Mayflower, the woman had her doubts that the pup, the last of his litter, would be a good match for what Smith was proposing. “I kind of had to convince her to let me see him in the first place,” Smith said. “Got out of the car when I got there, and he walked right up to me and put his paw right on me when I knelt down. I’m like oh, I know he’s the one. I didn’t even plan on getting him that day, but I got him right there.” As Ollie worked through the levels of training — from basic obedience to specialized therapy skills — he was a constant at Smith’s side. As such, Smith noticed the hound had a far wider impact and appeal than even he’d imagined. “When I first started this whole process, it was

going to be for the major injuries where athletes are in here for months and months doing rehab,” he said. “But I’ve actually seen a lot more athletes responding to him in daily situations. “We have athletes from all over the country, and maybe they’re just homesick or maybe they had a dog at home and they miss their dog or something like that. Those are the ones who come in, and they don’t need treatment, they don’t need rehab, they’ll just come in, say hi and pet a dog that day. “College students in general are stressed, but add on everything an athlete has to deal with and sometimes they just need a chance to blow off some steam. They play with Ollie and take their mind off of everything for a little bit.” If there’s one standout moment in Ollie’s career thus far, it’s what happened during last fall’s Southland Conference women’s soccer tournament, hosted by UCA. A star player for another team went down with a season-ending knee injury. Smith bolted over to the fallen athlete, surrounded by her school’s athletic trainers, and asked if they needed anything. “I had been there the previous day, so their team and everybody knew about Ollie,” Smith said. “Their athletic trainer said to me, ‘The only thing she wants right now is Ollie. Can you bring him here?’” Smith went to where Ollie was waiting and retrieved him. The pup loped along beside his master to where the athlete was, and once there, did the work he was born to do. “She probably sat there for 10 straight minutes just hugging Ollie and crying and dealing with everything,” Smith said. “That was probably one of the coolest situations he was able to be a part of.”

June 2020 501lifemag.com | 73


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NEIGHBORS person of the month

Julie Goodnight

CITY: Greenbrier. WORK: Owner, Julie’s Sweet Shoppe, established in 2013; baking sweets for Conway since 1986.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INTO YOUR FIELD: “Bakery� has been in my family for three generations. My grandmother and dad both worked at Kohler’s Bakery in North Little Rock back in the 1950s and 1960s. My love of the bakery began in the Simon’s Grocery Store days when our family would shop and visit the bakery ladies, bakers and cake decorators while also visiting Dad.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK: The customers who have become like family.

The veterans and coffee drinkers are my favs! We see them daily — sometimes more than their own family. I just love them all!

FAMILY: Husband Larry (30-year anniversary this

month); son Bradley and his daughter Doreen; daughter Megan; Mom (Pam Fisher) and Dad (Ed Bradley). My bakery “Dads and Moms� have supported me throughout my journey. We share happy times, heartbreaks and life’s ups and downs. We are each other’s prayer warriors.

EDUCATION: St. Joseph School, first through 12th grade; and Pulaski Tech College (accounting degree). MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION: My

granddaughter is my whole world!

MOST ENJOYED WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Last year it

was watching our daughter play softball like we have the last 19 years of her life, but she graduated college in December. We are waiting to see if Doreen will follow in her aunt’s footsteps! Our son, my brother and sister and their families live beside each other, so we eat together and spend lots of quality time together.

FAVORITE PLACE IN ARKANSAS: My home. Julie Goodnight began working while in high school at Simon’s Grocery in Downtown Conway. “I did not know where that would lead me. I was shy and quiet, but not for long! I learned from the best,â€? she said. “All the ladies from Simon’s taught me cake decorating skills that I still use, and the customer service skills were learned in time and hands-on training from Simon’s.â€? Julie and her store support a number of local activities and organizations, including Soul Food CafĂŠ Mission, Renewal Ranch, Salvation Army, Bethlehem House, HAVEN, the Salem Methodist Church food pantry, Circle of Friends and the Conway Regional Women’s Council’s Dazzle Daze. (Mike Kemp photo) 74 | 501 LIFE June 2020

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN THE 501: This is where I’m from, where I grew up, where

my family is and where my heart belongs — it’s a place where I call home!


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Profile for 501 LIFE

June 2020  

This month, 501 LIFE is “Celebrating seniors” (Pages 26-47) from across Central Arkansas. (Jeremy Higginbotham design)

June 2020  

This month, 501 LIFE is “Celebrating seniors” (Pages 26-47) from across Central Arkansas. (Jeremy Higginbotham design)

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