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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley December 2011

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RUSSELLVILLE

2011

Drive Thru Light Display - $5 Donation

PLEASANT VIEW PARK EXIT 81 - Hwy. 7 North 1 Mile

NOV. 26 • DEC. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 • 6:00-10:00 PM


December 2011

table of

contents 8 Santa Speaks

8

Despite his Santa-fied education, Alan Tucker said you can’t just go to school to become Santa. There is a saying among us that says, “You are either a Santa or you’re not.”

16 16

‘Icing’ Cements Friendships The tradition of Gingerbread House building and sharing with friends was not invented by Carolyn McLellan, Jane McGregor and Jane Barnes, but they have spent the last 30 years making it theirs.

12

A Feast for the Senses

20

Contest Recipes Shared

14

The Perfect Nativity

26

A Pitiful Reputation

ABOUTour Cover

“Dear Santa, WE really did try” to be good this year... and sometimes that’s easier said than done! The photo of this month’s cover, courtesy of Cathy’s Flowers located at 919 North Arkansas, is indicative of the work of the many talented florists, designers and individuals found throughout the Arkansas River Valley. In keeping with our effort to “Reflect the Character of the River Valley,” we believe Santa is just one character you’ll encounter this holiday season. We hope you’ll enjoy the last publication of 2011. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the associates of ABOUT... the River Valley Magazine. Photo by Steve Newby

4 | ABOUT

34 32

‘Dash and Splash’

34

Parade, Program Honors Vets

36

People Helping People

The Russellville Veteran’s Day Parade is one of the largest in the state recognizing the service and sacrifice of all United States Veterans. The event drew hundreds in support of the nation’s military.

Our Associates Melanie Conley

ad ve r tis in g

479.858.2708

Connie

Vonna

Marpel

ad ve r tis ing

479.970.4263

Steve

Las Schneider

Newby

w r ite r

ph o to g r a phy

479.497.1110

Cliff

479.880.1006

Chris

Thomas

Zimmerman

il l u s tr a to r

l ayo u t/ d e s ig n

479.890.3630

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

479.264.2438

December 2011


community

Winter Wonderland Opens

The Russellville Advertising and Promotions (A&P) Commission, in conjunction with the Russellville Parks and Recreation Department, will launch the second annual Winter Wonderland Drive-Through Light Display beginning Saturday, Nov. 26. The drive-through will also be open 6-10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2-24. Winter Wonderland 2011 will be a magnificent mile-long holiday light extravaganza featuring larger-than-life animated light displays. The purpose is to enhance the quality of life by bringing family and friends together to experience the magic of Christmas, said Christie Graham, executive director of the Tourism and Visitor’s Center in Russellville. Guests of all ages riding through the brilliant display should expect to “Experience the Magic,” transporting many back to their childhood, a time of holiday enchantment. The idea for the drive-through lighting display originated in 2003 in the office of Mack Hollis, director of the Russellville Parks and Recreation Department. Together with Christie Graham and Felecia Turnbow, executive vice president of the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce, the trio began reviewing the project several years ago but struggled for funding. It opened in 2010 after generous donations and grants were secured to purchase the elaborate lighting displayed throughout Pleasant View Park. The Park is located on Hwy. 7 North, one mile north of Interstate 40, Exit 8, in Russellville. Admission will be $5 per vehicle.

December 2011

Major sponsors this year include Wilkins Brothers Outdoors, Liberty Bank, McDonalds, KMTC 91.1, and the Russellville Tourism and Visitor’s Center. For more information on this year’s event, or to learn how you can participate in the 2011 Winter Wonderland, contact the Advertising and Promotions office at (479) 967-1762 or go online to discoverrussellville.org.

Come Hear Santa Read

Area children are invited to participate in “Milk and Cookies,” from 6 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, and Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Russellville City Mall. The project is a newlycreated service outreach by the Russellville Chapter of Junior Auxiliary. Members believe the children will enjoy hearing great holiday stories while their parents and guardians enjoy some time shopping at City Mall. All children are welcome to come and hear a story read by Santa while enjoying milk and cookies provided by the Junior Auxiliary

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

members. Two stories selected to be ready are, “Olive, the Other Reindeer,” and “Santa’s New Jet.” There is no charge to attend.

JA to Promote Park Splash Pad

The Russellville Junior Auxiliary (JA) has announced plans to help Russellville with its first zero-clearance splash pad for the City Park location. The project began as a longterm goal set by JA in 2010. The donation of a splash pad unit and through talks with the Russellville Parks and Recreation, the Russellville City Park was selected as the location for the splash pad. The City Park has gone through recent upgrades in its play equipment with more to come along side this project. Grants have been applied for, with response pending (as of midNovember.) The preliminary costs were estimated to be $40,000 which included the costs of additional equipment, pad installation and landscaping.  Cont. on page 15

ABOUT | 5


ABOUT the River Valley

A Publication of Silver Platter Productions, Inc Vol. VI, Issue 10 – December 2011

OWNERS/EDITOR Nolan and Dianne Edwards editor@aboutrvmag.com

Advertising Sales Melanie Conley

melanie@aboutrvmag.com

Vonna Marpel

vonna@aboutrvmag.com

Graphic Design Chris Zimmerman

zimcreative@aboutrvmag.com

Writers Kechia Bentley kechia@aboutrvmag.com

Connie Las Schneider connie@aboutrvmag.com

Johnny Sain

johnny@aboutrvmag.com

PhotographY Steve Newby stevenewbyphotography@aboutrvmag.com

ILLUSTRATION Cliff Thomas maddsigntist@aboutrvmag.com

ABOUT… the River Valley

is locally owned and published for distribution by direct mail and targeted delivery to those interested in the Arkansas River Valley.

A PAGE FROM

The Editor’s Notebook

Dear Santa, I only have one request this year for Christmas – slip an extra candy cane into the stockings of my girlfriends – past and present. I’ve been blessed with good friends over the years. As a youngster, I remember running the neighborhood, climbing barb-wire fences, plucking blackberries and riding our friends’ Shetland ponies without permission. I’ve sadly lost touch with many of them. My Childhood Girlfriends – the friends I made during those critical years when acceptance seemed so important -- are now grown women with families. With them I forged my first “sisterhood” bonds. For much of my childhood, I was part of a group of a dozen girls. who attended day camp, learned to knit, to cook and to properly maintain a manicure together. We were saw filmstrips outlining the detrimental effects of experimental drugs and learned how to grow a lima bean in a Dixie Cup. Somewhere in between, we built lasting friendships. There are my Work Girlfriends. With them I’ve experienced the joys and woes of the working world and learned the meaning of being stretched thin. We cared for our families while working someone else’s schedule, trying to solve not only our work-related problems but the worries of the world. We’ve bonded in ways that only working women can. Santa, my Acquaintance Girlfriends include those professional and casual friends I’ve made over years of serving as a volunteer, on committees, or as a board member. I’ve been blessed to meet many of these remarkable women simply because I chose to volunteer or support a worthy cause. Santa, there’s another group of friends that I’ve been fortunate enough to share with my husband – I guess we could call it the ‘Wives of Husband’s’ Friends. After 30-plus years of marriage Nolan and I have met many, many people. Those introductions have opened up a whole realm, allowing me to bond with a group of women I would have probably never met. They stand alone, talented, funny and endearing in their own right. ‘Moms of your Children’s Friends’ Girlfriends is a special, expanded category. Oh, what bonds can be formed discussing sleepovers, PTA and school fundraising. Through our children, many of these moms have become the long-cherished friends you can call on at any hour. Though time and distance has separated many of my “girlfriends” from each other, we keep up with each other despite our busy lives, even if it’s through a quick text or email. Santa, as I contemplate my “girlfriends list” I’ve realized that a portion of my pals are not even “girls”—or women -- at all. So, if you would, please slip in a few extra candy canes for the “other” friends in my life. Regardless of gender, they all made the “nice” list this year.

Dianne Edwards, Editor/Publisher

Subscriptions are available by sending $20 for one-year (10 issues) to: SPPI/ABOUT Magazine P.O. Box 10176 Russellville AR 72812 Material contained in this issue may not be copied or reproduced without written consent. Inquiries may be made by calling (479) 970-6628.

Office: 220 East 4th Street Email: editor@aboutrvmag.com Postmaster: Please send address changes to: SPPI, P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812.

6 | ABOUT

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


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What’s Happening This Month...

Talk ABOUT...Holiday Havoc Twas the day of our deadline when all through the office, we were turning out copy, just no way to stop us. The pages were finished with all kinds of care, with the hopes that our printer still would be there. Advertisers seemed happy, copy was read, but visions of proofing still loomed in my head! Notes on my desk spilling onto my lap, I longed for a soda and perhaps then a nap. When down the hall I begin to hear clatter. It seemed pages missing might just be the matter. Down the hall I did run, was just a short dash. The pages had holes we needed filled in a flash. So back to my desk. I had copy I know. Had the stories we needed. Knew just where they’d go. When quickly before my eyes did appear, a list of activities for this time of year. I typed them right up and entered them quick. Gave Chris a few extras from which he could pick. More stories than space, it’s always the same. Double check every one and then list them by name. From the calendar forward to listing events; there’s food pages, products... mistakes to prevent. December 2011

Community, engagements and headlines set bold. Be sure they’re all added, concise and well told. Top off the story sheet. Keep them all neat. Cross them all off and make sure they’re complete. To the top of the column to the top of the sheet. Clear away, put away, keep it all neat! As the proofs they did print on the printer nearby, I drew a deep breath and uttered a sigh. “We’re nearly finished” I whispered, afraid to yell loud -- for fear that my landlord would think us too proud. We’d struggled, we’d worked hard. The year’s nearly done. And all of this finished. It’s clear, we had won. When quickly, it hit me. We’re missing someone. The drawing from Cliff. It was pending. It’s done? Why yes, and in hand, did my designer reply. Despite electronic failure. Why, Cliff is so sly. His laptop did crash. He took pen into hand. Completed his drawing. Wow what a man! As we fold up our proofs, move the pages from sight, we bid you farewell and wish all a good night! So, to all our readers and loved ones held dear – Merry Christmas to all and we’ll see you next year! Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

Dec. 1: Christmas Tree lighting, 6 p.m., Downtown Russellville Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2: ATU Agri Dept Annual Poinsettia Sale, 8-5, Tech Greenhouses, Red Hill. Dec. 2: Downtown Art Walk/Holiday Open House; art, strolling, carriage rides and carolers, 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2: Dardanelle Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. “Traditional Christmas,” dardanellechamber.com; Downtown Dardanelle. Info: 229-3328. Dec. 2: ATU Jazz Ensemble Concert, 7:30 p.m., Witherspoon. Dec. 2-3: ATU Music Theatre Workshop Performance, 7 p.m., Williamson Hall Dining Room. Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24: Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Light Display, 6-10 p.m. Pleasant View Park, Hwy. 7 North; $5 donation per vehicle. Dec. 2-3: 21st Annual Christmas Gala Arts and Crafts Show, Fri. 9-6; Sat. 9-5; Hughes Center. Free admission. Dec. 2-3: Festival of Trees in Depot Park, area schools decorate trees with handmade ornaments; 9-11 a.m. Dec. 3: Trout Day, 9-noon, Pleasant View Park pond. Fishing license and trout stamp required for persons 16 and older. Info: 968-1272. Dec. 3, 10, 17: Farmers Market, 2200 W. Main, 10-1. Dec. 4: ATU Christmas Choir Concert, 2:30 p.m., Witherspoon. Dec. 5: RV Cyclists ‘Bicycling Breakfast’ organizational meeting. 8-9 a.m., East Banquet Hall, ATU. Public invited. Dec. 9: Dardanelle Christmas River Walk/Art Walk, 5-8 p.m.; Info: 229-3567 or visit The Renaissance FaceBook. Dec. 13, 20: “Milk and Cookies” Holiday Reading with Santa, 6-7 p.m., City Mall, Russellville. Dec. 17: ATU Fall Commencement, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tucker Coliseum. Dec. 17: An Evening with Mr. Conductor, Depot; 6-7:30 p.m., $5 per child. 320 West C St., Russellville Depot; 967-1437. Dec. 21-23: Living Nativity, 7-9 p.m., lawn of Bank of America, Downtown Russellville; presented by First Baptist Church, Russellville. Dec. 31: Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Second Chance Prom, 8 p.m. to 1 p.m., Hughes Center; $50 per person. (501) 354-4589 *Unless otherwise indicated, all area codes are 479. Visit www.aboutrvmag.com for a list of activities updated as they are received. To have your event included in the ABOUT Calendar of Events, email: editor@aboutrvmag. com or fax to (866) 757-3282. Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding publication.

ABOUT | 7


Santa Speaks! Story by Connie Las Schneider Photos Courtesy of Alan Tucker

C

hristmas is known as a time of wonder and magic, so imagine yourself as a “real” Santa Claus.

You’d be slightly portly, have a long white beard, wear old fashioned spectacles and love the color red. In

temperament,

you’d

be

kind,

generous and wise. You would love all children, be good with animals (especially reindeers, puppies and kittens) be fast and extremely agile (to fit down the chimney), a good manager (of elves), very well organized and willing to work for cookies. Alan Tucker of Russellville is such a man. A social services worker for Arkansas Work Force Services by day and a natural care-giver by nature, Tucker has devoted the past eight years to becoming a year-round Santa Claus. “You could say I’ve earned a Masters degree in Santa Claus and am working on my Doctorate from the International University

of

Santa

Claus,”

said

Tucker, with a twinkle in his eye as he showed off his class ring with the initials ‘SC’ on the giant red-center stone. He also has a custom-made Santa suit to complete his persona. Despite his Santa-fied education, Tucker said you can’t just go to school to become Santa. There is a saying among us that says, ���You are either a Santa or you’re not.”


Tucker is part of an organization of professional Santas with real beards who attends regular classes on Santa craft. We have classes like the ethics and history of Santa, proper techniques for talking with each age group, how to properly pick-up and hold a child (both hands must always be visible), special handling for people with handicaps, sign-language, even a class on proper care of beards, said Tucker who has a meticulously maintained long white beard. To stay in character, Tucker usually wears red shirts to work and has a red car with the license plate “S Claus (??),” which he decorates with reindeer antlers during the holidays. “What makes me different from other Santa’s is that I stay Santa Claus all year,” said Tucker who drives Prancer, his red motorcycle, in warmer weather.

“Being Santa is very rewarding but it can also pull at your heartstrings,” said Tucker.

Sometimes it’s almost dangerous driving on the Interstate, because a lot of cars pull up close and wave, said Tucker with a jolly chuckle. Tuckers wife, Judy, makes a perfect Mrs. Claus and often accompanies him on his rounds. “Some younger children are afraid of Santa and would rather go to Mrs. Claus than Santa. She loves it when that happens,” said Tucker. While most of Santa Alan’s time is spent with children, some of his most special moments are spent with the elderly in nursing homes.

Santa Facts Did you know the Santa Claus we all know and love is uniquely American? The American Santa is commonly known as the “Coca-Cola Santa Claus” because of the company’s advertising that showed him with a long white beard in a red suit, said Alan Tucker, aka Santa Alan. Santa has always been a blending of holiday traditions, said Tucker. Santa as we know him in the U.S., is not always the gift giver and December 25 is not the day all countries celebrate the holiday, he added. In Europe, Santa is called Saint Nicholas or Father Christmas and is usually shown as tall and thin wearing earth tones and green. In Eastern Europe, Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th when children put a boot or shoe by the window to receive gifts. In some countries, Santa is female, and usually depicted as a witch. In Italy “La Befana” is a good witch dressed in black who comes down the chimney with her broomstick to leave gifts in the children’s shoes on January 6th. For the Hispanic population, Santa is

“Some of these folk really perk up when they see Santa. It’s as though they become children again and many even want to sit on Santa’s lap as they did as a child. You can just see the sparkle come into their eyes and even those who can no longer speak, their smile will come through.” Being Santa is a wonderful experience, but physically there are a few down sides, Tucker admitted. A common problem for a professional Santa is knee problems from

Attention to Detail ...just like Santa

not in their holiday tradition and children wait until January 6th to get gifts brought by the three Wise Men or Three Kings. They also celebrate the season with Las Posadas where families play out the parts of Mary and Joseph searching for somewhere to stay and have a procession to friends and neighbor’s homes. The Dutch “Sintirklaas” arrives by boat on December 5th. Children leave a wooden shoe filled with hay and carrots for the donkey which carries St. Nicholas’ pack of toys. In Germany, the “Christkind” or Christ Child brings presents to each home while the family is attending church services on Christmas Eve. “Pere Noel” brings gifts to French children on Christmas Eve. In Sweden, a gnome called “Juletomten” brings gifts delivered in a sleigh driven by goats. An Angel known as “Christkindl” delivers gifts to children in Switzerland. Australian children look forward to a visit by a bearded Santa on water-skis who wears a red bathing suit.

having so many people sit on your lap because the knee supports the leg. A real beard can also be a problem. “Some of those seniors can pull really hard on my beard. The biggest problem with infants and really young children is that little fingers can get caught in my beard. And toddlers can squirm around so much you have to hold on to them for dear life so they don’t fall off my lap,” said Tucker. >>

Merry Christmas

L to R: Erica Bragg, Michele Brown, Terra Wilmoth, Owner, and Shelly Tidwell 1903 S. Arkansas • (479) 968-3991

Tangles Salon Inside City Mall, Russellville • 967-0990


Other problems are sanitary in nature. Sometimes a baby’s diaper leaks or need changing, so Santa Alan has a special red pad I keep on his lap for situations like that. “The important thing is to keep it fun for the kids, so I like to joke around with them a bit to make them comfortable. For instance I’ll ask them if they want a bucket of mud, or underwear, and that gets them laughing. It’s also important to make a visit with Santa a happy occasion for the parents, said Tucker. “Sometimes it’s as much about the parents as the children because parents often want to vicariously remember their

own childhood experience with Santa.” These moments become an important part of a family’s history, so we want to make it memorable, said Tucker. Besides appearing in the Russellville Christmas Parade and other public and private appearances, Santa Alan will be at the Russellville Mall during the holiday season where families are encouraged to bring their own cameras and take all the pictures they want. There will also be a photographer for those who want professional photos,” said Tucker. While being Santa certainly has its rewards, one thing about the job most people don’t understand is that Santa sometimes gets requests for things other than toys, said Tucker. “We hear requests for things that no one can fill; family issues like bringing Mommy and Daddy back together, or making someone healthy again. At Christmas parties for families of veterans overseas, I’ve heard heartfelt requests to bring Daddy or Mommy home, things like that. Being Santa is very rewarding but it can also pull at your heartstrings,” said Tucker, with a momentary look of sadness in his kind eyes. Happy or sad, Tucker said the year’s most special appearance for Mr. and Mrs. Claus is Christmas Day at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where they spend

the entire day visiting each child one by one. Each child gets an appropriately filled stocking and a photo of the visit. Even the children in intensive care or isolation get a photo of Santa standing outside their door. Tucker said that one year he had a photo taken with preemie triplets so small they all fit cradled in one arm. “It’s a long day but we look forward to it all year,” said Tucker. As do children of all ages. Merry Christmas! Note: To contact Santa Alan, go to SantaClausAmerica.com. One may also call (479) 879-6916 or (870) 926-6915. Santa Alan also gives presentations to groups including, “Santa’s 15 Reasons Why Some of His Elves Don’t Succeed at the North Pole,” “The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” and “The North Pole Principles of Customer Service,” among others. n

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

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Handmade Candy Canes

Come in to see our unique handmade Hammond’s candy canes, choose from gingerbread, sugarplum, pommagrante and chocolate filled peppermint at The Oak Tree Bistro; 1019 N. Arkansas Ave, (479) 890-9576

REKINDLE WARM THOUGHTS

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Hand-painted, richly colorful figures from “Heartwood Creek” and the talented artist Jim Shore recall warm memories of years gone by. Gifts on Parkway; 2149 E. Parkway, Russellville, (479) 890-6932

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6 December 2011

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 11


A

feast

for the Senses

Story by Connie Las Schneider

Story by Connie Las Schneider | Photos by Steve Newby

During the holidays, good food and family go together like comfort and cheer. Whether the feast is at the kitchen table or at an elegant restaurant, a well-prepared meal with family and friends makes the holidays brighter. At Savanah’s Restaurant, 208 North Front Street in Dardanelle, the staff follows this philosophy all year long. Co-owners and long-time friends, Myra and Tim Strecker and Lorrie and Wendell Miller consider themselves a “family unit” and want customers to feel just as comfortable when they eat at Savanah’s. To set the stage for a great holiday experience, the restaurant is lavishly decorated. “Every room has a Christmas Tree and other displays that give the entire restaurant a glittering spirit of the holidays. Our decorations seem to make all our patrons happy and festive,” said Myra Strecker who has worked at the restaurant since 2002 12 | ABOUT

when she and husband, Tim, along with his parents, Charles and Nelda Strecker opened Savanah’s, named after Tim Strecker’s grandmother and daughter. Before that, Charles and Nelda owned “John Does,” a successful restaurant in Pine Bluff, so for the multi-generational Streckers, running a restaurant really is the “family business.” But, when Nelda was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and passed away in 2009, and Charles retired in 2010, Myra and Tim were left to run the restaurant without the help of family. “We realized the restaurant was just too much work for only two people to run, so we approached the Millers with a partnership opportunity,” said Myra.

Lorrie and Wendell joined the “family” in March 2011 and it has been full steam ahead since. Soon after the partnership was formed, Chef Zac King was brought on to ensure the highest of food quality. “We still use Nelda’s recipes – the same marinade for the prime rib, the twice-baked potatoes, the homemade dressings, the Italian crème cake and the homemade yeast rolls made fresh every day, but Chef King has brought a new level of cooking expertise and plans the daily menu, said Tim.

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


Steaks are our specialty, but we have also expanded our menu items, and our patrons seem to like that, said Tim. Savanah’s offers more than well-prepared food and holiday ambiance, however. Located right on the river, the restaurant also dishes up a bit of Dardanelle history. Overlooking the back patio is a giant cottonwood tree that may be the oldest tree of its kind along the Arkansas River and was full grown when the old pontoon bridge was built nearby and opened in 1891. The history of the building has been very hard to trace, said Wendell Miller, but was at one time a Studebaker dealership. Studebaker stopped producing vehicles in 1963. Throughout the years, the building has been occupied by various other business, but had been vacant for several years when the Streckers purchased it. Many charming remnants of the original building, like the double-bay doors inside the building and shop doors at the side for moving vehicles, can still be seen. “We wanted to maintain the charm of the old building, so we kept the original floor and had the brick walls inside sand blasted to remove the paint. There was so much dust flying around it, some people thought the place was on fire,” said Myra with a laugh. Today, in place of the old auto shop in back is Savanah’s “glass room.” This room is aptly named as it is surrounded by nonstop windows that show off the view of the river and the old cotton wood tree, as well as the back deck where parties and wedding are occasionally held. “Because of the ambiance and atmosphere, we’ve had lot of proposals and several weddings here,” said Myra. “We always love it when these couples come

ABOUT Established in 2002, Savanah’s Restaurant has been described as “Fine Dining in a Casual Atmosphere.” The intimate setting, with attention to every detail, blends the flavors of ‘big city’ dining with the classic charm and tradition of the South. At Savanah’s, the goal is to provide customers with a unique dining experience, unparalleled in quality. Their dishes are sure to delight everyone’s palate from tender, juicy steaks to delicious seafood to gourmet burgers. Come to the restaurant to relax with family, celebrate a special occasion or enjoy the rolling of the Arkansas River with a tall glass of iced tea. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. for Lunch, and Tuesday through Saturday, 5 until 10 p.m. for Dinner. Children 12 and under eat free on Tuesdays. back for an anniversary. We always try to make a big deal of it,” she added. The restaurant also hosts a lot of holiday parties.” A lot of families like to come here because of all the festive holiday decorations. We go all out for the holidays and are probably the most festively decorated restaurant in River Valley, said Lorrie. “Joe Turner with Cathy’s Flowers has been decorating here for Christmas since it opened and does a beautiful job. Our decorations have grown over the years and it’s something different every year. Every

The Strickers

Text SAVANAHS to 20673 to receive updates on their Award-Winning specials. Savanah’s Restaurant has been voted “4 Star” by readers of the Arkansas Times, the oldest and most respected restaurant survey in the state. section has a Christmas tree and a theme. We want everybody to enjoy it!” said Myra. Not surprisingly, Savanah’s does a lot of Christmas parties, from family to corporate. “We can customize the menu with special dishes, like turkey or ham, which is usually not on our menu. It’s their party, their Christmas, and we try to accommodate it. For information and reservations, call Savanah’s Restaurant at 479 (229-3425.) For additional information, visit the Savanah’s web page at: savanahsrestaurant.com or email: info@savanahsrestaurant.com. n

Merry Christmas Bill & Marlene Newton, Owners, and the staff of:

(479) 968-1157 • 715 W. Main, Russellville, AR December 2011

Serving the River Valley Since 1970 Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 13


family

The Perfect

Nativity Two Decades Later

W

hat I am about to share is not meant to make anyone out there feel bad about their Nativity. Your Nativity is perfect. Let me say it one more time; your Nativity is perfect; there is nothing wrong with it. You see, I have a Nativity pet peeve. I didn’t know I had this pet peeve until I got married 27 years ago. That is probably because up until that time I had never really given Nativity sets much thought. There had really only been two Nativity sets in my life that I remember: the one my Granny Wheeler had, where everything and everybody was all white. (We were not allowed to touch this set.) And the one my mother always put out -- which had Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus all dressed in gold. Hold the presses. I need to call my mother, because I just remembered something about her set... I just got off the phone with my mother. I made her go dig out her nativity set (as I write this it is only November 12). Sure enough -- I think I may have found the source of my pet peeve. In my mother’s set Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus all have brown hair and deep brown eyes. They even have a tan skin tone. In other words, they look Jewish! This would make sense since they were Jewish. Now that is not my pet peeve, but it is the root of my pet peeve. So, with all of that now in its proper perspective, let me take you back 27 years ago. Upon my marriage to Donald, I began to look for what would become our family Nativity set. Unfortunately, since it took me 23 years of marriage to find it, my children did not grow up with the memory of a large Nativity set in our home. Isn’t that sad? I am now comforting myself with the fact that they did have a little plastic one that they were allowed to play with. (Oh well, the future grandchildren will always remember this big one.) And like my Granny Wheeler’s nativity set, they will not be allowed to touch it. Anyway, back to the quest for the perfect Nativity. Remember, I had never really given Nativity sets much thought, but since we got married on December 29th, there were lots of them on sale everywhere Donald and I went. It was then that I began to realize that most of the Holy families in these Nativities looked anything but Jewish. I remember having a conversation with myself – yes I do that, and I even answer myself – about who was designing these things and didn’t they know these people were suppose to be Jewish? I am not kidding you, and my husband can testify to this, we went to a Christmas store and we could not find one Holy family with brown hair or brown eyes. All the Nativities included a blond haired, blue-eyed baby Jesus. And Mary was no better; as a matter of fact she was worse. She would have this long blonde hair and porcelain white skin. Had anyone read the history books? These people were of Jewish origin. Once and a while I would even come across one where Jesus had strawberry blond hair. Really people? Really? 14 | ABOUT

Story by Kechia Bentley

Somewhere along the way it became some kind of badge of honor with me: I was not going to buy a Nativity set until I found one that was, at the very least, not Scandinavian. Oh I know I could have opted for an all white one like my granny. But no, I wanted a Holy Family that looked at least kinda, sorta like what these people might have looked like. Crazy, I know. Fortunately for me, I had mentioned this Nativity obsession to my florist, Joe Turner. One day, four years ago, when I was in his shop picking up a corsage for one of my son’s dates, Joe mentioned these new Nativity sets he had just gotten in. When I saw the set, the skies opened and the angels sang. Ok, not really, but still... Eureka! I had found it. It was big; it was sorta, kinda, Jewish. Yes, Joseph’s lips do look like he may have a circulatory problem, but baby Jesus and Mary were looking good. You would have thought I had won the lottery. I was thrilled. Now I am on a quest to find the perfect Wise Man set. Who knows it could be another 23 years. I want it to be in scale with my Holy Family, which doesn’t even make sense since I won’t put the Wise Men anywhere near the Nativity set. Why, you ask? Because the Wise Men didn’t visit the stable where Jesus was born. (I know, I know, this is a sickness. I should seek help.) You normal people -- please go ponder the miracles of this Season. I promise I will get around to doing the same. But first, I must ponder if I should paint Joseph’s lips a different color. He really does look like he might be ill. n

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


be accepted at the Chamber office through Friday, Dec. 16, 2011. The nomination criteria is as follows: nominee must be a resident of Russellville area for at least the past five years, nominations must be accompanied by a resume stating the reason for the nomination and the community contributions of nominee or they will not be considered, community involvement should not be limited to one field and must include areas other than those related to nominee’s occupation, contributions over several years will be considered, but nominee should still be a viable part of the community, and nominee should have served in a leadership role and not just as part of a committee or group. The person making the nomination must also include his or her own name and daytime phone number in case additional Know an Outstanding Citizen? information is required. For additional There are many citizens of Russellville information, contact the Russellville Area that go above all expectations in making Chamber of Commerce, 708 West Main this an exceptional city. Naming the Citizen Street, Russellville or call (479) 968-2530. of the Year is only one way to recognize and honor one of these outstanding MILLER DONATING FREE ROOF citizens. The Russellville Area Chamber Miller Roofing Company is giving away a Tree Lighting Scheduled Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce of Commerce will be recognizing the 2011 free roof to a deserving family in the River announced recently that the Annual Citizen of the Year at the Chamber’s Annual Valley this Christmas season. Cont. on page 31 Christmas Tree Lighting will be held at 6 Meeting in January 2012. Nominations will  Cont. from page 5 The splash pad will be 600-square-foot aquatic playground featuring a 20’x30’ pad with approximately16 ground-up water spouts (nozzles) and three play features -a large water umbrella, a double headed flower and a fire hydrant – along with a 325 gallon holding tank. The splash pad will be available to the area’s children at no cost, be safe for all ages of children, will be ADA compliant for children of all levels of disabilities, and be a great way to show our community why Russellville is a wonderful place to live, said the organizers. “We would love to see funding secured by January 1, 2012, to allow for a summer 2012 opening,” said JA project coordinator Amy Tarpley. For more information about the Russellville chapter of Junior Auxiliary and to learn how individuals and businesses can help with this and other projects, please visit www.jarussellville.org and “like” the Facebook page, Splash Pad Project Russellville AR. Additional information will be posted on these sites as it becomes available.

December 2011

p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. Everyone in the community is welcomed to attend. The tree-lighting event will be held in downtown Russellville in front of Bank of America and Cargill Pork. Local elementary students will be caroling and a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus is expected. The 2011 Russellville Christmas Parade will immediately follow the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. The tree lighting and parade kick off the Holiday Shopping Season in the River Valley. The Chamber encourages everyone to shop locally this season for all their business and personal needs, according to Felecia Turnbow, executive vice president of the Russellville Area Chamber. For more information on this event or a list of local retailers, please call the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce at (479) 968-2530.

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 15


‘Royal Icing’

Story and photos by Jane Barnes

Cements Friendships

The tradition of Gingerbread House building and sharing with friends was not invented by friends Carolyn McLellan, Jane McGregor and Jane Barnes.

“We are simply the continuation of a long line of Gingerbread peddlers,” said Barnes. Records from St. Bartholomew’s Fair in London in 1614 show figures of animals, people, and the Saint himself garbed in gold -- perhaps icing -- being produced in gingerbread, she added.

Peddlers on the streets carried baskets of ginger cookies cut in fanciful shapes and cried out, “Buy any Gingerbread! Gilt Gingerbread!” Traditionally, ginger had a preserving quality that was highly prized before refrigeration for caravans, armies going into battle, and long voyages on board ships. In the Middle Ages, the “hot and dry” ginger was thought to counteract an imbalance among the “four humors” that in Medieval medicine, were supposed to control a person’s health and temperament. William Shakespeare (1564-1616,) offered his opinion in Love’s Labours Lost, “An I had but one penny in the world, thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.” There’s a perfect gift solution. The personal approach to building a Gingerbread House (someone has to be in charge of the grand idea and pattern-making,) contrasts sharply with the desire to mingle and share it with a crowd. However, the two have evolved in the last 30 years into one tradition, as my friends and I have continued to invite little ones to a Gingerbread Open House for Children just for the smiles we receive.


To hear the giggling and see wideeyed wonder at the display of assembled gingerbread and candies fashioned into castles, chalets, Victorians (yes, Gingerbread Victorian homes,) barns, creches, and historical replicas is a gift we receive each year. In Hansel and Gretel, someone built the edible house and the hungry children broke off bites. Fortunately, gingerbread has those preserving qualities, however it is vulnerable to humid or very damp conditions such as rainy seasons or a trip to Seattle at Christmas. I found that out by taking a house to Seattle on a plane, and watching it slump and fall apart over the next day or two. This, we know can be avoided by icing the backs of all pieces. Other fun things to know about construction are that it takes a lion’s share of time. But what are traditions to do if we don’t feed on them, swallow them whole-heartedly and then share them with the “cubs.” For me, a Gingerbread creation, from scratch, takes a minimum of three days. Day one is mulling over desiqns, making patterns, finding bases, deciding on scale. Day two is mixing the 12 cups flour recipe, cutting from paper patterns, baking, re-cutting, beveling corners, and icing backs of all pieces. Day three is assembling and beginning decorating with Royal Icing and candies (or ending if time runs out.) The first houses my son’s playgroup friends (age two at the time) and their Moms and I made were group projects, designed to encourage and not intimidate. The point was to structure a fine craft with our children to enjoy together. >>

Gingerbread

(Houses, Cookies or People)

Beat butter and half sugar. Add molasses, rest of sugar and the liquid. Mix in flour and other dry ingredients. Finish dough by hand. Knead dough just to get into uniformly mixed ball. Chill. Roll dough 1/4” thick. Cut desired shapes. Transfer to baking sheets. (Add any desired raised gingerbread decorations to bake into cut shapes. Optional: could glaze with egg/water mixture before baking.) Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes (firm to finger touch.) Construction tips: Re-cut baked One recipe could make one small shapes according to pattern pieces. house. I always make two recipes for Cool slightly to hold shape. Optional: one house, plus some leftover to make While slightly warm, bevel cut walls gingerbread men to eat now. Dough will for better fit at corners. Decorate walls before construction, let dry then hold in refrigerator for several weeks. Recipe can be cut in half successfully. assemble. Use toothpicks for “nails” or Make paper patterns for all walls, roofs temporary straight pins (remove when icing is dry or set.) and towers, etc. 2/3 c. butter or margarine 2 c. brown sugar (1 box light) 3 c. molasses (or 1 c. molasses plus 1 c. any syrup plus 1 c. Karo) 1/4 c. strong coffee, cold, or tea 3 T. brandy or rum 12 c. all-purpose flour 4 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. allspice 1 tsp. cloves, ground 3 tsp. ginger 2 tsp. cinnamon

EGG GLAZE 2 eggs 2 T. water (use before baking) ORNAMENTAL ICING 1 lb. powdered sugar 3 egg whites 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Beat at high speed for 7-10 minutes. Spread with a knife or spoon into pastry bag or plastic bag with corner tip cut out.

Recipe from Jane Barnes; Published previously in the Grace Fellowship Cookbook. Used with permission.

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December 2011

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ABOUT | 17


Now they free-form houses for fun from whatever corner or the world they find themselves. Son, Chris and wife, Stephanie are building traditions in Zurich, Switzerland, where they live, and Carolyn’s son, Aaron is enjoying Portland as a lawyer, as Jane McGregor’s three explore New York, Washington, DC; and Massachusetts. Our tradition has snowballed and we find ourselves saying, “yes” when asked if we plan to continue each year, even 30 years later! Only an Ogre could enjoy the crest-fallen look on the inquirer’s face if we were to utter the word, “no.” And so each year new houses spring from the archives of our minds. They celebrate a rich diversity as the children’s worlds expand. The 2010 creations included a Taj Mahal, by Jane McGregor’s children, four totally unique interpretations of the same “kit” house by Carolyn’s grandchildren, and my traditional Tibetan home, inspired by a trip that included our son and his wife. The final decision is to “preserve” or to “smash and eat” the houses. They are amazingly delicious. However, I have had very good luck at preserving them using a few moth crystals or lavender sachets (do not eat these homes,) and storing them in sealed plastic bags in a dark place.

I always bake Gingerbread people and offer the trimmings of eaves to the hungry Hansels and Gretels. There is great fun in taking a hammer (covered with a plastic bag) and knocking a house apart to eat. The two I have done in 30 years have been memorable, as Chris could not believe we were going to let he and friends hack away at it. They found the icing to be as hard as cement and they had to put real muscle to it. But what fun! Our tradition has been the Open House for Children, and the sharing of ideas. A Gingerbread Album preserves the pictures of houses and friends, and the children are thrilled to see themselves in the “official” Album from parties past. Building Gingerbread with friends can also cement friendships, as we Moms have found. Traditions that bring us together into one shared time-honored way add the spice to life. Share a little nibble with your “Hansels and Gretels”, and be transported. n

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December 2011


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December 2011

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 19


food

And the Winners are...

Contest Recipes Shared Story by Dianne S. Edwards; Photos by Liz Chrisman

T

he creators of 30 pies vied for the coveted “Aunt Bea” award and winner’s bragging rights during the recent 20th annual Old-Fashioned Pie Contest. The event was held in conjunction with the 20th Annual Downtown Fall Festival held Oct. 29th, at the Historic Missouri-Pacific Railroad Depot. Repeat participant and previous “Aunt Bea Award Winner” James Whitlock of Russellville took top honors again this year as his Orange Coconut Cream Pie earned first place in the cream pie division, and also was the judge’s overall selection for the coveted grand prize. The unique combination of orange extract and orange zest elevated his coconut cream pie to “Aunt Bea Award” status as selected by blind taste tests of eight volunteer judges. Whitlock’s homemade pie crust included an egg, vinegar and cold water mixed with traditional ingredients. (Recipes follow.) Extra consideration was given by the judges for homemade crusts over commercial crusts. The contest was co-sponsored by Emeritus at Wildflower Senior Living, and ABOUT... the River Valley Magazine. Other winners and their respective categories include: Cream: Second Place – Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, Cindy Phillips, Clarksville; Third – Pineapple/Coconut Cream Pie, James Whitlock. Youth: First Place – Mile High Key Lime Pie, Molly Phillips, Russellville; Second Place – Peanut Butter Pie, Logan Pate, Pottsville; Third – Lemon Ice Box Pie, Jethro Judd, Russellville. Fruit: First Place -- Blueberry Cream Pie, Mischelle Coffman, Pottsville. Second place – Apple Pie, Theresa McPherson, Russellville; Third Place – Apple Pie, Kasey Frost, London. Holiday: First Place – Pecan Pie, Cordelia Lewis, Russellville; Second Place – Famous Pumpkin Pie, Mischelle Coffman. Third – Chocolate Cherry Pie, Theresa McPherson.

Happy Holidays from Millyn’s

Other: First Place – Egg Custard Pie, Mischelle Coffman; Second Place-- Chocolate Supreme Pie, Regayla Loveless, Russellville. Third Place – Pumpkin Pie, Theresa McPherson. Sugar Free: First Place – Pecan Pie, Theresa McPherson. (There was only one entry.) Prizes included: Grand prize: a 12-pc. Paula Deen porcelain cookware set valued at $179 and donated by Peters Family Living; First Place: $25 Gift Certificates donated by C&D Drug Store, Italian Gardens, TheCakePlace, Opal Mae’s Restaurant and Catering, and Oak Tree Bistro. Second Place: renewable 11x16 Bamboo Cutting Boards. Third Place: Farberware Stainless Steel Serrated Pie Servers. Certificates were also awarded to the winners in each category. Entries were accepted from 8 until 9:30 a.m. in the community room of the depot. Judging was on a 100-point tally sheet with points assigned based on Outside Appearance (shape and surface, crust, meringue, etc.) for a total of 30 possible points, and Internal Appearance (crust, texture, crispness, filling, fruit, custard or cream, etc.) for a total of 40 points. The pies are also rated for flavor (richness, blend, filing characteristics) of both crust and filling for 30 possible points. Judges included: Carney Carnahan, Mayor Bill Eaton, Nolan Edwards, Zell Lewis, Craig Noble, Jeff Phillips, Nilene Sims, and Fern Tucker. The volunteers were Judy Maston, Beverly Ritchie and Diana Jennon, and Junior Auxiliary members Cindy Waits and Julie Whitt. The first place winning recipes are included here. Others will appear in future issues of ABOUT... the River Valley Magazine. The judges selected these pies as first place winners, but we suggest you try them and let your family be the judge!

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December 2011


BLUEBERRY CREAM PIE First Place, Fruit Pie

3/4 c. chopped pecans Two 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese 1 c. confectioner’s sugar 1 c. heavy cream 1/4 c. granulated sugar 1 21-oz. can blueberry pie filling Press chopped pecans into bottom of pie crust. Beat cream cheese with the confectioner’s sugar. Beat the heavy cream with granulated sugar until it forms soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream mixture into the cooled pie shell and top with blueberry pie filling. Refrigerate until well chilled.

PECAN PIE

First Place, Holiday Pie 3 eggs 2/3 c. sugar 1/3 tsp. salt 1/3 c. margarine (melted) 1 c. dark Karo syrup 1 c. pecan pieces

Mix beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Measure the condensed milk in a measuring cup and add regular milk to make 2 1/2 cups total. Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees for 3545 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

ORANGE COCONUT CREAM PIE

Mix all ingredients together and bake First Place, Cream Division and Winner of at 375 degrees for 40-50 mins. Bake until the Aunt Bea Grand Prize medium brown. Pie will set as it cools. 1/3 c. all-purpose flour 1 c. sugar EGG CUSTARD PIE 1/4 tsp. salt First Place, Other Division 2 c. milk 4 eggs, separated (reserve whites for meringue) 4 slightly beaten eggs 2 T. butter or margarine 1/2 c. sugar 3 tsp. vanilla 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. orange extract 1/2 tsp. salt 1 can Borden’s Sweetened Condensed Milk 2 T. orange zest, grated 1 c. coconut Regular milk (see recipe) 1/2 c. powdered sugar (for meringue) Sprinkle of Nutmeg

December 2011

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Warm the milk over moderate heat. Stir in dry ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Slightly beat egg yolks and stir in a small amount of hot mixture, then pour it into the hot mixture. Cook one minute. Add butter, vanilla, orange extract, orange zest and one cup coconut. Pour into baked pie shell. Top with meringue made of whipped egg whites and 1/2 c. powdered sugar. PIE CRUST: 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 2/3 c. butter-flavored shortening, 1 tsp. salt. Mix together. Stir in 4 T. of cold water, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vinegar. Makes two crusts. Bake at 405 degrees or until golden brown for 21 minutes. Pour in pie mixture, top with meringue. Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake eight minutes at 405 degrees. (Variation: Add 2 1/2 T. cocoa to the first seven ingredients for chocolate pie.) >>

ABOUT | 21


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MILE HIGH KEY LIME PIE First Place, Youth Division

3 eggs, separated 1 can of sweetened condensed milk 1/2 c. lime juice 3 drops of green food coloring Pie crust 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 1/3 c. sugar Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg yolks. Then gradually beat in condensed milk and the lime juice. Stir in food coloring. Remove the pie and crust for cooling and pour in ingredients. Then bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the pie and make the meringue by beating eggs whites and cream of tartar. Once stiff, beat in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Pour the meringue on the pie and bake for 15 minutes. Cool for an hour and refrigerate for hours. 1 tsp. salt 2 c. milk SUGAR FREE PECAN PIE 3 egg yolks First Place, Sugar Free 2 T. butter 1/4 tsp. vanilla 3 eggs Crumble: 2 T. all-purpose flour 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar 1/8 tsp. salt 1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter 1 c. Steel’s Vanilla Sugar Free Syrup Meringue: 1/4 c. butter melted Eggs whites 1 c. pecan pieces Powdered Sugar 1/2 c. Splenda Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk Beat together the eggs and salt. Mix flour and cook until almost thick. Beat egg and Splenda. Add syrup. Mix and pour into yolks and add 1/2 c of mixture to pie crust. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until pie yolks. Stir. Add back to mixture. Cook is done. You will see a slight crack on top of until thick like pudding. Add butter pie. Do not overcook. and vanilla. In a cooked pie crush, sprinkle peanut butter crumble mixture CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER PIE onto crust, reserving some for topping Second Place, Cream Division the pie. Add pudding mixture to pie crust and top with meringue. Sprinkle Filling: remaining crumble mixture on top and 3/4 c. sugar bake until golden. (No temperature 4 T. cornstarch was given.)

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December 2011


FAMOUS PUMPKIN PIE

PINEAPPLE COCONUT CREAM PIE Third place, Cream Division

1/3 c. all-purpose flour 2/3 c. sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. coconut 2 c. milk 4 eggs, separated (reserve whites for meringue) 3 tsp. vanilla 1/2 c. crushed pineapple Meringue 2 T. butter or margarine Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Warm milk over moderate heat. Stir in dry ingredients. Bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Slight beat egg yolks and stir in a small amount of hot mixture. Then, pour into hot mixture. Cook one minute and add butter, 3 tsp. vanilla. 1/2 c. crushed pineapple and 1/2 c. coconut. Pour into baked pie shell. Top with meringue. Use homemade pie crust (recipe included previously.) Bake 405 degrees for 21 minutes.

Second Place, Holiday Division

DECEMBER 17TH • 6-7:30 PM

3/4 c. sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 2 large eggs 1 can pumpkin (no size given) 1 can Borden’s Sweetened Condensed Milk

An Evening with Mr. Conductor

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, giner and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar and spice mixture. Bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for two hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY PIE Third Place, Holiday Division

1 21-oz can cherry pie filling, divided 1 chocolate pie crust (6 oz.) 1 1/2 c. cold milk 2 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Chocolate Flavored Instant Pudding 1 8-oz. tub cook whip topping, thawed and divided Spread one cup of pie filling on bottom of crust. Pour milk into medium bowl, add pudding mixes, beat with wire whisk for one minute. Gently stir in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spread pudding mixture over the pie filling in crust. Spoon remaining whipped topping around the edge of pie, forming a one-inch border. Spoon remaining pie filling over the pudding mixture. Refrigerate four hours until set. Makes 8 servings. >>

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ABOUT | 23


preheated 425 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until the top crust is golden. Serve warm or chilled.

APPLE PIE

Third Place, Fruit Division 6 Granny Smith Apples 1 T. cinnamon 1 T. nutmeg 1/4 c. flour 1/2 c. butter 1 pie crust Peel and cube apples. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Mix in apples. Fill pie crust. Slice butter into butter pats and place on top of apples. Bake at 425 degrees for one hour.

NOSTALGIC APPLE PIE

Second Place, Fruit Division 1 prepared double pie crust 7 c. baking apples, thinly-sliced, cored and peeled 1 c. Splenda sweetener, granulated 3 T. cornstarch 3/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1/8 tsp. salt

Prepare oven to 425 degrees. Place one crust into pie pan. Placed sliced applies into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Combine Spenda, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture over apples and toss. Spoon the apple mixture into piecrust. Place the second crust over the filling. Seal edges, trim and flute. Make small openings in the top crust. Bake in

CHOCOLATE SUPREME PIE Second Place, Other

Crust: 15 Nutter Butter cookies 3 T. Butter, melted Crush cookies to a fine crumb. Reserve 1/4 c. for garnish. Mix melted butter and crumbs. Press into 9 inch pie pan.

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24 | ABOUT

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


Filling: 1/2 c. milk 5 Hershey Bars (reserve one square for garnish) 25 Large Marshmallows 8 oz. container Cook Whip (divided use) Melt chocolate into milk over low heat. When smooth, add marshmallows. Stir until smooth. Let cool 30 minutes. Fold in 1/2 container of Cool Ship. Chill 24 hours. Garnish with rest of Cool Whip. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. Top with chocolate curls to complete.

PUMPKIN PIE

Third Place, Other 3/4 c. sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 2 large eggs 1 15-oz. can Pure Pumpkin 1 12-oz can evaporated milk 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell

425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degree and bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cook on wire rack for two hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

PEANUT BUTTER PIE Second Place, Youth

18 oz. peanut butter 1 can Eagle Brand Milk 2 8-oz. cartons of Cool Whip 2 graham cracker pie shells (Makes two pies) Mix peanut butter, Eagle Brand Milk and cool whip together. Pour into graham cracker shells. Top with cool whip. Chill two hours and serve.

LEMON ICE BOX PIE Third Place, Youth

1 small can sweetened condensed milk 1 16-oz. tub Cool Whip 2/3 c. lemon juice Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and 1 graham cracker crust cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice Combine condensed milk, Cool Whip and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly. Pour into crust. mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. n Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated Freeze for at least 12 hours.

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 25


A Pitiful Reputation

Story by Kimberly Brown

Pit bull -- the name itself has been an ongoing controversy since the evolution of the breed type. While the days of dog-fighting have slowly faded (at least legally), the breed type still carries the negative image that it once had, as vicious killing machines. The Breed Pit bull is not an actual breed, but rather a generic term often used to describe those dogs with certain similar characteristics and traits known to the public as “pit bulls.” One of the most-euthanized dogs in America, due to being abused, slandered and misunderstood by the public these animals have adopted a fearsome name and are lumped into a category, regardless of their loveable temperaments. Also known as Bully breeds; the classification encompasses several registered breeds and crossbreeds, such as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. These breeds, mainly derived from the Molosser working line, share similar characteristics such as a muscular build and structured jaw line. Individual dog size varies with each breed and requires different methods of training. Contrary to negative media sensationalism created recently about the breed, pit bulls have proven they can live harmoniously with humans, if given a chance. From their inception, these dogs were bred for general human companionship. Known to be used as farm and family dogs, military mascots, search and rescue dogs, and therapy and medical animals, pit bulls are all-purpose companions. A well-behaved pit bull is the best ambassador for the breed. 26 | ABOUT

Humans have created dog breeds by accentuating desirable traits and eliminating unwanted ones. In the same way that Labradors were bred to retrieve birds, pit bulls were originally bred for dog fighting, and bull and bear baiting. This does not mean, however, that fighting is the sole purpose of this breed. Contrary to popular myths that single out the pit bull, aggression occurs in all dog breeds, as independent behaviors. When temperament-evaluated by the American Temperament Testing Society in 2008, pit bull breeds’ scores surpassed that of Labrador Retrievers and Collies, two icons of obedience. Most of the misconception that surrounds the breed type is due to lack of awareness or mis-education, as most pit bulls are known for their friendly, intelligent, and gentle natures. With their energy and determination, pit bulls make entertaining and loyal family members. While it is true that pit bulls are not designed for just any owner, the breed is always eager to please, with a nature to be nonaggressive. Responsible pet ownership and commitment play a large role in the behavior of the animal. Aggression toward humans is generally not a trait found in a well-trained pit bull. Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

The Bad Rap Pit bulls have borne the brunt of a bad reputation, due to their negative history of dog-fighting and violence. Overcoming this reputation is not easy, as people buy into the mythology that all pit bulls are mean and untrustworthy. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, most aggressive bully breeds have been the victims of bad judgment by their owners; many of whom are raised to live their lives as fighters in cruel, harsh environments. Many are doomed to a life of solitude, tied or chained to barrels, with little to no food or water. These dogs are often trained at an early age to attack and kill other dogs. Yet, society blames the dog; not the owner. If a fatal dog bite should occur, people blame the breed. There is no scientific evidence that shows that one breed bites more than the other. Nor, does the pit bull scientifically hold the record for the strongest jaw pressure. While there are many pit bulls living in horrible conditions and abusive homes, those who take a chance on this breed to raise them in a loving, responsible setting will discover that they have found a canine friend for life. The Ban Unfortunately, the unfavorable stereotype of the pit bull adopted by society has caused many areas to ban the owning or keeping of the breed type, or those dogs remotely possessing the same characteristics, within city limits. With its current breed-specific statute (Ordinance 1918), Russellville is now one of those areas. Local Southwind Animal Hospital Manager Justin Key expresses his prime aggravation with the ban is the broad, unspecified limitation within the injunction. “The ban targets big, ‘muscle-type’ dogs with those ‘characteristics’ of a pit

December 2011


Local Vet Dr. Corry Key and husband Justin Believe in Bullies With a great love and dedication, Dr. Corry Key and her husband, Justin Key, go above and beyond the standards of advocating for bully breeds. With their annual, “Hillbilly Bully Bash,” a canine confirmation show created just for pit bulls and bully breeds alike, the rewards seem to pay off. “I think we get the best of both worlds: we are generating awareness to the community that these breeds are talented and well trained, and we are also generating profitable revenue off of the participants in the shows.” Justin Key says. With an average of 150 bullies entered in each show and more than 400 owners and spectators among the crowd, a positive message can be spread about these misconceived breeds. “People come out, and they may have been leery at first, but once they are here they see just how well behaved and intelligent the breeds are. Last year, at our show, we had seven Fort Smith City Council members come out to watch the awards ceremonies. It was a great opportunity for them to really experience a positive side of these animals.” Key added. The shows, originally intended to be held in the Key’s hometown of Russellville, were hosted in Fort Smith, due to the current ordinance that bans bully breeds from the area. What could have been a profitable event for the River Valley area was handed over to Sebastian County.

bull. This is putting it into an opinion of what a pit bull is -- and many people have no idea what the breed even looks like, let alone the potential of a responsible bully.” “People need to stand up for their animals, and until there are mandatory DNA tests placed upon those animals of suspicion, there is no justification for taking away

“It’s unfortunate that we can’t hold these events in Russellville, but with the ban it’s just not possible. A community can really profit from events such as these, not to mention what a positive name it brings to these breeds,” Justin says. With an estimated $300,000 in revenue generated within the Fort Smith community from the May show, the event’s main goal is to generate awareness and reward for well-behaved bully breeds. While this November’s show was not quite as successful, the future of the ‘Bully Bash’ is left with room to grow. “We are trying to get these dogs back out in a positive light, and with hope, lift the ban. We want to completely turn the negative reputation of this breed around, and give people in the area a chance to learn about these dogs and how special they truly are,” Corry Key explains.

“...we are generating awareness to the community that these breeds are talented and well trained...” Corry and Justin Key own four bullies at home, all of which are registered show dogs, and loveable companions to the Keys and their children. In addition to caretaking a variety of animals in the River Valley area and participating in and hosting conformation shows for bully breeds, the Key’s maintain their Website, bluerage.pitbulls.com with an undying hope to change the public perception of the pit bull breed, one person at a time.

someone’s pet and euthanizing it, based on an opinion.” Ordinance 1918 was heard by Russellville City Council in April of 2006. The amendment, proposed by Animal Control Department in response to national pit bullrelated situations, was unanimously passed in May of that same year. No specific incidents or attacks were

cited in Russellville prior to the ban. The ordinance states that no new pit bull or pit bull-type dog is permitted in the Russellville area 30 days after May of 2006, and the specific breed or breed with pit bull characteristics currently living in the area would be mandated to be tattoo-registered with Animal Control and neutered/spayed. >>

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 27


Photo by Lara Russenberger-Knebel

This includes “any dog conforming or substantially conforming to the breed of American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or American Bull Dog; or any dog whose sire or dame is a dog of a breed which is defined as a banned breed.” Owners who encroach upon the ordinance would have their animal seized and held for three business days until a $100 reclamation fee is paid. At that time, the owner must sign an agreement to remove the dog from the city limits, and is required to have their animal tattooregistered and neutered/spayed before the animal is released. If the dog is found within

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the city limits a second time, the owner is convicted and fined, and the dog is seized and exterminated. DNA tests are provided by the Russellville Animal Control Shelter, if the dog’s derivation is questionable. According to Mike Vernon, Russellville Animal Control Shelter’s director, the ordinance was put into effect to appease complaints made by citizens in the area, after “pit bulls were seen running loose in the streets.” After a number of these types of complaints, Vernon presented the problem to the Russellville City Council, and the ban was drafted closely from North Little Rock’s regulation. As the ban has been implemented,

r u o Y r e p Pam y a D s s e c n i Pr December 10th

Vernon says that a great percentage of the population feels safer and happier with the decision. He further explains the ban was not intended to be biased against a certain breed; but designed to limit the behaviors of “backyard breeding” or corrupt treatment of this breed that may lead to aggressive or dangerous behaviors. “Most of these dogs’ owners are not concerned with paying the fees associated with the seizure; they are concerned with the fact that they have to get their breed neutered or spayed. Many, after hearing this, will just leave their animals here to be euthanized. That’s a good sign they were breeding for money or the wrong reasons, and that they never really cared about the dog’s well-being to begin with.” However, many responsible bully owners take offense to the legislation and are unsatisfied with the ordinance, feeling as if they are paying for the mistakes of those imprudent pet owners. “The pit bull ban was created out of ignorance and unawareness of the breed. These animals are not monsters. I believe it was fear, lack of knowledge, and money that pushed the idea of the ban to develop,” said Key. “Breed bans are ineffective. The only reason they are passed is because city councils want to appear as if they are “doing something” to assure citizens about a voter concern. It’s a money thing. Restriction should not be placed on the animal; it should be placed on the owner who mistreats it.” Justin Key is not the only one who believes the ban is a mistake. In attempt to discover public opinion regarding the ban and general knowledge of the breed, a recent (2009) survey was generated by public relations students of Arkansas Tech University. The study indicated that more than half of the student population was not aware of the ban or any supporting evidence of its development, and was in fact, in

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December 2011


Now servicing all your Apple Products. In & out of Warranty. disagreement with why the ban was put into effect. Instead of targeting a certain breed, many respondents felt the issue should be addressed in a different manner, with harsher punishments for those irresponsible pet owners. “Sensible and responsible pet owners should not be punished because of misjudgments made by careless people who have given the breed a bad name,” Key adds. “I have raised pit bulls since I was six months old, and out of the 372 registered bullies I have owned throughout my lifetime, I have never owned a peopleaggressive dog. Responsible owners make all the difference.” Curiously, there have been no incidents of vicious attacks or people aggressive dogs since 2001, when a woman from Scottsville, located 15 miles from Russellville, was attacked by three pit bulls and killed. With only one attack cited in nearly a decade, the ban may seem drastic or pointless to many. Dr. Corry Key, veterinarian and owner of Southwind Animal Hospital, explains her frustration with the legislation. “The ban is senseless. Breed bans punish the dog, not the owner. There were no attacks that led to the banning of bully breeds in Russellville. We currently care for more than 100 bully breeds in our facility, and we have never had an aggression problem with this breed. We are not afraid to care for these animals, and I enjoy and, actually, prefer caring for pit bulls and larger breeds because they are so tolerant and gentle.”  Cont. on page 38

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ABOUT | 29


1

2

ABOUT

... the Best Products

n1

BRIGHT, COLORFUL

This tin present with bow comes in three large and colored sizes. Use inside or out! By Round Tree Collections. Rose Drug; 3103

West Main Place, (479) 968-1323

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Gourmet Gift Baskets

n2

The perfect gift for that hard to shop for person. We have a large section of pre-made gourmet baskets from 5.00 to 200.00. We can make customs baskets for any budget. Perfect for teachters or corprate gifts. We also have gift cards. The Oak Tree Bistro; 1019 N. Arkansas Ave, (479) 890-9576

n3

Men’s Outerwear

Mt. Tam quarter-zip sweater by The North Face. Several colors to choose from. Feltner’s Athlete’s Corner; 2320 West Main, Russellville; (479) 968-6464

n4

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WHAT IS CALLING YOU?

These and many more inspired and lighthearted pieces by author and artist Kelly Rae Roberts await you! Gifts on Parkway; 2149 E. Parkway, Russellville, (479) 890-6932

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30 | ABOUT

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


Cont. from page 15 “If you or someone you know is in need of a new roof please submit the information by detailing the situation along with name, address and phone number to P.O. Box 1317, Russellville, AR, 72811 or fax to (479) 890-3498,” urges Lorrie Miller. Letters will be accepted November 15th through December 15th. Notification will be on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Visit www.millerroofing. net for complete list of terms and limitations or pick up a copy at 318 S. Arkansas, Russellville. Additional information is available by calling 479) 890-3499.

BRAKE FOR BREAKFAST

Calling all River Valley cyclists! If you ride on the road or the dirt, on one wheel or two, or if you just love to ride a bike, come out and have a healthy start to your day. Chartwells Catering at Arkansas Tech University will host a breakfast for those interested in cycling from 8 until 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5, in the East Banquet Hall of Chambers Cafeteria at ATU, across from Rothwell Hall. According to cycling advocate and event organizer Daniel Connerly, this meeting will encourage ongoing communication within the cycling community as well as serve to start and develop a platform for advocacy for bicycling on area streets. “This breakfast is intended to put our community of cyclists in one room at the same time. We will be hearing from others from around the state about what they’re doing in their communities,” said Connerly. “Enjoy a nice healthy breakfast and meet and greet our fellow cyclists. The joy of riding is pure, meant for anyone who has the desire. Let’s reap the benefits of being in a larger group effort in the hope of moving our community into a true bicycle-friendly place to be.” Connerly, assistant director of Chartwells Food Service, would like to hear from interested individuals via email:danielconnerly@gmail. com or by phone at (479) 356-2024. n

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y r r e M istmas r h C Our family at Nebo2 would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for your loyalty and support this past year. May God Truly Bless You this Christmas Season!

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 31


R

P L UNGE

S

M

S PO P IC L

A

C I A L OL E Y P

fundraising

Special Olympics ‘Dash and Splash’ Supporters of the Special Olympics “Dash and Splash” will run a 5K then dive later into the chilly waters of Lake Dardanelle on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. Why? To raise money for Special Olympics Arkansas through their annual Polar-Plunge/Freezin’ for a Reason fundraiser. The event will be held at the Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville. Registration for the 5K Race will begin at 8 a.m. with the race to follow at 9. Early registration forms are available from any local PDQ Convenience Store or Darrell’s location or available online at www. arkansasrunners.com. Plunge Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the parade and prizes awarded at

10:45. The “plunge” will be held at 11 a.m. Special Olympics Arkansas is a nonprofit organization, providing approximately 14,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to excel. The program succeeds through the efforts of its numerous volunteers. Kyle and Darla Jones of Russellville are Special Olympics Arkansas (SOAR) directors for Area 17, which includes Pope, Perry, Conway, Faulkner and Van Buren. Arkansas’ 75 counties are divided into 17 areas,each headed by a volunteer Area Director and dedicated volunteers serving on team management committees. Special Olympians are athletes and just like other successful athletes,

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they need to be properly trained. For these individuals, sports and physical activities are the quickest, surest road to good health, personal growth, and selfconfidence. Being always told “You can’t do it,” Special Olympics says, “You can do it. All you need is a chance.” Originating in 1970, Arkansas held its first Summer Games with 283 athletes competing in various track and field events and has grown to a competition program for athletes wanting to train and compete in athletics, aquatics, softball, volleyball, unified football, power lifting, bocce and cycling. Other Special Olympics Arkansas sports include: basketball, bowling, ice speed and figure skating, floor hockey and gymnastics.

1961 2011

years

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32 | ABOUT

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


SOAR was incorporated as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization in 1974. The organization’s mission is to provide year round sports training and Olympic-type competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Arkansas. Currently, more than 13,000 athletes participate in training and compete in a year-round program of 18 different sports. According to SOAR’s website, Special Olympics is more than medals – more than winning – it is acquiring skills, experiencing joy, demonstrating courage, and knowing success. The organization’s goal is to bring people with intellectual disabilities into the mainstream of society in Arkansas under conditions where they are accepted, respected, and given the opportunity to become positive citizens. The history of the Special Olympic organization dates back to 1968 when the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation created Special Olympics. Since its inception, Special Olympics has become the world’s largest program of sports training and

athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The success of Special Olympics Arkansas is made possible by the love and dedication of many volunteers who know that individuals with intellectual disabilities have important contributions to make to society. Fundraising such as the “Dash and Splash” Polar Plunge event is critical because the need to continue to provide for these special Olympians is still great. In the United States, only 33 percent of the individuals with intellectual disabilities who need the program are being reached. Organizers request that the public “help make Special Olympics a growing program. No matter how you choose to help, your efforts will have an impact on the athletes. Any time or talent you and your family contribute will be appreciated.” Financial support is always needed and contributions will be tax-deductible to the extent of the law. For further information, contact area directors Kyle and Darla Jones at (479) 968-3520 or (479) 264-4831 or by email at: nursed911@yahoo.com. n

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

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ABOUT | 33


Parade, Program Honors Vets Photos by Steve Newby

The annual Russellville Veteran’s Day Parade is one of the largest in the state recognizing the service and sacrifice of all United States Veterans. Held Friday afternoon, Nov. 11, 2011, the event drew hundreds of local residents in support of the nation’s military. Following the parade, the Salute to Freedom Ceremony was held at Depot Park. Though the efforts of all veterans are honored each year on Veterans’ Day, this year’s focus was directed toward women’s veterans and civilian women who served in the military and defense industry. Col. Patricia M. Anslow, a member of the Army National Guard and a civilian with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the evening’s keynote speaker, told those in attendance that more than 400,000 women served in uniform during World War II. Jamie Sorrells was the event’s Master of Ceremonies. Lt. Col. Brenda Kay Cluck, along with civilian Polly Riley Carpenter (who worked in a military aircraft factory during World War II) served as the parade’s grand marshals. Music was provided by the Arkansas Tech University Symphonic Band and the Arkansas Tech Men’s Choir. n 34 | ABOUT

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


"Healthcare For Women By Women."

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"The Christmas Station" from November 25th through December 25th, all Christmas music, all the time, for 30 days!

December 2011

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 35


compassion “The Fraternal Order of Eagles uphold and nourish the values of home, family and community that are so necessary and it seems so often get ignored and trampled in today’s society.”

People Helping People Story by Johnny Sain

“People helping people.” The concept is both a simple idea and a noble thought. It is one of the foundations of society as we know it. For some people – in particular members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) -- these three words carry great responsibility. The group has not only made these words its motto, their members have made the words their mission. The Fraternal Order of Eagles has been in existence since 1898. It all began when six competing theatre owners gathered in a Seattle, Wash., shipyard. The owners met to discuss a musician’s strike that affected all of their businesses. As the meeting progressed the issue of the strike was settled and the owners decided to “bury the hatchet” in regards to their business competition. They resolved to focus their energy on doing good things and the brotherhood that became the F.O.E. was born. It was originally named “The Order of Good Things.”

The Theatre owners continued with meetings and as the organization grew they decided on the bald eagle as a fitting symbol and changed their name to “The Fraternal Order of Eagles”. The name of the building in which the organization meets is called an “aerie,” named after the nest of hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey which are built in the highest branches of trees. Earliest members of the newly-founded fraternity were other theatre owners, actors, and stagehands. The rapid spread of the organization across the country was due in large part to these traveling performers and stagehands. The transcendent idea of a group of people whose goal was to do good things bolstered its popularity as well and F.O.E. membership today exceeds 850,000; the Ladies Auxiliary has over 250,000 members. The F.O.E has been responsible or partly responsible for some long- held institutions

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in this country including Mother’s Day, the Social Security program and the “Jobs After Forty” program which helped end age discrimination in the workplace. Some of the F.O.E.’s more prestigious members include Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope. Notable members of the Women’s Auxiliary include Bess Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt. That’s quite a resume for an organization that seems to fly under the radar (pun intended). The River Valley is home to a very active chapter of the F.O.E., and though the fruit of their labor is most visible during the holidays, they are working hard at helping people all year long. One of these year-long endeavors is the Children’s Christmas Fund. Preparations for the Children’s Christmas Fund 2011 started immediately following Christmas 2010, according to Anna Bates, Committee Chairperson for this year’s event.

Emeritus Senior Living Choosing assisted living at an Emeritus Senior Living community will actually give your loved one greater independence. You will gain peace of mind knowing that they are nearby in a safe and comfortable senior living community. Call us today to learn more about the benefits of assisted living for your loved one. We will be glad to arrange a private tour experience for you.

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

240 S. Inglewood Ave., Russellville, AR www.Emeritus.com • Lic #027

December 2011


“We start with raffles and bake sales in January and we do more of these throughout the year. The more money we can raise, the more kids and families we can help.” The Children’s Christmas Fund is a way to assist those children and families that need help. Anna explained how the Christmas Fund is put into action. “We work with the schools in the Russellville District, the counselors specifically, and Counseling Associates to help us find the kids that could use a little help during the holidays. We spend $100 per child and if the selected children have brothers or sisters, then we spend $100 on them as well.” The children are not the only beneficiaries, the families also receive a food basket “Tyson Foods is a big contributor for our food baskets, providing chicken and other meats,” she added. Anna is proud of how much the Children’s Christmas fund has grown over the years. “We started with one child and that was 11 years ago, last year we were able to help 73 children. The only thing that limits the number of kids we can help is the amount of money we can raise. That’s why there’s really no time to waste.” Besides raffles, bake sales, and dinner sales the F.O.E. also asks community business leaders to support its cause. “The Russellville Chamber of Commerce has been a wonderful support to our efforts. Each autumn we send donation letters to all of the Chamber members and every year we get a great response. It’s encouraging to see the spirit of the Fraternal Order of Eagles spread throughout our community.” The Children’s Christmas Fund is just one way that the F.O.E. works to help people. The organization also conducts fundraisers for major diseases including kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries. The F.O.E operates a disaster relief truck as well, providing help and support for the community and surrounding communities in the unfortunate event of a major catastrophe. All of this good being done, not for recognition, not for any kind of personal gain, but because it is the right thing to do. These selfless qualities are surely what prompted F.O.E. member President Harry S. Truman to often reiterate that the Eagles were his type of organization - one founded by, and for the common man. People helping people; for the Fraternal Order of Eagles this motto represents more than a way of thinking, it represents a way of living. For more information about how you can help the F.O.E. or become a member, contact the Russellville Aerie at (479) 967-6164 or contact Anna Bates at (479) 857-7171. n December 2011

From our Family to Yours...

Senior Life Partners In-Home Personal Care

(479) 880-1112 • amcareseniorlife.com

Junior Auxiliary of Russellville presents

LUCKXURY 2012 Charity Ball

Saturday, February 25, 2012 L.V. Williamson Boys and Girls Club For more information, visit

www.jarussellville.org Junior Auxiliary of Russellville 50th Anniversary

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 37


Cont. from page 29 “In the 15 years I have been dealing with this breed, I have seen one aggressive pit bull. Ironically, I have seen more aggression in poodles and Chihuahuas than any other breed, and they are usually the ones that attack.” Corry Key, like others, questions the true intent behind the ban and the grounds in which the city had to implement such an ordinance to begin with. Those in opposition of the ban agree that the act is a matter of illegal profiling; a violation of constitutional rights. While Vernon says that there is little hope in overturning or lifting the ban, discriminatory or not, it is true that the ban has neither decreased nor increased the number of dog bites or attacks in the River Valley area. Most likely, the ban could be replaced with a more rational, more cost-efficient and more congruous law that equally leads to a safer and more harmonious community, without breed-specific dog legislation such as canine profiling. However, doing so would require addressing the same group of individuals that unanimously passed the bill initially. So where does the problem truly lie; in a certain breed of dog, or the way in which an owner treats it? Is the answer a harsher punishment for owners who mistreat their animals? “Pit bulls are no more responsible for the way they are bred, raised and trained than cars are responsible for the way they are designed, built and driven. Breed bans do essentially nothing to address the real problem-human scumbags who abuse animals,” documents Paul Glassner, SPCA. Pit Bulls remain under constant scrutiny. Responsible owners are wellassured that more than ever, pit Bulls are fighting; but for a different cause: earning a new reputation and shaking free of the old assumptions that they are only good for attacking. n Lara Russenberger-Knebel is a former resident of Russellville, now living in St. Louis, Mo. She and husband Chuck are the “pet parents” of Pork Chop, 8, and his son T-Bone, 7. Pork Chop was adopted when he was 12 weeks old. Both Pork Chop and T-Bone had to be neutered and tattooed when the couple lived in Russellville. “We would have gotten them neutered eventually – but the cost was our main issue, about $90 per dog – it felt like a dog tax.” Lara jokes that they never told their dogs that they are pit bulls, “We told them that they are King Terriers. These silly fat dogs have been a blessing in our lives.” 38 | ABOUT

engagements

Calendar listings of engagement, wedding and anniversary announcements on the pages of each issue of ABOUT … the River Valley are available at no charge. They may be mailed to: ABOUT Magazine, P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812 or sent via email to: editor@aboutrvmag.com. (A phone number must be included for verification.)

–December 10–

–March 3–

Pamela Lane and Adam McFalls

Brandy Bland and James Humphrey

–December 16–

–April 14–

Ashley Yarbrough and Jered Vinson

Jana Parker and Greg Crouch

–December 17–

–June 2–

Rebekah Hotz and Nathan Baltz

Derek Mosher and Christy Carter

–January 21–

–June 16–

Brittney Talley and Dustin Bunting

Jeremy Barlow and Kay Turner

–February 18–

–June 22–

Jessica Johnson and Bryan Robinson

Brittany Helms and Andrew Smith

–February 25–

–June 23–

Sarah Cotton and Jay Patterson

Molly Bishop and Austin Myers

To have your engagement or wedding published in a future issue of ABOUT Magazine, send your information, photo* and a check for $57.50 to: ABOUT Magazine, PO Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812, or visit visit www.aboutrvmag.com/forms.html. Word count is limited to 225 words. Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding publication. For additional information, call (479) 970-6628. *Digital files are accepted and will be published upon receipt of payment.

Storewide Sale

SEMI-ANNUAL DEC. 17th - JAN. 14th

Dresses Starting at

Danielle’s Bridal

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Complete the rest of your wedding party with Tuxes & Bridesmaid Dresses!

2382 West Clark Road, Clarksville, AR 72830 (479) 754-5885 • www.daniellesbridalshop.com

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

December 2011


December 2011

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 39


Be A

Santa To A

SENIOR

Michael Grant RN; Becky Bailey RN, Director, and Sharon Coffey RN, of Saint Mary’s Home Health partner with Paul Fry RN, of Home Instead Senior Care, placing the first “Be a Santa to a Senior” paper ornaments on this year’s program tree.

We encourage the community to support “Be a Santa to a Senior” as a way of giving back to those who have given so much of themselves.

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Saint Mary’s Home Health has partnered again with Home Instead Senior Care to help bring cheer to the seniors of the River Valley. The “Be a Santa to a Senior” program provides presents to older adults who otherwise might not be remembered during this festive time. For many seniors, knowing that someone cares is the greatest gift of all! The tree displaying this year’s “Be a Santa to a Senior” ornaments is located at the hospital Outpatient Services entrance, next to the Saint Mary’s Emergency Department on West C Street. Each paper ornament lists the first name and gift request of a senior in need. Shoppers can select ornaments until Friday, Dec. 9, and return them with their unwrapped purchases to the Outpatient Services reception desk. For information call 967-0760. Home Instead Senior Care enlists community volunteers to gather, wrap and deliver the gifts. A volunteer wrapping party will be scheduled. Deliveries will take place during the week of Dec. 19 th. Anyone interested in wrapping and delivering gifts may call (501) 764-1814. Additional information available at santatoasenior.com and saintmarysregional.com.

479-968-2841

saintmarysregional.com | 1808 West Main Street Russellville, AR 72801


ABOUT | December 2011