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Home-Grown Holiday

December 2008 a publication of SILVER PLATTER PRODUCTIONS, INC.

– Missy Ellis Longtime Patient of Dalton Family Dentistry

Dr. Dalton and his staff gave me a wonderful gift...

a Beautiful Smile!

Happy Holidays




We Cater to Cowards

3105 West Main Russellville aR (479) 968-1001

From our family to yours! x

December 2008


n Ready for Cold Weather? Be in Style with this Lole jacket, beret, and scarf. Great with jeans or pants. Modeled by Sheri Larkin.

Feltner’s Athlete’s Corner


Happy Holidays!


Home-Grown Holiday


Riding Tall in the Saddle

2320 West Main • Russellville (479) 968-6464

n It’s Time To Decorate. Decorate your home with these beautiful gold angels by Jeremy. Available in different sizes.

Rose Drug

3103 West Main • Russellville (479) 968-1323


High School + Horticulture


Some Like it Hot!


Together We Are The Church


Like Peas and Carrots


Servings of Happiness


Savor the Local Flavor


Poinsettia Man


Songs from the Sidelines


EAST Lab Student Excels


MSR Ornament: Pearson Hotel


ABOUT... Weddings

n Attention Pipka Santa Collectors! Bow K’s now carries Pipka. We have ornaments as well. These are collectable Santas that are numbered and are very detailed and elegant.

Bow K’s

121 East Harrell Dr, Suite 15 • Russellville (479) 890-2695

ABOUT our Cover

Photo by R.C. White

The aniticipation of Christmas is building as sisters Grace and Anita Claire Zimmerman and Braden Conley, all of Dover, discover the delights of a real, freshly-cut Christmas Tree from Hilltop Christmas Tree Farms in Dardanelle. Owned by Terry and Johnnie Sue Christy, the “choose and cut” tree farm is in it’s third year of operation. Customers may select from more than 3,000 Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress Trees of varying sizes up to 14 feet. Don’t miss “Home-Grown Holiday” beginning on page 8.

Our Associates Chris ZIMMERMAN

Melanie CONLEY

Jeannie STONE

graph i c des i gn


f re e l a n ce wri te r

4 7 9 . 2 6 4 .2 4 3 8 c h r is @ zimc re ative .c o m

479.858.2708 mela nie@a bout r vma

479.747.0210 jea nnie@aboutrv


Stephanie YOUNG


ph oto gr a phy


i l l u s t r a t or

4 7 9 . 8 8 0 .1 0 0 6

479.970.2215 st eph@a bout r vma

479.890.3630 ma ddsign ti s t@gmai l .com

4 ABOUT...the River Valley

December 2008

cooper dental

ABOUT the River Valley

A Publication of Silver Platter Productions, Inc Vol. III, Issue 10 – December 2008

OWNER/PUBLISHER Nolan and Dianne Edwards Silver Platter Productions, Inc. Advertising Sales Melanie Conley Stephanie K. Young LeAnne Colvin Dianne S. Edwards Graphic Design Chris Zimmerman Zim Creative Contributing Writers Kechia Bentley Dianna Qualls Jeannie Stone Contributing PhotographerS Steve Newby RC White Assistant to the Publisher Melissa Edwards

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. 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: 417 West Parkway Email: Postmaster: Please send address changes to: SPPI, P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812.

6 ABOUT...the River Valley

A PAGE FROM ___________________________________________________

The Editor’s Notebook Although Thanksgiving was technically just a few days ago, everyday is Thanksgiving at the office and in the lives of the ABOUT Magazine associates. After returning from an out-of-state visit following a family illness, I drove into Russellville late one night. Stopping by our mail box, I was overwhelmed to discover more than 50 new subscriptions and a large collection of advertiser payments that had gathered in only a few days. Now, anyone who owns a small business can appreciate the alwaysprompt payments received from loyal customers. To those responsible individuals, I say a great BIG “thank you!” The growth we have experienced over this past year is directly attributed to our faithful advertisers and new subscribers. They make it possible for you to read stories about the people you know, or will come to know, through the pages of ABOUT… the River Valley Magazine. With Christmas on the horizon, we hope you’ll continue to support our local businesses as you shop for family and friends. As for our bunch, it will be a more practical holiday than in years past. There may be a few more homemade gifts, heartfelt cards and warm hugs. After all, even though a tree surrounded by presents is exciting, there are more poignant gifts to be shared. The gift of time and volunteerism, such as witnessed by the story of the Salvation Army and volunteer Richard Ruble beginning on page 22, is one example, again, of the wonderful place in which we live. Bringing color into the winter world is easy when you purchase any of a large variety of local poinsettias. Two independent events, offered by the ATU Agriculture Department and the Area Vocational Center housed at Russellville High School, offer student-grown poinsettias as part of their instructional studies. Stories of these programs, headed by Dr. Jim Collins of Arkansas Tech (pg 34) and Larry Thornton of the Vocational Center (14), can be found in this month’s issue. As the cold envelops us these next few months, warm thoughts will arise as you read, “Some Like it Hot,” the story of Paul Dorris, Jr. and his family of farriers. (Don’t know what a ‘farrier’ is? Then read pages 16-18 for enlightenment.) “Last Child Syndrome,” or LCS as Kechia Bentley coined the term, finds

our regular columnist in the reflection of raising three sons – differently. See why she throws out the book on page 13. Casey Threlkeld is completing her final year at Russellville High School, but as a student in the EAST Lab under the mentorship of instructor Dustin Summey, she is already applying her learning to higher educational pursuits. Don’t miss “EAST Lab…” on page 42. The holidays sometimes seem to focus on children. On page 10, the story of Equestrian Zone, will show you why local children are getting the chance to “Ride Tall in the Saddle.” “Like Peas and Carrots,” isn’t the food focus for the month but rather a story about the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and one very special relationship. See page 26. “Servings of Seasonal Happiness,” beginning on page 30, is filled with more recipes than one could make in a day. The final recipes include several of Dianna Quall’s family favorites. Yum! “Savor the Local Flavor,” a collection of local restaurants and their special offerings, will keep your appetite appeased as you await the homecooked meals usually associated with holiday festivities. Perhaps you will discover something new as you browse pages 32-33. As you and your family celebrate the season, we like to encourage you to visit the Living Nativity on Dec. 22-24 on the front lawn of Bank of America, Downtown Russellville. This live presentation of Christ’s birth serves as a gift to the valley from First Baptist Church and reminds us of the real reason Christmas. In addition, there are a number of Christmas cantatas and presentations offered by churches across the River Valley. Your continued support of our endeavor echoes our sentiments of hope, joy and happiness during the holidays and beyond. We believe in the Arkansas River Valley, its people and its effervescent spirit. Wishing you and yours a very wonderful holiday season!

Dianne Edwards, Editor/Publisher

P.S. Just a reminder that the next issue of ABOUT… the River Valley Magazine will publish February 2009! December 2008

Out and ABOUT

Happy Holidays! Just like the Jolly Snowman above, we hope you’ll find time during the busy holidays to enjoy this December issue of ABOUT… the River Valley Magazine. It’s filled with recipes, special features and stories about the people you know, or will come to know, as you read each page. Designed by talented graphic illustrator Cliff Thomas, the seasonal character is resting his heels – obviously between hurrying to care for his family and his job of spreading holiday cheer. We hope you, like Frosty above, will take a few moments to enjoy the pages of our most recent issue as you contemplate the true meaning of Christmas. And, for those last minute gift-giving needs, a subscription to ABOUT Magazine is truly a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year – and we’ll do the wrapping and delivery! See page 6 for subscription information. The associates of ABOUT… the River Valley will take a brief hiatus following the printing and distribution of the December magazine. This is our 26th issue since premiering our first one in July 2006. In keeping with our established publication schedule of 10 issues per year (plus the added ABOUT Weddings and Special Occasions which debuted February 2008) we will not print in January or July of 2009. Instead, we’ll take a bit of time to focus on the true meaning of the season and hopefully spend some well-needed time with family and friends. But don’t think we will be idle! After the December copies are mailed and distributed, we’ll focus on another project. We’ve already been planning our second issue of ABOUT Weddings and Special Occasions, which will appear on Valentine’s Day 2009. Advertising space will close on Dec. 30th but the stories and photos have already begun being assembled. To be included in our next issue, contact any of our advertising associates listed on page 4. From our family to yours – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! December 2008 

Dec. 4: Russellville Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m., from 10th and S. Arkansas to Main Street and El Paso. Info: (479) 968-1272. Dec. 4: Morrilton Christmas Parade, Downtown Morrilton, 5:30 p.m., info: (501) 354-2393. Dec. 5: Downtown Art Walk and Downtown Open House, 5-8 p.m. Info: (479) 967-1437. Dec. 5: Dardanelle Christmas Parade, “Christmas on the River,” 6:30 p.m., begins at Dana Merritt Park, east on Hwy. 22, north on Union, south on Front St. Info: Vicki Sutton, (479) 229-3328. Dec. 5: Christmas in the Park Conway County Fairgrounds, 5:30 p.m. Info: (501) 354-2393. Dec. 6: Trout Day, Pleasant View Park, 9-noon, children 12 and under. Info: 968-1272. Dec. 7: Gallery Exhibit Reception for Young Ark. Artists, 2006 Collegiate winner Caleb McNew, ARV Arts Center, 1-3 p.m. Info: 968-2452. Dec. 11: Archeology Film & Lecture Series, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Petit Jean Mtn. Film: “Mochaware: Making Early 1800s Staffordshire Ceramics.” Free. Call (501) 7276219 or for info. Dec. 13: Community Festival Chorale, “Christmas Lite,” 7 p.m., Witherspoon, ATU; 264-9107 for info. Dec. 13: Second Saturday Chef’s Series, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Petit Jean Mountain. Topic: “It’s All in the Dough.” $69. Advance registration required at or (501) 727-6220. Dec. 15-Jan. 5: ABOUT Magazine, 417 W. Parkway, office closed; info: 970-6628 or 858-2708. Dec. 17: “Forget-Me-Nots” Alzheimer’s Support Group, 1 p.m., Arkansas Hospice office. Info: 498-2050. Dec. 18: Deadline for Citizen of the Year nominations, for criteria and info: Russellville Area Chamber of Commere, 708 W. Main St.Russellville, (479) 968-2530. Dec: 21-23: Living Christmas Nativity, 7 p.m., Bank of America parking lot, West Main, Downtown Russellville, sponsored by First Baptist Church of Russellville. Dec. 22-Jan. 2: Holiday school closings. Dec. 25: Merry Christmas! Dec. 31: Happy New Year! December 2008











































ABOUT...the River Valley 7

Remember the days when the search for the annual Christmas tree did NOT mean uncovering the box in which its artificial branches could be found and reassembled year after year?

Story by Dianne S. Edwards Photos by Ryan White

8 ABOUT...the River Valley

On a hill off Highway 7 South of Dardanelle stands a grove of REAL Christmas trees – Virginia Pine and a variety of Leyland Cypress – eagerly awaiting their place in your family’s home this holiday season. Not in a cardboard box from China, not cut weeks before and found on a corner lot or retail store, but home grown in Yell County. Cut fresh by the growers, just moments after being found and chosen by a family who will haul it home to a place of honor throughout the season. It is a well-documented fact that fragrance triggers the memory and which of us cannot recall the aromatic, magical smell of real Christmas trees of years past? Sadly, the fragrance of Christmas most individuals experience now is usually provided by a spray can, potpourri or artificially scented-candle. But, for only a few dollars a foot, the real aroma of Christmas can once again fill your home. Terry and Johnnie Sue Christy of Dardanelle, along with their sons Brent and Tyler, began their Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm seven years ago with the planting of 1,200 Virginia Pine trees. The idea to begin Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm came after a conversation with Terry’s boss. He had recently relocated to the River Valley from Iowa and approached Terry, asking where he could find a live Christmas tree. Realizing there was not a local farm and knowing his Yell County land provided the proper acreage, Terry joined the Arkansas Christmas Tree Growers Association to learn more. He currently serves as president of the 35-member group. Terry, who works full-time at ConAgra in Russellville, said the endeavor took about two years to complete as each seedling is hand-planted using a dribble bar. The shovellike implement is inserted into the ground and “wiggled around” to make the appropriate hole for planting. New trees are given additional water as needed for the first few years to insure a proper start. A low-pressure drip irrigation system is needed when there is a shortage of rain, unlike this year, Terry laughed. The trees must grow for four to five years to achieve proper cutting height, said Terry. The Virginia Pine, the trees first planted by the family, takes the longest to mature. Several years ago Terry began adding the Leyland Cypress which have a different look and mature in about four years. December 2008

Johnnie Sue and Terry Christy with sons Tyler and Brent.

The Leyland Cypress is a short-needle evergreen hybrid known to shed less and grow well in the southern heat. Fraser fir, a commonly-chosen Christmas tree, will not withstand the heat of Arkansas summers, so the Christy family prefers the other varieties. The 28-acre plot has been owned by members of their family for generations. Approximately 10-12 acres, used previously as hay fields, now contain approximately 3,000 Christmas trees of varying ages. The trees begin as 12-18” seedlings and grow to a height of 13-14 feet. An average tree of 11 feet takes about seven years to mature, explained Terry. The soil on the Christy farm varies from a clay-base to a sandybase so the trees grow at varying speeds, with those in the sandy soil growing more quickly, he said. While the Leyland cypress will accept fertilizer applications, the pine do not. Light dressings of herbicide and pesticide are used only when needed. Other upkeep includes mowing regularly between the trees. Last year’s ice storm was detrimental to the farm, resulting in the loss of over 1,000 trees. To make up for the damage, Terry planted 500 new Virginia Pine and nearly 300 assorted Leyland Cypress this past spring. Most of the record keeping is in his head, Terry said, though the addition of the Leyland Cypress takes a bit more tracking. He spends about 10 hours a week, several hours a day and more on the weekends, maintaining the trees. During the selling season, the family is gets additional help from a few of son Tyler’s friends. The trees are priced according to size and grade. For example, a 7-8 foot tree that is nearly perfect (or grade one) usually sells for about $35. This year the family will work from a newly-constructed metal building which replaced a small tin shed used in previous years. The building will be used to store their equipment and will house a retail shop, offering the trees, tree stands, tree removal bags, and pine bough wreaths for sale. It will also provide a base for their “hot chocolate and candy-cane operation,” explained Terry. Visiting school children and families of all ages are treated to rides on a hay-filled trailer and offered hot chocolate and candy canes to round out the experience. Searchers include all ages, from young families with small children, grandparents bringing their grandkids, and adults of any age. Roughly 75-80% of the purchasers are repeat customers, said Terry, but “we’ve doubled our sales each year since we began selling the trees in 2006.” News of Dardanelle’s Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm has been slow to spread, explained Terry. They have advertised a bit, have hosted elementary and school tour groups, and have participated in the Russellville and Dardanelle Christmas parades. “I especially enjoy watching the children, all wide-eyed and excited when they come here,” added son Brent. Brent is emotionally vested in the family operation but physical involvement is limited due to a car accident two years ago that left him recovering from a broken back. The family enjoys the visiting children so much that they are considering planting a pumpkin patch next fall.

Why Buy Real? Real Christmas Trees are a benefit to the environment. While they are growing, real Christmas Trees support life by absorbing carbon dioxide and other gases and emitting fresh oxygen. Every acre of Christmas trees planted gives off enough oxygen to meet the needs of 18 people. Today in America there are enough Christmas trees planted that 18 million people a day are supplied with oxygen. The farms that grow Christmas trees stabilize soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife while creating scenic green belts. Often, Christmas Trees are grown on soil that doesn’t support other crops. Real Christmas Trees are Renewable and are grown on farms just like any other crop. To ensure a constant supply, Christmas Tree growers plant one to three new seedlings for every tree they harvest. On the other hand, artificial trees are a petroleumbased product manufactured primarily in Chinese factories. The average family uses an artificial tree for only six to nine years before throwing it away, where it will remain in a landfill for centuries after disposal. When President Bush lights the National Christmas Tree in early December, he continues a long-standing tradition that began with a gift from AMERICAN FORESTS in 1924. That gift, accepted by President and Mrs. Coolidge, was a 40-year-old, 35-foot Norway spruce, and it became the first living symbol of Christmas for the entire nation—the National Community Christmas Tree. Today, officials predict 30 million to 35 million families will bring home a cut Christmas tree this year. In addition, Christmas trees also provide benefits from the time they are planted until after the holiday season when they can be recycled. -- Information from the National Christmas Tree Association and American Forests.

Continued on page 49

December 2008 

ABOUT...the River Valley 9

Riding tall in the saddle Riding Program Allows Disabled Children to Sit Tall in the Saddle There was a time when horses were known as beasts of burden. Down a country lane in Pope County, a gravel driveway leads to a red barn full of hard working horses, therapists and volunteers. Nearby is an arena for prancing and frolicking. But the riders who travel the dusty road aren’t competing against one another for a blue ribbon. They ride so they may learn to sit up straight, learn coordination and balance, develop their leg and back muscles, and so their frayed nerves can be soothed. The children ride so that one day they may walk a little straighter. Equestrian Zone is a non-profit organization that provides equine-assisted activities to persons with disabilities. Jodi Kusturin, executive director, holds her clinical doctorate (DPT) and practices physical therapy at Recovery Zone Pediatric Therapy Services. Equestrian Zone is owned by Dana and Kirk Warren. Dana is also a physical therapist. Equestrian Zone began in July of 2006 with six riders in Chickalah. Six months later, Dana and Kirk Warren donated the land where the present outfit is located. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the generosity of the Warrens,” Kusturin said. Today the organization provides therapy three days a week for 29 riders. Kusturin and Warren, along with Aerial Finkenbinder, are committed to the therapeutic benefits of hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. 10 ABOUT...the River Valley

By Jeannie Stone

“As a therapist, I can’t get these kinds of results with my patients from any other method,” Kusturin said. Changes in balance, strength, self confidence and self esteem are greatly improved according to her. “And making social connections,” Finkenbinder said. She is the Therapeutic Riding instructor for the program and obtained her specialized training from North American Riding for the Handicapped (NARHA.) Hippotherapy has been widely used by physical, occupational and speech therapists as a treatment strategy in the United States for over 50 years. “A horse has a gait most like a human,” Kusturin said. “The three dimensional composition of the gate features the same pelvic movement that we use, so the rhythm of the horse is very soothing to the riders and makes horse riding an ideal activity to foster the strengthening of the rider’s leg muscles necessary for successful walking.” It is that movement, along with the warmth and unconditional love of the horses, which facilitate such incredible gains for the participants. Gains include improved neuron connections within the central nervous system. “I was amazed when Karen Rogers, a speech language pathologist, taught me how hippotherapy enabled clients to make progress on their language goals because when you get them on the horse, the movement helps to support their trunk and activate their muscles to encourage breath support,” Kusturin said. Amy Smith of Clarksville couldn’t agree more. Her four year old, Charlie, couldn’t say “Mama” before he started therapy, but now he can say, “I love Mama.” December 2008

“Every Tuesday Charlie rides Dan, and he looks forward to it all week. We wish he could ride more often,” she said. Smith, who has cerebral palsy, has made tremendous strides in developing a more normal gait because of the hippotherapy. “Charlie has always had a definite limp, but, for a few moments every week, as soon as he gets off the horse, he can walk almost like a normal child. It’s there. We can all see it,” she said. “It’s amazing.” “His balance was never good,” his mother said. “And the therapy has really helped him with that.” But warding off Charlie’s leg cramps is a benefit she didn’t expect. “You have to understand,” she began, “he suffered from leg cramps almost every night that caused him a lot of agony and kept him awake. Because of the muscle stimulation he receives from therapy, he now suffers from an episode maybe once a week.” This Spring, Equestrian Zone plans to offer a hippotherapy training course for therapists wishing to attain Level One certification -- simply because the benefits have been enormous. Presently, there are several therapists who use Equestrian Zone. They include Shandy Toland, Karen Duvall, Julie Watson and Adrianna Bass. “Physical and occupational therapists can use the horses to provide the sensory input

Aerial Finkenbinder, Danna Warren and Jodi Kusturin, the women behind Equestrian Zone.

Shanika Johnson (on the horse) participated in a coordination skills game while Jodi Kusturin cheers. Helper Jami Tarvin holds the ring cone and volunteer Bailey Craig keeps Dan calm.

opportunities to develop fine motor and gross motor skills in the children as well,” Kusturin said. “I’ve had one true miracle. I had an 8-year-old girl who had never walked learn to walk with a walker within six months. She required an assistive device. That was so inspiring to me.” We’re working with miracles in the making every day,” she said. Chase Wade, 16, is blind and has developmental disabilities. “For kids with disabilities, it’s so hard to find something for them to enjoy,” his mother Billie Hilliard said. “He thrives on this.” “Dan the Man” is Wade’s ride for the hour. Dan is blind as well. “Oh, he’s in his zone,” Hilliard said. “When they get him on that horse, he forgets his problems, and it’s easier for Jodie to get Chase to work on his goals. He doesn’t look on it so much as work as it is fun.” “This isn’t a new concept, but we are so blessed to have this program here,” Kusturin said. There are 750 NARHA centers in the United States. Equestrian Zone is in the process of attaining their accreditation.

“There are only two other accredited programs in the state. They are in Bentonville and Sherwood,” Kusturin said. All the clients served by Equestrian Zone have special needs, but if the rider doesn’t meet the criteria for therapy or improves to the point where they are capable of learning to ride, they are eligible for therapeutic riding with Finkenbinder. “I still have to teach my kids to overcome their disabilities in therapeutic riding,” she said. “We all work together,” Kusturin added. “We’ve had tremendous community support,” Warren said, “but we need more.” “It’s hard to relate to the public how much we need to sustain the program at the current level,” Kusturin said. “Some parents want their children to learn to ride, but we need specialized equipment, and that’s expensive.” Warren said, “We need a cover for the arena, so we can remain open all during the year. It costs $84,000.” “That arena is a naming opportunity for anybody who’d like to be a major donor,” Kusturin said.

Price’s Town & Country Store Seeds & Grains and Western Things

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Griffin Electric Heat & Air, Inc.

2605 S. Knoxville • Russellville (479) 968-8555 License #122314

Dennis Griffin

December 2008 

Holiday Items Available: Leashes & Accessories (479) 284-4059

We’re More Than Just a Feed Store! -Gifts -Books -Boots -Corinthian Bells -Even Gifts for Your Pets! 207 S. Knoxville, Russellville • 479-968-1662

ABOUT...the River Valley 11

“Feed is expensive. Even gas for the tractor is expensive,” Finkenbinder said. “A lot of our time is unpaid,” Warren said. “When we receive donations it doesn’t go to salaries but back into the program. We have been truly humbled by the community’s support.” A donor club is maintained on the web site and allows donors to sponsor activities or horses. “It’s fun for people to come and get to know their adopted horses,” Kusturin said. Volunteers have meant a great deal to the success of the program. The board of directors has been “absolutely awesome,” she said, “but we are in need of a fundraising committee and a chairman. Our plan is to have a yearly benefit dinner dance complete with a silent auction and rider demonstrations.” It requires many volunteers to work at the barn, as well. “It takes four people for each rider,” Finkenbinder said. Volunteer training classes are held throughout the year, and volunteers must be 14 years old. Currently, Equestrian Zone is listed as the Arkansas beneficiary of an online shopping endeavor called Cowboy-Up 2008 Holiday Tour sponsored by the Chicken Soup for the Soul individuals. A new line of books features inspiring stories for horse lovers called Horse Tales for the Soul. By clicking on the Equestrian Zone icon displayed on the site, 20 percent of purchases are donated to the program. Recently, Paradise Donuts in Russellville raised $300 for the program. “We’ve had tremendous community support,” Kusturin said. “Several parents are stepping up to help with locating and securing some grants.” Some of those parents who help every way they can are Chris and Denise Davis. Their daughter, Haley Beth, 10, has spina bifida. “This program has helped her develop a lot with her upper body strength,” her mother Denise said. “And it has taught her to be more responsible,” Chris added. “Taking care of the horse is part of the therapy. She’s learned how to groom her horse, and she couldn’t be happier. Her horse’s name is Chocolate Dreams. How perfect is that?” There was a time when horses were known as beasts of burden but at Equestrian Zone riders are laying down their burdens. As they go through Herculean efforts to mount their powerful and patient steeds, the children are Jacob Roper volunteers to fill a requirement in his Special no longer defined by their disabilities. Populations class. The class Because of these extraordinary horses and is part of the Parks and the devotion and care of their loving masters, Recreation Department at Tech. the disabled reach up and out and over their

Haley Beth Davis, 10, mother Denise Davis, Madelynn Davis, 5, Chris Davis, and Bryant Davis, 12, support Equestrian Zone. Chris, who works at the Wal-Mart distribution center has encouraged the center to donate a trailer to the program which they use to haul hay.

physical limitations. On their backs the horses carry joy rather than burdens -- pure, unadulterated childlike joy -- and endless possibilities. n To donate gifts of time or money, contact Jodi Kusturin at P.O. Box 282, Russellville AR. 72811 or via email at The group’s web site is: To support the program by purchasing Horse Tales for the Soul books and/or audio books, visit

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December 2008



Suffering The Effects of

Last Child Syndrome Story by Kechia Bentley

I have been slipping in my parenting 101 skills lately and as I have talked with other parents about my mishaps, I have discovered the reason. I am exhausted from persevering the land mines and pitfalls of adolescence with the first two. Therefore, I attribute my deficits to what I will call the “last child syndrome” or LCS for short. Following are a few of the symptoms: If with your firstborn, you scheduled your life around the little one’s naptime and bedtime only to turn around with the last-born and tell yourself that the catnap they took while in their car seat as you rushed to get the other children to school, gymnastics, or Awana is good enough, then you have LCS. If you never allowed your firstborn to drink coke or any other type of soda before they were two years of age but then looked the other way as your sister gave your last-born sips of her Dr. Pepper when he was only 11 months then you have been hit with the LCS. If bedtime was by the book with the firstborn and turned into whatever time we get home for the last-born then join the club of LCS sufferers. If you find yourself allowing the youngest to go to bed without brushing his teeth, something you would never have dreamed of allowing the first-born to do then you have reached my level of LSC. Yes, there are levels of this condition. Some of us are far worse off than others. One last symptom - if with the firstborn, you had strict set in stone curfews and with the last-born, you find yourself negotiating curfews welcome to LCS. Now these are by no means the only symptoms of LCS but I think you get the idea. I believe I may have also figured out why middle children have issues. My theory is when parents have child number two they are still trying to follow all the exacting schedules and rules they read in the parenting books to help them raise the firstborn. Only problem is most of those books don’t tell you how to follow all those rules when you are dealing with a newborn and a twoyear-old. So occasionally, parents fall into survival mode, which leads to LCS. All this back and forth between strict rules and no rules will cause a child to have issues. I also theorize the reason the last child does not suffer from the middle child issues is because by the time the third one arrives, we give the “by the book” parenting about one or two weeks to work and then we surrender to LCS. No more going back and forth between strict rules and no rules, we default to - grab whatever rule works at the moment and hang on tight. December 2008 

By this time, we have exhausted ourselves and the only thing left from the “by the book” parenting is the guilt of not being able to make it work with more than one child. Yes, I am aware there are those of you who can keep up the “perfect parenting” no matter how many children you have. That is exactly why those of us with LCS have so much guilt. I personally keep torturing myself by watching the TV show that features the Duggars with their 17 children and one on the way. I am fascinated by how they manage to maintain order. The only thing on that show I can truly relate to is when momma Duggar says, “Where there are boys – there will be noise.” Amen to that! So now that I have thoroughly described the excuse for my mishaps I now feel free to share one of the most recent with you. A couple of weeks ago my youngest, who is 17, informed us he would be attending a concert in Little Rock. No big deal our older children have gone to various concerts in Little Rock before. I assumed this one would be no different. Therefore, I failed to ask a few essential questions. I did not ascertain what time the concert was scheduled to begin. Turns out this would have been a very important piece of information. At some point during the evening of the concert, my husband asked me when I expected our son to return. It was at that moment I realized just how far I had sunk into the LCS - because I had no idea. This was about 11 pm. Thank goodness, I have learned to text because my son could not hear his phone over the music. It was through text messaging that I learned the band he had gone to see did not even start performing until 10:30 pm and would not finish until midnight. It was a long night. Lack of sleep is definitely a downside of LCS but good things can come from it as well. It has brought me to my knees more times than I can count. I discovered that I could not be perfect enough, follow enough rules, or read enough books to avoid parenting mistakes. I have also figured out I need an extra helping of prayer, forgiveness, and grace. Thank God, his mercies are new every morning because tomorrow I begin again LCS and all. n

ABOUT...the River Valley 13

High School + Horticulture = Happy Holidays Story and Photos by Jeannie Stone

(Top) Hannah Fink of Dardanelle is almost eaten up by the poinsettias as she waters them. This year’s batch seems to be peaking earlier than usual according to Larry Thornton, horticulture teacher. (Bottom Left) David Collins waters the poinsettias while horticulture teacher Larry Thornton looks on. (Bottom Right) Zac Wells of Dardanelle tend to the poinsettias.

Larry Thornton, agriculture teacher for the Area Vocational Center housed at Russellville High School, walks gingerly to the back of the classroom. He points to the broken mason jars and beans scattered on a large piece of cardboard. Failed science experiment? Hardly. “This,” he said, “is a little lesson I call ‘The Power of the Bean.’” It shows how much beans expand when moistened. Thornton, who has taught for 31 years, finds that a hand-on approach to education is just what his students need. And the annual poinsettia sale, beginning Dec.1st and running until Christmas break arrives or the last plant is sold, is just the ticket to motivate his students to apply what they’ve learned in class. The Vo-Tech poinsettia sales have a long tradition. “They started way before I got here,” Thornton said. He has taught in Russellville for seven years following teaching posts at Lamar High School and Dardanelle High School (which closed its agri program). “Lamar still has an agriculture program but not horticulture which is why some of their students come here.” The Area Vocational Center offers classes to students in 13 schools from Pope, Johnson and Yell counties.

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December 2008

“The poinsettia project has a dual purpose. First, of course, is to raise funds for the program, and the second goal is for the students to learn plant maintenance. “We start with rooted cuttings,” he said. “The students learn about the different stages of bud development, and what they have to do to get it there. This is where we shine, the hands-on experiences.” Funds from the sale are used to purchase supplies and pay memberships to FFA, and students are escorted to the national FFA convention in the spring to get a bigger picture of their industry and to network. Zak Wells of Dardanelle attended the convention with Thornton last year. Wells is interested in keeping his family farm going in Yell County and continuing his family’s cattle farming in Perry County. “We don’t teach a special animal science class, but horticulture can give him a good foundation,” Thornton said. “There’s so much they can get here. Horticulture is the largest industry in our culture. Two to three percent of our population actually produces all our food, yet 20 percent of everybody who got up to go to work today are involved in some phase such as the processing or marketing within the agriculture industry.” Thornton’s enthusiasm hasn’t diminished over the years. “I love agriculture. I feel this

December 2008 

is the most important class at the career center based on the fact we deal with the food industry and how important that is for all of us.” That philosophy has carried Thornton from a city in Nebraska where he grew up. “I knew I wanted to get into agriculture, but I couldn’t afford my own farm,” he said. Thornton earned a degree in animal science and uses his knowledge of employing pedigrees as a selection tool in monthly columns he writes for The Working Horse magazine. He is an authority of the subject in the equine business, particularly in the race horse world. “This is the backbone of our country, what we train students to do in Vo-Tech,” he said. At the Area Vocational Center purchasing a poinsettia is an educational investment. Take Hannah Fink from Dardanelle, for instance. “When she began the class in August she was so conscientious in wanting to choose classes that would help her break into a career. She was nervous and apprehensive and, now, tending to the poinsettias, she is very proud of what she’s accomplished.” n

(Above) Logan Pope of Atkins, left and Zac Wells of Dardanelle water the poinsettias. (Below) Aaron Judkins of Atkins inspects the plants in preparation of the Agriculture Club sale beginning Dec. 1st.

For more information contact the Area Vocational Center at (479) 968-5422. The poinsettia sale will be held it its 2203 So. Knoxville location behind RHS.

ABOUT...the River Valley 15

Some Like it Hot!

Story and Photos by Jeannie Stone

Paul Dorris, Jr. wasn’t interested in the family business, so he joined the U.S. Navy. When he returned to civilian life, however, he finally decided to follow his father’s lead. He become a farrier, a specialist in equine hoof care who also is knowledgeable in veterinary medicine and skilled in blacksmithing. Together they plan to open the Arkansas Horseshoeing School in Centerville.

During his childhood, Dorris watched his father practice the craft.

“He worked on so many show horses and had made such a name for himself that people would pull their horses all the way from Texas for his services.” At the time, the Dorris family lived in Kansas. “I didn’t have the patience to teach him,” Paul Doris, Sr. said and laughed when asked why he didn’t teach his son the craft. He and Barbara have been married 56 years and have built a legacy by word-of-mouth in the horse world. The elder Dorris was influenced by his great uncle born in 1878. “He was a fine harness horse farrier,” Paul, Sr. said. “He shod trotters and racers. It was more of a specialized art.” His great uncle encouraged Paul, Sr. to become a “shoer,” concentrating on the elements of shoeing the horses, particularly attaining the proper alignment of the hoof to the ground. The beloved uncle passed away when Paul, Sr. was only 7 years old, but his encouraging words impressed the young Paul to follow in his footsteps. “I honestly believe our family members retain some amount of genetic memory,” Dorris said. This profession has been in our blood so long, and it just comes naturally to us. He refers also to his cousin who lives in Kansas and shoes mostly for the Amish community.

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December 2008

Like father, like son. Paul Dorris, Jr., left, and Paul Dorris, Sr. smile in front of the mobile shoeing body. The Dorris gentlemen have a combined farrying experience of 75 years.

“My granddad in Pea Ridge had to close his shop during the Depression, but aside from that our family has been actively farrying since 1878,” Dorris said. Reputable farriers are in high demand. Dorris shoes a lot in Memphis and will make emergency trips to surrounding states, often times for one horse. In Memphis, Dorris mostly concentrates on jumpers and hunters. “I like working with the jumpers best because it’s all about getting to the finish line first with the least faults. Hunters, on the other hand, jump fences, and the winner is determined by more stylized judging,” he said. “It’s more subjective.” Working in a large city has its advantages. “A lady called and begged me to help her horse who was involved in a movie being filmed in downtown Memphis. She was concerned her horse would slip during the street scene, so I shod the horse with a special shoe I fashioned with borium crystals to grip the blacktop. The name of the movie is Cigarette Girl. I’m going to be in the credits,” he said.

Dorris and his father have been chosen to offer their services at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, a pre-Olympian qualifier. “My dad was a farrier for a couple of years there, and I’ve been a farrier for the event 11 years,” Dorris said. “Together we have 75 years of experience shoeing.” The Dorris name is renown in racing circles. “I also trimmed John Henry,” Dorris said. Henry was an American thoroughbred race horse named after the folk hero John Henry who, despite his humble breeding, earned $6 million during his career. “They told me he was dangerous. (Dorris said this not Paul, Sr.)He was 30 years old and arthritic, but I didn’t have any trouble out of him. Now another person was in the stall with me, and he bit her pretty hard. Race horses get cantankerous.” The idea of forming a school occurred to Dorris as a way to create the space to formally educate the growing number of requests he receives. Dorris has already apprenticed more than he can count. “Twelve in the last 10 years,” he figured.

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December 2008 

One of my better farriers ended up being an instructor and marrying a farrier from England and she shoes over there. There are three farrier schools in Oklahoma. “Probably 30 operating schools around the country,” Dorris said. He is taking care to design his to rival the best schools. “Our basic course will include 12 weeks which is a bare minimum,” he said. “Just to get a shoe to fit is an almost insurmountable task.” Upon graduation, students must pass a standardized exit exam and are then placed with farriers to complete their apprenticeships. After they’ve shod for a year they are eligible to test for their accreditation.


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ABOUT...the River Valley 17

Not all who desire to learn the craft are young, however. Glyn Turnipseed, 65, is a retired biology professor who has found his calling. He is the apprentice to Paul Dorris, Sr. who is 77. “I have to keep going now to keep him going,” he said. “It’s such a great opportunity at my age to be able to learn something new and love what I’m doing,” Turnipseed said. “We’re probably heading toward federal

licensing like in Great Britain, and that will be bad for those who aren’t accredited,” he said. Dorris has seen farriers who learned on the job but didn’t possess the know-how only learned through rigorous study. The whole shop is called a forge, and Dorris plans to build out 36 more feet for the new classroom, bunk room and larger work area. “We will be able to take eight students at a time,” he said. “With four fires going, it’s best to keep the student/ instructor ratio low.” One of Dorris’ favorite parts of his job is therapeutic shoeing. “He does work-overs,” Paul, Sr. said. “Some horses are so bad he’ll have to build feet on the horse.” Special modifications are made for horses who’ve suffered catastrophic injuries or broken away part of their hooves. Some modifications include hammering clips on the side of the shoe to stop them from sliding on the hoof and gluing acrylics to build up the hoof. The work is physical and precise and hot. “Even when we work with factory shoes, we work hot,” Dorris said.

Cole Drye of Benton has been Paul Dorris, Jr’s apprentice for eight months. “My neighbor races fox trotters, and Paul was his farrier, so I came to learn from him,” he said.

In preparation for the school which is expected to open April, 2009, Dorris is adding on to the forge, applying for a vocational license in Arkansas, creating a Web site and drawing up an academic catalog. “Honestly, his daddy has said that Paul Jr. has surpassed him,” Barbara said. “They’re known everywhere. Paul, Jr. has a special touch. If a horse is having trouble traveling he will make him more comfortable so he can travel.” “Don’t listen to that,” Dorris said nodding to his father who was watching him fashion a horseshoe over his shoulder. “He’s the real brains of the operation. I just like to spend time with the horses.”


For more information contact Paul Dorris, Sr. at (479) 229-1479.

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OKTOBERFEST Celebration St. John’s Lutheran Church, located at 500 N. Cumberland Ave. in Russellville, celebrated the 13th Annual OKTOBERFEST on Nov. 1st in the open air pavilion located adjacent to the church. The public is invited and encouraged to attend each year, according to Pastor Darrell Kobs. In addition to live music, inflatable games and a silent auction, authentic German food and drink was served. Several guests in attendance were taught a traditional Oktoberfest dance, the “Chicken Dance,” during the three-hour gathering. The event assisted the Lutheran Student Fellowship in raising money for a planned mission trip to Hong Kong. Photos courtesy of Terri Kobs

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Christmas… ‘tis the Season for Reading Jane Clawson, who shared the joy of reading to thousands of children during her years as librarian at Sequoyah Elementary, encourages everyone to enjoy time together this Christmas reading. “Christmas -- the season for sharing, loving, and giving. This Christmas, consider giving books to the children in your life,” Mrs. Clawson shared recently. “In addition to the Grinch and RUDOLPH, you can find a wonderland of books to share with your children.” Following are a number of highly-praised children’s books, each of which are endorsed by Mrs. Clawson and would make wonderful editions to your gift-giving lists! One author/illustrator of children’s books is Jan Brett. WHO’S THAT KNOCKING ON CHRISTMAS EVE?, WILD CHRISTMAS REINDEER, and CHRISTMAS TROLLS are three excellent possibilities. Books of gift giving and friendship include SHALL I KNIT YOU A HAT?: A CHRISTMAS YARN written by Kate Klise. After Mother makes her little one a hat, he suggests their friends in the forest would appreciate having hats also. Another book with a strong emphasis on giving and friendship is WELCOME COMFORT, the story of a foster child and the school custodian. MERRY CHRISTMAS, BIG HUNGRY BEAR with pictures and story by Don Wood shows little Mouse with a pile of presents under the tree. The first Christmas is highlighted by Joy Hulme in STABLE IN BETHLEHEM, a counting book. From twelve drowsy doves to one small baby lying on a bed of straw, the sights are presented with rhyming text. You may not be aware of this, but Mrs. Claus became tired of snow. Yes, she became so tired of snow, she decided to go on a world tour. Linas Alsenas writes all about it in MRS. CLAUS TAKES A VACATION. Patricia Polacco is an author/illustrator who often uses her family for her stories. ORANGE FOR FRANKIE is set during the depression. The nine children in the family feel fortunate to get an orange for Christmas. But there is much more to the story than that. A gruff woodcarver sees his life change after a widow and her son ask him to carve the figures for a Christmas creche. THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY by Susan Wojciechowski is rich in illustrations and text which emphasized the true joy of the season. We often think of a child wanting a dog, but what about a dog wanting a boy? That is Petey’s wish in THE PUPPY WHO WANTED A BOY by James Thayer. Though his mother offers many other

December 2008 

suggestions, Petey sets off to find a boy of his own. Feeling small and worthless, Cricket sneaks into a house and onto the Christmas tree. A child hears the cricket and thinks cricket is an angel. This Eve Bunting book, CHRISTMAS CRICKET does not leave cricket small and worthless. Geronimo Stilton has a couple of Christmas books available for elementary students. CHRISTMAS CATASTROPHE sees the possibility of a ruined Christmas after a fall on a ski trip lands Geronimo in the hospital. In CHRISTMAS TOY FACTORY Geronimo wants a team of reindeer so he can fly to Santa’s toy factory. THE DOG WHO THOUGHT HE WAS SANTA by Bill Wallace tells of problems at the mine which threaten to ruin Christmas for Don, his family, and everyone in town. Frank, Don’s bloodhound is willing to do what it takes to make the holidays special. Christmas, friends, family -- books fit in so well! Whether it is a make-believe story of mice talking or a beautifully illustrated copy of the nativity story, make books and reading a part of this season. Christmas books for families to share as ‘Read-Alouds’: Alsenas, Linas Mrs. Claus Takes A Vacation Barry, Robert Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree Brett, Jan Christmas Trolls And Orange For Frankie Brett, Jan Who’s That Knocking On Christmas Eve? Bunting, Eve A Christmas Cricket Cowley, Joy Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Christmas Duval, Kathy The Three Bears’ Christmas Grogan, John A Very Marley Christmas Hulme, Joy Stable In Bethlehem Klise, Kate Shall I Knit You A Hat?: A Christmas Yarn Polacco, Patricia Welcome Comfort, Wild Christmas Reindeer Snicket, Lemony Lump Of Coal Wojciechowski, The Christmas Miracle Of Jonathan Toomey Susan Wood, Don Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear Fiction books, known as ‘Chapter Books,’ for Christmas Stilton, Geronimo Christmas Catastrophe, Christmas Toy Factory Wallace, Bill The Dog Who Thought He Was Santa American Girl Series by authors Alden, Porter, Schur, Shaw, and Tripp includes a Christmas book involving each of the main characters. The title will have the girl’s name followed by the word “surprise’. For example, KIRSTEN’S SURPRISE and MOLLY’S SURPRISE.

ABOUT...the River Valley 21

Together We are the Church By Jeannie Stone

The Salvation Army Mission Statement: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. For 20 years the Salvation Army located at 1004 Weir Rd. in Russellville has been a church home for those without a church, a food pantry for those who need food, a clothes pantry for those who need to be clothed, and a ministry for those needing solace. During this holy season the organization, under the direction of Captains Michael and Trish Knott, makes extra effort through the Angel Tree program to reach those who are in need of love. Oh yes, and they ring the bells of Christmas. When the Knotts joined the Salvation Army church in Shawnee, Okla., their son Mathew, only four years old at the time, shook hands with every person in attendance. “They looked different than us on the outside, but Mathew didn’t see that. It just touched my heart. I had been anxious about whether we’d fit in,” Trish said. “But it became apparent to us that we were home.”

Michael and Trish met while in college at Southwest Oklahoma State University. He played trumpet, she played flute. Though he accepted a teaching position, and she accepted an accounting position in different towns, they married. Church was central to their relationship, and soon they were challenged by their pastor to practice their faith outside the church walls. They were soon preparing and serving dinner at the local Salvation Army shelter. “It was awkward,” Trish said. “I didn’t think I had anything in common with those folks.” They moved on to other things after that encounter, but Trish’s heart was pricked and was never the same. Capt. Trish became involved in Moms In Touch International, a prayer ministry encouraging mothers to pray daily for their children and the schools they attend. Trish became an area coordinator and began meeting with moms in prison.

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December 2008

Again, she wondered what she had in common with the women. The exchange furthered deepened a conviction she’d felt to pray for the lost. “I was a mom, they were moms. That’s all we needed in common to go before the throne of God for our children,” she said. Capt. Michael’s path might have looked a little different that his wife‘s, but it led to the same place. “I was searching for my niche,” he said. “I was asking the hard questions. Why was I created? What did God want me to do?” What he found surprised everybody. “I decided to go back to school, so I could go into the funeral business,” he said. “I am a certified embalmer in the state of Oklahoma, but I got disgusted with the business end of the funeral industry. There were so many folks who were desperate with no expendable income for the high cost of burying their loved ones.” “I wanted more - not to serve an earthly master but rather my heavenly master. I wanted to be able to step out on faith where

Capt. Trish Knott of the Salvation Army shows off the food pantry. The food pantry is open to all who come in need.

the Lord provides everything, and that’s where I live everyday now,” Michael said. Today the Knotts are stewards over the souls who worship at the Russellville Salvation Army. Their days are long yet fulfilling. For the need is great, and though the resources seem to dwindle at times. “We have an overabundance whenever we turn around,” Capt. Michael said. The Salvation Army, formed by an evangelical preacher in England who believed in taking church to the streets in 1865, has a chapel on site. They offer Sunday school and worship every week with one Sunday reserved for fellowship and potluck. “It makes a big difference if you have a church home,” Trish said. “We tell people to go back and talk to your pastor about your troubles. It makes the walk much easier. If you don’t have a church, well, we welcome you to join us.” The first and third Sunday afternoons are nursing home visitation days, and they offer a program at one of five area nursing homes. “The nurses recommend patients who have no family for inclusion in the Angel Tree program, but everyone receives a gift bag when we make monthly visits, and during our Christmas visit every patient will receive a gift.” The SA partners with Hallmark on the national level and receives boxes of greeting cards, gift bags and other goods which help brighten the lives of the 400 patients in the nursing homes they minister. The Salvation Army comes alive through programming. Parenting is a top priority. They sponsor Moms In Touch at First Baptist Church and offer a Bible-based parenting class to those who request the service and to those who are court-ordered to attend. They also offer children’s programming Monday evenings and on Tuesdays they operate an after school pickup service for children to participate in bible programs such as Core Cadets and Jr. Soldiers.

Volunteer Opportunities: Neighborhood Clean-up Help sort clothes at Thrift Store Help stock food pantry/prepare gift bags for clients Nursing Home Programs: Singing/playing instrument Visitation Packing/delivering gift bags Deliver Angel Tree gifts Youth Activities: Sunday School Teacher Nursery worker during women’s programs Weekday programs - Girl Guards/ Sunbeams/Adventure Corps Collect food items Pack and distribute Christmas food boxes Ring Bells! Sponsor an Angel Tree child Help set up for Angel Tree distribution (week of Dec. 15th) Angel Distribution Day (Dec. 22nd) Contact: Capt Trish or Michael Knott (479) 968-5358

Continued on page 48

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December 2008 

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ABOUT...the River Valley 23

Holiday shopping just wouldn’t be the same without the familiar sound of bells ringing in good cheer and proclaiming the heart of Christmas. Richard Ruble -known locally as “Santa Claus” -- has been a volunteer ringer for the Salvation Army since 1979. He rings because he has seen the receiving end of that kettle. Ruble, his wife Barbara, and their first two children were living in Harrison when a flood washed the town away. Eighty-five percent of the creek rose over the bank. “The Salvation Army was giving everything away for free, unlike another disaster relief agency,” he said. “We wouldn’t have had drinking water without the Salvation Army.” Ruble was an employee of AP&L during that May of 1961. He sent his wife and two young boys to stay with his wife’s family in Grant County. “I was walking on one of the bridges in town when I felt a shudder. I thought it was all going to come down,” he said. “Houses, freezers and cars hurled into the side of the bridge and washed it away too. I barely escaped. So many people lost everything. The mud lasted forever.” In 1979 Ruble and his family relocated to Russellville where he worked as the Business Development and Security Officer for Simmons Bank. That December, he first rang the bells for the group he’d witnessed at disaster scenes. “We had tornadoes, ice storms, and a huge snow during the time we lived in Harrison,” he said. Time after time, Ruble noticed the first one on the scene was the Salvation Army. 24 ABOUT...the River Valley

Santa Rings in the Season of Giving Story and Photos by Jeannie Stone

“And they didn’t leave until they had nothing left.” Ruble remembered that winter of ringing: “I stood in front of the old Wal-Mart in the sleet ringing that bell,” he said. Helping fill the coffers - or kettles - is his sweet duty according to Ruble. “I can either make a cash donation or give others the opportunity to give, too. I choose the latter.” He has also served on the Salvation Army board for 30 years. During his “off” season Ruble gives his time to several other charitable organizations, most notably the United Methodist Church. Ruble has held leadership positions in the church, is chairman of the Wesley Foundation Board at Tech, and has served on regional boards. He is a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. Ruble felt called to serve on the Arkansas Hospice River Valley Hospice Campaign Committee because he saw, firsthand, how hospice impacts patients and families. Both his mother and his firstborn son benefited from hospice care before they passed away. Ruble was instrumental in helping form the Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s River Valley Circle of Friends after his daughter and sonin-law adopted a Chinese girl who required major surgery. The girl is now a walking miracle, Ruble declared. December 2008

Alzheimer’s awareness, the March of Dimes and the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation also vie for Ruble’s time. Dressed as Santa, Ruble makes dozens of appearances every year for school programs, community events, church Christmas parties, nursing homes and hospitals. His first gig was an accident. He was asked to fill in during an emergency. He played Santa to the children gathered at Sequoyah Elementary School who were attending a pancake breakfast benefiting Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “I was hooked,” he said. Although he sends the Santa suit to the cleaners between jobs, Ruble knows he’s “on duty” 24/7, and he’s bound to be spotted by youngsters. He hears their mothers caution them to be good because ‘Santa is watching,’ so he is sure to make a production. The animated Ruble will wink at the child or secretly secure their name from the parent only to startle the child with a truly memorable encounter. With his flowing white beard, it’s easy for the doubting child to believe. During a recent visit to a school, a seven year old told his mother, “He’s the real thing. He has a beard and everything.” Santa Ruble feels that he receives blessings from his charitable giving. “The Lord says to love your neighbor. During this holy season it’s especially important to give, and with Salvation Army, I know it all goes where it’s needed most,” he said. Ding-dong, ding-dong, help us. Ding-dong, ding-dong, love us. n

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ABOUT...the River Valley 25

Big Sister Kelli Vogt (left) with Victoria Mitchell.

Like Peas and Carrots Story and Photo by Johnna Walker

The River Valley branch of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Central Arkansas strives to make good matches when providing a Big Brother or Big Sister for a Little Brother or Little Sister. An example of a great match is Big Sister Kelli Vogt and Little Sister Victoria Mitchell. Kelli, 20, is a junior at Arkansas Tech University majoring in Health & Physical Education. She is the daughter of Bill and Kim Vogt. Victoria, 13, is an eighth grader at Dover Junior High School. She wants to be a journalist or a photographer. Victoria said that her mother wanted her to participate in the program and she was really against it. She felt like she would be older than most of the other “littles.” Her mother insisted, and Victoria is really glad that she did. She and Kelli have become great friends. They have done something together almost once a week for over a year. Kelli got involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters because she wanted to help someone who needed a good role model. The participation is completely volunteer based. Kelli said that Victoria’s mom always tries to give her a little spending money and she always turns it down. She adds, “Somehow, when I’m not looking, Victoria always manages sneak in some money and leave it in my car.” Usually once a week, Kelli picks up Victoria and takes her to her apartment. Kelli said, “We hang out, I cook and we usually rent a movie.” Victoria added, “Yeah, she fast forwards through any bad parts! She will ask me if I liked the movie. I tell her ‘well yes the parts that I saw.’” Victoria adds that Kelli is a good cook. When the two first were matched Kelli says of Victoria, “She was really shy, she would hardly talk at first now she talks a lot.” Victoria calls Kelli, “Fun and really sweet.

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Hack’s cleaners

116 S. Commerce • 968-4121 26 ABOUT...the River Valley

She really is a good role model.” When asked about Victoria, Kelli said, “Victoria is really smart. She is ranked very high in her class.” Kelli played softball at Russellville High School and during her first year at Arkansas Tech. Victoria loves softball and plays on a team in the summer. Kelli has one older sister. Victoria has one younger brother. Both Kelli and Victoria have birthdays separated by just a few days in early June. Robin Trafford, Partnership Specialist with Big Brothers Big Sisters said that Kelli and Victoria are part of the Community Based Program. In this program, Big Brothers and Big Sisters provide children ages 6 through 14 individualized time and attention on a regular basis, typically 2 to 4 hours per week or 8 to 12 hours a month. During unstructured weekly or bi-weekly outings, they develop a relationship that helps youth or “littles” manage the everyday challenges that are part of growing up. During the time with the “big,” “littles” gain new skills, explore new interests, and test behaviors that expand their experience base beyond their family or neighborhood. Over the course of time, “littles” gain confidence in themselves, acquire new skills and competencies, and develop an enhanced capacity to care for others. Volunteers or “bigs” experience a sense of discovery and enjoyment as they see the world of possibility through the eyes of a child. One of the components that makes Big Brothers and Big Sisters so successful is the Match Support System. Once a month every

Christmas at


We have Christmas Decor, Wreaths, Ornaments, Gifts & Gift Certificates

Bethany’s Design Center

407 North Arkansas, Russellville • 968-6807

December 2008

“big,” “little” and parent is contacted by telephone or email to make certain things are going as they should for everyone involved in the program. Any questions or concerns are addressed at that time. An alternative to the communitybased program is the Bigs in School program. In this program, teachers identify students who would benefit from a caring adult in their lives. “Bigs” and “littles” meet once a week during the school year. Whether they play board games, or go to the computer lab or just visit, the relationship promotes a positive school experience for the child and tends to increase attendance, and promotes a positive attitude and academic enrichment.

When beginning the program, participants complete an interest inventory. Then “bigs” and “littles” with similar interests are matched. Volunteers commit to participate in the program for one year, but Trafford said there are many “bigs” and “little’s” who have been together for several years. Kelli said, “I would like to be with Victoria until I graduate. I am getting married this summer, but I still have one more year of college.” Victoria commented, “I know she will be married and busy, but I would like to continue with Kelli. I love her.” For more information on how to volunteer with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, contact the office at 968-5525 or email them at bbsmatches@ n

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VacuStep, Circuit Training, Zumba & Kickboxing, Cardio & Tanning All Available!

967-6003 2300 W. Main, Russellville December 2008 

Pope County Foundation celebrates National Week Pope County Community Foundation, an Arkansas Community Foundation local affiliate office based in Russellville, joined communities across Arkansas and the nation to celebrate National Community Foundation Week Nov. 10-14. “Community foundations enable donors to easily and effectively support the issues they care about,” said Heather Eason, president and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation. “They are a valuable philanthropy resource dedicated to providing for the future needs of all of us for generations to come. Arkansas Community Foundation is proud to be a statewide organization with 26 local affiliate offices throughout the state.” The Pope County Community Foundation (PCCF) recently hosted a luncheon celebrating National Community Foundation Week and honoring those who have established endowments, friends and contributors to the success of the local Foundation. Each one of the more than 700 community foundations in the United States is a separate and unique charitable organization established with a mission to accept and hold assets to support its own local area. Each provides a vehicle to enable philanthropic citizens to make a gift to the future. Community foundations accept contributions of all sizes that are placed in permanent endowments; then they make grant distributions from these endowments according to the donors’ instructions. PCCF has assets of $1.72 million and has granted $212,039 locally in the past six years. These grants have provided college scholarships and

benefitted cancer research, free Christian clinic, literacy, Pope County Library, Main Street Russellville, Russellville High School athletics, nursing scholarships, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and many other charitable causes. “The power of a community foundation to provide for a better quality of life for a region grows with each passing year,” said Betty LaGrone, PCCF Executive Director. “It is very simple to establish your own endowment or contribute to the local grant making fund. Just give us a call and learn more about the “For Good* For Pope County* For Ever” program. As more people understand the unique ability of Arkansas Community Foundation to accumulate assets to support their own towns and regions, the foundation grows.” ARCF was incorporated in 1976 as an independent philanthropic organization serving donors, the nonprofit sector and the communities of Arkansas. Contributions to ARCF and its local affiliate offices are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information, contact Betty LaGrone at (479) 968-2452. n

Salon 121




Offer Ends Jan. 1, 2009

M O N A • V I E 4 Oz. per day helps maintain & promotoe good health.

Drink It. Feel It. Share It. (479) 886-2909 2300 West Main Russellville (inside Fitness for Her)


Now Offering Ear Candleing, Facials, and Waxing

Call 479-967-4890 or Stop By Salon 121 121 Harrell Drive Ste. 3, Russellville ABOUT...the River Valley 27

Design Team

Joey Pack and Karen Ray Interior Designers

Traditional and elegant, yet warm and inviting best describes Nan and

Delton’s new Cove Landing home. Being afforded the opportunity to design their former home was great. Designing their new home was an honor!

For your complimentary in-store consultation, contact Joey or Karen today.

(479) 967-9984

Complimentary In-Store Design Service and Delivery Photos by Steve Newby

2609 East Parkway, Russellville, AR

Store Hours: Monday thru Friday ~ 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday ~ 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday ~ Closed

We want to thank the staff of River Valley Furniture and Karen Ray for their assistance and expertise. The staff has worked closely with us to ensure our home has not only reflected a

professional appearance within our budget, but also reflected our personality and taste. We just completed decorating our

second home using their services. From the beginning of the

construction process, Karen recommended the most modern

color schemes to coordinate with our furniture and accessories to create a home we are very proud of.

It was truly a pleasure working with Karen and the staff at

River Valley Furniture and we will continue to recommend them to our friends and neighbors.

Delton and Nan Couch



Servings of Seasonal Happiness Story by Dianna Qualls Photos by Loyd Qualls

Ah!! Christmas!!! A time for friends and family. A time of stress and frustration, and joy. A time to live life through the eyes of a child, wide eyed with wonder at the sights and sounds and smells all around. A time to decorate the house and yard with lights. A time to cook and bake as if we are feeding a small third world country. A time to remember the birth of Jesus. Ah!! My favorite time of the year. Christmas is always a very special time for us. Lloyd fills the yard with lights. He claims it’s his gift to the neighborhood -- I think it’s his gift to the light company. Together we put up the tree and reminisce about each ornament as it comes out of the box and onto the tree. Candlelight service at church always fills us with thanks for the child born in a manger some 2000 years ago. And then there is food, food and more food. What would the holidays be without food?? We hope you enjoy this month’s selection as much as we do. And, may the Christmas season fill you with much love, joy and happiness, and surround you with friends and family. From our hearts to yours Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


1 ½ c. refrigerated eggnog ½ tsp.. freshly grated nutmeg 8 (1 inch-thick) slices French bread Vegetable cooking spray Rum syrup (recipe follows) This dish is special enough to serve during the holiday season. Rum extract adds a kick to the syrup. Combine eggnog and nutmeg in a large shallow dish. Place bread slice, one at a time, in dish, turning to coat evenly. Coat a large non stick skillet or griddle with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Remove bread slices from eggnog mixture, allowing excess to drain. Cook in skillet 3 minutes per side until golden. Serve immediately with Rum Syrup. Yield 4 servings.


1 c lite maple syrup ½ tsp. rum extract Combine syrup and extract in a small saucepan; cook over low heat until heated, stirring often. Yields 1 cup. From Recipes Made Lighter Cookbook. Nutritional: serving size 2 slices w/1/4 c syrup. Cal 313, Fat 8g, Carb 52g, Prot 8g, Chol 58mg, Fiber 1g.

Your business and your loyalty are deeply appreciated.

Collectors Gallery

Thank You I sincerely hope you have the

Antiques, Collectibles & Gifts

best Holiday Season ever!

Lupe McElroy, GRI 970-7365

Habla Español Call me for all of your Real Estate needs!

30 ABOUT...the River Valley

Come join us for our

CATERING Call Janet Ford, Director of Catering at O. (479) 968-0279 C. (479) 280-0059

Christmas Open hOuse Saturday, December 13th • 10-6

piCtures With santa from 10AM-2PM

Storewide Sale

Door Prizes

(479) 967-6773

130 E. Harrell Drive • Russellville, AR 72802 Mon. – Sat. 10-6

December 2008


8 oz. turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced 1/4 c. sliced scallions 1/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper 5 eggs 3 egg whites 1 c. 1% milk These crustless, mini-quiches are like portable omelets. Turkey sausage and sauteed mushrooms keep them light and savory. Small and satisfying, they’re also a good finger food for your next cocktail party. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each c.. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

SOFT AND CHEWY PRETZEL STICKS 1 (16-oz) loaf frozen white bread dough, thawed 2 T. salt 12 c. (3-qt) boiling water 1 slightly beaten egg white 1 T. water Coarse salt

In a large pot or dutch oven, place water and 2 T salt and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Lightly grease 4 large baking sheets; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll thawed dough into a 12x8 rectangle, occasionally stopping and letting dough rest, if necessary. Cut into twenty-four 8x1/2-inch strips. Twist each strip. Carefully place strips on prepared baking sheets. Bake in a 475 degree oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Lower a few dough strips into boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes, turning once. Using a slotted spoon, remove from water and drain on paper towels. Place about 1/2 –inch apart on 2 the other 2 greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining strips. In a small bowl stir together egg white and the 1 T water. Brush strips with egg wash. Sprinkle strips lightly with coarse salt. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks. Optional: May also use sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried dill, or coarsely ground black pepper. Serve with flavored mustard. Makes 24 sticks. Recipe from Cook Healthy Today.

Place Your HolidaY order Now! laST daY To order For cHriSTmaS 5:30 P.m. FridaY, decemBer 19, 2008

PaTTicakeS will cloSe aT NooN oN cHriSTmaS eve. Homemade PieS & cakeS, BreakFaST BreadS, caSSeroleS To Go, SPecial occaSioN cakeS

411 W. Parkway, Russellville

(479) 968-8945


5 c. orange juice 1 c. vodka 1/3 c. orange liqueur 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice 1/2 c. maraschino cherry juice Garnishes: fruit-flavored candy cane sticks, cherries with stems, orange & lemon slices

HOURS: Tues. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sat: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Stir together orange juice and next 4 ingredients; serve over ice. Garnish, if desired. If you do not have orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec, substitute an equal amount of orange juice. Rudolph’s Spritzer: Omit vodka and orange liqueur. Add 2 c. chilled lemon-lime soft drink. Proceed as directed. Makes 1 1/2 qt. Continued on page 47

Granite • Quartz • Solid Surfaces New Homes • Remodels Residential • Commercial Free Estimates

Dr. Bonds and staff wish you and yours a Happy Holiday Season!


General Dentistry for the Whole Family

Come Visit Our Showroom 709 South El Mira, Russellville ~ (479) 967-0229

December 2008 

FAMILY DENTISTRY J. Dustin Bonds, D.D.S. Most Insurances Accepted


1919 West Main St., Rusellville (479) 880-2311 ABOUT...the River Valley 31

Savor the Local Flavor Let us take the stress out of your holiday baking. Homemade Cakes and Pies, Specialty Cookies, Breakfast Breads and Casseroles, Special Occasion Cakes It'll be our little secret! Last Day to Order for Christmas is 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19th. We will close at noon on Christmas Eve.

CATERING Ideal Meals for Any Occassion Subs include plates, napkins and pepper bar: Small Sub Tray Serves up to 5 Regular Sub Tray Serves up to 10 Large Sub Tray Serves up to 15

Quiznos makes a good time even better! 411 W. Parkway • Russellville • • (479) 968-8945

407 N. Arkansas ~ City Mall ~ 967-7827 When you want to step up to the freshest ideas in fast food, make the bold choice for Taco Bell®. At Taco Bell we take great pride and care to provide you with the best food and dining experience in the quick service restaurant business.

Serving the finest Catfish N Fixins since 1971

All You Can Eat Buffet

Great Eating with a Grand View of the Arkansas River

Holiday Catering Available!

(479) 229-3321 or Hwy 7 South, Dardanelle, AR • Turn at the first right and go one mile. February 1 thru OctOber 31: 4pm-9pm tuesday thru Saturday - closed Sunday & Monday NOVeMber 1 thru DeceMber 14: 4pm-9pm thursday through Saturday cLOSeD DeceMber 15, 2008 thrOuGh JaNuary 31, 2009

10% Tech Discount, Police Discount, EMS, and Military Discounts. Locally Owned & Operated for 21 Years 618 Union Street 1308 N. Arkansas Ave. Russellville, AR 72801 Dardanelle, AR 72834 479-968-7444 479-229-1943

508 East 8th Street Danville, AR 72833 479-495-7971

301 North Elmira Russellville, AR 72802 479-967-2121



Lunch Buffet Monday-Sunday 11am-4pm OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Including Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years

Party Reservations Welcome

32 ABOUT...the River Valley

Dinner Buffet

Sun-Thurs 4:05pm-9:30pm Fri & Sat 4:05pm-10:00pm

2005 N. Arkansas Ave • Suite 6 Russellville, AR • 479-968-8881 December 2008

Gift s Carde

Mak t Grea g kin Stoc ers! f Stuf

Full Service Quality at Fast Food Prices!

ds Car unt! e l ab Amo oad 15% Tech Discount with I.D. Rel hoose 50% Discount for Police, EMT, Firefighters C You 1201 We s t Main • NOW OP E N 5 AM • 9 6 8 -6 3 0 0 3095 East Ma in • 2 4 HOUR L O CAT I O N • 8 9 0 -6 2 2 6


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~ Also serving ~

Reserve the Train Car for your Holiday or Special Occasion Party Accommodates up to 25 guests

405 W. Parkway, Russellville, AR Hrs: Mon-Sat, 6am-9pm Open Friday until 10pm

(479) 968-3816 •

Biscuits & Gravy

Sausage Rolls (Pigs In A Blanket)

Sausage or Ham Egg & Cheese Biscuits

Naked Juice (All Natural)

Sausage or Ham Egg & Cheese Croissants

Great Selection of Hot & Cold Drinks

3415 W. Main, Russellville, AR 72801

Open 4:30am • (479) 880-9308

For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Something for All Appetites! For the Holidays, Treat them to an

IHOP Gift Card! 401 East Harrell Drive • Russellville

(479) 968-4467

December 2008 

ABOUT...the River Valley 33

Story and Photos by Jeannie Stone


Poinsettia Man Can Deck Your Halls

f you are finding it hard to tap into your inner fa-la-la, Dr. Jim Collins is the man to help you ease into the holiday spirit. Collins has been the resident horticulture expert at Arkansas Tech University for 26 years. This year also marks the 26th year he has overseen the annual Tech poinsettia sale which is scheduled for Dec. 4 - 5, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the greenhouses located on Red Hill Lane on the north side of the campus. “I don’t feel that old, but I’m the oldest in age and in tenure in my department. How did that happen? Last year, the unthinkable happened. I taught the son of a former student,” he said, then laughed. Collin, a former pre-med student, studied for three full years at Mississippi State University. He turned to horticulture after his mother’s death left him questioning his initial decision. “In college, you experience new things,” he said. “I had never heard of Vo-Tech or horticulture, but I’d always liked tending plants. I found it engrossing.” Even though his mother had been a nurse, and his uncle, to whom he was very close, was a physician, the family didn’t pressure Collins to complete that path of studies.

“I remember I had 26 hours that didn’t transfer,” he said, “but it was all right. I was doing something I enjoyed.” Collins earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University and had just moved to Russellville in August of 1983 when his father passed away on Christmas Eve. “My dad was a country boy, and I’m so glad he saw me reach a level of success pursuing what we both loved,” he said. “Back in the old days, I taught anything in the plant world,” Collins said. “They had me teaching Forestry right off, and I’d never even taken a Forestry class in my life.” Due to the hiring of additional faculty members over the years he is now able to concentrate on plant pathology, floriculture and horticulture. The joy of the poinsettia project lies in the fact that it is a hands-on learning experience. Tech hosts an annual spring sale sponsored by the freshman horticulture class, but the poinsettia sale is the pride of the fall class. “There’s a big pinch involved,” Collins said. That’s something the students learn pretty soon with the poinsettias. “In the old days, to get five blooms you’d have to plant five rooted cuttings per pot, but now I can plant one stalk and get the same effect.”

A Very Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours “The Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

Romans 6:23

Bryan Fisher

Exclusive Agent Bryan Fisher Insurance Agency


Allstate Insurance Co. 2504 W. Main Ste G Russellville, AR 72801

Phone 479.890.0094 Email

34 ABOUT...the River Valley


(L to R) Terence Scott, Russ Warhurst & John Pike



3405 3405 E. E. Main, Main, Russellville Russellville December 2008

The practice is termed “precision pinching,” and the premise is that the number of leaves you leave below a pinch determines the number of blooms. Collins orders his poinsettias in January but doesn’t plant them until September. “The first day of class the students are making up labels in the lab. The next class covers mixed media, and then I lecture for two weeks. By the time Fed Ex delivers the boxes, we’re ready to dig in.” He admits that the plants would be larger if he could plant them before September. “But we have to fit the activities into the teaching schedule,” he said. Some of this year’s varieties include Autumn Red, Early Marble, Jester Red, Jingle Bells, Peppermint, Freedom Early White, Freedom Early Red, Fireworks, Shimmer Surprise and the unusual Winter Rose, which is bred to resemble a gnarled poinsettia. “The color is all in the bract, a modified leaf, with the poinsettia,” Collins said. “This year we’re going to actually get creative and paint on the leaves, and we are going to offer foil pot covers for an extra dollar.” The poinsettia plant is photoperiodic and Collins determines which cultivars to order based on the time constraints of the class. “I order eight-week response plants. That’s eight weeks of short days and long nights.” “And poinsettias aren’t poisonous,” Collins said. “That’s just an old wives’ tale. Sure, if you let you child or dog eat a lot of the leaves, they’ll probably get sick to their stomach just as if they’d eaten anything inappropriate.” To prove the point, he snaps off a couple of leaves and chomps on them. This year, Collins is feeling the joy as well. He has four new greenhouses and a storage building complete with restrooms because campus growth squeezed out his former space. “Hey, I’m not complaining. It was a move up for us. In all those

years we never had bathrooms down here,” he said. “It was really hard during the sales. We’d tell people they’d have to walk to Arby’s to use the restroom. Now we have new heaters, coolers and even a new classroom.” He is hoping to use the storage room to accommodate more shrubs. “Everything we raise through our student sales stays in the agri budget,” Collins said. “We buy a lot of supplies and everything is getting more expensive. We‘re really self-sufficient here.” The poinsettias are six inch plants and sell for $5 a pot. Collins is proud of the growth in the horticulture program and boasts of his students’ accomplishments. “I have some very successful graduates; some are Tyson managers.” He momentarily reflects, “It means so much to us teachers to receive compliments from our former students. Teachers don’t receive standing ovations.” “These are going to keep turning. I know they are, but I do have 3 ½ weeks to go, so I’m fine,” Collins said as he closely examines a plant. “I go through this every year. I sweat bullets hoping to have as lush and colorful a plant as possible for the sale. In fact, the best thing for me to do is just stay away for a couple of days before checking back in, so I can witness a change.” Apart from the poinsettia madness, Collins is a self-proclaimed sucker for the Christmas season. He puts up a 14 ft. Christmas tree every year and hosts a neighborhood party at his home. After selling poinsettias and helping supporters all day on the 4th, he will pick up Miss Arkansas Tech in his convertible and escort her through the Russellville Christmas parade. Collins is the past director of the Miss Tech Scholarship pageant. “It’s always crazy this time of year,” he said. “If I get overwhelmed I sit myself down and remind myself what the season is all about. We all need to do that.” One question Collins is asked repeatedly is how to care for the poinsettia after blooming. “I had one woman who put her plant in the closet for two months. She just closed the door on it. Of course, it died. Listen, just come see me, and for $5, I can help you out.” n

Emily Lunney

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for a Happy New Year


Specialzing in: Color • Highlights • Foiling Haircuts • Fusion Extensions

Now Taking Appointments!



809 S. Arkansas Russellville 967-5240 December 2008 

Amy Gray (479)967-3521 209 East 4th, Russellville

ABOUT...the River Valley 35

Downtown Holiday Art Walk and Christmas Open House

The Downtown Holiday Art Walk and Christmas Open House will be held on Friday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Russellville’s Downtown Historic District. During this magical holiday event participating downtown businesses will feature talented area artists and their unique one of a kind works just in time for holiday gift giving. The evening’s activities will also include nostalgic Carriage Rides through the Old Town Neighborhood residential district. Santa will be on hand for pictures at the Depot. Carolers will stroll the Downtown sidewalks with additional performances scheduled on the stage in front of the Caboose at Depot Park. Many of the host businesses will also feature live music in their shops. The Pope County Farmers Holiday Market will be on hand with hot roasted peanuts, winter vegetables, gourmet treats and handmade items suitable for gift giving. The Kettle Korn Man will be popping up fresh kettle corn so you can grab a bag and a cup of hot cocoa for a treat while you stroll the Art Walk or take along on a nostalgic carriage ride. Begin your walk at the Depot or with

any participating merchant and pick up a program that will help guide your walk to the many participating businesses. You won’t want to miss Sportscene’s Downtown Holiday Light Show featuring over 10,000 lights. Shows begin every half hour from 4:30 to 10:30 thru Christmas. The Art Walk is a joint project of the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center and the Russellville Downtown Association (RDA), a committee of Main Street Russellville. The Downtown Art Walks are held quarterly during the months of March, June, September and December. For additional information contact Main Street Russellville at (479) 967-1437.

Local businesses serve as table sponsors, showcasing their merchandise as table centerpieces. Guests browse the tables and purchase the items at a pre-set price. A percentage of the sales is then donated to the Guild. Tickets are $50 per person and are available by calling (479) 967-1177. n

Symphony ‘Table Talk’ Dates Set

Russellville Symphony Guild’s annual “Talk of the Town Tables” has been scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, at LakePoint Event Center. The event is a major fundraiser for the Guild which has proven to be an overwhelming success and sell-out year after year. Last year’s event generated more than $15,000 which was used to promote symphony events, concerts and school performances by members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Funds are also designated for the group’s local scholarship fund.

Painting by Jeannie Stone

Bringing you s s e n i p p a H & y Jo s r a e y t s 2 a p 3 e h t r fo

Happy Holidays

from Your Friends at Phil Wright Autoplex. 3300 E. Main • Hwy. 64 East • Russellville • (479) 968-1555

36 ABOUT...the River Valley

December 2008



... the Best Products

n 1 Dresses Whether you are looking for elegant and long or shimmery and short, we have the dress for any occasion. Holidays, balls, cocktail or prom. Dresses shown are by Faviana of NYC.

Formal Affairs

121 East Harrell Drive Suite 11 • Russellville (479) 890-9557 n 2 Get Ready To Ring In The New Year. We have a variety of party favors and hats in many colors and styles. We also have plates, napkins, cups, etc. for big night. Stop in today and see our selection.


Let’s Celebrate

916 South Arkansas • Russellville (479) 967-0541


n 3 2009 Arkansas Artist’s Calendar Celebrating Arkansas Artist’s available at

The Frame Shop and Gallery 311 West C Street • Russellville (479) 967-1398


n 4 Holiday Special Diamond Solitaire Earrings .33 ct weight. Special Price $250 while they last. Come visit our showroom today and see our other jewelry specials. We have a large selection of jewelry as well as furniture and antiques.


1519 South Arkansas • Russellville (479) 968-4653


n 5 Listen For Your Child? Itzy Bitzy Squeaky Shoes. All leather, several colors and styles to choose from. Infant to size 10.

The Mulberry Bush Children’s Resale and More 604 West Main • Russellville (479) 968-3477

n 6 Original Art for Gift Giving Winston Taylor’s Horsehair Polished Earthenware


The Frame Shop and Gallery 311 West C Street • Russellville (479) 967-1398 n 7 Get fit before, during and after the holidays.


Look in Style while getting fit with these Nike Fit Dry workout pant and top along with Air Max Dream Nike tennis shoes. Modeled by Stephanie Young.

Feltner’s Athlete’s Corner 2320 West Main • Russellville (479) 968-6464

December 2008 

ABOUT...the River Valley 37

Songs from the Sidelines Story by Jeannie Stone

Virgie Williams has always been the quiet one in the Dean Williams family. That’s not to say she is unusually shy; she’s just not a singer, and the Dean Williams Family is a local bluegrass and old time gospel group who perform a monthly singing. Virgie joined the family when she was 15 years old. “They came to sing in my little town in Oklahoma, and I just fell in love with Gaylon and all of them on the spot.” She has been married to Gaylon, who plays banjo and dobra, for 29 years. Together they have three children - Nicole Baker, an ATU nursing student; Travis, 20, a student at ATU, and Waylon, 17. Virgie is also grandmother to Amia, 5, and Zoey, 2. “My children are all smart,” Virgie said, “not like me. I only have a ninth-grade education.” She credits God and the support of her husband for her creative wellspring. Virgie has written 12 out of the 14 songs featured on the newest Dean Williams Family CD entitled, “Uncertain World.” The family has recorded six CDs and offers them for sale at their monthly singing, the Williams Family Jamboree. “We started outside in the open air but moved in our building about four or five years ago,” mother-in-law and alto singer Joyce Williams said.

The Dean Williams Family includes (from left): Dean and Joyce Williams, Charlotte Salyers, Ashlyn Salyers, Gaylon and Virgie Williams, Waylon Williams, Travis Williams, and Kayden.

“I couldn’t write songs without these wonderful people helping me,” Virgie said. “Joyce will take what I’ve written and type it out real nice. And Charlotte is a huge help.” Charlotte Salyers, Virgie’s sister-in-law, edits and arranges the songs. “It’s just got to flow,” she said. Songwriting allows Virgie to address lifechanging events such as “Heaven’s Angel” which she wrote about her sister who passed away with cancer four years ago. Charlotte’s haunting soprano performance conveys Virgie’s emotions. “Her name was Christy; she was an angel to us all. Her beauty was in her heart and soul. Now she’s in heaven, and we miss her so.” “I sat on the sidelines and watched these guys singing all these 29 years. I guess the music just got in my blood,” Virgie said.

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38 ABOUT...the River Valley

While supplies last.

Music is deep in her bones now. She wrote “Murder at Washita River” about her aunt who forgave her brother for killing her son. “That song is all about forgiveness,” Virgie said. She takes her inspiration from everything. The title song “Uncertain World” describes the world’s current situation “with disasters plaguing us all around.” It speaks of the high price of gas, natural disasters and the world spinning out of control. Virgie doesn’t know what got into her when she marched to the train depot in Russellville. “All of a sudden, I just wanted to write a song about the railroad.” She wrote the lyrics to the “Missouri Pacific Railroad” in three days. “Betsy McGuire from Main Street Russellville and Kechia Bentley really encouraged me, and they seemed to love the song,” she said.

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December 2008

Virgie is in the process of registering with Broadcasting Music Incorporated, an online bulletin board which encourages members to post their work, allowing performers to shop and buy. “There is a woman who sings with Vince Gil who is helping me,” she said. Promoting her work has been a community effort with Cindy Loper, owner of local mini-mart Dover McB’s, selling the Dean Williams CD. Friends Kathy and Phil Waterman are cheering us on, Joyce said. Ruby, Doug and Denver Seward are supporters who spread the word about them at every music festival. “They tell everyone about our music,” Joyce said, “and we are so grateful.” It was the Sewards’ involvement that led to a relationship with acclaimed bluegrass musician and vocalist Rhonda Vincent (Female Vocalist of the Year for the years 2000-2006 by the International Bluegrass Music Association.) Vincent noticed that Ashlyn Salyers, the youngest member of the group, was singing “If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor, You Don’t Love God,” and that was Vincent’s song, so she sent an autographed picture to Ashlyn who debuted in 2003. “I didn’t even know she was writing a song,” mother Charlotte said. Ashyln was 6 years old and had just lost her father to cancer. The young girl, having been steeped in the faith and music of her family and after delivering her father’s eulogy, wrote the song “Waiting at the Pearly Gates.” One of the family’s thrills came in the way of a letter from an Iraqi soldier. “He happened to purchase “Uncertain World” and wrote us a letter to tell us how much he liked it,” Joyce said. “He wanted us to know our music was being played over there. I’m fixing to mail him a couple more.” Virgie has hitched her dream to a star, several stars in fact. “I’m writing a song for Vince Gil, and I’ve already sent a slew of songs to Marty Stuart and a song to Dailey and Vincent.”

Up-and-coming teenage country performers, Nik & Sam have received two of Virgie’s songs, and local southern gospel group, Spit ‘n Image, “want me to write a song for their next CD,” she said. “I’ve written 20 songs this year and 20 for next year. My songs tell a story in poetry form,” Virgie said. “I’m not just ready for a song, I’m ready for a CD. I’m ready to work in a studio.” The motivation behind Virgie’s quest for success lies close to her heart. She would love to reap enough financial gains to buy a ticket home. “I cherish this family, but after 30 years, I’d really like to be able to visit my family in Oklahoma more.” Her parents, Virgil and Eva Wolfe, were always close to Virgie in spirit, but her mother, an Apache Indian, passed away leaving her father, a Kiowa Indian, alone. “My dad’s 77 years old. Even though there are other family members there, he needs me.” Williams is teetering on the brink of realizing her dream. “I always wanted to do something special,” she said. “There are big dreamers in America, and I’m one of them.“ And she’s not about to let go of that dream now that she has it by the tail. n

The Dean Willams Family performs in their amphitheater located approximately 2 miles north of the Dover City limits on Highway 7. It is open to the public. For information, call (479) 331-2314 or visit deanwilliamsfamily@

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December 2008 

ABOUT...the River Valley 39

Old West, Safari Destinations of Vintage Club Tours

Photos Courtesy of Sandy Devore

Royalty Tours, Inc. spares no “luxury” expense when hosting tours. Whether it’s just down the road or across the county, people know they are in good hands and in for an exciting time. Saint Mary’s Vintage Club members and others from Pope and surrounding counties enjoy monthly trips with Royalty Tours. In October and November, tour guests experienced two great excursions to Wichita, KS, on the annual Mystery Trip, and to Siloam Springs for a day of history, shopping, good eating and a little Safari Adventure at Wild Wilderness Drive-Thru Safari in Gentry. The family park/zoo houses 85 different species of exotic animals sprawled out on a 190-acre plot of land. As one of the 38 Vintage members on the four-day mystery trip, Mary Jane Taylor put it, “The anticipation makes the annual mystery trip even more exciting!” Excitement built as the Royalty Tours coach left Saint Mary’s heading west. The first attraction was lunch at COPPER, a restaurant atop Price Tower, a national historic landmark in Bartlesville, Okla. Price Tower was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was his only skyscraper. Inside the cantilevered and copper-patina building, travelers dined, enjoyed the dramatic 360-degree views of the city, and continued to speculate on their final destination. The second stop was Wichita, Kan., which served as the hub for the remaining three days. A step-on guide provided an informative and insightful history of Wichita, highlighting the art and architecture of the city including another Frank Lloyd Wright historic landmark, the Martin House. Daisy Robinson

The day ended with dinner in Old Town at the Mosley Street, featuring the Little Cookie Shop of Horrors melodrama followed by the Halloween Spooktacular musical comedy review. A day trip to Hutchinson, Kan., took the group on a round-trip tour of the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. The group traveled 650 feet below ground, through a mine carved from salt deposits formed 275 million years ago. A subterranean tram ride amid walls of salt allowed the group to view a maze of massive salt chambers that stretched for miles. Created by years of salt mining, these chambers are an ideal storage location for major film studios to store original films and costumes, many of which were on view at the underground museum. Also in Hutchinson, the COSMOSPHERE, a Smithsonian Institution, displays the world’s most significant collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts. Included are the actual Apollo 13 command module, the world’s fastest spyplane; the actual Liberty Bell 7 and Gemini X space capsules, and a moon rock brought to earth by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin from the first Apollo XI Moon landing in 1969. Other highlights of the trip included a tour of the Museum of World Treasures and a tour of Wichita’s Botanica Garden; a bountiful lunch at an Amish restaurant, a healthy lunch at the acclaimed Bright Spot for Health, and an exceptional performance of Fiddler on the Roof at the Crown Uptown professional dinner theatre. The last evening featured a trip to Old Cowtown Museum where the group strolled and rode horse-drawn wagons through the streets of historic buildings. The Prairie Wranglers provided an authentic chuck wagon dinner and cowboy music at the Diamond W Ranch. The travelers headed home with after a stop at Prairie Song, a frontier village museum filled with 19th century antiques in Dewey, Okla. Texas longhorns graze near the accurately- reproduced village that includes a hardware store, a blacksmith, doctor’s office, church, schoolhouse and saloon filled with artifacts. Following an informative tour by owners Kenneth and Marilyn Tate, travelers were treated to a lunch of beans, cornbread and all the fixin’s, including blackberry cobbler while a real cowboy demonstrated fancy rope tricks. Royalty Tours co-owner Sandy Devore, played the antique piano as the group sang Home-on-the Range and Amazing Grace. Everyone agreed, it was a remarkable trip. n For information on Vintage Club, call Stephanie Beerman at (479) 9649355. For information on these and other upcoming trips, call Royalty Tours at (479) 890-6774.

40 ABOUT...the River Valley

December 2008


... the Best Products


n 1 Custom Framing Framed with Conservation Products.

The Frame Shop and Gallery 311 West C Street • Russellville (479) 967-1398

n 2 Pet Gifts for the Holidays Let your pet show off your favorite sports team with an over-the-collar bandana, bed, toys and more. Special requests welcome. Check out our eBay store.



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3 4

n 3 Circle E Candles This is not your typical candle. Circle E Candles are known to be the longest burning and have the most delightfully-fragrant candles on the market. We have a variety of wonderful scents. These are hand poured with the finest wax and fragrances and have lead free wicks.

Gifts on Parkway/Gifts on Rogers

2149 E. Parkway, Russellville • (479) 890-6932 510 S. Rogers, Clarksville • (479) 705-8282 n 4 Wide Format Printing Print your picture up to 24” wide and any length. Bring in your favorite picture on disk (must be 5 megapixels or more).  We can print on regular photography paper, canvas, or transparent paper.

Formal Affairs

121 East Harrell Drive Suite 11 • Russellville (479) 890-9557


n 5 Color Me Cute.... Baby Items and Monogramming. We have a wonderful selection of baby items that will make the perfect gift. Free delivery to area hospitals.

Bow K’s 6


121 East Harrell Drive, Suite 15 • Russellville (479) 890-2695 n 6 Dress Up Your Table New Tech glassware in various sizes along with Tech Coasters. Great for everyday or entertaining.

ATU Bookstore

209 West O St. • Russellville (479) 968-0255 n 7 Kashwere exclusively at Bath Junkie Washable/does not fade, stretch, peel or shrink. New items and colors available. The decadence of cashmere without the worry.

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December 2008 

ABOUT...the River Valley 41

EAST Lab Student Excels Beyond the High School

Dustin Summey, EAST lab facilitator, left, and Casey Threlkeld discuss her projects.

Story and Photos by Jeannie Stone

Seventeen-year-old Casey Threlkeld is living the good life. The senior at Russellville High School (RHS) is already applying her learning to higher educational pursuits. Because she has earned her required credits for graduation, and because she has mastered the curriculum offered in her desired field, Threlkeld attends high school half a day and college the second half. Casey, daughter of Jeff and Kerri Threlkeld, is a prodigy of the EAST program at RHS where she has lab facilitator Dustin Summey to thank for developing her unique schedule. In fact, Summey added an advanced class, East Lab IV, for the sole purpose of allowing Threlkeld the opportunity to continue developing her talent and gaining experience. “She could have graduated early, but her parents thought she might later regret not graduating with her peers, so, as it was, she was going to be stuck in study hall and have so much down time,” Summey said. “That would have been such a waste. She is willing to do anything for anyone. Casey is one of those rare students with equal left and right brain traits, so she tackles problems using both technology and art. I want to help her reach her potential.” According to Summey, EAST focuses on student-driven service projects through the use of the latest in technology. “The heart of EAST is more than the technology,” he said. “The technology is what attracts the students, but the real-world skills the kids use allow them to develop independent learning skills and problem solving skills.” Those attributes are critical in succeeding in the fast-paced, hightech work force, and honing those skills sets RHS students apart from the average entry level worker or college freshman. Much has been said and written concerning the low-retention rate among college freshmen and Summey, ever the conscientious teacher, admits that for many students learning just loses its appeal. EAST recaptures the fun. “Students gain skills in graphic design, web development, geospatial technology, digital video and audio, and virtual reality simulation. And the joy of this,” he said, “is that students can choose the part that interests them the most and pursue it.”

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December 2008

That freedom to gravitate to what interested her appealed to Threlkeld. “It is so fun,” she said. “I get to be creative. There are no boundaries like having to write an essay according to set parameters. I get to choose what projects I want. I don’t like the video production, but I love working in Photoshop (a graphic design computer program).” Excellence follows passion, and from her initial submission, the energetic Threlkeld has garnered several citations at the state level, placing first in two competitions. She has attended the national EAST conference every year. “The best thing about the conventions,” she said, “is that I met my boyfriend the first year. Well, and the fact that I won in two categories.” Threlkeld has worked as an EAST student administrator all four year assisting other students. “There are so many things you have to learn from other people. You just can’t find it online,” she said. One of her pet projects has been updating the school district’s Web site. “A lot of the web pages didn’t flow well, and there were a lot of broken pages, so I went back and changed that.” She also added new teacher information. Approximately 200 nationwide programs have been implemented by the EAST Initiative -- an educational movement based in Little Rock and created by retired Greenbrier educator Tim Stephenson. Summey was enrolled in the first class organized at Russellville High School in 1998. His desire to re-connect with the program lured him back to RHS after he graduated from Tech with a Bachelors of Music Education.

December 2008 

EAST offers real world opportunities by offering school and community projects for students to showcase their emerging talents. “One of my biggest jobs is seeking service projects. The whole concept of doing something without expecting something in return is a novel concept for so many of the kids and is valuable itself,” Summey said. Threlkeld recently made 120 nametags for a number of school personnel. She is considering rendering three-dimensional Sketch Up models of the entire campus at Tech for her next community service project. “I went out there recently, and there were no names on buildings,” she said. “It was really confusing. It would be so easy to get on Google Earth (a Web site which provides current satellite images of any location on earth) and work on that. It would be great to have something on all the colleges so new students could see exactly what campuses looked like and how to get around.” “And if she puts it on Google Earth, it becomes a collaborative project,” Summey said. “Anybody in the world could view it.” After her morning high school classes Threlkeld enjoys having lunch with her parents, both of whom are very supportive. “It’s really nice sitting down with them for an hour every day. I get to share my day with them.” Her father Jeff is a firefighter, and her mother Kerri works in the admissions office at Tech. “Casey has flourished in this arrangement,” Kerri said. “She’s getting a great foundation for college… and life really. These small steps are taking a great big bite out of college.” Threlkeld has decided to continue her schooling at the University of Arkansas and enroll in their architecture department. Tech

doesn’t offer that line of study. “My dad used to be in construction,” she said, “and I used to visit the sites all the time. I was so fascinated with the fact that from a drawing a real three-dimensional structure appears. I still think that’s so cool.” She is also a member of the newspaper staff. “My actual job title is ‘computer guru extraordinaire.’ I don’t write; I just make it all look pretty.” She is also an active member of First Assembly of God Church of Russellville. Threlkeld considers building her own computer from scratch as her greatest accomplishment. She bought the individual components online and, according to her, spent “about one fourth of what I would have paid for a top of the line computer. “I have a crazy, awesome computer now,” she said with obvious pride. “I looked up on Dell, and I would have spent $3,000 if I’d bought the computer from them.” Threlkeld estimates her cost at $630. She is quick to encourage students to give EAST lab a try. Even her younger brother is envious of her schedule and is enrolled in the RJHS EAST program. “I think if you want to know anything more than simple basics of computers you should really take this class.” “And Mr. Summey is not your regular teacher,” she added. “He lets you learn on your own, which is really nice.” “The world is at her feet,” Summey said in response. “She should not settle on just any job. She’s one of our finest.” n To find out more information on the EAST program, visit or For more information, contact Dustin Summey at (479) 968-3151 or

ABOUT...the River Valley 43

Sandra Thompson & Velda Williams

Liz Daniel

Lawrence & Alice Fletcher

‘Most Beautiful’ Nova Scotia Described as “one of the most beautiful trips we have ever traveled on,” the ATU Alumni and Friends Travel Group spent 10 glorious days touring Canada’s Atlantic Coast in late September. In the company of 47 travelers – joined by groups from Colorado, North Carolina and Ohio – 17 local friends and alumni of Arkansas Tech viewed the sights and sounds of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward island and Halifax. The tour of the Canadian coastline featured a parade of “rugged, untouched beauty.” Travelers experienced a number of natural and cultural treasures, beginning with Halifax where the tour began. One of the most picturesque sots in Nova Scotia, Peggy’s Cove, featured a weathered lighthouse overlooking the cobalt sea. In Halifax’s charming downtown, travelers enjoyed lunch before embarking on a scenic tour of the city highlighting the waterfront, public gardens and the famous Citadel. Moved greatly by the Titanic gravesite, the group learned about the important role that Halifax played in rescuing the survivors of the tragic sinking ship. Day three found the travelers headed to new Brunswick where they viewed historic Fort Beausejour. A visit to the Olivierr Soapery, a unique museum touting the history of soap making, gave the group a chance to try their hand at traditional soap-making. From there, the group headed to the fishing village of Shediac, known as “the lobster capital of the world.” There they joined a local fisherman aboard their boat and learned how to catch, cook and crack their very own lobsters. A delicious lobster dinner followed. 44 ABOUT...the River Valley

The morning following, the group discovered the disappearing art of hand spinning at the London Wul Farm. They experienced the loving attention given the process – from caring for the animals to mixing the perfect shade of dye. The group followed the process of washing to spinning the wool to viewing the colorful creations in the museum’s gallery and boutique. Later the tourists traveled to the seasprayed shoreline to observe the amazing Hopewell Rocks, flowerpot-shaped rocks towering four-stories high at low tide and disappearing into tiny islands when the tide is high. This area is known worldwide as having the highest tide of any other location. After the group left New Brunswick, they crossed Confederation Bridge to the “island cradled in the waves.” Charlottetown later became the group home for the next two evenings where they enjoyed a wonderful performance at the Confederation of Arts Centre. The rolling landscapes of Prince Edwards Island were the backdrop of the acclaimed novel, “Anne of Green Gables.” The group visited the Anne of Green Gables Museum, the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery upon which she based her book. There travelers visited with a local potato farmer and learned first-hand about the potato industry. Cavendish National Park and a wharf in Rustico, celebrated for its picturesque fishing boats and lobster traps, were the next stop. At Founders’ hall, Canada’s Birthplace Pavilion, the group entered a “Time Travel Tunnel” to 1864 where they learned about the origins of the northern neighbors.

Photos Courtesy of ATU Alumni and Friends Travel

A morning ferry ride back to Nova Scotia found the travelers later enjoying a scenic drive along the pristine shores of d’Or Lakes, Canada’s only inland sea. The group later visited the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, where the inventor made his home. The famous Cabot Train – one of the most scenic drives on the Atlantic Coast, was the setting for the eighth day of the trip. There the travelers experienced the rugged terrain, mountainous beauty and spectacular ocean views. The day rounded out with a stop at the famed St. Peter’s Church in Cheticamp and a visit to the La Piroque Fisheries Museum where the members learned to make a traditional fishing net. Returning to Halifax on day nine, the group enjoyed leisure time to walk along the waterfront and indulge in delicious, fresh seafood. A farewell dinner on the Halifax harbor capped off the memorable trip. The ATU Alumni Friends and Travel is open to anyone who would enjoy traveling in the company of a group of both wellseasoned as well as new travelers. Trips are currently being planned for 2009 and include a tour of the Italian Lakes and Greek islands, the Pacific Northwest and California, a tour of Scotland and the San Antonio Holiday. An opportunity to travel in June 2010 to tour the Imperial Cities of Prague, Vienna, Budapest and the Oberammergan Passion is being arranged now. For information, contact Dana Moseley, office of ATU Gift Planning, or Phyllis Stone at (479) 964-0532 or via email at: or December 2008

Sue Stallings and Dan Gray

Dana Moseley (left)

Betty & Bob Humphreys

Marvin & Rita Duren


Departs May 29, 2009 – 12-Day Tour – Breathtaking beauty, rich cultures of northern Italy, Greece and Croatia abound on this cruise through the Eastern Mediterranean. Tour Milan, Como, Bari the island playgrounds of Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu. Travel to Dubrovnik, then sail to Venice.


Departs July 20, 2009 – 8-Day Tour – Cruise the Rogue River and visit Redwood National Park, Mt. St. Helens, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and see the Victorian architecture of Eureka.

Billy Saxton & Jackie Gardner

DISCOVER SCOTLAND Rita Duren Martha Faulkner

Departs September 14, 2009 – 10-Day Tour – Rolling hills, sea-sprayed islands, ancient castles. Tour Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Pitlochry, Dunrobin Castle, Lock Ness, Isle of Skye, travel by ferry to Orkney Islands – many more sites to see!


December 5, 2009 – 5-Day Tour – The “American Venice,” sidewalk cafes, architecture, beautiful river centerpiece. See The Alamo, Aztec Theater, Mission San Jose, Tex-Mex Cooking Class and create wonderful holiday memories! Preview: Jan. 29, 2009.


June 10, 2010 – 9-Day Tour – An opportunity to travel June 10-19, 2010, has been made available to our group through Collette Vacations. Imperial Cities featuring Prague, Vienna, Budapest and the Oberammergan Passion Play will be offered on a first come first serve basis to our group. The total price of the 10-day trip is a double rate of $5,149 per person.

ATU Travel

Alumni and Friends of Arkansas Tech Marie Rumage

December 2008 

For additional information, please contact Dana Moseley, Office of Gift Planning, (479) 964-0532

ABOUT...the River Valley 45



... the Best Products

n 1 Uniquely designed Pottery made locally.


Come see our selection of platters, ornaments, bottle stoppers, wall plaques. Custom orders available.

Bow K’s

121 East Harrell Drive, Suite 15 • Russellville (479) 890-2695


n 2 Do you have your vest yet? This Northface Vegas vest is available in several colors. Modeled by Paige Griffin.

Feltner’s Athlete’s Corner 2320 West Main • Russellville (479) 968-6464


n 3 Fun Keepsakes for the kids! Collectible Mini Helmet with Teddy Bear.

ATU Bookstore

209 West O St. • Russellville (479) 968-0255 n 4 Spring Hickories on Crow Mountain John Ahlen’s original oil on maple panel.

The Frame Shop and Gallery 311 West C Street • Russellville (479) 967-1398

n 5 Lots of Bling! Formal Affairs carries a wide variety of necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Make your special occasion spectacular.


Formal Affairs

121 East Harrell Drive Suite 11 • Russellville (479) 890-9557 n 6 Featured in the Oprah Magazine. These polka dot jewelry boxes are a fun place to put your valuables in when traveling Multi-colors available $18.00

Merle Normal Cosmetics


City Mall • Russellville (479) 968-6698

46 ABOUT...the River Valley

December 2008

brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Spoon Rum Glaze over warm bars; spread evenly. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Rum Glaze: Stir glaze ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Recipe from Bisquick II Cookbook.

Story continued from page 31


1 c. raisins ¾ c. water ¾ c. granulated sugar ½ c. butter 1 ¾ c. original Bisquick mix 1 ½ tsp. rum extract 1 egg Rum Glaze (below)


Rum Glaze ¾ c. powdered sugar 1 T butter 3 to 4 tsp. milk ½ tsp. rum extract

3 (12 oz) pkg fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed Vegetable cooking spray 2 c. sugar 1 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. ground cloves 1/3 c. brandy

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan, with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Heat raisins and water to boiling in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat; drain any remaining liquid. Add sugar and butter to raisins. Cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Stir Bisquick mix, rum extract and egg into raisin mixture until blended. Spoon batter into pan; spread evenly. Bake 15 to 16 minutes or until golden

This sweet-sour spread gives new meaning to sandwiches made with leftover turkey, roasted chicken, or try it with rotisserie chicken. Place cranberries in a single layer in two 15 x 10 x1-inch jellyroll pans coated with cooking spray. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, in a bowl; pour over cranberries. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Spoon cranberries into a large bowl; gently stir in brandy. Cool. Cover and store cranberries in refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Yield 4 c.s. Recipe from Recipes Made Lighter Cookbook.

Seasons Greetings Everyone at our company joins together to wish you a wonderful Holiday and a New Year filled with Peace and Happiness. j


Nutritional: serving size 1 Tablespoon: Cal 35, Fat 0.1 g, Carb 8g, Prot 0.1g

MOM’S PUMPKIN SHEET CAKE 1 c. vegetable oil 4 eggs 2 c. sugar 2 c. pumpkin or 1 (15 oz) can 2 c. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 2 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. cloves ½ tsp. ginger ½ tsp. nutmeg ½ c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan. In large bowl mix all ingredients well. Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Cool and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows).


2 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened 6 T. butter, softened 1 T. milk 1 tsp. vanilla 1 box sifted powdered sugar In large bowl combine ingredients and mix on medium speed of hand mixer until smooth. Frost cooled cake.


1 c. Karo syrup 1 c. sugar 1 ½ c. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) 6 c. corn flake cereal In large saucepan combine syrup and sugar, bring to rolling boil over medium heat. Add peanut butter. Mix until blended. Add Corn flakes, stir until coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool. Continued on page 54

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ABOUT...the River Valley 47

Story continued from page 23

They operate a social services department several days a week which offers counseling and assistance with utilities. They also provide clothing and furniture vouchers. “We get a lot of people who need clothes to go to work especially jeans and work boots,” Trish said. The thrift store located at 1801 S. Arkansas provides a service to folks who want to benefit their neighbors in need by donating their overabundance of clothes and goods, but it also operates as the clothes pantry for the clients. “We are really in need of volunteers in the thrift store,” Capt Michael said. A full time manager and three part-time employees continually sort through clothes, tag and run the cash register “We receive a lot of donations, but a lot of its trash.” The majority of the clothes which are too soiled or torn to recycle are delivered to a warehouse for restitution, and the clothes are then shipped to third world countries for distribution. Nothing is wasted. “The funds from the thrift store keep the pantry stocked and utilities paid,” Michael said. “It keeps us running.” The Angel Tree program is supported by the banking industry, merchants and several beauty shops in Russellville. “We accept children 12 years and younger, and

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Applications underway for the Angel Tree program at the Russellville Salvation Army. Children 12 and younger and seniors with no families are encouraged to sign up for Christmas sponsorship. Readers are able to adopt recipients at area banks, merchants and beauty salons.

our emphasis is on providing toys and fun things the family is not able to afford,” Capt. Trish said. “And we accept seniors, 62 and older, who have no family and have special needs.” The kettle program is up and running. Much to the surprise of the general public, however, is the fact that most of the ringers are paid. “We haven’t had much success in Russellville securing the amount of volunteers we need,” Michael said. “We have 15-16 sites and eight paid bell ringers.” All who come receive something according to Knott. “Last year the women’s ministry provided lap blankets for the nursing home patients. This year we are offering the women praying bears and the men skid-free socks. “Everyone is so grateful even for the little things,” she said. Late on Christmas eve last year, Capt. Trish took the angels off the tree that nobody had sponsored and went shopping with a very limited budget. “There was a nursing

home gentlemen who had asked for a pair of overalls and a shirt. I chose a shirt, and I really thought that’s all I could do, but I felt the Lord urge me to buy him overalls,” she said. “Oh, he was so proud of those overalls. He told everybody that his friends at the SA gave those to him, and when we went for our next program he was there in the front row wearing those overalls.” “Here at the Salvation Army, we don’t really care why people get sent to us as long as we can minister to them,” Capt. Trish said. “People don’t stop being homeless or needy in the winter.” Capt. Michael gives an update. “We don’t have any turkeys or hams yet, but we are hopeful. God is touching people as we speak.” n For more information on the Salvation Army or to donate funds or goods or to adopt a needy child or senior from the Angel Tree contact Capts. Trish and Michael Knott at (479) 968-5358.

Cogswell Motorsports

Holiday Special! Piaggio Fly 50

$ 1903 S. Arkansas • (479) 968-3991

48 ABOUT...the River Valley


• Environmentally-friendly single cylinder, four-stroke, highly reliable Piaggio LEADER engine. • Low seat suitable for riders of all heights • Low, wide wheels for stability and safety • Automatic transmission and electric start • Underseat storage for full size helmet • Glove and cell phone compartment • Electronic Immobilizer system

1900 E. Main, Russellville, AR • 479-968-2665 • December 2008

Story continued from page 9

Sales to the public begin the Saturday after Thanksgiving but previous purchasers are invited back by invitation for a preview sale on Friday before. The trees are shaken to remove any loose needles, wrapped and loaded into the family vehicle. The search, the find and the selection are fun for the entire family. The Christys have been asked if buyers could return their tree after usage, and in some cases, Terry has accepted a few. He suggests, instead, the donation of used trees to the Arkansas State Parks to be placed in the lake and used as fish beds – minus the decorations, of course! n Editor’s Note: The Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm, located two miles south of Dardanelle AR at 21669 North State Hwy. 7, will open to the public beginning Saturday, Nov. 29. Regular hours will be Sunday through Friday from 1 p.m. until dark; Saturdays 9 a.m. until dark through Christmas Eve. For additional information, call (479) 229-2201 or email

Dardanelle First Grade Students from Mrs. Cynthia Wood's class toured the Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm during December 2007.

Care For Your Live Tree Proper care of a live Christmas tree is important and the Christy family offers a number of suggestions. The most important tip is to use HOT WATER in your tree stand for the first day. After that, water thoroughly, just as you would fresh flowers, as the tree will be most thirsty during its first few days, often drinking more than a gallon a day. After that, intake will be less but water supply should be checked DAILY. Until the tree is ready to be decorated, it should be kept outdoors and ALWAYS in water. It should be kept away from fireplaces and other heat sources when taken into the home. All electric decorations and connections should be checked CAREFULLY and lighted candles should NEVER be used indoors. Tree lights should be turned off at night and anytime that someone is not at home. These tips and more may be found in the coloring book distributed to children and adults visiting the Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm. For additional information, visit

December 2008 

ABOUT...the River Valley 49

2008 Community Christmas Ornament Features Pearson Hotel Main Street Russellville’s 2008 limited-edition community Christmas ornament features the Pearson Hotel. Art work for this year’s ornament was provided by well-known local artist Gloria Garrison. Built in 1926, the Hotel Pearson was described as “Modern -Known For Service”. The building is presently known by many local residents as the 500 Building. Buford Smith, life long resident and local historian, shared information that he remembered about the Pearson Hotel. “Evelyn Pearson moved to Russellville from Texas,” Buford recalled. “I remember when she built the hotel, one of her contractors was a Mr. M. Mortesen, who was also a contractor on the Pope County Courthouse. Even though there is no cornerstone on the Pearson Hotel, Mortesen’s name is on a marble plaque hanging inside the courthouse.” “Evelyn was known to have a nice dining room located on the first floor in the northwest corner of the hotel. A lot of people ate Sunday dinner at the Pearson Hotel. Her salads were quite popular with those famous Ritz crackers! My cousin, Lela Jane Henry Wilson, had her wedding reception in the dining room. It was a popular place for things like that.

“There was also an insurance office on the first floor, and a coffee shop was located on the southwest corner. Evelyn’s sister in law, Lucille Shinn Pearson, had a beauty shop on the first floor as well,” Buford recalled. Current building owner Randy Campbell has a display case full of memorabilia on the first floor of the 500 Building. A room rate card for Room No. 310 lists the price of the room Without Bath as $3.50 for 1 Person and $5 for 2 Persons. “This is the 15th year for the ornaments, and they have become quite a collector’s item. Many of our customers have collected complete sets over the years. The ornaments have created awareness and an appreciation for the history surrounding many of the buildings located in the Downtown District,” according to Betsy McGuire, executive director of Main Street Russellville. The ornaments are previewed each year during the Downtown Fall Festival & Chili Cookoff. Following the festival, the ornaments are available for sale at the Depot for $8 each. Previous year’s ornaments increase one dollar in price each year out of circulation. Main Street Russellville ornaments currently available include:







Pope County Courthouse



Gloria Garrison


Old Post Office



MSR file photo


Russellville Public Library


Navy Blue

MSR file photo


Riggs Hamilton Am. Legion Post



Gloria Garrison


Central Presbyterian Church



church file photo


First United Methodist Church



church file photo


First Baptist Church


Golden Mist

MSR file photo


First Christian Church



church file art/photo


Historic Mo-Pac Depot


Dark Green

MSR file photo


Boulder Avenue Christian Church


Light blue

MSR file photo


Masonic Temple



MSR file photo


Pearson Hotel



Gloria Garrison

The following ornaments are sold out and no longer available. They include: 1995, J.L. Shinn Building; 1996, Missouri-Pacific Depot, and 2007, the Henry R. Koen Building. Additional information is available at the office of Main Street Russellville, located in the Historic Missouri-Pacific Railroad Depot, 320 W. ‘C’ Street, Russellville, or by calling (479) 967-1437.

Custom Made Wall Lettering and Picture Frames

Wishing you a Happy

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10 inch letters up to 6 letters $28.50 --- order more than one set and receive 10% off your order.

Penny Harris 50 ABOUT...the River Valley

479-498-2617 479-886-0138

1310 W. Main, Suite 101 Russellville, AR 72801 P 479-967-3555 • F 479-967-3556 • December 2008

ABOUT Loibner Introduced

Ann Adams, chair of the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center’s Visual Arts Committee, introduced Polly Loibner, artist, at a recent reception for Loibner’s art exhibit. “Miss Polly” as she has been known for years is an icon throughout the State of Arkansas. For many years she shared her artistic talents by teaching televised art classes that were brought into many classrooms throughout the state.  She is still painting and active in the arts community.  Her works have been exhibited often at the Arts Center, located at 1001 East B Street in Russellville.

Tech Begins Recycling Program

Arkansas Tech University, in partnership with its food service provider, Chartwells, and Recycle Works, has implemented a new recycling strategy. The program will be used to process much of the solid waste produced by Chambers Cafeteria and the snack bar locatedws inside the Doc Bryan Student Services Building. A new co-mingle recycling container has been placed behind Chambers Cafeteria and will serve as the disposal point for all corrugated boxes, steel or tin food cans, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and office paper that results from the university’s food service operations. “Other members of the campus community are encouraged to use the container as long as they follow the Recycle Works guidelines on preparing the recyclables before they take them to the container,” said Brian Lasey, assistant director of the physical plant.

Community Those guidelines include breaking down all corrugated boxes, rinsing steel or tin food cans clean and placing all aluminum cans, plastic bottles and office paper in bags. Aluminum cans and plastic bottles may be bagged together, but office paper must be bagged separately. Lasey said that a solid waste audit conducted before the recycling container was installed indicated that once the program is fully implemented, the university will be able to recycle the equivalent of one dumpster of solid waste per day. Members of the Arkansas Tech Campus Environmental Coalition will be participating in an educational campaign in coming weeks in an effort to increase the number of Tech students, faculty and staff participating in the recycling program. For more information, call the Arkansas Tech Physical Plant at (479) 968-0261.

Students Recognized by Chamber

The Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee has been busy implementing educational programs for area youth. The committee has been extremely involved with the communication between the school district and local businesses. This committee oversees the Arkansas Scholars program, sponsors Partners in Education, and develops other events and programs to enhance the education and skills of students. In October, the education committee presented the Arkansas Scholars program to 420 Russellville Junior High School students. This program is designed to encourage

students to continue to strive toward the goal of becoming a designated Arkansas Scholar. Qualifications for being awarded the Arkansas Scholar designation include maintaining a 95% attendance rate, earn semester grades of “C” or above in all courses in grades 9-12, complete their high school career in eight consecutive semesters, and take the core curriculum to graduate. The Chamber of Commerce education committee consists of: Leon Anderson, Jennifer Bell, Cynthia Blanchard, Jill Brown, Sky Hamilton, Kathy Kearney, Barbara Mabry, Emily McIllwain, Dana Mosley, Corinne Smith, Margie Smith, Kristin Smith, Tom Tyler, Randall Williams and Gerry Summers, chairman. The committee distributed Arkansas Scholar incentives to students in November to recognize individuals working toward this elite designation. Contact the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce at (479) 9682530 for more information on this community committee.

Vespa Winner

Karen Smith, superintendent of Hector Public School District, was the winner of a 2008 bright yellow VESPA motor scooter donated by Cogswell Motors to the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center’s fund raising event, “Amore delle Arti.” Pattie Posey, a member of the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center Board of Directors, and Keith Cogswell, owner Cogswell Motors, congratulated Smith. Cogswell employee Mary Bartlett drew the winning ticket. Continued on page 53

Representing the Spirit and Personality of the Valley... “Millyn’s started advertising in ABOUT Magazine because we had worked earlier with Dianne Edwards and we knew how excellent, efficient, and

dependable she always was. We continue advertising because ABOUT is such a fine representation of the spirit and personality of our wonderfully unique Valley. The quality of the magazine is superb and it is fun to read.”


Lynne Murphy Owner, Millyn's

... the River Valley

Contact Melanie Conley at 858-2708, Stephanie Young at 970-2215, or LeAnne Colvin at 857-7912.

December 2008 

Lynne Murphy, Owner Millyn’s

ABOUT...the River Valley 51

ABOUT Teaff, Horton Marry

Photography by RC White

Edwards-Lane Wed

Stephanie Daigh Edwards and Jesse Douglas Lane, both of Fayetteville, were married on Saturday, June 7, 2008, at The Lodge atop Mount Magazine State Park. Pastor Wayne E. Drain was the officiant. The bride is the daughter of Nolan and Dianne Edwards of Russellville. Grandparents include Richard and Sue Siler of Russellville, and Robert and Virginia Edwards of Dardanelle. Great-grandmother is Mrs. Edna Jones of Bossier City, La. The groom is the son of Debbie Lane of Rogers and the late Douglas Lane. Grandparents include Mrs. Lou Thomason and Mrs. Lucia Lane. Maid of Honor was Jennifer Smith. Bridesmaids included Laura Edwards, Melissa Edwards, Amber Terrones, Anne Hinkley, Claire Morledge, Laura Loafman, Alyssa Walden and Jessica Teaff. Flower girls were Malley and Mia Terrones. Best Man was Jordan Childress. Groomsmen included Matthew Lane, Joshua Lane, Matthew Terrones, Zachary Lee, Joshua Hart, Eric Eidson, Daniel Fields and Nathan Riley. Junior groomsmen included Denver and Bryce Lane. Joshua Brooks Lane served as ringbearer. A reception and dance, immediately following the wedding, was held in the banquet hall of The Lodge. Following a trip to the Maya Riviera, the couple made their home in Fayetteville where she is completing a master’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Arkansas and he is employed with Dayspring of Siloam Springs.

Jessica Elaine Teaff and Christopher Grant Horton, both of Russellville, were married Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, during an evening wedding on the beach of Captiva Island, Fla. The wedding was attended by family and friends who traveled for the event. The officiant was Sue Totterdale. The bride is the daughter of Chris and Lisa Teaff of Russellville. The groom is the son of Rene Horton of Tamarac, Fla., and Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Horton of Russellvile. Given in marriage and escorted by her father, the bride wore a strapless empire waist gown with satin sheath overlay featuring beaded lace applique’ and cage train. Her elbow-length veil featured a beaded scalloped edge and beaded flower motif. Swarovski crystals and pearls adorned her tiara. The bride carried a bouquet of pink and orange roses. Darielle D’Mello served the bride as maid on honor while Ryan McShane served the groom as Best Man. Immediately following the wedding, a reception was held at Sanibel’s Historic Community House on Sanibel Island. Following a wedding trip to St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands, the couple made their home in Oklahoma City, Okla. The bride is employed by Midwest Regional Hospital in Oklahoma City and the groom is a graduate student studying biomedical sciences at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Photography by RC White

Moudy, Fisher Vows

Suzanne Ashley Moudy and John Nicholas Fisher were married Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008, at Danville United Methodist Church. The Rev. Tom Sullinger officiated. The bride’s parents are Ret. Lt. Col. and Mrs. Phillip Wayne Moudy of Danville. Grandparents are Ellen Moudy Capehart, the late J.A. Moudy Jr, and the late Arley and Lucille Corbin. The groom’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. William Michael Fisher Sr. of Wynne. He is the grandson of Janet Bondurant of Ashville, N.C., the late Alton McEduff, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Harrell Fisher. Laura Moudy Parker served as matron of honor while Jacob Fisher of Conway and Zach Gaskin served as best men. Bridesmaids included Julie Enns, Elizabeth Reed and Melissa Simpson. Junior bridesmaids were Caroline, Emily, and Courtney Corbin and Lily Overmeyer. Groomsmen were Ben Fisher, Will Fisher, Tony Ellis, Billy Hollaway, Justin Patton, David Walker, Langston Parker, ring bearer. Aisle attendants: Katherine Overmeyer and Mary Reese; Ellas Fisher, flower girl and Rebecca Kesner, scripture reader. Honorees were Amanda Brock, Hillary Moreland, Emily Kukal, Kodi Baker, Julie Hinkley, Melissa Wallace, Robbie Roberts, Neall Jackson and John David King. Musicians were Phyllis George, Martha Burks, Sarah Kesner, Steve Kesner, and Emily and Tim Patton. Seating guests were Tommy Parker, Ryan Meyers, Alex Hoge and Miller Fisher. Wedding coordinators were Guyann Donnell and Joe Turner.

To have your 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, Rsvl. AR 72812. Information is available by calling (479) 970-6628. Word count is limited to 225 words.

52 ABOUT...the River Valley

December 2008

Story continued from page 51

Nature photographer Ernst at Tech

Weddings 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: (A phone number must be included for verification.)

–Saturday, December 13– Noelle Weldon and Kimble Linch

–Saturday, December 20– Ashley Clements and Tanner Stahl Andrea Willison and John Chenowith Carrie Carson and Rush Cornwell

–January 17, 2009–

Mary Elizabeth Hicky and Fletcher Maynard

–January 24, 2009– Claire Newman and Justin Lieblong

–March 14, 2009– Melissa Howard and Kyle Scott

–March 29, 2009– Whitney Haines and Mike Peebles

–May 16, 2009–

Morgan Sain and Matt Wilkins Meredith Goodson and Andrew Curtis

Tim Ernst, who has spent the last 33 years documenting the beauty of Arkansas and the United States through his wilderness photography, addressed a group on nature enthusiasts at Arkansas Tech University on Friday, Nov. 21. The Arkansas Tech Department of Recreation and Parks Administration and the TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers recently sponsored “An Evening with Tim Ernst” in the Doc Bryan Student Services Building Lecture Hall. Admission was free. A native of Fayetteville and a resident of Cave Mountain in the Buffalo River Wilderness, Ernst is president of the Ozark Highlands Trail Association. His wilderness photographs have appeared in such publications as National Geographic, Audubon, Outside and the New York Times. He has also authored more than a dozen hiking trail guidebooks and published eight coffee table books featuring his wilderness photography. Ernst received the Henry Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service from the state of Arkansas in 1995. He is also a past American Hiking Society Volunteer of the Year and a two-time recipient of the Take Pride in America awards at the White House in Washington, D.C.

JA Chapter Hosts Meeting

List courtesy of Millyn’s in Dardanelle The 2009 issue of ABOUT… Weddings and Special Occasions will deadline on Dec. 15, 2008. For photo and announcement rates, please call (479) 970-6628 or visit the office of ABOUT Magazine located at 417 West Parkway in Russellville.

The annual Area Meeting of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA) was held Oct. 18 at Doc Bryan Student Center on the campus of Arkansas Tech University. Approximately 100 members representing 24 chapters

A person’s risk for skin cancer doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher everyday!


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Gingerbread Contest Dec. 5th

With the Holidays right around the corner, it’s time for the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center’s 3rd annual Gingerbread Creation contest. The contest is sponsored by the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center to show case local culinary artists. Categories include professional, non-professional adults and children. The contest is open to everyone. There will be a $25.00 cash prize in each of the three categories. One may enter as many creations as he or she wishes, but all entries must be within the same category. There is no entry fee. The gingerbread creations will be auctioned off during a silent auction held between 5 and 8 p.m. during the December Downtown Art Walk. Proceeds will be divided between the creator and the Arts Center to be used to benefit children’s programs. The gingerbread creations must be delivered between 4 and 5 p.m. to the Downtown Depot, 320 West C Street in Downtown Russellville, on Friday, December 5. Entry forms must be completed and attached to one to your creations. A copy must be delivered to the Arts Center located at 1001 East B Street, Russellville or sent by mail to Arts Center, P.O. Box 2112, Russellville, AR 72811. For more information, contact Betty LaGrone at (479) 968-2452. n

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December 2008 

from Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Mississippi were in attendance. Johnna Walker of Russellville, NAJA Region 1 Director, supported the Junior Auxiliary of Russellville chapter in hosting the event. Guest speaker for the event was Dr. Debby Mitchell, fitness expert and founder of the “Move to Improve” program.

WiFi Available! Hwy. 22 • Dardanelle AR • 229-0375

ABOUT...the River Valley 53

ABOU T at your Service!

Story continued from page 47

BUTTON-EYED CROW Unique Hand Made Gifts and Collectables, Jelly, Homemade Soaps, Wickless Candles, Tarts, Potpourri, Wood Signs & Specialty Gift Baskets - Family Owned & Operated Hwy. 64 across from Pottsville Post Office (479) 967-6755

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Beat eggs until foamy. Stir together eggs and butter; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Place foil baking cups in muffin tin, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups filling 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks. Yield 9 muffins, or 24 mini muffins. If making mini muffins bake them 12 to 15 minutes. Recipe from Allison Ryder.


Dance With Joy Now Booking Holiday Party Rentals! DJ/Karoke/MC services available off site. Give the Gift of Dance - classes for ages 2 through adult in a variety of dance styles. Go to our website for more information P. (479) 968-1620 or (479) 264-7287 E.M.T. GUTTERWORKS We specialize in the installation of seamless gutters. Free Estimates! Mark Signor (owner) P. (479) 331-4140 • C. (479) 880-6759 MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION Specializing in acute and clinic care. Very competitive rates. Your patient’s care is our number one priority. River Valley Medical Transcription (479) 858-2708 or (479) 967-4899


1 c. pecans, chopped 1 c. brown sugar, firmly pack ½ c. all purpose flour 2 large eggs ½ c. butter, melted


1 c. finely chopped pecans 1 c. sugar 2 sticks butter 3 T. water 1 T. Karo Syrup 3 chocolate candy bars or 1 (12 oz) pkg of chocolate chips

Place a 2-ft. piece of aluminum foil on counter-top or other hard surface. Place chopped pecans, spread evenly on foil. Combine sugar, butter, water, and syrup in a saucepan. Cook on high heat stirring constantly to hard crack stage. (See Q’s-Tip below). Pour over chopped pecans. Top with candy bars or chocolate chips, when melted spread with a knife. When cooled break into pieces. Q’s-Tip: Hard Crack stage - Drop into cold water a few drops of the sugar mixture, if it crunches in your mouth when you eat it, the mixture is ready to be poured over nuts.

CHRISTMAS RED & GREEN SALAD 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained 1 (15 oz.) can peas, drained 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained 1/2 c. minced red onion 1/2 c. chopped celery 1/2 c. sliced radishes 1 c. creamy salad dressing 2 tablespoons milk

Combine the corn, peas, beans, onions, celery, and radishes. Whisk together the salad dressing and milk. Pour over salad. Toss and refrigerate overnight. n

SKY Designs Custom design your special baby gift! From diaper cakes to pacifier and ponytail holders. We can coordinate by theme and color. (479) 970-2215 Be the first service professional that comes to mind when your prospective customer needs a product or service you provide. Have your business or service included in the next issue of ABOUT … the River Valley, contact Melanie Conley at (479) 967-4899.

Your Newest Family Member is Waiting for You at the

Russellville Animal Shelter Open Monday through Friday 9 am-1 pm • 2-5 pm 3115 S. Mobile Russellville

(off Jimmy Lile Rd, Hwy 7T)

(479) 968-1944 Answering Machine available for After-Hours Calls

54 ABOUT...the River Valley

December 2008

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