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Green Goat Winery



Destination Palestine Red Fire Grille Redlands Hotel Texas Country Music Hall of Fame McKinney Food Tours




G N I Buck Hay Farm G Y N Quanah Parker S I WBivO n O s e L Oe Legacy C Battle of the Neches Th ONE MAN. TWO WORLDS.



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5 Editor’s Note & Letters


16 Hey Jude, Buck Owens, Battle of the Neches, Kids Water Zone, and Noble Willingham


18 Shadow Renaissance Festival, Quilt Hop, Paddling Parks, and Event Picks 20 Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds

THE ARTS 30  Culture Club Art Gallery of Winnsboro, Texarkana Juried Exhibition, Arts Events

STAGE 24 N  ew seasons for Cowan Center and Angelina Arts Alliance, plus Singing in the Rain and 1776.




34 Billy Bob Thornton, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy LaFave and Music Picks.


40 Food Tours of McKinney, Bistro 1916 in Mount Vernon, and Green Goat Winery in Edom


44 James and the Giant Peach and Palette of Possibility



8 The Legacy of Tex Ritter

America’s famous singing cowboy left a treasure chest of entertaining music and movies as well as descendants who carry on not only his music and acting talents, but his generous and kind nature. By P.A. Geddie

22 Historic Redlands Hotel

Fully restored grand hotel in downtown Palestine rolls offers modern suites and oldtime charm. By Tracy Torma 26 Things to do in Palestine 28 Fine Dining at Red Fire Grille


45 War Letters, and The Forgotten

county line Upper East Side of Texas



Green Goat Winery Destination Palestine

Red Fire Grille Redlands Hotel Texas Country Music Hall of Fame McKinney Food Tours




G G I NOY N I Quanah Parker S WBives On cy L CO Lega Battle of the Neches The A’S

M Buck Hay Farm A



38 New Generation Hay Farm

Siblings Casie and Cody Buck are creating quality horse hay in Franklin County. By Terry Mathews




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Serving those living & playing in the Upper East Side of Texas


CONTRIBUTORS Tracy Torma Terry Mathews Jaelan Linville Megan Hendrix Dave Shultz

Digital Publications Assistant Krista Leard


SUBSCRIPTIONS County Line Magazine is published every other month, 6 times a year. Subscription costs: $15 per year. Bulk rate postage paid at Ben Wheeler, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to County Line Magazine, P.O. Box 608, Ben Wheeler, TX 75754. Contents COPYRIGHT 2018 County Line all rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in articles or advertising appearing in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Mailing address: P.O. Box 608, Ben Wheeler, TX 75754 Phone: 903.963.8306. E-mail: Website: Free listings are entered on a space available basis. Advertising space may be purchased by calling 903.963.8306. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we deem incompatible with our mission.

EDITOR’S NOTE Dear Readers, Welcome to the hottest time of the year in the Upper East Side of Texas! Luckily for us, there’s plenty of fun to go around inside or out and one way to get started is to read about the interesting people, places, and unique nature of our region in this issue. It was a genuine pleasure to get to know a little bit of the Ritter family through my visits with Tommie Ritter Smith in Carthage and Carly Ritter, daughter of the late John Ritter, and granddaughter of the man that graces our cover, the legendary Tex Ritter. I hope you learn a few things in my article about this talented family and the huge hearts they have for other human beings. Another family that’s carrying their talents through multiple generations are the Bucks. Twenty-somethings Casie and Cody decided they wanted to produce quality hay for horses and they are doing just that to the delight of all their animal clients that love to see the Buck “food truck” coming. There are numerous lovely small town destination opportunities noted in this issue and we’ve got an extended feature on Palestine, Texas. Starting with the elegant Redlands Hotel and all it has to offer — including the fine dining restaurant and lounge, Red Fire Grille — visitors can explore the downtown area and branch out further to attractions like the Texas State Railroad. Redlands Hotel owner Jean Mollard comments about the personal touch visitors find in small towns that’s uncommon with chains and corporations. She notes that even when some of the shops are closed there’s still plenty of good food and shopping to find. Small town tourism is like that. For over rural 20 years, Sometimes shops closed. You can Texans for are the Arts Texans for the Arts consistently worked to: still find hasan adventure. It’s not unlike Protect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) arts funding small››villages you’ll find off the beaten Increase funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts path in Europe —about like theirs, › Expand the conversation the vital role the arts sometimes play in our schools and communities our towns are inthatthe › Support tax policiessleepy and other measures help afternoons artists and arts organizations or closed days. Call ahead. Or don’t. › Advocate for increased funding for the National For over 20 years,

has consistently worked to:

› Protect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) arts funding

convenience store with an outhouse in the back! Filled with essential groceries for the community, the store also served as the neighborhood gathering hole. I had so much fun getting to know the local culture there. Another afternoon in another sleepy village found me in the midst of several Italian men arguing over my shoulder as they all tried to show me the proper way to eat spaghetti and meatballs — none of them agreeing on what the proper way is — spoon or no spoon was the biggest debate. I have an enormous collection of memories now of times spent in delightful small towns in the Upper East Side of Texas and I treasure every single adventure and enjoy hearing about adventures from others. One friend told me she went to a winery and couldn’t find anybody around until she peeked out back and saw the owner on a tractor. He was happy to come in, share his wines, and visit a while. The thing I love most about our region is its authenticity and simple, meaningful times like that. Moments at a cafe where I’m listening to a local musician, eating delicious farm-to-table fare, and see a father on the front porch lifting his baby girl up high in the air to her delight. Or watching a group of neighbors trying to keep a stray dog safe, or the many, many interesting stories shared with me about the people, history, and uniqueness of each community. Build some memories in our small towns and downtown communities this summer. Take the time to enjoy whatever sleepy or lively adventure comes your way and feel free to drop me a line to tell me all about it. P.A. Geddie

Please feel free to send us your comments.

› Increase funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts

The Official Arts Advocacy Organization for Texas

The Official Arts Advocacy Texans for the Arts is at the forefront of empowering artists, arts leaders, committed supporters, and citizen activists like Organization for Texas you! Together we can amplify our powerful voices to increase both public and private resources to build strong, dynamic,

Texans for the iscommunities at the forefront of empowering artists, and Arts creative all across Texas. arts leaders, committed supporters, and citizen activists like you! Together we can amplify our powerful voices to increase both public and private resources to build strong, dynamic, and creative communities all across Texas.


› Expand the conversation about the vital role the arts play in our schools and communities › Support tax policies and other measures that help artists and arts organizations

› Advocate for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and for federal policies that support artists and arts organizations.

Endowment for the Arts and for federal policies that support artists and arts organizations.

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America’s Most Beloved Singing Cowboy Lives On Through His Heirs and Hometown By P.A. Geddie


his summer marks 20 years since the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage began holding an event to honor outstanding contributors to the industry. Among the six inductees that first year in 1998 was Panola County’s hometown hero and America’s most beloved singing cowboy, Tex Ritter. Maurice Woodward “Tex” Ritter was born January 12, 1905, the youngest of six children of James Everett and Elizabeth Matthews Ritter. They were ranchers in the Murvaul community just south of Carthage. Tex grew up in a family that loved music and they liked to sing in church. As a teenager, he studied voice, trumpet, and guitar. He graduated high school with honors in 1922 and enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin to study law. After traveling to Chicago with a musical troupe, he entered Northwestern Law School. But Tex was soon derailed from a law career by a love of country music and show business. In 1928 he sang cowboy

songs on a radio program in Houston and later moved to New York City and landed a job in the men’s chorus of the Broadway show The New Moon. He appeared as a cowboy in the Broadway production Green Grow the Lilacs in 1931, which was the basis for the musical Oklahoma!. He played the part of Sagebrush Charlie in The Round Up in 1932 and Mother Lode in 1934. During the early 1930s, Tex performed on numerous radio shows, singing and telling tales of the Old West and he began recording songs with his first release being “Goodbye Old Paint.” “Rye Whiskey” soon followed and in 1935 he signed with Decca Records where he released his first original recordings, “Sam Hall” and “Whoopee Ti Yi Yo.” He recorded 29 songs for Decca, the last in 1939 in Los Angeles as part of Tex Ritter and His Texans.

began his movie career. His motion picture debut was Song of the Gringo. He starred in 12 B-movie Westerns including Headin’ for the Rio Grande and Trouble in Texas co-starring Rita Hayworth. Between 1938 and 1945, Tex starred in around 40 “singing cowboy” movies. From 1938 to 1940, Tex made four movies with a young actress named Dorothy Fay from Prescott, Arizona: Song of the Buckaroo, Sundown on the Prairie, Rollin’ Westward, and Rainbow Over the Range. Tex and Dorothy Fay Southworth married June 14, 1941.

Tex was also cast during this time in guest-starring roles on TV shows including Death Valley Days and The Rebel.

He teamed up with Johnny Mack Brown for films Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Old Chisholm Trail in 1942 and The Lone Star Trail, Raiders of San Joaquin, and Cheyenne Roundup in 1943. He was also the star of the films Arizona Trail, Marshal of Gunsmoke, and Oklahoma Raiders from 1943-44. And in 1944-45 he did eight features as “Texas Ranger Tex Haines.”

In 1936 Tex moved to Los Angeles and

About this time Tex turned his atten-


tion to his recording career. In 1944 his “I’m Wastin’ My Tears On You” hit No. 1 on the country chart and 11 on the pop chart. Billboard magazine noted years later that with that song, he “reached the style of rhythmic tune that would assure his musical stature.” For the next few years Tex cranked out one chart topper after another including “There’s a New Moon Over My Shoulder,” “You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often,” “Rye Whiskey,” “The Deck of Cards,” “Pecos Bill,” and “Daddy’s Last Letter.” Tex and Dorothy welcomed first son Thomas Matthews Ritter on January 8, 1947, and son Jonathan Southworth Ritter on September 17, 1948. In 1952 Tex recorded the movie title track “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin’)” which became a hit. At the first televised Academy Awards ceremony in 1953, he sang the song, and received an Oscar for Best Song that year. During the early 1950s he began performing on TV on shows like Town Hall Party and Ranch Party in Los Angeles and in 1955 made his national TV debut on ABC’s Ozark Jubilee, followed by its 1961 NBC spin off, Five Star Jubilee. Tex released his first long-play (LP) album, Songs from the Western Screen, in 1957. In 1961, he hit the charts with “I Dreamed of a Hill-Billy Heaven.” He was one of the founding members of the Country Music Association in Nashville and spearheaded the effort to build the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Inducted in 1964, he was the first singing cowboy to be honored there. Tex and Dorothy Fay moved to Nashville in 1965 and he went to work for

WSM Radio and the Grand Ole Opry, earning a lifetime membership in the latter in 1970. For a time, Dorothy was an official greeter at the Opry. During this period, Tex co-hosted a late-night radio program with country disc jockey Ralph Emery. In 1966, Tex played himself in the movie Nashville Rebel, where moviegoers were introduced to a little-known 29-year-old country singer named Waylon Jennings. In 1967, “Just Beyond the Moon” hit No. 3 on the country chart. For the next few years, Tex dabbled in politics and toured with his band. On a snowy January 2, 1974, Tex went to the courthouse in Nashville to bail his lead guitar player out of jail (arrested for not paying child support). While waiting for his band mate’s release, Tex sat down in a chair and died right there. It was ruled a heart attack then, but years later, the family would come to learn about aortic aneurysms

Tex Ritter, wife Dorothy Fay, and their sons Tom and John. Photos courtesy of Tex Ritter Museum, Carthage, Texas.

and believe now that was the cause of his death. Tex died just 10 days before his 69th birthday. His last hit record was a cover of “The Americans (A Canadian’s Opinion)” which made the charts shortly after his death. Tex Ritter followed his dreams and lived life to the fullest. For his contribution to the recording industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Museum in Oklahoma City in 1980, and received numerous other accolades throughout his life. Besides leaving the world with a treasure chest of entertainment, his heirs continue to resonate his generous and vibrant spirit. continued page 10

A small sampling of famous posters from among the 40 or so movies in which Tex Ritter starred, a career that spanned 30 years starting in 1936.


RITTER continued

from page 9


Tex and Dorothy Fay’s two sons — Tom and John — grew up in southern California in the 1950s with two famous parents and with Tex deeply steeped in movie and music recording fame. With a “singing cowboy” for a father, the boys spent most of their time with their mother, as Tex was on the road performing much of the time. First son Tom was born with cerebral palsy. Tex helped start United Cerebral Palsy, an international leading advocate for adults and children with disabilities and the family spent a great deal of time raising money and public awareness to help others with the disorder. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2001, John talked about growing up with his brother. ”The idea of feeling the responsibility of watching out for your older sibling is something I can identify with [but] I thought my brother was much stronger, tougher and meaner than my parents thought. I thought they coddled him. “If he fell down, I’d say, ‘Get up.’” Later, Tom went to law school, which was where their parents wanted both of the boys to go, while John pursued drama. “He was the good son,” John said. Today, Tom is married to Pamela and they live in the Los Angeles area. He is involved with his church activities and likes to visit his father’s beloved Panola County, Texas, when he can. John followed in his parents footsteps and became a famous actor. As early as 1968 he began appearing in TV shows with a resume that includes almost 100 different shows and 42 movies. A couple of his most notable movies include Problem Child and Sling Blade. But it was TV that brought his charming smile and quick wit into living rooms around the world. His biggest recurring role early in his career was as Rev. Matthew Fordwick on The Waltons, from 1972 to 1976. By this time Tex and Dorothy could see their youngest son was bound for stardom but it wasn’t until shortly after Tex’s death that the world fell in love with John as the delightfully entertaining Jack Tripper in Three’s Company that

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Holds Classic Country Music Festival The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage is holding its annual Classic Country Music Festival August 9 through 12. Activities kick off Thursday at 7 p.m. with the Country Music Hayride Show at the Esquire Theater featuring local bands Dusty Boots and Southern Impact and special guests. There’s a $5 entry fee. On Friday is the John Ritter Tribute Showcase where young musical performers compete for a chance to represent the Hall of Fame in the coming year and win a prize package that includes $1,000. Contestants perform for celebrity judges and are backed by the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Band. The event is hosted by country artist Linda Davis and takes place at the new Carthage High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15. Saturday is the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Show taking place at the Performing Arts Center. Neal McCoy is this year’s emcee and he’ll also perform along with others including Dallas Wayne. The 2018 inductees include the “voice” of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Leon Rausch, and country gospel group The Chuck Wagon Gang. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the activities begin at 6 p.m. Tickets range from $60-$100. ran from 1976 to 1984. The sequel Three’s a Crowd followed from 1984-1985 and many other successes came later including his role as Detective Harry Hooperman from 1987-1989, playing a senator’s aide in Hearts Afire from 19921995, and providing the voice of Clifford the Big Red Dog from 2000-2003. His last sitcom was 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. After 31 episodes, John suddenly collapsed on the


Sunday features free gospel music at the Hall of Fame with special guests including Gena Hamilton and The Chuck Wagon Gang from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum is open extended hours during this special weekend from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Free tours are available and special guests are featured throughout the days. The museum is full of country music history and items like Willie Nelson’s golf putter and headband. Personalized plaques acknowledging the highlights of the lives and careers of each artist inducted into the hall of fame line the walls. The hall is packed with a wide array of memorabilia showcasing the various contributions these artists made to country music, including a collection of 20 Nudie suits worn by the likes of Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Jimmy Dean, Johnny Rodriguez, Buck Owens, and Tex Ritter. In addition to the individual artist tributes, the museum also includes a vintage movie marquee as a reminder of the important longstanding relationship between Hollywood and country music. For more information on the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame museum and ceremony, call 903.694.9661 and visit www.tcmhof. com.

set and passed way from an aortic aneurysm September 11, 2003, the same thing it is now believed that killed his father. In Remembering John Ritter: A Life of Laughter that aired just weeks after his death, John’s family and co-workers paid tribute to him. Diane Sawyer emceed and said, “It’s as if John knew he had 90 years of living to spread around in just 55 years.”

GENERATIONS OF TALENTED RITTERS: Tex, John, Jason, Carly, Tyler, and a young Stella with John. Courtesy photos

“but hearing what a huge and generous person he was in the world means so much.”

Like his father, John did indeed pack a lot of living into his short life.

She and her siblings of course heard much about their legendary grandfather while growing up with their equally legendary father. But beyond all the “celebrity” were much greater lessons in giving back to others, lessons they learned early in life going to summer camps that helped other kids, and watching the adults in the family.

Tex and John became the first fatherand-son duo to get stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Dorothy Fay lived to see two generations of her family enjoy celebrity status and fulfilling careers and the promise of what may come with the births and young lives of her grandchildren. She suffered a stroke that impacted her speech in 1987 and moved in to the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in California in 1989. She died of natural causes at the age of 88 on November 5, 2003, less than two months after John’s death.


Through John’s lineage, the Tex Ritter legacy continues with four grandchildren. The youngest, Stella, was born September 11, 1998, just five years to the day before her father died. She has just completed her first year of college. Daughter Carly was born March 1, 1982. Like her grandfather, Carly was born with a gift for singing and songwriting among many other passions. She graduated from Vassar College and has worked for several non-profit organizations and released a CD titled Carly Ritter in 2013. She lives in Oakland, California, is married to her college sweetheart, engineer Tim Rappold, and they have a one-year-old daughter, Aria Marie, who delightfully takes up most of her time these days. In an interview with County Line Magazine, Carly talks about her famous father and grandfather and those that carry on the legacy today. “I never got to meet Tex,” Carly says,

“[They] did telethons for many years,” she recalls. “They were all very active in raising awareness for cerebral palsy and helping make things more disability acceptable. My grandmother devoted her life to that among many other wonderful things.” Carly says her father’s fun-hearted and generous energy that came across on screen was the way he was in real life too. “He brightened up every room and every place he went,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s because he lost his father so young, but he always said ‘You don’t take days for granted’ and he really lived that way. The most important thing to him was spreading joy. He was an incredible actor but he did so many unspoken deeds.” The Ritter children knew much of that desire to help others came from John’s parents as they were told one story after another of ways Tex and Dorothy served, even sitting with a woman through the birth of her baby just because she asked them to, and then helping her with financial assistance during the baby’s first few weeks. “This sort of kindness and generosity that they all participated in still comes back to bless us,” Carly says. “My dad focused on people more than anything. We were so blessed to get to be his fam-

ily and see who he was in the world.” While Carly said she considered acting as a career at one point in her life, she quickly decided she didn’t inherit those genes like her brothers did. Oldest brother Jason was born February 17, 1980. “He knew quite early that acting is what he wanted to do,” Carly says. He got his first taste of performing as a child in the opening credits of his father’s show, Three’s Company. He was the little blonde-haired boy running up to Joyce DeWitt in the petting zoo scene. He’s had roles in more than 60 movies to date including Freddy vs. Jason, The Education of Charlie Banks, and his most recent, an HBO release, The Tale. Almost 40 television show credits include Parenthood, Gravity Falls, Another Period, and he most recently starred in the TV comedy series Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. Jason was nominated for two Primetime Emmys and he received another four nominations for other acting awards. He is currently engaged to actress Melanie Lynskey. Brother Tyler was born January 31, 1985. Despite having acted in high school plays and student films, following his father’s unexpected death while he was still in his teens, Tyler originally decided not to pursue acting professionally. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, he worked for three years as a teacher in Argentina. At the age of 25, he made the decision to return to Los Angeles and pursue an acting career. Tyler married Argentinian film director Lelia Parma in 2007. continued page 12


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RITTER continued

from page 11

He is well known for his role in the TV series The McCarthys that ran in 2014-15. His most recent projects include the TV mystery thriller Stillwater that released this spring and numerous guest spots on the action adventure show Arrow as Detective Billy Malone. On June 9, 2017, he and his wife welcomed their first child, son Benjamin Parma Ritter.


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Keeping the Tex Ritter legacy alive in Panola County, Texas, is cousin Tommie Ritter Smith. She spearheaded the establishment of the Tex Ritter Museum in Carthage in 1992. The museum was initially housed on the top floor of an antebellum home. In 1997 it began to expand to include friends of Tex Ritter and other Texas-born country music legends and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame was born. To make room for the expansion, the city built a $2.2 million, 13,000-square foot structure that opened in August 2002 and houses the current museum and hall of fame. Tommie said Tom, John, and all of John’s children have been to the museum that teaches them so much about the life and times of Tex Ritter and the fans that still keep his memory alive today. “They are the most wonderful children you’ll ever meet,” Tommie says. “Stella came one year with her mother and helped with a display. They’ve all been to the museum several times, Carly more than the others.”COUPLE REFLECTIONIST

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The Tex Ritter Museum takes up about a quarter of the Hall of Fame building space. It depicts the story of Tex’s life from farm boy to popular music icon and includes many collections of his cowboy tunes as well as his work on Broadway, radio, and in the movies. Welcoming visitors outside the front door is a life-size bronze statue of Tex and his horse. “More than 30,000 country music fans have come from all over the world so far to see great moments of Tex Ritter history,” Tommie says.

LET THE CEREMONY BEGIN Tommie and other Carthage citizens began an annual event in 1998 to celebrate the contributions of Texans to the country music profession and induct them into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Among the first honorees was Tex Ritter along with Jim Reeves, Willie Nelson, Gene Autry, Cindy Walker, and Joe Allison. Tex had been gone for almost 25 years by then. His sons attended that first ceremony and accepted the award for their father. “This is just beautiful,” John said. “Tom and I were standing backstage watching this glorious program.”

903.753.8103 • 215 E. Tyler St. • Longview, TX 75601

903.753.8103 • 215 E. Tyler St. • Longview, TX 75601


The brothers have some comedic fun back and forth at the microphone and then Tom takes over. LEFT Tom (left) and John Ritter show their appreciation to cousin Tommie Ritter Smith during the first award ceremony for the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage in 1998. The brothers accepted an award on their father’s behalf as one of the first recipients. Courtesy photo

LEFT: Tyler and his wife Lelia brought Benjamin Parma Ritter into the world in 2017, the first great-grandchild of Tex Ritter. Photo by Tija Zamparelli. RIGHT: The youngest member of the Ritter clan is Carly’s daughter Aria born just three days after her cousin Benjamin — at a year old, she’s already showing an interest in her mother’s guitar — the legacy continues. Photo by Carly Ritter

“There are a couple of reasons why I think my dad would be honored to be inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame,” Tom said. “One, this is where it all began, this is where he grew up, where his family and some of his dearest friends were. And the other reason is because all of the other members being inducted tonight were his friends. He used to say ‘Friends are like family.’ So we’re very happy to help honor dad by honoring everybody else as well. We’ve come full circle now.”

CARRYING ON Tex Ritter fans are thrilled to hear his granddaughter Carly’s beautiful versions of some of his songs and other old cowboy tunes on SoundCloud and a few on her YouTube channel like “I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle,” “I’ve Sold My Saddle for an Old Guitar,” and “Snowflake,” along with her own songs. Carly said she’ll continue her music and after baby Aria gets a little older she hopes to get back into more nonprofit work. She and her brothers are often spotted helping out with charities, the latest being an upcoming fundraiser for finding a cure for Huntington’s disease (as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). “Nonprofit work is where my heart is,” Carly says. “I imagine [Aria] getting older and having more time for that, maybe combining my love of music and working with children. I love working with children and young people.

“Building relationships where people feel heard,” is important she says. “If someone’s feeling isolated someone should notice. We need a lot more relationship building and training for dealing with human emotions and where to constructively put them.” Recently Carly and her brothers and families got together with their Uncle Tom and his wife to introduce the two newest members of the Ritter clan. The one-year-old cousins were born just three days apart.

“Knowing how amazing it is to have my own child now enforces my desire to make the world better for her and all children. I look forward to channelling that at some point.”

The newest generation has a lot to learn about their famous “singing cowboy” great grandfather, and fortunately they can hear his voice and see his talents through music and film and hear the stories passed down through family members of not only his career but of the way he lived.

She sees herself working with kids to help them with healthy conflict management and also building community.

“It’s this humbling thing to carry forward this legacy of goodness to other people,” Carly says.

She recalls hearing a speech Tex made where he talks about what music does for people. “He said it helps us see where we need to grow and shows us our commonalities and that we are all part of each other. “He laid out a good road map of how to be in the world. You can have fame and do wonderful things in arts and music but not lose sight of how we treat each other in relationships we make along the way. “He never made it about fame,” she says. “He cared about the people that were coming to hear him sing. The more I hear about my grandfather and what he did for people, the more I feel I better do his legacy good and work in my small way to carry that on.” To learn more about the genetic disorder that cut short the lives of Tex and John Ritter, visit The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health at





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r June 25


Andrew Sulivan August 18

Eric Andersen

879 CR 4440 - (903) 975-0021


219 N. Main St. - (903) 342-6137


215 N. Main St. - (903) 342-1050

September 1

christy’s protein house


106 E. Elm St. - (903) 975-0021

307 W. Elm St. - (800) 227-0639





July 28 - September 3

Market St. - (903) 629-7079

20931 Hwy 11 E - (903) 347-6512

Rich in history. Steeped in country. First in class. FINDERS KEEPERS ANTIQUES CULTURE CLUB, GALLERY OF ARTISTS

304 N. Main St. - (903) 347-1271

Logos represent donors or supporters and are utilized by permission only.

107 E. Elm St.



AUGUST 26, 1968

Happy Birthday Buck

“Hey Jude,” the first Beatles single issued on their Apple label, is released in the U.S. August 26, 1968. At more than seven minutes, it was the longest song to hit Number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Paul McCartney wrote the song to comfort John Lennon’s son, Julian, during his parents divorce. The single has sold about eight million copies and is frequently included on critics’ lists of the greatest songs of all times.

Alvis Edgar “Buck” Owens was born into a family of sharecroppers August 12, 1929, in Sherman, Texas. He dropped out of school to help work on the farm, but he had fierce ambition and a keen interest in music and he became a chart-topping performer with hits like “Tiger by the Tail,” “Act Naturally,” and “Streets of Bakersfield.” His TV show, Hee Haw made him a favorite entertainer in households across the country. He passed away March 25, 2006.

AUGUST 31, 1931

Beloved Charactor Actor Got Start in Northeast Texas Willingham was perhaps best known for his role in TV’s Walker, Texas Ranger. Spanning eight seasons, he played the character of C.D. Parker, owner of a bar and grill and retired law enforcement confidante for the lead role played by Chuck Norris. He also appeared in City Slickers (1991), City Slickers II (1994), Independence Day (1983), La Bamba (1987), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Ace Venture: Pet Detective (1994), The Last Boy Scout (1991), Chinatown (1974), and Paper Moon (1973). His other TV credits include Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Waltons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Dallas, The A-Team, Highway to Heaven, The Dukes of Hazzard, Home Improvement, and Murder, She Wrote. Noble Willingham was born in Mineola on August 31, 1931, to Noble Henry Sr. and Ruby Ladell Speights. He went on to become a beloved character actor — most often as a “good ol’ boy” who appeared in more than 30 feature films and numerous TV shows before his death in 2004.

Most of his characters exhibited a Southern charm and homespun outlook on life. Willingham got into acting despite his training in other areas. After a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he graduated from North Texas State College (now the University of North


Texas) in Denton in 1953. After working in oil fields for a time, he returned to academia to get a master’s degree in educational psychology from Baylor University. While teaching at Sam Houston High School in Houston, he was encouraged by the school’s drama teacher to try out for a role in a made-for-TV film being made in Point Bolivar. His big break came next when he landed a part in the iconic Peter Bogdonavich film The Last Picture Show, filmed and set in North Texas. Willingham left Walker, Texas Ranger to run for U.S. Representative, 1st District, which included Longview, Texarkana, Nacogdoches, Marshall and Paris. He lost the race to the incumbent Max Sandlin. Through the course of his life, he became a champion of civil rights. He formed the Noble Willingham Foundation which directed most of his residuals to the African-American Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas.

JULY 1839

Battle of the Neches Remembered An annual ceremony honoring Cherokee Chief Bowles and the many others killed by Texas Militia in 1839 takes place on July 14 at the historic Battle of the Neches site on Van Zandt County Road 4923 off State Highwy 64 between Ben Wheeler and Tyler. The American Indian Cultural Society maintains the land and holds the event which includes Native American dancers in full regalia, inter-tribal singing and dancing, speakers and Indian foods including fry bread, tacos, and fried hot dogs. Guests should bring lawn chairs.



The location is available to visitors throughout the year as well. Cherokee Chief Duwa’li Bowles illustration by Paige Bridges.

For more information



JULY 2018

New Kids Water Zone Opens SUBSCRIBE!

Still just $15 per year! SUBMIT ORDER ON WEBSITE OR MAIL TO P.O. BOX 608 BEN WHEELER, TX 75754

county line Upper East Side of Texas Regional Magazine

Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines RV & Cabin Resort near Lindale is opening an 11,000 square foot Kids Water Zone this summer. The park is also installing platinum RV sites with covered decks as well as six new cabins, three of which are 850-square foot models that can sleep up to eight people. The complex also has family and adult

swimming pools, a 10-hole miniature golf course, and a one-acre laser tag course that can accommodate up to 20 players. They offer family activities that include arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, face painting, a jumping pillow, gem mining, and special visits from Yogi Bear.

fl&g 903.963.8306

For more information call 903.858.2405 and visit JULY/AUGUST 2018 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 17


Check out the eMAGAZINE for extended event listings.

Jousters To Appear in Sulphur Springs


Dates and times are subject to change. Always call ahead before planning a visit.

Every Saturday

Celebration Market, Celebration Live! Sulphur Springs. Downtown. 903.885.7541

Second Saturdays

Marshall Main Street Second Saturday. 903.935.7868, Second Saturdays on the Square. Mount Vernon. 903.537.4070 www. Courtesy Photo

Hit the Bricks. Tyler.

Through July

Texas State Railroad Summer Excursions. Palestine Depot. Blueberry Picking. Edom. Blueberry Hill Farms. 903.852.6175 www.blueberryhillfarms. com

July 3-4 The Knights of Valour with Shane Adams (above) from History TV’s Full Metal Jousting is featured at the two-day Shadow Renaissance Festival & Jousting Tournament July 28-29 in Sulphur Springs. Rodeo royalty Rope Myers is also scheduled to show off his jousting skills. The event includes vendors and activities for the whole family. A Nobleman’s Feast with the knights occurs before each of the two jousting shows for VIP ticket holders.

The event takes place at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, 1200 Houston Street, and benefits Shadow Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of kids and adults with disabilities and/or debilitating situations in their lives and to make a positive difference in the lives of staff, volunteers, and community. See Shadow Renaissance Festival on Facebook for more information and tickets or call 214.604.8005.

Quilt Hop Covers Ten Locations The annual Bonham Quilt Hop takes place this year July 27-28. Visitors see displays of more than 300 quilts and quilted items in 10 locations including the Sam Rayburn House Museum, the Bonham Civic Center (Armory), Sam Rayburn Library, Creative Art Center, City of Bonham Visitor Center, Fannin County Museum of History, Fannin County Historical Commission, Bonham Public Library, Bonham Senior Center, and Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Honey Grove. See for more information or call 903.583.9830. Visitors can also see the Fannin County Barn Quilt Trail while in the area — an online map is available at the visitor center and on their website. 18 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2018

Crape Myrtle Festival. Waxahachie. Sports Complex. 469.309.4040

July 4

Red, White and BOOM! McKinney. 972.547.7480, July 4 Picnic. Ben Wheeler.

July 5

Greatest War Letters Ever Written. Longview. First United Methodist Church. 903.720.1398,

July 7

Fun in the Park. Henderson. Lake Forest Park, Hwy 64W 866.650.5529

July 14

Battle of the Neches Ceremony. Ben Wheeler.

July 14-15

Hunter Jumper Horse Show. Tyler. Texas Rose Horse Park. 214.356.5159,

July 20

Wine Down on Willow. Bonham. Creative Arts Center. 903.640.2196

July 20-22

Paris Balloon & Music Festival. Lamar County Fairgrounds.

July 21

Ranch of Dreams Tour. Murchison.

Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. 903.469.3811

July 26-27

Enjoy State Parks From a Cool Water View This Summer Photo by Texas Parks & Wildlife/Chris Hunt

80th Annual Watermelon Festival. Naples. 903.563.9713

July 27-29

Great Texas Balloon Race. Longview. East Texas Regional Airport. 903.753.3281, www.

July 28-29

Shadow Renaissance Festival & Tournament. Sulphur Springs. Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.903.231.2103,

August 2-6

First Monday Trade Days. Canton. 903.567.6556

August 4

Fish Fry. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. www. Neches Wilderness Canoe & Kayak Race. Frankston. 903.571.4221

August 13-October 13

Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds. Forney. Spellman Museum of Forney History. 972.552.2400

August 17

Wine Down on Willow. Bonham. Creative Arts Center. 903.640.2196

August 17-25

North Texas Fair & Rodeo. Denton. 940.387.2632

August 20-September 30

Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds. Rockwall. Bailey House/Harry Myers Park. 972.722.1507

August 24-26

Texas Rose Horse Breed Show. Tyler. 903.882.8696

September 7

21st Annual Classics Round the Square. Emory. 03.243.3926

September 7-15

Gregg County Fair & Exposition. Longview. 903.753.4478

September 9

Classics Round the Square. Emory. 903.473.2465

September 11-15

Rains County Fair. Emory. 903.473.4580

September 14

Rally Round Greenville. 903.455.1510 www.

Cool water activities are a favorite pastime for enjoying summers in the Upper East Side of Texas. One popular thing to do is paddling across the waters of a state park. Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPW) promises great views from the water with shoreline wildlife like tall herons and kingfishers, along with lovely park vistas unlike any others. Many parks offer rentals of kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards. Here are a few: Atlanta. Canoe rentals available yearround for exploring Wright Patman Lake with towering pines and hardwoods. 903.796.6476. www.tpwd.texas. gov/state-parks/atlanta. Bonham. Kayak and canoe rentals available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for paddling on the park’s man-made lake, built in 1935. 903.583.5022. www.tpwd. Caddo Lake. Canoe rentals available to wind through the maze of bayous, sloughs and ponds among bald cypress trees draped with Spanish moss on the only natural lake in Texas. 903.679.3351. state-parks/caddo-lake Cooper Lake. Sulphur Springs. Kayak, canoe, and paddle board rentals available with plenty of room to roam with two park units. Doctors Creek, 903.395.3100 and South Sulphur,

903.945.5256. state-parks/cooper-lake Daingerfield. The park rents paddle boats, paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, and flat bottom boats. 903.645.2921. daingerfield Eisenhower. Denison. Lots of room on Lake Texoma to paddle around. Check out Eisenhower Yacht Club marina for snacks, drinks, ice, and more. They also rent kayaks and canoes as well as pontoon boats and stand-up paddle boards. 903.463.3999. Purtis Creek. 14225 FM 316, Eustace, TX 75124. 903.425.2332. www.tpwd. Tyler. The park rents canoes, paddleboats, kayaks, bike boats, and johnboats year-round. 903.597.5338. www.tpwd. TPW recommends beginners take a free online paddling course on www. and always practice safety tips like wearing a life jacket (included with boat rentals) and filing a float plan. Go to websites noted above to find out more about each individual park, including other fun things to do in each area.


Quanah Parker Lived Between Two Worlds The Texas Lakes Trail Program presents“Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds” in a traveling pictorial exhibit in various locations around the state this year. It depicts the story of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker, two important names in U.S. frontier history. The exhibit is scheduled at the Spellman Museum in Forney from August 13 to October 13 and at the Bailey House in Harry Myers Park in Rockwall from August 20 to September 30. The story starts in 1836 when a Comanche raiding party took Cynthia Ann Parker — about 11 years old at the time — from her family on the headwaters of the Navasota River in Limestone County, Texas. Cynthia Ann remained with the Indians for almost 25 years, forgetting the European-American ways. She married Peta Nocona and had two sons, Quanah and Pecos, and a daughter, Topsannah. Several attempts where made by family members and others over the years to get Cynthia Ann to return to the EuropeanAmerican culture, but it is said she refused time and time again, not wanting to leave her children. On December 18, 1860, Texas Rangers attacked a Comanche campsite and Cynthia Ann was among their captors, along with her infant daughter. Thinking her husband and possibly her sons as well were dead, she tried to live with her Parker relatives, but attempted to flee to her Comanche family unsuccessfully several times. Topsannah caught influenza and died of pneumonia in 1863. Cynthia Ann, unable to bear the loss, began refusing food, water, and assistance. She went to live with her brother Silas in Van Zandt County for a while and afterward moved to her sister’s place near the boundary of Anderson and Henderson counties.

Quanah Parker 1885 Taken on porch of Star House. Photo Courtesy of Museum of the Great Plains

She died in March 1871. At her death she was buried in Fosterville Cemetery in Anderson County. In 1910 her son Quanah moved her body to the Post Oak Mission Cemetery near Cache, Oklahoma. In 1957 her body and that of Quanah’s were reinterred in the Fort Sill Post Cemetery at Lawton. Quanah became the last chief of the Quahada Comanche Indians. He was a major figure both in Comanche resistance to white settlement and in the tribe’s adjustment to reservation life. Nomadic hunter, warrior, horseman, cattle rancher, entrepreneur, and friend of American presidents, he was truly a man of two worlds. About 1875, Quanah and his tribe surrendered their independence to the United States military and moved to the KiowaComanche reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. Quanah adapted better than most to reservation life, so federal agents named him chief. Over the next 25 years he provided his people with forceful, yet pragmatic, leadership. He worked to promote self-sufficiency and self-reliance, supported the construction of schools, and encouraged Indian youth to learn the European ways. He promoted the creation of a ranching industry and led the way by becoming a successful and quite wealthy stock raiser himself. He was an advocate of cooperation with European-Americans and in many cases of cultural transformation. Along with his support for ranching, educa20 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2018

TOP: Quanah Parker, 1885, living peacefully among European-Americans while serving as chief on the Kiowa-Comanche reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of Museum of the Great Plains. BOTTOM: Native American artwork by three local artists is part of the exhibit in Rockwall including this piece by Susie Varner. Courtesy photo.

tion, and agriculture, he served as a judge on the tribal court, an innovation based on county tribunals; negotiated business agreements with European-American investors; and fought attempts to roll back the changes instituted under his direction. He also approved the establishment of a Comanche police force, which he believed would help the Indians to manage their own affairs. Through shrewd investments, including some $40,000 worth of stock in the Acme and Pacific Railway, Quanah became a very wealthy man, perhaps the wealthiest Indian in America

Despite his artful efforts to protect his people and their land base, by 1901 the movement to strip the Comanches of their lands had grown too powerful. The federal government voted to break up the Kiowa-Comanche reservation into individual holdings and open it to settlement by outsiders. For the remaining years of his life Quanah operated his profitable ranch, continued to seek ties with EuropeanAmericans, and maintained his position as the most influential person among the now-dispersed Comanches. In 1902 his people honored their leader by naming him deputy sheriff of Lawton, Oklahoma. On February 11, 1911, while visiting the Cheyenne Reservation, he became ill with an undiagnosed ailment. After returning home he died on February 23 and was buried beside his mother in Post Oak Mission Cemetery near Cache, Oklahoma.

Snake Woman’s Garden Added to Caddo Mounds

Courtesy photo

at that time. As a testament to his conversion to European-American ways, Quanah was a close associate of several prominent Texas Panhandle ranchers, counted Theodore Roosevelt as one of his friends, and was frequently interviewed by magazine reporters on a variety of subjects, including political and social issues. Yet, for all his efforts to embrace European-American culture, Quanah did not completely repudiate his past or endeavor to force his followers to abandon their traditions altogether. He rejected suggestions that he become monogamous and maintained a 22-room house for his seven wives and numerous children. He refused to cut his long braids. He rejected Christianity, even though his son, White Parker, was a Methodist minister.

was the southwestern-most ceremonial center for the great Mound Builder culture, which spanned the eastern North American woodlands for more than 2,500 years.

Last year a new grass house was built on the Caddo Mounds Historical Site grounds. This year the Friends of Caddo added the Snake Woman’s Garden which features herbs and vegetables grown historically by the Caddo. Currently growing are corn, beans, tobacco, and squash.

First opened to the public in 1982, the site consists of two temple mounds, a burial mound and a large portion of the adjacent village area. Today, a walking trail guides visitors around the earthen mounds. A visitors center with exhibits and displays is also on site for visitors to learn about the everyday life of the early Caddo people.

The 397-acre Caddo Mounds site, a Texas Historical Commission property, is located in Cherokee County, west of Nacogdoches. Built more than 1,200 years ago by a group of Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai, the site

At his funeral he was dressed in full Comanche regalia but, befitting his position as a man of two worlds, was reputedly buried with a large sum of money. Apparently robbers plundered his grave four years later.

6 pm - 10 pm July 4 Kilgore City Park FEATURING:

20-Minute Fireworks Show

In 1957 expansion of a missile base forced the relocation of Post Oak Mission Cemetery and the reburial of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker in the Fort Sill Post Cemetery at Lawton, Oklahoma. On August 9, 1957, Quanah was buried with full military honors in a section of that cemetery now known as Chief’s Knoll.

Live music by the

Cody Wayne Band Food Vendors Water Slides Kids Activities THEN Don’t Miss OUR...

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Historic Redlands Hotel Offers Visitors Step Back in Time With a Modern Twist By Tracy Torma When the Redlands Hotel opened for business in Palestine in 1915, the fivestory, brick building made of steel and concrete was one of the finest hotels around. A speaker at the hotel’s grand opening, which drew dignitaries from across the state, predicted the Redlands would stand the test of time: “This enduring pile of steel and stone stands today as it promises to stand a century hence. As a work of art and as a structure eminently adapted for the purpose, let it speak for itself. Long after its markers and the present generation alike shall have crumbled into dust in their graves, its solid foundation, its massive walls and its substantial frame will combine to offer that same safe and hospitable shelter to mankind that it offers now.” Fast forward six decades later, when Jean Mollard, her late husband Norman, a Palestine native and Houston contractor, and Jean’s brother Robert Laughlin sized up the hotel as a possible renovation project. Boarded up for more than 20 years, the building resembled a parking garage, with open hallways and a leaking roof. Most of its 186 windows were beyond use. As they poked through the structure with flashlights, Jean recalls, they saw a basement full of dampness and a dark and nasty environment. But Norman and Jean, who was in the an-

tiques business in Houston, and Robert, an engineer with electrical experience, could see the possibilities. They purchased the old hotel, promising city officials they would replace all the windows and operate a business on the first floor.

Restoring the Hotel’s Grandeur

detail, but also for its contribution to the social fiber of the community. “This was once a railroad office building that impacted so many livelihoods. Someone is always telling me, ‘My dad or grandfather worked here,’” Jean shares.

True to her word, in 1977, Jean opened an antique store on the first floor, refinishing furniture in the hotel’s basement and offering it for sale in the 2,000-square-foot storefront and at her store in Houston. It was the beginning of a successful antiques wholesale business called Artifacts that at one time employed as many as 42 local employees and a network of contract sales representatives nationwide.

A Railroad Hotel

While Jean ran the wholesale antiques business, Norman and Robert began renovating the old hotel one floor at a time. Monthly rental apartments were available in the 1980s and nightly updated suite rentals began in 2007.

Recognizing the need for a first-class hotel in the area, the Palestine Hotel Company was founded, with 83 local businessmen and women helping to finance the $100,000 building constructed with steel and concrete beams.

When the hotel was built in the early 1900s, Palestine was the center of a county population of nearly 30,000 and called itself the “Queen City of East Texas.” Located on the mainline of the International & Great Northern Railroad (I&GN), Palestine was a hub for salt production, timber, cotton, orchardry and truck crops.

continued page 24

“This building is more than just mortar and stone. It was the creation of something 100 years ago — a vision that has been adjusted along the way. What’s most important are the things that happened in it and the livelihoods it provided,” Jean says.

The historic Redlands Hotel is a destination all its own with beautiful suites for rent by the night or longer, an on-site fine dining restaurant and bar, elegant ambience throughout the building, and a front row seat to all the happenings in downtown Palestine. Photos by Dave Shultz.

In fact, the Redlands’ historic designation on the National Register of Historic Places is not just for its architectural

Jean Mollard (right) is the owner of the Redlands Hotel and continues to make enhancements to the delight of her guests. Photo by Tracy Torma



REDLANDS continued from page 22 Local tradition holds that another contributing factor for the hotel’s construction was the fact that Palestine Hotel Company President Hyman Pearlstone persuaded major league baseball’s St. Louis Browns, to locate its training camp in Palestine and to use the future Redlands as its headquarters. With this lucrative arrangement, stockholders felt assured of a reliable return on their investment and construction of the hotel began in 1914. The St. Louis Browns did stay in the Redlands during their spring training sessions in 1916 and 1917, and the hotel was a popular local social gathering place. But soon after its opening, the Redlands fell on hard times. The country was in the midst of World War I and a major flu pandemic. “The Redlands opened as a railroad guest hotel, and suddenly, no one was traveling but soldiers,” Jean says. “There wasn’t enough water pressure to push water up to the upper floors and electricity was spotty in those days.” A turn of events saved the hotel and town alike. Three years after its opening, the I&NG Railroad (which later became Missouri Pacific) needed a large building for general offices and shops. The hotel company leased the entire building to the railroad, and it served as its general offices for the next 37 years.

After the railroad vacated the building, the Redlands sat unoccupied for 20 years until the Mollards saw its potential and reopened the first floor during the city’s annual Texas Dogwood Trails in 1977. It’s an ongoing labor of love since. “Once you start something like this, you can’t just do the first floor. We had to do more and more,” Jean says.

Overnight Stays and More

Today, the hotel’s 86 rooms are transformed into 20 modern-day suites with old-time charm. Each suite features a kitchen, living room area and bedroom decorated for business travelers and tourists who visit Palestine each year for events such as the Dogwood Festival in the spring, the Hot Pepper Festival in October and the Polar Express Train Ride during the holidays. The hotel recently completed a lobby renovation, featuring a new check-in area and updated gift boutique called Redlands Boutique. Part of the original lobby, including the fireplace, is now visible, complete with exposed windows, transoms, tile floors and a seating area. Rates for single rooms range from $99 to $175 a night, and two-bedroom suites run $200 to $275. Discounts are available for extended stays. Besides providing office space to several local businesses, the hotel’s first floor includes the Gallery at the Red-


lands, featuring the works of artist David Tripp, and the Red Fire Grille, an upscale restaurant with adjacent tapas bar. (See related article, page 28). There’s a personal touch found at the Redlands that’s often lacking at larger hotel chains. Jean and her staff love to accommodate their guests with tour suggestions of sights and eateries that meet their particular interests. “They can spend a whole day here in the historic district shopping, eating and viewing local history,” she says (See related sidebar, page 26.) While many of the town’s historic buildings remain empty, Jean still sees the possibilities in downtown Palestine. “We are second to Galveston in the number of historic properties here. Not all are decorated and fancy, and our downtown is spread out. But there is a lot to do here. You can have a great time.” And she is particularly proud that the hotel has lived up to the prediction of hospitality that was made during its grand opening 103 years ago. “It’s not just a building of steel and stone, but a place that continues to offer the same safe and hospitable shelter to local businesses and travelers today,” she adds. The Gallery at the Redlands features the American nostalgic works of artist David Tripp. Photo by Dave Shultz

GREENVILLE Splash Kingdom

North Texas with a Twist!

- Open All Sum


A - July 6,

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7, 13, & 14 Boxmasters w/ Bil y Bo

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Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1301 S. Henderson Blvd – Kilgore, TX Phone: (903) 983-8295

The pre-Civil War town is teeming with scenic streets, charming restaurants, quaint bed and breakfasts, and picturesque landscapes sure to send you back in time and beckon you to stay and relax awhile. Jefferson, Texas is the perfect setting for your weekend getaway, wedding or any event.


KILGORE @VisitJeffersonTexas For more info:


Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 1100 Broadway Blvd – Kilgore, TX Phone: (903) 983-8265


Palestine Offers Curious Getaway Adventure By Tracy Torma Palestine’s Historic Main Street District is 44 blocks long, starting at its Visitor Information Center, housed in a restored railroad depot at 825 West Spring Street, and ending at the historic Anderson County Courthouse, an impressive neoclassical structure built in 1914. Start your day off with breakfast at the historic Eilenberger’s Bakery, 512 North John Street and a block from the Redlands Hotel. Just the interior of this 100-year-old building is a sweet treat, with original wooden ceiling fans and tin-tile ceiling. The bakery is known for its worldfamous Texas fruitcake, Texas pecan cakes, and a variety of delicious cookies. It also serves breakfast and lunch. If you’re a fan of South-of-the-Border fare, the historic district has two of the best taquerias for breakfast and lunch: Taqueria San Luis, 700 West Oak Street, and La Chaparra’s, 204 North Church Street. Afterwards, stroll downtown to shop in some of the city’s antique stores, including Duncan Depot, located at 106 West Main Street in a beautifully restored 10,000-square-foot building, and Star of Texas Antiques, 107 West Oak Street, a real treat during the holidays when the two-story shop sparkles with Christmas trees and holiday decorations. Stop for lunch at Old Magnolia, 120 West Oak Street, a favorite of locals for great wraps, salads, and sandwiches set within a shop-

ping venue featuring antique, vintage, and gift items. The city’s downtown also features a number of other boutiques, gift shops, and clothing stores. For the railroad enthusiast, visit the Railroad Heritage Center, 808 West Oak Street, open Tuesday through Saturday. It features a large model train collection and railroad memorabilia. And for the art lover, take the Artracks Sculpture Tour, an annual juried exhibit featuring 18 outdoor sculptures throughout Palestine’s Main Street District. (Guided tour maps are available at the Redlands Hotel lobby or the Palestine Visitor Information Center.) The town’s historic Texas Theatre, 2742 West Crawford Street, features live plays and musicals throughout the year in a 1930s movie palace. Visit www. for performance schedule. Just down the hill east of town on Crawford Street, find another great place to wet your whistle at the Pint and Barrel Drafthouse, featuring craft brews and delicious pub food. (Try the barbecue bacon fries with pulled pork or the BLT with cheddar poblano soup and fried green tomatoes). Afterwards, cross the street for some of the best pie in the state of Texas at Oxbow Bakery and look around Old Town Vintage & More for additional antique and vintage finds. Nearby is the new Wells Creek Crossing, featuring antiques and unique gift items as well as a great coffee shop, Cream and Coffee.

After a full day of shopping and eating, it’s time to kick back or boot scoot at the Shelton Gin, 310 East Crawford Street, featuring live music most Friday and Saturday nights. There are a number of notable spots to visit outside the historic district, too. The Museum of East Texas Culture, 400 South Micheaux Street, is located at the 22-acre Reagan Park in a Tudor-Gothic style, two-story brick building that was built as a school in 1916. The museum features numerous historical items on display that tell the early history of Palestine and Anderson County, including railroad memorabilia, an early 1900s school room and the Hudson Log Cabin, built in 1857 and displayed in the school gymnasium. The park features a large splash pad. The Curious Museum, 1301 South Royall Street, is an exciting science, art, and technology hands-on museum. Based on the world-famous Exploratorium in San Francisco, the museum promotes creative and innovative thinking skills and is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. And no shopping experience is complete without a visit to Braly Builders Supply, 420 West Palestine Avenue, a fourth-generation owned hardware store located in the historic Rusk Elementary school building. In 2014, Braly’s received Ace Hardware’s “coolest store on the planet award” and in 2015, it received the “Texas Treasure” award from the State of Texas. Last but not least, located four miles east of downtown off Texas 84, is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, the Texas State Railroad, featuring vintage steam and diesel locomotive rides along the rails between Palestine and Rusk. Check out its website at www.TexasStateRailroad. net for train schedules and special rides, including the popular Polar Express. Note: Many Palestine businesses are open Thursday through Saturday, so be sure to check business hours before you visit. LEFT: A caboose welcomes visitors to Palestine, an iconic symbol of the railroad town. RIGHT TOP: The Texas Theatre is home to the Palestine Community Theatre with several shows throughout the year. BOTTOM: Shelton Hall has stood the test of time and has live music now on Fridays and Saturdays. Photos by Dave Shultz



Red Fire Grille: Fine Dining in Downtown Palestine By Tracy Torma The Red Fire Grille, located on the first floor of the historic Redlands Hotel in downtown Palestine, is a culinary jewel. Visitors enjoy gourmet menu items – from delicious steaks to seafood – and a fullservice bar in the same regal atmosphere where diners ate when the hotel opened more than 100 years ago. New owners Daniel and Rona Lacey recently added a tapas bar called SparQ for cocktails and light food and are continuously offering new and unique dining experiences, . SparQ Bar is located adjacent to the restaurant and features lighter fare. For tapas, try the Piggybacks, house-made tater tots, with pulled pork, cheddar and brown butter gravy on top. Other dishes to share include Crab Kracklins, a version of crab Rangoon served with an Asian dipping sauce, and Russian Deviled Eggs, a traditional Russian recipe with a spicy kick. For those wanting something a little heavier, try the Chop House Burger, served with mixed cheese, house-made truffle aioli (added bacon or blue cheese as an extra). The bar features a number of specialty cocktails including a Blood Orange martini, Midnight Cosmo and Prohibition cocktails, such as a Side Car made with orange liqueur, cognac and lemon juice, and the Bees Knees, a gin drink with house-made honey syrup and fresh lemon juice.

Elegant is the best way to describe the main dining room, with black linen-covered tables and white high-back chairs in a room featuring a beautiful hexagonshaped tile floor that is 103 years old. From the original multi-paneled windows with transom window above — designed to allow ventilation for a time before air conditioning — diners can see the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church, which opened in 1890 and was designed by prominent Texas architect Nicholas J. Clayton, who designed the Bishop’s Palace and many other prominent historic structures in Galveston. The view from the other side is the Carnegie Library, built in 1914 and one of the 13 remaining Carnegie Library buildings in the State of Texas. Chef McKensie Maynard is an East Texas native from Chapel Hill who served for nine years at Dallas’ famed III Forks Steakhouse. Sous Chef Christopher Gouras has worked at the restaurant since it opened in 2012. The dining room’s appetizer menu features many of the same appetizers found in SparQ, as well as oysters on the half shell, grilled or raw. The restaurant has a soup of the day, as well as a good selection of salads. The Blueberry Lemonade salad and the Classic Caesar both had just the right amount of dressing and didn’t disappoint. Dining entrees run the gamut from a selection of different steak cuts to seafood

items, including grilled mahi-mahi with a mango sauce, cold water lobster and Creole crab cakes (delicious). The restaurant is known for its deliciously seasoned and tender steaks and the filet mignon lives up to the reputation. Add entrée extras to share with the table. The Asian-style Brussels sprouts (deep fried to perfection) and truffle mac and brie are excellent. Dessert items vary, but favorites include crème brulee and bread pudding. With a seasonal menu, the restaurant is continuously offering diners new culinary experiences including holiday brunches and a special dinner featuring the menu of the Titanic on the anniversary of its sinking No wonder the restaurant — open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with a new lunch menu and from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for dinner — is rated five stars on Trip Advisor. BELOW. The elegant main dining room at Red Fire Grille provides the perfect ambience to accompany the food with great views of historic downtown Palestine. RIGHT ABOVE CLOCKWISE: The new adjacent bar SparQ features specialty drinks and an ample tapas menu. All entrees, such as this six-ounce filet and four-ounce crab cake, are served with potato and vegetable. Entree extras, including delicious Asian-style brussels sprouts and truffle mac and brie, can be ordered to share with the table. Popular appetizers include Crab Kracklins, Red Fire’s version of crab rangoon served with an Asian dipping sauce, and Piggybacks featuring house-made tater tots with pulled pork and cheddar cheese topped with brown butter gravy

Photo by Dave Shultz


Photo by Dave Shultz Food photos by Tracy Torma JULY/AUGUST 2018 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 29


Culture Club Opens in Winnsboro

ARTS EVENTS Dates and times are subject to change. Always call ahead before planning a visit.

Through July 1

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR. Tyler Civic Theatre Center. 903.592.0561,

Through July 5

In Focus Photography. Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 903.342.0686,

Through August 12

Rewind: Selections from Private Collections. Tyler Museum of Art. 903.595.1001,

Through September 3

I’m Home. Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 903.342.0686, www.winnsborocenterforthearts. com

Through November 18

Commanding Space: Women Sculptors of Texas. Fort Worth. Amon Carter Museum of American Art. 817.738.1933

Through November 18

Photo by P.A. Geddie

Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art. Fort Worth. Amon Carter Museum of American Art. 817.738.1933

July 6-7, 13-14

The Wizard of Oz. Greenville Municipal Auditorium, 2821 Washington St. 903.457.3126,

July 10 - September 22

JD Miller & Lea Fisher: Reflectionist Couple. Longview Museum of Fine Arts. 903.753.8217,

Culture Club Art Gallery recently opened in downtown Winnsboro featuring a collection of talented artists working in a variety of art mediums. The gallery displays art for sale and sponsors art events such as shows, lessons, and demonstrations. Located at 107 East Elm Street, it overlooks Market Street in close proximity to numerous restaurants, shops, and the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. Art at the gallery includes metal sculpture, underwater and

other photography, paintings, wood collages, and jewelry. Current artists include Carlos Owens, Nancy Beauchamp, Bob Haydon, Julie Howard, Polly Eckstrom, Mary Geisler, John Woodard, Kelly Hubbell, and Donnie Ditto (his metal sculpture in photo).

July 19 - 28

The gallery is open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and for special events. For more information, check their Facebook page or call 903.285.2174.

July 27-29, August 3-5

SAVE THE DATE! November 9-10, 2018

f@WinnsboroArtandWineFestival 30 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2018

James and the Giant Peach. Athens. Henderson County Performing Arts Center, 903.675.3908,

July 26, - August 12

Singing in the Rain. Tyler Civic Theatre Center. 903.592.0561, Peter Pan. Palestine. Texas Theater.

July 27 - August 25

30th Annual Juried Exhibition. Texarkana. Regional Arts Center.

September 13-22

The Odd Couple. Athens. Henderson County Performing Arts Center, 903.675.3908, www.

Annual Juried Exhibition Scheduled in Texarkana A welcomed feast for the eyes, the 30th annual Juried Exhibition of the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC) runs July 27 (opening reception at 6:30 p.m.) through August 25. Winners receive $3,750 in prizes. The exhibition attracts local, regional and national artists. Pictured is She Leans On Her Spirt by Anthony Bruce which won the 2017 First Place award. The museum is located at 321 Fourth Street. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. TRAHC’s Visual Arts Program is year-round. National and regional touring exhibits are displayed in several galleries along with regional and local exhibits. Surrounding the arts center is a public art park designed by college students. The landscaped area boasts a timeline that traces the history of Texarkana from the Caddo Indian era through the 1800s, 1900s, and up to 2003. The exhibit changes quarterly and all local school districts participate. Visit for more information or call 903.792.8681


Edom ART Festival

O ctober 13-14














STAGE Cowan Center Announces New Season

Jackie Evancho is in Lufkin February 1, 2019.

Angelina Arts Brings Talent to Lufkin Rick Springfield is among the performances scheduled for the UT Tyler Cowan Center’s new season of special events, performing arts, Broadway presentations, and more. Springfield kicks it off September 20, followed by The Texas Tenors, September 29; Dennis Miller (lecture), October 4; iLumnate, October 13; The Selena Experience, October 27; The Sound of Music, November 8; The Robert Cray Band, December 8; Some-

thing Rotten, January 24, 2019; The Ugly Duckling, February 1, 2019; The King & I, February 4; Kool & The Gang, February 9, 2019; The Magic School Bus, February 19, 2019; Los Vivancos - Born to Dance, February 26, 2019; The Chieftains, March 16, 2019; Dan Rather (lecture), March 19, 2019; New York Philharmonic String Quartet, March 30, 2019; and Finding Neverland, April 9, 2019. For details visit

The 2018-2019 Season for Angelina Arts Alliance includes Travis Tritt, September 7; Asleep at the Wheel with the Quebe Sisters, October 14; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, December 4; Something Rotten, January 22, 2019; Jackie Evancho, February 1, 2019; Celtic Nights, Oceans of Hope, March 10, 2019; Pilobolus, Shadowland 2, April 9, 2019, and Finding Neverland, June 12, 2019. Learn more at

Theatre Performers Are Singing in the Rain in Tyler dards make Singing in the Rain the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals. The show has all the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline — the starlet, the leading man, and a love affair that could change lives and make or break careers. In silent movies, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item but, behind the scenes, things aren’t always as they appear on the big screen. Tyler Civic Theatre presents Singing in the Rain July 26-29, August 2-5, and August 9-12. The “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” is adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green from their

original award-winning screenplay. Each scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show-stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm. Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood stan-


Meanwhile, Lina’s squeaky voice might be the end of her career in “talking pictures” without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her. For tickets and information call 903.592.0561 and visit

Lake Country Playhouse Presents Declaration of Independence Musical


g Starrin

Lake Country Playhouse in Mineola is presenting 1776 July 20-22 and 27-29. Directed by Bob Hibbard, the musical takes a look at the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Call 903.967.2164 or for more information.

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY Relive the outstanding vocal power of one of the greatest singers of all time!

Friday, August 24 7:30 pm Limited Number of VIP Seats with Special Meet & Greet Reserved Tickets Starting at $33



13th AnnuAl

Rally Round Greenville Friday, September 14, 2018

Featuring Emerald

City Band, Preston Cole Band, Matt Dunn and the Runaways, Black Valley Band PLUS CASI Chili Cookoff, Texas Cornhole League Tournament, Kids Alley, Circus Act, Food Trucks. and More!

FREE ADMISSION VIP concert seats available for purchase include food, beer, wine, and “Taste of BBQ”



See for extensive music listings.

Greenville Welcomes Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters

Jimmy LaFave’s Peace Town Comes Out This Summer

The Texan Theater in Greenville is one tour location on the long list of shows for actor/singer Billy Bob Thornton and his band. Tickets are $285 per person for the July 23 show -- that includes a four-course meal, drinks, free parking, and intimate seating in this state-of-the-art performance venue. John Fullbright takes the stage there August 3. Get more details on and learn more about the Texan Theater in the County Line archives. Courtesy photo.

Maria Muldaur and Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band Play the Bowery Stage in Winnsboro Maria Muldaur is best known worldwide for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” which received several Grammy nominations and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere. She began recording in 1963 and joined the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, touring and recording with them throughout the 60s. She’s now settled comfortably into her favorite idiom, the Blues, often joining some of the top names in the business and recording other Grammy-nominated albums. Muldaur brings her Red Hot Bluesiana Band to The Bowery Stage on July 28 for a 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets are $39 and $59 and are available at RESTAURANT LIVE MUSIC FULL BAR MOORE FUN! Ben Wheeler, TX 903.833.5100 34 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2018

As Wills Point-born singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave prepared to leave this world last year during his battle with cancer, he used that time to leave his fans one last batch of songs. The new release, Peace Town, comes out July 13, just a day after what would have been his 63rd birthday. LaFave passed away May 21, 2017. The release is a two-CD, 20-track set and Peace Town reflects his artistry as well as the emotional elements over the last months of his life in which his medical condition brought issues of mortality, legacy, life and love to the forefront. As such, it stands proudly as one of his best works and made his mark as an interpreter who could take the songs of others and virtually make them his own. Alongside time-tested reinterpretations of two of his own previously released compositions are three numbers LaFave composed to lyrics by his icon, Woody Guthrie, and his interpretations of material by his influences ranging from Chuck Berry to Pete Townshend of The Who, to Bob Dylan. The set also includes nods to noted songwriters from Oklahoma like Leon Russell and J.J. Cale as well as selections from lesser-known but equally gifted writers whose talents he admired. Peace Town gives another look on LaFave’s style and as All Music notes, “a stamp that is indelible. It’s tattooed on the inside, on the heart where it belongs.” The recordings are available through Amazon, iTunes, and other retailers.

MUSIC Dates and times are subject to change. Always call ahead before planning a visit.

Every Monday in July

Heather Little & Meredith Crawford. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311.

Every Thursday, Friday, & Saturday

San Jacinto Plaza Music Series. Rockwall.

July 3

Darryl Worley. Athens. The Texan. 903.675.5131

July 6

Slideshow Tragedy. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311. www.stanleysfamous. com Lady Chazz and The Tramps. Kilgore. The Back Porch. 903.984.8141

July 7

Koe Wetzel/Stoney LaRue. Gun Barrel City. The Kid Icarus Project. Tyler. True Vine Brewing Company. 903.600.0124 www. Wesley Pruitt Band. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100 Brick Street Blues Band. Longview. Lone Star Ice House. 903.753.5885

July 13

Zac Wilkerson. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100 Ally Venable. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311. Dueling Pianos. Kilgore. The Back Porch. 903.984.8141

July 14

Read Southall. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100

July 14

Waylon Jennings Tribute Concert. Palestine High School Auditorium. 903.729.8074 Jimmie Vaughan and the Tilt-a-Whirl Band. Dallas. Kessler Theater. 214.272.8346 www. Sam Smith. Dallas. American Airlines Center. 214.665.4299

July 21

Asleep at the Wheel. McKinney Performing Arts Center. 972.547.7500 Hayes Carll. Athens. The Texan. 903.675.5131 continued page 37 JULY/AUGUST 2018 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 35


Hanah & Hailee Perform in Greenville

Upper East Side of Texas




BRANDON MAXWELL Fashion Designer Making Women Feel Beautiful





county line MAGAZINE


Saturday, July 28, the Greenville Municipal Auditorium is filled with the music of rising stars Hanah & Hailee of Winnsboro, Texas. This sister duo promises to dazzle, charm and impress audiences of all walks of life. Their music is catchy, melodic, and genuine, with a love for the melodies of pop and the authenticity of great country music, with some positive vibes.

Henderson Civic Theatre 2018

“Charlotte’s Web” July 13-15 & 20-22

Fri & Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun 2:30 p.m. 122 E. Main St. 903- 657-2968





Saturday, July 21, 9 am Sunday, July 22, 9 am-12 pm

The City of Henderson Presents

Rusk County Expo Center 3303 FM 13 West, 903-431-0793


Sat. Aug 11 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Sun. Aug 12 9:30 am-2:30 pm Henderson Civic Center 1500 Lake Forest Parkway

This evening of music is $25 per person and all seats are reserved. Visit for tickets.


Depot Museum and Children’s Activity Center • 514 N. High St www.depot North East Texas Goat Raisers Assn.

163 Annual Sacred Harp Singing Natl. Convention

Opening this show is Elvis tribute artist Josh Davis and three-piece family band Landry & Company, who perform a style of Texas country/Southern rock & blues.

10:00 AM - DOWNTOWN HENDERSON PARADE, 100 E. MAIN ST. Everyone is welcome to participate! Sponsored by Keep Henderson Beautiful.


5:00 PM -FREE ADMISSION - Fun for the whole family! FREE ADMISSION to Bounce Houses & Water Slide • FUN FOOD FOR PURCHASE City of Henderson Department of Tourism • 866.650-5529 •


MUSIC continued from page 35 July 23

Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters. Greenville. Texan Theater.

July 26

Pentatonix. Dallas. Dos Equis Pavilion. 214. 421.1111.

July 27


Gun Barrel City ...a straight shot to Cedar Creek Lake

Jonahan Terrell. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311.

July 28

Ben Lowry & Texas Express. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100 www.mooresstore. com Maria Muldaur and her Blusiana Band. Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 903.342.0686

Come Stay & Play. We Aim to Please!

Hanah & Hailee. Greenville Municipal Auditorium.

August 3 Roxy Roca. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311. Heather Little. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100

August 4 Tyler & The Tribe. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100 Ally Venable Band. Kilgore. The Back Porch. 903.984.8141

August 8

JULY FEST JULY 7 • Gun Barrel City Park




Heather Little. Kilgore. The Back Porch. 903.984.8141

Stoney LaRue

August 9

Wesley Pruitt. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100

August 9-12

Classic Country Music Festival. Carthage.


August 10

Dylan Wheeler. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100

August 11

August 18

August 29

East Texas Jazz Orchestra. Ben Wheeler. Moore’s Store. 903.833.5100

Darrin Morris Band. Kilgore. The Back Porch. 903.984.8141

August 31

Danny Schmidt & Carrie Elkin. Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 903.342.0686

August 24

August 11-12

Wayne Garner Band. Longview. Lone Star Ice House. 903.753.5885

Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town: The Bandwagon Tour. Dallas. Dos Equis Pavilion. 214. 421.1111.

163rd Annual Sacred Harp Singing National Convention. Henderson Civic Center. 866.650.5529

Andrew Sulivan. Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 903.342.0686

The Whitney Houston Show. Texarkana. Perot Theatre. 903.792.4992

Mammoth Indigo. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311.

Journey/Def Leppard. Dallas. American Airlines Center. 214.665.4299 Curtis Grimes. Ben Wheeler. Moores Store. 903.833.5100

September 1

Eric Andersen. Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 903.342.0686

September 22

Kevin Galloway. Tyler. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ. 903.593.0311.


New Generation Takes Up the Reins for Producing Hay on Family Farm By Terry Mathews Producing great hay and seeing the joy on their grandfather’s face are two of the reasons Casie Buck, 28, and her brother, Cody, 25, choose to work in their fourgeneration family hay field in Franklin County. “This was our great-grandparent’s land,” Cody says during a rare break on the farm one recent afternoon. It is where William Henry and Allie Mae Buck raised the siblings’ grandfather, Gary Buck, and where Gary cut hay for many years. Now, his grandchildren are creating their own hay on the old home place and Buck Hay Farm is in full swing. They began producing in 2012 after Casie realized she and her brother could fill a need for better quality horse hay.

A Certified Equine Therapeutic Instructor in her full-time job, Casie has firsthand knowledge of what horses need and she said it was hard to find good hay for them. With her skills, combined with her grandfather’s understanding of hay, her dad’s knowledge of the family farm, and Cody’s mechanical skills, she knew they could fill that gap. And they accomplished just that, selling out every year since they started. They get much of their new business from satisfied customers spreading the word. “The strand we have has a really thin stem and really fluffy leaves, which is what horses love,” Casie says. “Most Coastal (grass) has a thicker stem and thinner leaves.” Although their biggest market is in East Texas, a horse-boarding operation in Ar-

lington gets a delivery of 100-120 bales every three to four weeks and they have taken loads as far south as Stephenville, Texas. “The horses eat it up,” Casie said. “We’ll pull around the corner and you’ll see everybody pop out. They know when the food truck is coming.” Customers sometimes ask them what “secret ingredient” they put in the hay. “Getting asked if it has crack in it is the best,” Cody says with a laugh. Cody also has a full-time job away from the hay field. Monday through Thursdays he is a department manager at Priefert Manufacturing in Mount Pleasant where they build farm, ranch, and rodeo equipment like corral fencing, feeders, gates, cattle chutes, and horse walkers. “I get up at 2:30 in the morning and get to work at 4,” he says. “I get off at 2 p.m.” During hay season, he hits the field after his shift, with bedtime coming between 7 and 8 p.m. Turning in that early has cut into his social life. “He becomes a pumpkin at 7,” Casie jokes. “We can’t ask him any questions after 7.” However, Cody’s new girlfriend seems to be adjusting well to his haying schedule so far, but he knows things might get tough. This is their first season as a couple. “After so many days without a whole lot of sleep, I become a jerk,” he admitted, with a wry smile. “I’ve warned her. She understands a lot more than I figured she would.” Cody lives in a recently-finished room inside the shop they use for storage on the farm. “Who can say they walk out their back door to 200 acres,” he asks. The Buck siblings grew up and graduated from high school in Longview but trips to the family farm were a regular


occurrence. Casie remembers spending summers with her great-grandmother and the gardens that used to line both sides of the road near the house. “We would pick vegetables early in the morning and we’d come inside and shell peas while watching whatever sitcom was on,” she remembers. “After shelling peas, we would make lunch. Then, we would start all over again.” Producing hay is kind of an endless cycle like that during haying season, which can last from April through November, depending on the weather. The operation consists of cutting the grass, drying it out, and putting it in to square or round bales. Their clientele calls for making a lot more square than round. “Horse people want square bales,” Casie says. “You can take a square bale and chunk it in the back of truck and head off to a rodeo,” Cody explains. Four cuttings is “a good year” and they can put 4,000 square bales and 300-500 round bales in their barn. A square bale weighs 60 pounds, while a round bale can top 1,800 pounds.

“When we started we had an elevator that would pick the hay off the ground, then we had to grab it,” Cody remembers. “We stood on the back of our Ford flatbed, putting 50-70 bales on it. The first 1,500 bales, we were stupid. We didn’t use gloves. We couldn’t hardly open a bottle that night.” Now, with newer equipment, Cody picks up 10 bales at a time with a grapple and takes them to the barn. Their tractor cabs are now closed and air conditioned, and they keep them stocked with Dr Pepper, Gatorade, Reese’s Pieces, and chips for snacking. Cody says it’s best to cut and bale when it’s 100 degrees, there’s a light breeze, and there’s no chance of rain, although sometimes a surprise rain catches them off guard. Casie says she and her brother are grateful for their weather-sensitive family who usually shows up before a storm hits. “Our family must have sonar because they all pull in at the right moment,” she notes. “All of a sudden, we’ll have plenty of help. More than once, we’ve literally pulled trailers into the barn, backed them in loaded down, and it will start dumping rain.”

Help comes in the form of their Buck grandparents; mom and dad, Larry and Brenda Buck; cousins; and friends. When it does rain, Cody uses the down time to tinker with the equipment, keeping it in tip-top shape. When something breaks, it falls to him to fix it or search out someone who can. Cody spends the off season tackling big projects like rebuilding an engine. He’s got a special room with environmental control in the new shop that helps. They plan on spending many more seasons producing hay on the family farm. “I’m very connected to this land,” Cody said. “I really enjoy what I’m doing. There are many days when I could stay in the field until 2 in the morning.” “It does run in the blood,” Casie agrees. She also says improvements on the land make her grandfather happy and that makes her happy, too. “Today, sitting in the tractor, going in circles, it just brought me joy,” she says. “At the end of the day, you know people love your product. They keep coming back. And we’re happy about giving them something that is good.”

In the first year of the business their equipment was a bit outdated and they were still wet behind the ears when it came to the mechanics of baling. LEFT: Casie Buck feeds a horse hay she creates with her brother on their family farm. Courtesy Photo. RIGHT: Cody Buck is good with mechanics and keeping equipment in good order. Courtesy Photo. BELOW and FAR RIGHT: The siblings feel good about providing a quality product and working on the land that’s been in their family for four generations. Photos by Megan Hendrix



Food Tours Show McKinney Is a Dining Destination 116 North Tennessee Street, and end at Ettiene Market, 115 West Louisiana Street, cited as one of the best kitchen shops in the region according to D Magazine. Places to taste (subject to change) also include award-winning Cadillac Pizza Pub, Fair & Square Imports, a coffee house named Filtered, the farm-to-market focus of Harvest Seasonal Kitchen, Landon Winery, and Spoons Cafe. Reservations are $60 per adult and $30 per child (ages 4-12). Private or customized tours are also available. Visit or call 214.998.8828. Tour participants (l-r) Debbie Miller, Carina Smay and Edith Pont share a toast at Landon Winery McKinney during an outing hosted by We Ate Well. Laura Potter Photography

Dining experiences mean something special in McKinney where not one, but two food tours are on the table. “At the heart of our community is a historic downtown square, a one-of-a-kind scene steeped in culture with plenty of stories to be told,” says Tricia Scruggs, owner of We Ate Well Food Tour. “Through the years, since its founding in the mid-1800s, many of the beautiful buildings in the city’s original business sector have been lovingly preserved and restored. They are now home to talented local chefs, artisans and business owners ready to welcome you into the best restaurants, markets and shops in Texas.” Similarly, Food Walks of Texas offers a food tour that prioritizes pleasing the palate and enjoying a walk downtown.

“In the past decade the commercial district in downtown McKinney has exploded, offering a large variety of eateries and restaurants with creative and renowned chefs, many of whom are committed to strengthening our local economy and pushing the bounds of the farm-to-table food movement, in addition to numerous unique shops,” says Lali Miles, founder and president.

We Ate Well Food Tour

The eating outings happen every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The three-hour adventure, covering less than two miles, includes 12-plus venues, viewing of historic buildings and interesting murals, and a walk through some interesting shops. All tours begin at Food Network’s praised Patina Green Home & Market,

Food Walks of Texas

Lali and Paul Miles are co-owners of this food tour that highlights a friendly downhome approach. Its three-hour, two-mile walk focuses on good food, local history and admiration of some of McKinney’s architecture. Six diverse eateries on the tour are The Pantry Restaurant (home of a chocolate cream pie praised by The Food Network), Cadillac Pizza Pub, Butcher Board, Bien Salsa, sweet shop Goodies Texas and Hugs Café. The tour price is $59 for both adults and children age 12-plus. Tours start at the Old Collin County Prison, 115 South Kentucky Street (one block south of the downtown square) at 10:45 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and some Fridays. Phone 972.529.2009 or visit for more information or to book a tour.

Bistro 1916 Offers New Menu Bistro 1916, located inside the historic ML Edwards Co in Mount Vernon, is an openstyle cafe featuring brunch, lunch, and now dinner on Friday and Saturdays from 5-9 p.m. They recently announced a new dinner menu that continues their farmto-table fare using locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes stuffed quail with jalapeño bacon cornbread, beef tenderloin medallions with garlic rosemary smashed fingerling potatoes, the Bistro 40 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2018

1916 burger and truffle fries, shrimp and blue corn grits with southern stew and oven-roasted salmon filet with rice pilaf. Small plates, appetizers, and a wine list are also available. For reservations or more information, call 903.270.2516 and visit www.mledwardsco. com to learn much more about this dining destination.

MORE FOOD & FUN! Go to County Line eMagazine for more fun food and drink articles, recipes, dining ideas, wineries, farmers markets, and events. Food-Drink

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Green Goat Winery Opens in Edom The Green Goat Winery opened recently at 12362 FM 279, a stone’s throw from Blue Moon Gardens. Owners Cindy and Rip Cunningham created a beautiful, relaxing oasis with a tasting room, outdoor wraparound porch, and healthy vineyards surrounding the property.

Photo by P.A. Geddie

There’s a new goat in the rolling countryside outside Edom, Texas, and it’s green.

They have nine wines to choose from including Blanc du Bois, Lenoir, Lomanto, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Symphony. A must-try is the blueberry, made from berries collected from the local Blueberry Hill Farms. Semi sweet, it’s one of the favorites of customers so far. They are open from Noon to 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday and also offer live music by local singer songwriters with the perfect volume to listen while


enjoying conversing with wine-drinking friends. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnics to enjoy with the wines or Green

Learn more about Green Goat Winery on their website, www.greengoatwinery. com or call 903.852.2259.

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Shaping the Future of the Upper East Side of Texas

James and the Giant Peach in Athens

ArtsView Produces Show for Children with Autism, Developmental Disabilities The first performance of Palette of Possibility in Texas takes place in Longview the week of October 22.

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down an old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach. This launches a journey across the ocean with his insect friends. Quick wit and creative thinking make the voyage a success. Presented by the Y.E.S. Company (Youth Excellence on Stage), this show promises to be quite a “Masterpeach.” Performance dates are July 19-28 at the Henderson County Performing Arts Center.


An interactive journey through the primary colors geared specifically for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, the play offers hands-on interaction with the audience and is designed for people who are developmentally between the ages of 6 and 12. Performances are held at ArtsView Children’s Theatre at 313 West Tyler Street. Visit for more.


Author Brings War Letters Project to Longview July 5

The Forgotten I am the tallest tree in the most beautiful forest, And I am despised by all the earth except myself. Even when the morning Sun’s brilliant light gilds my every crevasse, He will no longer give me the strength to grow. I am left to survive on the jealous stare of those vulgar saplings, And to breed the stench of haughtiness. So in my hatred for the Sun, I spread my leaves woven of the finest artistry, And I choke out His precious rays from the saplings below. Their nostalgic wails resound throughout the darkness, They constantly claw for relief. But my bark is an iron casket, And is strong as the love I have for myself. But deep beneath my bark, A lost soul cries out the desperate song of a thousand heartbreaks. A melody that haunts my every dream, Reminding me of a passed life, A life that saw the rise of the tallest tree of the most beautiful forest, A life that heard the mournful echo of the tree that was left to rot, A life, That lies forgotten in my roots. Jaelan Linville Mount Enterprise

2018 Northeast Texas Poetry in Schools Scholarship Winner

New York Times bestselling author and founding director of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University makes an appearance July 5 at the First United Methodist Church Faith Center in Longview. Andrew Carroll’s books include War Letters, Letters of a Nation, and Behind the Lines. War Letters inspired the critically acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name, and the audio version of the book was nominated for a Grammy in the “Spoken Word” category. In 1998, Carroll founded the Legacy Project to honor veterans and activeduty troops by preserving their wartime correspondence. He’s travelled to all 50 states and more than 40 countries and has collected, to date, an estimated 100,000 letters from every war in U.S. history. Guests are invited to bring their own war letters for consideration in preserving them at the Center for American War Letters. Register to attend and get more information on www.preservationlongview. com or call 903.720.1398.

Enjoy Shopping, Dining & Entertainment in Historic Mineola, Texas

MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET Every Saturday May-October 8 a.m.-Noon. MINEOLA HISTORICAL MUSEUM 114 Pacific St (Hwy. 69) Open Thur, Fri, Sat 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


Restored 1906 Mineola Depot 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. 7 days a week. FREE


Designated Daily Stop 1-800-669-8509

MINEOLA NATURE PRESERVE 7:30 a.m. until sunset



EXPLORE WOOD MeetingCOUNTY the locals has never been so memorable


June 24 through September 9 For more information, visit or call (903) 595-1001.

Tyler Museum of Art 1300 South Mahon Avenue • Tyler, TX “Beyond the Lure of Big Fish” Wood County Tourism

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824 Southpark Circle ~ Athens, Texas Like us on facebook


MARSHALL TEXAS • 2nd Saturday Car Show & Concert March through November • Market on the Square May through September; featuring growers, vendors, live music and children's crafts • Visit the Starr Family Home, Harrison County Historical Museum, T&P Railroad Depot, and Michelson Museum of Art  @VisitMarshallTX                     @MarshallMainStreet                        @MarketOnTheSquare WWW.MARSHALLTEXAS.NET



Raising Them Right While it all culminates with the day of judging, the lessons learned along the way will last a lifetime. There’s been too little sleep and too much grooming, pre-dawn alarms and late night feedings. But when it’s all said and done, you wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. At Heritage Land Bank, we congratulate the young men and women of 4-H and FFA. You are the future of our industry and we are committed to your success.

Finan cing the

Wide-Open Space



NMLS# 408898

July/August 2018 County Line Magazine  
July/August 2018 County Line Magazine