May/June 2020 County Line Magazine

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county line Upper East Side of Texas



Farmers’ Markets FOOD FOR THE SOUL

ART Linda Lucas Hardy Edom Art Emporium Greenville Murals Emily Guthrie Smith


Tyler Museum of Art

“Roadrunner near Marfa,” 2007, Oil on canvas, by Billy Hassell, TMA Permanent Collection (903) 595-1001 2 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • MAY/JUNE 2020

“The happiness of life is made up of little things — a smile, a helping hand, a caring heart, a word of praise, a moment of shared laughter. We are most alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Thornton Wilder

Discover the treasures of the Upper East Side of Texas.

county line M A G A Z I N E




8 Brown-Eyed Girl

Mother, father, and daughter, separated 52 years ago, recently find each other. By P.A. Geddie

14 Butterflies

Beautiful photography of nature’s gifts. By Wendy Floyd

DEPARTMENTS 5 Editor’s Note


18 F.H. Eilenberger, Henry Clay Thruston, Summer Solstice, Bessie Heard, Frank Beard, I Hope You Dance

LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT 20 New Market For Winnsboro 21 Avoid Mom Burnout With Workouts

ARTS & CULTURE 24 Longview Art Museum Spotlight 26 Linda Lucas Hardy Art


30 Edom Art Emporium 34 Greenville’s Colorful Side




37 Poem: “I Need “by Sherrie Chesser

MUSIC 38 Boogie Woogie Marshall 39 Live Streaming Home Concerts 40 Shake, Rattle & Roll

FOOD & DRINK 42 Farmers’ Markets Return 44 A Berry Good Summer

Cover: “Peacemobile” by Kerian Massey. See more of her work at the Edom Art Emporium in downtown Edom, Texas


county line Since 2000


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


CONTRIBUTORS P.A. Geddie Judy Peacock Tracy Torma Lisa Tang Wendy Floyd Rachel Wilbanks Sherrie Chesser



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 2020, 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: 903.963.1101. E-mail: Website: Free listings are entered on a space available basis. Advertising space may be purchased by calling 903.963.1101. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we deem incompatible with our mission.

EDITOR’S NOTE Dear Readers, Kerian Massey’s “Peacemobile” art on the cover of this issue helps set the tone for what’s inside. Lots of colorful art, messages of peace, hope, dreams, and good will, and tapping in to our adventurous spirit all while honoring self restraint during the pandemic caused by COVID-19. This time is like no other in any of our lives since this hasn’t happened since 1918 to this degree. Our lead story is about a family that found each other after 52 years. Debbie Sallee found both her biological mother and father, as well as a full-blood sibling recently and they share their remarkable story. I wish them all well as they embark on the journey of a lifetime together. Nothing is as “usual” these days as far as looking for fun things to do, but they are there if you get creative about finding them. It is good to explore new ways of enjoying leisure time. Be sure to check out the frequently updated “Pandemic Pause” article on www. and the calendar there as well. One of the most fun

(RE: JAN/FEB 2020: Butterfly Snuggles/ Lucille Geddie). What a sweet lady with a heart of gold. She’s had her share of struggles in life but she still has time to think of others and the sweet babies that are the beneficiaries of her love-filled Butterfly Snuggles quilts. I love stories that actually express the age old saying “When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Lemonade.” That can actually come true. We all need a lady in our life like Mrs. Lucille Matthews Geddie that can show us that life can go beyond struggles and only make others extremely Texans for not the Texans forArts the Arts happy but to make yourself happy with just a simple gesture of love. God bless you Mrs. Geddie — may you have a long life and keep doing what you are doing. over 20 years, For overFor 20 years,

Protect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) arts funding

Protect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) arts funding

Increase funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts

Increase funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts

The Official Arts Advocacy

arts leaders, committed supporters, and citizen activists like

Texansyou! forTogether the Artsweiscan at amplify the forefront of empowering artists, our powerful voices to increase arts leaders, committed supporters, citizen activists both public and private resources toand build strong, dynamic,like you! and Together wecommunities can amplifyallour powerful creative across Texas. voices to increase both public and private resources to build strong, dynamic, and creative communities all across Texas.


Be sure to put the lively little towns of the Upper East Side of Texas on your list as you make plans for getaways and day trips as soon as it is safe to do so. They have plenty to offer for good times with an enormous backdrop of welcoming wide open spaces. I hope you are as impressed as I am with the caliber of art found in this issue. Be sure to go to the website for extended articles and added artwork and then look each of them up if you find something you like. As we navigate the coming months through our new normals, remember we are all in this together. Be kind, respectful, and helpful. Avoid judging others — you don’t know what they are going through. Try to build bridges instead. Find the silver lining. P.A. Geddie


has consistently worked to:worked to: has consistently

The Organization Official Arts Advocacy for Texas Organization Texans for the Arts is at the forefront offor empoweringTexas artists,

things that’s come out of the world’s current situation is live streaming music concerts. Read about one couple’s weekly show on page 39 — this type of entertainment may be something that continues for a long time to come.

Expand the conversation about the vital role the arts in our Expand theand conversation play schools communitiesabout the vital role the arts

in our schools communities Supportplay tax policies and otherand measures that help artists arts organizations and Support tax policies and other measures that help

Advocate for increased for the National artists and artsfunding organizations Endowment for the Arts and for federal policies that Advocate funding for the National support artists andfor artsincreased organizations.

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

Pamela Hall Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

(RE: JULY/AUG 2019: Discover America in the Upper East Side of Texas) I am always so proud to take visiting family and guests to nearby Pittsburg. I can’t understand why the Ezekial’s Airship isn’t more widely known. And that little chapel soothes my soul. Thanks for telling others about East Texas, a hidden beauty. Esther Hopper

Please feel free to send us your comments. County Line Magazine P.O. Box 608, Ben Wheeler, TX 75754 email: Find us on Facebook and Twitter. Go to LETTERS on


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Rusk County Wildflower Trails April 15th- May 31st

Self-driving tour on three driving trails of Rusk County Maps are available by contacting

City of Henderson Department of Tourism


St Pha

Come Make Memories With Us! PRESENTS

SUMMER CHILDREN’S CONCERT Beagles Day Out and Villains and Sweethearts





Catching Up With Their Brown-Eyed Girl Family Finds Each Other After Five Decades

From as far back as Debbie Brennan Sallee remembers, she knew she was adopted and it made her feel special, in a good way. “My parents made me feel this is such a special thing,” Debbie says. “I would even share this greatness during show and tell at school. They raised me feeling that way so it wasn’t a bad thing.” Born on February 24, 1968, in the Houston area, Debbie was adopted by Johnny and Madonna Brennan just three days later. The Brennans thought they could not have children and were thrilled when they learned through friends that a teenager had just given birth to a little girl and could not keep her. The adoption took place quickly through an attorney. At the hospital, Madonna wanted to meet the mother but was not allowed. She did note the name on the door to her room — Garza. Debbie says she had a wonderful life with her parents and when she was seven years old her mother gave birth to a little brother Johnny, and then later a sister, Lori.

Thoughts of finding her biological parents were set aside and Debbie met her future husband, Curtis Sallee, in 1993. They got married in 1995 and moved to Tyler, then Henderson, and have been in Ben Wheeler, Texas, now for 23 years. Their daughter Cheyenne was born in November 1999. Having her own daughter made Debbie’s life complete. “We were busy from the day that girl was born,” she says. “She came out of the womb running.” Caught up in cheerleading, sports, and Van Oil Queen pageants, life was non-stop so Debbie said she didn’t have time to think about her biological parents much but her brother Johnny liked to joke with her about it and include himself in the picture. “Our family’s crazy,” he’d say, “Don’t you want to find our real parents.” In 2008 Debbie was diagnosed with cancer.

When Debbie was nine years old, the family moved to New Caney, Texas.

“Cheyenne and I became closer than most,” Sallee said. “When she was in junior high and high school we were like best friends.”

She continued to feel deeply connected to her adopted family, but sometimes thought about where she came from.

Debbie says, fearing she might die caused her to want to share all she knew with her daughter and that time together bonded them even closer.

“When I started in my teenage years, I considered looking for my (birth) parents,” Debbie remembers. “I had brown eyes and was dark complected unlike the rest of my family. I had pretty skin color. People would ask me ‘What’s your nationality?’ I don’t know,” she’d tell them, “maybe Italian, Indian, or Heinz 57.”

“It was a gift,” Debbie says.

She hadn’t considered Hispanic until Madonna at some point told her the name from the hospital room door was Garza.

Debbie had a rare cancer with a tough success record. Thankfully, the radiation she did worked. Debbie opened her own business, OMG All Star Cheer in 2010. She also started a DJ business in 2014 and although she no longer owns OMG since 2016, she does continue to DJ at special events. All of the emotions Debbie experienced during these years made her


think occasionally about finding her birth parents but there were just too many other things to do so it continued to go to the back of her mind, only to have brother Johnny keep bringing it up. “He drove me crazy the most about ‘why don’t you want to find your birth parents,’” she says. Her mom, Madonna, also asked her from time to time, especially after she’d watch a reunion on “Oprah.” Sadly, Madonna passed away in 2010. Dad Johnny remarried and has had a series of strokes, making communication difficult, but Debbie says they stay in touch. This past November, Debbie heard about a friend who found her birth parents from a DNA test. “She met her mom and two months later the mom died,” Debbie says, and that brought home the idea that she wanted to pursue finding her birth parents before it’s too late. “If I keep waiting, that could be me.” She hesitated because she feared she would cause disruption in her birth family’s lives. “I didn’t want to disturb my birth family. I don’t want to throw a monkey wrench into their lives.” When Debbie mentioned to her brother and sister that she was finally thinking about finding her birth family, brother Johnny didn’t waste any time. “He told his wife, Carolyn, to order the DNA kit and have it sent to her house and he also said, ‘Merry Christmas,’” Debbie says fondly. The kit came and Debbie videoed herself taking the test. “I was doing it jokingly,” she says. “The odds are slim.” continued page 10

Courtesy Photo

By P.A. Geddie


FAMILY continued from page 8 She sent the DNA in on December 6 and went on about her life thinking she probably wouldn’t hear anything. The results came back on January 14 this year showing matches with about 10 people, thought to be first, second, or third cousins — other people that had sent in their DNA. She emailed those 10 saying, “We may be cousins — I’d like to talk to you.” No one responded. Sister-in-law Carolyn wasn’t satisfied so she sent another email the same day, this time telling the recipients that the birth mother’s name was Garza. Within hours Carolyn received emails wanting to help. What turned out to be a third cousin living in Arizona, called her dad, Jake Garcia, and asked him who the mother might be. The family did some quick detective work and got back to Carolyn with answers. At 4:30 that afternoon, Debbie gets a call from brother Johnny. “In a quivery voice he says, ‘Debbie I want you to know I’m still your favorite brother.’ I can hear Carolyn crying and then Johnny says ‘we found your birth mother.’ We were all three crying.” Her name is Mary. The day before, on January 13, was Mary Garza Stark’s birthday. It was her birthday wish for the past 52 years that she would find the baby she gave up for adoption. The next day, her wish final-

ly came true. Mary was in her home in Katy, Texas, on January 14 when she got a call from her cousin Jake in Wisconsin. “He said someone was looking for her mother. All she knew was she was born February 24, 1968, and she was known as the Garza baby. ‘Do you know anybody that would be her mom?’” “I lost it,” Mary says. “I couldn’t breathe. I knew it was her. I said, ‘I’m her mother.’” Mary got Debbie’s phone number from Jake. “I knew it was finally going to happen.” She had a lot of emotions to process that afternoon and a long-held secret to tell her family. Mary Garza grew up in small town Cuero, Texas. The family moved to Houston when she was 16 years old. It was a big change for her and she wasn’t sure how well she fit in but she adjusted. She was 19 years old and working in the subscription department at the Houston Chronicle when she met Stan Stark. “I was very impressed with him, he was a gentleman,” Mary recalls. They saw each other off and on for a while, but he was ofMother and daughter meet for the first time Saturday, January 1 8 at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Van, Texas. RIGHT TOP-BOTTOM: As her daughter Cheyenne looks on, Debbie Sallee and her biological mother Mary Stark have their first embrace, followed by double hugs from her biological parents. Bottom l-r: Debbie’s husband Curtis Sallee, her full-blood brother Scotti Stark, her dad Stan and mother Mary Stark, and Cheyenne Sallee. Photos by P.A. Geddie


ten not in the picture. They hadn’t seen each other for several months when Mary discovered she was pregnant. “I didn’t tell anyone,” Mary says. “I didn’t even know until I started showing. I was a small person at the time. I could hide it wearing a girdle. I did a good job because nobody knew. My mom thought I was gaining some weight. I never went to the doctor.” On February 24, 1968, Mary had recently turned 20 and was sharing her room at her parents’ house with her friend Phyllis. Phyllis came home from a date that dayand found Mary in distress on her bed. “I was in terrible pain,” Mary recalls. “I said my stomach hurt.” Phyllis woke Mary’s parents and they took her to the hospital where they all found out for the first time when the doctor informed them that Mary was pregnant and in labor. She had a baby girl. “They went into shock,” Mary said of her parents, “then total denial. I don’t remember a lot of what happened. My parents told me I couldn’t keep her. You just didn’t do that at the time. It would deface the family name they said. “I don’t remember signing her away but I know she was gone the next day,” Mary says. “I didn’t know how all that happened. I knew she was a girl and I knew what day it was.” Although she saw Stan a few times during her pregnancy, Mary hadn’t told him until after the baby was born and

given up for adoption. They continued to go in and out of each other’s lives for the next few years. Mary got pregnant again in 1969 and had a son, Scotti. “I knew how my parents would feel so I ran away. I told my parents I’ve already lost one child, I’m not losing this one.” Mary and Stan finally got together for good and got married in 1976 when Scotti was five years old. The family lived in Houston where Stan worked in sales and marketing and then computer consulting and Mary worked in administration. “We had a good life,” Mary says. “But I always brought up the baby I gave away. Every birthday, every holiday, I would wonder what she was doing, what she was like, and was she okay — everything a mother thinks about.” For some reason Mary had in mind the adoptive parents’ name was Fitzgerald. “The hospital (where the baby was born) got torn down years later and I didn’t know where the records went. I looked for the name Fitzgerald all over the South but didn’t find her.” That was years ago and Mary had all but given up that she would ever see her first born when that call came in from her cousin Jake on January 14. She told Stan. “When I heard the news, I came inside and I sat down and I was crying hysterically. I couldn’t believe it. Our daughter has found us,” she told him. “He was in shock.” With that done, and overcome with emotion, Mary called Debbie’s number at

continued page 13


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FAMILY continued from page 11

stand what I was saying. He thought I had a deadly disease.”

10:30 that evening. Debbie sees the Houston number on her caller ID.

Mary told him, “You have a sister, a full-blooded sister.”

“I knew it was her. I’d been waiting patiently. I was upbeat. I didn’t cry. I didn’t know what to expect,” Debbie says.

He was in shock but he thought it was great and he is really happy to have a sister.

Then Mary says, “Hi baby girl.” Debbie says, “I laughed, we cried, and I told her ‘I don’t need an explanation. I had a good life. I just want to meet you.’” They talked for a couple of hours, getting to know each other and they hit it off so well with so many things in common. “It was amazing,” Mary says. “We talked about our curly hair and so many things. We laugh alike. We don’t like vegetables. For two hours we went on and on and on. We didn’t want to hang up.” Cousin Jake had indicated to Debbie earlier in the day that Mary was married to Debbie’s biological dad but said he didn’t want to give away too much information so Debbie waited to hear from Mary. when she got confirmation of this news she was so excited. Debbie said to Mary, “You mean you and dad are married? I found my dad too!” “It was a really special moment,” Debbie says, and they just keep coming. Debbie also learned she has a fullblood brother, Scotti. It was a heart-packed first conversation and they agreed to talk again after a good night’s rest. The next day Mary called her two brothers to tell them about her daughter. They said they couldn’t believe she’d carried this all by herself all these years. “I made a promise to mom and dad and kept it.” Mary says. “But they’re both gone now.” Then she called her son. “I was crying so bad he couldn’t under-

“From then on it’s been nothing but love and support from the whole family,” Mary says. “So many happy tears — nothing but love and happiness.” For the next couple of days Mary and Debbie talked often by phone and neither could wait to meet each other. So, Mary and Stan arranged to drive up from Katy, while brother Scotti got a flight from California where he lives and works in the wine industry. In the meantime, Debbie’s friends and family start making plans for the great reunion that took place Saturday, January 18 at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Van, Texas. With Debbie, her husband Curtis and daughter Cheyenne by her side, and brother Johnny and his wife Carolyn, sister Lori, and numerous other family and friends surrounding them, Mary, Stan, and Scotti made their way through the crowd to join them. The hugs were strong and tender, deep and long. Mary and Debbie couldn’t stop holding each other for a good five minutes and continued to reach out for each other for the rest of the gathering. “The feelings of finding and meeting your daughter for the first time in 52 years, I don’t know how to explain that feeling,” Mary says. “My heart was bursting.”

The crew all came to Debbie’s house and they had a party that night with about 30 people. They sang karaoke, played pool, and had a great time Debbie says. At one point, Debbie requests a song, “Brown Eyed Girl.” “I got my first dad-daughter dance,” she says. “He’ll never know how much that meant to me. I wanted to share with them who I am. He was smiling. If you draw a heart and make it bigger and bigger that’s how I felt because he was dancing with me.” The next weekend Debbie went to Houston and met Mary’s side of the family and says they had a “first” birthday party with her extended family. She recognizes her own face in so many of her cousins, she says. She talks with brother Scotti from time to time and they enjoy discovering how much alike they are and both have a great sense of humor. “We would have given mom so much hell if we’d been brought up together. There’s a reason they kept us separate.” So, where does this family go from here? Mary and Stan are moving to Ben Wheeler. “We don’t want to be apart,” Mary says. “We’re still catching up. I have so much to share with her. After so many years apart, I just want to be next to her for as long as I live. I’m 72 years old. Let me be a mom to her. I’ve loved her all this time and now I can actually show her.”

The moment was perfect for Debbie too. “I had my plan and it went just like I wanted it. That moment, to get to turn and hug her was amazing and weird at the same time. I had a connection with the woman that raised me. But I immediately was able to call her (Mary) mom. Our hugs are wonderful. It’s not the same as the mom that raised you. It’s more we are one. We laugh the same. We think the same.” MAY/JUNE 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 13

Butterflies by Wendy Floyd Nacogdoches County, Texas

“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.” Author Unknown



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Classes begin June 1 & July 6


Classes begin Aug. 24

Special Springtime Events March 21 & 22 9th Annual Tour of Corsicana Bicycle Race


March 26 “Tapestry, The Carole King Songbook”



April 24 & 25



Derrick Days Festival Celebrating the hometown and history of Texas oil Parade, Street Fair, Chili Cookoff & Rodeo May 9

22nd Annual

Corsicana AirSho “The best little airshow in Texas” CORSICANA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

May 14-24 “Gypsy”

Photo: Hand-drawn chalk mural in historic Corsicana, Texas.




May 15 & 16 Texas Veterans Parade Weekend Medal of Honor Dinner & Parade COOK CENTER & DOWNTOWN

(903) 963-1101

& Every Second Saturday Mimosas at the Market Sipping & Shopping


Browse our event calendar and book your weekend stay at 903-654-4850

MAY/JUNE 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 17 Special Springtime Events March 21 & 22



MAY 14, 1883

Celebrating F.H. Eilenberger Born May 7, 1878, F.H. Eilenberger was a German immigrant who established a successful — and still operating — bakery in Palestine, Texas. He worked at bakeries in Galveston and Fort Worth before starting this company in 1898. Originally located on the corner of John and Oak streets, the operation was moved to the current site at 512 N. John Street in 1918. Eilenberger also lived there for several years. Thanks to continued management of the operations by his sons, his baked goods continue to delight consumers all over the world. Today the bakery is noted for fruit and pecan cakes, which are produced from a family recipe.




Thruston (center) was 7 foot, 7 inches tall and is standing here next to men who are 6 foot, 8 inches and 6 foot, 6 inches.

Remembering the Tallest Man in the American Civil War May 14, 1883, is the birthdate of Henry Clay Thruston who is known as the tallest man (7 foot, 7 inches) to serve in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Historians suspect his birthplace was in South Carolina, but he moved to Mount Vernon as an adult and became a landowner. Because of his impressive height, he also toured with traveling circuses as a sideshow act — often playing the part of Uncle Sam in parades that promoted the arrival of circuses in towns. According to an article in, Thruston had recently returned home to Mount Vernon after a veterans reunion when he died in June 1909 of heart failure surrounded by his family. An 8-foot coffin had to be delivered by train from Texarkana, and the rear door of the hearse couldn’t be closed. He is buried in Edwards Cemetery in Mount Pleasant.

MAY 23, 2000

MAY 26, 1886

I Hope You Dance Jacksonville native Lee Ann Womack released her song "I Hope You Dance" on May 23, 2000. It became a number one country hit and even crossed over on the Adult Contemporary chart. Read County Line Magazine’s interview with her in the archives.


Bessie Heard Founded Museum and Sanctuary

I Hope You Dance By Lee Ann Womack

On May 26, 1886, Bessie Heard, founder of the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, daughter of John Spencer and Rachel Caroline (Wilson) Heard, was born in McKinney, Texas. Learn more about her legacy at

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger May you never take one single breath for granted God forbid love ever leave you empty handed I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

JUNE 11, 1949

I hope you dance I hope you dance

Happy Birthday to ZZ Top’s Frank Beard

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance Never settle for the path of least resistance Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’ Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’ Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance I hope you dance (Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along) I hope you dance I hope you dance (Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder) I hope you dance (Where those years have gone?)

ZZ Top’s drummer Frank Beard was born in Frankston, Texas, on June 11, 1949. Ironically, he is the band member without a long beard.

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Formerly, he was with the bands The Cellar Dwellers, The Hustlers, The Warlocks, and American Blues before forming ZZ Top with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill.


Their first release, an album called ZZ Top’s First Album, was recorded at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler in 1971 and helped establish their quirky attitudes and humor as well as the trio’s unique blend of boogie, hard rock, heavy metal, and Southern rock.

I hope you dance I hope you dance (Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along) I hope you dance (Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder?)



Check out the eMAGAZINE for extended event listings.

New Market Is Taking Shape in Winnsboro

Construction is underway for Sinclair Market, a neighborhood corner store offering local and organic food from local producers and unique brands as well as every day staples. It promises to be a convenient venue for freshly prepared

grab-and-go items as well as an assortment of self-serve coffees and teas. An inviting patio welcomes people to sit and visit, eat a quick bite, or have a glass of wine. They plan to open later this year.


Upper East Side of Texas

BRUNSON EQUESTRIAN CENTER Summer Camps • Riding Lessons • Day at the Ranch Horse Boarding • Horse Shows • Clinics • Dog Shows





Corporate & Special Events • Weddings • Birthday Parties

Fashion Designer Making Women Feel Beautiful





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Avoid Mom Burnout With Simple Workouts By Rachel Wilbanks Piles of dishes. Mounds of laundry. Crayons scattered on the floor. Endless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Children fighting during morning conference calls. The highly contagious COVID-19 virus came in like a wrecking ball, destroying plans and interrupting schedules. Many moms are staying home 24 hours a day now, leaving them scrambling to find a new normal.

ent. This left people questioning how to move forward.

is much greater if the activity is enjoyable for everyone.

There are many ways to stay active, no matter the circumstances. It is all about trying different activities to find what fits best. Going out for a jog or taking the dog for a long walk are great choices for beginners. Also, mental health benefits greatly from a little Vitamin D, so soak up as much sunshine as possible.

The internet provides a countless assortment of free workouts. Yoga is especially soothing for the soul. It helps with decreasing both stress and anxiety. Practicing yoga creates a feeling of harmony between the mind and body. Practice can take place almost anywhere, and the only equipment required is a yoga mat or a beach towel is okay to get started. Try setting up in the living room or the backyard to see what feels best.

It is important to remember how taxing a pandemic is on mental health. One of the easiest, most rewarding ways to nurture the mind is exercise.

Having small children is challenging too when trying to get in a workout, especially if they are out of the napping phase. The easiest thing to do is include them.

Before COVID-19 arrived on the scene, it was not uncommon for people to plan their entire schedules around fitting in a workout. That all changed in the blink of an eye. Gyms and fitness centers shut their doors. Monday evening yoga classes were cancelled. School districts decided distance learning is best. Moms turned into teachers overnight. Life started to look completely differ-

With smaller children, try pulling them in a bicycle trailer, or strapping them into a jogging stroller and taking them through some neighborhood trails to search for birds or other animals. Put together a list of objects for them to hunt. This helps keep them engaged and entertained. Try different alternatives to see what they enjoy. The likelihood of sticking with a workout routine

Navigating these unfamiliar times looks different for each family. Figure out what feels right and stick with it. Moms are working hard to keep it all together. They are the caregivers, the referees, the teachers, and the maids. They are the glue that holds everything together. It is important to spend some time every day focusing on staying healthy, both physically and mentally. Rachel Wilbanks is in the Health Promotion B.S. program at University of North Texas.



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Michael Martin Murphey - Two Shows October 16

Rich in history. Steeped in country. First in class. Logos represent donors or supporters and are utilized by permission only.

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CLARA IDA FRANCES 219 N. Main St. - (903) 342-6137

ANI OAKLI CLOTHING CO 214 N. Main St. - (903) 342-2077

5C HOME STORE 106 E. Elm St. -

THEE HUBBELL HOUSE 307 W. Elm St. - (800) 227-0639

FARMERS MARKET - (903) 440-5392

WCA ANNEX CLASSES 212 Market St. - (903) 342-0686

FINDERS KEEPERS ANTIQUES 304 N. Main St. - (903) 347-1271




Longview Museum of Fine Arts Spotlight Above is “Summer Breeze” by Emily Guthrie Smith, 31x50 inches, oil on canvas. It is one of Longview Museum of Fine Arts’ pieces from their permanent collection. Smith experimented with many media, including watercolors, oils, acrylics, sculpture, and mosaic, but she preferred pastels because they allowed her to work quickly. She was known for her

portraiture and produced more than 2,000 portraits by the time of her death, in addition to hundreds of landscapes and still lifes. She once said, “To me every painting is special. Now, I want to paint more of the beauty of nature but whether it is a landscape or portrait I try to go into or behind the subject to the essence and then show the dignity, the charac-


ter, the inner being of the flowers, the mountains or the person. When I do this I am happy.” Her third retrospective exhibition was at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts in September 1986 just before her death. The exhibit traveled to Texas Christian University where she taught portraiture in 1969. Get more information on


Linda Lucas Hardy Art On Exhibit in Winnsboro Art by Linda Lucas Hardy of Omaha, Texas, is on exhibit this summer at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. Coming from a small town, Hardy says her resources were limited so learning her craft did not come easy. She became her own motivator and teacher and learned to master colored pencil art. After 18 years with this medium, she started oil painting as well which took even more hard work and discipline. The brush wouldn’t cooperate and the paint wasn’t helping, she says. No matter what she did the brush was not going to work like a pencil. After two years of frustrating tries she got a breakthrough when she realized she could take what she learned from colored pencil and apply it to oil. That one thought opened up a whole world of possibilities, she says. The frus-

tration ceased and a joy of learning took its place. Hardy’s work is published in two dozen magazines and 16 books. She’s been in more than 80 national and international exhibitions and she’s won an equal number of awards and honors including Best of Show. She teaches colored pencil instruction and oil painting. Pictured here on four pages are a sampling of her work. BELOW: Oil painting. “Beneath the Thin Veneer,” longer version, “Beneath the Thin Veneer Lay the Heart and Soul.” OPPOSITE: Colored pencil. “Don’t Make Sense,” longer version “It Don’t Make Sense But It’s So Much Fun.”


PAGE 28: Colored pencil. “Friends.” PAGE 29: Pencil portrait rendered in Prismacolors French Grays: “Her Eyes So Blue.” For a virtual tour of the Winnsboro exhibit and interview with Hardy select the video image below. To purchase or get more information, go to www.winnsborocenterforthearts. com.





Gallery Features More Than 30 Talented Artists Edom Art Emporium packs an eclectic selection of art by area artists into their little shop located in a renovated old gas station in downtown Edom, Texas. Three artists head up operations of the emporium — soapmaker Trystan Rhys, painter Kerian Massey, and metal sculptor Randy Martin. They have a large gallery, a showcase room for smaller fine items and a full pottery and art studio. They hold classes in a variety of mediums including creating copper lilies, leaves or water fountains; pottery, vases, and mugs; basic and advanced illustration, watercolor and acrylic painting and scratchboarding; soapmaking; and succulent care and arrangements. Other classes in the works include jewelry making, stained glass, sculpting, weaving, knitting, sewing, and creative workshops. Here is a sampling of the artists and their works found at Edom Art Emporium. See more in a slideshow on www. To purchase and learn more about the emporium, go to or call (903) 714-7414. Kerian Massey’s “Peacemobile” is featured on the cover of this issue. She is a graphic artist and illustrator by trade but puts brush to canvas whenever an idea sparks in her mind. She wants the viewer to be a part of her work, pulling their own feelings and history out from its depths. Her work is as weird and eclectic as she is, covering animals, cars, chairs, shoes, people and funky ideas. Her take on the normal items gets bent by her love of surrealism and imagery, bringing the viewer on a small visual adventure. “There is a sense of freedom in creating something, no real rules, except for the ones you abide by, “Massey says. With each painting her definition as an artist gets deeper and more complicated. You get to see small pieces of her heart embedded into each canvas. It’s her favorite form of extroversion without ever saying a word. At top on opposite page is “At Peace With Life” by J. Howard. Born in Houston, he says he works diligently to com-

bine a love for helping others with a love for artistic expression. “Recognizing that color is important in the food we eat; the clothes we wear; our homes; our cars; and even our pets,” Howard says, “I like to point out that there is a great deal more to color than what meets the eye because it communicates.” Pictured opposite page bottom right is a sculpture by Nic Noblique. Growing up immersed in the punk rock, skateboard and snowboard culture of the Midwest, Nic’s passion for art and design has led to over a decade and a half of notable achievements, installations, competitions and exhibitions. On page 32 is one of Les Mitchell’s pieces. Mitchell studied basic pottery techniques at Booker T. Washington School of the Arts in Dallas. After graduation, he developed his wheel throwing skill while apprenticing under Michael Obranovich, a specialist in functional stoneware. He then concentrated on Raku while working with Randy Brodnax, a teacher in investigational techniques in pottery. His work is exhibited in shows and galleries throughout the country. Page 33 features four artists. Starting top left and going clockwise, here they are. “Goddess” is by Lori and Dan Dudley. The Dudleys have collaborated in art since they met in 1988. They first enjoyed hours together water coloring handmade Christmas cards for friends and family. Dan designed props for theme parties while Lori decorated show rooms at the World Trade Center and each would assist the other. Dan’s love for cartooning soon turned into an animation business and Lori became project manager for Dan Dudley Cartoons which they co-owned for 11 profitable years. Meanwhile Lori studied massage therapy and rediscovered clay, a skill from her 20’s in West Virginia. The next colorful piece is by Kacy Latham. A native Texan, she received her BFA in Theatre from Midwestern


State University where she discovered her knack for design and painting in her scene design classes. She works primarily in abstract using acrylic and found materials on canvas. Her work explores a philosophical quest for wonder and meaning and a search for the truth within the facade. Latham is also an experienced muralist, illustrator and giant puppet builder. More recently, she curated the Storybook Attic Exhibit in conjunction with the International Children’s Literature Festival for the Center for Contemporary Art in Abilene, Texas. Currently, she is working on a public art project in bringing more than 50 new murals to her rural hometown of Munday, Texas. The chiminea is by Mary Long. She is a potter and ceramic sculptress originally from the Dallas area. Mary moved to Murchison after retiring in 2018 to pursue working as a full-time artist after teaching in both Garland and Mesquite ISD as an art teacher. Currently she is an Educational Consultant for Garland ISD teachers. Mary loves to combine hand building techniques and altered wheel thrown shapes. Her work most recently has shown in The Best of Texas Clay Show (Texas Sculpture Association), The ASH International Art show, and the Art 39 Show at Texas A&M Commerce. The Mesquite wood bowl is by Mike Tate who got involved with wood turning after retirement. “I have always been attracted to woodworking activity but never really got involved in ‘creative’ woodworking until after retirement,” he says. Most of the wood he uses comes from trees in the local area brought down in storms, taken down by homeowners or just died of some cause. “I think there is something almost magical in being able to take a chunk of nondescript wood and turning it into a thing of beauty,” he says. “Wood turning is a never-ending process of trial, error and learning.”




Art Walk Tour Shows Greenville’s Colorful Side Greenville, Texas, is a colorful town. In the downtown area is a dynamic public art program that includes interactive art, galleries, sculptures, and 11 big beautiful murals. Pictured on the opposite page is “Today Is the Day” on Oak and Washington streets. Brandon Adams created this mural to encourage people to pursue their dreams. He says, “No matter what it is in life that you have the opportunity to do, seize that moment. If you notice the clock, there are no hands on the clock face because there is no time to waste. We all need to be encouraging to others.” When Adams was painting this mural, a young man rode up on his bike and watched for an hour. The young man finally spoke to him and said he wanted to be a muralist. So Adams had him

pick up a paint can and start painting with him (the “D” in the word day). The mural began inspiring people before it was even finished. The mural below on Stonewall and Lee streets is also by Brandon Adams along with local artist TEX. With this wall being located near the Hunt County Children’s Advocacy Center, Adams was very conscious of the mindset of children entering the center so he wanted to create something to let the kids and parents know that somehow things would be okay. “Hope” is the message of this piece, showing a playful child in a splash of many colors. This mural is brushless as it was created entirely by spray paint. The artists used the Montana brand of spray paint (widely used by art professionals). Each can’s tips are adjustable, allowing for a surprising degree of precision. About


100 cans of spray paint were used to create “Hope.” The design was done on a computer and the artists had color printouts on 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper. Other than that, the mural was done entirely freehand, with no chalk outlines or projections on the walls. Surprisingly, the entire 15 x 40-foot piece was completed in just nine hours. Other murals in Greenville include “A Legacy of Performance” by Pat Rawlings; “Life and Nature” by Joseph McCowan; “Spectrum” by Cathy Smithey; “High Cotton” and “Horns and All” by Pamela Edwards; “You Be You” by Laura Irrgang; “Find Your Match” by Bob Bird; “Be Seen” by Brian Weaver; and “Celebration of Music” by Brandon Adams, Sergio Garcia, and TEX. See photos and descriptions of all in an extended article on


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We at Winnsboro Center for the Arts in Winnsboro established a relationship with P.A. Geddie and County Line Magazine over five years ago. They worked with us then in developing an advertising plan and continue to work with us now on ad content and direction. CLM has always been responsive with the changes and edits that are a part of the changing needs of advertising and promotion. The staff at CLM has a passion for promoting the Upper East Side of Texas and all of the many events, concerts and activities in it. They have created a truly excellent magazine and it's not unusual for folks to tell us that they saw us in County Line Magazine. Jim Willis Director of The Bowery Stage Winnsboro Center for the Arts County Line Magazine is our “go to” publication for marketing Mineola, Texas, to our target audience in the North by Northeast Texas area. We know that County Line Magazine will present our entertainment and leisure information in the best light possible with attractive ads and interesting articles that its readers will notice and enjoy. Visitors to our city often comment that they saw our information in the County Line Magazine. Fast response on ad proofs and changes make working with staff a pleasure. We love County Line Magazine. Lynn Kitchens Director of Marketing Asst. Director Economic Development City of Mineola

Reach those who Live & Play in the Upper East Side of Texas

County Line has always been and continues to be a significant partner to our community. The magazine is beautifully laid out, filled with relevant information, and reaches our most important target market — the Northeast Texas drive market. The County Line Team is always very professional and the magazine is a great asset to the entire area. Kevin Banks Manager, Greenville CVB P.A. Geddie and the County Line are a tremendous asset for us at Four Winds Steakhouse. We have worked together for about 14 years. Through the years I have seen the publication grow and consistently get better. It has been a great local tool for our business and its reach continues to grow. They do a great job putting our ads together and I enjoy working with P.A. Frank Rumore Four Winds Steakhouse • (903) 963-1101 36 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • MAY/JUNE 2020



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Marshall Gears Up For More Boogie Woogie By Lisa Tang When Texas & Pacific Railroad began laying tracks in Marshall in the 1870s, a new American sound emerged in barrel houses outside of town where railroad and lumber workers flocked for entertainment. The new sound — played on rickety pianos brought in by camp bosses — featured a heavy bass chord progression that mimicked the rhythm and chug of rumbling steam locomotives. People danced through the night to the earthy rhythms and exciting melodies. Self-taught pianists played repetitive bass rhythms independently of the right hand’s melodies. One bass line, known as “The Marshall,” is an ascending chord progression that repeats with key changes over 12 bars. The style, now known as boogie woogie, may be Texas’ most influential sound. “[Boogie woogie] has influenced more music in more ways than any other music in the world,” says Jack Canson, leader of Marshall’s “Birthplace of Boogie Woogie” movement, which began about 10 years ago. Before the city’s official declaration of Marshall as the “Birthplace of Boogie Woogie” on May 13, 2010, few citizens knew its significance, but the city is now poised to expand the role with an annual revival drawing visitors from around the world. Canson and others are planning for future events and raising funds for a museum to honor the legacy of the late boogie woogie Marshall musicians Omar Sharriff and Floyd Dickson. Born Dave Alexander Elam, Shariff learned to play boogie woogie while growing up in Marshall, but left for California early in life and changed his name. One of the world’s most influential boogie-woogie pianists, Keyboard Magazine ranked Sharriff second only to Ray Charles among living blues pianists in 1977.


One of the nation’s top blues pianists, the late Omar Shariff returned to Marshall in 2010 and helped the town establish its claim as the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie. Courtesy photo

Shariff returned to Marshall to perform for the city’s Boogie Woogie Revival in 2010. The city invited him to be their artist in residence and he moved back to Marshall in 2011, where he performed many times before his death in 2012. According to Canson, Shariff’s return helped the city establish its claim to birthplace fame, which had almost vanished. For decades, the birthplace of boogie woogie eluded historians, due to scant historical records and the genre’s rapid diffusion. The genre spread quickly among African-American musicians who boarded trains in the late 1800s to escape racial oppression and play in venues that could pay them a living wage. Boogie woogie’s influence on other music genres, such as jazz, gospel, and blues, is well-established, but rock and roll is the sound’s most significant legacy. Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter is considered the first musician to adapt boogie woogie’s fast-paced, upbeat sound to guitar, the foundation of rock and roll.


Born in 1888 on the south shoreline of Caddo Lake between Texas and Louisiana, Lead Belly adapted the piano rhythms to guitar and achieved fame with popular songs such as “Goodnight Irene” and “Midnight Special,” and by recording tracks for RCA records and performing on CBS radio in the 1940s. Rock musician Little Richard described the genre’s influence on his music more than 30 years ago. “Everything I play is boogie woogie,” he said in 1986, when inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Rock and roll is just up-tempo boogie woogie.” Boogie woogie is also the basis for Elvis Presley’s version of “All Shook Up,” “Rude Mood” by Stevie Ray Vaughn, and countless other influential tunes. “I felt a missionary zeal about this music, wanting people to know how important and influential it was,” Canson said. “We are living in a place where some remarkable things happened.” For more information on Boogie Woogie Marshall, visit

Musicans Find New Fans in Live Streaming Shows By P.A. Geddie Max Stalling and his wife and bandmate Heather are used to performing for a thousand people or so at shows all over Texas and beyond — they’re just not used to having that many people join them in their living room, even if they are “virtual” visitors. COVID-19 shut down their gigs for the foreseeable future so like a lot of musicians they are doing live stream concerts from the comfort of their home. One of Max’s hit songs is called “I Ain’t Drinking Alone,” so they decided to call their weekly series “We Ain’t Drinking Alone Wednesdays.” Guests — more than 1,000 each week — start trickling into the Facebook chat room a few minutes before 7 p.m. every Wednesday night and enjoy an hour or so of great music with Max’s original songs and Heather’s fiddle playing and harmonies. Visitors can see each other’s comments in the chat room as they scroll by and interact with each other. Lots of clapping hands, floating hearts, and other emojis make it feel a bit like a crowded venue, a quiet one though where voices don’t drown out the music. Some of the guests watch the performances on their cell phones or tablets, laptops, and computers, while others hold backyard parties and watch on their big screens and families gather around to watch on TVs in their own living rooms. At the bottom of the chat feed is a way to make a donation if guests would like, but it is not required. “It’s basically busking,” Max says, “It really is helping us get through. We’re very fortunate.” Although the money is nice, needed, and appreciated, it’s not the main reason they are doing the live stream concerts each week. “We’re trying to provide a release for people,” he says, “give them a break from what they are suffering from. We’re all in this together.” Max and Heather visit often with other musicians, venues, and booking agents

VIDEO Heather and Max Stalling perform from their living room for a virtual crowd of more than a thousand people every Wednesday night until further notice. Courtesy photo

trying to figure out what their new normal is in the coming months or so and admit they don’t know any more than anyone else at this point but have some thoughts.

ments like “We just found you guys. Really like your stuff.”

“I don’t see a concert with 500 people happening anytime soon or a big gathering with The Eagles at American Airlines Center. I have a sense that the small towns are where we’ll start back with smaller crowds.”

“We have orders coming from out of state — Georgia, Maryland, North Dakota, and Alabama to name a few.”

In the meantime, they are trying to adjust with the times. “I think we’re witnessing a paradigm shift,” he says. “There’s the chance now to get all kinds of entertainment over the internet from artists of all different ilks. I think some people will carve out a niche for themselves.” They are certainly getting new fans. “We’re reaching new people we have not seen before,” he says, hearing com-

They are also selling more merchandise like T-shirts and CDs.

Max and Heather say they are looking at possibilities of how they might continue some kind of live stream shows indefinitely but for now they’ll keep doing their live stream Wednesday night shows as long as they are needed. “If it helps give people a break from being stuck at home, we’re here,” Max says. “We’re straight up providing a service — that’s at the heart of it.” Check out the County Line calendar for Max and Heather’s streaming link and other shows and entertainment — there’s something fun going on almost every day of the week.


Doo-Wop Tribute foursome Enjoys International Success By Lisa Tang Shake, Rattle and Roll started almost 15 years ago as a part-time hobby for four East Texas women, singing in churches and nursing homes. Since then, the all-female, all-60-plus doo-wop tribute group has won recording contracts, awards, and even international performances. The blonde foursome sings favorites from the 1950s and 1960s, such as “Bye, Bye Love,” “Going to the Chapel,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Be My Baby,” made famous by groups such as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Ronettes, The Everly Brothers, and The Dixie Cups. The group performs local venues often and are planning a return trip to Germany and Switzerland, for encore performances to a 2017-2019 tour, where European fans showed rapt attention. At one venue in Germany, fans who couldn’t get into a show lingered within sight. “They stood outside the gates listening to us,” said charter member LeAnn Bemis. The group often performs their own act, but sometimes does shows with local Elvis tribute artists Andy King and Moses Snow. For those familiar with Shake, Rattle, and Roll, a second, or even third viewing is worthwhile. The group’s vocal talent and repertoire have improved over the years, and their range of venues has expanded. They still perform at some nursing homes, RV parks, and private parties, but they’re often seen now at festivals and performance halls. The group’s popularity has grown because they enjoy performing. After 27 years in the Army, the group’s founder, Tavie Spivey, formerly of Dallas, is living her dream of singing and performing with an all-female group. After retiring, she assembled the foursome, which includes Bemis of Longview (Spivey’s older sister), Brenda Spencer

Shake, Rattle and Roll group members — all from East Texas — perform locally, nationally and internationally. L-R: Debbie Comis, Brenda Spencer, LeAnn Bemis, and Tavie Spivey.

of Henderson, and Debi Comis of Lindale.

the name of a song performed by Comis.

The group won a recording contract at a doo-wop competition in Las Vegas. While growing up, group members developed their vocals individually by singing in churches. The group now stays so busy that they sometimes follow a grueling schedule. In February, they performed 36 shows in the Rio Grande Valley — more than one a day — where they were named “Vocal Group of the Year” by Valley Star Awards, before returning to East Texas in March.

For information on upcoming performances, visit www.shakerattleroll4. com.

The group’s fourth CD is “Shake, Rattle and Roll on the Road: Hitchin’ a Ride,”



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explore guides MAGAZINE

Get to know the spirit of the lively communities that define the Upper East Side of Texas.


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EXPLORE WOOD MeetingCOUNTY the locals has never been so memorable

Beyond the Lure of Big Fish! Small Town Hospitality Golf, Skating Music, Art Shopping, Dining Parks, Nature Center Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Museums Movie Theater Stage Performances Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels, RV Park, Marinas Special Events • (903) 768-2402 Wood County Tourism


FOOD & DRINK Farmers’ Markets Return for Season Courtesy photo. Harrison Count Farmers Market

Kick off time for the opening of Farmers’ Markets across the Upper East Side of Texas has never tasted so good. Some markets began operating in April and others are opening in May. They are adjusting their space to make sure all safe distancing measures are taken. The Centers for Disease Control (www. continues to ask people to stay six feet away from people outside those living together, wear a face mask, wash hands often and use hand sanitizer. The Upper East Side of Texas is home to many farmers and the towns hosting markets make it possible for them to have a good place to sell and for consumers to buy. There’s no food so tasty as that which has traveled from one source and grown mostly just in recent days.




The shortest supply chain possible means the freshest, most nutritious, and delicious produce to make meals especially good.

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Farmers’ Markets




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Get Ready for a Berry Good Summer

By Lisa Tang Fresh air, sunshine, and healthy, delicious berries fresh off the vine are the perfect combination for a fun and rewarding family outing. The Upper East Side of Texas is home to several berry farms where guests can pick their own or buy pre-picked in a variety of container sizes. Blueberry Hill Farms in Edom runs one of the largest you-pick farms in the region. Now in their 20th year, owners Chuck and Sherri Arena predict an especially good crop on their 10-acre farm this year, with a yield of up to 75,000 pounds of big, ripe, juicy blueberries. In fact, 2020 will rank as one of their record crops, Sherri says. Several favorable conditions contributed, she says, including a thorough pruning last fall, no late freezes in Feb-

ruary and March, and plenty of rain and warm spring temperatures. “Right now with all the rain, we have not turned on the well,” Arena said, their usual method of watering when Mother Nature doesn’t do it for them. Conditions are so favorable that the Arenas anticipate opening the farm a week earlier this year — May 22 (Memorial Day weekend) instead of the first of June and they’ll continue as usual through July. Blackberries, which take a little longer to mature, ripen and are available in June. “The longer the berries stay on the vine, the bigger they become,” Sherri said. “The heat ripens the fruits faster.” Blueberry Hill Farm’s 10 acres offer plenty of room for folks to spread out while picking, and new hand-washing stations were added in the field to help


keep sanitation in the forefront. They also do curbside service for visitors who want to purchase items without leaving their vehicles. The farm’s country store is full of treats including blueberry lemonade, pies, muffins, jams, and turnovers. Blueberry ice cream is the farm’s most popular treat -- a nice cool down for hot pickers. Like many berry farms in the region, Blueberry Hill does not use pesticides. Besides berries, the Arenas sell blueberry juice to people who want to supercharge their immune systems. “Blueberries contain antioxidants, which boost the immune system,” Arena said. “Some people take it in shots every day.” Farms in the region open when the berries ripen, which is usually the first week in June — call ahead to check days and

OPPOSITE PAGE: Inside Blueberry Hill Farms in Edom visitors find a fully stocked country store with all things blueberries. TOP - BOTTOM: Blueberry Hill offers plenty of shade to rest after picking berries or to enjoy fresh blueberry ice cream. Blueberries come in a variety of container sizes. This blueberry cream pie is a best seller. Courtesy photos

hours. This year, some farms may require visitors to make an appointment so pickers can spread out, another reason to call ahead. Most berry farms open early (some at 7 a.m.), so round up the crew and head out early to beat the midday heat, which soars to 95 degrees in June and above 100 in July. For those picking their own berries, dress for the hot, hot summer. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and wear cool, comfortable clothes. Sturdy, closed-toed shoes that can withstand mud, sharp rocks or sticks, and occasional ant piles are suggested. Bring water or sports drinks to stay hydrated. Baskets, pails, or tubs are also useful for filling with berries and add a personal touch, but some berry farms furnish their own buckets. Berry farms dot the Upper East Side of Texas, both north and south of Interstate 20, but they’re far from the same. They each offer their own attractions. Some venues offer berry picking with vegetable picking, while others offer a variety of delicious confections for sale in their country stores. Visitors who can’t pick enough can usually buy pre-picked berries by the gallon, fresh or frozen.

Alexander Blueberry Farms. Pick your own blueberries, then download some of their tasty recipes to try at home. 194 CR 3221 Deberry, Texas 75639, (903) 263-7803, www.alexanderblueberryfarms. com. Alford Family Farms. Pick your own blueberries and blackberries and purchase squash, tomatoes, and corn. 199 Private Road 6181, Emory, Texas, 75440, (903) 474-7629, Blueberry Hill Farms. Blueberries, blueberry ice cream, blueberry pies, blueberry lemonade, and honey from the blueberry flower. 10268 FM 314, Edom, Texas 75756, (903) 852-6175, Blueberry Ridge Farm. Offers blueberry picking and event hosting. 2785 E. Hwy. 80, Mineola, Texas 75773, (903) 569-1550, www. Echo Springs Blueberry Farm. Pick your own or purchase; honey, jams, jellies, and syrups available. 7235 FM 607, Brownsboro, Texas, 75778, (903) 852-5277, Greer Farm. Pick your own blueberries and blackberries then shop for beef, pork, eggs, and jams and sauces. 1444 CR 1125, Daingerfield, Texas 75638, (903) 645-3232, Lake Creek Blueberry Farm. Pick blueberries by the gallon. 1471 W. 321, Montalba, Texas, 75853, (903) 386-8200, Panola Orchard and Gardens. Pick blackberries and blueberries and shop for more in the country store. 1413 FM 1186, DeBerry, Texas, 75639, (903) 263-8703, The Blueberry Farm. Berries plus scenery. 982 Texas 37, Quitman, Texas, 75783, (903) 497-6028, Tyler Blueberry Farm. Blueberries only. 9628 County Road 429, Tyler, Texas, 75704, (903) 526-4440, MAY/JUNE 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 45

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1026 E. Lennon Dr.

YAMAYOGA spa school retreat

Massage. Aroma Touch. Reiki. Infrared Sauna. Pedicures. Workshops. Retreats. Ayurvedic Lifestyle Classes with Sandy Corder YOGA Daily Classes • Stretch • Beginner • Flow • Vinyasa 200 HR Teacher Training ONLINE CLASSES AVAILABLE 29957 SH 64, Canton, TX

WWW.YAMAYOGA.NET 903.316.9471

A nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of neglected, abandoned, and abused horses. MAY/JUNE 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 47

Stay safe but dream big.

Better days are coming. So start planning, start dreaming, and get excited about discovering Texas all over again.

Life’s better in a State of travel.