CITY SHOE SHOP, PEACHES & CREAM, HISTORIC HENDERSON, KRISTIN’S BAKERY
county line Upper East Side of Texas
Liberty A WOMAN’S VOICE
Celebrating 100 Years Women’s Voting Rights
REMNANTS OF FREEDOM Quilt Codes Helped Enslaved People
BLACK BEAUTY RANCH Animals Live Freely at Their Forever Home
ART TRACKS, DONNA PAGE, JOHN HILLIER KEITH CARTER, DIEDRICH RULFS www.CountyLineMagazine.com
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8 Page Captures Inspiration
Winnsboro artist Donna Page enjoys creating paintings that inspire people and she surrounds herself with art in every corner inside and out of her home. By Judy Peacock
14 A Woman’s Voice
Four women in the Upper East Side of Texas talk about the 100th anniversary of women finally gaining the right to vote. By Tracy Torma
22 Animals of Black Beauty Ranch
This animal sanctuary near Murchison provides a “Ranch of Dreams” for hundreds of animals rescued from abuse and neglect. By Lisa Tang
38 Remnants of Freedom
Pleasant Hill Quilters of Linden share history of how quilt patterns served as codes to help people escape slavery. By Pamela Edwards
DEPARTMENTS 5 Editor’s Note
THIS TIME OF YEAR
28 Texas Ranger Homer Garrison, Lulu White Freedom Fund, Selena Gomez, Jim Reeves, and Pina Coladas
LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT
30 31 32 34
Trails of Tyler State Park Healthy Choices, Healthy Bodies City Shoe Shop Historic Henderson Walking Tour
ARTS & CULTURE 36 42 44 48
Human Form by John Hillier Photographs by Keith Carter Art Tracks of Palestine Architect Diedrich Rulfs
WORDS & MUSIC 52 Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves 53 Willie Nelson’s Picnic 53 Blue Rock Summer Concerts
FOOD & DRINK
22 Cover: “Paintbrush” by Donna Page
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56 Peaches and Cream 58 Treats by Kristin Mcrae
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Serving those living & playing in the Upper East Side of Texas
PUBLISHER & MANAGING EDITOR P.A. Geddie
CONTRIBUTORS Judy Peacock Tracy Torma Lisa Tang Wendy Floyd Pamela Edwards Rachel Wilbanks Rachel Nichols Cori Conrad
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.countylinemagazine.com. 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, As we continue to carefully go about our lives among the pandemic this summer, we take time to celebrate our nation’s independence from the oppressive British government of the 1700s. While the fireworks fill the night sky on July 4th, we ask for liberty once again, for all people of the United States of America. In this issue read about the hard work done by activists to gain the right for women to vote in America as the 100th anniversary of that day is celebrated across the nation this August. We asked four women in the Upper East Side of Texas to share what this means to them.
Area artists continue to inspire us. This issue includes Donna Page who is featured on the cover and starting on page 8; John Hillier’s human forms; Keith Carter’s eye on simple life moments in Texas; architecture by Diedrich Rulfs who helped shape the landscape of Nacogdoches; and the sculptures of 18 artists now on display in downtown Palestine. We’ve got trails to discover at Tyler State Park and in historic downtown Henderson. Step back in time to an authentic shoe repair shop in Palestine. In This Time of Year we highlight a Texas Ranger, a civil rights activist, a pop music star, a country music legend, and the delicious Pina Colada.
In another story, Pamela Edwards tells us about a group of women in Linden who are preserving history. They make quilts using patterns passed down many generations that helped people escape slavery.
Grab fresh peaches and cream from area farmers and try our delicious dessert recipe and order unique cookies from Kristin’s Bakery.
We also take a look at Black Beauty Ranch near Murchison, a place where abused and neglected animals of all kinds now have a safe and fun home for living out their lives.
Get creative in how you enjoy your leisure time these days. Be safe and considerate of others. In the words of Kacey Musgrave’s song, Rainbow, “It’ll all be all right.” — P.A. Geddie
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Artist Donna Page Captures Inspiration
By Judy Peacock Donna Page enjoys creating art using many different mediums to capture an essence of a place, time, or feeling. “I enjoy conveying the feeling and inspiration of what you see,” she says, rather than just the structure or mechanics of the scene. She was born and raised in Dallas and moved to the Upper East Side of Texas with her husband, Paul, in 2010. They live in a beautiful and unique home, which also includes her art studio, on Lake Bob Sandlin near Winnsboro. In Dallas, Donna was an architectural illustrator for 25 years. Her father was a big reason she pursued and enjoyed that business. “My father was a very hard worker which I definitely inherited,” Donna says. “He designed mid-century modern homes
in Dallas. He and his partner founded Ju-Nel Homes, which now has a bit of a cult following in northeast Dallas. I was very influenced by his designs and early on developed a love of architecture.”
ing trips to the Guadalupe River. We camped beside these beautiful limestone formations created by the rapids of the river and we would travel the rapids every day.”
A lot of her illustration work was freelance and she was able to work out of her house. The Pages have two daughters, and she says that working freelance allowed her to control her schedule somewhat.
But it is East Texas that holds her heart, Donna says, an area she’s visited since the late 1960s.
“It was great for me for those years,” she says. “I was able to go to all the kids’ events.” She says she knew as early as six years old, that she wanted to be an artist.
“Dad bought property here in 1969, and my cousin and I would ride horses on the land of what is now Lake Bob Sandlin.” She loves living where she does in their house with windows all across the back of it. “I love watching all the seasons and we
“It was all I ever intended to be.” She also developed her love of landscapes at an early age. She recalls, “As a child I loved the outdoors and adventure. I particularly remember camp-
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continued page 11 ABOVE: “Lily Pads,” painting by Donna Page; OPPOSITE: Page in her art studio near Winnsboro on the shores of Lake Bob Sandlin. Photo by Ginger Sisco Cook
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DONNA PAGE continued from page 8 have the most beautiful sunsets across the lake. Certain times of the year the moon sets across the lake which is indescribably beautiful.” They share their home with their two border collies, Bunker and Birdie, and their nine rescue cats, and they both love water sports and gardening. She and her husband added to their home by the lake by incorporating two storage containers onto the house. One is their master bedroom and the other is now her art studio. The studio has windows overlooking the beauty of their yard and the lake. She loves being in and working in her art studio, which includes an old drafting table that was once her dad’s.
She says, “It was a pretty big accomplishment and took an incredible amount of time and energy. I thought I would do a series of children’s books but realized that it required so much marketing which took me away from actually creating art that I decided I did not want to pursue book illustrating and writing. It was however, a wonderful experience and I am so glad that I did it.” For a couple of years, Donna taught drawing to a core group of ladies in
Winnsboro. She feels that “art is one of the things that anybody can do and should do.” Some of these students already had artistic experience, but there were also some who had never drawn or done artwork before. “I love taking a person like that and showing them what they can do.” Recontinued page 13
The Pages have worked for the past 10 years creating a presentation of beautiful nature and art in, on, and around their home. There are wood and metal gates leading to vegetable gardens and mosaic walls, one large ocean-themed one which is 15 feet long. The mosaic designs are Donna’s and she did a lot of the work on them, but she also had help with the physical labor part of these projects. There are tree carvings created by Jimmy Hobbs, a local friend and artist, and lots of other artistic creations around their 10 acres. She has made some of the pieces saying “I see what is trash to most people and love turning it into a great art piece.” After moving to East Texas, Donna attended Texas A&M Commerce to complete her masters degree and was an adjunct professor there while doing so. Upon completion of her masters, she was a professor of art at Northeast Texas Community College for about two years. While she loved teaching art to her students, teaching and all that it entailed took a lot of time and kept her from her true love. “I was not painting any more,” she says. Another artistic avenue that Donna pursued was writing a children’s book in 2014 named Katrina Dogs, written to encourage animal rescue to the next generation. OPPOSITE PAGE & RIGHT: A couple of Page’s colorful pieces. JULY/AUGUST 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 11
Photo by Ginger Sisco Cook
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DONNA PAGE continued from page 11
says about the teaching that she does in the group, “I love to give back in that way.” She was featured in two one-woman art shows and another that included her work as well as others from the WAF.
serving Northeast Texas located in Winnsboro. It is going to be fabulous,” she says. “I am thankful for the wonderful, talented, and philanthropic group of people that I get to work with on this committee, and am excited to be a part of it.”
Donna is also on the Building Committee for the Winnsboro Center for the Arts.
Donna’s favorite things are painting and spending time with her family and friends.
“We are working on developing a concept and design for a new art center
“You have to do it because you love it. It will not make you rich but you will have the richest life.”
Donna Page and her husband Paul share their home with their two border collies, Bunker and Birdie, and nine rescue cats. Inside and out around their 10 acres sitting next to Lake Bob Sandlin is art and nature at every turn. Add-ons to the home came in the form of two storage containers, one being their master bedroom and the other is her studio. They added a runway and underneath are the “cat condos.” A few discoveries pictured here are tree carvings, giant concrete hand chairs next to the lake, arbor, totem pole, wood and metal gates, mosaic walls, and more. Photos by Jim Willis unless otherwise noted.
For more information on Donna Page, visit her art website, www.donnapageart. com, or her website about her children’s book, www.cuddlemuffinbooks. com.
flecting on these years of teaching, she says, “It was really rewarding, but again it took up a lot of time so I was not in my studio painting.” She is now involved with and loving an art group that she heads up called the Women’s Art Force (WAF) of Winnsboro. Very talented artists are in this group and other members lead some of the meetings, leaving Donna more time to focus on her own artwork as well. She
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A WOMAN’S VOICE Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Voting Rights
By Tracy Torma This summer marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement began in earnest in the decades before the Civil War. In 1848, a group of abolitionist activists of mostly women gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss the problem of women’s rights. By the 1850s, the women’s rights movement gathered steam, but lost its momentum when the Civil War began. After the war ended, Congress passed the 14th Amendment granting all citizens the right to vote, but “citizens” and “voters” were defined as “male.” The 15th amendment in 1870 guaranteed black men the right to vote. In 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association was founded by Lucy Stone and began a fight for a universal-suffrage amendment to the Constitution. Another organization, led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, did similar work. After years of rivalry, the two organizations merged in 1890 as the National American Woman Suffrage Association, with Anthony at the head. In 1918, a pandemic almost derailed seven decades of work. The 1918 flu took the lives of more than 675,000 Americans. Public protests were halted. Senate votes were postponed. Suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt battled the flu herself. Finally, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving all American women the right to vote. On November 2 of that year, more than eight million wom-
Pud Kearns with her two granddaughters. She says, “May we mothers realize that we are still warriors with battles large and small to fight and win. We never know when our actions can inspire another generation to keep going.”
en across the U.S. voted in elections for the first time. Fast forward 100 years and women are making an impact on the national, state and local political scene. In the 2018 mid-term election, a record number of women were elected to Congress.
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In the Upper East Side of Texas, women are making a difference as business owners, elected officials, and civic leaders. Here are four of them with their insights into this important anniversary and how the women’s suffrage movement has impacted their lives a century later.
PUD KEARNS Never Take Voting for Granted Pud Kearns comes from a line of strong women. Today, as an independent businesswoman and community activist in her hometown of Greenville, she shares how her mother and grandmother made sure she knew about the battles fought by suffragettes (women seeking the right to vote through organized protest) and insisted that she never take voting for granted. “My mother, Mary Horton Lauderdale, who would be 95 this year, regularly reminded me that women only got the right to vote five years before she was born. So that means that my grandmother, who was born in 1889, was 31 when the 19th Amendment was passed. I have a tangible link to that time—only three generations.”
stickers on the gravestone of her greatgrandmother in East Mount Cemetery in Greenville to honor this pioneering Texas woman. Kearns says she doesn’t have a favorite suffragette because she doesn’t need one. “I had amazing role models.”
YAZIRI ORROSTIETA A Place at the Table Yaziri Orrostieta, who is best known by her cool name fusion of YO, is a young female executive in Tyler who is benefitting from the battles fought by women before her.
Born in Los Angeles, YO was raised in a small town in Mexico until her family moved to Tyler when she was six. She attended the University of Texas at Tyler and obtained a master’s in international business from the University of North Texas in 2013. Today, YO serves as CEO at WorkHub, a premier coworking space in East Texas. It was in her former role as vice president of marketing for Heritage Land Bank that she realized how the role of women has changed dramatically since the 1950s. “I had the pleasure of spending time with a longtime customer who continued page 16
Kearns says her grandmother, Gertrude Briscoe Horton, was an enormous influence on her life as an activist, volunteer, businesswoman and great storyteller. “She told me how she ran the family businesses while my grandfather served in World War II and how frustrating it was when he came home and wanted things to ‘go back to before.’ She knew they couldn’t. So she threw herself into volunteer work (on a local and statewide level) and started a number of small businesses that she could run from her home that would look like ‘hobbies.’ Her final business was an antique shop in her home which she loved and ran until her death at age 88.” Kearn’s great-grandmother, Lallie Briscoe Carlisle, was the first woman in Texas to hold elective public office as county clerk, a position she was appointed to in 1902 to fill her husband’s term after he died. When Kearns became old enough to vote, her mother took her to the polls. “I remember the mild shock I felt when she gently directed me into my own booth to vote, saying that the ballot was my individual choice and right as an American.” During the 2016 Presidential election, hundreds of voters left their “I Voted” stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave in Rochester, New York, as a tribute to the women’s suffrage leader. Kearns and other locals placed their “I Voted”
Yaziri “YO” Orrostieta is CEO at WorkHub in Tyler and a real estate entrepreneur who is grateful she doesn’t have to get a man’s signature when buying a new house like women did in years past. JULY/AUGUST 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 15
WOMEN continued from page 15 once shared that she had been a customer since the late ‘50s because ours was the only bank that would give her a loan without a man cosigning on the note. “She had lost her father at a very young age, went to college and was working as a teacher in the Houston area where she tried to purchase a home. Since she wasn’t married at the time, no bank would give her a loan without a husband or father to sign with her.”
political lives over the last 100 years,” she says. “I am grateful to the women who were passionate about participating in our democracy and the rights of women they would never know.” Goolsby was born and raised in Grapeland, Texas, home of the Fighting Sandies and the Peanut Festival. After high school, she attended Trinity Valley Community College, where she completed cosmetology school and studied
journalism. A small business owner for 17 years, she and her family moved to Palestine in 2009, where she has worked in marketing and communications for the past 11 years. The 39 year old was elected to city council in 2018. “The work of women before me has paved the path on which I am privileged to walk today,” she says. “From the suffragettes dressed in white who fought over 100 years ago to the women
It wasn’t until the 1970s that Congress passed laws allowing women to work while pregnant, to get a credit card in their own name, or to obtain a loan without a male cosigner. For YO, a real estate entrepreneur who has purchased six real estate investment properties in the last five years, that privilege is not taken for granted. “I will never have to wonder if I’m able to purchase certain assets as an unmarried woman because of women like Mrs. Elizabeth and the suffragettes who fought to give women the right to have representation through their vote.” Today, as a 35-year-old woman leading a startup in the male-dominated commercial real estate industry, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote means she has a place at the table. “The right to vote gave women the right to have a voice and be heard in many aspects of society. The fact that little girls do not have to limit their potential personally or professionally because of their gender is a celebration,” she says.
DANA GOOLSBY Walking a Pathway Paved by Women For Palestine City Councilwoman Dana Goolsby, the centennial anniversary of women’s voting rights is a meaningful time to remember and recognize the work that went into obtaining that privilege, the progress that has been made, and the progress that lies ahead. “It’s an opportunity to reflect on the lives of women who never had the right to vote, the women who fought for the right and those who have inspired the transformation of women’s public and
Dana Goolsby is a marketing and communications businesswoman who serves on the Palestine City Council.
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in my life who have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and told me I could be anything I wanted to be, I will forever be indebted to them.” Goolsby says that for most of her life, she believed that women’s suffrage mostly happened in places like Washington, D.C. or New York. “So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Texas was the first Southern state and the ninth in the Union to adopt the 19th Amendment. In doing more research, I also found out about Minnie Fisher Cunningham, a suffragist leader born in East Texas. She was president of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association and became the first executive secretary of the National League of Women Voters and the first woman to run for U.S. Senate, and eventually, Texas governor. Her efforts helped Texas women win the right to vote, and every woman who has ever cast a ballot owes Minnie Fisher a debt of gratitude.”
MERCY L. RUSHING Overturning Stereotypes, Pursuing New Opportunities Mercy L. Rushing was born into a military family and traveled the globe before her father retired to his hometown of Mineola, Texas, when she was 16 years old. “My father loved the military life, however, he said he had three girls and he wanted to set down roots in his hometown so that his girls would marry a Texan. He said Texas guys make the best husbands.” And while Rushing did marry a Mineola High School classmate, what her father probably couldn’t foresee is that his daughter would today be city manager of the town he loved, overseeing the work of 50 employees. “Women today have so much more opportunities and choices that were not possible 100 years ago,” she says. Rushing believes the right to vote for women is one of the most important events of the century that has helped change and shape our country for the better. “It has provided women today to have a say in their own life personally and professionally, while giving us protection and equality within our society. It gave women the ability to be more visible and gave us the confidence to
Mercy Rushing has worked in city government for the past 26 years. She currently serves as city manager for Mineola.
be who we want to be and not what is expected for us to be.” For Rushing, that meant being able to start a ladies clothing business in downtown Mineola in 1984 at the age of 25. During the next 14 years, she would become active in the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Main Street Program, both stepping stones to a 26-year career in city government. She worked for five years as executive director/CEO for the Canton Economic Development Council and as executive marketing director in charge of promoting Canton and First Monday Trade Days. For the past 21 years, she has worked for the City of Mineola as Main Street director, community and economic development director, and assistant city manager. In 2016, she was promoted to city manager.
“Gender should never hold us back in our dreams of what we want to accomplish or achieve,” she says. “We need to continue to empower young women and promote equality socially and economically through education so that we are treated on the same scale as men when competing for the same positions.” Rushing’s favorite suffragette is Susan B. Anthony because of the impact she made in getting the 19th Amendment passed a century ago. “That gave women a voice on issues that affects us personally and professionally. She made it possible for me and other women today to be heard through our votes and be accounted for on our views and ideas on how we want to live our life within our community and country.”
JULY/AUGUST 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 17
Working Together Beyond the Vote While gaining the right to vote was a huge milestone for women, it was just the beginning. Activists have continued the fight to create a more inclusive, equal, and balanced society over the last 100 years and will continue to bridge the gender equality gap until it is no more.
WOMEN IN CONGRESS Women are grossly under represented in Congress. Inclusive leadership teams make better decisions that deliver better results. The qualities women bring to the table — the ability to connect, collaborate, empathize, communicate, and focus on the greater good — help build the best balanced nation. Jeannette Rankin was the first female member actually voted in to the United States Congress, occurring first in 1916, then again in 1940. In the past 100 years, a total of 366 women have served as U.S. Representatives, Delegates, or Senators, in comparison to the 12,000 or so men in those positions since Congress began.
After more than 230 years, today, women still only make up about 25 percent of U.S. Congress and as yet, no woman has served as U.S. President.
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
While the 19th Amendment gave women the vote, there are still parts of the U.S. Constitution that are unclear and open to misinterpretation on women’s rights. Activist Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proposal in 1923, arguing that, “We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government.” The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to gender. Almost 100 years later, Paul’s request is still not part of the Constitution. Its supporters continue to maintain that the absence of an explicit prohibition against sex discrimination remains one key impediment undermining the fight for gender equality and women’s progress overall.
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WOMEN IN BUSINESS
From Hollywood to the board room, to music venues, sports arenas, news rooms, and computer science labs, women in business are still treated less valuable than their male counterparts, and there are far fewer of them in higher paid careers. They are paid much less for equal positions and struggle to be heard at every turn. They are often referenced by their appearance, age, or family life, unlike men, who are depicted as powerful, independent, dominating, and valued. Women entrepreneurs trying to start their own businesses usually meet difficulties when it comes to securing capital. In lower paying entrepreneurial ventures, many women are finding some hard-won successes as realtors, in the hospitality industry, and even the Avon lady is still in the game.
While only 25 percent of U.S. Congress are women, progress is happening. In 2018 a record number of women were elected.
“When I’m sometimes asked when
READ. LEARN. ACT.
will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg U.S. Supreme Court Justice
SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWS In the United States, well into the 1990s, some states still had laws that held that statutory rape (rape of a minor child) wasn’t rape if the girl was “impure.” The last of those laws went away in 1998 in Mississippi. For the first time in history, women make up half the educated labor force and are earning the majority of advanced degrees. In The New Soft War on Women, respected experts on gender issues and the psychology of women, Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, argue that an insidious war of subtle biases and barriers is being waged that continues to marginalize women. Although women have made huge strides in recent years, these gains have not translated into money and influence. In this eye-opening book, Rivers and Barnett offer women real facts as well as tools for combating the “soft war” tactics that prevent them from advancing in their careers. With women now central to the economy, determining to a large degree whether it thrives or stagnates, this is one war no one can afford for them to lose.
Prior to the 1970s, marital rape was exempt from many rape laws. In 1976, Nebraska became the first state to make marital rape a crime. A man could legally rape his wife in North Carolina until 1993. Marital rape is now a crime in all 50 states. From female soldiers’ rape cases, to human sex trafficking, to workplace harassment, women are all too often hindered in trying to build successful lives for themselves and their families. While law enforcement for sexual assault, harassment, and abuse is not yet where it needs to be, some areas are showing progress. Most states have criminalized the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos without the individual’s consent. In recent years, punishment for sexual assault is gaining momentum with high profile celebrities and executives being prosecuted and the #MeToo movement bringing more awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society.
Read more on gender equality in the County Line eMagazine.
ing general election on November 3, a person in Texas must register to vote by October 5 and be 18 years old on Election Day.
Traditionally less than half the population in Texas doesn’t exercise their important right as Americans to vote. In the 2016 presidential election, 59.4% of registered voters turned out and less than half (46.5%) of the voting age population in Texas participated at all. Prior to the March 3 primary this year, there were 16,211,198 registered voters in Texas, a new state record. Exercise your right to vote: • To be eligible to vote in the upcom-
• Texas does not have online voter registration. You can request a voter registration application to be mailed to you or pick it up at your local county election office, fill it out and mail it at least 30 days before the election date. • Visit www.votetexas.gov for more information or to request an application. • To be eligible to request to vote by mail in Texas, a person must be 65 or older, be disabled, be out of the county on election day and the early voting period or be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible. For an application for a ballot by mail, click HERE. • To find out if you are registered to vote, click HERE.
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When it’s time,
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Photographs by Keith Carter
through August 30 Tyler Museum of Art 1300 South Mahon Avenue • Tyler, TX www.tylermuseum.org
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EVENTS. ARTICLES. ARTS. DINING. PLAYING. SHOPPING. LODGING.
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Animals Live Freely at Black Beauty Ranch By Lisa Tang Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, is the “Ranch of Dreams” for hundreds of animals rescued from abuse, neglect, and the exotic pet trade. The residents receive proper food, shelter, veterinary care, and love, making their lives safe and peaceful in their new home at one of the largest, most diverse animal sanctuaries in the country. Sprawling across 1,400 acres in Henderson County, the ranch has roughly 800 animals of 40 different species. The animals come from research laboratories, government seizures, private exotic pet ownership, circuses, and roadside zoos. They include primates, farm animals, horses, donkeys, bears, tortoises, exotic antelope, tigers, bobcats, bison, ostrich, emu, and more. The ranch’s name credits founder Cleveland Amory, a lifelong animal activist, and the book Black Beauty by English novelist Anna Sewell.
Amory was an American author, reporter and commentator, and an animal rights activist. Born in Boston in 1917, he learned to love animals as a child. He graduated from Harvard in 1939 and became the youngest editor ever hired by The Saturday Evening Post. After a stint in World War II, he gained fame for writing a series of bestselling social history books, and in 1952 became a regular columnist for the weekly magazine, Saturday Review, and continued there for 20 years. He also spent more than a decade during those years as a commentator on NBC’s Today show.
it became the largest sanctuary of his Fund for Animals projects.
Amory started the Fund for Animals in the 1960s and served as president. He purchased 80 acres near Murchison where the land was inexpensive and good for grazing, and opened Black Beauty Ranch in 1979 for donkeys — 577 of them — he rescued from the Grand Canyon.
ABOVE Loki, once someone’s “pet” and found in an abandoned home in Houston in 2019, is enjoying his new life at Black Beauty. Photo by J.P. Bonnelly. TOP RIGHT: Jackie the White Faced Capuchin at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. She was rescued from the exotic pet trade. Photo by J.P. Bonnelly. BOTTOM RIGHT: Princessa, a white-handed gibbon, was born at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch after her parents were retired from a zoo. Her favorite activity is to race around her habitat swinging from platforms and twirling from ropes. Courtesy photo.
More rescues joined the ranch and
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Amory’s book, Ranch of Dreams: The Heartwarming Story of America’s Most Unusual Animal Sanctuary, tells the stories of about 100 of the animals Amory rescued and cared for at the ranch until his death in 1998. He was cremated and his ashes were spread across Black Beauty Ranch near his favorite burro, named Friendly. Today, on the ranch, a stone monument to Amory stands beside the monument and burial site of continued page 24
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ABOVE: Smokey Joe (center) and the herd are on the move in Greener Pastures of Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. OPPOSITE PAGE: Phoebe eating a popsicle. Courtesy photos
ANIMALS continued from page 22 his beloved cat, Polar Bear. The Fund for Animals merged with the Humane Society of the United States in 2005 and the work continues today. “Our goal at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is to provide lifelong sanctuary to unwanted, abused, and neglected animals where they never have to worry again,” Black Beauty’s director Noelle Almrud says. “As the last lines of the book Black Beauty state, ‘and here my story ends. My troubles are all over and I am home.’” Almrud joined the sanctuary in 2011 and became its director in 2016. She manages the operation and 25 employees, including caregivers, a veterinary team, and operations and administrative staff. Other labor comes from Black Beauty’s intern and volunteer programs — there’s always room for more help. She says the facility’s biggest expenses are supplies for feeding and caring for the animals: fresh produce, animal feed, hay, medicine, and structures for shelter, exercise, and play. The ranch
also supplies enrichment toys and activities to meet the residents’ emotional needs. “Caring for animals who deserve to be safe and properly cared for has always been our goal,” Almrud says. “The health, safety, and happiness of our residents come first.” The sanctuary depends on financial donations to survive, and some donors like to purchase items from a wishlist site on www.amazon.com. Wishlist items include sunshades to protect goats and primates in the summer; balls for pigs to push and play with; toys for iguanas and tortoises that hold stuffed treats; specialty equine treats; and supplements for older primates. It’s a win-win for animals who have no place to go. “Our future plans include continuing to rescue additional animals who need a safe forever home where they can be cared for properly,” she says, “as well as enhancing and strengthening our infrastructure.” Ongoing repairs and replacement of fencing and animal habitats are proper-
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ly maintained for safety to provide the best life for the animals. “We are also blessed to be on 1,400 beautiful acres so that we have a great deal of additional space for habitat and pasture expansion should the need arise to provide more animals a safe place to live out their lives,” Almrud says. The sanctuary is not a zoo; however, it does offer the opportunity to attend pre-scheduled, exclusive, guided, educational tours, while respecting the peace and privacy of the residents. For more information, visit www.fundforanimals.org/blackbeauty or call (903) 469-3811. Click the video below to learn more about Black Beauty Ranch and its mission.
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THIS TIME OF YEAR JULY 6, 1957
JULY 21, 1901
Frankston-Born Homer Garrison Became One of the Most Revered Texas Rangers
Freedom Fund Honors Lulu White
On July 21, 1901, Homer Garrison Jr. was born in Frankston, Texas. He advanced in the ranks of law enforcement in Texas to be one of the most revered in the state. AUGUST
The family moved to Angelina County, where his father served as district clerk. Homer Jr. graduated from Lufkin High School and took the county’s deputy sheriff role at age 19. As an adult, Garrison joined the Texas Highway Patrol when it was organized in 1930, and became director of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and colonel of the Texas Rangers in 1938. During a distinguished 38-year career with the DPS, Garrison developed major programs including law enforcement training and communications, crime prevention, traffic safety, and education. Garrison also helped secure a headquarters building and museum for the Texas Rangers in Waco. Honored for his outstanding contributions to the state of Texas, Garrison was buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin upon his death in 1968.
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Just a week before she died on July 6, 1957, Lulu Belle Madison White was honored with the establishment of the Lulu White Freedom Fund by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She made significant contributions to help balance equal rights for American people of color during her lifetime. She was born in little Elmo, Texas, between Terrell and Wills Point in 1907. She was educated at the former Butler College in Tyler and became an early civil rights advocate and longtime leader of the NAACP first in Houston (1939) and then statewide as president (1949). Best known for her role in challenging and ending caucasian-only primaries, White also trained black Americans how to vote, fought for integration of the University of Texas (1945), worked for equal pay for teachers regardless of race (she was an ex-school teacher), and led many other efforts. The Houston NAACP chapter became the largest in the South under her leadership.
JULY 22, 1992
JULY 10, 2020
Happy Birthday Selena Gomez
Plan an Escape for National Pina Colada Day
Born July 22, 1992, in Grand Prairie, Texas, pop performer Selena Gomez often stops by her childhood home for a photo op like this one in September 2019. Listen to “Look at Her Now” from video link above. AUGUST 20, 1923
Many Thanks Gentleman Jim We celebrate the birth of legendary singer Jim Reeves on August 20. Born in Panola County, he grew up to be one of the best singers of all time.
when his Beechcraft debonair aircraft went down in bad weather on July 31, 1964, near Nashville.
Written by Marvin J. Moore and George H. Campbell, Jr. in 1951, Reeves recorded a song called “Four Walls” being recalled by some these days as they spend more time indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more about Reeves in the County Line archives.
Four walls to hear me Four walls to see Four walls too near me Closing in on me Take a listen on the video below. Known as “Gentleman Jim” with the velvet voice, it was with great sadness to many when he died in a plane crash
He is buried at Jim Reeves Memorial Park three miles east of Carthage.
July 10 is the official National Pina Colada Day! What better time to stir up a batch and envision a Caribbean beach even if you can’t be there in person. There’s nothing like a Pina Colada that puts one in total vacation mode whether it comes in the form of a cocktail or popsicle — as long as it is icy for this hot time of the year. Something about the flavors of pineapple and coconut says it’s time to leave the worries behind. Some won’t make it to the beach this year, but they can whip up a batch of deliciousness that helps escape life’s everyday challenges for just a bit. To make Pina Colada popsicles to enjoy any time for a mini-vacation this summer, mix 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice with 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and pour in to popsicle molds. Freeze until firm, about four hours. Enjoy!
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LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT
Check out the eMAGAZINE www.countylinemagazine.com for extended event listings.
Tyler State Park Has Trails for Hiking and Mountain Biking Described as a “tranquil haven in the pines,” by the Texas Wildlife and Parks Department, Tyler State Park offers hiking trails, boating, bird watching and wildlife viewing, fishing, swimming, a playground, and watercraft rentals. Roughly 15 miles north of Tyler, the park offers a range of camping options, and is a popular destination for thousands of visitors each year.
Some families visit the park year after year and it’s a favorite destination for mountain bikers, who enjoy the adventurous, winding trails through hills and ravines. There are more than 13 miles of trails including the Whispering Pines Nature Trail laid out more than 70 years ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Through hardwood-pine woodlands,
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bikers and hikers alike see a large array of plant life and birds and wildlife. There’s also a natural spring with rocks and small waterfall designed by the CCC. The park’s forest also protects bikers from the sun and searing heat. The lack of underbrush, due to management by park rangers, allows a continuous ride. Layers of leaves and pine needles covering the forest floor can also soften falls and protect from injuries. Tyler State Park is located at 789 Park Road 16, Tyler, Texas 75706-9141. Call (903) 597-5338 for information. More information is available at www.tpwd. texas.gov/state-parks/tyler Texas State Parks offer day passes and overnight camping. Call (512) 3898915 for park reservations throughout the state, or register online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks.
Healthy Choices, Healthy Bodies By Rachel Wilbanks Being cooped up for months because of the Covid-19 quarantine led some people to make less-than-stellar food choices. Eating out of boredom is never a good idea. It’s time to reset and refocus with some lifestyle adjustments to help lose a few of those unwanted pounds. When looking for quick results, the latest diet craze is often tempting. The big problem with diets is they tend to be a temporary solution. Most diets are very restrictive with too many rules. This makes them difficult to commit to long term. After weight loss goals are reached, it is not unusual to quickly fall back into old habits. It becomes a vicious cycle. Getting off the hamster wheel requires some real lifestyle changes. Developing a healthy relationship with food is the key to a strong mind and body. Making the choice to eat better is a challenge for some people. Many don’t know where to start. It is helpful to take small steps instead of trying to change everything at once. Here are a few tips to get started.
1. Substitute Sugary Drinks with Water The body needs an adequate amount of water every day to function appropriately. Swapping out artificially-flavored drinks with water eliminates extra calories that are often overlooked. Adding a fresh cut lemon or lime adds some flavor.
2. Eat Fewer Processed Foods This is difficult for those who often give in to the abundance of fast food places and quick meal options available. Try going to restaurants that offer healthy foods and learn to get the best ingredients at the grocery store to prepare meals at home. As a rule, most grocery stores tend to keep the healthiest options in the periphery, so stick to those outside aisles. Avoiding the frozen foods section and choosing more fresh ingredients is a great way to get the ball rolling.
3. Get Fresh From the Farm Local farmers’ markets offer a wide variety of high-quality, in season, locally-
grown produce free from the process of packaging, storage, and long-distance shipping that removes important nutrients and flavor. The foods are harvested when perfectly ripened and brought directly to the market. Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to try some new, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables picked at the peak of freshness.
4. Try a Juicer Investing in a vegetable juicer is a smart move for beginners. Simply choose a few fresh veggies, add a bit of fruit to sweeten, and drink up. This is an easy way to give the body an extra boost of energy and vitamins. It takes time to change old habits. Focus on feeding the body more of the nutrients it needs and
consuming less sugar and processed foods. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
5. Go for Healthy Quick Snacks Summer days are meant for having fun in the sun, not stressing about diets and waistlines. When preparing this year’s beach coolers, ditch the prepackaged snacks. Instead, cut up some fresh watermelon or strawberries for a refreshing treat. A few healthier choices makes all the difference between dreading the summer and enjoying it. Remember, it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. Rachel Wilbanks is in the Health Promotion B.S. program at University of North Texas.
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More Than a Step Back in Time By Rachel Nichols and Cori Conrad
Photos by Stuart Whitaker Walking into City Shoe Shop is like taking a step back in time. The scent of new leather permeates the air and the clickity-clack, clickity-clack of the sole adhesive machine takes visitors to a place not commonly experienced in today’s world with online and large store shopping. There are no shortcuts taken in the shoe repair process here. Historic Downtown Palestine’s City Shoe Shop has been in operation for more than 75 years. Owners Sandra and Robert Lane joke that Robert might finally be done with his apprenticeship after practicing under his father for more than 50 years. A family businessman, Robert has worked with his dad at the shoe shop his entire life. Up until his father’s passing at more than 90 years old, his dad would tell his friends that Robert just might be ready to cobble on his own. Most of the equipment in the shop is from the 1940s, and Robert said they purchased several of the machines used at that time. Old-fashioned shoe repair is truly a lost art, and City Shoe Shop is one of few locations in East Texas that does it right. Customers come from miles around to have Robert repair their shoes or just to experience this rare process. Last year, Robert was diagnosed with cancer and had to take time off from the shoe shop for the majority of the year. When he came back from recovery they didn’t know how to get the word out that they were open. By recommendation from his son, they just turned on the sign. By that very afternoon, people were bringing bags full of shoes for him to fix. Robert is now cancer free and the community could not be happier, not just for the sake of their beloved shoes, but because the Lanes and their City Shoe Shop are irreplaceable. JULY/AUGUST 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 33
Experience Historic Henderson on a Walking Tour By Lisa Tang After Rusk County named Henderson its county seat in 1843, the townspeople planned the downtown area around the original courthouse square. Today, a historic walking tour offers a unique sightseeing experience that includes dozens of original historic buildings, some built as early as the 1880s. The district also features two blocks of the town’s original red brick streets. Most buildings feature Classical Revival and Greek Revival architecture, while buildings along Jackson Street and the Rusk County Courthouse feature Art Deco styles. The district has endured many changes over its more than 150 years, but the buildings and businesses endure because citizens still invest in its preservation and beauty. They also work diligently to attract and retain businesses. Main Street Manager Judy Lewis says the district’s buildings are about 95 percent occupied, with two buildings under renovation. Visitors can enjoy dining or shopping at one of the clothing boutiques or gift shops. Several commercial businesses also occupy the district, and not all buildings are open to visitors, but reviews are positive. Lewis says visitors remark on the beauty and charm of Henderson’s historic downtown, as well as shop owners’ friendliness.
A Texas Main Street City
Henderson became a Texas Main Street Project City in 1988, in a joint venture between the city and the state to improve the downtown district and attract new businesses. Since that time, projects have continuously improved the district. One of the first projects was Heritage Square, built in 1990 as a focal point and event center for the downtown area. In 1995, Henderson’s Main Street joined the National Register of Historic Districts. A more recent addition (2016) is The Alley, a pocket park with picnic tables, landscaping, and public restrooms. Beauty is not Main Street’s only attraction, however. Many of the buildings are
named individually in the National Register, while some feature Texas state historical markers. A pamphlet, available at Henderson Area Chamber of Commerce at 201 North Main Street, details the downtown’s history and architecture, which visitors can tour while dining, shopping, or enjoying main street events.
Main Attractions A few prominent historic buildings include the Rusk County Courthouse, the First National Bank Building, the Mason-Harris Building, the Edward Barthold House, the Rusk County Library, and the Opera House. The Rusk County Courthouse stands as a four-story building at 115 North Main Street, with a basement and three upper floors. Constructed in the 1930s, the Art Deco building is the county’s fourth courthouse. A statue of Thomas Jefferson Rusk, a pioneer Texas statesman and the county’s namesake, stands in front. The First National Bank Building, at 101 South Marshall, occupies the original site of Henderson’s first commercial business opened in 1838, a dry goods store. The bank’s current structure dates from 1902 and features Classic Revival architecture. A 1932 remodel during the town’s oil boom added
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two more floors to accommodate the increase in business. The Edward Barthold House on South Marshall, built in 1877, displays the Greek Revival architecture. The house is one of Henderson’s oldest brick residences, and now houses an accounting firm. The Wathen-March Building, which stands at 100 North Marshall, is also known as the May-Harris Building, after the department store that occupied it. Recently, the city has renovated the building as its new events center. The Rusk County Library now occupies the building at 104-106 East Main Street, after receiving it as a gift in 1988. The first floor, built in 1909, housed a mercantile business, which added a second floor in 1916. J.T. Turner built the Opera House at 122 East Main Street in 1885 to hold performances. After the building changed hands in 1918, a mercantile business was there. The theatre is now restored and holds performances by the Henderson Civic Theatre. For information about attractions, events, and shopping in Henderson, call the City of Henderson Department of Tourism, located at 1500 Lake Forest Parkway, at (866) 650-5529, or visit www. visithenderson.com.
Enjoy Shopping, Dining & Entertainment in Historic Mineola, Texas
Sidetrack in Mineola!
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Playground, water tower, benches, train watching 200 West Front Street
MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET Every Saturday May-October 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
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HISTORIC SELECT THEATER
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1.800.MINEOLA • www.mineola.com JULY/AUGUST 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 35
ARTS & CULTURE
Fearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way we die You can make the mountains ring Or make the angels cry Though the bird is on the wing And you may not know why Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now If you hear the song I sing You will understand (listen) You hold the key to love and fear All in your trembling hand Just one key unlocks them both Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s there at your command
By Lisa Tang Longview Museum of Fine Arts features an extensive permanent collection that is on display year-round. The collection includes three stunning wood sculptures by John Hillier, who recently retired from teaching art at Kilgore Community College for more than 30 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;MaleStorm/Twisterâ&#x20AC;? stands up to six feet, four inches, depending on its position. The moveable statue celebrates the dynamic nature of the human form, comparing it to the twister, one of natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most violent forces. Pegs and moveable parts allow changes in the sculptureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shape, size and position. The upper part of the sculpture is most dynamic, featuring a radial cluster of outstretched arms. Hillier uses a medium known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;paralam plywood,â&#x20AC;? an arrangement of flat plywood boards fastened together. He meticulously carves the edges before assembling them and later applies stain and laminate to give the conjoined layers a rich, dimensional effect. The seamless wood layers suggest durability and strength, and the defined muscles of the ideal male human form, as expressed in Michelangeloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;David.â&#x20AC;? Yet, with a conglomeration of moveable limbs, the headless â&#x20AC;&#x153;MaleStorm/Twisterâ&#x20AC;? bears features of modern art. Hillier donated another sculpture, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Preacher, 1996,â&#x20AC;? to LMFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s permanent collection. Measuring 28 by 12.5 by 18.5 inches, the carved oak bust includes only a head and torso, with emphasis on the subjectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head. With head tilted back, mouth open, and lips tensed, the preacher appears to be in the throes of delivering a powerful message. Viewers can almost hear the subjectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s booming voice, yet may wonder why the figure appears diminutive in stature. Hillierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third sculpture, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Q Into A Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Go,â&#x20AC;? is also carved wood and is
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Love is but a song to sing
Sculptor Celebrates Human Form at Longview Museum
on loan from the artist. The headless torso features a sumptuous femaleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breasts and belly, measuring 20.5 by 15.5 by 14.5 inches. The piece is erotically suggestive, yet challenges viewers to question messages cast by both subject and artist. Before joining Kilgore College for most of his career, Hillier studied art at the University of Texas in Austin. Originally from Odessa, he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts at Texas Tech University (TTU). He taught fine arts at Odessa College before joining the Kilgore faculty. Hillierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works are also on display at TTU. LMFA is located at 215 E. Tyler Street, Longview, Texas 75606. For more information about the museum, visit www. lmfa.org. See more of Hillierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sculptures and drawings at www.jhilliersculpture.com. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: VIDEO. LMFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Executive Director Tiffany Jehorek speaks about Hillierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works on display in the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s permanent collection. Pictured is MaleStorm/Twister, a six-foot moveable sculpture in the permanent collection at Longview Museum of Fine Arts. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM LEFT: Sculptor John Hillier donated â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Preacher, 1996,â&#x20AC;? to the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM RIGHT: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Q Into A Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Goâ&#x20AC;? is a carved wood sculpture of a sumptuous female torso that measures roughly 20 inches high.
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Remnants of Freedom Group Tells History of Quilt Codes That Helped Enslaved People
By Pamela Edwards Some might find their great grandmothers’ quilts harbor more history than they know. What was once thought of as an innocent pastime for modest women might have actually been part of a paradigm-shifting movement. Through meticulous quilting patterns and robust song performances, Pleasant Hill Quilters of Linden, Texas, offer a glimpse into a classified American past. Clad in colorful handmade bonnets and aprons, this group of women works to decode and preserve a cryptic fragment of history, explaining how multitudes of illiterate people escaped slavery. Literacy among Americans of African descent was prohibited during the era of slavery. Because many were unable to read or write, important information had to be conveyed through oration, imagery, and song. Quilt “codes” were hand-stitched images that, along with some carefully-worded anthems, informed enslaved people about when and how they could navigate to freedom. Free people and abolitionists of diverse ethnic backgrounds contributed by making and displaying quilts, transporting escapees, and providing shelter and clothing. The stealthy code was displayed any place one might see a quilt — on a clothesline, in a window, draped on a porch seat or rail. Quilts often display a repeating motif, so it was not necessary to see the entire quilt at once. Although there were numerous quilt patterns, or codes, some of the most frequently-used codes included the monkey wrench, wagon wheel, shoofly, and bow ties. All of these are still common today. Difficult to describe, but easily recognized, the unassuming monkey-wrench pattern looks much like a square frame with oversized triangles spreading from each corner. The appearance loosely simulates a truncated, open-end wrench. This pattern indicated the presence of a blacksmith, who would provide directions to the Underground Railroad.
ABOVE. This flea market quilt with monkey-wrench pattern, authentic circa 1800, is what inspired the start of the Pleasant Hill Quilters in 2004. Photo courtesy of Pleasant Hill Quilters. OPPOSITE PAGE. Flo Stevenson points to the North Star pattern, one of several codes shown on this sampler quilt during a presentation in Emory. Photo by Pamela Edwards.
A basic wagon wheel pattern is a circle of 12 wedges around a smaller center circle. Today this pattern has multiple variations, some quite elaborate. In any case, it resembles a wheel with spokes. This code signaled the opportunity to escape on a cart or wagon, usually under the cover of straw or produce. Transporters cunningly referred to men as “hardware” and women as “dry goods” when conversing with other abolitionists.
simple one that was most probably used during this era, is made up of 36 isosceles triangles. The shapes are strategically placed to look like a series of alternating horizontal and vertical articles of men’s neckwear. Bow ties communicated that runaways could shed their tattered garments and be provided with new clothes. Churches proved to be convenient locations for this kind of transaction.
Somewhat reminiscent of the monkey wrench, the shoofly pattern has a square center with triangles emanating from each corner. If a slave catcher or someone checking for emancipation documents were in town, this code might be on display. It warned fugitives to scatter because the area was not safe to traverse openly. They would need to determine a location to regroup, most likely after dark.
Patterns like the bear paw, flying geese, and the North Star helped former slaves decipher how to navigate as they entered more rural and wooded areas. Following bear tracks was a good way to find fresh water, fish, and berries. Geese migrate north in spring. Loud honking noises made these birds easy to follow toward food, water, free Northern states, and even Canada. The North Star guided escapees in the same direction during the night.
Much like the wagon wheel, there are numerous bow tie patterns. A fairly
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Demonstrating how songs were also coded during the Underground Railroad era, the Pleasant Hill Quilters harmonize in colorful costumes and encourage audience members to sing along. The program is dramatically concluded with a solo ballad. Photo by Pamela Edwards
QUILT CODES continued from page 38 Because there is almost no documentation of this secret code, some historians want to dismiss the narrative as myth. But keep in mind, literacy was seen as a criminal offense for Americans of African descent during this era. The fact remains, with the help of brave and unprejudiced free people, masses of enslaved Americans were able to realize freedom. A familiar pattern on a fragile flea market quilt is what inspired the start of Pleasant Hill Quilters in 2004. One of the group’s founders saw the quilt’s monkey-wrench pattern in a book entitled Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. Curious about its authenticity, she bore the flea market quilt to Antique Road Show experts. That flea market quilt proved to be an authentic relic from the latter era of American slavery, displaying evidence of a crafty code designed to help enslaved people acquire freedom. Pre-
serving this discreet facet of American history became imperative. From September to May, the quilters meet each Monday at the Pleasant Hill Center (formerly Pleasant Hill School) in Linden. As a school, the building had two rooms for grades one through four and five through eight. Subsequent to the termination of American slavery, Booker T. Washington (founder of Tuskegee Institute) collaborated with Julius Rosenwald (co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company) to establish this location and thousands of similar schools for African-descent children throughout the rural South. One of 527 Rosenwald schools built in Texas, the bungalow, constructed in 1925 from new and recycled materials, is now a community center and national historic landmark. Many young visitors are initially resistant to coming to the community center as it is without internet access. They are soon won over by the combination of performance art, math, and history unveiled by Pleasant Hill Quilters.
The group typically consists of four to 12 retirees. They are a broad mix of former school teachers (one of whom taught at Pleasant Hill School), corporate leaders, and government employees who perform an average of about 20 presentations each year throughout Texas and the surrounding area. Although Pleasant Hill Quilters mainly work within the region, the group has traveled as far as Washington DC with their program. Pleasant Hill Quilters use quilts as a way to entertain, educate, and encourage healing from a portion of America’s unpleasant past. The ladies work by hand and with machines, assembling about 10 quilts annually. They also produce and sell aprons, bonnets, and cookbooks. All proceeds help maintain the historic building in which the quilters convene. Find Pleasant Hill Quilters on Facebook or for more information call (903) 8262495.
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The Blue Man: Photographs by Keith Carter On exhibition at Tyler Musuem of Art through August 30, 2020. The Blue Man: Photographs by Keith Carter The “Blue Man” series is held in the TMA’s Permanent Collection. Rooted in documentarian tradition, Carter’s images capture the ordinary as well as the unimaginable subjects found around East Texas that make the region unique. Clockwise, from top left: “Jack Witt,” Tyler County; “Boy with Birds,” Hardin County; “Black Ankle Community,” San Augustine; “Brush Arbor Revival,” Newton County; “Grand Street Columns,” Jefferson County; “African Methodist Episcopal Church,” Trinity County, “Cutler Family,” Houston County, and “Girl in Corn,” Montgomery County. At left is photo of Keith Carter by Sam Keith.
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Art Tracks Appeals with Color, Modern Pop By Lisa Tang Palestine’s Art Tracks offers a walking or driving art tour experience that’s free, family-friendly, and gives a new pop to the town’s Main Street District every year. Now in its ninth year, Art Tracks is based on Palestine’s railroad heritage. The 18 sculptures along the exhibit’s route bring modern art and culture to the historic downtown district. Main Street Manager Rachel Nichols says the sculptures, which range from three to 14 feet tall, contrast with the historic buildings, adding visual interest and drawing visitors downtown. The exhibit rotates every year, drawing more than 30 entries from sculptors who enter the juried contest. Each sculpture must be three feet or taller and must be able to withstand weather, but judges also look for visually appealing works without an offensive or suggestive nature. A map is available at the visitor’s center or by downloading the Visit Palestine app. Many of the pieces brighten up the district’s intersections. “Cowboy in Trouble” by Gustavo Galvan pops with energy and color. A resident of Garland, Galvan’s sculptures have appeared in outdoor exhibits in Mesquite and at the Texas State Fair.
Palestine’s Main Street district comprises 44 blocks, from the visitor’s center at 825 West Spring Street to the Anderson County Courthouse at 500 North Church Street. Art Tracks covers 42 of those blocks, stopping at the Historic Anderson County Jail. The exhibit’s two largest sculptures are both colorful and eye-catching. At 14 feet, “Sunburst” by Scott Shubin is the tallest. Shubin describes “Sunburst” as “a contemporary interpretation of the sun.” The steel tubes of different lengths resemble the sun’s rays; the round ring, the sun’s corona; and, the red acrylic disc, the sun’s core. The sculpture’s upper rays reach southward to capture the sun’s trajectory and cast a round shadow. “Table for Two” stretches 12 feet across the lawn of Palestine’s First Christian Church. Artist Scott Trent of Richardson said he designed “Table for Two” as a gift for his wife on their seventh anniversary. “We love to eat out, we love cake and every chance I get I give flowers,” Trent says. The sculpture is available for purchase, and Trent plans to give the money to his wife. In an awards ceremony later this year, judges select three sculptures for monetary prizes while honoring the artists. All works are for sale, ranging from $1,500
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to $18,000. The city purchases sculptures when funds are available and allows individuals to donate the sculptures to the city’s growing collection. Artists in the Upper East Side of Texas fared well in the exhibit’s previous competitions, winning top prizes. Jim Robertson of Trinity has two sculptures in the 2020 exhibit: “Cactus Wagon” and “Big Wheel.” The trio of Jan Dean, with Kathy and “Deano” Dean of Jewett are also previous Art Tracks winners. This year, they entered the sculpture called “Red Beauty.” Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., raised funds and directed the first exhibit in 2012. Union Pacific Railroad donated the iron wheels, which form permanent bases for 12 of the sculptures. Main Street Palestine will ensure the project’s continuation after this year. Stop by the Palestine Visitor’s Center at 822 W. Spring St. for a brochure of the Art Tracks exhibit, call 903-723-3014, or visit the website at www.visitpalestine.com. BELOW LEFT: “Retro Floral Renovation” by Gloria Hartsfield of Throckmorton. BELOW RIGHT: “Pictures, Anyone?” by Tony Foster of Palestine. OPPOSITE PAGE: “A Table for Two” by Scott Trent of Richardson. Get a sneak peak of a few more on the following two pages. Courtesy photos
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TOP LEFT CLOCKWISE: “Blue Fish” by Pascale M. Pryor of Dallas, “Cowboy in Trouble” by Gustavo Galvan of Garland, “The Unlikely Refuge for Displaced Impulses” by Danville Chadbourne of San Antonio, and “Cactus 46 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • JULY/AUGUST 2020
Wagon” by Jim Robertson of Trinity. OPPOSITE PAGE: “Angle Burst” by Laura Sturtz of Manchaca. Pick up a map at the Palestine Visitors Center or there’s a downloadable app on their website. Courtesy photos
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The Architectural Legacy of Diedrich Rulfs German Immigrant Shaped the Enduring Landscape of the Oldest Town in Texas Article by P.A. Geddie Photographs by Wendy Floyd More than 50 beautiful homes and other structures created by German immigrant Diedrich Rulfs have stood the test of time for more than 100 years to help define the landscape of Nacogdoches, Texas. Diedrich Anton Wilhelm Rulfs was born March 6, 1848, and grew up in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. He married Emilie Helene Wilhelmine Boeschen and with their children and other family members, they immigrated to the United States in 1879 through the New Orleans port. The next year, the oldest town in Texas had the good fortune to welcome the family to their growing community. A master architect, Rulfs first built his family’s home and then three rental properties for income for his family. From there, others began seeking out his talents.
A bronze sculpture (above and opposite page) of master architect Diedrich Rulfs sits in front of one of his creations, the Roland Jones home in downtown Nacogdoches. Rulfs (1848-1926) transformed Nacogdoches from a frontier town into a sophisticated modern city. For this home he used intricate cypress lacework of veranda and gallery with spindles, scrolls, and arches, and a pulpit entrance. Eastlake detailing frames gables of fishscale shingles which were also used to decorate first and second story roof caps of the hexagonal corner tower. Queen Anne windows have leaded pane or margins of colored glass. “D. Rulfs” signature is found on the top edge of one window. Chandeliers and wall sconces were originally lighted by acetylene, generated on site. One elaborate Gothic and six classical mantle pieces surround the original fireplaces. Nine-foot pocket doors open off the vestibule.
He built huge private homes for wealthy clients as well as neighborhoods of shotgun houses for the train porters, maids, and gardeners that served the affluent citizens of the city. He designed the downtown district, an apartment building, and an office building. Besides the buildings in Nacogdoches, he built in other cities such as Lufkin, Garrison, San Augustine, Crockett, and Rusk. Rulfs incorporated the motifs of his homeland along with elements from current trends in American architecture into Nacogdoches projects. He comfortably used classical and Palladian features, romantic (Gothic), flamboyant (Queen Anne), and eclectic (Mediterranean) styles. He started building in the Victorian Queen Anne style, which is characterized by asymmetrical floor plans, bay windows, gables, stained glass, and gingerbread details. Later, he also continued page 50
The Laura Blount home, 821 North Street, was built by Rulfs in 1896. The mansard roof crowns the one and a half story house. Fishscale shingles, Eastlake ornamentation, and round-arch windows decorate the roof gables. Porch gables repeat the Eastlake detailing. Cypress “gingerbread” frames the wraparound veranda. Triple-hung windows of front rooms and halls open for access to the porch. Inside walls are also cypress and the wainscoting is beaded board. Nine-foot pocket doors and a twist doorbell are unique features.
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ABOVE: This Blount home, 310 North Mound, was built by Rulfs in 1897. Double galleries wrap around with a “gazebo” on the southwest corner. Intricate lathe work of spindles, arches, and posts decorates both levels. Gables have Palladian windows and fishscale shingles under elaborate Eastlake eaves. The Palladian window prominent on the second floor and the fanlight dormer in the center gable are repeated in the gallery arches.
RULFS continued from page 48 built other styles such as Greek Revival, Bungalow, and Prairie. To maximize air flow in the heat of Texas summers, he placed windows for cross ventilation. He used the materials that were available to him locally. He remodeled several homes. Rulfs proved himself a master at servicing many architectural needs: modest domestic structures, commercial buildings, city blocks, hotels, elaborately fashionable mansions, churches for all denominations, and public schools. While few towns the size of Nacogdoches had, or could have supported, a talented resident architect, Rulfs returned the admiration by working flawlessly with the community. His success resided in his professionalism, his intimate knowledge of his clients, and his willingness to accommodate his designs to the needs and budgets of his patrons. Rulfs, as the architect and builder of choice in Nacogdoches between 1880 to the mid-1920s,
OPPOSITE PAGE: Rulfs built the Zion Hill Baptist Church, 324 North Lanana, in 1914. Victorian features are scrollwork in porch gables and window headings, cupola, steeple tower, and also towers above the north and south entrances. The cupola and three towers have knob and spire finials. Gothic features are pointed-arch windows of steeple tower, cloverleaf molding of round-arch windows above the multi-window complexes.
left an architectural legacy — his creations transformed a historic Texas frontier town into a sophisticated modern city. In 1902 he built Christ Episcopal Church, and for his African-American friends, he built Zion Hill Baptist Church in 1914. A dozen of the Rulfs’ buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Diedrich Rulfs became a naturalized American citizen in 1887. He died February 14, 1926, at the age of 77 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. A life-sized bronze statue of Rulfs is located on North Church Street in downtown Nacogdoches. The piece was created by Fort Worth sculptor Michael Pavlosky depicting Rulfs sketching the Roland Jones home that Rulfs designed in 1897. This is the seventh sculpture in the oldest town in Texas produced by the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches as part of the Heritage
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Walk that gives a pictorial tour of the leaders of Nacogdoches’ diverse history. Get a map for the tour at the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, 200 East Main, or call (936) 564-7351 and visit www.visitnacogdoches.org for more information. To learn more about Rulfs and his legacy, read the 2014 book Diedrich Rulfs: Designing Modern Nacogdoches, authored by Jere Johnson with photography by Christopher Talbot.
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WORDS & MUSIC
There’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head.
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By Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, Natalie Hemby When it rains it pours, But you didn’t even notice It ain’t rainin’ anymore, It’s hard to breathe when all you know is The struggle of, Staying above, The rising water line Well, the sky has finally opened The rain and wind stopped blowin’ But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again You hold tight to your umbrella But, darling, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head If you could see what I see, You’d be blinded by the colors Yellow, red and orange and green, And at least a million others So tie up the boat, Take off your coat, And take a look around ‘Cause the sky has finally opened The rain and wind stopped blowin’ But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again You hold tight to your umbrella But, darling, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head Oh tie up the boat, Take off your coat, And take a look around Everything is alright now Cause the sky has finally opened The rain and wind stopped blowin’ But you’re stuck out in the same old storm again Let go of your umbrella Cause darlin’ I’m just trying to tell you That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head It’ll all be alright
Join Willie Nelson for a Virtual Annual 4th of July Picnic It’s a tradition for thousands of people each year to attend Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic and coordinators are not letting COVID-19 stop the show. They are bringing the gigantic picnic to the public virtually this year. There is an entry fee to see it — $35 prior to $45 on event day. The show features live streamed performances, a barbecue cook-along with Chef Scott Roberts of The Salt Lick, and a special 90-minute concert film-style segment. The film features beloved acts and exclusive interviews with the characters that made the picnic a one-of-a-kind celebration during its 47-year legacy. Luck Reunion is producing the event. The organization began as an exclusive event on Willie’s Luck, Texas, ranch. Their mission is to cultivate and celebrate American roots and those legacies still living and new talents cropping up. Willie performs a set with his Family Band at Pedernales Studios, outside of Austin, while other artists deliver songs from home. Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are among those performing. Others include Asleep At The Wheel, Charley Crockett, Devon Gilfillian, John Doe, Johnny Bush, Kinky Friedman, Kurt Vile, Matthew Houck, The McCrary Sisters, Particle Kid, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Shakey Graves, The Peterson Brothers, Vincent Neil Emerson, and Ziggy Marley. The concert streams Saturday, July 4th, beginning at 3:30 p.m. CST via www.luck.stream and www.williepicnic.com.
Blue Rock Studio Presents Summer Virtual Concert Series Blue Rock Studio, Wimberley, Texas
July 9-Aug 27, 2020 Every Thursday 7:30 p.m.
www.bluerocktexas.com Season Pass $105.00 Individual Show Pass $25.00
July 9, Ruthie Foster July 16, Matt the Electrician July 23, Tina & Walt Wilkins July 30, David Ramirez August 6, Carrie Rodriguez August 13, Billy Crockett Aug. 20, Danny Schmidt/Carrie Elkin August 27, Terri Hendrix
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ADVERTISE WITH US. IT WORKS!
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
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Located in a beautiful lakeside lodge at 21191 FM 47 in Wills Point,one block north of Interstate 20, Exit 516 Open Tuesday - Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Available for Special Events
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FOOD & DRINK The Scoop on Fresh Peaches and Cream By Lisa Tang Fresh peaches and cream may sound like a dream in today’s world, but both are available at several farms in the region. The Upper East Side of Texas is home to many orchards and creameries that offer wholesome ingredients to satisfy cravings for delicious summer desserts. This summer, make plans to visit some of the region’s independent farms or farmers’ markets for a selection of healthy fruits and fresh dairy products. From general stores to you-pick orchards, each offers its own unique treasures worth a trip over the county line.
For those who don’t own a cow, the best way to get fresh cream is to buy it from a local dairy farm. Smaller dairies allow their cows to graze freely on fresh grass, which helps them produce milk products high in butter fat, protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Some small dairies work hard to create fresh, great tasting milk and cream. Waldo Way Farms in Mineola, for example, harvests milk from Golden Guernsey dairy cows. The sweet, creamy milk is rich in nutrients that may prevent diabetes and heart disease: Beta Carotene, Omega 3 acids, and A2 protein casein. More importantly, though, farm fresh milk and cream taste sweet and delicious, and provide ideal ingredients for summer desserts.
Peaches add nutrition and distinct flavor to many dishes — from desserts and preserves to relishes and chutneys. Sweet concoctions often combine two or more cups of peaches with sugar or other sweeteners. They also complement savory pork and poultry dishes. The sweet, tangy fruit is also popular in drinks. Peach nectar adds pizzazz to juices and cocktails like peach margaritas. Peach wine is also growing in popularity. Peach trees originated in China and
came to the Americas with Spanish explorers in the 15th century. Today, many peach varieties are available nationwide. For culinary purposes, the main types of peaches are Freestone and Clingstone. Freestone describes the type of peach that falls free of the pit. Freestone are larger and less juicy, with more yellow color. Cling peaches remain attached to the stone, and are more difficult to prepare at home. Cooks often prefer Freestone peaches for baking, as they’re easier to cut and slice; however, cling peaches, which are juicier and sweeter, for canning or preserves. When preparing dishes at home, look for semi-clingstone peaches if Freestones are not in season. Ripe peaches are slightly soft and noticeably fragrant, but they’re not available in all markets. Fruits for sale at
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large grocers are often picked before they ripen. These prematurely-picked fruits have less taste and fewer vitamins. Peaches allowed to ripen on the tree taste sweeter and more flavorful. Shopping for peaches at local farms — or picking them yourself — ensures the best flavor and nutrients.
Best bets Though orchards all over the country grow peaches, some towns in our region have special associations with peaches. Pittsburg, Texas, is home to two large farms that specialize in peaches and other seasonal produce. Pittsburg is not the original home of Pittsburg peaches, although the town could vie for the title. McPeak Orchards sells produce from its store in Pittsburg and an outdoor stand in Gladewater. Both offer a range of fresh produce, jellies, and preserves.
Peach ice cream is a favorite at the Pittsburg store.
Peaches and Cream Pie Photo by Lisa Tang
Efurd Orchards is another familyowned farm that offers a variety of produce. Visitors shop their fresh summer peaches, but also delight in the store’s range of specialty products and gifts. Fairfield, Texas, hosts the Fuzzy Peach Festival in July and a farmers’ market. Fairfield is the seat of Freestone County — named for the quality of its soils, not the peaches — but is home to Cooper Farms, one of the region’s largest peach growers with a 300-acre orchard. Cooper Farms also operates a general store and fruit stands in Huntsville, Conroe, and Waco. Everything peach is available at their little convenience store and gas station in Fairfield — from peach ice cream to peach bread, plus dozens more peachy items. Here’s a list of dairies and peach orchards in the Upper East Side of Texas.
Bo-Tex Dairy 4801 FM 877 Waxahachie, Texas 75165 (972) 743-7490 Sells Grade A Raw Milk and cream from free-range cows. Full Quiver Farms 6238 FM 3396 Kemp, Texas 75143 (903) 498-3884 www.fullquiverfarmtx.com Fresh Grade A Raw milk, cream, and yogurt and handmade artisan cheese. N&P Farm & Dairy LLC 713 CR 610 Farmersville, Texas 75442 (972) 658-0291 Licensed Grade A Raw Dairy; offers cow and goat milk, yogurt, cream, eggs, and a variety of meats and vegetables. The Waldo Way Dairy Farm Grocery stores in Mineola and Lindale (903) 245-9673 www.thewaldoway.com Raw A2 milk, cream, butter, yogurt, and baked goods.
Cooper Farms 301 I-45 Fairfield, Texas 75840 (903) 389-5500 www.cooperpeaches.com Sells fresh peaches and more than 40 items made from them.
¾ cup sugar ½ cup all purpose ﬂour 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell 2 cups sliced or frozen peaches 1 cup whipping cream
Efurd Orchards 4004 South Hwy 271 Pittsburg, Texas 75686 (903) 856-2253 www.efurdorchard.com A shopper’s paradise for fresh produce fans with many gift items. Ham Orchards 11939 County Road 309 Terrell, Texas 75161 (972) 524-2028 www.hamorchard.com Peaches are their specialty, but the market offers a variety of foods from local farms. Jenkins Farms Peach Orchard 269 CR 1600 Ravenna, Texas 75476 (check Facebook for detailed directions) (903) 583-2220 Several varieties of pick-your-own peaches; purchase by the pound.
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix sugar and ﬂour and sprinkle 1/3 into the pie shell. Add fruit and rest of the sugar/ ﬂour mix. Pour cream over all. Move peaches around with a fork so cream completely covers peaches. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
McPeak Orchards 10939 U.S. 271 North Pittsburg, TX 75686 (903) 762-6477 and 1004 East Broadway Ave. Gladewater, TX 75647 (903) 374-2407 www.mcpeakorchards.com Open year-round, offering seasonal fruits, vegetables, and specialty items. Panola Orchard and Gardens 1413 FM-1186 De Berry, Texas 75639 (903) 766-2440 www.panolaorchard.com Sells a variety of fruits and vegetables, including fresh peaches. The Peach Orchard at Lake Fork 992 Spur 514 Yantis, Texas 75497 Several varieties of peaches; ripened on the tree for best flavor; you-pick available. (512) 964-9206
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Treats by Kristin Brighten Special Occasions
By Lisa Tang Kristin Mcrae discovered an unknown talent when she began teaching herself to decorate cookies and cakes five years ago. Though she’d never worked in a bakery or taken cooking classes, photos posted on Pinterest and Instagram inspired her to try it out, and she hasn’t stopped since. “I started seeing cookies on Pinterest, so I thought I’d try to make them myself,” Mcrae says. “I didn’t even know I could draw a straight line until I started decorating cookies.” Mcrae’s humility belies her artistic talent. She started filling orders from her home, and the do-it-yourself hobby turned into a full-time business just a year ago when she opened Kristin’s Bakery Cafe in Henderson. The eyeappealing colors, designs, and lettering she adds to the pastries are bright, cheerful, and popular.
The contemporary designs brighten her clients’ special occasions, such as birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and office parties. The bakery frequently sells out of special occasion cookies, baskets, and gift sets, but special orders also fueled by social media posts — keep coming.
Though sugar cookies and cakes showcase Mcrae’s decorating talent, everyone’s favorite is an old standby — chocolate chip. Keto cookies, made with chocolate chips, almond flour, and a sugar substitute, are most popular, she says.
Mcrae fills up to 10 special orders a week, often for clients who have seen a picture of a cake or cookie they want for a special occasion. They send her a picture they see on social media and often ask her to modify it. A birthday cake may take the form of a monkey’s face or an upside-down ice cream cone — almost anything a client wants.
Other standard flavors are oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, and lemon, but Mcrae is always adding new treats. Novelty baked items, including cupcakes, cake popsicles, and even “paint-your-own” cookies with black outlines on white frosting inspire kids to paint their own cookies with a paintbrush and water.
The bakery offers cookies, cakes, muffins, desserts, and popular specialty coffees to about 20 clients a day. She builds her customer base with friendly customer service, frequent social media posts, and giveaways to local businesses.
Kristin’s Bakery Cafe, at 506 Johnson Drive in Henderson, is open Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (903) 658-1593 or visit on Facebook @ kristin’sbakerycafe.
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“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