FALL FUN, TEXAS GIANTS, EMMA GRACE, AL SOUZA, IMMIGRANT ART, MUSIC, FOOD
Upper East Side of Texas
M A G A Z I N E
EDOM ARTS Artists Leave Lasting Legacy
SELECT THEATER Mineola Landmark Celebrates 100
Gourds Are Good for Young Entrepreneur
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THE 153 RD ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF
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County Line Magazine Hall of Fame
AWS’s annual Exhibition is one of the most revered watercolor exhibits in the world. Forty paintings were selected from more than 1,100 artists worldwide for this exemplary show. Underwritten in part by the City of Longview, and the Cultural Advisory Commission
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8 Creative Sparks Ignite Edom
The sleepy little town of Edom is forever changed by the lasting legacy of artists. By P.A. Geddie
14 Select Theater 100
The longest continuously operating theater in Texas celebrates anniversary in Mineola. By Judy Peacock
20 Young Gourd Artist Katy Power Twelve-year-old artist and business entrepreneur uses gourds to make birdhouses, jewelry, and more. By Lisa Tang
DEPARTMENTS 5 Editor’s Note
THIS TIME OF YEAR
24 Clara Willoughby, Freddie King, Monty Stratton, and baby giraffe.
LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT 26 27 27 28 30
Blessings of Liberty Get Ready for Fall Fun Social Distancing Here to Stay? Barnum’s Texas Giants Relax at The Emma Grace
ARTS & CULTURE
FALL FUN, TEXAS GIANTS, EMMA GRACE, AL SOUZA, IMMIGRANT ART, MUSIC, FOOD
Upper East Side of Texas
42 Artists Leave Lasting Legacy
FOOD & DRINK
42 Ditch and Switch for Best You 43 Foster’s Now in Town and Country 44 Queen St Grille
Mineola Landmark Celebrates 100
KATY POWER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020
Cover: Pottters Brown, Edom, Texas
SEE WEBSITE EXTRAS! www.CountyLineMagazine.com 4 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020
38 George Bush’s Immigrant Art, Tara Westover Online Event, Strong is the New Pretty, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
40 Big Barn Dance, Cody Canada DriveIn Concert, Henry “Ragtime Texas” Thomas, Ruthie Foster, CT Folk, Shawn Colvin, Suzy Bogguss, Sara Hickman
Gourds Are Good for Young Artist
36 Al Souza’s Puzzling Pieces 37 Watercolor Artists Show
county line Since 2000
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 Rachel Wilbanks Tom Geddie
EDITOR’S NOTE Dear Readers, Autumn is usually the most active time of the year in the Upper East Side of Texas with almost perfect weather, beautiful fall foliage, and movers and shakers that know how to throw a party for a thousand people or so. During the Pandemic Pause of 2020 things certainly are different than past years but our rural welcome mats are out — with social distancing, masks, hand sanitizing and other safety precautions at the forefront of our minds — and we’re looking forward to a wonderful season. One of the largest events in our region is the Edom Arts Festival, bringing on average 10,000 people to the tiny arts hamlet for almost 50 years now. With all its creative juices flowing, the festival committee transitioned the show to a virtual one. The artists normally found in person on the fair grounds are being promoted online — people can cruise through their crafts and buy as they please throughout the month of October.
In the time since that decision was made, the Edom Arts Community has lost two of their founding members, Doug Brown of Potters Brown who started it all, and Marty Flanagan of the jewelry-making team at Zeke & Marty Studio. Read how the town is continuing their legacy. Like Edom, County Line Magazine has art weaving through every part of our being. Meet a 12 year old creating gourd art and congratulate the Select Theater in Mineola for its 100 years of movies and live shows. Learn about ways to see the creativity of Al Souza in Tyler and watercolor artists in Longview, and catch numerous live streaming concerts with super talented women and men. We’re featuring a getaway at The Emma Grace in Cooper, Texas, and offer other choices from our Destination Guides. Despite the pandemic and our losses and challenges, there are really so many treasures to embrace as the world continues to turn. To every thing there is a season — make this one count.
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.
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Texans for the Texans for the Arts
has consistently has consistently worked to: worked to:
Protect Occupancy (HOT) arts funding Hotel Protect HotelTax Occupancy Tax (HOT) arts funding Increase funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts
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arts leaders, committed supporters, and citizen activists like Texans foryou! theTogether Arts isweatcan theamplify forefront of empowering artists, our powerful voices to increase both committed public and private resourcesand to build strong, dynamic, arts leaders, supporters, citizen activists like and creative communities all across Texas. you! Together we can amplify our powerful voices to increase
CHECK OUT COUNTY LINE DIGITAL PUBLICATIONS both public and private resources to build strong, dynamic, and creative communities all across Texas.
Expand the conversation about the vital role the arts play in ourExpand schools the and conversation communities about the vital role the arts
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Endowment for the Arts and for federal policies that support artists and arts organizations.
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GOOD NEWS for the Upper East Side of Texas
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Between County Line eBook issues, read more about the people, places, and things that make the Upper East Side of Texas the best place to live, dream, and explore. Includes events, attractions, articles, food, drinks, arts, culture, lifestyle, entertainment, people profiles, and more.
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Creative Sparks Ignite Sleepy Little Town Artists Change the Course of Edom, Leaving Lasting Legacy
Founders and early movers and shakers of the Edom Arts Community include (l-r) Zeke Zewick, Marty Flanagan, and Doug Brown. Marty and Doug recently passed away leaving the community grieving, but moving forward and continuing their legacy. Circa 1983. Courtesy photo
By P.A. Geddie Like many small towns that time forgot after World War II, Edom, Texas — population 250 or so — was nothing more than a dusty spot in the road in the early 1970s. While a tumbleweed town is unappealing to some, that solitude — in a backdrop of rolling hills and majestic East Texas trees — was a perfect place to land for a visionary artist like potter Doug Brown. Next year marks 50 years since Doug opened his Potters Brown shop in 1971
along the sleepy downtown Edom main street. He soon started the Edom Art Festival, an opportunity to invite his fellow artists to celebrate and sell their work in a quaint rural setting. They came for the festival and some ended up staying for the long haul like Zeke Zewick and Marty Flanagan who joined him in 1976. The festival grew to one of the most successful art shows in the state, and the community is known far and wide for its authentic charm with numerous working artists and galleries adding the spark that makes Edom dazzle.
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Sadly, this artists’ hamlet is now mourning the loss of two of its founders. On May 28, Marty — one half of the beloved Zeke & Marty jewelry-making couple — passed away after a brief illness. Just eight weeks later, Doug died August 2 after a massive stroke. As the Edom Arts Community moves forward in continuing Doug and Marty’s legacy, they honor how it all began. Through the many reports over the years in newspapers, magazines, and on TV shows, Doug told his tales of leaving the big city and nine-to-five jobs behind
to follow his dream to do what he loved. “I wanted to make a living making pots,” Doug said. “It is a total immersion of all the senses — just to see something come from nothing is very exciting.” He found a few empty buildings in quiet, rural Edom amidst towering trees and knew he was home. He converted an old grocery into a studio. He built a kiln and eventually added a second. Many of the long-time residents weren’t sure what to make of him. The newest person in town was always the most suspect it seemed. Doug said people wanted to call him a hippie, but he didn’t have long hair and he worked too hard and too long so that confused them. He worked his clay into pots, glazed and fired them, and hoped customers would show up to buy some of them. As he told it, when people in fancy cars began to stop at the shop and leave with brown paper bags, rumors began. Some people couldn’t figure out how anybody could dig up dirt, spin it into a pot, cook it, and sell it for $20. They thought he was selling LSD. He said it took a while for people to get used to him and the arts festival. “When I came here, it was a very sleepy little town. They didn’t much like any kind of changes,” he said. “The first year after we had our festival, town council tried to pass a resolution banning any kind of gatherings. I went to a council meeting and said that’s an excellent idea — telling people what to do on their own private property — because there were some things I’d like to ban on their private property, too. “A man jumped up and said he couldn’t be told what to do on his property because that was un-American.” Doug agreed and the motion failed. Potters Brown earned its place in the community and the locals came to appreciate the annual festival. In those early years, Doug may have been suspicious to some of the old-tim-
ers, but others found him to be a breath of fresh air. Slowly a few local artists began to emerge and sell their wares to visitors as well. Although many artists came and went, when Zeke and Marty set up shop next to Doug, their places became the foundation of the working artists’ hamlet. Like Doug’s pottery, fans from all over the country faithfully collect Zeke and Marty’s one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. It would take one more artist to solidify the team that changed the course of Edom forever. After coming to the art festival in 1991, Beth Brown met and married Doug, and together they continued the Potters Brown legacy for almost 30 years. Over the years other potters and jewelers — as well as sculptors, painters, weavers, knife makers, glassblowers, blacksmiths, and photographers — had businesses along main street. Still there today is Joseph Hopps, who arrived in 1999 with his whimsical birdhouses, and Jeff and Judy Gottesman bought the old Edom fire station a number of years ago where they feature his original photography and a live music series. In recent years Edom welcomed Kelli Holmes and The Experience, a multiuse gathering place offering art, live music, yoga, and other classes. It is also home to The Palate Dining Room where Chef Hobbles (Michael Smith) serves his popular culinary treats each week. The Edom Art Emporium is an everevolving center of arts activities sandwiched between the Potters Brown and Zeke & Marty studios. Partners Kerian Massey, Randy Martin, and Trystan Rhys work with more than 30 other artists who display in their gallery, lead classes, and the group holds numerous special events throughout the year. Associate partners Carol Riedel and Mary Long are retired art teachers now enjoying being potters there. These artists appreciate the mentoring they received from
Doug and Marty and being part of the Edom Arts Community. “We’re forever grateful to them for breaking ground to create this community,” Kerian says “Their beautiful artistry and events are a testament to their ability to create something where once there wasn’t anything.” Randy says both Doug and Marty welcomed the group to the artists’ hamlet and almost every day they each offered advice, kindness, or little gifts. Marty often shared the ultimate neighborly gesture: food. Doug would bring things like a piece of metal he found and ask Randy if he might find it useful in his art. “They were helpful, good neighbors,” Randy says. “Always encouraging. That’s an example we have to follow when taking care of new artists.” The current artists in the Edom community admired Doug and Marty’s quality workmanship, dedication, and the way they welcomed artists and visitors from all over the country. “They set the tone,” Randy says. “That’s a foundation we’re going to have to take up and continue.” In the minutes before Doug had his stroke, he was sharing that same giving spirit, Randy says. He came to the Emporium to let the potters know about a new tool he’d just made. Even after 50 years of making pots, it wasn’t unusual for him to keep finding new ways of doing things. This tool helped him measure the thickness of the clay at the bottom of his pots so every one is equal. “He showed Mary how to use it, with detailed instructions, then left it with her to enjoy,” Randy says. “That was Doug — creating something new that made things better, then sharing it with someone else.” Aside from the artists who set up shop, hundreds of artists found their way to continued page 10
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 9
Doug and Beth Brown and Squeaky the Cat in the showroom of their gallery and working studio, Potters Brown. Doug passed away on August 2. Photo by Tom Geddie
EDOM ARTS continued from page
Edom, Texas, through the festival, and an estimated half a million people visited one or more times over the last few decades. Today, even the old-timers appreciate that Edom would be nothing more than a forgotten town that the oil boom and railroads missed if Doug Brown hadn’t decided he wanted to play with mud in the middle of nowhere, then invited his friends to join him. Instead, Edom is forever synonymous with fine art, with beauty, and an infinite energy that attracts others to carry the torch. Doug once told a reporter that he felt his work was a metaphor for his own life. 10 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020
“You can’t lie to the clay,” he said. “It’s going to be what you made it be, and it’s not going to do anything you didn’t do to it.” Doug and Marty’s lights continue to shine in the Edom Arts Community and through the artists who stand on their shoulders. Their names are carved in the clay and on the hearts of those surrounded by their creations in homes all over the country. With a sign on the door that says, “Open Most Days, Closed Others,” Zeke is making jewelry at the Zeke & Marty Studio. Although many of his pieces were collaborations with Marty, they each had their own unique styles as well. Now he contiues his work and creates Marty’s designs as well.
Zeke and Marty often collaborated on their unique jewelry designs. Marty passed away on May 28. Zeke continues their work from the Zeke & Marty Studio in downtown Edom. Photo by Tom Geddie
The Potters Brown doors are closed for now. Beth says once she’s had some time to “dance with every pot” in their gallery and take what she wants to keep, she’ll open up to sell the rest of the pottery she and Doug made together. Doug and Beth had a working partnership in every sense of the word. They shared the responsibilities of the studio, each making the work, and at this point Beth said she is not physically or emotionally capable of continuing to make pots without Doug. She is talking with other potters about the possibility of having several of them working together from the Potters Brown studio.
“I would love to continue his legacy,” she says. This year’s Edom Art Festival is not taking place on the fair grounds due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, the Edom Art Virtual Show is allowing people to visit their favorite artists online during the month of October. They can view their pieces and make purchases. It’s a great way to get ahead of holiday shopping and support the artists, Beth says. Keep up with Edom and the art festival on www.VisitEdom.com. Follow Potters Brown and Zeke & Marty Studio on their Facebook pages. Take a trip to Edom, Texas, to see where the Edom Arts Community was born and meet the inspired artists who keep the flame burning. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 11
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Historic Select Theater Celebrates 100 Years was 12 years old. In the documentary, he says, “I loved working there. I got to watch the movies for free, got paid, and got free popcorn. It was like home away from home.” He also told how much the customers loved going to the movies. “It was an escape from reality. You can be anywhere you want to be just by looking out that magic window.” The Select Theater houses great memories for many long time Mineola residents. Some said that it was the only thing in town to do and they looked forward to going there every weekend. As youngsters, for 50 cents, they could get a soft drink, popcorn and a movie and stay all day. Dear and Thomas were a form of babysitter, making sure the kids were behaving and calling parents if they did not. Wagner stated in The Pride of Mineola, “Back in the early days, we did not have television, and the movies is where you would hear news about the war and other things.” It was common for news reels to show before the main feature started, especially during World War II. As teenagers, many took their dates to the movies. Some people met their future spouses there. And a lot of people had jobs there. The Select was a great place for young people looking for work.
By Judy Peacock The Historic Select Theater in Mineola — the oldest continuously operating theater in Texas — is 100 years old this year. It opened as a movie house in 1920, and has operated as such since then. A documentary put together by Mark Eversole Productions in 2013 entitled The Pride of Mineola, offers glimpses into the theater’s 100-year history. In it, Lou Wagner talks about her family who started the theater in 1920 — her grandmother Mattie Hooks and father Robert Hooks, Jr. “For some reason, my grandmother was interested in the motion picture busi-
ness,” Wagner says. “She was strong, not afraid of anything. She ran a successful business, and this was back before women could even vote. She would be very proud that it is still going.”
Wagner says, “There were not any jobs for teenagers back then, so if you got a job at the theater, you were really doing good.”
The first six years, the Select showed silent movies, before the start of talkies in 1926, which changed the movie industry forever.
Some not so good memories tie back to a day in 1962 when a tornado hit downtown Mineola. The movie theater was filled with kids. They heard loud noises, then the lights went out. When they were safely taken outside, they began to realize what had happened.
The Hooks family owned it until about 1961. At that time, they did not sell the building, but they sold the equipment to James Dear and Truman Thomas. Both had worked for the Hooks.
Kay Lamb, a theater supporter, says in the documentary, “I remember glass everywhere, crunching on glass as we walked. It is a big memory from my childhood.”
Dear began working there when he
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continued page 16
OPPOSITE PAGE: The Select Theater as it stands today still showing movies after 100 years. ABOVE: In the video “The Pride of Mineola” locals including singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves talk about the importance of the Select Theater. She sang and yodeled on the stage as a child. BELOW: A rendition of the original Select Theater. Courtesy photos
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 15
SELECT 100 continued from page
When Dear and Thomas wanted to retire, ownership transferred to Lake Country Playhouse. In The Pride of Mineola, Dear says the transfer was made “with the understanding that they still operate it as a motion picture house in addition to their hometown plays.” This worked well for the theater group, who purchased the building in 1993. Murray Parks of Lake Country Playhouse said that moving in was not just about respecting the building itself. “I think we knew before we started working on it that we were going to be both preserving and joining a long flow of history here in downtown Mineola,” he says. The theater still retains much of its historical style and ambiance from the 1920s. So, in addition to first run movies each weekend at the Select, Lake Country Playhouse presents four live theater productions each year. Local talent
from all around the Upper East Side of Texas star in, direct, and produce these plays to packed houses of fans from the region and beyond. Also taking the stage four times per year (in a normal year) is the Lake Country Symphonic Band, a 72-piece community band made up of members from small towns all across the region. These talented musicians range in age from 13 to 84. Executive director Mike Holbrook says, “The theater’s mission is to provide quality family entertainment for reasonable prices.” To meet this goal, they do not make a large profit. Movie distributors are very expensive, he says, but the Select still keeps their prices low. They are the only theater in Wood County and enjoy loyal patrons who keep the seats filled. For their first-run movies, they only charge $6 per adult and $4 for children 11 and under. They also offer Saturday matinees at $4. Their concession stand has a $2.50 candy counter with the most expensive thing costing only $5.
16 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020
They are a non-profit organization so donations are tax deductible. “We receive help from the community and through the kindness of strangers — through help backstage and by people auditioning for productions,” Holbrook says. “A lot of people work together to keep the arts alive here.” The Historic Select Theater is located at 114 N. Johnson Street in Mineola. Entering is like taking a step back in time, and it is a wonderful place for the community to gather and enjoy new shows as well as remembering the old. “This is a place where people can bring their grandkids and hear stories of ‘when I was your age, this is where I came on Saturday afternoons,’” Holbrook says. For more information, visit www.lakecountryplayhouse.com. The Mineola Historical Museum houses the Select’s original movie projector (below). Visitors can see how large it is and observe its mechanics up close. The museum also has the Select Theater’s original ticket booth (right), some theater seats, playbills, and equipment from the old theater. Photos by Judy Peacock
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 17
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Gourds Offer Unique Crafts, Business Opportunities By Lisa Tang Gourds, part of the squash and pumpkin family, are popular as crafts and gifts. They add a natural touch to decor and offer a range of possibilities. Some gourds become bowls, vases, or planters, while others make birdhouses or even jewelry. At age 12, Katy Power of Elkhart, Texas, is running her own business of growing, decorating, and selling gourds. She often uses the largest gourds, up to 20 inches long and 20 inches wide, for birdhouses or decorative bowls. She decorates tiny gourds of 3-5 inches as necklaces or Christmas ornaments.
in a joint effort with her mom, Lisa, who leads the classes, while Katy demonstrates painting the gourds. They teach gourd painting to adults at farmers’ markets, antique malls, and local churches.
and fertilizes the fields before planting. Just like any other crop, gourds have their challenges.
“I find it really fun to teach others how to [paint gourds],” Katy says.
Mature gourds weigh between 15-20 pounds. After the harvest, Katy cleans them with special tools and allows them to dry for four to five months.
Katy and her family are now making gourd birdhouse kits for sale at their farm or by mail. The kits contain a large gourd and other items for assembling a birdhouse including a paint brush, acrylic paints, and instructions.
“It’s fun to make the crafts and bird houses,” Katy says. “I really like all the possibilities and the things you can do with them.”
A natural entrepreneur, Katy started out selling lemonade at a farmers’ market at age 5. She later sold worms as fishing bait, but at 7, when someone at the market gave her some gourd seeds, she decided to grow and decorate them.
Katy also enjoys teaching others how to decorate the gourds. She offers classes
Growing and harvesting the gourds is a year-long process. Katy’s dad Frank tills
20 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020
“The deer love to get in there and chew on the vines,” Lisa says.
continued page 23
Katy Power of Elkhart (right), with her family’s help, grows and prepares decorative gourds to sell at farmers’ markets, Old Town Vintage & More in Palestine’s Main Street District, and mail order. Katy also enjoys teaching others how to assemble and decorate gourds while earning money for college. She wants to study art at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. BELOW LEFT: Katy shows a miniature gourd fashioned into a birdhouse necklace. BELOW RIGHT: Live gourds grow on the vine until November at the Power family’s 30-acre farm in Elkhart. Courtesy photos
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 21
22 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020
GOURDS continued from page
Sandie Thompson, owner of Old Town Vintage and More in Palestine, an antique and craft mall where Katy sells her work and teaches classes, is so supportive of Katy’s talents that she started a youth art show during Palestine’s Dogwood Trails Festival. “I was so impressed by her,” Thompson says. “I wanted to encourage kids to explore their talents.”
Katy’s penchant for growing a business is no accident. Lisa worked as an art director in San Diego before operating a printing business, which she owned for 15 years. Later, Lisa and Frank operated a specialty aquatic nursery, where they raised water lilies, koi, and lotus for ponds, popular on the West Coast. Pursuing their dream to own a little farm while living closer to family, Frank and Lisa Power purchased 30 acres near Elkhart and moved to East Texas about five years ago. As a parent, Lisa said her role is to guide and encourage while allowing Katy to explore new things. Lisa and Katy discuss their ideas, and she allows Katy to make some decisions. When Katy is not studying, farming, or painting in the art studio, she might be learning to code with Scratch, an online program, or reading library books. Or, she may be caring for two young goats and an Appaloosa mare named Bella, which she rides as a member of the Frankston Riding Club. “She’s a really good kid; I’m really lucky,” Lisa says. For information about purchasing decorative gourds or gourd birdhouse kits, or attending one of Katy’s classes, visit Katy’s Gourd Wagon on Facebook or call (903) 288-9851.
(Opposite page) Katy Power painting one of her birdhouses. (Top-right) These gourd necklaces show one of the plant’s many decorative purposes. (Bottom right) Two of Katy’s decorative birdhouse designs. Courtesy photos SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 23
THIS TIME OF YEAR SEPTEMBER 2, 1902
Clara Willoughby Made Significant Progress for State of Texas Clara Willoughby was born September 2, 1902, in Marshall, Texas. She was the great-granddaughter of James Harper Starr, secretary of the treasury for the Republic of Texas in 1839. Her maternal grandmother, Clara Clapp Starr, raised her after her parents — Ben and Clara (Starr) Pope — died during her early childhood. She attended Whitis School in Austin and graduated from the University of Texas in 1923 with a B.A. degree. After graduation she married Ray W. Willoughby and moved to San Angelo, where the couple made their home and eventually became prominent ranchers and civic leaders. They had two children. Clara was also a partner in the Starr Holding Company of Marshall, with interests in land, timber, banking, and oil. Her achievements included landmark improvements in child welfare and juvenile justice in Texas over a 50-year period. During the Great Depression, when the infant mortality rate was especially high, she helped organize Tom Green County's first well-baby clinic. She secured citizen volunteers to operate the clinic, local doctors to contribute services, and free vitamins for families in
need. Volunteers went into homes with donated milk, baby bottles, and a coffee can to demonstrate a simple and safe method for sterilizing infant formula. Another of her projects during the Great Depression was to organize the building of a Girl Scout headquarters in San Angelo on land donated by the city, with materials given by a local rancher, and through the labor of the Work Projects Administration. In 1949, while Clara was chairman of the Tom Green County Child Welfare Board, she became concerned that there were no trained social workers to protect children placed in foster homes and to screen adoptive families. "Children are being placed like kittens and puppies," she told legislators, regents, and business leaders to persuade them that state funding was needed for the professional education of child welfare workers. The result of her efforts was the establishment of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Clara insisted upon the same high standards of professional services for delinquent children. Noting that state law required no training for juvenile probation officers, she and other leaders lobbied the Texas Legislature to establish a state commission to set standards and to provide professional training. In 1981, as a result, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission was established. Clara became a charter member of the new commission, and during her tenure, juvenile probation services were first extended to all of the state's 254 counties. From 1968 to 1985 she was appointed by five consecutive governors to serve on the Governor's Criminal Justice Advisory Board and on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. During her years of service on these state boards, more than 5,000 grants were made to school districts, cities, counties, and private agencies to prevent juvenile delinquency and to provide
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shelter, counseling, education, and residential placement for juveniles referred to court. Clara was strongly committed to the preservation of local history. She donated Maplecroft, her ancestral home in Marshall, and surrounding land to the state. The Starr Family Home State Historic Site opened to the public in 1986. Some of the family heirlooms were donated to the University of Texas, where they are displayed in the WilloughbyBlake Room of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. Clara was honored with a special commendation by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in 1984, in recognition of her distinguished service on behalf of children; a Centennial commencement convocation in her honor at the Graduate School of Social Work at UT Austin in 1983, in recognition of her contribution toward founding the school; election to the Hall of Honor of the Texas Corrections Association in 1986; and receipt of the Governor's Tourism Award in 1980, in recognition of her donation of Maplecroft to the state. Two youth homes are also named in her honor: the Willoughby Youth Center in Marshall and the Texas Youth Commission's Willoughby House in Fort Worth. In 1984 her children endowed the Willoughby Centennial Professorship in Criminal Justice at the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, in honor of their mother's public service in that field. The Willoughby Centennial Professorship in Child Welfare is also endowed in her name at the School of Social Work. Clara died in San Angelo on August 3, 1985. The Starr Family Home State Historic Site is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 407 West Travis Street in Marshall. Download the visitors guide and learn more at www.visitstarrfamilyhome.com or call (903) 935-3044 for more information.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1934
SEPTEMBER 29, 1982
King Became Top Bluesman VIDEO
Monty Stratton Inspired Movie
On September 3, 1934, celebrated blues musician Freddie King was born in Gilmer, Texas. He moved to Chicago when he was 16 and developed his guitar style under the influence of Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, B.B. King (not a relative), and others. From 1950 to 1958 he played in neighborhood clubs and in the latter year made his professional debut. In 1963 he returned to Texas and settled in Dallas. In 1971 he recorded the first major live album ever made in Austin, at Armadillo World Headquar-
ters (AWH), known as “the House That Freddie King Built.” King opened AWH and returned periodically for fundraisers. His recordings with Shelter Records brought him recognition throughout the state as a “topnotch Texas bluesman.” Some of his classic songs were “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” “Highway,” and “Woman Across the River.” He died from a heart attack December 28, 1976, and is buried in Hillcrest Memorial Park on Northwest Highway in Dallas.
Monty Stratton died September 29, 1982, at the age of 70. Born in Greenville, Texas, he pitched five years for the Chicago White Sox. His career was shortened when he lost his right leg in a hunting accident in 1938. His comeback attempt was the subject of the 1949 movie “The Stratton Story” with James Stewart and June Allyson. Stratton is pictured above on set with Stewart. Learn more about him at the American Cotton Museum in Greenville and in the County Line archives.
Meet Caldwell Zoo’s New Baby Girl VIDEO
National Wildlife Day comes around every September 4 with a focus this year on endangered species. The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler is working to keep the endangered Reticulated
Giraffe breed going. They welcomed a baby girl, Xena June, on June 7. She endured some early challenges and this film shares her story. She’s available to see in person now from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. www.caldwellzoo.org. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 25
LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT
Check out the eMAGAZINE www.countylinemagazine.com for extended event listings.
As the blueprint for our nation’s government, it represents a set of beliefs and a way of life. The exhibition seeks to explain the immense importance of a document that holds answers to challenging questions of government, cryptic though it may seem. Developed by a national consortium of scholars and institutions, “The Blessings of Liberty” consists of 12 poster panels addressing the transformation of the United States from a group of colonies to a nation united by a single document.
Blessings of Liberty “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America
Beginning September 1, the Rockwall County Historical Foundation presents The Blessings of Liberty: The U.S. Constitution, an exhibition prepared for travel by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Blessings of Liberty is an exhibition examining the document upon which the United States was founded. Written to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” the Constitution is short, simple and often ambiguous.
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Panel topics include: • Articles of Confederation • The Union from 1781–1788 • The Constitutional Convention • The Founders’ achievement • Anti-Federalist arguments • Ratification • The Bill of Rights • Washington, DC • State and nation • The Supreme Court A private collection of historic memorabilia of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, drafters of the Constitution, along with Benjamin Franklin, a representative at the Constitution Convention is also displayed. Students have an opportunity to “vote” for their favorite statesman in the exhibit. The free display is open to the public at the Bailey House, 903 E. Washington Street in Harry Myers Park through September 30 during regular museum hours. (Tuesday through Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) For more information about viewing hours or to arrange group visits, contact the museum at (972) 722-1507 or or visit the website at rchfonline.org. Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, museum exhibitions and documentary films. For more information, visit Humanities Texas online at www.humanitiestexas.org or call (512) 440-1991.
Get Ready for Fall Fun
As soon as the weather starts to cool, the number of opportunities to get out and enjoy the Upper East Side of Texas increases significantly. It’s like that every year, but in this “pandemic pause” of 2020 it seems more important than ever. There are a handful of special events taking place that promise social distancing and other safety measures. Most of the farmers’ markets continue through at least the end of October. See a list of County Line market partners to find one close by or to plan a day trip around. Pictured at left is Caddo Lake, an adventure like no other. Caddo Lake State Park has a video to learn more. Boat tours go out from several locations around the lake. Big Cypress Tours, Captain Ron’s Swamp Tours, and Johnson’s Ranch Marina come with knowledgable guides and high ratings. Much of the region is part of the Prairies and Lakes section of Texas. The lakes are popular for fishing, swimming, boating, and other water sports. Search LAKES in the County Line Magazine Things To Do for a list of lakes in the region and what they have to offer. A favorite autumn activity for many this time of year is to pick a small town for a getaway home base, then explore the forest-lined backroads full of beautiful turning leaves. The fall foliage here is worth a trip on its own. For those who want more, each town has their own unique offerings for shopping, dining, and other things to do, plus places to stay.
“Caddo Lake” by Wendy Floyd. See more of her work on her company website, Simply Pictures.
The region is home to numerous zip lines, drive-through safaris and wildlife centers, nature trails, arboretums, and many other outdoor activities. Go to www. CountyLineMagazine.com and start planning your next adventure.
Social Distancing Here to Stay? Concerts, movies, theatre, and other events are now taking place all over the country in a drive-in format as shown at right. This one specifically is the plan for Parktober Fest, McKinney’s creative way of holding their annual Oktoberfest with social distancing guidelines. Check it out September 26 at The Cotton Mill. $65 includes a 20x20 parking spot and the stage entertainment. Tupps Brewery is on hand with keg tapping and stein holding competitions, and Brave Combo performs. For an additional fee guests can get traditional German fare as well as a variety of beers. www.mckinneyoktoberfest.com. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 27
Shields Brothers Toured as Barnum’s ‘Texas Giants’ When Barnum and Bailey’s talent scouts spotted the four strapping Shields Brothers in 1883, they invited the young men from Hunt County, Texas, to join the circus for $100 a week. Billed as “The Texas Giants,” the circus claimed their heights to be 7 feet, 8 inches and above. Barnum boasted they were “the tallest men in the world,” though their true heights remain a mystery. The Shields brothers moved from Alabama with their family and settled a farm near White Rock, Texas, with three older brothers in 1868. Father John Shields stood between 6 feet, 6 inches, to 7 feet tall, while their mother Penelope’s height was above average. The elder Shields brothers already had their own farms, but the four youngest, Jack, Frank (John Franklin), Guss (Augustus), and Shade (Shadrack) Shields, accepted the offer to travel with the circus over a life of toil on the farm. They soon eagerly boarded a train for New York. The foursome enjoyed an easy job at the circus. They stood on display in specially-made military uniforms and tall hats, even though they were too young to have fought in the Civil War. In exchange for daily appearances as one of Barnum’s exhibits, the brothers enjoyed a life of decent pay, train travel, and luxurious hotel accommodations. The brothers also peddled print photographs of themselves in uniform that listed their names and billed heights.
GUSS Guss (Augustus) was born March 16, 1851. He was 28 and billed at 7 feet, 9 inches when he joined the circus. He was also probably the most intelligent of the four brothers. He authored a pamphlet on the brothers and later taught school. Guss Shields discusses the family’s tall traits in a pamphlet he penned in 1884 soon after they joined the circus titled, A Biographical Sketch of the Four Texan Giants, The Shields Brothers. In it, he says that his maternal and paternal grandfathers were about 6 feet, 6 inches tall, as was his father.
The Shields Brothers during the time they were touring as the Texas Giants with the Barnum circus. (l-r) Shade, Guss, Frank, and Jack.
“We are from a family of giants and not a freak of nature,” he said. In a letter to his uncle Shadrack Anderson in Mineola on June 2, 1883, Guss describes in detail how their life was going while they were touring with P.T. Barnum. He said they are on “exhibition” from noon until 5:30 p.m., off an hour, then on again until 11 p.m. He describes impressive accommodations in Chicago, far different than what he had in Texas. “We have a nice large room with carpets on the floor; in fact, the whole floor is carpeted, even the stairs. We have a good bed spring mattress. The bedstead is supposed to cost $12 to $15; marbletop washstand, marble-top bureau and
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from appearance marble must be very cheap, for the fire board and from the fire board to the floor is all marble even the hearth is marble. I am writing on a marble-top center table and my idea is it is more extravagance than anything else.” He talks about their income as well. “Although we are boarded and R.R. fare is paid, our other little expenses have to be paid. We get $100 per week and make some on pictures and a little book which I wrote before we left home last spring. The most I have made in one day is $8.72, but that was the best day we have had for selling books and pictures. My part of the salary is $4.12 per day, so I have made about $6 clear
per day and we have an easy time, no responsibility nor no work.”
and later with other circuses. They had three children, all of average height.
Guss died on his 48th birthday March 16, 1889, and is buried at Kingston Cemetery, Hunt County. An obituary in the Dallas Morning News states he left a wife and several children.
After Annie’s death, Shade remarried and moved to Hornersville, Missouri. One account says Shade spent most of his time entertaining on river boats with his good friend William “Major” Ray, another circus veteran just three feet, five inches tall.
While Guss excelled at writing, his brothers pursued other talents.
John Franklin Shields was born September 27, 1853. He was 26 when he joined the circus and billed at 7 feet, 10 and one-half inches tall. Frank married three times and fathered many children, whose descendants still live near Greenville. During his marriage to Achasah Ross, the couple had 14 children. The most prolific of the four Shields brothers, Frank died November 7, 1910 at 57 and is buried in the Prairie Valley Cemetery, Lone Oak, Hunt County, Texas.
Jack Robinson Shields was born August 21, 1859 and was both the youngest and tallest of the Texas Giants, in life and legend. The circus boasted he measured just one inch short of 8 feet, but other records suggest he stood closer to 7 feet. Jack stayed with the circus seven years, and retired close to home, operating a grocery store in Kingston until his death on October 27, 1896, at age 37. Jack is buried at Webb Hill Cemetery, Wolfe City, Hunt County, Texas.
Shadrack Augustus “Shade” Shields was born December 1, 1855. He was likely the most famous of the four brothers and lived the longest, living to age 83. Billed at 7 feet, 8 inches, Shade was less of a giant than his taller brothers, but probably enjoyed showmanship much more. Relatives’ testimony and newspaper clippings show he was closer to 6 feet, 6 inches tall. Shade joined Barnum’s Circus at 19 and continued for roughly two decades. Not long after his brothers returned to Texas, Shade married a 7-foot “giantess,” a fellow performer who used the stage name Annie O’Brien. The newlyweds continued touring as the “Tallest Married Couple on Earth,” with PT Barnum’s show,
An article from The Reading Eagle, a newspaper in Dunklin County, dated December 26, 1926, tells the story of “Captain” Shade Shields, a former circus giant, and “Major” William Ray, a professional midget. Both 69 years old, they jointly owned a 400-acre farm near Hornersville, Missouri. The article says the pair became friends during their circus days. Ray left first and married and settled on the farm. He invited Shade to visit after he quit the circus that same year. “Liking life under the open blue sky better than life under the best grade of stock canvas,” the author writes, “he became a partner in the farm. On their Missouri farm the former circus men are getting too old to be particularly diligent in their farming so they have just cut down the acreage to what they can conveniently handle. They have a boat for fishing and they frequently use it. Captain Shields recalls with no little pride, ‘the four tallest brothers in the world.’ “We lacked little of being just that,” he says. “I was six feet nine back in those days and our tallest boy was just a trifle over seven feet with his boots on. I liked the circus, and circus friends are about the best friends in the world. But somehow I just like farming somewhat better.” Shade died January 1, 1939. He is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, in Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri, near Hornersville. Shade’s wife Elizabeth died three weeks later.
The Shields Brothers may have been giants, but most of their progeny achieved average height. Three exceptions were Marc, Terry, and Louis Freiberger, grandsons of Frank who played college basketball. At 6 feet 11 inches, Marc won a gold medal with the U.S. basketball team in the 1952 Olympics.
Greenville’s Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum displays memorabilia donated by the Shields family, proving the brothers were undisputedly tall, though not near what P.T. Barnum claimed along with his famous saying “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The museum displays a tall suit worn by Frank Shields and several photographs from the era. Claims of the brothers’ true heights vary, even among family members. In a self-published book titled The Texas Giants (1972), Weldon Shields, a grandson of Jack Shields, agreed with Barnum’s claims. However, Martha Shields Thayer, a granddaughter of Frank Shields, says according to his account, Barnum posed the brothers in elevator boots to make them appear taller. These accounts, plus a few newspaper articles and the museum display, comprise a handful of remaining sources about the once-famous Shields Brothers. In 2018, The Greenville Herald-Banner’s magazine, Greenville Life, featured the Shields Brothers in an article titled, “They might have been giants.” In it, writer John Markon analyzes varying claims about the brothers’ heights. “It’s likely Barnum (and other promoters) added about one foot to the height of every brother,” Markon states. A marker was placed in 1993 by descendants of the Shields Brothers in Kingston, at US Highway 69 N and CR 1038. Titled “The Shields Giants,” the marker commemorates their lives: “The Shields brothers, known as the ‘Texas Giants,’ were featured attractions of the Barnum & Bailey Circus in the 1800s, traveling throughout the Northeast U.S. and Canada,” the article states. “The four brothers grew up three and a half miles east of Kingston on a farm near the old Merrick community. After their retirement from show business, the brothers took an active part in the religious, civic and business life in Hunt County. Descendants of the brothers still live in the area.” Learn more about the Shields Brothers and other attractions at the museum and in a video about the exhibit with Executive Director Susan Lanning. Call (903) 450-4502 or visit www.cottonmuseum.com.
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Find Elegant Relaxation at The Emma Grace By Lisa Tang Sometimes it’s good to get away — without the hassle of airports, look-a-like hotel accommodations, or exorbitant prices. Weary traveller or city dweller, meet The Emma Grace, an inviting and elegant bed and breakfast with modern amenities where couples, families, groups and individuals enjoy a relaxing retreat. The Emma Grace is unique in its location and character. Cooper, Texas, sits between Sulphur Springs and Paris, less than 90 minutes from Dallas and about 45 minutes south of the Oklahoma state line. The county seat of Delta County, Cooper has a population of 2,000, and even the triangle-shaped county that’s hemmed in by three rivers, has less than 5,500 people. The small town location is perfect for the bed and breakfast owned and operated by mom and daughter team Jennifer and Meghan Dwyer. The venue’s combination of first-class accommodations, modern amenities, open common spaces, and historic charm are a few reasons The Emma Grace is growing in clientele and popularity.
Located near Cooper’s picturesque town square, The Emma Grace features the charm of a historic small town with a simple agricultural lifestyle inside a renovated historic commercial building but with modern amenities. Open spaces offer an abundance of comfortable seating and natural light, encouraging guests to refocus, relax, and enjoy being together. A spacious lounge and breakfast area, a gated outdoor garden with a large concrete fountain, and an upstairs living room, all with comfortable seating, are some of the spaces where guests can freely congregate. The Delta Room, complete with tables, chairs, and a fullsize kitchen, offers yet another space guests enjoy. Seven rooms, each with unique designs and furnishings, offer an enclave for private or group gatherings. The Moulin Rouge is a French-inspired suite suitable for a romantic getaway with a fireplace and claw-foot tub. The Clipper is a nautical-themed room that includes two bunk beds and comfortably sleeps up to six people. Two rooms, The State
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The Emma Grace lobby and breakfast area on the first floor feature abundant natural light, historic furnishings, and picturesque views of nearby historic buildings on 1st Street in downtown Cooper. The building was originally constructed as a hardware store in the early 1900s. Photos courtesy of The Emma Grace and Lisa Tang
Room and The Up North, are handicap accessible and pet friendly. The Ranch, The Botanical, and The Hemingway — which includes an antique wash basin, a writing desk, and a lounge chair — complete the list of themed rooms.
A New Purpose When the Dwyers bought The Emma Grace building five years ago, they had no plan for its use. In 1900, the structure was first built as a warehouse for a local hardware store. In the mid-1900s however, it served as a furniture store. The building still contained dozens of furniture pieces from that era when the Dwyers purchased it. Undecided on how to use the building, Jennifer researched what type of suscontinued page 32
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EMMA GRACE continued from page
tainable business would suit the community. After finding no local accommodations within 30 miles of Cooper, she decided to renovate the building as a bed and breakfast. With lots of persistent hard work, she is realizing her vision while honoring the building’s tradition with style, elegance, and comfort. Daughter Meghan manages and markets services, while Jennifer prefers greeting guests and preparing a range of delicious and creative breakfast items. The menu varies every day, and often celebrates seasonal flavors and local produce while accommodating clients’ dietary needs and restrictions. Guests enjoy breakfasts so much that they often ask if Jennifer is a trained chef, but she has taught herself to cook a range of flavorful cuisine. Thoughtful restorations and tasteful designs help preserve the building’s history and enhance its new purpose. Jennifer resurfaced wood floors on the second level and salvaged several furniture items to repurpose them for the new rooms. The Floral Room contains a light green carpet with large rose accents she found in a trash heap. She considered discarding it until a specialist salvaged the carpet by cleaning it and binding its edges.
All seven rooms have a bathroom and a stylish combination of furniture and decorations that incorporate Delta County’s history and heritage.
vice. A gazebo and park now stand in the town’s center in place of the former Delta County Courthouse, relocated behind the town square in the 1930s.
Since opening in 2018, The Emma Grace is still receiving five-star reviews on Facebook.
Guests may enjoy other area attractions such as Cooper’s U.S. post office, which features a Depression-era mural. A few blocks west of the square, visitors discover stories of the county’s early settlers at the Delta County Museum inside the town’s former train depot. For more area history, the Clara Foster Slough Museum in nearby Enloe is another worthy attraction.
“Wonderful, gorgeous addition to our small town,” says Katie Goodson, a Cooper resident. “The real beauty is in all of the well thought out details.” “The rooms were beautiful, the breakfast was delicious, and our hostess was so kind,” says Jessica Ward of Josephine, Texas. “I would definitely stay here again.” “This was one of the best stays anywhere I’ve ever stayed,” says Amanda Dawn Flores of Wichita Falls. “I love this place.”
Visible from the front window, guests particularly enjoy the proximity to Cooper’s town square, which complements the elegant atmosphere. The square features clothing and gift boutiques and many early 20th-century buildings are still intact. The square features two popular family restaurants, Tejano’s Mexican Grill and La Pietra Wood Fired Pizza, both offering dining room and takeout ser-
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Cooper Lake State Park is a popular destination for activities like fishing, swimming, kayaking, or bird watching, and is only a few minutes away. Another great day trip from The Emma Grace is Sulphur Springs, just a 20-minute drive. Its beautiful downtown plaza sports a castle-like courthouse, an incredible veterans memorial, and two “seethrough” bathrooms, all surrounded by shops and restaurants. Whether looking for a unique place for a special event or an escape to small town Texas, the welcome mat is always out at The Emma Grace. It is located at 131 Northwest 1st Street, Cooper, Texas, 75432. For reservations, call (903) 300-3131 and visit online at www.theemmagrace.com.
OPPOSITE PAGE: The upstairs living area offers comfortable seating and great views of Cooper’s downtown square. ABOVE: The Moulin Rouge suite — which features a fireplace and claw-foot tub — is a favorite retreat for cou-
ples at The Emma Grace. Each room features a different theme: CLOCKWISE (l-r): The Western Room, The Nautical Room, and The Hemingway Room. Photos by Lisa Tang
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 33
Gun Barrel City ...Shootin' Straight for 50 Years
When the Time is Right, Come Stay & Play. We Aim to Please!
November 13 - 14 Historic Downtown Winnsboro, Texas A Texas Official Cultural Arts District
Juried Artists Wineries Craft Breweries Foodies Cigars and More! Friday: 1 to 7 p.m. Wineries open until 8 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Can’t be there? Buy art virtually on Facebook @WinnsboroArtWine
903.887.1087 • www.gunbarrelcity.net
(More details coming soon)
LIVE. DREAM. EXPLORE.
Upper East Side of Texas WinnsboroOnlineGuide.com WinnsboroCenterfortheArts.com
county line UPPER EAST SIDE OF TEXAS
M A G A Z I N E
BRANDON MAXWELL Fashion Designer Making Women Feel Beautiful
f COMPLIMENTARY COPY
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KAREN MUSGRAVES CONNIE MIMS PINKERTON IRISH EAST TEXAS WRITING ON THE WALLS CHIHULY EXHIBIT LONGVIEW BALLET CHINN GUITARS HAP AND LEONARD OUTSTANDING WOMEN TRAILS OF NORTHEAST TEXAS
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(903) 963-1101 903.963.8306
Sidetrack in Mineola! Enjoy Nature, Shopping, Dining & Entertainment in Historic Mineola, Texas
IRON HORSE SQUARE
Playground, water tower, benches, train watching 200 West Front Street
MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET Every Saturday May-October 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
HISTORIC SELECT THEATER
First run movies, plays, band concerts 114 N. Johnson. (903) 569-2300 www.lakecountryplayhouse.com
MINEOLA NATURE PRESERVE 7:30 a.m. until sunset
MINEOLA HISTORICAL MUSEUM 114 Pacific St (Hwy. 69) (903) 569-2631
Restored 1906 Mineola Depot 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. 7 days a week. FREE
AMTRAK TEXAS EAGLE Designated Daily Stop 1-800-669-8509
1.800.MINEOLA • www.mineola.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 35
ARTS + CULTURE
“Flower Power,” 2002 by Al Souza. Photo by P.A. Geddie
See Al Souza’s Puzzling Pieces in Tyler By P.A. Geddie As the demand for jigsaw puzzles continues to surge during the pandemic, it’s nothing new to Al Souza. The artist takes them to whole new level as he takes sections of completed puzzles and reconfigures them with others sometimes four or five layers thick. Now on exhibition through October 18 at the Tyler Museum of Art, “Bits and Pieces: Works by Al Souza” features a variety of mixed media collages and assemblages from 2000 – 2010.
The works, including his jigsaw puzzle assemblages, showcase his ability to masterfully combine various parts to create a dynamic whole. Al Souza’s cut paper and assemblage works reconfigure familiar items into abstract or surreal compositions that often convey a Pop sensibility. In his early work Souza created what he called “photoworks,” small dioramas composed of photographs and related items mounted in wooden boxes; these pieces explored issues of perception and authenticity, and questioned the
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camera’s capacity to represent reality. More recently, Souza has produced what he calls “paintings,” dizzying, vibrant compositions in which he assembles and glues together thousands of related and unrelated parts of jigsaw puzzles salvaged from thrift stores and garage sales. Common subjects include brightly colored plants and organic matter, buildings, and painting supplies. The museum has a variety of other Souza works including a fun collection of spitballs.
American Watercolor Artists Show Work in Longview American Watercolor Society presents 40 paintings selected from more than 1,100 artists worldwide at Longview Museum of Fine Arts from October 9 through November 29. A sampling includes (above) “Members of the Wedding” by Susan Harper of McKinleyville, California; (below) “Industrial Revolution III” by Hollan Holmes of Euless, Texas, and (right) “My Brother’s Keeper” by Laurie Goldstein-Warren of Buckhannon, West Virginia.
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LITERARY George Bush Publishing Book of Immigrant Art Former President George Bush’s next book features portraits he’s painted of 43 immigrants, from Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki to Gilbert Tuhabonye, a legendary runner from Burundi, and golf great Annika Sorenstam. The former president’s Dallas-based library — George W. Bush Presidential Center, 2943 SMU Boulevard — announced that he’s releasing the book next spring.
Bush Presidential Center from March 2, 2021, through January 2, 2022. The title of the book and the exhibition was inspired by the Great Seal of the United States, which for generations has declared E Pluribus Unum — “out of many, one” — to remind people of America’s exceptional ability to unite individuals from all backgrounds and cultures as one nation.
Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants shares colorful portraits and accompanying stories. “At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation,” President Bush said in a statement. “It says something about our country that people all around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to our country. “Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world. Our generation must ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hopeful society the world has ever known. “We must always be proud to welcome people as fellow Americans. Our new immigrants are just what they’ve always been — people willing to risk everything for the dream of freedom.” The book serves as a companion to an upcoming exhibition at the George W.
ATTENTION POETS Submit your poem for possible inclusion in a future County Line Magazine. All ages.
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This is the second book of portrait artwork by President Bush. In 2017 he released Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors. It features a collection of his oil paintings and stories honoring the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans. To order the books or to get more information, go to www.bushcenter.org.
Westover Discusses Her Book in Free Online Event
Strong is the New Pretty Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker, shows — through more than 175 memorable photographs — the strength and spirit of girls being 100 percent themselves.
Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame, Indiana, presents “An Evening with Tara Westover” at 4 p.m. CST Wednesday, September 16. Set in conversation with Saint Mary’s president Katie Conboy, Westover discuses her memoir, Educated, and answers some of the most asked questions about her journey.
The book is an affirmation of the fact that it’s what’s inside that counts. Strong Is the New Pretty conveys a powerful message for every girl, for every mother and father of a girl, for every coach and mentor and teacher, for everyone in the village that it takes to raise a strong and self-confident person.
Watch Talk On Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The book explores her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with family loyalty. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the list for more than a year. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the L.A. Times book Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named Educated one of the 10 Best Books of 2018, and the American Booksellers Association voted it the Nonfiction Book of the Year. For her staggering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the 100 most influential people of 2018. This is a free virtual event but donations to the Saint Mary’s College Student Emergency Fund are appreciated. A video link is emailed to all registrants the week of September 14. Find more information and registration on www.saintmarys.edu/evening-tara-westover.
Exhibition curator Álvaro SantanaAcuña, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Whitman College, provides a deeper understanding of the life and creative process of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez in a talk held earlier this year, at the Ransom Center in Austin, Texas. This talk complements the Center's exhibition, “Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer,” and illuminates other one of a kind items from the writer's archives. The Colombian author became an immediate global success with his 1967 novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude,
translated into 45+ languages and selling more than 47 million copies worldwide. The Nobel Prize-winner’s personal archive resides at the Harry Ransom Center. The exhibition is comprised of approximately 300 items, including numerous documents never seen in public before. It explains how García Márquez became a literary star and a classic writer. Woven throughout the exhibition, correspondence, photographs, and videos illustrate how García Márquez’s professional circle supported his literary career.
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Big Barn Dance Goes Virtual This Year It’s Not Canceled, It’s Just Different Some Texas singer songwriters head up to Taos, New Mexico, every September for Michael Hearne’s Big Barn Dance Music Festival.
For this year’s show, they are having a virtual--only gathering from September 10-12, with more than 30 concerts. The lineup includes Michael Hearne, Balsam Range, Beat Root Revival, Bill Hearne Trio, Chuck Cannon, Bob Livingston, Gary Nicholson, Gary P. Nunn, Honey House, James McMurtry, Jed Zimmerman, Jimmy Davis, John Fullbright, Johnny Nicholas, Kelley Mickwee, Kimmie Rhodes, Michael Martin Murphey, Red Dirt Rangers, Rick Trevino, The Rifters, Robbie Fulks, Shake Russell, Shawn Camp, Shinyribs, South by Southwest, Susan Gibson, Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Mains, Tom Faulkner, Trout Fishing in America, Walt and Tina Wilkins, and Wood & Wire.
It’s free to tune in via their YouTube and Facebook live feeds, but they appreciate donations to help the musicians out. Go to www.bigbarndance.com and their Facebook page @BigBarnDance for more information.
Beat Root Revival is among the 30 concerts presented over three nights for this year’s Big Barn Dance.
Cody Canada and the Departed Play Drive-In Concert
Ragtime Texas Thomas Left Lasting Legacy Henry “Ragtime Texas” Thomas was born in Big Sandy, Texas, in 1874 and became some say the best songster ever recorded. Read more of his story in the County Line archives and listen to his “Bull Doze Blues by following the video link above. Sound familiar?
Cody Canada and the Departed are set to perform at the Drive-in Concert Series by Tupps Brewery at The Cotton Mill in McKinney 9 p.m. September 4. www.mckinneyperformingartscenter.org. Photo by Cameron Gott. VIDEO: “Unglued”
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Live Streaming This Fall
Four Talented Women and So Many More RUTHIE FOSTER
Ruthie Foster performs at CT Folk on September 9-12. Wednesday-Friday shows are 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday is 4-9 p.m. Other artists include Keller Williams, Don Flemons, Buffalo Rose, Among the Acres, Golden Oak, Monica Rizzio, Diana Alvarez, John John Brown, and Bumper Jacksons. Suggested donation of $10 per day. www.facebook.com/ctfolk/
Shawn Colvin is doing a live stream series called “Live From These Four Walls” with two dates left: September 12 and October 3. Listen to one of her hits, “Sunny Came Home,” and hear what she’s been doing since then as she gets up close and personal from Austin’s Arlyn Studios. There is a fee of $20 per show. Go to www.facebook.com/ShawnColvin to get tickets.
Sara Hickman is doing a live stream show at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas at 7 p.m. September 17. This is her first live performance concert since she retired in March of 2017. www.facebook.com/poordavidspub/
Hear Suzy Bogguss sing a new cut of an old song “Hey Cinderella” from a recently released album, and tune in to her Facebook page for her weekly “Wine Down Wednesday” show at 5 p.m. CST. She plays some and talks some and fans are enjoying getting to know her better from living rooms everywhere.
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FOOD & DRINK
Ditch and Switch Ingredients For Best Version of You meals at home allows an opportunity to put a healthy spin on favorite foods, and also provides full knowledge of all the ingredients. Eating in doesn’t mean giving up the most enjoyable foods, only preparing them differently. Swapping just a few ingredients turns an unhealthy meal into a more nutritious, and more delicious, choice. Macaroni and cheese is a go-to comfort food for many that is easy to tweak. Leave out the traditional noodles and sub in quinoa or chickpea noodles. Add a green such as broccoli, and top with a mix of organic cheeses. Throw in some grilled or sautéed chicken to add some protein. This meal now has a good balance of all the macronutrients and also tastes great. Grilling up some ground turkey patties seasoned with garlic and spices is a simple switch for a typical fast food burger. Top with avocado, jalapeno, or grilled mushrooms and onions. Instead of a hamburger bun, try using some large lettuce leaves as a substitute. Leaving off all the mystery sauces that are added onto many fast food burgers, often made with unhealthy oils or fats, eliminates a ton of extra calories. If French fries are a craving, cut up some small red potatoes and sprinkle with avocado oil, salt, and pepper and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. They are the perfect healthier alternative.
By Rachel Wilbanks You are what you eat. This age-old saying is one most people have heard at least a few times. There is so much truth in these words, yet the notion is often ignored. The human body takes what is eaten and — through different processes — breaks it down to use in helping to rebuild and replace certain structures. The body is capable of some incredible things, if it is provided with adequate amounts of the vitamins and nutrients that keep it working well. Unfortunately, many people in today’s often hectic, reactive lifestyle, don’t
give proper body fuel the deliberate attention it deserves. The standard American diet is full of processed, prepackaged, and fried foods that are devoid of nutrients. Whole foods are out, and convenience meals are in. It is not uncommon to find high fructose corn syrup listed as a main ingredient on many food nutrition labels. This is just one of the many cheap, processed sweeteners that is being added to foods that is both unhealthy and avoidable. There is no better time than now for positive change. Take a break from fast foods and pizza delivery and learn to enjoy the cooking process for a better you. Preparing
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Have a weakness for pizza? Swap the dough out for a cauliflower crust. Replace the commonly eaten toppings with some fresh spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and sprinkle some mozzarella and goat cheese on top. Replacing the sauce with olive oil is a tasty option. Pizza isn’t a bad choice as long as it prepared with fresh, nutritious ingredients. There is no reason to completely cut things out or give things up that you enjoy. Simply focus on small modifications to create a healthier, more nutrientdense version of any favorite meal. Take control and start loading up on everything the body needs to run optimally. Rachel Wilbanks is in the Health Promotion Bachelor of Science program at the University of North Texas
Foster’s Now Offers Town and Country Locations By Lisa Tang People from all around the Upper East Side of Texas enjoy the vibe at Art Foster’s first restaurant, Foster’s Place Restaurant & Pub in Pickton, Texas, since it opened in 2010. With good food, live music, and its middle-of-nowhere “getaway” location, it’s a popular dining destination for many. Regulars from the larger town of nearby Sulphur Springs — about one-third of the original Foster’s clientele — urged him over the years to open a restaurant in the Hopkins County seat. With his market research complete, Foster began looking for a suitable location. After a few years went by, he eventually found the right fit and purchased a building at 313 Main Street near downtown Sulphur Springs and calls it Foster’s Filling Station. While Foster’s Place in Pickton still thrives on a combination of popular American entrees, a large variety of craft beers, and live musical performances on a large outdoor porch two or three times a week, Foster refined his concept for his second location to better meet the needs of the town called “Celebration City.” The new Foster’s is a sleeker, streamlined protégé. It has an indoor dining capacity of 55, roughly one-third smaller than Foster’s Place, which can seat up to 70 patrons indoors. Both locations have outdoor dining. The new menu is also smaller, offering a selection of craft burgers made of grass-fed beef from Rail 19 Quality Meat Company north of Sulphur Springs. A short list of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, chicken, and craft sodas on tap are available on Foster’s new menu, but the focus is on gourmet burgers to complement the restaurant’s 100-plus craft beers. Foster says his gourmet burgers contain top-notch ingredients like sour dough and brioche bread, farm-fresh lettuce, and sauces made on-site. “We use good quality ingredients, and many are locally sourced,” he says. “We’re taking that normal burger to a different level.”
Foster’s new location in Sulphur Springs features a streamlined menu, but does not cut back on the 100 or more craft beers available. Courtesy photo
The Angry Mexican tops the list with salsa made in-house, jack and cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and shredded lettuce. Hot & Bothered, The Banker, and the Brunch — which combines sausage, fried egg, cheddar, and mustard — round out the list of specialty burgers. Standards include the Filling Station, Black & Bleu (with smoked bacon and bleu cheese dressing) and the Mushroom Swiss Burger. Sandwiches include a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Which Came First, a combination of grilled chicken, a fried egg, Filling Station Sauce, and chopped lettuce. Despite the streamlined menu, Foster does not cut back on spirits. The Filling Station sells 100 varieties of beer, wine, and ciders delivered by Texas distributors and breweries from across the country. Best Maid Sour Pickled Beer, Salsa Verde Hatch Chili & Tomatillo Ale, 903 Brewers Peanut Butter Stout, Lagunita’s Hazy Mem-
ory, and Rosemary Plum Hard Cider are just a few choices. There’s no question regulars are attracted to the Foster’s Filling Station atmosphere. A large garage door built between the dining areas can open to allow guests to enjoy entertainment indoors and out. “It makes the place more lively,” Foster says. “It gives a different feel, a different vibe when there’s live music.” A separate, enclosed carry-out counter in front of the new restaurant allows patrons to conveniently order and pick up food, beer, and wine, but they’re also welcome to sit down a while, enjoy the music, and sip a craft beer or cider. Foster’s Filling Station is open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (903) 919-3759 or visit their Facebook page.
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Enjoy Sophisticated Flavor at Queen St Grille
By Lisa Tang Built more than 100 years ago as part of The Redlands Hotel, the Queen St Grille offers an elegance and historic character that celebrates Palestine’s railroad heritage with sophistication and flair. The Grille offers everything available at top-rate metropolitan establishments, yet in a more relaxed, small-town atmosphere. The menu features high-end Angus steaks, a variety of appetizers and exotic seafoods, specialty cocktails, and handmade desserts. Locals and travelers alike enjoy the Grille’s casual fine dining experience in the restored restaurant. Hotel guests can enjoy lunch, dinner, and brunch during getaways that celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or other special events. The restaurant’s airy, inviting interior retains its original elegance as the premier dining room of thebooming railroad town. Tall, open windows offer picturesque views of two historic buildings, Palestine’s Carnegie Library and Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
The Grille’s Chef Sam Moffitt is Pales-
tine’s steak aficionado. Both the steaks and the chef are loved by the locals as they made them winners in the town newspaper’s 2020 Readers Choice awards. The Grille’s menu features 8 oz. 1855 Brand Black Angus Filet and 12 oz. 1855 Black Angus Ribeye, both cut by hand and cooked to tender perfection. Moffitt says 1855 Black Angus steaks sell for twice as much in larger metropolitan areas. “We try to carry the best we can to serve to a market that is affordable and not overpriced,” Moffitt says. “For the products we serve, we could ask for more in a bigger city.” A full wine menu complements the restaurant’s fine steaks and entreés. A recent addition is Clos DuVal Cabernet from Napa, California, which has aromas of blueberry, cinnamon, and cloves, and a light texture. “This is a perfect wine for steaks,” says Jean Mollard, co-owner of The Redlands Hotel.
Tasteful Experience Chef Moffitt aims to please his clientele with specialties that rival any metropolitan steakhouse. The chef’s two decades of experience allow him to experiment
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ABOVE: Crab cakes served with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus; RIGHT top left, clockwise: Braised Pork Osso Bucco; the elegant dining room; sea scallop on rice pilaf with artichoke hearts; the Royal Burger comes with a fried egg, a popular brunch item, and the Black Angus ribeye is one of their specialties. Courtesy photos
with new flavors and combinations and frequently add new items to the menu. Moffitt’s Lobster Mac & Cheese is an appetizer favorite among guests. The dish is comfort food at its finest, with four ounces of lobster tail, creamy cheese sauce, and a savory truffle oil. Shrimp Cocktail, a Cheese Board, and Roasted Artichoke Hearts are other appetizer selections. Seafood delicacies are always on the menu. The Grille currently offers Crab Cakes, Chipotle Salmon, and Swordfish. Other entreés include Lambchops, Chicken Fried Ribeye, and the Oaxacon Tomahawk Porkchop, a melt-inyour-mouth tender cut with Spanish and Native American influences. The Grille serves this dish with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes. Side dishes served with other mains include rice picontinued page 46
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QUEEN ST GRILL continued from page
laf with asparagus or mixed veggies. Handmade desserts like Tuxedo Cake, Chocolate Ganache Cake, Tiramisu, and Key Lime Pie richly complement the dinner menu and add formality to any special occasion.
Cocktails to Cocoa Cocktails are reminiscent of the town’s railroad history, with names like Rusty Spike, Switch Back, Train Wreck, Brass Rail, and Runaway Train. Mollard says many of today’s cocktail recipes were served at the restaurant when it opened in 1914. A wine flight featuring smaller portions of wines from Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards in Pittsburg, Texas, allows guests to sample the vineyard’s range of flavors. Varieties include Blanco Grande, Pink Tuscadero (a red zinfandel), Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese. The bar also serves standard beers, craft beers, and a variety of wines from California, Washington, France, Italy, and New Zealand. Hot drinks for chilly winter nights include Irish Coffee, Buttered Rum Cof-
fee, and hot cocoa, a favorite of visitors who stay at The Redlands during the holiday season. Hotel guests find that a stay at The Redlands pairs well with the Texas State Railroad’s train excursions. Moffitt says he welcomes families with young children and offers menu items pleasing to them. As a parent, the chef recognizes that any dining experience is difficult with young children, so he offers kid-friendly menu items and visits them in the dining room, or may send their dessert out early to keep them occupied while parents enjoy their meal. “I strive to take care of the little ones because I have a few of them,” he says. “If the kids are happy, the parents can have a better dining experience.”
Cooking Up Variety Menu variety is a standard at the Grille, changing about four times a year. Moffitt’s experience helps him adapt flavors from different cultures, which he tastefully and experimentally adds to different meats, fish, and vegetables. Asian cuisine, one of the chef’s favorites, inspires several new dishes. Moffitt trained as a French pastry chef in Houston then worked at the former Alden Hotel and the Magnolia Bakery
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ABOVE: Cocktails are available in the bar adjacent to the Queen St Grille or with dinner. Many are named for Palestine’s railroad history like the Train Wreck, Brass Rail, and Rusty Spike. Courtesy photo
in The Woodlands. He hails from Tyler originally, where he began working at a family-owned Italian restaurant at age 12. Moffitt says he still enjoys making savory Italian dishes like Chicken Piccata, another Grille mainstay. Changes provide variety for the Grille’s upscale local clientele, Moffitt says, as do special events. For example, the Grille offers a Sushi Night the third Wednesday of each month. Brunch, served Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is an event guests of all ages enjoy. Popular items include Queen St Shrimp & Grits, the Royal Burger, Sausage & Waffles, and kid-friendly options. Queen St Grille is open for dining, takeout, or delivery. Call (903) 723-2404 to order or make reservations, which are not required, but suggested. Visit www. queenstgrille.com to see their menu or for information.
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 Living & Playing 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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