November/December 2021 County Line Magazine

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Upper East Side of Texas



The Sweet Life Syrup Folklife Festival

UNRAVELED Fiber Arts Exhibit

Miss Ashley’s Loft New Downtown View


Honoring the Warriors

Live Music, Savory Soups Good Reads, Bigfoot, Turkey Trot, Urban Sketchers, Seeking Place

Spring Parnell Artist On the Rise

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GOOD NEWS for the Upper East Side of Texas

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8 Spring All Year Long

Spring Parnell recently won a $10,000 award, getting arts career on track. By P.A. Geddie

14 The Sweet Life

The Heritage Syrup Festival in Henderson celebrates fresh pure cane syrup. By Lisa Tang

18 Honoring Vietnam Veterans

The Wall That Heals honors those who gave their lives in Vietnam seeks to give a proper homecoming to those who survived. By P.A. Geddie

42 30

14 40

DEPARTMENTS 5 Editor’s Note


26 Tye Sheridan, Mason jars, Winter Solstice, Grand Saline, and Cactus Jack

LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT 28 Turkey Trot, Tom Papa, Bigfoot Films, Christmas on Main, A Christmas Carol 30 Miss Ashley’s Loft 32 Edgewood Heritage Festival

36 18

ARTS & CULTURE 34 “Sherry Giryotas: Seeking Place,” “Coreen Mary Spellman: Works on Paper,” ArtWalk Longview, Urban Sketchers, “Oh Christmas Tree” 36 Unraveled: The Threads that Connect

LITERARY 38 We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Landing in My Present, Upper East Side of Texas: Small Towns & Cultural Districts 39 Music and Lyrics of the Vietnam Era

MUSIC 40 ZZ Top, Crystal Gayle, Brady Seals, Jenn Ford 42 Bowery Stage Presents Adler & Hearne, Miguel Antonio with Marcelo Berrestovoy, and Swearingen & Kelli playing music of Simon & Garfunkel

Spring Parnell poses with one of her colorful landscape oil paintings. Photo by Wayne



FOOD & DRINK 44 Savory Soups by Lauren Wacaser


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EDITOR’S NOTES Dear Readers, This issue stirs me to the bones.

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


ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lisa Tang CONTRIBUTORS Lauren Wacaser Judy Peacock Tracy Torma Jim Willis Ine Burke Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA Wayne Gaddis



County Line Magazine eEdition is published every other month, 6 times a year in digital format. 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) 312-9556. E-mail: Website: Free listings are entered on a space available basis. Advertising space may be purchased by calling (903) 312-9556. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we deem incompatible with our mission.

First, I’m thinking about a treasured can of pure cane syrup my father kept in a cabinet high above the stove in the house where I grew up. It was his special “pot of gold” and he savored every gooey drop of it. He’d take it down every now and then and enjoy a spoonful, or gently dribble it over pancakes. When my father was a boy, his older brother-in-law worked for a while cutting cane and sometimes brought pieces home for the kids to enjoy. Chewing on the sweet stalks was one of Dad’s favorite childhood memories. Lots of folks can see how syrup is made and get a taste of pure sweetness at the Henderson Heritage Syrup Festival on November 13. Visitors find other demonstrations as well by blacksmiths, broom makers, spinners, and others that give us a nostalgic break from stresses of today. Another place to step out of this time zone is in Edgewood on the same day. This year’s annual Edgewood Heritage Festival pays tribute to one of the founders of the event and the historical park where it takes place. Pattizo Humphries passed away last year from COVID-19. She’s one of the first people I met when I moved to the Upper East Side of Texas. She welcomed me with open arms and we had the best conversations about history, the region, and our mutual love of “getting good things done.”

I am so grateful for Pattizo and to all the tree shakers and leaf rakers making good things happen for our communities. Another such person is Mandy Kennedy and her team who are bringing The Wall That Heals to Sulphur Springs November 4-7. It’s a replica of the monument in Washington DC, built to honor the warriors of the Vietnam War — both those whose names are on the wall who died in service to our country and also to those who survived. Organizers say the wall is a gesture to all Vietnam veterans to let them know that the country cares about them and as a nation we all continue to heal from the wounds of that horrible war. I am grateful for our veterans, for our community givers, and for artists like Spring Parnell who color our world and unite us as human beings. Get to know our cover girl in this issue and numerous other artists, writers, musicians, culinary chefs, actors, and others who weave threads of joy and understanding through our daily lives. As we find 2021 coming to a close, I look back over a year that was exceptionally challenging for everyone I know. I am grateful for the kind and talented people that make walking through life easier and deeply meaningful. May these last weeks of the year find you with your own “pot of gold” in the Upper East Side of Texas. P.A. Geddie

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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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CHECK OUT COUNTY LINE DIGITAL PUBLICATIONS 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

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REMEMBRANCE Sunday, November 14, 2021, 2:30 pm

A musical tribute to those who left us, with dramatic soprano Corrie Donovan, strings and piano. Richard Strauss, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Krzysztof Penderecki, and more.



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Sometimes It’s Spring All Year Long

Photo by Wayne Gaddis

Spring Parnell Wins Award, Reigniting Art Career

By P.A. Geddie Artist Spring Parnell and her family recently moved from Quitman to a small apartment in Longview to be closer to her job as a high school art teacher. Parnell creates lively, colorful landscape paintings. A cramped family dining room is her “studio.” In the middle of packing and moving a household of four — including children ages 9 and 6 — Parnell received a call from Ruthann Askew — chair of the Marty Zewick Artist Award committee — letting her know she was selected as the winner of a $10,000 award. “I burst out in laughter and tears,” Parnell says, “I couldn’t believe it. I’m really excited.” The award is a project of the nonprofit Van Zandt Arts & Cultural District Foundation. It set out to honor the late artist Marty Zewick of Edom who passed away May 28, 2020. Zewick was one of the founders of the Edom Art Festival, now in its 49th year, as well as the Edom

Craft Community. She was one half of the jewelry-making team of Zeke and Marty and a life-long creator who intimately knew the struggles of establishing and sustaining an art practice.

(Above) Spring Parnell poses with one of her colorful landscape paintings. (Opposite top) “Cascading Light” is 36 x 59 inches in three panels; (opposite bottom) “Through the Trees” is 36 x 36 inches.

Zewick’s friends and patrons thought helping out an artist in need was the perfect way to honor her. Others that appreciated the cause pitched in as well and a surprising $10,000 was raised. Parnell was selected out of 58 artists who applied.

“I knew that the winner could be in the show and when I realized I got to be a part of the festival after all I was so excited.”

“I am so honored to receive this award,” Parnell says. “I definitely feel how much Marty was loved. I’m so glad she had a great group of friends and I look forward to learning more about her through their stories.” Besides the $10,000, the other big perk for Parnell is that the award came with booth space at the Edom Art Festival that took place October 9 and 10. She had heard about the famous festival from a fellow artist and went to apply for it earlier this year but had missed the deadline.


Parnell is originally from Kotzebue, Alaska, and is a native of the Inupiaq and Yupik tribes. She comes from a blended family with lots of sisters and brothers and nearby cousins and other extended family. Just 26 miles above the Arctic Circle, the bright dancing, entertaining Northern Lights stirred her imagination. “I remember nights taking out the trash and realizing just above me were the most amazing Northern Lights performance I’ve ever seen,” she recalls. “Bright green and purple waves of light dancing down right above me.”

Scenes like that began to form ideas and once in the 5th grade, with oil pastels in hand, she drew a large bright orange sun. “It had sun rays that filled the entire page. I remember that I felt a sense of pride and satisfaction at the piece of work I created.” Her passion for creating art continued to fuel through middle school and high school and before long she knew it was her calling. Her senior year she was voted “Most likely to climb a skyscraper and be a starving artist in New York.” But even after graduating from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she didn’t think art could be a career. “No one ever told me that I should or could make it as a professional artist,” she says, and she didn’t think of it as an option until many years later. Parnell returned to Alaska and was doing ministry work when she met her husband Charlie from Texas. “We were coworkers for a year and took continued page 10 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 9

boro Center for the Arts, and this year she entered a painting at the Texas State Fair that won a third place ribbon. “Since July, I’ve been very consistent,” she says, producing what she could with limited supplies and space. One of her pleas for the Marty Zewick Artist Award was simply, “I have no more canvas. I’m out of Titanium white. I need to paint.” Parnell’s landscape paintings are bright and colorful in hopes, she says, to draw viewers in to stay a while “in the quietness of the scene, to listen to the sounds of the grass.” Each piece is created with lines and shapes that evoke a sense of stillness, with brush strokes visible throughout the borders. While she enjoys capturing the Texas landscapes now, it was in a barren Alaska where she learned to look very closely to enjoy “the gift of the land and the joy of being present in it.” “If you’re skilled at looking, or wise at finding, or simply blessed by being, then it no longer is barren, or dark, or hard,” Parnell says. “Out there are many animals, fish, birds, willows, tundra, and the sea, that make sound. But not only that, there’s grass and wind. Sometimes the wind is warm and sometimes it comes with a bite. But the sound it makes through the grass one can find only by being still.”

PARNELL continued from page 9

one of her artistic role models, Erin Hanson.

people fishing and hiking in Alaska. We became best friends and then started dating.”

“She said I could do it, that I could make it as a professional artist,” Parnell says, and coming from Hanson she paid close attention. “After that experience, I thought more seriously about it.”

They married in 2009 and both their children were born in Alaska before the family moved to Texas. They lived in Longview for six years, then in Quitman five years until their recent move back to Longview. She worked for LeTourneau University a while and was a Pre K aide at Quitman Elementary before getting a full time teaching job at Pine Tree High School. Over the years she dabbled in painting and in 2016 she even got a booth at Art in the Square in Dallas. There, she met

With her kids still in toddler stages, she didn’t get really serious until they were a little older. In 2020 someone commissioned a painting from her, then she painted another soon after, and she started seeing her work improve and it reignited the passion for it that was always there. Since then, she’s participated in ArtWalk in Longview, exhibited at Main Street Gallery in Tyler and at Winns-


Her father taught her to listen to the “sounds of the grass” she says, and she finds peace there in the stillness, beauty, and in her landscapes. Being tied to the land is an important piece of her artistry. Parnell says she has hundreds of photos she’s ready to turn into paintings, like one she recently completed called “Within the Irises.” “They’re so beautiful, so strong, yet so delicate,” she says, noting she hopes others enjoy her work and that inspires her to keep going. “Looking at a painting, I get lost in it. If a painting depicts a rainy day, I’d probably open up an umbrella.” Parnell says she has a never-ending drive to be a professional artist and it is important to her to get her work into galleries. She hopes to have a place of her own someday.

(Opposite) “Arrival’ is a commissioned piece; (Above) “Texas Dawn” is 30 x 40 inches, one of the many Texas landscapes Parnell enjoys capturing with oils on canvas.

“I often envision someone walking home one dark evening, and they stop to look at one of my landscapes in front of this bright big open window and gazing through the warm glow it reveals all the rich textures and vivid colors.” She enjoyed showing at the Edom Art Festival and her work is on display and for sale at Zeke & Marty’s Studio in Edom for the coming year. She loves spending time with other artists during festivals and gets melancholy as they all start to pack up. “In those times, I have to hold back tears. Because I’m afraid I won’t experience them again or they get lost. It’s a time of making friends with surround-

ing artists, talking and laughing with fellow art lovers. It feels like I’m walking in another time. Like in the 1920s, with Louis Armstrong or some French song playing, and dusk has settled in. The lights are shining brighter.” Parnell says she’s motivated now to produce paintings on a regular basis. “Although I have cried at the thought of pushing a wheelbarrow full of my paintings, with no buyers, I still believe. I believe that my paintings will bring joy to someone’s dining room. Or that ‘Yellow Giants’ will welcome guests in someone’s entryway. Maybe, while viewing ‘Within the Irises,’ someone will be mesmerized as they try to smell them or simply lounge in front of them for a while as if within them — while feeling the breeze, hearing the birds, closing their eyes, with only the sun’s bright orange light to warm them.”

Now that she’s motivated, and has the funds to help, she’s hoping to get to do some solo shows next year and wants her own gallery and space to store and dry large paintings. “I’m really excited to get a body of work going to really see what I can do, and now I have canvas and paint to be able to do that and get my work out there.” The little apartment dining room has a table that’s been in her husband’s family since he was a child. She has a cart that holds her brushes and an easel next to the table. While she can, and does, paint there, it’s limiting, and she’s looking forward to having more space and her own gallery soon. “Things are moving along quickly now,” she says. “The dream is starting to become a reality.”


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

Reach those 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 • (903) 312-9556 12 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021


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The Sweet Life

Heritage Syrup Festival Celebrates Folk Traditions

By Lisa Tang Back in the days when more Texans lived on farms than in cities, syrup time in November was a big treat. Families all over the region gathered to make pails of syrup from tall ripe stalks of sugarcane. They guarded it carefully and used it as a sweetener in homemade goods all year long. The city of Henderson and people from Rusk County revived the folk tradition of syrup making more than 30 years ago when they brought the annual Heritage Syrup Festival to life. Now in its 32nd year the annual celebration draws roughly 10,000 visitors to the Depot Museum grounds and historic downtown Henderson. This year’s festival is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, November 13. Traditional syrup-making gatherings were held weeks after harvesting the main crop yet before the onset of cold weather. They were as much about socializing and spending time with extended family as they were about making the cherished syrup. Grandparents and grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and cousins, and all the aunts and uncles from extended family from miles around gathered every year to help. The time-honored process brought out the best in everyone. Each family brought their own skill, implement, or ingredient. Some brought the sugar cane; another provided the large cop-

per pan for cooking the syrup; still others brought their mules or kindling wood to feed the fire. Everyone pitched in to help. Depot Museum Director Vickie Armstrong recognizes the festival’s importance as a social event much like syrup time was a century ago. “Families enjoy meeting here and enjoying a day of having fun, entertainment, and history,” she says. “It’s the social occasion we have that helps us keep history alive.” Organizers call the annual Heritage Syrup Festival “the sweetest festival in Texas” and are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the festival’s two locations — the Depot Museum and Historic Downtown Henderson — which are only a few blocks apart. The Depot Museum at 514 N. High Street features heritage demonstrations and artisan goods on its five-acre historic grounds while Henderson’s Main Street district offers a street fair along 10 city blocks with a variety of modern goods and street foods. The festival started in 1987 when a small group of Henderson residents decided to hold a syrup-making demonstration on the Depot Grounds to draw more visitors to town. Roughly 100 people attended the first festival and the celebrations grew quickly in subsequent years with more activities, vendors, and exhibits.


(Above) The syrup-making team feeds stalks into a crusher as a mule walks in a wide circle to power it. (Opposite top) Jack Hanel feeds stalks of ribbon cane into the crusher, demonstrating the time-honored process of syrup making. (Opposite bottom) Syrup flows into a large flat copper pan where pushers remove the stalks while keeping the syrup moving as it boils off extra water.

Just one acre of sugarcane produces 500 to 600 gallons of syrup. A week before the festival the museum purchases 2,000 of the sweet stalks. The volunteer syrup-making team involves many roles and uses traditional methods and equipment. Some educate the public and explain the process which begins by feeding the stalks of sugarcane into a crusher. A mule powers the crusher by walking in a wide circle known as the crushing mill sweep. After crushing, the cane juice flows through a pipe and travels below the ground to a pump a few yards away. A fireman feeds the stove with kindling to keep the flames hot while the cane juice flows gradually into a large copper pan. Volunteers use long-handled paddles to skim pieces of stalk and push the juice while it cooks slowly. The cooking thickens the juice to a tenth of its original volume, making one gallon of syrup for every 10 gallons of cane juice. “This is all happening under the watchcontinued page 16


and flintknappers, who make arrowheads. Storytellers and folk musicians perform on the grounds where there’s also an antique tractor and engine show. The Depot Museum grounds include 12 or more historic structures. Some are open the day of the festival, including the Beall Ross House, an operating print shop and a saw mill, cotton gin, and carousel. A Native American teepee, the Walling cabin, the Arnold Outhouse, an old saw mill, a train caboose, an oil derrick, and an old dry goods store are also on display. Most visitors to the festival come from around the region and even other states for the same reasons people gathered to make syrup more than 100 years ago — to see family and friends and enjoy their favorite traditional foods such as corn dogs and kettle corn. Once the festival outgrew the Depot Grounds, the Rusk County Chamber of Commerce offered to extend it to Henderson’s Main Street Historic District. With more entertainment, vendors, and favorite foods the crowds keep growing each year. The county’s 4H Clubs now offer a hay ride shuttle between the two locations at $2 per person per day to raise money for the club’s youth activities.

(Top) The syrup-making team includes members of all ages to ensure the folk art continues for many years to come. Standing at the table are (l-r) Brenda Hanel, Mark Wheat, Jacob Dygert and Cannon Smith. (Bottom) Roughly 2,000 stalks of ribbon cane grown in Hallsville, Texas, arrive a week before the festival for the syrup making demonstration.

SYRUP continued from page 15 ful eye of the syrup master who gives the okay for the syrup to be ‘poured up,’” Armstrong says. After cooking, the syrup is removed from the pan and allowed to cool, then canned in metal pails. Syrup is available for purchase inside the museum all year long. Armstrong relies on a core group of 15

volunteers who each have their own important jobs. The group includes many younger members to ensure the tradition continues for years to come. “Its purpose is not only to bring tourism to Henderson but also to educate the public on this art before it’s gone,” Armstrong says. Syrup making is just one of many folk arts demonstrated at the annual festival. Visitors can see demonstrations by blacksmiths, broom makers, spinners,


The festival’s Main Street portion includes activities with arts and crafts booths, retail vendor booths, food, antique and classic car exhibits, musical entertainment, cloggers and square dancers, Henderson Civic Theatre Melodrama, and the Howard Dickinson House and Museum. Children’s activities include pony rides, face painting, and inflatables such as bounce houses and slides. Admission for syrup making at the Depot Museum is $3 for adults, $1 for children, and free for veterans. There is no admission charge to the downtown events. For information visit www.visithendersontx. com or call (866) 650-5529. ​​ The Depot Museum is open year-round, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information about the Depot Museum and adjoining Children’s Discovery Center, visit Call (903) 657-4303 to confirm availability of outdoor tours.


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Welcome Home Ceremonies Honor Vietnam Veterans

By P.A. Geddie In the 1950s most Americans weren’t familiar with a little country called Vietnam almost 9,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Texas. It borders China to the south, appearing on maps as a small slither of land with 2,140 coastal miles along the South China Sea. The whole country is just slightly larger than the state of New Mexico. France and Japan fought to control it for many years and the North Vietnamese formed their own communist regime. The Cold War between the communist Soviet Union and the anti-communist United States was under way during those years with both superpowers competing for dominance through psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns, espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. They also each supported major regional conflicts called proxy wars. The Vietnam War that started as a civil war within South Vietnam became one of them. By 1956, Vietnam was starting to become more of a household name as Read a more detailed account of The Vietnam War on

American military efforts slowly began to increase in support of South Vietnam while Russia supported North Vietnam. Throughout the 1960s, financial assistance continued to increase as well as military forces and at its peak in 1969, there were 549,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. While in World War II, the average infantryman saw 40 days of combat in four years, in Vietnam, the average infantryman saw 240 days of combat in one year. Through 1975, two and a half million American soldiers got to know Vietnam up close and personal under horrific circumstances. They faced many difficulties and challenges including climate, terrain, a complex political situation, and unclear military objectives. The average age of the men in combat was 21. During World War II there was a unified effort where every man, woman, and child contributed in some way to the war effort. It was quite the opposite during the Vietnam War — Americans were not on board. There was a lot of secrecy going on in the American government and leadership did not “rally the home front” for this war. The media received conflicting messages and often reported on the protests and unrest in


The Wall That Heals is coming to Sulphur Springs November 4-7. It includes the names of more than 58,000 who died or are still missing in action.

America with little support for the men in combat. Many Americans opposed the war on moral grounds, appalled by the devastation and violence of the war. Others claimed the conflict was a war against Vietnamese independence or an intervention in a foreign civil war; others opposed it because they felt it lacked clear objectives and was unwinnable. Winnable or not, American soldiers risked their lives for their country and deserve immeasurable respect. More than 58,000 gave their lives. An estimated 150,000 were permanently physically wounded. They were exposed to Agent Orange and other pesticides that left them battling long-term health issues. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder left many with nightmares to haunt them the rest of their lives. But perhaps the cruelest aspects of the war was the way Vietnam veterans were treated when they came home. Unlike the return of World War II soldiers who were treated as heroes with parades and street parties, and a whole country celebrating their victories, Vietcontinued page 20


VIETNAM continued from page 18 nam veterans came home to a country of citizens with reactions that ranged from complete apathy to those that took their anger over the war out on the men who served. It was a burden they did not deserve. Over the next few years, returning Vietnam veterans faced many challenges and found it difficult to find their place in the country they served, then turned their backs on them.


Robert Kerr was just a few years out of high school when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and soon found himself in the throes of war in Vietnam. Courtesy photos

United States Marine Corps Veteran Robert Kerr lives in Kings Country now, a subdivision on the shores of beautiful Lake Cypress Springs south of Mount Vernon, Texas. It’s a far cry from the rice paddies and war-torn “hell on earth” he left behind in Vietnam 52 years ago. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Robert followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the United States Marine Corps in 1966. Although he didn’t know much about what was going on in Vietnam, he was ready to serve his country. “I thought I was bullet proof,” Robert says. “I had no fear. I just knew there was a war going on and wanted to do my part. I didn’t have any idea about the politics. I was very patriotic. I was a gung-ho young man. I was a gymnast in high school and at Kansas University and was physically fit. I wanted to show the world what I was worth.” After training, Robert was not quite 23 years old when he and 219 other soldiers were on an airplane together headed to Vietnam in August 1967. “I was the oldest and only enlisted man on that plane,” Robert recalls. “The others were all drafted. They dubbed me the ‘old man’ cause all of them were just 18 years old.” Robert was a trained ammunition technician and was assigned to the northern quadrant in Vietnam. He’d only been there about a month when enemy rockets started hitting the 1,000-acre ammunition depot. “The Viet Cong rocketed our ammunition sometimes twice a day. One day I happened to be doing inventory in a remote part of the area where there were

500-pound bombs stored in rice paddies. Rockets were falling near me and as I was running a rocket round hit and blew me into a rice paddy. That was the first time I was wounded.” Robert had shrapnel wounds and couldn’t move for six and a half hours. For quite some time, he was completely deaf. “I was semi-conscious for hours,” he recalls. “The most traumatic part of that day is when I finally rose up. The rest of the dump was leveled. It looked like the apocalypse.” He ran three miles to a hospital. Thankfully his injuries were not life threatening. Robert received letters from home but they didn’t mention much about what was going on in America. Sometimes they’d read the military newspaper Stars & Stripes and get a bit of news that way, but nothing of any great significance. “We learned how we were winning, taking many casualties, and always on the offensive. I didn’t have any idea of the political things going on. It’s a good thing. That would have been detrimental to our morale. I wouldn’t have wanted to know what was going on and where the politics took it.” North Vietnamese communist forces began a series of attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam on January 31, 1968, in an effort to encourage the South Vietnamese to rebel and the U.S. to scale back its involvement in the war. It was called the “Tet Offensive,” named from the Vietnamese New Year holiday during which the attacks occurred. U.S. and South


Vietnamese casualties numbered almost 13,000 including almost 3,000 fatalities. Thousands more civilians were killed and wounded. “I was in the middle of that,” Robert says. “Unlike thousands of former marines who lost their lives, I survived. It was hell on earth.” Like a lot of soldiers, music of the times helped get him through the horrors of the war. “CCR was one of my most favorite,” he says, who did songs like “Fortunate Son” and others with links to the Vietnam War. “I love all kinds of music. In Vietnam we heard radio through the BBC so we kept up and knew what was happening in the music industry. The best music in my lifetime happened while I was in Vietnam — ‘60s and ‘70s rock and roll is my favorite.” Robert served a total of 13 months in Vietnam. On the day he was headed home with other soldiers, they had piled their gear on trucks at the airport and were standing across the way about to board their plane when rockets hit the truck. “I lost everything I’d gathered during my time there,” Kerr says. “I took nothing with me when I got out of that country.” Robert said it was quite shocking to him and hurtful to arrive home and feel rejected by his fellow Americans. He was in full uniform when he arrived at the Kansas City airport and first felt it. “I didn’t feel welcomed. People stared and I had no personal attacks, but I knew that those of us coming back from the war were not well received. I could feel the rejection.”

“They didn’t want us to see too much of that because it would stay with us. Sometimes you couldn’t help it. It was rough to see your partner laying there.” These are the memories that move Leonard still. “I got water in my eyes,” he says. “Over 50 years and still I get teary eyed.”

Home was never far from Leonard Jackson’s mind while he served on the front lines as an infantryman for almost a year in Vietnam. Courtesy photos

He tried to make excuses for that believing the American people had been so misinformed.

“I got drafted in 1969. I was scared out of my boots until I got adjusted, then I was ready to go,” he recalls.

“I was disenchanted by what had happened and felt really discouraged and hurt by what people had been told and that went on for several years. I wasn’t happy of the U.S. handling of the end of the war in 1975. That didn’t go over well for those of us who had been there.”

He was 19 years old.

Over time, and many years working through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Robert got involved with veterans organizations and the camaraderie with others helped him heal some. “I’ve been active in veterans organizations like the VFW and American Legion for a long time. I’ve been involved in Veterans Appreciation programs around East Texas for about eight years.” He has several social media sites for veterans and is the Judge Advocate for the Marine Corps League 1357 in Sulphur Springs. He’s in several motorcycle groups and says he promotes the military in “every way I possibly can.” Robert is happily married to his wife Brenda. They have five grown children, 12 grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

LEONARD JACKSON United States Army Leonard Jackson was born and grew up in Mount Vernon, Texas. He was just about 15 years old when he started paying attention to the war in Vietnam. Young men were being drafted right out of high school during those years and he had family that had already been so he knew his time was coming.

Before he left to serve his country in the army, he married his high school sweetheart, Jackie. Earning weekend passes and other time off to see her helped keep him focused on getting his job done and coming home. His favorite music helped keep his spirits up too, like The Temptations’ “My Girl,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” by Bill Withers. On the night before he left his hometown to go fight a war America demanded he serve, one song in particular got him through: “Only the Strong Survive” by Jerry Butler. “I played it all night.” That song would prove to be his mantra. He was trained as an advanced infantry soldier to be part of the military’s main land combat forces in Vietnam. “Vietnam, here I come,” he said, after his training in California. He fought the Viet Cong for 11 months and 26 days. He remembers well the conditions of the jungles and the tunnels where he went into daily battle. “We were ‘tunnel rats’ and had to go in and get the Viet Cong forces that lived underground,” he says. “They had kitchens and cooked in there and slept in there. It’s scary as all get out. It was terrible. Very rough out there.” Counting dead bodies and looking for those missing in action were regular occurrences, but mostly they were told to keep moving.

Mail call was one of the things that helped Leonard keep going. His buddies called him “Little Tex.” “Every time we got mail, they’d call my name.” He recalls how good that made him feel. “I’d get seven, 12, or 14 letters at a time, tied up in a string.” Jackie wrote often and sometimes he’d get letters from his mother and sister. One time, his sister’s letter simply said, “Congratulations. It’s a boy.” His first son was born while he was still in Vietnam. Leonard says he relied heavily on prayer during his tour in Vietnam and appreciated when the chaplain came and prayed with the men. He was also grateful for an occasional hot meal. “Most of the time we had sea rations. We ate out of cans.” Thanksgiving Day in 1969 is one he’ll never forget as helicopters dropped nets down to them with fresh food. “I cried like a newborn baby,” Leonard says. “We had green beans, corn, sliced turkey. It was warm and good.” He savored every bite and every quiet moment, until later that day, when he was once again in battle with the Viet Cong. Leonard recalls a couple of times when he ran into guys he knew from back home and how good it was to see them. Always thinking of home is what helped him survive, he says. Imagine how he felt then, when he arrived back on American soil in his uniform and was called “baby killer” and was spit on. “It was very ugly,” Jackson says, something he’ll never forget. By the time he got to Love Field in Dallas, he changed into civilian clothes. “It felt bad. It took some air out of me for a while.” continued page 22


VIETNAM continued from page 21 It was only when he got home to his family, his son now four months old, that he put a barrier up to the meanness of some Americans. “I made it back to my family. I didn’t care about those other people any more.” Leonard later lost a leg to diabetes as a result of the Agent Orange he was exposed to in Vietnam. “That stuff took a toll on my body. A lot of guys got pretty sick on that.” He worked in factories and a strip mining power plant and then retired a few years ago. He and Jackie have two sons, nine years apart, and are still sweethearts 52 years later. They have two grandchildren that make them proud.


In 1977, Jan Scruggs, a Vietnam veteran from rural Maryland, started researching the effects of the war on returning veterans and set out to help them heal. He suggested that the country build a national memorial as a symbol that the country cared about them. After seeing the movie, The Deer Hunter, about the effects of the war on three friends, their families, and a community, it reminded him of his friends and all the others who died in Vietnam. They all had faces and names, as well as friends and families who loved them dearly. He could still picture the faces of his buddies, but the passing years were making it harder and harder to remember their names. That bothered him. It seemed unconscionable that he — or anyone else — should be allowed to forget. For weeks, he obsessed about the idea of building a memorial. “It just resonated,” Scruggs declared one day. “If all of the names could be in one place, these names would have great power — a power to heal. It would have power for individual veterans, but collectively, they would have even greater power to show the enormity of the sacrifices that were made.” He set out to better define his ideas. “The memorial had several purposes,” he explained. “It would help veterans

heal. Its mere existence would be societal recognition that their sacrifices were honorable rather than dishonorable. Veterans needed this, and so did the nation. Our country needed something symbolic to help heal our wounds.” While initial attempts to build a memorial were met with skepticism, Scruggs found an ally in former Air Force intelligence officer and attorney Robert Doubek. On April 27, 1979, Doubek incorporated the nonprofit Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and Scruggs became an officer and director. They recruited other veterans and those that could help them navigate the channels of government authorizations and approvals. They set their sights in support of the clear, simple vision Scruggs outlined: to honor the warrior and not the war. In 1980, the United States Congress authorized VVMF to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in the war. By separating the issue of individuals serving in the military during the Vietnam era and U.S. policy carried out there, VVMF began a process of national healing. Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as a symbol of America’s honor and recognition of the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. The two-acre site is dominated by a black granite wall more than 493 feet long. Inscribed are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing. The memorial is dedicated to honor the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of all who answered the call to serve during one of the most divisive wars in U.S. history. Dedicated on November 13, 1982, the memorial attracts nearly five million visitors each year. Wanting to reach even more veterans, their families, and others throughout the country, VVMF created a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication on Veterans Day 1996, The Wall That Heals has displayed at nearly


700 communities throughout the nation, spreading the memorial’s healing legacy to millions more. The Wall That Heals makes only one appearance in Texas this year. On November 4-7, visitors can see the traveling wall and an education center in Sulphur Springs. Find details on www. or call (903) 243-2206. Robert Kerr is part of the group that’s bringing it to Texas. This is particularly both exciting and anxiety-ridden for him. He’s tried numerous times in the past to see the traveling memorial and not been able to face it. Once in Missouri, and again in Arkansas, he got to the site and couldn’t get out of the car. “I had so many lingering memories and I put a lot of things away. I couldn’t bring myself to get out of the car. I didn’t want to bring those memories back and face the things I saw.” Being heavily involved in bringing the wall to Sulphur Springs, he’s finally going to do it, he says. “I’m anxious to be involved. I lead the motorcycle escort as it rolls into town and as the wall is being erected, I’ll be leading tours. I’m apprehensive cause I haven’t been able to stand in front of it before. I’m looking forward to it now.” Robert says he knows it will be difficult seeing all the names. A lot of his friends he lost in the war, their names will be there, even one he grew up with. “Their names are etched in that wall. It brings it all back. Time has healed my wounds to the point that mentally I can face the facts now that it happened. I don’t have to relive my time in Vietnam. Better to spend time in memory of those that lost their lives there. It’s not about me now, it’s about those that didn’t come home. I’m proud I was there and proud I made it home and I can now memorialize them.” Although painful to see, Leonard and Jackie Jackson also plan to visit The Wall That Heals to pay their respects to those that did not survive the war in Vietnam. “I’ll look up some of my friends that didn’t make it back home. It’s a hard pill to swallow. It brings chills,” he says as his eyes once again fill with tears.

NOVEMBER 4-7, 2021 ★ Sulphur Springs, Texas 1200 Connally Street • 24 hr access • closing 2 pm Sunday sponsored by:

for more information:

Hopkins County Veterans Memorial Sulphur Springs ISD City of Sulphur Springs

call: (903) 243-2206 visit: The Wall That Heals, Springs, TX 2021 • Sulphur WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 23 fNOVEMBER/DECEMBER


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Emory, TX Let us lure you

“The Land Between the Lakes”

Emorya great place to shop while he goes fishing!

381 W. Lennon Dr. 903-473-0061

1026 E. Lennon Dr. 903-473-2022


The Only Folk Life Festival in East Texas

The Magic of Christmas on Main Street

32nd Annual

HERITAGE SYRUP FESTIVAL November 13, 2021 1-866-650-5529


Sugar Cane Syrup Making Antique Cars and Tractors Folk Art Demonstrations Music, Shopping, and More

Enjoy a unique shopping experience as you stroll through Historic Downtown Henderson. Visit diverse boutiques with specialty clothing, antiques, home decor, kitchen gadgets, religious gifts, pamper baskets, and Christmas decorations.

A perfect way to catch the Christmas Spirit!




NOVEMBER 11, 1996


Happy 25th Tye Sheridan VIDEO

 Mason Jars More Useful With Time Tye Sheridan (right) stars with Ben Affleck in The Tender Bar, the latest film by director George Clooney. The film is set to arrive in U.S. theaters December 17 and Amazon Prime Video January 7, 2022.

Born in 1996, the blooming big screen star and Elkhart, Texas, native Tye Sheridan celebrates his 25th birthday this year on November 11. Sheridan began acting at age 11 while still a student in Elkhart schools in southern Anderson County but continued acting and completed his education with tutors on the set until age 16. Sheridan stars in George Clooney’s latest film The Tender Bar with Ben Affleck, Lily Rabe, and Christopher Lloyd. Sheridan plays the older JR who seeks guidance from father figures in his uncle’s Long Island bar. The coming-of-age film first aired at the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival in October and is set to release in December. Sheridan’s other recent films include The Card Counter, Voyagers, Wireless, The

Night Clerk, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Ready Player One. He’s come a long way since playing Ellis in Mud with Reese Witherspoon and Longview’s Matthew McConaughey in 2012 and The Tree of Life in 2011 opposite Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. Sheridan stars in innovative films and works behind the scenes as a producer and industry leader. In 2020 he announced the launch of Wonder Dynamics, a new production platform that uses artificial intelligence to create special effects. He is co-founder with filmmaker and inventor Nikola Todorovic. Look for Sheridan in The Things They Carried, a new film for 2022 directed by Rupert Sanders and based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book about the Vietnam War era by Tim O’Brien.

In 1858 tinsmith John Landis Mason of Vineland, New Jersey, designed and patented a screw-threaded glass jar now known as the Mason jar. The airtight containers soon gained widespread use for safely canning and storing garden produce long after harvest. Homemakers now use them to store pickled vegetables, preserves, jellies, and sauces, or even as vessels for soup, brownie, and cake mixes. From weddings to home decor, Mason jars are today used in popular crafts, decorations, and entertainment. Dress up events with farmhouse flair by serving alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, smoothies, or coffees in the classic glass jars or reuse them in a variety of crafts. Crafters sometimes paint the jars and upcycle them as containers for flowers, utensils, candles, or soap dispensers. They can also be used to make unique gifts with potpourri, planters or even fairy garden containers.



Winter Begins Winter Solstice is the astronomical beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and falls between December 20 and 23. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year due to the North Pole’s slant of 23 degrees away from the sun. The number of daylight hours depends on how far one is from the sun. In re-


gions closest to the North Pole, the sun doesn’t rise at all, but farther regions may receive up to 9.5 hours a day. People celebrate festivals and rituals, and many winter holidays have roots in Winter Solstice traditions. Beat the winter blues with birding in the piney woods, lighting festive candles, listening to music, or enjoying time at home with family.

DECEMBER 17, 1845

mines by 1920. The company produced 500 tons of salt per day by 1931 and employed 950 by 1945. Morton still operates the remaining salt mine there today and has mined only 750 feet of the dome’s 20,000 feet of salt. The mine is known to produce some of the purest salt in the world, including salts for medicinal uses. Today Morton has automated many of its processes and employs roughly 200 in the Grand Saline plant. The Salt Palace in Grand Saline boasts the only structure built entirely of salt and

the only building that is (mostly) edible in the United States. The museum includes displays on the history of salt making in Grand Saline and a video about production at the Morton Plant. Visitors can also see exhibits on two of the town’s famous sons. Chris Tomlin is a leading contemporary Christian singer who now lives near Nashville. Wiley Post was an aviation pioneer who died in a plane crash en route to Alaska in 1935. Visit the museum online at for information.

NOVEMBER 22, 1868

Cactus Jack Garner Was Two-Term VP Grand Saline Became Texas’ Salt Mining Town On December 17, 1845, two partners named John Jordan and A.T. McGee acquired land newly opened for settlement near what is now Grand Saline, Texas. They learned from Native Americans that a salty marsh there could produce salt through evaporation methods. An area south of town includes a salt prairie. The exposed salt flats are part of a former sea bed that deposited salt as it dried. The deposit protrudes from a salt bed that extends from East Texas to western Louisiana but is covered with layers of sediment in other areas. The town in northeast Van Zandt County originally known as Jordan’s Saline is the official “Salt Capital of Texas.” When the Texas Pacific Railroad arrived in 1873 linking tracks from Marshall to Dallas, Samuel Q. Richardson donated 50 acres for a townsite. Engineer Grenville M. Dodge built a new railroad depot there and named it the Grand Saline. Dodge also surveyed and divided lots for the town, started the Lone Star Salt Company, and turned over all rights to the railroad company in 1876. Richardson continued business ventures, opening a general store across from the depot and drilling a salt well to 350 feet. He later leased its operations to a St. Louis company. In 1890, an Indiana company operating as the Grand Saline Salt Company and later as the Morton Salt Company drilled deeper and began mining. The Morton Salt company bought the

On November 22, 1868, John Nance Garner was born the eldest of 13 children in a humble log cabin in Detroit, Texas, Red River County. He later became U.S. Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first two terms (1933-41) and contributed to many New Deal policies as a seasoned member of Congress. After growing up near Detroit, Garner left at 18 to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He stayed just one semester due to poor health and returned to the Red River County seat of Clarksville, where he read the law and joined the bar in 1890. After being passed over for the city attorney position in Clarksville, Garner moved to Uvalde, Texas, where he joined the practice of Clark and Fuller. While running for election as county judge in 1893, his opponent was Mariette “Ettie” Reiner, whom he married in 1895. The couple had a son named Tully in 1896. Garner was elected to the Texas legislature in 1898 and served until 1902. He earned the nickname of “Cactus Jack” during this time because he supported the prickly pear cactus as the state flower though the bluebonnet won instead. He was elected to Congress in 1903 and served 15 consecutive terms until 1933. He became Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1931 and was a serious presidential candidate in 1932 with financial backing from publisher William Randolph Hearst.


 FDR chose Garner as his running mate after Garner threw in his 90 electoral votes and the pair won the election. Garner made many of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies possible through his political knowledge, persuasion, and influence. He became the president’s liaison with Congress and greatly influenced the actions of the party’s new Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn of Bonham in Fannin County. During his second term, the vice president dissented with and openly opposed some of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, and may have prevented the completion of the New Deal. He ran for president in 1940 mainly to oppose Roosevelt’s election to a third term but failed to win votes in the primaries. Garner left Washington after FDR’s third inauguration after 38 years in government service. He and Ettie returned to Uvalde and lived a quiet and secluded life. Garner died November 7, 1967, a few days before his 99th birthday and is buried in Uvalde, Texas.



Check the County Line eMagazine for extensive list of events and things to do.

Comedian Papa Performs in Tyler

Turkey Trotting Through Sulphur Springs The Hopkins County 11th annual Turkey Trot begins at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, at Celebration Plaza in Sulphur Springs, Texas. Adults and kids are invited to participate in three races: a Kids Fun Run, an Adult 5K, and an Adult 10K. Participants who register early receive a T-shirt and all kids receive a participation medal.

The event raises money for the Moms’ Culture Club which supports local children’s charities. This year’s event benefits Journey Road Ministries, a nonprofit that provides support for foster families in the region. Visit Hopkins County Turkey Trot on Facebook for information.

Film Festival Creates Big Crypto Footprint Stand-up comedian Tom Papa performs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, at the University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center. Papa appears on film, television, radio, and podcasts and is the author of two books. He currently hosts a podcast called Breaking Bread With Tom Papa and the Netflix radio show What A Joke With Papa and Fortune on SiriusXM. For more information visit

Discover the Treasures of 211 Gallery display gallery. exhibits. classes. art shows. 211 North Palestine Street, Athens, TX • ( 903) 292-1746 28 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

Filmographers and cryptozoology fans convene at 1 p.m. Saturday, December 11, at Marshall’s Memorial City Hall for screenings and discussions of notable bigfoot reels. Dave Coleman, author of The Bigfoot Filmography, is emcee for the event which features the films Southern Fried Bigfoot, Creature from the Black Lake, Hammer’s The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, and The Legend of Boggy Creek. Visit for information.

BEFORE YOU GO! Dates and times are subject to change. Always call ahead before going.

Relive a Classic Tale in Marshall

Henderson Hosts Magic of Christmas on Main Street Henderson’s Main Street historic district dresses up for a magical time of holiday shopping early this year with Hallmark movie-style decorations from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, November 5. The open house continues through the weekend 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday along the town’s charming brick streets. Guests are invited to visit the district’s dozens of specialty boutiques that offer unique clothing and accessories, an-

tiques, home decor, religious and culinary gifts, and pamper baskets. Henderson’s annual tree lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, at 101 East Main St. in Heritage Square in Historic Downtown Henderson. The Henderson Christmas Parade featuring the high school band and various floats begins shortly after. Visit more information.


Revisit the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in this performance of the classic tale, “A Christmas Carol,” by British author Charles Dickens at 3 p.m., Sunday, December 5, at Memorial City Hall Performance Center in Marshall. Audiences of all ages will relate to Scrooge’s revelations as he encounters the ghosts of his life and inspires with hope, joy, and redemption in this live musical. Visit more information.






LIVE MUSIC @ LMFA NOV 20 Taylor Tumlinson & Ben Woolley DEC 11 Band of Heathens Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets available at LMFA.ORG



Step On Up To Miss Ashley’s Studio Loft Guests Get a Front Row View of Edom

By P.A. Geddie Along the downtown main street of the artists village of Edom, Texas, sits a bright aqua-blue, two-story building that used to be a gas station with an upstairs apartment. Old timers of the area remember Miss Ashley who ran the station and lived there for decades. At some point she ran out of gas. Then she just sold cokes, candy, and cigarettes for a long time. Locals remember her fondly and enjoyed stopping by for a treat and visiting a while she’d tell them about her patchwork quilts. After Miss Ashley passed away the building sat boarded up for many years. The old pumps were removed and nothing but the old Exxon sign and this quaint little building were left to tell its history. Local entrepreneur James Wilhite bought the building in 2017. For a while he rented it to a family who sold their homegrown produce there. In 2019 artists Kerian Massey, Randy Mar-

tin, and Tristan Rhys opened the Edom Art Emporium on the first floor representing 30 or so area artists, and hold regular exhibits and events. With the apartment upstairs vacant, Rhys and Martin decided to spruce it up and make it available for visitors to rent for a day or longer. They named the place for Miss Ashley. “It’s such a unique little apartment, we just couldn’t let it get away from us,” Martin says. “It’s easy to rent as there are so many things going on around here and people like to be in the middle of it all.” They cleaned and painted from top to bottom, Martin says, and furnished it with two new queen size beds, home decor, and the works of local artists. Guests can purchase the artwork by scanning a QR code to make a payment and take it home. There’s a courtyard available for guests as well with a fire pit, picnic table, and grill for cooking out.


So far, as they predicted, it’s been easy to rent. They’ve hosted hurricane refugees from New Orleans, First Monday Trade Days shoppers, people visiting family in the area, and those enjoying local events like the Edom Art Festival. Martin keeps an eye on and makes sure everything is in good working order. “It’s a feel-good place,” he says. “We enjoy sharing it with our guests.” Miss Ashley’s Studio Loft features a full kitchen, two queen size beds, a sunroom, and a balcony that overlooks the sometimes bustling, but often quiet town of Edom. The loft is surrounded by unique shops owned by artists and creators, good food, and good company. No smoking is allowed in the loft, nor pets. It rents for $120 per night and has a four-guest maximum. Miss Ashley’s Studio Loft is located at 8281 FM 279 in Edom. For more information and booking go to www.airbnb. com or call (214) 783-2466.

Photos by Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA


Edgewood Heritage Festival Features Old-Fashioned Fun The Edgewood Historical Society is hosting its free annual celebration from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, November 13, at Heritage Park Museum of East Texas. Visitors to the Edgewood Heritage Festival will find a classic cars show, antique tractors, mini bike races, a model train demo, an old west reenactment, arts and crafts, food and vendors, a pinto beans cook-off, a gourmet bake sale, children’s activities and rides, pictures with Santa, live music, and more. The festival is the major fundraising effort in the quest to maintain the architectural exhibit of 20 restored and furnished structures reminiscent of life in rural Van Zandt County around 1900. The park bustles with folk art exhibits as artisans and vendors demonstrate age-old skills like blacksmithing, antique printing presses, weaving, and hand quilting. The Bearded Barbers are on hand giving haircuts in a historic barber shop while live music is offered throughout the day, and shoppers find hand-crafted holiday fare, baked goods, jams and jellies. This year’s festival is dedicated to one of the park founders, Pattizo Humphries, who passed away November 6, 2020, with COVID-19. She worked tirelessly for decades to help build and maintain one of the best historic villages in the state. The Heritage Park Museum of East Texas encompasses 20 authentically restored and furnished structures representing rural life in East Texas from the 1800s to the 1920s. The park was established in 1976 as a bicentennial project and has grown ever since, offering grounds for social events, weddings, and a local farmers market. For information visit or call (903) 8961940. The annual Edgewood Heritage Festival from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 13 features live demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and other folk crafts among original structures reminiscent of life in Van Zandt County from the 1850s to 1920s. In the center photo is this year’s honoree for the event, Pattizo Humphries, who passed away last year. 32 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

Sidetrack in Mineola FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Enjoy Nature, Shopping, Dining & Entertainment in Historic Mineola, Texas CHRISTMAS PARADE Shop Historic Downtown Mineola this Holiday Season! Unique Stores, Restaurants, Antiques and More

December 4 • 5:30 p.m. Downtown Mineola


Playground, water tower, benches, train watching 200 West Front Street


First run movies, plays, band concerts 114 N. Johnson. (903) 569-2300

MINEOLA NATURE PRESERVE 7:30 a.m. until sunset Hiking/Biking/Equestrian Trails Disc Golf Course/Fishing

MINEOLA HISTORICAL MUSEUM 114 Pacific St (Hwy. 69) (903) 569-2631 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Thursday-Saturday


Restored 1906 Mineola Depot 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. 7 days a week. FREE

AMTRAK TEXAS EAGLE Designated Daily Stop 1-800-669-8509

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ARTS + CULTURE ‘Seeking Place’ Exhibit Shows in Longview “Sherry Giryotas: Seeking Place” is showing at the Longview Museum of Fine Art through December 22. The collection includes paintings created over a 10-year period in which Giryotas traveled between Texas and Michigan and focuses on changes she observed in the environment. The exhibit’s unique perspective uses light and the abstraction of objects to represent changes in the rural landscape over time and their shifting psychological impact. “In the abstracted, internalized landscapes of my work, each painting helps to record the experience or sense of place and traces my passage through it,” Giryotas said. “My observations of a constantly changing environment are referenced in the forms and nuances of light.” The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information visit online at or call (9030 753-8103. (Left) “Rain Falling on Stones”

Tyler Museum of Art Features Works of Coreen Mary Spellman “Coreen Mary Spellman: Works on Paper” is on display at the Tyler Museum of Art through December 5, 2021. Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, this exhibit spotlights Spellman’s art on paper from the 1940s and 1950s. Spellman skillfully produced many lithographs, etchings, and paintings that were exhibited in 13 solo exhibitions in Texas and the Southwest. Born in Forney in 1905, Spellman studied art at Columbia University, the Art Students League in New York City, the University of Colorado, and the University of Iowa. Spellman taught at Texas State College for Women in Denton — now Texas Woman’s University, until 1974. Visit the museum’s website at www.tylermuseum. org for information or call (903) 595-1001. 34 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

‘Oh Christmas Tree’ Exhibit Encores at Michelson Museum

ArtWalk Longview Strolls Through December and Holiday Market ArtWalk Longview’s free, self-guided tour of downtown business venues exhibiting and selling art returns Thursday, December 9. This year’s ArtWalk coincides with the Longview Museum of Fine Arts’ Holiday Market, a museum fundraiser selling holiday meals and unique gifts 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 7 to Friday, December 10.

ArtWalk was initially created to attract more people to the downtown area to enjoy the museums, restaurants, and businesses that are open and exhibiting artists. The event has grown over the years and now regularly offers food trucks and street musicians as well as the artists. For information visit www.

Urban Sketchers Descend on Starr Family Home Urban Sketchers of East Texas is meeting 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, November 6, at the Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall. The group of local artists meets routinely to sketch urban landscapes around the region. Members use direct observation to capture what they see

in their surroundings while recording time and place. Visitors are invited to observe their work and even bring their own sketchbooks to participate. The event is free and open to the public. For information visit or call (903) 935-3044.

The Michelson Museum of Art in Marshall is showing a new collection of unusual but exquisitely decorated Christmas trees by Raymond Kelly, November 11 to January 29. Following a similar display in 2019, the exhibit compliments the city’s Wonderland of Lights festival beginning November 24. Kelly is a former Broadway stage designer and currently practices floral design. He also serves on the museum’s board of directors. An opening reception for the tree display occurs at 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 11. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For information visit online at or call (903) 935-9480.


Unraveled: The Threads that Connect Brenda Buck –WCA Proposal Fiber Arts Exhibit Fall 2021

Exhibit Features Four Local Fiber Artists

A new exhibit, “Unraveled: The Threads That Connect” is on display through December 4 at Winnsboro Center for the Arts (WCA).

cape stitched with more than 40 different threads, which won first place for Innovation and Fashion at the 2011 International Textile and Apparel Association and received Honorable Mention at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.

Featured artists Kristie Smith, Valery Guignon, Brenda Buck, and Phyllis Neal present visually striking original pieces emphasizing the artistic power Smith is the creative director of behind fiber, a commonly overlooked Stitchin’ Heaven, in Quitman, Texas. art form. This exhibit presents figuraShe displays some of her best quilts in tive and abstract works which reflect huthe exhibit. man lived experiences through the lens Valery Guignon is known for her mixed of women weaving, quilting, knotting, media collages, hand-dyed silks, and sewing, spinning, knitting, and dyeing. brings various fiber arts together to Brenda Buck –WCA Proposal Among the pieces in the exhibit is KrisFiber Arts Exhibit create fine art pieces. Her travels have tie Smith’s “Secret Garden,” Fall a quilted influenced her work as seen in the 2021

types of fabrics and subject matter she chooses. Received an “A” on this final design project at Texas Tech University in 1984.

Brenda Buck and(And Phyllis Neal work tothe only one that survived all these gether to spin their own yarn weavyears!) It was tofor show all our skills. ing, and their skeins are included in inset Includes plackets, cuffs, pleats, the exhibit. Buck’s process creating sleeves, handof sewn button holes, blind specialty garmentshand arestitching showninon vision collar, handmade fabric warp boards, taking theshoulder viewerpads, through theand weft pulled to perfect 90-degree planning process artists make when they line on all panelsshows throughout garment. Sizing was work with fibers. Neal impressive also.objects. We were given a model baskets, tapestries,important and woven at the beginning of the year and our

finished garments had to to fit. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Visit www.winnsborocenterforthearts. com or call (903) 342-0686 for more information.

Received an “A” on this final design project at Texas Tech University in 1984. (And the only one that survived all these years!) It was to show all our skills. Includes plackets, cuffs, pleats, inset sleeves, hand sewn button holes, blind hand stitching in collar, handmade shoulder pads, fabric warp and weft pulled to perfect 90-degree line on all panels throughout garment. Sizing was important also. We were given a model at the beginning of the year and our finished garments had to fit.

Other projects during my time in the Fashion Design Program @ Texas Tech University.

Other projects during my time in the Fashion Design Program @ Texas Tech University.



LITERARY for countless other Vietnam vets, it was “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” or the song that gives this book its title. In We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner place popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam. They explore how and why U.S. troops turned to music as a way of connecting to each other and the world back home and of coping with the complexities of the war they had been sent to fight. They also demonstrate that music was important for every group of Vietnam veterans — black and white, Latino and Native American, men and women, officers and “grunts” — whose personal reflections drive the book’s narrative.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War By Doug Bradley and Craig Werner University of Massachusetts Press, 2015

For a Kentucky rifleman who spent his tour trudging through Vietnam’s Central Highlands, it was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” For a “tunnel rat” who blew smoke into the Viet Cong’s underground tunnels, it was Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” For a marine distraught over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., it was Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.” And

Many of the voices are those of ordinary soldiers, airmen, seamen, and marines. But there are also “solo” pieces by veterans whose writings have shaped our understanding of the war — Karl Marlantes, Alfredo Vea, Yusef Komunyakaa, Bill Ehrhart, Arthur Flowers — as well as songwriters and performers whose music influenced soldiers’ lives, including Eric Burdon, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Country Joe McDonald, and John Fogerty. Together their testimony taps into memories — individual and cultural — that capture a central, often overlooked component of the American war in Vietnam.

Landing in My Present: A Father, a Daughter, and the Singular Himalayan Journey that Reunited Them By Mary Walker Clark Hellgate Press

Paris, Texas, author and travel blogger Mary Walker Clark is promoting her book this year, Landing in My Present: A Father, a Daughter, and the Singular Himalayan Journey That Reunited Them. She tells about getting to know her father through scores of Indiana Jones-style tales about flying a treacherous series of US missions that transported supplies over the Himalayas to China during World War II. She journeys into a shrouded past and halfway around the globe to India and China chronicling the adventures of a daughter who chose to pry open a painful past while enlarging her view of an adventurous father long thought lost.

COMING SOON: SIGN UP TO GET YOUR COPY Upper East Side of Texas: Small Towns & Cultural Districts By P.A. Geddie Speckled Crow Media

With more than 20 years experience exploring the expansive Upper East Side of Texas, County Line Magazine editor P.A. Geddie highlights the region’s small towns and cultural districts in a book premiering this year. Small Towns & Cultural Districts promises simple reading pleasure as well as a perfect guide to hit the road and step into authentic experiences found only in this unique Texas landscape.

The book highlights the “stars” of the region, the communities that make life fun and meaningful. Following that, suggested itineraries help meander through picturesque backroads from one lively main street to the next. Find rich history, breathtaking nature, acres of vineyards, small town charm mixed with inventive amenities, and a thread of talented artisans and other innovators who keep life flowing in a beautiful direction. Sign up on to receive notification when the book is ready to purchase.


Music United Soldiers and Citizens During Divisive Vietnam War




Fortunate Son

All Along the Watchtower

Written by John Cameron Fogerty

Written by Bob Dylan

Some folks are born made to wave the flag They're red, white and blue And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief" They point the cannon at you, Lord

There must be some kind of way outta here Said the joker to the thief There’s too much confusion I can’t get no relief

Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son, It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one Some folks are born silver spoon in hand Lord, don't they help themselves, yeah But when the taxman comes to the door The house look a like a rummage sale It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one Yeah, some folks inherit star-spangled eyes They send you down to war And when you ask 'em, "How much should we give?" They only answer, "More, more, more" It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one.

Jimi Hendrix, 1968

Business men, they drink my wine Plowmen dig my earth None will level on the line Nobody offered his word No reason to get excited The thief, he kindly spoke There are many here among us Who feel that life is but a joke But you and I, we’ve been through that And this is not our fate So let us stop talkin’ falsely now The hour’s getting late. All along the watchtower Princes kept the view While all the women came and went Barefoot servants, too Outside in the cold distance A wildcat did growl Two riders were approaching And the wind began to howl.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place The Animals, 1965

Written by Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann

In this dirty old part of the city Where the sun refused to shine People tell me there ain’t no use in tryin’ Now my girl, you’re so young and pretty And one thing I know is true You’ll be dead before your time is due. Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’ Watched his hair been turnin’ grey He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away. And I’ve been workin’ too, baby. Every night and day. We gotta get out of this place If it’s the last thing we ever do We gotta get out of this place Girl, there’s a better life for me and you

I remember my first love affair. Somehow or another the whole darn thing went wrong. And my momma had some great advice, So, I thought I’d put it in the words of this song. I can still hear her saying it


Only The Strong Survive Jerry Butler, 1969

Written with Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff

Boy, I see you sitting out there all alone. Crying your eyes out, Cause the woman that you love is gone Oh there’s gonna be, there’s gonna be A whole lot of trouble in your life So listen to me, get up off your knees ‘Cause only the strong survive NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 • WWW.COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 39


Always call ahead before taking off across the County Lines. Make sure noted events are happening as scheduled.

ZZ Top Rocks Cowan Center in Tyler The University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center hosts “A Celebration With ZZ Top” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 1. The band is continuing its full schedule of performances of their signature blues-rock songs including “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Sharp Dressed Man.” The three-man band of guitarist Billy Gibbons, bass player Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard survived 51 years until Hill’s death earlier this year. The two remaining band members of ZZ, Gibbons and Beard, are still rockin’ along without their former compadre. Longtime friend of the band Elwood Francis sits in for Hill at this performance. Hill died in his sleep at home in Houston earlier this year. The 72 year old with the trademark 18-inch beard was the “twin” of band leader Billy Gibbons but preferred the back seat as he allowed Gibbons to serve as the band’s spokesperson. For more information visit the Cowan Center online at

Live Music @ LMFA






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Greenville Entertainment Features Seals and Gayle VIDEO


Country singer and songwriter Brady Seals performs “Roots Run Deep” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, at Greenville Municipal Auditorium (GMA). Seals has sold more than 11 million albums in three different genres. His songs include the iconic hits “Summer Breeze,” “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” “Seven Spanish Angels,” and “God Blessed Texas.”

ences nationwide since capturing the national spotlight in the 1970s. Her signature song is “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” She also scored hits with “You’ve Been Talking In Your Sleep,” “When I Dream,” and “Half the Way.” Gayle has released more than 20 No. 1 hits and has received awards from the Grammy’s, the Country Music Association, and others.

Country music legend Crystal Gayle performs at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 4, at the GMA. Gayle is a favorite of audi-

Visit for information or call (903) 457-3167.

‘Woman in Black’ Steps Up for Country Music

Ford also co-hosts the Red Carpet Interviews at the 2021 Texas Country Music Awards at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 14. Her cohost is Jim Nash, radio personality at Shooter FM. The award ceremony takes place at Billy Bob’s Texas in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Visit for information.



Photo by Denton's Photography

Singer/songwriter and Kilgore, Texas, native Jenn Ford and her band the Wide-Eyed Devils open for Jack Ingram at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 13, at Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy. Her eponymously titled new album features her husky contralto in foot-tapping original tracks including “Woman in Black” and “Baby Get Your Boots On.”

The Bowery Stage Presents Three New Shows The Bowery Stage at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts welcomes three new shows in November. No strangers to this stage, local legends Adler & Hearne perform at 7:30 p.m. November 6. Husband and wife duo, Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne are accompanied by special guest, Kate Hearne. The award-winning singer-songwriters connect with audiences coast to coast. Honored to be selected by the Texas Commission on the Arts to serve on the state’s official Texas Touring Roster, the duo enjoys the title of Official Texas Touring Artists for the September 20202022 touring season. Adler & Hearne have served on the roster since 2014. Their music is a signature blend of original folk, jazz, and blues. With more than 12 recordings and decades of touring between them, their repertoire is playful, poignant, and poetic – including sparky love ballads, historically based tributes, quirky story songs, and

anthems of justice and peace. Raised by musical families and nurtured by music ensembles through college, the two met in Nashville and now pay it forward together in performances from listeningroom venues, festivals, and community events to churches, libraries, schools, and house concerts. Adler co-wrote the theme song for the hit PBS children’s TV series Wishbone. Her diverse writing background brings added experience to the duo’s workshops and presentations. Hearne sang in the famed Texas Boys Choir as a child, and for several years he and his band were Roy Clark’s backup group performing with Clark from Las Vegas to Carnegie Hall. Miguel Antonio with Marcelo Berestovoy perform on the Bowery Stage at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, November 14. The concert features classical and flamenco guitar and is part of WCA’s Sunday Afternoon Classical Series. Born in 1960 in the United States,

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Miguel Antonio began his musical training on piano at the age of four. By age eight he was learning classical guitar and by age 15 began performing professionally. Antonio attended the music school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and afterwards, traveled to Spain for a more in depth study of Flamenco guitar. During his career, he has studied with Pepe Romero and many others. As an accompanist, Antonio has toured with Jose Greco and others worldwide. As a performer and educator, he combines Flamenco, Classical and Latin American folk music in his concerts. He also conducts master classes for universities and guitar societies worldwide. Antonio is also a luthier, restoring and repairing guitars of every type and exotic stringed instruments from around the world. Swearingen & Kelli bring the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel’s performances in coffeehouses of Greenwich Village, New York, in the 1960s to Winnsboro Center for the Arts at 5 p.m., Sunday, November 28. The duo perform Simon & Garfunkel’s classic folk-rock ballads like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “The Sound of Silence.” The Nashville-based couple has performed Simon & Garfunkel’s classic hits in sold-out performances across the country over the past months. AJ Swearingen has performed this music for 20 years with mastery of Paul Simon’s intricate guitar playing. His deep baritone blends perfectly with Kelli’s angelic vocals delivering a true tribute to the sound of the 1960s. They merged their solo careers in 2013. The Bowery Stage is the perfect intimate setting to experience their sound. For tickets, visit or call (903) 342-0686.

Performers showing up in November on The Bowery Stage in Winnsboro included (Opposite top left) Adler & Hearne with special guest Kate Hearne, (Opposite top right) Miguel Antonio with Marcello Berestovoy, and (Opposite bottom) Swearingen & Kelli playing the music of Simon & Garfunkel.




Photo by Jim Willis



Savory Soups Warm Up Cold Weather Days When the weather begins to cool, it’s tempting to fill our tummies with unhealthy processed snacks or fast foods. However with a little planning we can just as easily satisfy big cold-weather appetites with these healthy soups made at home. Soups contain up to 90 percent water so they can fill us up while providing essential hydration. They also add variety to standard main dishes especially when

served with toppings like sour cream, avocado, chives, or bacon pieces.

Here are three recipes shared by Lauren Wacaser of Let’s Eat Well.

Rather than popping open a high-sodium can of soup or snacking on unhealthy choices, use these tempting recipes made from wholesome ingredients like potatoes, squash, bell pepper, and onion and protein-rich legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, and lentils. They’ll nourish the soul as well as the stomach.

Spanish Potato Stew With Chickpeas The Tex-Mex flavor and bright presentation of this stew make it a favorite in many kitchens in the cooler months. Potatoes, chickpeas, and a variety of spices add a rich, filling thickener to the soup’s tomato base. INGREDIENTS: 4 Yukon gold potatoes, cubed Olive oil (or any neutral oil) 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped 1 garlic clove, diced 32 ounces of stock or broth (chicken or veggie) 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 2 teaspoons dried oregano 2 teaspoons cumin 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 can diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 lemon, juiced Optional: 2 tablespoons Tahini spice DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are fork-tender. Drain and lightly oil. Season with salt and pepper. Put on a baking sheet and roast for fifteen to twenty minutes until golden brown. Heat a large pot on medium high heat. Pour one to two tablespoons of oil and add chopped onions and bell pepper. Sauté until translucent and soft. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant.


Add all the spices and tomato ingredients. Sauté until most of the liquid has reduced and thickened. Add stock or broth, chickpeas, and potatoes. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add lemon juice and Tahini. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with fresh parsley, sour cream, fresh sliced peppers, or fresh cilantro. For an extra tomato punch, throw in a few chopped sun dried tomatoes. Or make it spicy by throwing in some chopped chilies.

Black Bean Chili

This chili uses beans instead of red meat but still manages to satisfy big appetites. Legumes like black beans, kidney beans, and lentils are a great source of plant-based protein. They also contain vitamins and high amounts of fiber so they’re more filling and benefit gut health. Don’t try this recipe for the health benefits alone, however. It does the job of satisfying cravings for hot food on cold weather days without demanding a lot of preparation time. INGREDIENTS 3 cans black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 can Rotel tomatoes with chiles 2 cans tomato sauce 2 cups vegetable, beef, or chicken broth 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons cumin powder

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor that becomes richer with the addition of onion and chicken or veggie broth. In this recipe, maple syrup enhances the squash’s flavor while a wide range of toppings allows the cook to customize the soup to the occasion.

1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 can lentils DIRECTIONS Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for three to four hours on high. Add salt or pepper as needed. Top with jalapeno slices, sour cream, cheese, tortilla strips or Fritos, avocado, and/or cilantro.

INGREDIENTS 1 medium or large butternut squash 1/2 onion 32 ounces of broth or stock (veggie or chicken) 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1 tablespoon chili powder Salt and pepper Toppings: bacon, cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, beet chips, chili powder, black pepper, sour cream, or chives.

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Split the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place squash and onion on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with oil and season with chili powder and salt. Bake squash side down for 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Scoop out the squash. Place the squash, onion, broth, and maple syrup in a blender and puree (with towel on top blender) until very smooth. Be careful blending hot liquids. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Pour into a pot and bring soup to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer for ten minutes. Serve with crusty buttered bread. Add toppings and enjoy. Find more recipes by Lauren Wacaser and her videos on her Facebook page.


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