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CROSSROADS Holiday 2010

A Jolly Burns Christmas A VERY MERRY HOME TOUR

Happy Holiday Columns





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PIGGOTT, AR 72454 870-598-3848


Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Ron and Nancy Kemp Publishers/Editors

Letter from the Editors

HappyHolidays It’s a celebration of Christmas in the Delta in this edition of our magazine. Our pages contain stories and photos of the unique way that several of our friends and neighbors celebrate the holiday season. The Delane Burns family in Piggott opened their beautiful home for a special tour this Christmas season. The two-story home has been decorated to be a part of Piggott’s annual Christmas Home Tour sponsored by the Traditional Ladies of Piggott. Photos and a story by Nancy Kemp feature the tasteful Christmas decorations in the home and introduce readers to the Burns family, including Delane, wife Tobey and 10-year-old son Brett. Another son, Chris, currently is serving in the Navy in Korea. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas is the theme of the Lee and DeAnna Ballard home in Trumann. DeAnna and her daughter Bailye, a student at Arkansas State University, go all out each year in decorating their home for the holidays. Miranda Remaklus of the Crossroads staff shares all the Ballard holiday excitement with our readers. The Delta traditionally has produced wonderful music, reflecting the culture of our unique part of the world. The border area consisting of the Missouri Bootheel and the Buffalo Island region of Arkansas has been the “stomping grounds” for some great country artists over the years. The Phelps Brothers of Kentucky HeadHunters fame and Jim “Dandy” Mangrum of Black Oak Arkansas are among the most famous music-makers from the area in recent times. As Nan Snider notes in her articles in this issue, these are talented performers who never forgot their roots. They are true sons of


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

the Delta and have been – and still are – proud of it. We always are looking for artists in the Delta to feature in our pages. This issue features a true artisan with wood – Richard Caldwell of Piggott. His remarkable woodworking skills are something to behold and he continues to share the products of his boundless abilities throughout Clay County and beyond. Writer Ryan Rogers tell his story in this issue. History has never been as realistic as it is when Dru Duncan and her husband John Holt get into character and welcome their guests to their 1938 farm located just north of Dell in Mississippi County. Writer Revis Blaylock tells the story of an amazing renovation which takes visitors back in time. Yes, Christmastime is nearing in the Delta and the excitement is building for young and old alike. Community parades are a great tradition in our area and the city of Lepanto has the longest-running such event among the small communities of Northeast Arkansas. Photos of that parade, as well as numerous other holiday photos may be found in this issue. Delta Crossroads is nearing the end of its first year of publication and it has continued to draw tremendous response from readers and advertisers alike. We certainly appreciate all the support we have received and look forward to an even bigger and better 2011. Thank you all and Merry Christmas. Ron and Nancy Kemp, Editors of Delta Crossroads

Clover Birdsell Creative Director Dianna Risinger Kaye Farrow Dan Brawner Composition Contributing Writers Revis Blaylock, Ryan Rogers, Miranda Remaklus, Marissa Holiman, Nan Snider, Clover Birdsell, Jan Murphy

Laura Cole Account Rep 870-598-2201

Yvonne Hernandez

Account Rep 870-561-4634

Delta Publishing Company Rust Communications Delta Crossroads Offices Piggott - 870-598-2201 Rector - 870-595-3549 Trumann - 870-483-6317 Manila - 870-561-4634 For more information, contact: Ron Kemp, P.O. Box 366, Rector, AR 72461 870-595-3549, 870-595-3611(f ) Delta Crossroads is published quarterly and distributed free in Clay, Craighead, Greene, Mississippi and Poinsett counties in Arkansas and Dunklin County in Missouri. Contact the offices at the above numbers for information on advertising.

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Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Home 8

Home Tour: The Burns Family of Piggott Come on in to the warm glow of Burns hospitality


In This Issue

35 Everyday Heroes: Steven Sigsby

By the Hands and from the Heart

42 Community Christmas Calendar

Richard Caldwell gives of his passion to craft quality

69 Business Cards

47 Christmas Galore at the Ballards’ Enjoy the unique and traditional decoration inspiration

For the Holidays 27 Journey to Bethlehem

Hitts Chapel of Piggott celebrates its 25th year of live nativity

30 Lepanto Christmas Parade

Ring in the season’s cheer with this annual parade, promised to delight this year

Columns 24 Jan Murphy How to do up your tree in fine fashion

33 All About Cakes

Where it all came from

37 Environment


Coffee madness, the quest for perfection

39 Book Review: My Reading Life It’s Southern, it’s juicy, it’s a great read

40 Winter Blues No More Send them packing

45 Health Column Are you allergic?

See who threw their name into the hat this issue

73 Main Street

View the clips of events across the region

80 Milestones

These accomplished delta residents put in the time and made the cut

82 Side Streets

Our favorite feature photo, selected by Crossroads Staff

People and Places 15 Westminster Village: Culture and community in comfort

52 Jim “Dandy” Mangrum and Black Oak Arkansas Starting from scratch

58 Kentucky Headhunters The Phelps Brothers going strong

65 The Dell Farm

Dru Duncan and her husband John Holt revive the past at their 1938 farm on the National Historic Register

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Christmas Charisma

Photos and Story by Nancy Kemp


of Love



Delane and Tobey Burns of Piggott open their doors to the readers of Crossroads for the 2010 Holiday Home Tour.

T 8


The Burns Family was selected for their choice of inspirational holiday accents and attention to sparkle.

he Christmas spirit has arrived at the home of Delane and Tobey Burns on Clay Street in Piggott and there is lots of sparkle to greet visitors -- including the sparkling smiles of a warm family excited about greeting visitors for the city’s Dec. 5 holiday tour of homes, sponsored by the Traditional Ladies of Piggott. The twinkling lights of a stunning tree in the family room are visible through the front window of the home -- a tall gorgeous two-story with wide brick steps which send a welcoming message. Delane, owner of Burns Floor Covering in Piggott,

Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010


Tobey, administrative asisstant at Magnolia Manor assisted living facility, and 10-year-old son, Brett, a Piggott fifth grader, look forward to sharing with the community their love for the holiday which means family and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Sadly, 20-year-old son, Chris, will miss being with the family for the first time this year since he is stationed with the Navy in Korea. However the family frequently uses Skype (a software which allows voice calls and video conferencing) to visit with Chris and they look forward to watching him open his Christmas gifts half a world


Christmas at the Burns home kicks off with all kinds of baked goodies and a scrumptious meal enjoyed by family and friends.

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


away. Celebrating Christmas with the family for the first time will be an energetic little Yorkshire terrier named Lilly, who soon will be one year old. The family welcomed her early this year and she quickly became an integral part of the Burns clan. “She’s my girl,” Tobey says with a smile. The entire family loves music, and a beautiful baby grand piano is a focus of the large family room, which opens into the kitchen and dining room area. On the wall behind the piano is a colorful framed picture of Santa amidst garland and brightlywrapped packages. “That’s a puzzle that Brett and I did and had framed,” Tobey said with pride. Just inside the front door, a long table holds a collection of Willow Tree nativity pieces in which Tobey also takes great pride. Every corner of the room carries some reminder of the special time of the year, with Santas in all shapes and sizes, glittering arrangements of evergreen and berries and brightly-colored ribbon. Looking toward the kitchen, a wide counter holds a large eyepopping arrangement of huge colorful balls and packages with bold geometric patterns in dazzling shades of red and green. A white tablecloth printed with wandering red ribbons and sprigs of holly covers the dining room table, and elegant red and white china is edged with gold, as are the family’s crystal wine


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

The best part of the Holiday Season is sharing time with the ones you love, across the kitchen table or across the world. The Burns’ oldest, Chris, will be stationed with the Navy in Korea this Christmas, but he will be able to connect with his family via Skype.

glasses and flatware. Red ball candles with a fine gold pattern make a stunning centerpiece on an arching black wrought-iron candleholder. Little touches of Christmas color and fancy add the perfect holiday touch to the large kitchen, which has beautiful off-white cabinetry and ceramic tile countertops. Tobey’s favorite Christmas tree is in the master bedroom. Strings of red beads and gold and red balls decorate the large tree, which is topped with a splendid gold Santa. The tree holds Tobey’s favorite ornament, a lion and lamb which she purchased on a trip to Branson, Mo. For the Burns family, the home at 1680 Clay Street is the perfect place to hang out, watch movies and call the Hogs. “We love the Razorbacks and we love the Green Bay Packers,” Tobey said. There is no doubt lots of cheering when the family gathers in their favorite area of the house, the TV room in the

A thoughtful Santa stands amidst a room full of gifts in this beautiful framed puzzle completed by Tobey Burns and her son Brett.

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Decoration details make the Burns home a delightful experience for the holidays

A large display of glittered, over-sized ornaments adorn the kitchen counter as a bright and festive reminder of the season

basement. It’s evident that sports plays a big part in the Burns family life, since Brett has been involved in football, basketball, baseball and soccer. Delane’s love of music extends to his participation in the 3:16 Ministry, where he plays bass. With the arrival of Christmas week, Tobey will be baking cookies and other goodies and the family will open gifts and, as Tobey says, “play all day.” “We open a couple of gifts on Christmas Eve and the rest the next day,” she said. The Burns family also gathers during the holidays with extended family, which includes Delane’s mother and step-dad, Diane and Gary Wofford of Piggott, Tobey’s parents, Pam and Terry Stallings of Dumas, and the couple’s siblings. The 4,600-square-foot house which the Burns family has found to be the perfect home will no doubt be filled with laughter and buzzing with chatter as home tour guests enjoy their hospitality. But the best part of the tour will no doubt be the warmth of the hosts and the obvious joy they feel for the season of Love.


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Tobey’s favorite tree is in the couple’s bed oom, decorated with her favorite ornament: a lion and lamb, she purchased on a trip to Branson, Mo.

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Now, services found in rehab hospitals are available locally.

Extended Hospitalization

Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Speech Therapy

Over the years, many patients have been treated in rehab hospitals away from home for extended therapy and hospitalization. With the addition of occupational Even more impressive, these services are available in the hospital or as a patient of Home Health. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in activities of everyday life. Our licensed OT can assess the patient’s physical health and strength as well as the environment the patient will return to after an accident or illness that has reduced skills, strength, or stamina. He teaches the patient how to simplify tasks and modify activities to progress with changes in their abilities. He is able to make recommendations to improve safety in the patient’s home, too. No matter where you are treated, ask your doctor for a referral to Piggott Community Hospital for rehabilitation. For more information, call 870-598-3881.

Piggott Community Hospital 14

Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Westminster A Village All Its Own

Dave Boynton moved to Westminster Village from Iowa. He teaches a pottery class on site.

Story by Revis Blaylock Photos provided courtesy


hen Westminster Village marketing director Lavella McWilliams says the Blytheville retirement community is a place where her own mother would be happy, she can say it in all sincerity, because her mother is a resident of the Village. “She loves it,” says McWilliams. “She loves how much there is to do here and how friendly everyone is. She says it just feels like family.” Westminster Village is a rental retirement community located on the grounds of the former Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville. Residents, who must be at least 55 with no children living in the home, have the choice of two, three and fourbedroom homes available in standard or deluxe styles. Services include 24-hour security, complete home maintenance and lawn care. Opportunities for social interaction abound. The Westminster Village retirement community includes a library, swimming pool, Village café, craft hut, woodworking shop, pottery classes, computer access, quilting, activity center for fun and

entertainment, Bible studies, Red Hatters, book club, low impact exercise and more. “We have a community gardening area for people who enjoy gardening,” said McWilliams. “The spot is prepared for the residents and they can plant and care for their own vegetables. We also have planned trips, pool tournaments and Wii games. There’s something for everyone here.” Westminster Village is a pet-friendly community. Location is another advantage, according to McWilliams. Westminster Village is located off I-55 and is 60 miles from Memphis. “Our residents have access to great golfing at Thunder Bayou Golf Course at a special discount. And we offer free recreational vehicle parking, which is very convenient for our residents that travel,” said McWilliams. “They can park their RV here and when they are ready to go, they need not worry about their home.” Helping residents stay as independent as possible is a major focus at Westminster Village. Wellness nurse Peggy Kenner of-

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


“We have people from all over the United States who are enjoying a unique and affordable lifestyle.” -Lavella McWilliams, Marketing Coordinator Westminster Village

fers a variety of services on-site, including help with medication, blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks and home visits. Healthy Partners Clinic is located on the Westminster Village grounds with a full-time physician five days a week. With all the advantages and amenities, McWilliams says it’s the close-knit, family-oriented atmosphere that really makes Westminster Village exceptional. “We have a great group of residents,” she says. “We have people from all over the United States who are enjoying a unique and affordable lifestyle. Our mission statement says it all: we are committed to providing an environment that encourages and enables our residents to enjoy life to the maximum of their capabilities in a relaxed atmosphere of security, comfort and dignity.” Scheduled transportation to physician appointments, shopping and other destinations will be available in late 2010. Guest homes are available for prospects who are considering making Westminster Village their home. Those who want more information may call (870) 5326696 or 1-800-914-2516 or visit


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Red Hatters enjoy gathering at Westminster Village.

Lavella McWilliams, marketing director, and her mother, Julia Polston, a resident at Westminster Village.

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Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


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146 S. SECOND AVE. PIGGOTT, AR 72454 870.598.5207


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Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


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Photos and Story by Ryan Rogers

Busy Hands & A Happy Heart


person’s home is often one of the most important facets of everyday life. While tastes and desires vary from radiant elegance to comfortable, sturdy practicality, there is, for many, a much-needed security which can only be attained at home. The connection which turns an otherwise ordinary house into “home sweet home” comes from a variety of sources. Richard Caldwell of Piggott has helped many in northeast Arkansas add that “special something” to their homes, working through his Crowley’s Ridge Designers business. Caldwell has designed and built everything from cabinets and displays to recreating antique-style windows for area homes and businesses. Through his attention to detail and mastery of his craft, Caldwell’s designs are very popular in the region. Caldwell has been crafting wood pieces for over 20 years. His work began simply enough, starting out as repairs and improvements to the former Maine home of he and wife, Carolyn.

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Caldwell says the true beauty of his work is that he enjoys it “I always lived in a house which needed some sort of repair,” Caldwell chuckled. “It always fell on me to do it. I guess you could say this all started out of basic necessity and then moved on from there.” Caldwell honed his skills with assistance from his fatherin-law, whom he described as having “handyman experience.” Caldwell’s prowess quickly grew to the point where he was able to use his skills on a professional level. “It was a tough economy, and I would fall back on woodworking to make ends meet.” Today, Caldwell is known for his tireless attention to detail, creating high quality pieces one would expect to see only from large-scale contractors and businesses. To make his work stand out, Caldwell begins by making sure each piece of wood meets his own personal standards. All of the wood used is carefully inspected with any necessary leveling and straightening done well before any construction is started.


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Boards are leveled and “cleaned” with a jointer, making them not only more stable to work with, but also restoring the natural beauty at the most bare level. The machine removes the outer edges of the wood, cutting away any excess in order to create straight planks from which to begin the intended project. Caldwell follows up with his handheld plane, double-checking that each piece of wood is in the proper shape, measuring not only the thickness, but also ensuring each board is smooth and free of faults. Once the pieces are ready, the construction phase begins. Caldwell uses computer software to help in his designs, creating accurate plans from which to begin. With the schematics in place, Caldwell begins the process of transforming the individual pieces into the whole creation. It is in this stage which the true beauty of his craft emerges. Ornate designs are brought forth from near-featureless slabs of wood through a process of cutting and rounding each piece of the whole. Caldwell has honed his creative eye, sharing a life with Carolyn, a well-known local artist and art instructor at Rector High School. “There is an artistic aspect to the work that I enjoy,” Caldwell said. “Art is a major influence in all our lives, and it comes through in the things we do.” Like a sculptor chipping away at stone, Caldwell sees the beauty hidden just beneath the surface of the wood with which he works. Flat surfaces are transformed into eye-catching angles and decorative trim. Working from his shop on the outskirts of Piggott, Caldwell is able to craft a wide variety of functional and decorative interior items. Once assembled, each piece is treated with a protective seal and painted, further adding to its beauty and strength. “There is something immensely satisfying about creating something and being able to see the finished product. I like working with my hands. There’s a certain peacefulness that I find working out in the shop.” With his workspace located a short walk from his home, Caldwell is able to seamlessly blend his work with the other aspects of his life. Should he choose, he can always step outside and enjoy the country air, tending to his garden or just going for a brief walk down to the pond located on the property. “Sometimes it’s nice to just step away for a few moments and enjoy the outdoors,” Caldwell said. “That’s one of the fortunate things about living in this area; we have some of the nicest natural scenery.” Caldwell has no trouble staying busy. Word of his abilities have spread, making him a popular choice among those seeking new cabinets, doors or other interior items or remodeling. Those interested in contacting him about a project may call (870) 598-7000.

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Column by Jan Murphy, Owner of The Interior

A Professionally Decorated Christmas Tree,

only a few steps away...


ou flip through a Holiday magazine and admire the trees, all so beautifully decorated. How do professionals do it? You wonder. How do their Christmas trees always look good? They have a plan and a plan of action. You too can follow a plan and put it to work! Here are some decorating ideas to use with artificial trees and fresh trees as well. If working with a prelit tree, plug it in before beginning to decorate. If putting on lights, always work with lit strands, so that you can see what you are doing. Begin at the top of the tree by wrapping a branch with lights, then go back to the center by laying the strand on the branch, continue with the next branch by wrapping outwards and laying on the top again. It’s really important to wrap every branch from the center to the tip and back, as this gives the tree dimension and luminosity throughout. With Christmas tree lights, more is usually better. You will need at least one strand of 100 lights for every vertical foot of tree. Buy the best quality of lights you can afford. Next, separate your ornaments and decorations by color and by size, so that you have specific groups ready to go. It’s a good idea to work with one element at a time to be sure they are well dispersed throughout the tree in an even manner. One of the things professional decorators make sure to avoid is surface decorating. They choose elements that will go deep inside of the tree, closest to the trunk. It’s the three dimensionality that makes a design stand out. Here you can use older ornaments, garlands, or brighter decorations. Be sure that bigger sized ornaments are at the bottom of the tree as well. That will make the tree appear grounded and balanced.


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Oversized ornaments cost more, but you need less, and can be more visually striking than normal sized ornaments. Tuck some ornaments in while bringing some out. If adding ribbon, tuck in here and there to create volume. Different colors and textures of ribbon can be tied and tucked together to give more color to the tree. We have used up to three different ribbons on a tree. Beautiful ribbon can make a tree look complete. The lime green is a fabulous new color that can be combined with red, gold, or silver to give your tree a new look. Decorating a Christmas tree using a theme has become more popular lately. Many themes center around a certain item such as angels, snowflakes, Santa Claus, snowmen, golfing and other sports. Adding inexpensive ball ornaments in three, five, or eight inch size can fill in your theme of choice. The topper is what sits at the top of your Christmas tree. While most people imagine stars and angels, you are not limited to these two choices. In fact, if you keep in mind that more is better, there really is no wrong choice for a topper. Although you might think adding the topper is one of the last things that you should do, by adding it first you can get a better feel for the overall picture and balance of the tree. Plus, by adding it first, you won’t have to try and reach over decorations to set it on your tree. The tree skirt is your final decoration to be added. Your skirt should be large enough to cover the tree stand but not be so long that people trip over it. Coordinate your color and style of tree skirt with ornaments. Have a wonderful and fun time decorating your tree this year. If you have questions or need a few helpful hints email me at

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


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Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010


25th Year of Live Nativity Hitts Chapel celebrates history of nativity re-enactment

Photos and Story by Ryan Rogers


Christmas Tyme

ith so much of the holiday focus placed on the commercial aspect of Christmas, the season has reached the point that it is almost a challenge for many, following the last few years’ uncertain economy. One church in Piggott, however, is continuing its long-standing tradition of reminding the community and visitors of the origins of the holiday. Over the last 26 years, countless people have visited Hitts Chapel General Baptist Church in late December to witness the presentation of the birth of Jesus in the annual production of “The Journey to Bethlehem.” “One of our primary responsibilities is to remind the world that Christmas is about the birth of Christ, not just gift buying,” pastor Charles Richardson said. “It’s easy for everyone to get caught up in that part of the holiday. We want to remind everyone of the truth of the holiday and

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


celebrate the birth of our Lord with everyone.” Through the years, the event has grown from a live representation of the nativity, consisting of three scenes, into a broader retelling of the events, branching out to seven scenes, starting with Isaiah’s prophecy and concluding with the birth of Christ. “It has really grown through the years,” Richardson said. “That’s one of the main things the organizers and everyone involved has worked to accomplish -- helping it grow and remain strong and not dwindle down.”

Journey to Bethlehem Live Nativity December 10th - 12th 7pm Nightly

The live nativity was started at Hitts Chapel General Baptist Church in 1985 as a project for the church’s young adult class. The late Steve Crowson, a leader in the church, served as director for the first two years and is credited with being instrumental in starting the program. Over the past 24 years, Mike Travillian has served as director for the event, working alongside numerous church members and volunteers in making the event the spectacle it is today. Church members have constructed numerous set items for the production, with the surroundings growing to include not only scenery, such as the manger and stable, but also handmade cutouts of camels and decorations for the inn, adding to the display. One of the best features of “The Journey to Bethlehem” is the accessibility allowed to audiences. There is no charge for attendees, with access available for persons with disabilities. The entire production also can be seen from the comfort of parked vehicles, allowing most anyone the opportunity to take part in the popular tradition. This year’s production will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 10 through Dec. 12. “We would like to encourage everyone to come out,” Richardson said. “It’s something that is designed for all to enjoy, not being overly evangelical. It’s just simply a display to help remind everyone of what we’re really celebrating.”

Charles Richardson, lead pastor

870-598-2595 End of North 4th Street

Piggott, Ar


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

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Regular Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 – 5:30 December Only: Monday to Saturday, 10 – 6

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Photos and Story by Marissa Holiman

The Lepanto Christmas Parade

A sight to behold for 24 years and running


orman Vincent Peale once said, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world and behold everything is softer and more beautiful.” Communities come out and show their holiday spirit. Folks of all ages gather on the streets in anticipation of the arrival of their children, neighbors and friends. And that certainly is the case each Christmastime in Lepanto. “It is inspiring and makes you feel that you were a part of something special,” said Kaye Holiman, co-founder of the Lepanto Community Christmas Committee, “like you helped create a good memory hopefully. It gives you a sense of that hometown, close feeling coming out and helps to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. We are fortunate to live where everybody knows each other and are willing to help each other in time of need.” The Community Christmas Committee was formed because a group of women exercising in “Tone-N-Tan and Gifts” were talking about a Christmas parade in the 50’s or 60’s and what a crowd it drew. One member said she even remembered how excited she was that there were actually real, live reindeer. “I can remember when I was younger seeing the a parade like that,”said committee co-founder Ann Deeds of Lepanto, “with Santa Claus’ float always last.” Holiman owned the shop in town and in December people tended to do their Christmas shopping locally. So the women decided to call on some other businesses and concerned citizens to hold their first meeting to gauge interest in the community. The intention of the group was to clean-up, fix-up and light-up Lepanto.

The Lepanto Community Christmas Committee hosts the memorial tree lighting ceremony just two weeks before the annual Lepanto Christmas parade.

With the help of donations in the community, Main Street was decorated and the first Christmas parade was held. The event took place Dec. 23, 1989, and the committee was able to pull it off despite sleet and snow. “The temperature that year was terrible,” Holiman said. “I remember we all took our husbands’ thermal under armor and camouflage coveralls.” With all of that in mind, people were so cooperative in the community and said, as long as it didn’t rain, they would still have a parade. The parade went on with seven entries in the first year. “We couldn’t have done it without Guy Spears and Larry Deeds,” Ann Deeds said. “Spears was our first Santa and then Deeds has been ever since.” A year after the parade, the committee decided to begin a Memorial Tree in remembrance of friends and loved ones that were lost in the community. The Memorial Tree remains a part of the event today. “We also decorated ‘Charlie Brown Christmas Trees’ and held a Christmas coloring contest in the Tyronza and Lepanto EPC elementary campuses with prizes given,” Holiman said. The merchants held a drawing with many certificates and prizes in December. It created such a stir that every merchant that participated saw a big jump in sales that year. The person winning the jackpot had to be present the day of the parade to receive the prize. More than 1,000 tickets were submitted for the drawing. The Merchants and Homeowners Decorating Contest in Lepanto was labeled by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, “The community that Santa couldn’t miss for all the lights.” The contest is always held the week after the parade with residential and business participation. The winners receive pictures taken for the newspaper and signs displayed in the yard until a few days after New Year’s. They also receive a trophy in their honor. The parade has always been held the second Saturday of December at 5 p.m., so the floats without lights will have time to be seen and the participants with lights can also be featured. The master of ceremonies is always stationed in the middle of Main Street to announce to the crowd what floats are being displayed before the audience. The parade has displayed as many as 80 entries and some of the special guests for many years were the Millington Flying Rifles and the American Greetings float. “We really hated the fact the Flying Rifles were no longer at Millington,” Holiman said. “The Millington Flying Rifles was one of the neatest entries we had,” Deeds said.

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Regular Hours: Tuesday-Friday | 10am-6pm Saturday | 10am-4pm

On the 20th anniversary of the Lepanto Christmas parade, Bertha and Tommy Ray of Monette placed first in the float contest in 2008 for their Magical Disney Christmas decorations.

“The elaborate floats the factories put into it was wonderful,” Holiman said. “We do, however, have a family from Monette that goes to elaborate extremes each year with their entries. People can’t wait each year to see what they have to offer. We have also had participants come from Memphis, Osceola, Jonesboro, Blytheville, Paragould, West Memphis, Marion, Monette and Missouri.” Numerous volunteers have come and gone over the years. “We lost a few to their passing but Ann and I have remained from day one,” Holiman said. “Oh and, of course, we all have had our spouses and children involved every year and that has created such a special memory for us. We couldn’t have done this without their support and help.” The Lepanto Community Christmas Committee is a non-profit organization and the only fund-raiser the group has is the community birthday calendar. The committee uses that money to light up Lepanto, keep Santa’s float intact, decorate Main Street, provide prize money for the best float entries, rent a public address system and purchase any other items the committee needs to decorate and hold the parade. Lepanto was the first small community between Blytheville, Jonesboro and Memphis to hold their own town Christmas parade. It is also the longest-running small town Christmas parade in the area. “For 21 years now,” Deeds said. “We didn’t think was possible, because several of us have health issues, but I think as long as we are able we will show up the second Saturday to watch the children’s excitement and parents’ proud looks of ‘that’s my child’ and know that we had something to do with that.” The Lepanto Christmas parade will continue the tradition this year at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, on Main Street.


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Follow us on facebook Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads 31

McHANEY MONUMENTS a division of Whitener Monuments

Serving the community with professional excellence

940 South Divisions Blytheville, AR 72315

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A History of Cakes & Celebration It’s always a party


Column courtesy of Palace Ayers

bviously, cakes are a favorite of human kind. We take any and every opportunity to bake that cake: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, retirements. Give us a celebration and there’s bound to be a cake involved. And with it’s yummy layers and delectable topping who can blame us? But, beyond the carrot and the red velvet, the butter cream and the fandant, the tradition of cakes and cake making spans hundreds even thousands of years into human history. Sample the past of our time-honored love affair with the cake.

Wedding cakes:

Wedding customers are familiar all around the world. Brides wear white, wedding rings are given and special cakes are presented. While no one can track back the exact time of the first wedding cake everyone agrees it is the oldest tradition in the modern culture. From Greek and Roman times it has been a part of wedding ceremonies. At the beginning wheat was not eaten but thrown at the bride as one of many fertility symbols. Around 100BC early Romans started baking small round cakes for the bride and groom to eat or to crumble over the brides’ head. This was called “Confarreatio” which translated to “eating together.” After all the small cakes were consumed the wedding guests were provided small fruit and nuts called “Confetto” (this is where the term “confetti” comes from). As time went on around 1660 a French chef of King Charles II thought the crumbled cakes looked unattractive and came up with making a more elaborately decorated cake for along side the crumble cake. Thus the Brides’ wedding cake came into play and the crumble cake became known as the grooms’ cake.

Tues-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat-Mon Closed 224 W Main Blytheville, AR 72315 (870) 780-6430

Birthday Cakes:

As with wedding cakes, birthday cakes can be tracked back to the ancient Greeks who adopted the idea from the Egyptians. The writer “Philochrus” tells us the goddess “Artern” (goddess of the moon) celebrated her birthday on the 6th of every month by baking a large cake of wheat and honey. Greeks then started celebrating birthdays monthly (women and children were considered too unimportant to celebrate). The birthday cake re-emerged during the middle ages when German peasants celebrated “kinder fest” held specifically for children. This began at dawn when the child was awoken by a cake with lighted candles, which was kept alive all day until the evening meal, when the cake was eaten. The number of candles would be the child’s age plus one, to represent the “Light of Life.” The tradition of making a wish and blowing out the candles also came from this time.

Happy Holidays!

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Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010





Everyday Heroes.

Steven T. Sigsby

Changes since he came on board:

Improvement in the capabilities of the pumper trucks, the thermal imager for locating hot spots and the rescue(extrication)equipment.


Local training meetings twice a month, certifications in: firefighter basic, protective equipment, wildland fires, Haz-Mat, incident command, pumper operations, emergency vehicle operation, rescue/extrication and first responder.

Most memorable experience as a firefighter:

A fire which consumed a large Rector industrial facility, The Wise Company

Steven T. Sigsby, Rector Fire Dept. Captain, 19-year firefighter Why Sigsby wants to be a firefighter:

To work with a group of like-minded individuals to provide service to our community.

What people don’t understand about firefighting:

The amount of training required and all of the behind-the-scenes cleanup work.

Personal information:

1967 graduate of Rector High School; 1971 graduate of Arkansas State University; communications officer with the U.S. Army from 1971-76 stationed in Georgia, Colorado and South Korea; wife Lark, son Marshall, daughter Natalie; active with Rector Chamber of Commerce and Rector Lions Club; member Rector First United Methodist Church, where he sings in the choir and is chair of the Board of Trustees; enjoys attending live concerts and watching and attending NASCAR races. Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads



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Column by Clover Kesson

How to Make the “Perfect” Cup

Not Just Coffee


he cold is on its way, if it hasn’t gotten here by now. There’s lots of ways to keep warm. You could layer, turn up the heat, purchase a sauna, or migrate to southern Florida. But before you go appraising real estate in the Everglades, why not settle in to a nice warm cup of joe. Take it black, take it with cream and a quarter-cup of sugar; however you take it, coffee is my first choice to warm up in the morning time. So, now that need has been established we will discuss the means. I’ve had my coffee a whole lotta ways, regrettably, even from the community coffee pot at 2 p.m., when it’s cold and less than aromatic. But, to do a cup of coffee justice, there is just one way to make the perfect cup: 1. The Beans. I like them organic and bought whole if I can manage it. I lost my hand-me-down grinder about five years ago and since relied upon the courtesy grinder at the super market. Getting out a grinder each time you make coffee is a bit redundant for my tastes anyway. I have my favorite brands, but the great thing about coffee is there are many good kinds out there, although it is important to consider purchasing a “Fair-Trade” coffee. Coffees with a “FairTrade” mark deal more fairly with coffee growers. No one should suffer for the sake of a morning treat and/or ritual, depending on your coffee prowess.

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2. The Press. The French Press has enhanced my coffee experience far beyond what I thought possible. It is a glass cylinder in which steaming hot water is mixed with coffee grounds. A stainless-steel screen attached to a rod is pressed through the cylinder, separating coffee ground from coffee goodness. As discussed in my last column, the heating of plastic is asking for the leaching of chemicals in that plastic. Now, the traditional home coffee pot is the poster child for poor health engineering. Throw out your trusty coffee pot. Dare I say? Well, yes. If it is plastic, throw it out. Buy a metal coffee pot or metal percolator or French press. Not only will you be reducing the amount of chemicals you are ingesting but you will also have a cleaner tasting cup of coffee. 3. The Extras. If you drink your coffee black, you can stop reading here. If you enjoy cream and/or sugar in your cup, it’s an exciting time to go to your super market. It seems as though creamer companies have really come around to the idea of selling tasty extras. There can be chemicals behind that hazelnut label though. Keep in mind that a liquid creamer that does not have to be refrigerated must contain enough preservatives to keep it “fresh.” Some organic milk is good in a pinch. And there are some great tasting creamers out there, made with real cream even, in the refrigated section of the store.

870-598-0018 Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads




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Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Confident Read: Southern thematics & talented linguistics complete a tried and true page turner


Column by Mary Gay Shipley

t could be said that once you have read one Pat Conroy novel, you have read them all. The characters, themes, and setting remain constant, though the plot may change. Like William Faulkner and Thomas Wolfe, Conroy places his novels in the South. He uses the themes of a Southern novelist, family conflict, racism, coming of age, and a sense of place. It is like looking at the familiar once a decade, the features are the same with variations as time goes by. So what is the appeal? Why do the novels become bestsellers? Why do readers eagerly turn to each new novel? I believe it has to do with Conroy’s sense of his native South — the geography and the struggle with timeless issues. But, it is also Conroy’s use of the language. He entices the reading public with phrases that beg to be read aloud and shared. Readers do not dare skim a Pat Conroy novel. Conroy has been encouraged to compile a list of books that were important to him. He has always refused since there have been so many. And so we get his latest book, My Reading Life. And don’t be deceived into thinking you can casually drift through this tribute to the people and books that led Conroy to discover the waiting universe. In My Reading Life, Pat Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful anecdotes. He revisits the pleasures sharing the local library’s vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, recounts his decades-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him to the path of letters, describes a profoundly influential period spent in Paris, and reflects on other pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and undeniable honesty. Anyone who enjoys the pleasures of reading and believes in the power of books to shape a life will find in My Reading Life the greatest defense of that credo. Conroy is a beloved American storyteller and a voracious reader. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions. Over time, he has collected a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrases, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, just to satisfy his love of language. But for Pat Conroy, reading is not just a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours, nor a source of inspiration for his own writing. Conroy would tell you that reading saved his life, or at least his sanity. Pat Conroy has received numerous awards throughout his career. Among them are the National Endowment for the Arts award for achievement in education, the Georgia Governor’s Award for Arts, the South Carolina Hall of Fame, Academy of Authors, and the South Carolina Governor’s award in the Humanities for Distinguished Achievement. My Reading Life is a treat to read even if the usual themes are replaced by a tribute to a lifetime of exploring the world of books.

NOW FEATURING 316 W Main Blytheville, AR 72315 870-763-3333 9:30-6pm, Mon-Sat

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


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Call 870.763.2520 or come by 223 W Main, Blytheville

How To Survive the Winter Blues

with Style

Column by Jan Murphy, Owner of The Interior


s The Mercury Level Continues To Slide Down, Freezing Wind Flows Around And Snow Takes Control Over Roads And Gardens, People Start To Feel Low And Depressed. Try Changing The Interior Design Of Your Home To Survive The Winter Blues. Take A Special Approach To Decorate Your Home During Winter. As Nature Goes Grey And Cold, It’s Wise To Pick A Bright Hue For Your Interior. Go Colorful And Add Some Bright Colors To Your Home To Defeat The Winter Blues. Bring Home Colors This Winter And See How Your Mood Changes. Use Bright Colored Upholsteries, Curtains, Bedcovers, Pillows And Vases. There Should Be Colors Everywhere. Try Getting A Colorful Piece Of Artwork For The Living Room To Liven It Up. If Possible, Paint The Walls Especially For The Winter Months. Go Through The Color Swatches And Choose The Brightest Color That Suits Your Taste. Those Who Cannot Afford Or Want To Paint Could Use Wallpaper To Make The Walls Colorful Or Just Concentrate On The Accessories In The Room. When It Gets Cold Outside, Don’t You Just Love The Feeling You Get When You Snuggle Up With Something Warm And Cozy? What If You Could Create That Same Warm Feeling When You’re Inside At Home, Just By Adding A Few Choice Home Decorating Accessories? Well, You Can! Here Are Several Cozy Home Decorating Ideas To Help You And Your Guests Feel Warmer At This Time Of Year.

1. 2.

Move To Florida! Nah, Just Kid-


Get Out Your Favorite Throw Or Fleece Blanket, Or Buy A New One, And Place It On Your Sofa For Cuddling. During The Daytime Or When Not In Use, You Can Drape It On The Back Of


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

The Sofa To Enjoy The Pattern Or Picture On It And Add A Bit Of Warmth To Your Room.


Get That Fireplace Going That’s Been Inactive All Year. If You Don’t Have A Fireplace, It’s A Great Time To Get Some Candles Glowing In Your Home.


Add The Scent Of Cinnamon, Vanilla Or Other “Warm” Aromas To Please You While You’re Indoors. Try A Scented Candle, A Fragrant Oil In An Oil Warmer, Or A Fragrance Lamp With A Winter Scented Oil.


Add Pillows And Fluffiness To Accent In The Living Room, Den Or Bedroom. A Beautiful Vase In An Accent Color Filled With Twig Branches In Any Room Can Be A Great Addition. A Large Basket Filled With Pine Branches, Cones, And Even Some Fruit Can Be Nestled By A Fireplace, Set On A Coffee Table Or Placed On An Island In The Kitchen Or As A Centerpiece On The Dining Table. Be Sure To Add Warm And Colorful Accents Throughout Your Home. Get Ready For The Cold Days Esthetically And Celebrate Winter.

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Lepanto Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:30 p.m.

Leachville Christmas Parade For more information call Leachville City Hall, 870-539-2252.

Thanksgiving Day


of Events












The Buffalo Island Central Junior

Monette Christmas Parade, 7 p.m. Line up at 6 p.m.; judging at 6:30 p.m. For more information call Kay Staggs (870) 664-0196

Manila Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. Line up at 5 p.m. For more information call Manila City Hall, 561-4437

Manila Lions Club Pancake Supper starting at 5 p.m. at the Manila School Cafeteria

Clay County Fine Arts Council's Annual Night of Chocolate 7 p.m. at the Rector Community Center

The Buffalo Island Central Junior and Senior High Choir Concert 6:30 p.m. at the West Campus

Marked Tree High School Christmas Concert 1:30 p.m.

Tyronza Christmas Parade 6:30 p.m.

Rector's Annual Christmas Parade 6 p.m., with community fellowship and choir/band concerts following at the Community Center


Holidays 2010

Manila High School Christmas Concert Manila High School Auditorium at 2 p.m.

"Breakfast with Santa" Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Trumann and the THS Interact Club from 9 - 11 a.m., at the Cedar Park Elementary School Cafeteria. Price information available through club members.

Lepanto Christmas Parade, 5 p.m.

Caraway Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. For more information call Bernard Berry at (870) 482-3830 or (870) 219-3829.

Manila High School Choir to sing at the State Capitol at 2 p.m.

Manila High School Christmas Band Concert Manila Community Center at 7 p.m.

Marked Tree Choir, 7 p.m.

25 31

New Year’s Eve

Christmas Day

NEA High School Basketball Tournament ASU Convocation Center



11 11



9 9

and Senior Band Concert, 7 p.m.

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Merry Christmas from the Copper Heron

hot tub... complete with a lighted waterfall 44Enjoy Delta our Crossroads|Holiday 2010

House Call

Medical Column

Column by Dr. Charles W. Smith, Executive Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


Scheidler Family Clinic

304 Teaco Rd., Ste. F • Kennett, MO Monday to Wednesday, 8 am to 5 pm Thursday, 8 am to 6:30 pm Friday, 8 am to 12:30 pm

What’s the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

That’s a good question, as these two things are often misconstrued. But the difference is actually well defined and one is far more common than the other. For someone with a food allergy, eating the problem food triggers an abnormal response from the body’s immune system. Allergic reactions are most commonly caused by milk, eggs, fish, wheat and peanuts. Although many people believe they have a food allergy, true food allergies are not that common, with only about 3 percent of children and 1 percent of adults being diagnosed with allergies to food, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). A food intolerance is much more common and refers to a metabolic disorder that doesn’t involve the immune system. A person with lactose intolerance, for instance, doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme needed to digest milk sugar. Eating milk products may cause bloating, diarrhea or cramping. Food allergy reactions occur when only a tiny amount of the food is eaten. For a person with food intolerance, the symptoms become worse as more of the food is eaten. If you are continuously experiencing any of these symptoms, try to narrow it down to a particular part of your diet. Keeping a food journal is sometimes helpful. And you should also check with your doctor, as symptoms can often be dangerous and even deadly.

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Why do gyms and gym equipment commercials often say to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program?


Sometimes there are legal protection issues behind providing those warnings and sometimes they’re just offering sound medical advice. Anytime you begin a new exercise routine or program — especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long time or are overweight — it’s always good to check with your doctor to make sure your body is physically ready for it. That often results in a quick physical or could mean more detailed inspection, depending on your health and physical histories and what type of workout you’re planning to begin. E-mail your health questions to Dr. Smith at Dr. Smith is the executive associate dean for clinical affairs, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Stefan Scheidler, MD Heidi Scheidler, PA-C Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


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in High Style

Christmas at the


Photos and Story by Miranda Remaklus


hen DeAnna Ballard was a little girl, her family had many Christmas traditions. When she married Lee, she took his family traditions and combined them with her own to establish traditions for their home. DeAnna and Lee now have expanded those traditions and are passing them on to their daughter, Bailye. Because of an illness in the family, the tradition of decorating their two-story farmhouse on Arkansas 69 in Trumann began a little early this year. “Decorating is something Bailye and I love to do together,” DeAnna said. “We work long hours and late nights while Lee is deer hunting. Lee carries the boxes from the attic and then takes off deer hunting -- and the decorating begins!” The mother/daughter team put together three artificial trees, all three located downstairs -- one in the living room, one in Bailye’s computer room and a third in Bailye’s bedroom. Each room in the home has its own Christmas theme. The family usually picks out an eight-foot tree from the Christmas tree farm in the Central community to be placed in the upstairs den. That area carries an outdoors or rustic theme

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


and is decorated in red, green and plaid. The master bath has a modern theme with stunning pieces in warm shades of teal, rust and gold, and the entertainment center and bed also are beautiful decorated, as well as the tub. A clever retro look in the computer room has bold orange, black, red, green and silver decorations, including a six-foot silver retro tree. Bailye’s bedroom has an Asian theme with orange, gold and leopard print and boasts a nine-foot tree. A daring color scheme featuring red, gold and lime green make the dining area and entry hall truly eye-popping, and the dining table and china cabinet hold an array of beautiful decorative pieces. It’s purple and silver for the laundry room and bath, but the traditional comes to play in the living room where a nine-foot tree and decorations surrounding the fireplace are in red, lime green and gold. Red and lime green are repeated in pieces which decorate the bar and table in the kitchen. The Ballards have a large collection of Old World Santas which are seen throughout the home. DeAnna said ornaments are exchanged the day they cut the fresh tree. “We complete the decoration process in November because Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is the beginning of the shopping season,” she said. “The ornaments relate to each person’s interests, hobbies or milestones for the year. Each person hangs their own collection of ornaments, and Christmas stockings are hung for family and pets.” The family places a train around the real tree. “The train was bought when Bailye was born,” DeAnna said. “She would just sit and watch and listen to it forever.” Even the family dog, Zoie, takes part in the holiday fun. Zoie gets dressed up and enjoys treats, gifts and pictures. Lee cuts fresh mistletoe, which is hung in all major doorways throughout the home. Christmas cards are displayed on the staircase, which is lined with greenery and white lights. The family places 12 days of Christmas gifts up the 12 steps leading to the fresh tree. The family’s collection of ornaments includes handmade pieces, some which were gifts, heirlooms and, DeAnna said, lots of memories from 22 years. “Only family gifts are placed around the fresh tree upstairs,” DeAnna explained. “Gifts are opened there late on Christmas Eve. Each person’s gifts are wrapped and decorated in a different theme.” A day is always set aside for DeAnna and Bailye to do holiday baking. “Everyone has their favorite treats, and banana bread is baked for friends and neighbors,” she said. “Cookies and milk are always left out for Santa and reindeer food is spread on the lawn.” The Ballards plan to wait a while to put up their outdoor decorations, which include a red “Peace Love Joy” standing in the front


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Embracing the retro, this funky tree accents the computer room in festive silver tinsel

Rock the Walls

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


(left) Bailye and Zoe smile for a candid shot. (below) Bailye’s Christmas tree is decorated in an Asian theme to accent the decor of her room.


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

yard, a white lighted soldier on each side of the front stairs, greenery and berries. Red bows and garland will drape the front porch, lightpost and mailbox, and there will be 15 wreaths with red bows hanging on the windows. Trees will flank the front door. Christmas music plays outside the home during the Christmas season, and spotlights are used to accent certain features. White lights are placed in the gardens. Even the back yard is decorated with wreaths on the back door and windows. White icicle lights line a white fence surrounding the pool. “These lights were used by my grandma and grandpa Evans on their house and were passed along to me,” DeAnna said. “It was always tradition to decorate their house with them after our Thanksgiving dinner. “All of the outside greenery is accented with fresh pine, magnolia and berries,” she continued. “All the outside decorating is completed on Thanksgiving afternoon and into the night. Time is taken out for hot chocolate breaks. The outside decorating is really a family affair. We do enjoy relaxing on the back porch in the swing and enjoying the lights, stars and Christmas music.” While Lee is a farmer, DeAnna is a math coach in the Trumann School District and Bailye is a student at Arkansas State University.

Gary Wilcoxson • Daryl Wilcoxson 901 South By-Pass Kennett, Missouri 573-888-5157 1-877-888-5157

Come Home for the Holidays!

From o ur F a

m il y t o Y o u r s

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Jim Dandy &

Black Oak

Ready and Rarin’

to Go (left to right) Lynn, Tammy and Jim Mangrum moved to Black Oak as kids and grew up singing at the Black Oak Baptist Church.

Story by Nan Snider Photos provided courtesy


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010


he southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas was one of the first bands to put an actual place on the map. The city of Black Oak and the band named Black Oak Arkansas have become synonymous through the years. Black Oak Arkansas also helped pave the way for other famous hard rock and heavy metal bands in the 1970s and 1980s which used a strutting flamboyant lead singer frontman style, like Jim “Dandy” Mangrum presented. Mangrum came from humble beginnings to become world famous in the 1970s. Jim “Dandy” Mangrum’s parents, C.L. and Elsie Mangrum, lived in Benton Harbor, Mich., when he was born on March 30, 1948. His father worked at Whirlpool Inc. The family migrated back to Bay and then settled in Black Oak, where C.L. Mangrum took up farming. Jim “Dandy” came from a musical family that consisted of his parents and two younger sisters, Lynn Williams and Tammy Waymire. They often sang at the Black Oak Baptist Church functions, and at community events. “Jim always told us that he liked chopping cotton more than driving a tractor, but didn’t intend to do either to make a living when he grew up,” C. L. Mangrum said. “He had bigger plans. He was determined to be a world-famous rock star.” Mangrum is quick to tell about how he got his front teeth knocked out with a baseball bat, when he was a kid, and took up chewing tobacco — a habit he has continued ever since. With lots of time on his hands and dreams of being famous, Jim honed his skills by playing the guitar and roping his friends at Monette High School into forming random band groups. Efforts to develop a well-rounded band came through a lot of trial and error. Early school bands were called “Surfs” and “Epsilons.” Friends came into Mangrum’s bands and out again. Early band members included Rickie Reynolds, J.R. Brewer, Keith McCann, Danny Nuckles and Hubert Cockrum.

The Knowbody Else band was formed by Mangrum prior to Black Oak Arkansas


Front cover of 1974 Hit Parader

Jim “Dandy” Mangrum comes home to Black Oak for a quiet visit, after a long band tour

In 1970 the band moved to Los Angeles and signed with Atco Records and released their first album with their new name “Black Oak Arkansas.” Two songs written and performed by BOA on that album included “The Hills of Arkansas” and “When Electricity Came to Arkansas.”


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

“As a teenager Jim used to plug in his guitar at the Black Oak Gin yard, next door to our home,” Elsie Mangrum said. “Everyone in town could hear him playing loud and clear. They knew all his songs by heart.” Impatient and not quite content to wait until he had the money to buy musical equipment needed to round out the band, Mangrum devised a plan to borrow school musical equipment, without permission. Charges from that ill-fated venture were later suspended, but that ended his high-school years in 1965 and set him free to seek his fame and fortune on the open road. “The school didn’t even notice that the public-address speakers were gone, until they went to play the National Anthem,” Mangrum said. “We came out okay on that one though and went on with our lives.” Mangrum put together a band called “The Knowbody Else.” These friends shared his interest of seeing the world. Band members included Mangrum, Rickie Reynolds, Stanley Knight, Harvey Jett, Pat Daugherty and Wayne Evans. The band retreated to the hills of rural Northeast Arkansas, near Oakland, where they lived off the land and refined their musical style. They left Arkansas and moved to New Orleans, Long Beach, and then back to Memphis. They signed a contract with Stax Records in Memphis in 1969 and produced a self-titled debut album. Band members on that record consisted of Mangrum, Reynolds, Brewer, Daugherty, Jett and Sam Schattenberg. In 1970 the band moved to Los Angeles and signed with Atco Records and released their first album with their new name “Black Oak Arkansas.” Schattenberg left the group and Wayne Evans was added. Two songs written and performed by BOA on that album included “The Hills of Arkansas” and “When Electricity Came to Arkansas.” BOA went on to earn three gold records to their credit, as well as guest appearances on national talk shows and music entertainment functions. Mangrum is quick to tell the story of how the king himself, Elvis Presley, first encouraged them to perform what became their signature song, “Jim Dandy to the Rescue,” written by LaVerne Baker. The rest is history, as BOA went on to perform with KISS, Bad Company, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, 38 Special, Eagles, Styx, Foghat, Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent, Allman

Jim “Dandy” Mangrum draws pictures of his past, and roads leading home

by Jim “Dandy” Mangrum

Jim “Dandy” Mangrum takes time to be with his five children at a Black Oak homecoming. Pictured from left are Jesse, Danny, Jim “Dandy” Piper and Cole, with oldest son Jimmy kneeling in front.

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Jim “Dandy” Mangrum poses with his rifle beside a Black Oak city sign full of bullet holes

The Drive

to Make It BIG

“There just wasn’t a whole lot of call for six long-haired carpenters, or anything like that, in my hometown of Black Oak. So we taught ourselves to play and formed a band. We played in bean elevators and places where we sounded good.” - Jim “Dandy” Mangrum


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Brothers, B.B. King, Iron Butterfly and even Lynard Skynyrd. BOA performed at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis, Heritage Musicfest in Osceola and Loose Caboose Festival in Paragould. “We all just wanted to get a job working together, but that wasn’t easy,” Mangrum said. “There just wasn’t a whole lot of call for six long-haired carpenters, or anything like that, in my hometown of Black Oak. So we taught ourselves to play and formed a band. We played in bean elevators and places where we sounded good. It took us over a year before we ever played in front of anyone. It was rough at first, but we finally made it. Band members have come and gone but we still love the music and working together after all these years.” Mangrum and Reynolds live in Memphis and perform at much smaller venues now. They are in demand at motorcycle rallies in Sturgis and Daytona. They just finished performances in Indiana and Illinois. Mangrum was once described by his zealous public relations people as “a cross between the Messiah, a wild stallion and a fighting cock”. BOA has always been widely regarded as a set of super showmen, giving all their energies and talents to every show whether large or small. Mangrum still plays at the washboard at his performances, to remind him of his simple life growing up in Black Oak, Arkansas. Mangrum delights in getting to be with his family, especially his five children, Jimmy, Piper Nicole, Jesse, Danny and Cole. One of the highlights of Mangrum’s career was to come back to Monette High School in 1981 and perform to a standing room only gymnasium crowd as a tribute and a choir department fundraiser. “I asked Jim to come and help us out, as we did not have a music department budget,” sister and former MHS music teacher Lynn Williams said. “We raised thousands of dollars, and got to see Jim at his best.” Mangrum still claims to be doing what he enjoys most, when most of the 70s groups and lead singers have long since hung up their rock and roll shoes. He still visits Black Oak, and his parents who now reside in South Wind Heights, in Jonesboro. He is quite an accomplished artist and enjoys picking up a pencil and sketching out a scene from memory. He has countless humorous stories of his youth, his travels and his Rock and Roll legacy — enough to last a lifetime.

Rector, AR 870-595-3521 Paragould, AR 870-215-4895 Monette, AR 870-486-5493

ST. FRANCIS Mon – Fri: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


210 Cobean Blvd. • Lake City (next to NEA Clinic)


870.237.8215 Brent Panneck, PharmD


Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Story by Nan Snider Photos provided courtesy

The Brother Phelps Country music greats from the Arkansas delta hit it big in the 80s and keep on running

“When I was in high school, our band played in the old Marret homestead house, near the St. Francis River in the Cockrum Community near the Arkansas-Missouri state line, half way between Monette and Cardwell.” - Doug Phelps Brother Phelps perform at Fanfair in Nashville, Tenn.


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Ricky Lee and Doug Phelps

are a part of the American country music scene and have brought positive publicity to Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas with Kentucky HeadHunters and Brother Phelps recording artists. They have gone from levee jumpers to superstars during their 24 years in the music industry. The Phelps brothers are sons of the Rev. Arthur and Dora Phelps. Ricky Lee was born in Paragould, in 1953, and Doug was born in Leachville in 1960. They grew up in the Missouri bootheel at Cardwell, and graduated from Southland High School. “We were born on the St. Francis River and went to the river every chance we got,” Ricky Lee said. “That was just our way of life back then.” The Phelps brothers spent long days, when living at home, playing music and experimenting with their musical instruments. They played in front of many Assembly of God Church congregations, since their father served as minister. The Phelps family moved to Monette during Doug’s high school years, after Arthur Phelps became pastor of the Assembly of God church there. Doug commuted back to Cardwell to finish high school. “I guess everyone had a practice house at one time,” Doug Phelps said. “When I was in high school, our band played in the old Marret homestead house, near the St. Francis River in the Cockrum Community near the ArkansasMissouri state line, half way between Monette and Cardwell.” When Ricky returned from Arizona to Nashville, he was quite surprised to see how Doug’s musical talent had evolved. It was then that their musical aspirations began to take full bloom. The seven years difference in age quickly melted

Ricky Lee Phelps performs locally with his “Lektric Mullet.”

away when they began to play and sing. The Phelps brothers joined brothers Richard and Fred Young, and Greg Martin to form The Kentucky HeadHunters in 1986. Ricky Lee served as lead vocalist, while Doug played bass guitar and sang backup vocals. In 1989 they produced debut album “Pickin’ on Nashville” on the Mercury record label. The band charted 40 top country singles. They traveled 2 ½ years with the band and produced a second album called “The Electric Barnyard.” In May of 1990 the HeadHunters came back to Cardwell to produce their video called “Oh, Lonesome Me.” It was shot on location at the old Buck Donic School, west of town, at the Collins Theatre, in Paragould, and along Cardwell’s Main Street. The filming created quite a stir near Southland and Buffalo Island Central schools, as students couldn’t quite resist the urge to leave school and go to view the country music stars, whom they considered hometown boys. One principal arrived on the set with a pen and paper in hand to take names of students who

had skipped school. He got so involved in the goings-on that he forgot to make any transcriptions. The “Oh, Lonesome Me” video started out showing the group singing on the porch of the old school, west of Cardwell, with a pen full of pigs in the foreground. Pigs ranged in size from small piglets to full grown hogs. School friends of the Phelps brothers, Mitchell and Michael Latting, transported the Yorkshire hogs from their farm one and a half miles north of Cardwell. They had a time keeping the pigs alert during the filming, in spite of the loud amplified music. There just seemed to be something about the warm sunshine and pigs that makes for napping. The filming was drawn to a halt from time to time, as the video director, John Lloyd Miller, would shout, “Wake up the pigs.” Right on cue the men stepped in the makeshift pen and poked the pigs to get them moving again, so the cameras could roll. At one time Doug Phelps told the pigs, “If you are going to come to our show at least you

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Brother Phelps performs at the Grand Ole Opry with Bill Monroe

Ricky Lee Phelps retreated from music for a while and took time to raise his son Eli. He surrendered to the ministry and became an ordained minister, like his father before him. He now pastors Word and Grace ministries in Navarre, Florida. He married a longtime friend, Karen Bates in 2001.


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Rev. Arthur and Dora Phelps with sons Doug, left, and Ricky Lee, right.

could get up and look at us.” Many Cardwell and Buffalo Island residents were in different video scenes. The Phelps brothers left the HeadHunters in 1992 due to creative differences. They went on to form their own duo called Brother Phelps, which was a more mainstream country sound. In 1993, they made the music charts with their debut single, “Let Go,” which reached a peak of #6 on the Billboard country music charts. The duo went on to produce six singles between 1993 and 1995. Brother Phelps disbanded in 1995 with Doug rejoining the HeadHunters as lead singer, and Ricky Lee assuming a solo career. Rev. Arthur Phelps, a very accomplished vocalist in his own right, pastored in Monette for 22½ years before accepting the job as minister of the New Bethel Assembly of God Church, in Paragould. He and his wife Dora have been there for 11 years. The Phelps brothers take great pride in their music and equated it to farmers who pick cotton or cut tobacco — honest work for an honest living. Ricky Lee Phelps retreated from music for awhile and took time to raise his son Eli. He surrendered to the ministry and became an ordained minister, like his father before him. He now pastors Word and Grace Ministries in Navarre, Florida. He married a longtime friend, Karen Bates, in 2001. Not quite content to give up music altogether, Ricky Lee formed Doug and Ricky Lee Phelps form Brother Phelps in 1992

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


Band Albums

Pickin’ on Nashville (1989) Electric Barnyard (1991) Rave On!! (1993) The Best of The Kentucky Headhunters: Still Pickin’ (1994) Stompin’ Grounds (1997) Songs from the Grass String Ranch (2000) Soul (2003) Big Boss Man (2005) Flying Under the Radar (2006) The Kentucky Headhunters Live/Agora Ballroom

a local band called “Lektric Mullet” (named after the fish, not the hairstyle). His band members are Bill Dossey, David Glencoe, and Randy Whitaker. “I didn’t know if God would let me be in a band again,” Ricky Lee said. “But he did. I love playing locally, but never liked being on the road.” Ricky Lee Phelps has taken up painting portraits and has several choice works of art to add to his legacy as a multi-faceted artist. Doug Phelps has remained busy with the HeadHunters with an extensive tour schedule and has enjoyed 22 years working with the group. Phelps has been a part of eight hit albums with the HeadHunters from 1989 to 2007. The group is currently writing songs for a new album and will be in the studio recording before the end of the year. Doug and his wife Kim make their home in Hendersonville, Tenn., with their children Josh, 21, and Leann, 18. The HeadHunters were called the “dark horse of country music” in their early years, due to their guitar-heavy, rambunctious music. Re-

cently they have been referred to as “arguably the most consistent and durable Southern rock outfit on the planet,” and they may just end up redefining country music with their diverse range of influences and styles. Fans can take pride in the great contributions that the Phelps brothers have made to country music, and the way they still refer to the Missouri/Arkansas area as home.

Kentucky Headhunters Music Awards 1989


Academy of Country Music Top New Vocal Duo or Group


Country Music Association, Album of the Year — Pickin’ on Nashville Vocal Group of the Year

Grammy Awards, Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal — Pickin’ on Nashville


Country Music Association

Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Vocal Group of the Year


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Preserving life lived at an earlier pace

Dru and John Honor History Story and Photos by Revis Blaylock


istory has never been as realistic as it is when Dru Duncan and her husband John Holt get into character and welcome their guests to their 1938 farm. Located just north of Dell in Mississippi County, the farm is not only part of Delta history, it is part of Dru’s family heritage. The Widner-Magers Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been in Dru’s family since 1930 when her grandfather, Earl Magers, purchased it from J.W. Widner, who had owned the farm since 1896. It has been in Dru’s family for 80 years, but she is the first family member to actually live in the house that served as a tenant house for the farm manager during the days when it took 100 or so workers to keep the farm running. Magers, like many of the early settlers, moved to the Dell area in a wagon. The original wagon is still on the farm. Dru loved growing up in the rural area where she learned from her mother and grandmother the arts of canning, quilting, needlework and the country way of life. Dru always loved history and was excited about going to work in Colonial Williamsburg in 2002. Her years of needlework helped as she worked in reproductions of historical items sold at the Greenhow House in Colonial Williamsburg. “We wore period costumes and were encouraged to go into ‘the Queen’s English’ while we were working,” she said. She developed a character. She was a millinery apprentice to Mary Dickinson, a seamstress who had a shop across the road. It was here she met John Holt, who also was working at Colonial Williamsburg. He was assistant manager at the Greenhow House and he, too, enjoyed being part of the history with his character and storytelling. The two enjoyed working together and played off each other’s characters, with tourists enjoying their reproduction of life in Colonial Williamsburg. They were making their plans to marry when they visited her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Duncan, in Dell. Mr. Duncan will be remembered by many in the area for

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


his photography. He managed the farm and enjoyed his hobby of photography, preserving landmarks of the area through his pictures. It was love at first visit for John. He said he would have stayed in Dell after his first visit. Dru’s mother died unexpectedly in late 2004 and her father became ill soon after. Dru and John came to Dell and cared for Mr. Duncan until his death in 2005. The couple officially moved to the farm in Dell in 2006 and started their extensive restoration and preservation to the 75-year old farm house. “John loved watching his first cotton crop grow from planting to harvest,” Dru said. They did a lot of the work themselves, as John enjoys carpentry, woodcarving and metal-working. They wanted to restore the house to its original look as much as possible. They added porches, a 10-foot addition to the original kitchen and a garage. They also added closets and enlarged the bathroom. Through all of the renovations, they tried to keep it simple. They love the open hearth and actually use it to cook for holidays. “We enjoy dressing up in character, cooking everything from scratch in the hearth and having our family out for the holidays,” Dru said. They found original doors from the house under the barn and used them in the renovation. John hid the modern appliances, such as the dishwasher, behind the wooden fronts of the cabinets. He made the countertops with wood from the roof of the house when the new metal roof was installed. Friends Dave and Shirley Short recently gave them a log cabin from their farm at Prim, Ark. John spent time helping take the log cabin apart, log by log. Dave hauled the logs to their Dell farm. One of John’s next projects will be to put it back together. It is what was once called a double trot log house and will be a great addition to the farm. At one time, as many as 100 or more people worked on land owned by Mr. Magers. The structures at the home site were built between 1912 and 1930. The barn, wood shop, the chicken house, the outhouse, the corn crib and other buildings have been restored. The C.A. Smith Grocery once was located in Dell and was owned by Dru’s grandfather Magers and passed down to Dru and her mother. “Not many people knew the store belonged to our family,” Dru said. “Through the years I had offers from people who wanted to purchase the property and tear the store down, but I could not bring myself to let it be torn down.” They had the store moved near their home and turned it into a company store filled with antiques and items from the 1930’s. Even though the farm is on the National Register of Historic Places, it is private property and is not open to the public. Dru and John have welcomed a few tours and hope to


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

someday have it open for more. They have moved in several “shotgun” style units and hope to open a B&B (bed and barbecue) for people who want to step back and learn some oldfashioned skills. John can teach wood-working and Dru plans to teach treadling. “I have a modern sewing machine, but I just love using the treadle ones,” Dru said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we hope someday to have a Living History Museum open for overnight guests and tours by appointments.” John does hand-crafted leather pouches and other items, which along with Dru’s needlework and handicrafts, are available for purchase through the couple’s “Back at the Farm 1938” and “Southern Simplicity” trade names (www.backatthefarm1938@ or by e-mailing Dru earned an English degree from Hendrix College and completed a degree in the field of Cytotechnology. John has appeared in movies including New World and Cold Mountain. He also acted in “The Battle of Yorktown,” “The Battle of Green Bridge” and “Brothers in Arms,” films for PBS and BBC. On most days John can be found working the farm and Dru can be found working at her treadle sewing machine. When they take time off, they enjoy traveling around and finding other historic places to visit. It takes a lot of work to keep up a farm the old-fashioned way, but they both enjoy the results of their labor.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we hope someday to have a Living History Museum open for overnight guests and tours by appointments.� - Dru Duncan

Co-owner of the Live History Museum

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads




120 S. Second St.



319 N. Baltimore

Trumann 326 Highway 463 North


City of Caraway 102 W State St.

Caraway City Hall (870) 482-3716

Mayor Barry Riley

Caraway Police Department (870) 482-3434

Police Department (from left)

Officer Justin Faulkner, Captain Glen Austin, Chief William “Pete� Hicks, Officer Bo James, Officer Chuck Nichols

City Employees

Merle Bard, David Roberson, Terry Couch, Gary Jeffers (front ) Mary Hollis, Margaret Glidewell, Marcia Stevens. (back)


Enjoy the Experience

Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

Want to get more press? Let us do the work. Place your card in Delta Crossroads for instant circulation of your business name.


CROSSROADS 1/2 Price Sale Nov. 26 (Friday after Thanksgiving) (Some items excluded)


No Interest if paid in 6 months

DOLLINS DOLLINS 106 College St. • Kennett, MO

Tues-Sat. 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


(8 70 ) 559 98-3809 (87 No Credit Checks

Living Rooms, Bedrooms, Dinettes, Appliances,Electronics, Computers & Flat Screen T.V.s

(east side of square)


We accept: Visa & MasterCard

New Hope Baptist Church 7600 Hwy. 62 - P.O. Box 80 Pollard, AR SCHEDULE OF SERVICES

Sunday School - 9:30 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship - 10:30 a.m. Sunday Evening Worship - 6:00 p.m. Wednesday Worship - Bible Study, all ages - 7:00 p.m.

870-544-2364 • Pastor: Rev. Loy Culver

Reach Out Christ’s Kingdon Ministries


Christian Fellowship

371 N. Moore (Down from NAPA) Jesus Loves You and Has a Good Plan For Your Life.

Reaching out in Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness.

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES Sunday Morning Worship - 10:00 a.m. Tuesday Prayer Fellowship - 6:30 p.m.

870-565-2784 • Pastor: Chris Shelton

Cindy Vassar



114 W. 4TH ST. P.O. BOX 45 RECTOR, AR 72461

(870) 595-1020 (870) 595-1021

Happy Holidays!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Len Kemp, M.D. Lance Monroe, M.D. Judy Leach, A.P.N.

OFFICE HOURS Mon.-Fri., 8:00-5:00 595-3527 239-2222 (afterhours)

Rector Nursing & Rehab 1023 Hwy Hwy.. 119 • Rector Rector,, AR

“We offer speech therapy, physical therapy & occupational therapy.”

Phone: 870-595-1040

Fax: 870-595-1109



Side Streets

Photo by Nancy Kemp

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus 82

Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

God Bless Our Troops

Rector 870-595-3563

Paragould GM 870-236-8503

Kennett 573-888-1972

Paragould Ford 870-236-8546

Merry Christmas

Two locations in Paragould, AR Rector, AR • Kennett, MO

Glen Sain Motors Danny Ford, Owner

Holiday 2010|Delta Crossroads


814 N. Davis • Manila, AR • 870.561.3342

Happy Holidays from


NURSING CENTER Come home to Manila Nursing Center!


Delta Crossroads|Holiday 2010

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