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CONTENTS Summer 2013

this issue is a natural

12 Henry Wrinkles Foundation

Susan Boyd, founder of the Henry Wrinkles Foundation, follows her dream to change the world and continues to blaze the trail for children at risk and animals in need of adoption

21 Arkansas Veterans

Cemetery at Birdeye

In a peaceful setting along Crowley’s Ridge, this beautifully-designed cemetery offers a special final resting place for veterans

32 Bill Carter

A man of many talents, Rector native is most proud of foundation helping disadvantaged children in his hometown

39 Cash Music Festival

Now widely-recognized statewide, the third annual event Aug. 17 will feature big names

41 Beauty on the Ridge

Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro shines as an oasis offering an appreciation of nature

47 EPC Athletic Excellence

Photo by Nancy Kemp

The young men and women of East Poinsett County schools prevail as outstanding athletes decade after decade

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


In Every Issue WRIGHT-PACE

It’s the Right Place.

8 Editor’s Letter 30 Photo feature: a Delta landscape 72 Calendar of Events 102 Milestones 105 Product Page: You scream, I scream,

we all scream for...

106 Backroads


Columns 27 The Garden Spot with newly featured

columnist Ralph Seay

65 Living Healthy: defeating diabetes 67 Patio gardens: tips to do more with less 71 Pet Talk, the parasitic breakup 75 Movie Review: “The Dark Knight Rises” 94 Book Review: “Unbreakable”

Subscription Information

Would you or someone you know like to have Delta Crossroads magazine delivered to your front door? Our staff is offering a yearly subscription for the magazine. $16 per year gets a quarterly copy of Delta Crossroads delivered first class through the U.S. Post Office to anywhere in the United States.

Who to Contact:

Delta South circulation manager Jennifer Gilbee, 870-595-3549. Checks or money orders can be sent to Delta South Publishing, PO Box 366, Rector, AR, 72461

Online Access

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residential, acreage, commercial

Photograph by Nancy Kemp

21 57 Carroll Cloar Exhibition

Summer activities mark the 100th birthday of the nationally-celebrated late artist from Earle

60 Mississippi River State Park

Get swept away by the vibrant nature that surrounds you at Arkansas’ newest state park

77 Dan Donovan

His natural talent for the arts and love of color and texture manifests in delta lifestyle paintings

85 Dunigan Home Tour

Danny and Debbie Dunigan of Lake City showcase the home that welcomes family

91 Striking a beautiful chord

World War II veteran Jules Martin and his wife Dorothy still making music together after 59 years

97 Sweet Creations

Nancy Holcomb of Rector has a taste for success making custom cookies and treats to order

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Editor’s Letter

Exploring the simple pleasures of the Delta There are few things my husband and I enjoy more than taking leisurely drives through the backroads of the Arkansas Delta. During a recent camping trip at Village Creek State Park, near Wynne, we headed north to the scenic little community of Birdeye so I could photograph the new Arkansas Veterans Cemetery. We had discovered the cemetery several months ago when its construction was nearing completion and, on this visit, marveled at the beautiful entrance, the sea of colorful wildflowers, the towering trees (including Arkansas’s largest red oak) and the stunning architecture of the buildings. It is a place of quiet dignity and solitude offering a perfect final resting place for those who have given much for our country. It was a beautiful day for a drive, so, from Birdeye, we headed east to the tiny community of Coldwater and then on to Twist, where we read an historical marker detailing the story of B.B. King’s close call in a barroom fire and how his guitar came to be called Lucille. (No, I’m not telling the full story here, but it is sure to be the subject of a future story in Delta Crossroads.) From Twist we went to Three Forks (don’t you just love the names of these wonderful little Arkansas towns — I do!), and then drove south on Highway 149 toward Earle. We had been on this section of highway once before several years ago and remembered we were surprised at how it meanders through tall, graceful trees which, about midway through the drive, shelter the historical Gibson Bayou Church and Cemetery, established in 1865. On this trip, we wandered through the cemetery grounds, which include old gravesites on both sides of the road, and peeked through the church’s windows, agreeing the old-fashioned pew-lined room has a warmth which seems to beckon one to go inside. We hope to return sometime and do just that. As we neared Earle, we were excited to spot a very special gravesite which, although we knew it was there, still seems curious, because it is in the middle of a field, surrounded by soybeans. Situated on a large mound, a robed angel with golden hair, and large winged pedestals which frame her, mark the burial site of Rev. George B. Washington, a former slave who became one of Crittenden County’s largest landowners by the time of his death in 1928. The monument is the subject of an internationally-exhibited painting, “Angel in the Thorn Patch,” by Earle native Carroll Cloar, and will, along with the Gibson Bayou Church, be among the stopping places in a special Bike to Cloar event later this month — one of many activities this summer marking the 100th birthday of the famous artist, who died in 1993. An


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

article in this issue gives more details on the bike tour. In Earle, we circled through the streets, marveling at the mixture of glory and decay which, nowadays, so often defines small towns in the rural South, but agreeing we still love the feel of the special little Delta community we have visited many times over the years. Then it was on to Parkin, where my husband, Ron, searched for the little house where he, his parents and sister lived for a time when he was in elementary school and his dad was a winning football and basketball coach at Parkin High School (which, sadly, no longer exists since the Parkin district consolidated with nearby Wynne). Finishing the loop back to Village Creek State Park, we noticed the extremely high elevation of the railroad tracks which run parallel to Highway 64 and prayed for a train to come along so we could watch it move along across the Delta landscape, but it didn’t happen. We were sad for our little excursion to end, but it was during the drive that I captured many of the photos featured in this edition, and we are happy to have them to remind us of that special day. In addition to the new Arkansas Veterans Cemetery, the rolling hills of Crowley’s Ridge also hold many other surprises, among them the amazing new Mississippi River State Park, near Marianna (Lee County) and the popular Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center at Jonesboro, both featured in the pages of this edition. The unbelievable story of the many legendary athletes from East Poinsett County High School, located in the small Delta town of Lepanto, is chronicled in a wonderful article by writer Trent Fletcher, and Revis Blaylock details the inspiring work of Susan Boyd and her Henry Wrinkles Foundation in a story which is sure to inspire all who read it. These and many other stories make this issue one of my favorites among the 14 since we began publication in early 2010. I hope you agree! Have a wonderful summer and be sure you get out to enjoy all the Delta has to offer.

Editor, Delta Crossroads

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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

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. Š 2013, Delta Crossroads




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Summer2013|Delta Crossroads


The Henry



Henry, a lovable Shar Pei/Labrador mix, and his admirable owner, Susan

Boyd, have teamed up to become

a child’s best friends. Boyd’s farm near Beech Grove, in Greene County, is at the center of her many programs, which prove the power of good and giving. Asked during her teens what she wanted to do after high school graduation, Susan Boyd would immediately reply, “change the world.” A few decades later, Boyd’s passion for helping children and animals is making a huge impact and with her vision, faith and determination, there is no limit to what she will accomplish. Founder of the Henry Wrinkles Foundation, established in 2005, Boyd’s work is based on a rapidly-expanding farm in the Beech Grove area near Paragould — the farm where she grew up and probably will live for years to come, she said. A former teacher, she has spent the last few years developing many remarkable programs, which have met with great success. The “star” of Boyd’s clever programs, and the personality around which the foundation was built is Henry, an adorable mixed-breed dog, part Shar-Pei and part Labrador Retriever. Henry was rescued from a local shelter when he was just six weeks old and was such a natural with both children and adults visiting the farm that Boyd decided to put him at the center of many of her projects. Her wide-ranging programs, which seem to be continually growing in number, include animal therapy for special needs children, a school-appropriate literacy program, an ambitious spay/neuter project and animal adoption.

Henry Wrinkles 12

Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Text by Revis Blaylock|Photos courtesy of Henry Wrinkles Foundation

Henry relaxes as one of his two-legged friends enjoys a book

The joy children experience when riding horses is unique and invaluable

Photo by Nancy Kemp

Susan Boyd former teacher and founder of

Henry Wrinkles Foundation implementing multiple programs to aid in child development and animal care

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Boyd welcomes visitors to the farm

Photo by Nancy Kemp

Photo by Nancy Kemp

Those who wish to support the foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, may send donations, which are tax deductible, to: 517 S. 5th St., Paragould, AR 72450


Also very much a part of Boyd’s programs are 10 therapy dogs, four farm dogs, five rescued pigs, six rescued goats and 70 horses, including Missouri Fox Trotters and rare shuffling Foundation Appaloosas. All of the animals are part of the therapy program, but the focus is on equine therapy and canine therapy, which, Boyd said, have proven to have many positive benefits. Boyd has used Henry’s story as the basis for books created for her literacy program and, in many visits to area schools and various fund-raising events, Henry has become quite a celebrity. The farm’s other rescued animals appear in the books’ illustrations wearing various costumes and are involved in a variety of plots, all with a lesson to be learned. Among the most endearing characters are the pigs, cleverly named Sowlee, Stanley and Oliver, Piggy Sue and Gloria Vanderswine. “Stanley and Oliver are the troublemakers and always getting into something,” Boyd laughed. The book series is part of the foundation’s Communication Enhancement program, which encourages communication skills, and is available to be used in school curriculums. A pilot program, within the framework of the state’s new common core curriculum, was used this year in an area classroom, allowing students to hear Henry’s stories and then chat with him online. In 2006, Henry began visiting a first grade classroom each Wednesday through the Assisted Learning program. The children found great joy in reading and talking with Henry, and foundation staff members created humorous photos of Henry in various settings and clever attire to inspire them to write stories about his adventures. The program continues to be adapted for various classroom uses. A group of special needs children recently read books and magazines about Henry and his farmyard friends to expand their experience and vocabulary base and then told, drew and wrote stories about their experiences. While the nation’s problem of unwanted animals remains a serious concern, Boyd is emphatic that she will continue meeting the issue head on and works hard to promote the foundation’s spay/neuter and adoption programs. Go Dog Go rallies give children a chance to have fun racing their battery-powered cars against Henry and other members of his “race team” to raise money in support of local animal shelters or rescue groups, but also include a visit by the foundation’s mobile spay/neuter unit, where up to 100 animals have been spayed or neutered in one day.

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Photos by Nancy Kemp

Mike Meizler rides Rain Fire, a visiting gaited Appaloosa being trained at the farm The Spay It Forward program provides interest free loans to pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered. A visit to the farm is always a special and very memorable experience for children. The farm’s horses are trained by Mike Meizler, who seems to have a natural understanding of the extraordinary animals in his care. Boyd and Meizler are especially proud of the stunning Foundation Appaloosas they breed on the farm, and Boyd said she receives calls from all over the country from people who want to buy the very rare horses. Boyd now has eight barns on her 180-acre farm. The newest facility features a large center arena surrounded by a raised observation deck which allows visitors to have a good view of activities below. Boyd said 250 first grade students recently filled the circular observation deck after a lesson on the Black Stallion. “God is surrounding me with the people I need,” Boyd said. “From the trainer to counselors, veterinarians and helpers from the Shepherd’s Fold group (a non-profit organization dedicated to helping men overcome addictions), they are all a blessing. It seems when we have a need, it is provided. Boyd has plans to expand the equine and canine therapy programs and hopes to soon develop a home for boys.

Friendly faces abound at the farm 16

Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

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Henry Wrinkles is on both Facebook and Twitter, and those who want more information may visit the foundation website,, call (870) 450-2438 or email

Other foundation programs: Paws Across the Borders Schools in other states or countries use animals in the classroom to promote learning — and later share videos of their unique experiences.

Paws Up for Learning Supports the use of animals in the classroom for social, emotional and academic development.

Adoption Boot Camp Pairing kids from “at risk” situations with dogs that have been difficult to place from animal shelters. (The youths are coached in basic dog obedience and then work with their “dog partners” to transfer those skills and increase the dogs’ adoptability.)

We’ll Take You There Takes the Adoption Boot Camp effort a step further, adding equine-assisted activities which allow the children to learn how to handle horses and gain insight into their fears, habits and unconscious ways of relating.

Together We Can Helps special needs children develop motor skills, confidence and self-esteem through riding horses.

Ride On aimed at students ages 10 to 17 to not only build confidence and self-esteem, but also to give the kids a chance to learn responsibility while riding and caring for horses.


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

“I want to build four houses for boys who need homes,” she said. “Each would house eight boys. The youth can learn so much from caring for the animals. They would have a safe environment to live and grow up in.” Boyd said she hopes the literacy program will take off and help support the foster home program. A 16-year-old boy Boyd and Meizler met on the horse circuit will live on the farm this summer to help with the horses, and Meizler will teach him to train them in preparation for horse shows. A new counselor has joined the staff, and Boyd is hopeful the equine and canine therapy will reach more youth. “Every social problem can be solved if the element of greed is removed,” she said. “My long-term goal is to have a board to take care of the foundation, a farm manager, a horse trainer, a dog trainer and a groundskeeper — and I will just shovel poop,” she laughed. “I have always found that job relaxing.” Susan Boyd seems to be living her dream of changing the world — one child and one animal at a time. The world is certainly a better place because of her efforts.



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a Final Resting Place

Arkansas Veterans Cemetery at Birdeye

honoring those who serveD their country

Photo by Belina Santos

The cemetery is home to the largest Red Oak tree in Arkansas Text by Belina Santos|Photos by Nancy Kemp

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


beauty of nature to comfort In the quiet beauty of the rolling hills along Crowley's Ridge, the new Arkansas Veterans Cemetery at Birdeye, in Cross County, provides a tranquil final resting place for soldiers, their spouses and dependents. The cemetery was dedicated May 4, 2012, in a ceremony attended by more than 700 people, including Governor Mike Beebe.

Native plants line a beautiful pond

They will rest where the sunrise quickly dries the dew and where the sunset, because of Crowley’s Ridge, shades the afternoon heat. It’s a magnificent place. - Governor Mike Beebe

the soul

Photo by Belina Santos

"They will rest where the sunrise quickly dries the dew and where the sunset, because of Crowley's Ridge, shades the afternoon heat. It's a magnificent place," the governor said in his remarks. Originally the vision of a group of Cross Countians, who began efforts to secure financing in the late 1990s, the cemetery's first phase was funded through a $7.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "A lot of key people helped make it come about," said cemetery manager Mark Frank. The project will continue over the span of many years in 10 phases and eventually will include grave sites for thousands of courageous Americans. The 100-acre property was purchased by the state in 2008, and construction began in the fall of 2010. The area's natural beauty is optimized in three distinct areas of the cemetery: a stunning welcome center, which during the summer is surrounded by a sea of colorful wildflowers; a committal shelter where memorial services are held beside an expansive pond lined with beautiful native plants; and a maintenance building, which provides everything needed for meticulous care of the grounds. The simple — yet powerful - architecture, by Fennell Purifoy of Little Rock, fits perfectly into the picturesque setting creating a respectful memorial and a place for quiet reflection. The 4,606-square-foot welcome center includes a reception area, offices, rest rooms and a gravestone locator and features an impressive curved glass wall, which allows

Entrance signs reflect simplicity of design

Wildflowers provide a sea of color

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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

A bugler plays “Taps” during the funeral of a fallen soldier

visitors to look out over the cemetery grounds. The committal shelter, located at the back of the property, is turned away from the road to provide privacy and includes an Honor Guard area, seating for about 30 people and standing room for up to 50 more. Complimenting the architectural design of the buildings, Ecological Design Group of Little Rock took advantage of the area's many natural elements, including two natural streams and huge oak trees (including the state's largest red oak), in creating very special spaces of peace and solitude. There are separate areas in the cemetery for full casket burials and the interment of cremations, and simple, dignified columbariums are provided for those who wish to entomb cremations. Grave sites and columbarium niches are assigned by the next available location without regard to military rank, race, creed or gender. While fewer than 100 interments have taken place since the cemetery's opening, Frank said pre-eligibility paperwork has been received for 458 people. Eligibility requirements can be found on the cemetery's website, www.veterans.arkansas. gov/birdeyecem.html, or brochures may be secured by calling (870) 588-4608. "The cemetery is designed to serve a 70-mile radius, overlapping existing national and state veterans cemeteries, but we will accept any eligible veteran, spouse or eligible dependent from any location," Frank said. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Frank said he has enjoyed working for the cemetery since its opening. "It's a very humbling experience to meet all of the families, because none of them are the same, but they all had a loved one who fought for the same cause," he said. "It's a really good feeling to give back to the veterans community." Administrative hours at the cemetery are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Arkansas Veterans Cemetery at Birdeye is the second Veterans Cemetery established by a Department of Veterans Affairs grant. The other is Arkansas Veterans Cemetery at North Little Rock.




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God Bless Our Troops

Column by Ralph Seay

the Garden


Heirloom charm Reviving the tastes of the past Gardening means different things to different people. As for me, when I think of gardening, I think of homegrown tomatoes. Wherever we lived throughout my Army career, I tried to grow my own tomatoes. I grew tomatoes while a student at Arkansas State, then in Vietnam, Maryland, Germany, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, South Korea, Indiana, Alabama, and now in Arkansas. I am always trying for a better tomato! I volunteer at the Children’s Learning Garden located at the Health, Wellness and Environmental Studies (HWES) Elementary School in` Jonesboro. In late April, HWES held a plant sale in which they featured heirloom tomato plants to raise money for worthwhile garden projects in their school. I helped load the tomato plants into my truck, assisted in setting up the sale, and helped a few customers select healthy plants. Unfortunately, I did not fully understand what the term “heirloom tomatoes” actually meant. Melinda Smith, one of the HWES teachers, explained that heirloom

tomatoes generally are “old-fashioned” tomatoes like your Grandma used to raise. Sherri Broadway, another HWES teacher, shared that many people grow “heirlooms” because they taste better than today’s hybrid tomatoes. What are “heirloom tomatoes?” While “old-fashioned” is an apt description, they are really much more! The term “heirloom” provides the first indication of what we are talking about. An heirloom is something handed down from generation to generation. Therefore, an heirloom tomato is a tomato that someone really, really liked, either for the flavor, shape, or color, and decided to save the seeds for planting the following year. Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple. The hybrid tomato varieties most of us plant these days seldom produce the same tomato as the one from which the seeds were saved. An heirloom tomato is “open-pollinated,” which means they pollinate themselves and the seeds will be “true-totype.” For example, if you save the

Ralph Seay I grew up in the Blue Cane community southeast of Rector (Clay County) and graduated from Arkansas State University with an BS in Agriculture with an emphasis in Plant Science. I was a 20-year career Army officer, retiring in 1989, followed by nearly 20 years as a contractor working on Army programs. My wife, Connie Kelly Seay, and I moved back to Arkansas in May 2008. I have been gardening all of my life, most of the time on a very small scale. By anyone’s measure, I am not a gardening expert, but I am an eager learner! If you have any questions about gardening or suggestions for potential Delta Crossroads gardening articles, please send them to me via email at deltacrossroadsgardener@ or you can send them via regular mail to: 513 Magnolia Road, Jonesboro, AR 72401.

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Ralph Seay and his heirloom tomatoes seeds from a “Marglobe” tomato, you can expect next year’s tomatoes to be similar to the Marglobe tomato from which you saved the seed. A further discriminator is that most heirloom tomato aficionados classify heirloom tomatoes into four categories: family heirlooms, commercial heirlooms, mystery heirlooms, and created heirlooms.

a. Family heirlooms are grown from seeds that have been passed down for several generations through a family.

b. Commercial heirlooms are tomato varieties that

have been in circulation more than 50 years or openpollinated varieties introduced before 1940.


Mystery heirlooms are varieties that are a product of natural cross-pollination of other heirloom varieties.


Created heirlooms are tomatoes that have been intentionally cross-pollinated using an heirloom and a hybrid, or two heirlooms, to develop desirable characteristics, such as taste, shape, or color. While the resulting plant will initially be a hybrid, it will become dehybridized through saving and replanting the seeds for about five seasons or until it grows consistently true to the characteristics the grower had in mind. The possibility of better tasting tomatoes intrigued me so much that I have planted 16 different heirloom tomato varieties in my garden this year. I fully realize heirlooms have shorter shelf-life, are not heavy producers, and sometimes have odd shapes, but I am willing to experiment for at least one year. The varieties I planted this year include Costoluto Genovese, Marglobe, Pantano Romanesco, Chadwicks Cherry, Green Zebra, Dester, Millionaire, German Johnson, Mortgage Lifter, and Kellogg’s Breakfast. I am a bit concerned that my small, unscientific experiment will be a disaster and I will not have enough tomatoes to share with others this year. In any event, I will provide a summary of my results in a future article.

Happy Gardening!

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Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


a life of

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Bill Carter Rector native Bill Carter says he didn’t plan any aspect of his extraordinary life — that fate took him down the path which led him, through many fascinating twists and turns, to become the incredibly successful and highly influential man he is today. It is truly remarkable — almost unbelievable — the way his life unfolded following his graduation in 1953 from Rector High School. He earned a law degree, was a Secret Service agent during the Kennedy/Johnson years, was attorney for the Rolling Stones during their turbulent early tours in the U.S. and later represented a long line of top country music stars, including Reba McEntire, before eventually becoming producer of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming video series and other projects in Nashville. As some would say, he has “lived large” among some of the world’s most famous and influential people. Carter still carries a lot of clout in the entertainment world and, in 2011, brought to Jonesboro for the first Johnny Cash Music Festival, many of the greatest names in music — Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Gary Morris and others, in support of the restoration of Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess. He repeated his impressive effort last year landing Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley and the Civil Wars to perform with Rosanne Cash. This year, in August, the Arkansas State University stage will feature top stars Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin and


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Secret Service agent Bill Carter (at right, top) at the funeral of President John F. Kennedy and, a few years later, at his desk in Little Rock Text by Nancy Kemp|Photos courtesy of Bill Carter

Carter with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards at the Nashville airport in 2008

Carter received the Crystal Award this year at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and, earlier this month, was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. He is pictured with Arkansas Parks and Tourism executive director Richard Davies and Miss Arkansas Sloane Roberts. the Gatlin Brothers, and former Statler Brothers tenor Jimmy Fortune, joining Joanne Cash-Yates and host Tommy Cash, the siblings of Johnny Cash. For his work in support of the Cash project in Dyess, Carter was honored in April at the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism with a special Crystal Award. Earlier this month, in a ceremony at Hot Springs, he was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of ASU in 2011 and was among a select group recognized by Arkansas State University alumni in 2009 in a special publication “100 Years, 100 Voices.”

Yet of all the things he has accomplished, he is most proud of his role as co-founder of the Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation, which, since it was established in 2006, has had an amazing impact on the lives of hundreds of financially disadvantaged students in his hometown. Carter grew up in a poor household in Rector and is all too familiar with the stigma which comes with poverty. He says it is his greatest joy that the foundation has been able to remove that stigma for the many local kids who have had to suffer the embarrassment and frustration of needs which previously could not be met. Now, when a need is identified by a committee of teachers and administrators, it is quickly, quietly and discreetly addressed. Over the last seven years, the foundation has provided thousands of dollars to pay for dental and vision care, athletic shoes and uniforms, band instruments and uniforms, field trips, meals, school supplies, convention fees and much more. The foundation also is funding a growing number of scholarships for graduating seniors, making a college education possible for many students who otherwise might never have had that opportunity.

Bill Carter (left) with longtime friend and Helping Hands Foundation co-founder Maj. Gen. George Barker

Bill Carter helps a child in South Africa

Bill Carter

Bill and Marlow Carter with their dog Sammy at their home in Lebanon, Tenn.

Those who want to help with his efforts can go to to read more about the foundation or to make a donation. Helping Hands is a 501(3)(c) organization and all gifts are tax deductible. 34

Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013


Joey Pruett (left) and Bill Carter work together at the annual Johnny Cash Music Festival in Jonesboro Carter said that on a visit to Rector around the middle of the last decade, he saw a young girl, clearly impoverished, walking down a sidewalk. The sight of her tattered clothing and obviously downcast spirit deeply touched him. Shortly after, he related that story to an old friend, Maj. Gen. George Barker (U.S. Army, retired) of New York, a 1951 RHS graduate who also has found great success, and the two decided they would return to their hometown to seek out ways they might help. They visited the Rector school to talk to administrators and heard the story of a girl with an abscessed tooth whose family was too poor to have the tooth repaired. Teachers had collected money among themselves to pay for a visit to the dentist, but Carter and Barker realized the teachers couldn’t meet the many needs of disadvantaged students in a poor rural community. A plan was soon put into place. Carter and Barker contacted other Rector alumni of their generation, as well as later Rector grads and several Rector community and school leaders, and the foundation was soon off and running. The organization immediately began seeking support through donations and a number of fundraising events. Carter also has used his ties to the music world to bring several world-renowned artists to Rector for huge benefit concerts hosted by the Rector community. More than $100,000 has been raised through four shows, featuring stars such as Jimmy Fortune, Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald, gospel great Guy Penrod, Grammy winner Jason Crabb, multi-award winning bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent, noted Gaither singer, songwriter and comic Mark Lowry, as well as many others. Part of Carter’s inspiration has come from his work with the Bill Gaither organization. During the years he was working with country music artists in Nashville, Carter said he was aware of Gaither, who was creating gospel music videos featuring many of the finest talents in that field. He saw one of the videos for the first time on television’s 700 Club and later wrote in his 2005 book Get Carter, “The production at the time was bare-bones and the lighting was bad,

but the music and the voices were incredible. It was the old-time music I had heard in church all my life that just warms your heart.” When asked, Carter went to work getting the videos greater exposure and setting up concerts for the Gaither artists in major venues. It was the start of a tremendously rewarding partnership for all involved. The Gaither Homecoming videos soared in popularity, and soon the company was recording gospel concerts all over the world to great success. One Homecoming project, taped in the mountains of North Carolina, focused on the music that had influenced the ministry of internationally-known evangelist Billy Graham. “I grew up in a home where a Billy Graham telecast was never missed,” Carter wrote in his

Bill Carter and worldrenowned lighting expert Allen Branton prior to a Rector concert in support of the Helping Hands Foundation

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Carter (second from right) with Bluegrass stars Jamie Dailey (left) and Darrin Vincent (right) and gospel great Mark Lowry after a 2010 Helping Hands concert in Rector and (at right) with Dr. Billy Graham

I came to realize his crusades were only a small part of Billy Graham. His real contribution to society was the enormous impact he had on the social issues of the twentieth century. - Bill Carter

Relaxing in the mountains of North Carolina book. “To me Billy Graham represented Christianity as it should be. His devotion, integrity, and his simple Christian message appealed to masses as well as world leaders. When I was growing up he was someone I could always turn to for a revival of my faith and hope. “The taping was one of the most spiritual events of my life,” he added. While Dr. Graham wasn’t able to attend the taping, Carter later met him for the first time backstage at a crusade. “He invited me to sit beside him,” Carter wrote. “He took my hand and made me feel like the most special person on earth. He was so kind and generous in spite of the fact that he was concentrating on his sermon.” An off-shoot of the earlier project about Dr. Graham was a documentary on his life, the first sanctioned by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). “If I never do anything else in my life, I’ll always be grateful that I was given the opportunity to be involved in the making of this documentary,” Carter wrote.


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

“I always thought I knew Billy Graham, but it didn’t take me long to realize just how little I really knew. The impression he had made on me was his overriding message to the world: ‘God loves you.’ Through the years we spent compiling and then editing the footage, I came to realize his crusades were only a small part of Billy Graham. His real contribution to society was the enormous impact he had on the social issues of the twentieth century, such as civil rights and the fall of Communism. I sincerely hope that the legacy of the documentary, much like Dr. Graham’s legacy, will be that viewers will be compelled to become better people. That’s certainly the lasting impact Billy Graham has effected on my life.” Some of Carter’s local friends, who remember him as a prankster repeatedly suspended from school and know of his reputation over the years as a tough intimidator, are somewhat amazed at Carter’s open display of emotion regarding his concern for the young people in his hometown. He has just as much determination to make the foundation self supporting as he had in protecting two presidents

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and keeping the rowdy Rolling Stones out of legal trouble, and while he has mellowed some, those who work with him still occasionally see his stubborn side and understand how he has been able to accomplish so much. Carter continues to stay in contact with Billy Graham and laughingly tells friends he is safe because Dr. Graham prays for him every day. He is a very special man with a caring heart and one distinct goal — to be the type of person who would make his late mother proud.

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Visit us at

Cash Festival 2013

Joanne Cash Yates

Tommy Cash

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers and Joanne Cash Yates will join show host Tommy Cash for the third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center in Jonesboro. Rector native and festival founder Bill Carter is again concert producer. Tickets are available through ASU’s Central Box Office, online at and through the official website of the Johnny Cash Music Festival, Those who wish may call to purchase tickets toll-free at 1-888-278-3267. As in years past, proceeds from this year’s event will fund the continued restoration of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess (Mississippi County) as well as support a scholarship fund established in the international superstar’s name. Four young people already are attending ASU thanks to the money raised at the previous events. “We have been extremely happy not only with the progress on Johnny’s boyhood home, but also with the funding of this scholarship,” Carter said. “Johnny’s family made it clear from the start that giving children from his hometown area an opportunity to get a college education is something Johnny would have been very proud of. Likewise, the Dyess area will benefit from the economic boost we feel certain this museum will bring to the community. We’re grateful to the artists who are coming in this year to put on a great show for a great cause.” The restoration of the home is well underway and, according to Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites, the museum is projected to open in the spring of 2014. The goal is to establish the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home as a museum to honor the legacy of the Man in Black. It is of interest to note another piece of historical data attached to the house. Cash’s family moved to Dyess and the 40 acres of land as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. “We have made great progress on the actual restoration of the house and are now working with members of the Cash family on acquiring the appropriate furnishings, which are being carefully researched,” Hawkins said. “Thanks to Joanne’s and Tommy’s great memories, it’s going to seem as if the Cash family has just stepped outside the door to head to church.”

Vince Gill

Jimmy Fortune

Third Johnny Cash Music Festival will feature all-star lineup Gill, Gatlins, Fortune to join Cash siblings

Aug. 17

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads



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If you or your family are looking for a special experience this summer, look no further than the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, located just south of Jonesboro. This beautiful Nature Center, built in 2004, is the second of four free nature centers constructed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission with revenue from a Conservation Sales Tax passed in 1996. The others include the Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff, the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith, and the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock.



Summertime Fun at the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center Text by Candy Hill|Photos courtesy of Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


The Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center is located at 600 E. Lawson Road in Jonesboro, 1.5 miles south of the Craighead Forest Park entrance. The center is open year round from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. To find out about the summer calendar of events or other information about the center, call (870) 933-6787 or visit the center’s website at: Photo courtesy of Connie Seay

Photo by Candy Hill


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Photo courtesy of Connie Photo by Connie Seay Seay

Each center focuses on the natural elements and ecosystems found in its region of the state. They are part classroom, part museum and part playground and help people of all ages better understand their natural surroundings. The Jonesboro Center was named in honor of Forrest L. Wood, Arkansas’ bass boat manufacturing pioneer and past chairman of the state Game and Fish Commission. The focus of the Center is the area’s unique topography, natural history and wildlife of Crowley’s Ridge, as well as its contrast to the surrounding delta. The Crowley’s Ridge Center features a three-story, 17,000-square-foot education, exhibit and meeting facility located on 160 acres and adjoins the southern boundary of Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro. In addition to the education and exhibit facility, the Nature Center grounds are comprised of a 5.5 acre prairie, including native plant and butterfly gardens, a 2.5 acre pond and 100 acres in woodlands. The popular center welcomes about 63,000 visitors each year, and while many of them are from Northeast Arkansas, visitors also hail from several different countries and nearly all 50 states, according to facilities director Shaun Merrell. Crowley’s Ridge, a crescent-shaped landform created by water, wind and other natural forces over millions of years, is considered a unique piece of North America. It has been proclaimed as one of the great geological oddities of our part of the world and is the only highlands in the eastern Arkansas delta. The Ridge has many stories and differs greatly from its beginnings in southeastern Missouri to its end at Helena and the center strives to tell these stories with indoor and outdoor exhibits, films and all types of outdoor and nature activities. Before entering the education building, visitors cross a bridged stream populated with native aquatic species and assorted native plantings in the surrounding gardens attract birds and butterflies to the grounds. The education complex, built to blend in and complement its wooded environment, features an exhibit area, observation tower, meeting rooms, auditorium, Discovery Room, gift shop and offices. An indoor adventure welcomes visitors where exhibits, a diorama and movie reveal the natural forces that formed the 200 mile long Crowley’s Ridge and native wildlife, ranging from large game animals to small insects. One of the stars of the center is a massive two-story diorama of the ridge and its wildlife. Viewed from two levels of the facility, it introduces visitors to the special plants, animals and hydrology of the ridge landscape.

A high-definition movie on the history and characteristics of Crowley’s Ridge is a “must-see” part of the center and covers the formation of the ridge as viewers feel the water, wind and earthquakes which sculpted this unique landmark. Many of the center’s exhibits are hands-on and explore the range of Crowley’s Ridge wildlife, while a huge aerial photograph and models reveal the width and length of the ridge. The “Crow’s Nest” on the upper level of the center presents a bird’s eye view over the facility’s diverse landscape to the ridge and delta south of the site. An outdoor education awaits visitors with the 1/4 mile long Habitats Trail, which circles Willow Pond, behind the Nature Center. The short walk moves through upland, pond, prairie and wetland habitats, complete with a wildlifeviewing blind.

In addition, a series of trail signs, featuring touchable brass models and nature-inspired metal graphic frames, dot the center’s boardwalk trail as it winds through the habitats. For those wanting to venture further, trails through the woods connect north to Craighead Forest Park. Educational programs, classes, workshops and many special events are also on tap at the center, and regularly scheduled programs include the daily Crowley’s Ridge movie, a “feeding frenzy,” the “Creature Feature” every Saturday and “Tales and Trails Nature Stories and Crafts” the first Saturday of each month. “We also offer many programs and activities to educate and encourage people to take advantage of outdoor opportunities,” Merrell said. “These include workshops, seminars and trainings geared toward hunting and fishing, as well as wildlife watching and management of private lands.”

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads



Photo by Candy Hill

Photo by Connie Seay

The high demand outdoor skills workshops, scheduled on a monthly basis, are hosted by a wide variety of individuals, including Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists, outdoor personalities and outdoor industry professionals. Speaking of the center’s most popular programs or workshops, Merrell, says, “Most all of our workshops and activities draw lots of interest, but if I had to single one out, it would be family activities regarding wildlife, the development of outdoor skills or learning about hunting and fishing opportunities. During these workshops, participants also create something to take home with them to enjoy, such as a birdhouse, turkey call or a fishing lure. “Track casting is an activity included in one of our Arkansas mammal programs, where participants learn about various animal habits and how to identify different animals by their tracks,” he continued. “They are then able to choose a track mold from one of the species discussed and make a cast of the track to take home with them. Oftentimes we use colored soap instead of plaster and make soap


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Photo by Connie Seay

Photo by Candy Hill

molds of the tracks. Kids love it! “We receive as many as 200-plus participants at many of our programs, and a couple even exceeded 400,” Merrell exclaimed. “Thanks to the 1/8 cent Conservation Sales Tax, all of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Nature Centers can operate and provide all of these programs and activities free of charge to the public.” Approximately 25 percent of the center’s annual visitation is comprised of school groups visiting the facility on field trips. “Students from all over Northeast Arkansas, Southeast Missouri and around the state have visited the center, and we’ve even had a few groups from North Mississippi and Eastern Tennessee stop in for a visit,” remarked Merrell. Early in June, the center hosted kindergarten through seventh grade students from the Jonesboro Valley View Excel summer program, and language instructor Katelin Rains finds the center to be a wonderful place for kids to explore. “Our school makes several trips to the Nature Center

each year, studying such things as archery, the water cycle, predators, constellations and animal pelts, all through activities meshing with our science curriculum,” she said. “Everything in the center, from videos to trails and exhibits, helps our students to appreciate nature around us. The center staff is very supportive of our groups, and I consider the center to be a wonderful oasis in the middle of a big city,” Rains added. Eleven-year-old student Madelyn E. commented, “I’ve visited the Nature Center in every grade and it’s so much fun! We learn a lot during our visits, and I especially love the rain, thunder and lightning during the film and bird watching on the trail. I just really appreciate having the center here.” Several new exhibits are on hand at the center and more are planned for the immediate future, according to Merrell. “Recently, we’ve added a large aquatic reptile habitat to our Discovery Room which houses alligators and several species of large turtles and native fish. Other projects in the works include a new film for our theatre focusing on getting involved in the outdoors, complete with special effects. “We’re planning more wayside exhibits to our trail system, as well as researching options for more interactive exhibits. A new aquatic fur bearer/trapping exhibit is currently under construction, and, of course, there are a few we want to keep as a surprise.” In addition to the scheduled programs, classes and events, groups may request special programs or specific activities with advance reservations. There also are many opportunities available for volunteers who would like to assist with programs, landscaping and trails. “My staff and I work hard to achieve the same goal, which is educating and encouraging our visitors to take advantage of the outdoor opportunities available in our great state,” Merrell said. “There is no greater sense of pure gratification and bonding with friends and family than time spent enjoying the outdoors. “We all love our jobs: interacting with the public, working with wildlife and teaching our visitors skills needed for success in hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. It’s exciting to hear visitors return and talk about a recent outdoor adventure they experienced with their families after attending one of our programs.”





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EPC produces amazing athletes — year after year Nestled in the heart of the Northeast Arkansas Delta lies the sleepy little town of Lepanto, home to the East Poinsett County Warriors, one of the state’s most prolific athletic programs. Perhaps no school, certainly on the Class 2A level, has produced more Division 1 college players than has EPC. Since the late 1980s the mighty Warriors have sent no less than seven players to such top level schools as the University of Arkansas, Baylor, Wichita State and Arkansas State University, not to mention numerous other athletes who have gone on to play on the

Lefty quarterback Darius Barnes, No. 10, was a two-time all-star Text by Trent Fletcher|Photos by Delta Publishing South staff unless noted otherwise

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Photo courtesy UA Athletics


Monk and Madden

Dynasties are born

Photo courtesy ASU Athletics

Chuck Monk

Photo courtesy ASU Athletics

Jerome Madden


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

small or junior college level. Over the last nine seasons, EPC’s boys and girls have played for seven state championships and have brought home three titles. The parade of standout performers began when cousins Chuck Monk and Jerome Madden lit up Friday nights for Warrior fans. Both were multi-sport stars, excelling in baseball, basketball and football. But it was in football where the two received the most notice. Monk, a 4.3 speedster, gained a scholarship to play for Ken Hatfield’s Arkansas Razorbacks as a running back, while a year later Madden turned down offers from both the Hogs and LSU to stay close to home, opting for the ASU Indians. Monk joined Madden, transferring from Arkansas to ASU at the same time, and the duo was reunited where they would play out their careers the next three seasons in Jonesboro. “Chuck and I played on some pretty good teams in high school, and we ended up at ASU together,” Jerome Madden said. “We had a good college experience, but it was kind of tough having three coaches in four years. I started as a quarterback at ASU, but switched to wide receiver, while Chuck was a running back. Chuck was just real fast. He was really good at all three sports. He was just a great athlete. I was pretty good all around at everything. I knew sports. Whatever I played, I knew the odds and ends of the game.” “If I could describe Chuck Monk with one word, it would be speed,” said current EPC Superintendent and former Warrior football coach Mickey Pierce. “Chuck could wait until the last minute and just explode. He was a phenomenal athlete who had a great work ethic. Jerome had a great command for the game. He was a natural leader and a tremendous competitor,” Pierce said. By the early 2000s, Monk’s nephew Marcus Monk burst onto the scene, leading the Warriors to their first ever state basketball championship in 2004. Monk dominated the state round-ball scene for four years, culminating in being named Mr. Basketball in Arkansas his senior

Marcus Monk (left), nephew of Chuck Monk, was a football and basketball powerhouse in his high school, college and professional careers year. Monk also excelled in the classroom, posting a 4.0 grade point average, and earning valedictorian honors. But as good as Monk was on the hard court, it was football where the 6’6” Warrior star would take his wares to the next level. Monk was recruited by virtually every major college in the country in both sports. Stanford, Kansas and UCLA were among the schools courting Monk for his basketball services, while all the SEC schools went after the EPC star’s signature for football. In the end, Monk signed a letter of intent to play football for the Razorbacks, where he would be a four-year starter at wide receiver. The lanky wide-out set a freshman record for the Hogs, catching 37 passes and earning freshman All-SEC honors. Monk led the team in receiving his sophomore campaign, and by the time he was a junior he caught a career high 50 passes for 962 yards and a school re-

cord 11 touchdowns, averaging a whopping 19.2 yards per reception. Monk suffered a preseason knee injury prior to his senior season and was limited to the final six games of the year. Monk joined the Arkansas basketball team in the spring and had a breakout performance against fourth ranked Oklahoma, scoring 12 points while grabbing six rebounds. The 6’6” guard also shut down Sooner All-American Blake Griffin with tenacious defense. Despite the setback from his knee surgeries, Monk was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft to the Chicago Bears. He signed a four-year rookie deal before being waived later that summer. The former Hog receiver hooked on with the New York Giants’ practice squad before closing his pro career with the Carolina Panthers. “I had a great time in both high school and college,” Marcus Monk said. “It was a great experience at EPC. The fans were very supportive and always packed the gym. I feel like we left our mark. The fans still talk about our teams. In basketball, we had a very strong team. The other four starters were all very good players. Boo Collins, Brandon Sturdivant, Spencer Harston and P.J. Lacy, they were a great bunch of teammates. It was a great time that I will remember forever. It was great being a Hog. The support and love we got from everyone across the state was just awesome. I chose Arkansas over everyone else because they allowed me to play both football and basketball. I had a blast.” Monk just finished a three-year stint playing European basketball in Germany. “Living in Europe has taught me a lot about culture in other parts of the world,” he said. “I have been out of my comfort zone, but it has been a priceless experience. It makes a person appreciate the United States a lot more.” Monk is currently attending graduate school at the University of Arkansas. “Marcus was just a good all-around heady ball player in both football and basketball,” Madden said. “He was good at everything in both sports. He had a great feel for the game on the court and was one of the better defenders on the ball in the state. He was a very smart player and scored when he had to. He was a great receiver in football, and of course everyone knows about his stay at the U of A.” “Marcus was just an unbelievable athlete,” said current EPC football coach Brian Weathers. “He had size, speed and you couldn’t cover him. If you put the ball in his hands he would make a play. I remember playing undefeated Pocahontas in the state playoffs, and Marcus ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. We went on to win easily that night. Marcus was just the total package,” said Weathers. A new batch of stars arrived in 2008, led by Jerome’s youngest son, Ky Madden, who would have plenty of sup-

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Jammar Sturdivant

Photos courtesy UA/Walt Beasley

port, including three-time all-state guard Jammar Sturdivant as well as two-sport star A.J. Turner. Along with Darius Barnes and Byron Ford, the quintet would win back-to-back state basketball titles in 2011-2012. “All five of those kids were just unbelievable athletes,” said EPC basketball coach Josh Hill. “They were a very talented bunch that just didn’t have any weaknesses. Defensively, they were as good or better as any team in the state in any classification. They were big, strong and fast, all five of them. At all five positions on the floor, we were always more athletic than our opponents, every night. We won 64 games in our back-toback state title seasons. Every kid in our starting lineup signed either a football or basketball scholarship, with three of them going to Division 1 schools. “For a school our size, it’s just unbelievable that we have produced so many Division 1 and small college players. There are 6A and 7A schools that would love to have our success. I think with Ky at Arkansas and Jammar at ASU, we are the only school in the state with two Division 1 basketball players. We have had a Division 1 player four straight years, which is unheard of at a 2A school.” Madden was the leader of Hill’s back-to-back state champs and would become one of the most sought after players in the nation. The 6’5” point guard was a fourstar recruit and was ranked the number 32 player in the country and the sixth best guard. Madden chose Arkansas over Ole Miss, Baylor, Memphis and Georgetown, among others. “Ky was not great at anything but he was really good at everything,” Hill said. “He would rebound, defend, he could pass well and he scored when he needed to. He always had a sense of what needed to be done in the game. He was just a winner.” Turner was the Warrior’s rebounding machine, who just happened to be an all-state linebacker for the football team. “No disrespect to the other kids I’ve coached, but A.J. was probably my favorite,” said Hill. “He never missed school, was great in the classroom and was never in trouble. He showed up and worked hard every day. He had a great work ethic and was a tremendous leader, not only for me but for the football team as well. Had he been three inches taller, he could have gone to any basketball school in the country. He broke the school record with 29 rebounds against a very good Kennett, Mo., team in the Hurricane Classic. He just had a great nose for the ball and was a tremendous leaper.” As good as Turner was around the rim, he may have been even better on the gridiron. A vicious hitter, Turner signed with the Razorbacks and started the last six

Ky Madden

A.J. Turner Photos by Anthony Cossey

Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Darius Barnes

games of his freshman season, leading the Hogs in tackles. “A.J. was very similar to Marcus Monk, just a great basketball and football player,” Weathers said. “A.J. was very athletic and extremely physical. He lived in the weight room and was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. He was just a super kid and very polite. We finished 11-1 his senior year before losing in the state semifinals to Carlisle. His last two years we won 19 games and lost just four. A.J. was the leader of our team. Everybody wanted to be like A.J. He made his teammates better.” “I had some great years at EPC,” Turner said. “We played so well together as a team and had great talent. It was a special experience winning back-to-back state basketball titles. I am really enjoying being a Razorback now. I can’t wait for the season to begin with our new coaching staff.” Jammar Sturdivant led the Warriors in scoring three straight seasons and was a part of two state title teams. “From day one, Jammar stepped in and never missed a beat,” Hill said. “He was always ready to play and was a big time scorer who always seemed to play his best in the big games. He was a really clutch player. His sophomore season, he hit 52 percent of his three point attempts, the third best mark in Arkansas high school history. When Jammar got his feet set, he was the best shooter I’ve ever seen.” Sturdivant also left his mark on the football field, helping the Warriors to their biggest win in school history. “We beat Bearden in the quarterfinals in 2011,” Weathers said. “Jammar was only in his second year of football, but he had such great athletic ability. He scored both of our touchdowns that night and sealed the win with an interception. He was the best player on the field that particular night. Jammar is always smiling. He just has that million dollar grin.” Sturdivant will play basketball for the ASU Red Wolves this fall. Darius Barnes teamed with Madden in the EPC back court. “Darius was a great

defensive player, an excellent ball handler and he could score,” Hill said. But it was football where Barnes starred as a two-time all-state quarterback. A lefty with elctric speed, Barnes was near impossible to tackle. “Darius just had that extra gear that most players don’t have,” Weathers said. “He could beat you running or passing and was a finalist for the Class 2A Player of the Year honors in the state. He was simply the best football player I’ve ever coached.” Barnes signed to play football at Arkansas Baptist Junior College. Super athletes at EPC aren’t just limited to the boys. Jerome Madden’s youngest daughter, Jordan, was one of the most dominant high school players in her era. Madden teamed with older sister Sade and backcourt mate LaPorshe Williams, leading the Lady Warriors to two state final appearances. Jordan Madden averaged 25 points and 12 boards her senior year, and during the state finals in her junior campaign set a record, scoring 45 of her team’s 51 points in a four-point loss to Marshall. The 6’0” guard scored all of her team’s first half points. Madden signed with Baylor, and helped lead the Lady Bears to a perfect 40-0 season and the 2012 national championship. “Jordan was the best player I will probably ever coach,” said EPC Lady Warrior basketball coach Bobby Lewallen. “She was just a very special player with great quickness and athletic ability. She could do so many things on the court. She did things you couldn’t believe. She made her teammates better players. She saw the floor so well and was just very unselfish. Most of all, she was clutch. She could go around anyone. No one could stay in front of her. She could get a bucket at any time, and she was a game changer on defense. She had great timing and her arms were so long that opponents had trouble getting their shots off around her. Watching her win the national championship with Baylor was a unique experience. I was very proud of her and for EPC.”

Malik Monk Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Jordan Madden helped lead the Baylor Lady Bears to a perfect 40-0 season and the 2012 national championship

Jordan Madden Sade Madden, who signed a scholarship with Wichita State, was an excellent all around player as well, according to Lewallen. “Sade did whatever it took to win,” he said. “She rebounded, played good defense and scored. She was a great team player. “LaPorshe was one of the best defensive players I’ve ever had,” said Lewallen. “She was extremely quick and took great pride in her defense. She almost always held the other team’s best player to under 10 points. She was a great competitor and ball handler. She went on to play college ball at Wallace State in Alabama.” “Our 2012 team also made it to the finals, where we had two of the best post players in the state in Brittany Ball and Alicia Ross,” continued Lewallen. “Brittany was a three time all-state performer, and teamed with Alicia to form an imposing inside duo.” “We’ve been very fortunate in that we have gone to three state finals and four final fours,” said Lewallen. “Every girl I’ve coached in my nine years at EPC has played in at least one state final. We are very proud of that mark.” The Warriors continue to churn out top level talent today, and the best of them all may be sophomoreto-be Malik Monk. A 6’3” guard, Monk teamed with Sturdivant to lead EPC back to the state finals in his freshman season while being named all-state. The younger brother of Marcus Monk, Malik is already drawing recruiting interest from schools such as Arkansas, Kentucky and Florida, among others. Many experts considered him the best freshman in the country this past season. “Malik does everything,” said Hill. “The expectations are for him to play in the NBA. That’s his and

Photos courtesy Baylor University Athletics mine. Skill wise, he is better than a lot of college players right now. He has great body control, he’s a great passer, ball handler, and an excellent shooter. He’s an NBA player, is what he is. If he keeps working hard in the off season, playing AAU and team USA ball, he will play in the NBA someday, which will be cool to see coming from EPC.” “I am really proud of Malik,” said Marcus Monk. “He handles everything so well, considering he’s only 15.” “I’ve been fortunate to have my Uncle Chuck and Marcus as role models,” said Malik. “It was really exciting watching Marcus play. I always wanted to be like him one day. He influenced me by how hard he worked, even when he got hurt playing football. They have both taught me to work hard and be the best I can be. My goal has always been to be better than my brother.” “Malik is hands down the best junior high football player I’ve ever seen,” said Weathers. “We moved him up to the senior high team for the state playoffs, and the first time he touched the ball, he went 80 yards for a touchdown. In junior high he won games by himself. He was just unguardable on the junior high level at the wide receiver posi-

“Every girl I have coached in my nine years at EPC has played in at least one state final.” - Bobby Lewallen

EPC Lady Warrior basketball coach

LaPorche Williams

Sade Madden 52

Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

tion. No one could cover him. But because of his potential in basketball, I would say his football career is probably over,” he lamented. Who is the best player EPC has produced? “I think A.J. is the best athlete, and Ky was the best basketball player,” said Hill. “But before it’s all over with, the best of them all will be Malik. Not only is he a great basketball player, but he could be a Division 1 receiver it he wanted to be.” Mickey Pierce had a different viewpoint. “I think Ky’s older brother Ked was the best we’ve had,” he said. “He was extremely gifted and had all the tools.” Jerome Madden chose his former teammate Chuck Monk as the best. “I think Chuck has been the best so far, but Malik will probably beat him,” said Madden. “The sky is the limit for Malik.” So what is the secret to EPC’s seemingly never-ending flow of talent and success? That depends on who you ask. “I think the secret is just tradition and believing we are supposed to win,” said Hill. “We put the EPC uniform on and we believe we are going to win the game. It’s kind of sad, but we could go 32-1, and if we don’t win the state championship, we feel like we’ve had a bad year. It’s the only game that really matters to us. It’s about state titles around here. We want to win the last game of the year. That is our expectation for the coming years, and with our talent, I don’t see a drop off anytime soon. I like to win and so do they. It’s fun to win. It’s kept me here. It’s great to be around great players and it puts no limit on me as a coach. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.” “I think it’s the competition as much as anything else,” Jerome Madden said. “Chuck and I always competed hard against each other, which made us better when we faced our opponents. It’s been great watching my kids turn out to be good players in their own right. It’s been fun watching them, especially since they have done so well. It makes you poke your chest out a little bit.” “These are all good kids who just happen to live in Lepanto,” Pierce said. “It’s a small town, but we all play sports and we’re very close knit,” Marcus Monk said. “My mom and my uncles all played ball, and along with Jerome, they really helped our younger generation. We just grew up in it. But if you want to know what the secret is, just tell everyone it’s in the water,” he laughed. “Maybe it’s the water, or it could be the cafeteria food,” Turner chimed in. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of other schools in Arkansas that would like to latch on to the Warriors’ winning formula.


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Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads




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Native American Day

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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013


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Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

A summer of at


Brooks Museum

Delta artist’s 100th birthday marked with special exhibition of paintings, bike tour of his native area

Other Cloar-related

Events at the Brooks Museum through the remainder of the summer

A guided tour of the Cloar exhibition 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, included with museum admission (free for Brooks members). The tour will explore Cloar’s art with one of the museum’s knowledgeable docents. The tour will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.

Cocktails with the Curator 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11, complimentary for the museum’s Advocate level members and above. The evening will include a 6:30 p.m. tour offering an in depth look at Cloar’s timeless vision of the American South, led by Dr. Thomas. Those who are not yet museum members but wish to join may RSVP by July 9 at (901) 544-6230 or

Family Day 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13, offers free admission and a chance to explore the Cloar exhibition. Participants may enjoy art-making activities, music by the Side Steppers, and more.

Art Break 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20, is included with museum admission and free for Brooks members. This event offers participants a chance to take a break from the usual lunch routine and catch a guided tour of the Cloar exhibition with a trained docent. Those on the tour get a 15 percent discount on a same-day lunch at the Brushmark (located in the museum). This event, also, is on a first-come, first-served basic, with limited space. Those who wish may make lunch reservations by calling (901) 544-6225.

The art of Earle, Ark., native Carroll Cloar (1913-1993) has thrilled many for years. On this, his centenary year, the city of Memphis, where Cloar resided during much of his adult life, is filling the summer with special activities recognizing the greatness of this much-celebrated Delta artist. A special exhibition, organized by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Arkansas Art Center, opened Saturday, June 8, at the Brooks Museum, located at 1934 Poplar Avenue. Entitled The Crossroads of Memory ‒ Carroll Cloar and the American South, the show will continue through Sept. 15. According to the Brooks Museum website, Dr. Stanton Thomas is curator of the exhibition, which features works from major public collections as well as rarely seen pictures still privately owned. The museum’s description of the exhibition notes, “The paintings of Carroll Cloar rank among the most haunting and beautiful evocations ever made of the American South. Drawing upon family stories, photographs of ancestors, rural scenery, small town life, and memories of his childhood on an Arkansas farm, Cloar captured the quiet richness of a simpler world. At the same time, his images of abandoned buildings, wild panthers, or ghostly figures hint at the darker, more dangerous side of human existence. Many of Cloar’s works — such as Autumn Conversion or Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog ― have an achingly familiar quality, suggesting our own family histories or childhood recollections.” Text and Photos by Nancy Kemp Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

According to the museum, The Crossroads of Memory ‒ Carroll Cloar and the American South will include approximately 70 paintings spanning several years of his work. Another exciting Cloar event, open to all who are interested, will be Bike to Cloar on Saturday, June 29, sponsored by the Marion Chamber of Commerce, the City of Crawfordsville, and Memphis Area Association of Governments. Fans of the artist are invited to take part in the Cloarthemed guided bicycle ride through Crittenden County. Led by Dr. Thomas, the event will include a 12-mile ride which leaves the Crittenden County Museum in Earle at 9 a.m. and a six-mile ride leaving at 10:30 a.m. Participants in either trip will see Rev. George Washington’s funeral monument, Gibson Bayou Church and other sites which appear in Cloar’s work. The ride is free and includes a free lunch provided by Uncle John’s, a legendary restaurant located in nearby Crawfordsville. The meal is courtesy of the Marion Chamber of Commerce and the City of Crawfordsville. Those taking part should take a bicycle and helmet, sunglasses and a camera. Pre-registration is required to help the museum establish a head count. A registration form may be found at Participants also should read over the Bike to Cloar release of liability and indemnity and will be asked to sign the form upon arrival at the Crittenden County Museum the morning of the ride.

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Vistor Center

Phase One,

$8 million project launches new state park

Completed for your enjoyment Located in the St. Francis National Forest on the southern end of Crowley’s Ridge, Mississippi River State Park, near Marianna, provides the opportunity to explore and enjoy one of the Arkansas Delta’s most diverse areas. The newest of Arkansas’s 52 state parks, it is a work in progress, yet already has much to offer, including a beautiful new visitor center which opened in May. Built at a cost of $4,907,000, the center was funded by the state’s Conservation Amendment and includes a 9,658-square-foot main building and a 2,550-square-foot multi-purpose building. Guests not only receive a warm welcome, but are introduced to the many wonders of the park


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

through interpretive exhibits. “The exhibits encourage the visitor to explore, study and observe the Arkansas Delta, Crowley’s Ridge and the Mississippi River,” park superintendent John Morrow said. “They include a children’s area, videos about each region and multiple interactive stations to help tell the story of our wonderful region.” The building was designed to be environmentally friendly and includes geothermal heat pumps to reduce energy consumption. Beautiful landscaping includes native plants,

and an underground cistern retains rainwater for all landscape irrigation. The multi-purpose building provides educational programs, and the center also includes a gift shop for the purchase of souvenirs and educational materials. Mississippi River State Park was authorized by Act 859 of 1973, and while the State Parks agency studied various sites along the Mississippi River for years, it wasn’t until the spring of 1999 that the Arkansas State Park, Recreation and Travel Commission created a unique part-

Text and photos by Nancy Kemp

nership with the U.S. Forest Service, allowing the park to operate within the St. Francis National Forest. The two agencies spent 10 years working on plans, and the Mississippi River State Park finally opened in early May of 2009 at the Bear Creek Lake Recreation Area. Its development will continue in phases over the next several years, and the park eventually will encompass 536 acres, adding the Storm Creek Lake Recreation Area, the confluence of the St. Francis and Mississippi Rivers, the St. Francis River Access and Horner Neck Access. In addition to the beautiful visitor center, the $8 million first phase includes 14 primitive campsites with no utilities and 14 class AAA camping sites with water, sewer and 30/50 amp electrical hookups. The full-service sites are at Beech Point Campground, located on a wooded peninsula in Bear Creek Lake. Each has an extended hardened living area featuring beautiful views of the lake and is equipped with a picnic table, grill and lantern hanger. Beech Point also includes three walk-in tent sites with no utilities. A barrier-free bathhouse is centrally located. Located at Lone Pine Campground, the primitive sites have vault toilets, as does Maple Flats Campground, which offers group camping. “This park is a hidden treasure for the Arkansas Delta, a place that offers great opportunity for the people of the region,” Morrow said. “As Arkansas’s newest state park, we are building on a unique partnership with the USDA Forest Service to improve recreational access to St. Francis National Forest, for now and generations to come.” The park also boasts two trails, including Bear Creek Lake Nature Trail, a 3/4-mile loop that explores the for-

explore in your own backyard

Mississippi river State Park

Photos courtesy of Arkansas State Parks

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est and geography of Crowley’s Ridge, and the Trotting Fox Trail (located at the Visitor Center), a 1/2-mile hardened surface walking/nature trail that explores the restoration of the fields to native forest and the ecosystem of Ranger Pond. “Fishing on Bear Creek Lake is some of the best in the state,” Morrow noted. “The lake is known for high numbers of large shellcrackers, as well as good crappie and bass fishing.” Besides fishing and camping, many people like Mississippi River State Park for its quiet beauty and wonderful opportunities to view the park’s abundant wildlife, including deer, ducks, turkeys, bald eagles, gray and fox squirrels, otters, beavers and even alligators. Located right on the Mississippi Flyway, birds are

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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

abundant during migration. Rare species for the region are seen yearly, and the sheer number of spring migrants make the area a great spot for birders. “Mississippi River State Park is a great place to relax, unwind and find beauty in the great outdoors,” Morrow said.

Trotting Fox trail begins at the Visitor Center

116 E. Olympia Ave. Manila, AR


Eye on the Ball



To reach the park from Marianna, visitors should follow Arkansas Highway 1B to Arkansas Highway 44 (The Great River Road/Crowley’s Ridge Parkway). Those who want more information may call (870) 295-4040 or visit the park website:

Hopes on the Horizon

205 S. Main St., Black Oak, AR Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


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AMMC Women’s Clinic 1000 W. Kingshighway, Suite 4 Paragould, AR 72450 · 870-239-8307

Column by Judy Leach, APN

Judy Leach

Advanced Practice Nurse in Rector

Living Healthy:

Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. Type II diabetes is the most common form. It is also being seen more often in children. This may be due to the increase in obesity in this country and especially in this age group. Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce insulin or does not properly use the insulin. Many people are living with diabetes and have no idea. Some signs and symptoms to watch for include:

Increased thirst n Weight loss nFrequent urination n Fatigue n Frequent infections n Blurred vision n Tingling in hands and feet n

If left untreated, diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys and the nerves in the feet. Heart attack and stroke are common in adults with diabetes. It is important for you to monitor your health, including your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Once diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to know your A1C level. This test gives a better evaluation of your glucose levels.

koszivu l

DIABETES A good diet and exercise are crucial in diabetes, just as it is in many other chronic diseases. Summer, with its warmer weather and abundance of fresh vegetables, is an ideal time to develop these habits. Walk or exercise 30 minutes a day. If you can’t do 30 minutes at one time, just divide it into 10 minute or 15 minutes segments. A healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is 5 servings a day. If you look at your plate as a guide, try to eat one-half of it in vegetables, one-fourth in carbohydrates like potatoes, rice and pasta, and one-fourth as protein, meat, poultry and fish. Diabetes is a chronic illness that requires a lifestyle change. Ignoring it does not make it go away. You have to be committed to taking the best care of yourself that you can to live a long healthy life. If you have a family history and/or any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your health care provider for a check-up.

Resources for information include: n

Your local library or bookstore


CDC website (


Web MD (


American Diabetes Association (

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Your good health. Your well-being. Our only goals.

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making the best out of a small space Column by Melinda Myers

Container gardens have long been used to add a spot of color by a front entrance or expand planting space in city lots, balconies and decks. Don’t let past experience and tradition limit your vision. Try one or more of these attractive, fun and functional ways to include containers in your landscape, large or small. Add vertical interest to any garden or garden space. Select a large attractive container filled with tall plants like papyrus and canna. Or elevate a small pot on steppers or an overturned pot for added height. Create height with smaller pots and plants by strategically stacking and planting them into a creative planting. Try setting any of these planters right in the garden to create a dramatic focal point. Create a

privacy screen or mask a bad view. Use an arbor or other support for hanging baskets and then place a few containers below for an attractive screen. Create a garden of containers to provide seasonal interest using a variety of plants. Use trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses for height. Save money by purchasing smaller plants. Elevate these on overturned pots for added height and impact. Mask the mechanics by wrapping the pots in burlap. Then add a few colorful self-watering pots in the foreground for added color and beauty. Fill these with annuals or perennials for additional seasonal interest. Bring the garden right to your back door for ease of harvest and added entertainment. A self-watering patio planter, win-


NOTES Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


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1005 South Main Leachville, AR 72438

Independent Sales Consultant

Caring. Connecting. Community. A wise woman once had a dream to change the lives of women for the better. Her hope was so contagious that, one person at a time, her dream spread around the world. Today, nearly 50 years later, millions have been touched by the legacy that Mary Kay Ash left. I'm proud to share in her commitment of caring and connecting communities – just like ours – to help make a difference.

We’re all over the place so you don’t have to be. 1720 S. Caraway Road–Jonesboro 711 Southwest Drive–Jonesboro 501 W. Washington–Jonesboro 205 Linwood Drive–Paragould 202 Ritter Street–Weiner

With five locations in Northeast Arkansas, you’ll never have to go far to find a branch, or a familiar face.





Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

dowbox, or rail planter reduces maintenance and makes harvesting herbs as easy as reaching out the window or backdoor. Plus, guests will have fun harvesting their own fresh mint for mojitos or greens for their salads. Define outdoor living spaces within your landscape. Use containers as walls and dividers to separate entertaining and play areas from quiet reflective spaces. And consider using pots with built in casters or set them on moveable saucers to make moving these pots easier. This way you can expand and shrink individual spaces as needed simply by moving the pots. Create your own vacation paradise. Use planters filled with cannas, bananas, palms and New Zealand flax for a more tropical flare. Add some wicker furniture to complete the scene. Or fill vertical gardens, an old child’s wagon, metal colander or wooden and concrete planters with cacti and succulents. Add some old branches and large stones. You’ll feel as though you’ve hiked into the desert. All you need is a bit of space and creativity to find fun new ways to put containers to work for you in the garden this season. (Editor’s Note: Gardening expert, TV/ radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses How to Grow Anything DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 130 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes a twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda also has a column in Gardening How-to magazine. She has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Her web site, www.melindamyers. com, offers gardening videos, podcasts, garden tips and more.)


James Copeland: (870) 243-5104 cell Brock Ferguson: (870) 243-5110 cell

925 East Parker Road Jonesboro, AR

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads



FEBRUARY National Cancer Prevention Month Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer

Mail Donation To: Relay for Life Jackie Wallis - Community Representative 1900 Braodmoor Road Jonesboro, AR 72401

MARCH Colorectal Cancer Kidney Cancer

In Memory of Julie Tarver

Wagner Medical Clinic Manila, 561-3300 870-561-4634


Testicular Cancer Esophageal Cancer 870-483-6317


Sarcoma Bladder Cancer 870-598-2201

OCTOBER Breast Cancer Liver Cancer


Melanoma and Skin Cancer Brain Cancer Head and Neck Cancer In Loving Memory of Jack Partridge and Maggie Edwards

AUGUST Bone Cancer

Delta Drug Manila, 870.561.3113

NOVEMBER Pancreatic Cancer Lung Cancer Stomach Cancer Carcinoid Cancer Caregivers Month


National Cancer Survivor Month

Faith Funeral Service 2658 Highway 18 West Manila - 870.561.1197

SEPTEMBER Childhood Cancer Gynecological Cancer Leukemia/Lymphoma Multiple Myeloma Ovarian Cancer Prostate Cancer Thyroid Cancer

In Memory of Teresa Ashley

DECEMBER Cancer Related Fatigue Awareness

Howard Funeral Service Leachville, 870.539.6357 Manila, 870.561.4511

Jonesboro, 870.207.7600

Toll free: 866.935.3730

Column by Dr. Norette Underwood, Trumann Animal Clinic

Parasite prevention myths and MUSTS Most dog and cat owners understand the importance of keeping their pets safe from deadly parasites, like heartworms and intestinal worms. But our stores are now being flooded with generic products and these new brands are creating confusion. Exactly what parasite control products should you be using for your pets? According to PetsAndParasites. com, a website devoted to tracking the occurrence of parasites in our pets, the prevalence of deadly heartworms continues to cause problems. More than 1 percent of dogs tested will be positive for heartworms in the U.S. every year. Rates are even higher when you add intestinal parasites like roundworms and hookworms. Thankfully, we have had safe and effective parasite treatment and preventive products available for many years. So why are we still seeing so many cases? There are many theories. Despite the claims of Internet sites that say rising resistance among heartworms or massive failure of preventives is to blame, the reality is probably a little closer to home. Dr. Sheldon Rubin, a past president of the American Heartworm Society, is quoted as saying that human error, or forgetfulness, is probably the biggest reason for pets developing heartworm disease. His comments are echoed by research in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that reviewed cases of presumed heartworm preventive failure and found that owner compliance was actually much lower than originally reported. But an uncertainty among pet owners about which product to use (market

mosquito bite from an infected mosquito

Andres Rodriguez l


It only takes one

for your dog or cat to contract heartworm disease.

confusion), as well as economic factors, are fueling at least some of the issue. Generic heartworm preventives can now be found in many human pharmacies and online pet pharmacies are offering six to ten different medications to prevent this disease. It’s frankly hard for a pet owner to choose. Experts from the American Heartworm Society recommend giving heartworm preventive year round. Just be sure you are using a prescription product that contains one of these known compounds: ivermectin, milbemycin oxime, selamectin or moxidectin. Then your pet needs to receive a dose once monthly, every month, all year long, unless on Proheart, a six-month shot administered by your veterinarian. Testing every six to 12 months for both heartworms and intestinal parasites is highly recommended. Some of these medications are also effective against intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. A few of these preventives are also now using compounds to treat tapeworms in addition to the other parasites. It’s even possible to get heartworm preventive products that include compounds to help control fleas. Part of consumer confusion is whether to buy the least expensive product or the one that covers every possible parasite. Veterinarians do understand how this can be such a confounding problem and are there to help you select the best product for your pet. In fact, certain parasites are less common in some areas of the country and your pet’s risk factors vary quite a bit. These risk factors also include exposure

to parasites through trips to dog parks, hiking or camping, interstate travel or even the presence of other animals in the household. Veterinarians carefully monitor these trends every year. They couple this information with their understanding of the different life cycles, knowledge of your pet’s specific medical conditions, the reputation of the drug manufacturers and your region of the country. They are ideally equipped to help you more fully understand exactly which product provides the best parasite protection for your pet and your family. It is also so important for you not to fall for advice in online forums that recommend odd-ball alternative methods of protecting your pets against any parasite, but especially heartworm disease. Many of these simply fuel speculation about diminishing effectiveness of heartworm preventives and they are not well researched. These sites often misinterpret data or are actively promoting products that have not gone through proper testing and safety research. This is an area of pet care where we have made great advances, but bad advice and a confusing market have created unnecessary risks and vulnerabilities. Trust your pet’s healthcare advice to your family veterinarian and team. You can also trust the advice from a site like Please make sure your pet is on heartworm preventative. In the Delta, heartworm disease is very prevalent. Any dog that goes through one mosquito season is at a high risk for developing heartworms. Being an inside dog does not offer protection.

Dr. Norette L. Underwood is a veterinarian at the Trumann Animal Clinic. Contact her at or (870) 483-6275. Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Northeast Arkansas Calendar of Events June 8 - Sept. 15

Special Exhibition of Paintings by Earle native Carroll Cloar, Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave., Memphis.

June 24

Monday, KASU’s Bluegrass Monday, 7 p.m., The Collins Theatre, 120 W. Emerson, Paragould.

July 26

Friday, Music by Gary Prince and the Sugar Creek Band, 7 p.m., Rector Community Center.

June 29

Saturday, Bike to Cloar Event, 12-mile ride leaving a 9 a.m. and six-mile ride at 10:30 a.m. from the Crittenden County Museum in Earle; free lunch provided by Uncle John’s of Crawfordsville.

July 4

Thursday, Piggott’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration; parade begins downtown at 9 a.m.; activities all day at Independence Park. Caraway’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration; parade kicks off at 9 a.m.; all-day activities at the bandstand; benefit ball game in the park at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks. Leachville’s Fifth Annual Cave Dwellers Fireworks Display, 9:15 p.m., Leachville City Park.

July 10 - 12

Discovery Day Camp for children ages 7-12 who are interested in nature and the outdoors, at the Visitor Center, Mississippi River State Park near Marianna.

July 15

Monday, KASU’s Blue Monday Blues Concert, 7 p.m., The Red Goose Grand Hall, 101 S. Pruett St., Paragould.

July 16 - 18

Discovery Day Camp for children ages 7-12 who are interested in nature and the outdoors, Crowley’s Ridge State Park near Paragould.

July 22

Monday, KASU’s Bluegrass Monday Concert, 7 p.m., The Collins Theatre, 120 W. Emerson, Paragould.


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Summer 2013

July 24 - 26

Discovery Day Camp for children ages 7-12 who are interested in nature and the outdoors, Visitor Center, Mississippi River State Park near Marianna.

July 25 - 28

34th Annual Ding Dong Days Festival, Memorial Park, Dumas

Aug. 2 - 4

The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Forum Theatre, downtown Jonesboro

Aug. 10

Saturday, Second Saturday Downtown Festival, Cherry Street in historic downtown Helena.

Aug. 13

Tuesday, Buffalo Island Relay for Life Golf Tournament, 8 a.m. tee time, Big Lake Country Club, Manila.

Aug. 13 - 17

Annual Poinsett County Fair, County Fairgrounds, Harrisburg.

Aug. 17

Saturday, Bead Making Workshop for ages 12 and up, Visitor Center, Parkin Archeological State Park. Third Annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, 7 p.m., Arkansas State University Convocation Center, Jonesboro.

Aug. 19

Monday, KASU’s Blue Monday Blues Concert, 7 p.m., The Red Goose Grand Hall, 101 S. Pruett, Paragould.

Aug. 26

Monday, KASU’s Bluegrass Monday Concert, 7 p.m., The Collins Theatre, 120 W. Emerson, Paragould.

Sept. 2

Monday, 72nd Annual Rector Labor Day Picnic; parade begins at 9 a.m. downtown; all-day activities, including a carnival, at Memorial Park on Highway 49.

Sept. 7

Saturday, Second Annual Big Catch Festival, San Souci Park, Osceola.

Sept. 7 - 9

The Boys Next Door, The Forum Theatre, downtown Jonesboro.

Sept. 11 - 14

Annual Clay County Fair at the fairgrounds, in Piggott.

Travel With Us Tours & Cruises

2718 E. Nettleton Ave. Jonesboro

Sept. 14

Saturday, Buffalo Island Relay for Life Wrestling Event, 7 p.m., Manila City Park.

Sept. 16

Monday, KASU’s Blue Monday Concert, 7 p.m., The Red Goose Grand Hall, 101 S. Pruett, Paragould.

Sept. 21

Saturday, 10th Annual Native American Day, Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum, Piggott. Sorghum Festival, all day, Poor Boy’s Garden, Caraway. 19th Annual Autumn on the Square, Downtown Marianna.

Sept. 23

Monday, KASU’s Bluegrass Monday Concert, 7 p.m., The Collins Theatre, 120 W. Emerson, Paragould.

Sept. 28

Saturday, 16th Annual Depot Days, featuring early rock ‘n roll sounds heard in nightclubs and honkytonks which lined “Rock ‘N Roll Highway 67” in the Fifties and Sixties, historic Front Street, Newport. 36th Annual Delta Cotton Pickin’ Jubilee, Marked Tree

Oct. 5

Delta Days Arts Fest, Courtsquare Park, Helena/West Helena.

Saturday, Wild Duck Festival, Trumann Sports Complex, Trumann

Sept. 21 - Oct. 31

83rd Annual Terrapin Derby Festival, Lepanto

21st Annual Pumpkin Hollow Pumpkin Patch, including corn mazes, hayrides and haunted house, north of Piggott near St. Francis.

Sept. 22

Sunday, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, 2 p.m., Fowler Center on the campus of Arkansas State University, Jonesboro.

870-932-7221 — 800-934-7221

Oct. 11 - 12

37th Annual Arkansas Rice Festival, Weiner


Emelda's Exotic Tours Departure:

June 9, 2014

Once in a lifetime         

Bethlehem Sea of Galilee Nazareth Capernaum Upper Room Qumran Megiddo Via Dolorosa Garden of Gethsemane

Dr. Ballard is the Sprititual Guide on this tour.Call Emelda for details. Passport is required for this tour. First deposit must be made by Sept. 1, 2013.


SEPT 20-29 (Fri-Sun) BRANSON SHOW EXTRAVAGANZA featuring Dudu Fisher "Les Miserables experiencing Jerusalem"

NOV 5-7 (Tues-Thu)

NASHVILLE COUNTRY CHRISTMAS NOV 11-15 (Mon-Fri) HOLIDAY IN NEW YORK CITY NOV 13-21 (Wed-Thu) 2718 E. Nettleton Ave., Jonesboro 870-932-7221 • 800-934-7221 •

287 S. Country Club Road | Osceola, AR 72370 | 870-563-3201

Osceola Therapy & Living Center

Complete Therapy Service — Short & Long Term Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy

Now Accepting VA

Complete Five-Star Rating


Now Accepting VA


Follow Us on facebook at FriendsOf FoxsPizza Bay Arkansas

Enjoy the Outstanding Buffet Bar MON-TUE, 11am - 2 PM , and WED-SUN, 11am - 9 PM

870-770-1900 207 N. Bay Drive, Bay, AR Foxy and Friends:

Hayley Starkey, Pam Owens, Hunter Starkey

1-Topping Large Pizza Breadsticks w/ Cheese Small Dessert

99 $19.

We will match any local competitor's coupon


DOWLESS Antiques & Area Rugs

The final of Nolan’s Batman triology:

‘The Dark Night Rises’ is a worthy masterpiece

Tanner Smith Film Critic

Let’s face it — even if we know the third and final chapter of a trilogy is often somewhat underwhelming compared to the previous movies, we can’t help but see it anyway. This is especially true of the updated “Batman” series by Christopher Nolan. His “The Dark Knight” is practically a masterpiece. It’s unbelievable what Nolan and his crew have not only done to Batman, but also to the superhero genre. Not only are they excellently crafted with skillful filmmaking and top-notch action sequences, they bring heavy doses of conflict and pull off the riskiest move — making the hero an anti-hero. “The Dark Knight Rises” picks up eight years after the events in “The Dark Knight.” Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a recluse and his night identity as Batman is no more. even more conflicted this time around. He’s more heroic, but also more flawed. If you recall, in “The Dark Knight,” the hero-turned-villain Harvey Dent was killed, with only Batman and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) knowing his true deeds. Eight years later, Bruce Wayne doesn’t leave the east wing of Wayne Manor and is aided by his loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine), who thinks it’s time for him to live a new life away from Gotham since it just makes him more miserable. Alfred believes that Wayne just wants things to go badly again so he can feel better. Enter the mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy), sporting a metal breathing mask and carrying a voice that is part

Sean Connery, part Darth Vader. He comes from the League of Shadows, once communicated by Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson, making a brief cameo as he reprises his role from the first film). He comes to Gotham to expertly spread chaos and also to rule it as his own. Who can stop him? Introduced into the mix is a heroic young cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a reluctant deputy (Matthew Modine), and two romantic possibilities for Bruce — one the sexy, thieving, feisty, notvery-trustworthy Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), also known as Catwoman, and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), who may be able to rescue Wayne Enterprises. With help from his new sidekicks and some new gear created by the Q-like Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), Bruce Wayne rises again as Batman to assist Gotham in restoring its safety. Too often we get the villains attempting to succeed in taking over whatever it is they’re trying to take over. There’s a nice touch having the Scarecrow, again played by Cillian Murphy, being the judge that sentences mutineers to either exile on thin ice, death by execution, or death by exile. The city is an absolute hell-on-earth scenario, and only Batman can bring everything back to normal. But how? I don’t know how Christopher Nolan is able to take an action sequence and make it look so cool without being overdone. The ending is just perfect. It hits all the right notes of how to conclude this story of Batman.

Beautify your home with an area rug!

Choose from over 800 rugs in Stock in our Monette store!

Hwy. 18 • Monette, AR

870.486.2861 Mon-Fri 9:00-4:00, Closed Sat & Sun

RATED: Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


1500 East First St Kennett, MO 63857 (573) 888-2084

Outdoors & Recreation Pharmacy: 573-888-4543 Vision Center Optometrist: 573-888-2728

Mississippi County Hospital System

MISSION: To provide quality health care with attention to clinical excellence, patient safety and commitment to assure the very best care for those communities we serve.

VISION: To be the provider of choice for Mississippi County and surrounding areas and to be known for meeting the healthcare needs of the entire community. VALUES: Patient-Centered Care, Co-workers, Communication, Quality, Safety, Teamwork, Respect, Compassion.

Access WWW.MCHSYS.ORG to find a physician, program or service to meet your needs. Mississippi County Hospital System is recognized as an accredited Joint Commission facility. MCHS achieved Level IV Trauma Designation at Great River Medical Center and SMC Regional Medical Center Emergency Rooms. Our hospitals have so many exciting achievements in programs, patient care, equipment and new physicians.

MCHS is known as "The Provider of Choice."

It is with great honor that MCHS incorporates their mission and vision statements:

to help the local communities toward a healthier sense of self.

Mississippi County Hospital System is very fortunate to have facilities tied together as a system. Each facility operates as a major healthcare provider throughout the county. Our patients do not have to drive far to receive quality health care provided by neighbors, friends and family trained in specialty areas. - Ralph Beaty, CEO of MCHS


SMC Regional Medical Center

(870) 563-7000

611 West Lee Ave., Osceola, AR 72370

Great River Medical Center

(870) 838-7300

1520 North Division St., Blytheville, Arkansas 72315

Donovan with his painting “Cotton Picking”


Dan DonOvan Over 50 years of

Dan Donovan of Manila has been creating beautiful works of art for over 50 years. He has grown in his work and says he enjoys it as much today as he did when he started in 1959. The Minnesota native spent his young life enjoying outside activities provided by the northern snow and cold. He appreciated the beauty, he said, but never thought about capturing it on canvas. While in high school, he moved with his family to New Mexico, also a beautiful place to live. “I can remember only one year we had art in high school,” he reflected. “A teacher told me I should pursue art and I laughed because I was more into rodeos, horses and girls.” Little did he know her words would come back to him years later as life did, indeed, lead him down the path to becoming an artist. “Like so many young men, I decided to go into the Air Force after high school,” Donovan said. He recalls talking to a recruiting sergeant and trying to decide what field to choose. When he saw that photography was an option, he decided that was the area for him. However he was told that perhaps one in 1,000 make it in the photography field in the Air Force.

Text and Photos by Revis Blaylock


poured out on canvas Dan Donovan. Air Force photographer

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Donovan explored all facets of the creative process: photography and print making, watercolor and oils, television and advertising. He made success of his path by staying true to his own artistic direction. “We took the aptitude tests and I was told I would be good in administrative work,” Donovan said. “I thought I would train in that after basic training. A week later I was assigned to photography and sent to Utah. Half of our photo lab was military and half civilian photographers. I learned a lot from working with the professional photographers. “In those days we used 4”x5” film and lots of flash bulbs,” he remembered. “The 35 millimeter film was not very good. Improvements started being made in the 1960s.” Donovan’s unit was moved to Blytheville Air Force Base in 1956. He was among the first group to be at the base when it reopened. He did portraits of officers and photographed crashes, parades and more. In the early spring of that year, the Blytheville base commander decided to start a riding club on the base and invited local people to participate. It was at the first meeting of the club that Dan met Trigger Wall, his wife Jenella, daughter Linda, and son Rande, of Manila. Trigger determined the base club would never work and invited Donovan and a couple of his friends to come to Manila, where they would form their own club, build an arena on Highway 18 and put on rodeos. Donovan drew plans for the catch pens and chutes and nearly everyone in Manila helped with either labor or materials for the arena construction. It was truly a community effort.


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Painting is a way of life. Someone once said an artist doesn’t paint because he can, but because he must, and he would be lost without it. - Dan Donovan

“Horse shoe”

It was also during this time that young Dan and Linda fell in love. Sadly, he soon was transferred to South Carolina, she went off to college in Texas and they slowly drifted apart. Life goes on, and after Donovan’s four years in service, he went back to civilian life. In 1959 he landed a job with Time-Life Television doing news and promotional still photography for the company’s station in Minneapolis. With a lot of free evenings and no television at home, he decided to try his hand at watercolor painting and discovered his efforts were pretty good. “The staff artist at the station encouraged me to switch to oils and I have been using them ever since,” he said. After five years of Minnesota winters, he decided he’d had enough and moved back to New Mexico. Donovan continued to use his creativity in graphics, working at a television station in New Mexico. He also worked the camera, helped with advertising design, created props and more. He soon branched off into news reporting and eventually became news director for the television station. “Things are different today,” he said. “I had a lot of fun with my work at the station and continued painting. Everyone paints in New Mexico. There are always lots of arts and crafts shows and art galleries on every corner.” The Chamber of Commerce was moving into a new

Painting of the Manila Depot

“Checkers in the Park” Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Reliable Ginning with Years of Experience

Working each day to Provide the Skills and Service that You Have Come to Expect.

Black Oak Gin Co. 200 E . R odgers Aven ue ~ Black Oak ~ 870.486.2513

Donovan stands with his painting “Recreation of the Dunkin Icehouse,” which was published on the cover of the Southern Farm & Livestock Directory in February 2004



Where else will you hear blues, country, jazz and rockabilly in the same radio show? Hear interviews with legendary musicians from America's musical heartland. Nick Spitzer hosts from New Orleans


Produced in Memphis, home of the blues and the birthplace of rock-and-roll. The Caravan features on-location recordings of recent blues performances at festivals all around the country. Special segments include Women and the Blues, Religion and the Blues, and others.


ASU faculty member Lara Roberts features 1950s and 1960s "black hits and hidden treasures!" Don't forget the Twin Spin at 8:30.

with us lately? 9 PM BLUES WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT* One of the most unique programs in American radio, produced at KASU, by Jim "the Generator Man" Drennan of Jonesboro. Title says it all.


Local blues performer, promoter and historian "Hairy Larry" hosts Northeast Arkansas' longest running local blues radio show. Larry's on-location recordings or local performances capture the musical heritage of the Jonesboro area from country to jazz.

11 PM SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING Syndicated from Orlando, Florida, this three-hour block showcase features the latest recordings by blues masters. Repeated at 2 a.m.

*Local shows, produced and hosted by KASU

building in Albuquerque and asked Donovan to bring some of his paintings to hang on the walls so they wouldn’t look so bare. “It was a slow day in the newsroom and someone suggested we do a news story on my paintings,” he said. “We went to the Chamber building and did a story. People started coming in to see the paintings, and I started getting offers for my work.” Many of Donovan’s pieces are created from photographs. He enjoys painting horses, western scenes and portraits and, while in New Mexico, did a portrait of actor Burl Ives, who was in the area making a movie. He also completed several paintings of Indians while there. Donovan also likes landscapes but says he wants a little life in his paintings and often adds a horse, rider or fisherman. “The word ‘talent’ is sometimes overused,” Donovan said. “Most people have a natural aptitude for one thing or another. Some are great in math, some become top mechanics and others lean toward the arts. The arts require one thing more — a burning desire to create something. Like a musician or a dancer, an artist must first learn the fundamentals and then it is practice, practice, practice and a lot of dedication.” In 1980, fate brought Dan and Linda back together. They now make their home in Manila, where Mrs. Donovan is a retired art teacher. Her grandparents were early settlers in Manila and they have been the subject of some of Dan’s favorite paintings. Donovan has received many portrait commissions since he has been in Manila and has had one show at the Ritz in Blytheville. “Artists have to be a bit detached from their work where sales are concerned,” he said. “I only have a couple of paintings I would never sell. One is a wedding portrait of my mother as a young bride in 1920, which I painted from a snapshot. Another one, Cowboy Quartet, belongs to my wife.”

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Rector Nursing & Rehab Center

Painting of Dan Donovan’s mother at her wedding in the 1920s

1023 Hwy. 119 • Rector, AR

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

Phone: 870-595-1040

Fax: 870-595-1109

Free In-Home Estimates • All Types of Floor Covering Installation Available

901 S. Bypass, Suite A • Kennett, MO 63857


Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Saturday

IRBY FUNERAL HOME Alton Speer - Manager Cheri Boyd, David Floyd, and Andrew Cavaness

Rector 595-3536

Marmaduke 597-4623

Piggott 598-3836

Carol’s Place Hwy. 34 and 49 - Marmaduke, AR

870-597-2828 SUMMER HOURS

Mon.-Fri.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

LUNCH BUFFET Monday thru Friday


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Home of the JUMBO 1/2 lb. Burger

Featured on KAIT!

He has sold well over 200 paintings and keeps a photo album of his work. “You never know where one of your paintings will end up,” he said. “Years ago I painted a nativity scene and wasn’t really that happy with it. My niece was in an antique shop in New Mexico recently and found my nativity scene painting in the shop.” He says he created a lot of ink drawings through the years but got away from that market. “With the ink drawings you can be almost done and make a mistake and you have to start over from the first,” he said. “With oil you can correct the mistake and keep going.” Donovan does most of his work at night. He says he puts on earphones, listens to audiobooks and can paint all night long. Several of his works hang in the city’s new Depot Center, including paintings of the old train depot (now a museum) and the last barber and open barber shop in Manila. Using an old photograph, he also painted the old mule barn and ice house, owned by Linda’s grandparents, the Dunkins. That painting was chosen for the cover of the Southern Farm & Livestock Directory in February 2004, and later that year, the cover featured his painting of field workers picking cotton. Many of his paintings preserve history as well as being pleasing to the eye, and a reproduction of his Manila depot was used on the cover of a book marking Manila’s centennial year. “Painting is a way of life,” Donovan says. “Someone once said an artist doesn’t paint because he can, but because he must, and he would be lost without it.”

Monette Manor Rehabilitation and Nursing

Committed to Caring Providing short-term rehabilitation care and long-term care to meet your needs

669 Hwy. 139 N. Monette, AR 72447



Sisters’at the


Antiques Bags & Bagala Beads China, Candles & Cards Ottomans Desks Pictures & Paintings Engravings Quilts Frames & Fabrics Ribbons Glorious Gifts Silver & Seda France Hand Lotions Tearoom (TTFS 11-2) Interior Design (ASID) Urns Jewelry Victorian Chair Kitchen Linens (old) Wedding Registry Lamps, Lamps, Lamps Xtraordinary Wrappings Mugs York Wallcoverings Napkins Zodax Frames

CALL 870.763.2520

DROP BY 223 W Main, Blytheville


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Regular Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 – 5:30 321 W. Main Street Blytheville, AR 72315 870-763-2924

Gifts and Gift Baskets for every occasion also available

Summer that 606 Southwest Drive Jonesboro, AR 72401


Froggie’s Full Sun

VOTED 2013 Best Gift Shop in REGION 8 Store: 870.972.8480 | Fax: 870.972.5836 Email:

Dunigan Home Tour

Full of Family, Love


arm and spacious, the Dunigan home in Lake City was built for family

Text by Revis Blaylock|Photos by Nancy Kemp

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Winner of Arkansas Foundation of Medical Care

Innovator Platinum Award

Professional Caring Staff

Talk to Three Rivers Healthcare & Rehabilitation and experience how long-term care was meant to be.


33904 Highway 63 Marked Tree, AR 72365

Short-Term Rehab Long-Term Care Respite Care Available

The Wise Choice for Your Loved One Working closely with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Support Group Proving Community and Caregiver Information


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

David Brazile, Administrator

Danny and Debbie Dunigan now call Lake City home, but they still have a strong love for the community of Caraway, where they lived most of their married life and raised daughters Amanda and Samantha. Debbie admits she was reluctant to leave Caraway and says she was very content in the home they had remodeled several times to meet the needs of their growing family. “Danny wanted to move to Jonesboro and I didn’t really want to move, but I agreed to go as far as Lake City,” she laughed. Danny retired this year after 44 years in education, including 43 years at Riverside junior and senior high school. In 24 years at Riverside East Elementary, Debbie has taught kindergarten, first, second and third grades and, for the first time this year, fourth grade. In addition to teaching, Danny and his brother, Eddie, are co-owners of a crop consulting business they established 45 years ago. Danny said he started looking for building sites for a new home in Lake City in 2005. “Lake City is a nice community and there is potential for growth,” he said “We started driving around looking for building lots and I kept coming back to this one.” When Danny first discovered the 1.33 acre corner lot, the owner didn’t want to sell. The Dunigans kept searching but never found a location they liked as well. When Danny went back later to ask again, the seller agreed. “I really appreciated him selling me the lot,” Danny said. “It is a great location.” When the Dunigans purchased the lot, they initially planned to build a few years down the road, closer to retirement. However, when they put their Caraway home up for sale, it sold much more quickly than they expected. The Dunigans moved to Manila for 11 months while their new home was under construction. Building started in March of 2007, and they were ready to move in the first week of October. They found house plans they liked and had Sonny Ashley of Manila make the changes they wanted on the two-story design. The home has 3,059 square feet of living space with a total of 4,342 square feet under the roof. Fletcher Construction of Caraway built the three bedroom home, located just off Highway 18, behind the new Riverside Junior/Senior High School. Landscaping was installed by Justin Rolland of Lake City, but both Danny and Debbie enjoy limited gardening and taking care of the yard. The couple’s oldest granddaughter, Ryley Eakins, 5, enjoys helping in the flowers, and Debbie says she will pass the toy department to pick out gardening gloves.

The sunny breakfast nook offers a view of the big backyard

A small cotton bale in the living room tells of the family’s love for the crop which has been so much a part of their lives

Debbie and Danny Dunigan built their family home in 2007

“We are blessed to have our children and grandchildren near so we can see them every day,” Danny said. Oldest daughter, Amanda, and her husband, T.J. Eakins, are the parents of Ryley and six-monthold daughter Parker. Both T.J. and Amanda are teachers in the Riverside District. Samantha is studying toward a bachelor of science degree in nursing at Arkansas State University. The Dunigans are longtime members of Black Oak Church of Christ. Danny is a tireless worker, and in addition to teaching, doing crop consulting, driving a bus and assisting with a softball team, he enjoys serving the local community in city government. He served two terms as the mayor of Caraway and is currently in his second term as a member of the Lake City council. “I have really enjoyed serving on the Lake City council,” Danny said. “The mayor and other council members are great to work with.” Debbie said the decorating of her home is still in progress. She has had help from Pat Whitley, Lynn Dowless and Kim Kelton. Throughout the house the couple has beautiful, framed prints of cotton fields. Cotton has been a big part of Danny’s career as a consultant, and he said it seems he has been in cotton fields most of his life. Danny’s favorite room in the house is his office upstairs, and Debbie’s favorite room is the library. The house features a safe room off the garage, and they have used it a few times over the last five years. The house is equipped with a large generator, and during the ice storm of 2009, they were able to keep things going with the power out for seven days. They opened their doors to family and friends and, thankfully, the generator saved their food and provided warmth throughout the ordeal. The Dunigans built their home with energy efficient measures, including extra insulation, insulated windows, energy efficient appliances, and other energy-saving features. They also had a security system installed. The Dunigans like to do business close to home when they can. They said Rodney Robertson, owner of Robertson’s Furniture at Leachville, was a great help in supplying appliances and furniture they picked out. “We would describe what we wanted, and Rodney found it for us,” Debbie said. “He was very helpful.”


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

The couple’s spacious kitchen was designed by Vores Kitchen and Bath of Jonesboro and features a large island with a beautiful countertop created from granite found in Memphis. Danny and Debbie especially enjoy the breakfast nook, with a glass top table and covered chairs. The area is surrounded by large windows, allowing them to sit and look out across their spacious backyard. Debbie praised Bob Adams of Jonesboro for doing a great job with custom blinds on the many windows throughout the home. “Some very nice homes have been built since we moved in,” Danny said. “We have very good neighbors and it is a very nice area to live in.” The Dunigan home was built for family, and Danny and Debbie love having their grandchildren visit. The many comfortable rooms are filled with memorabilia from family vacations, including favorite destinations Branson, Mo., and Disney World, in Orlando, Fla. When the girls were young the family also enjoyed going to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals play, and the Dunigans have a nice collection of Cardinals items, including bobbleheads of several top players. The Dunigans say if they had it to do over again, they might change a few things, but, all in all, they feel their home turned out well and meets their needs perfectly. They hope to enjoy it for many years to come as they can sit on the large front porch and enjoy watching the granddaughters play.

spacious functional

with a personal touch Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


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On a song and a prayer World War II Veteran

Jules Martin tells his story

Martin served in the Pacific during World War II from 1941 to 1945

Jules Martin and his wife Dorothy have been married for 59 years

“I have played the piano or the organ at events for 80 years of my life.” - Jules Martin, 95 Text and Photos by Belina Santos

Jules Martin was in church playing the organ when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941. After being drafted into the armed services on Sept. 11, 1941, in Little Rock, Martin had spent the months prior to that infamous day training at Camp Roberts in California and had just completed his basic training. He came out of the chapel that day after playing the organ for three services and went down to the dock, where he found many of his young comrades in tears. They told him

the news that Pearl Harbor had been attacked and that war with Japan was almost certainly imminent. “All of us were shipped out the next day,” he said. Martin was born in 1917 in a three-bedroom house on Hobart Street in the then-small town of Trumann, which was half the size it is today. His mother and father, Irene and James Robert Martin, had a hard time choosing a name for their third son, and for the first six months of his life, he was referred to as “baby.” Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Gale Kennett


Leachville Florist & Gift Shop 1719 S.Main Leachville,AR 72438

870-539-6365 1-800-783-6479

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Independent Sales Consultant

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Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

They finally came up with the name Jules through a line of relatives. Martin’s love for music blossomed early on, and he was taking piano lessons by age 11. He worked for many years to perfect his skill, continuing to study through high school. Since that time, Martin has played for more than a thousand revivals, weddings, funerals, graduations, banquets, plays and other special occasions in most of the churches in Trumann and the surrounding area, rarely refusing when he is asked. “I have played the piano or the organ at events for 80 years of my life,” Martin said. He has served as organist at his church since 1948 -- now at 65 years and still going strong. For most of Martin’s younger life, his father owned Martin’s Furniture Company in Trumann. He, his two brothers and his mother worked in the store for many years until business began to slowly decline. The family then went into the dry cleaning business, a venture in which Martin continued for years, until innovations in new technology caused that business, also, to decline, just as Martin reached retirement age. “I began in my early 30s operating the dry cleaning business, and I operated it until the day I was 64,” Martin said. “I remember it was the same day the Singer plant shut down in Trumann.” Pearl Harbor was the beginning of a long journey for Martin, lasting exactly four years and two months. During that time, he served his country as Sergeant Major on ships transporting troops and cargo. His job was to keep order and assign details on board. “The very first ship I was on was loaded with gasoline from top to bottom,” he recalled. “All I could think was that if someone hit us, we would have blown sky-high.” Martin said the troops were always cautious on board. The ships “zig-zagged,” and the men were never allowed to throw anything overboard during the day. “They couldn’t throw so much as a cigarette overboard because of Japanese submarines,” he said. “They couldn’t even smoke at night. During all that time, we were subject to a submarine attack. We went unescorted through all of our trips.” The soldiers traveled all across the Pacific Ocean to various islands. They were never allowed to have a camera or diary aboard the ship, and all mail was censored. Martin said that, after 70 years, he cannot recall each place his ships docked. He was assigned to three different vessels during his time in the service — two transports and one freighter. Japan had surrendered while Martin was at sea, and one incident he remembers vividly is picking up 3,500 battle-worn Marines after the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He was to take the Marines to Long Beach, Calif. There he, too, was taken off the ship.

Martin has played the organ for his church in Trumann since 1948

DELTA GATEWAY MUSEUM 210 West Main — Blytheville, AR Wed - Fri 1:00 to 4:00 Saturdays 9:00 to 3:00 870-824-2346 After two days, an officer gave Martin $300 back pay for his service and bought him a train ticket to Memphis. When he stepped off the train, his mother and father were there waiting for him. Having spent the previous four years blindly going from one place to the next, coming to a sudden stop in Trumann marked a somewhat difficult time in Martin’s life. After his discharge from the service, he had a hard time readjusting back to normalcy for a while, and his troubles got even worse when his father died of cancer two years later. However, a positive change was coming. Martin found Dorothy, whom he describes as the love of his life. Her father was a Baptist minister, and naturally the two met in church. They shared a love of music and life. While she played the piano, he played the organ. They were married on Dec. 23, 1953, and went on to have three children. It’s been a wonderful life for the Martins, and through the joys and struggles of 59 years of marriage, they continue to play musical duets together.


Contact us today


eye care of

Trumann Family Friendly Vision Care

Hayden Sowers, OD

Angela C. Howell, OD, PA

Dr. Angela Howell’s offices accept medicare, medicaid, and VSP Insurance plans. We provide specialty contact lenses, as well as children vision therapy services.

807 West Main, Suite B • PO Box 605 • Trumann, AR 72472

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Chuck Brown

Owner (870) 539-6661 Certified Installation Tech 108 West Sixth St., Leachville, AR 72438

Dorothy and Jules Martin continue to share their love of music and appreciation for life.

Danny Brown (870) 598-3648 1495 Wiley Drive Piggott, AR 72454

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Column by Cheryl Johnson, That Bookstore in Blytheville

Infinite possibilities with a twist

‘Unbreakable’ shatters the mold

THAT BOOKSTORE 870-763-3333

IN BLYTHEVILLE 316 West Main (Historic Downtown Blytheville) 9:30-6:00 Mon-Sat • 24/7 at

Grant Hill, New Owner


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

“Unbreakable” picks up just four months after the events of “Unraveling” with everyone coming together in the wake of the destruction brought on by the close call with Wave Function Collapse, caused by Ben and his friends while trying to open a portal to their home world. It’s been months since Ben stepped through that portal to return to his family, leaving Janelle to deal with her losses alone -- months of cleaning and repairing this world, months of healing from the losses that still feel fresh… and months of people vanishing without a trace. Things will never be normal again, but Janelle is pushing on, trying to pick up the pieces and help the people around her as she goes. That is, until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay suddenly shows up with unbelievable news -- someone is operating a multiverse human trafficking ring, taking people from their home worlds and selling them in parallel universes, and Ben is the prime suspect. Now the IA on Prima will do whatever they have to do to make Ben turn himself in, including detaining Ben’s family for execution if he refuses. When someone close to Janelle is taken, she must follow Barclay through different worlds to find those responsible and try to save the people that she loves before it’s too late. With the clock ticking and

only five days to uncover the truth, she may have to face the fact that Ben isn’t the person she thought he was. When you don’t know who to trust, and home is worlds away, how do you find the strength to do what you know must be done? This series has been a personal favorite of mine from the first chapter of “Unraveling.” For days after I finish these books, I am still wandering around in Janelle’s universe in my mind. Elizabeth Norris has created a realistic and addictive world that’s hard to leave once you’re in it. Taking a break from the vampires and werewolves that have dominated the YA scene since Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, “Unraveling” focuses on, instead, the science fiction end of the spectrum, introducing you to different worlds, alternate realities, and the advanced technologies within them. From worlds where no humans have been to worlds that humans destroyed, along with themselves, Janelle gets to see it all. It’s a refreshing change, fast-paced and exciting. Norris will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the book and begging for more at the end. “Unbreakable” is the second book in the series and is available for purchase now at your local bookstore. The rights to the series have been sold to MTV, which plans to develop it into a TV series.

901 South By-Pass Kennett, MO


Gary Wilcoxson Daryl Wilcoxson



Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Sweet Creations

imaginative and positively delicious

made-to-order baked goods

Nancy Holcomb of Rector starts from scratch Nancy Presson Holcomb’s Sweet Creations baked goods have been delighting the tastebuds of Northeast Arkansas residents (and beyond) since 2010. With products featuring incredibly creative decorations as well as delicious flavors, the reputation of this Rector resident is quickly spreading far and wide. Holcomb’s creations include freshly made-to-order decorated cookies, cakes and cupcakes, as well as chocolate rolls, peanut butter fudge, cheesecakes and fried pies. Growing up in the Blue Cane community near Rector, Holcomb frequently helped her mom, Pat Presson, in the kitchen and was always interested in baking. “I took a cake decorating class in the mid-80’s, but then got busy raising a family and it fell by the wayside,” she recalled. “However in December of 2009, after my nest became empty, I was looking through a magazine and found a recipe for decorated sugar cookies that sounded good. I made snowflake cookies that Christmas for family and friends and they were a big hit.” The following year, while facing the possibility of a layoff from her production scheduler job with American Railcar Industries (ARI) in Kennett, she tried to come up with ideas to support herself, if it should come to that, and thought of the cookies. “I ended up making Easter cookies, photographed them and sent the photo to all my Facebook friends,” she said. Photo by Nancy Kemp Text by Candy Hill

l Photos provided courtesy

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


“From that photo, I received orders for 30 dozen Easter cookies — and then didn’t get laid off from my job!” Hence, Sweet Creations was born — and it has grown from there. Reflecting on how she came up with the idea for her business name and slogan, Holcomb remembers a day some years back when her daughter was in Rector elementary school. “When Whitney was in fifth grade, she participated in a business fair at school and I helped her set up a sweets shop we called Sweet Creations. One of her friends, Alex Roofe, took one bite of the peanut butter fudge and commented, ‘There’s a little taste of heaven in every bite!’” Thus a business name and slogan were born. Holcomb’s most popular products at craft fairs are her “to die for” fried pies and cookie cakes, as well as her fudge. She seems to get more orders for cakes now, she said, but noted that changes regularly, with many customers now requesting a cake with decorated cookies to match. Holcomb’s recipes come from magazines and handed-down family recipes, but she says she takes most recipes and tweaks them to suit her tastes to make them her own. She also has taken recipes from church and community cookbooks and is continually on the lookout for new recipes and ideas. The decorative trims on Holcomb’s cakes, especially, are widely varied and encompass almost any interest or design one could possibly imagine. “As a child, I always begged mother to buy the Wilton yearbooks for me,” she said. “These are specialty cake pattern books published each year and are considered the ‘bible’ of cake decorating. I would sit for hours poring over these books, admiring the cakes and wishing I could make such beautiful creations. That was my childhood wishbook. I still have all those early yearbooks and buy the new ones every year.” Holcomb also gets ideas online, as well as from the imagination of customers or from photographs they send to her. She has the ability to talk to her clients about an idea for a cake and then “build” it in her head. “Usually a decorating idea comes to me fairly quickly, but, unfortunately, at times, this has caused me some sleepless nights,” she laughs. Holcomb feels fortunate to have several helpers in her business, including her daughter, her mom, and her sister, Diana Presson. “I could not manage my business without the help of my family, and Whitney has gotten me out of several pinches where I bit off more than I could chew,” she laughed. “We pulled an all-nighter last summer when I took on an order for 300 decorated wedding cookies. “My mom makes my cookie dough for me and also helps with big orders,” she said. “My sister has made buttercream for


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013


Freedom Hobbs, Owner

Siding & Windows, LLC

Getting the Job Done Right

* Vinyl Siding * Vinyl Replacement Windows * Roofs * Seamless Gutters * Patio Covers 1311 E. Main Street Piggott, AR. 72454 870-598-5982

Quality You Can Depend On.


Tim Gardner Superintendent 870-597-4693

Bill Muse

High School Principal 870-597-2723

Andrea King

Elementary Principal 870-597-2711

Keith Richey

Federal Programs,

Professional Development and Transportation Director


GO Hounds


End of North 4th St, Piggott, AR


Sunday School 10am Worship 11am Evening Worship 5:30pm

WEDNESDAYS 7pm: Adult Bible Study Youth Service Patch Club (K-6th)




Come Grow With Us!

Your local energy partner Serving over 12,000 meters along 2,600 "miles of line�

After hours and emergencies: 1-800-521-2450 Corning: 870-857-3521 Pocahontas: 870-892-5251 Rector: 870-522-3201

870-634-6438 me and helps with delivery and big orders. “They all assist me at craft fairs, and my husband, Shane, has helped with deliveries and big cakes I can’t move by myself. He has attempted to help me decorate cookies, but, I had to fire him from that,” she chuckled. Holcomb feels that Sweet Creations stands out from other similar businesses because everything she makes is with love and care. “I love that I can make people happy with my creations. I love to see a child’s face light up when they see the cookies or cake I decorated for them. I love to hear a bride say that my cake helped to make her day special. “Also, I don’t sacrifice taste for looks. For example, fondant makes a beautiful cake cover, quick and easy. But I don’t like the taste of it or the way it seems to change the taste of the cake under it,and I have heard that comment from many others. Therefore, my cakes are covered with buttercream, and fondant is used only for decorations. “I add my own twist with ingredients which make the taste of my creations uniquely mine. Everything I make is freshly baked to order. I don’t make items in advance and pull them out of the freezer when needed, and I think all of these factors make my business special.” Longtime customer Gayla Johnson of Holcomb, Mo., had much to say about Sweet Creations. “I have bought cupcakes, cookies, fudge and cookie cakes from Nancy, and usually the goodies are gone that same day,” she said. “She is so creative in her products, and her cookies, in particular, are so brilliantly decorated down to each detail -- and they taste even better than they look! “Her cupcakes are the best in the world. My boss eats sweets but never over-indulged -- that is until he received her cupcakes last year and ate five in one morning!” Rector’s Tracy Horton, another longtime customer, adds, “Nancy’s are the best cookies, and not only are they pretty, but oh so good! She is so dedicated and creative with her business, staying up all night at times, delivering every item with care and making sure they are perfect.” Holcomb hopes to be able to retire from her “day job” and devote all of her time to baking within the next year or so. “My dream is to have a shop some day and go into business with my daughter, Whitney, at some point,” she smiled. “She is so creative and has some great ideas! We make a good team.” Those who wish to contact Holcomb or place an order may go through her Sweet Creations Facebook page or her personal page, Nancy Presson Holcomb, or phone her at (870) 240-3079.

Piggott, AR

870-598-2210 Whether You're Visting a Loved One or Attending a Family Reunion Come visit or

Heminway-Pfeiffer Make Your Stay a and Matilda&Karl Wonderful Experience Pfeiffer Museums At COPPER HERON COTTAGE

Piggott Public Library 361 West Main • Piggott, AR 72454 Phone & Fax: 870-598-3666

Not just books....

Computers, Internet, Audio Materials, Genealogy, Inter Library loans and more! Come see what your library has to offer!




1901 Industrial Drive Kennett, MO 573-888-4000

7755 Hwy. 34 E. Marmaduke, AR 870-597-2224

901 Jones Road Paragould, AR 870-236-6600

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads



Photo courtesy of Mike Chojnacki

Members of the Manila High School Class of 1955 enjoyed a 55-year reunion May 25-26. Pictured are, from left, (front) Polly Moyer George, Roann Minirth Henry, Barbara Bennett Chojnacki, Kathleen McMasters Bartholomew, Linda Wall Donovan, Marcia White Shedd. (middle) Nelson Benson, R.L. Hicks, James Harris, Nelson Morris, Pat Morris, Jimmy Williams. (back) Paul Porter, Jim Parks, Coach Wanda Carroll, Elmer Polston.

Jimmy and Geneva Williams of Trumann celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary April 27.


Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Longtime Rector residents Hughey and Mary Linam, ages 98 and 99, respectively, celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary June 9 with a reception held in Wynne, where they currently reside.

William and Barbara Stovall, formerly of Lepanto, celebrated their 50th anniversary on April 18.

East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging

Dr./Rev. G.C. Simpson Sr. of Marked Tree will celebrate his 105th birthday on June 28

We Listen. We Care. We Help. The Leader in Senior Services Since 1978 Let Us Provide In Home Care for You

Camilla (Bricker) Cox of Piggott celebrated her 90th birthday this month with a family gathering.

We Offer • Personal Care • Case Management • Respite Care Services • Care-giver Support Groups • Home Maker Services • Lifestyles/Wellness Programs • Personal Emergency Response Team • Elder Choices Provider • Ombudsman In many cases, Medicaid will pay the full cost of these services and they are also available on a private pay basis. Sometimes they are covered by long-term care insurance.

Rector’s Demetra Shultz, 91, was honored this month by the Clay County Arts Council for her many years of amazing support for everything that happens in her community.

Please call us for more information

870-972-5980 or 1-800-467-3278 or

visit our website at Summer you 2013|Delta Crossroads for answers to questions may have.103



Eddie M. Lynch and Edna “Boots” Poe with horse

1207 Willow Run Road | Lake City, AR 72437 | 870.237.8151

Sock hop: Geraldine Brewer & Billie Jo Sutterfield, AD

Balloon release

Western Day staff: (front) Lyla Elma, CNA; Billie Joe Sutterfield, AD; Linda Herrera, SSD; Paula Baker, MDSC; Landra Jeffers, BOM

Sit-Up Showdown: Dell Smith, RNA; Tiffany Floyd, PTA; Landra Jeffers, BOM; Paula Baker MDSC; Greg Wheeler, maintenance; Linda Herrera, SSD

Eulahgene Wood, resident & Pam Grooms CNA

Eddie Marie Lynch, resident & Linda Herrera, SSD

Brightening Lives One Day at a Time Cathey Stout, TA; Landra Jeffers, BOM; Lisa Alsup, Dietary; Greg Wheeler, maintenance; Winner of Sit-Up, Tes Evit, CNA; Andrea Burns, CNA; Tiffany Floyd, PTA

Offering Short and Long-Term Rehabilitation

COOL TREATS When the sun is high in the sky and cooling down is a real challenge, a fine tasty treat may be just the answer! These local delights are available around the corner — and we know they are good!

Hightower Tastee Freez

149 Highway 463 N Trumann, AR (870) 483-2464

Walker’s Dairy Freeze 101 U.S. 63 Business Marked Tree, AR (870) 358-2508

Turner Dairy

301 S 2nd Ave. Paragould, AR (870) 239-2143

Razer’s Shaved Ice 1019 E Main St. Blytheville, AR (870) 740-4050

Summer 2013|Delta Crossroads


Backroads Photo by Nancy Kemp

A Summer Delight 106

Delta Crossroads|Summer 2013

Jim Poole Vice-President/Cashier

Paula O. Blackwell Chairman/President/CEO

Need Help in Getting The Car You Want or Finding Just the Right House?

Let Us Help Make it Happen.


“Since we opened in 1930, our focus has been on making personal and business loans, and providing the best in banking for our community.� - Paula O. Blackwell Chairman/President/CEO

Familiar Faces + Friendly Smiles =

Great Service For More Than 80 Years

Piggott State Bank M e m b er

Balloon release

Dorothy Harrison, resident, and Shari Oliver, CNA

John Moore, resident, and Patricia Taylor, CNA

Manila Nursing Center staff



814 N. Davis | Manila, Arkansas | 870.561.3342

Discover more about our Five-Star rating: Bobby Hout, resident, with family members Rebecca Graddy, great niece; Linda niece and 2013 Martha Baldridge, sister 108 DeltaMatthews, Crossroads|Summer


Delta Crossroads, Summer 2013  

Dive into this refreshing issue of Delta Crossroads, the northern delta's magazine of notable places and faces.

Delta Crossroads, Summer 2013  

Dive into this refreshing issue of Delta Crossroads, the northern delta's magazine of notable places and faces.