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SUMMER 2015

The Sky is the Limit

Tiffany Schreiner and the Silver Spur Arts Academy hope to share compassionate, creative education to one and all.

A Cowboy Writin’, God-‐Lovin’ Guy Guy Smith is blessed to be living out his passion in life.

Temple artist Amber Gabriel gives the city a new mural.

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best


Locally Yours We are a full service, community minded organization. If you are purchasing or refinancing new and used vehicles and recreational vehicles, we’re here to help!

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www.gctfcu.net


CENTRAL TEXAS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL Teaching

4141 W. FM 93 Temple, TX 76502

254-‐939-‐5700 www.ctcslions.com

Truth That Transforms

The Central Texas Christian School mission is to “educate students with the transforming truth of Christ, inspiring academic excellence, Godly character and integrity in life pursuits.”


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Bell County Living


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t e nts concontents 10

The Sky is the Limit

Tiffany Schreiner and the Silver Spur Arts Academy hope to share compassionate, creative education to one and all.

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One with the Clay

Ro Shaw prods, moves, and cajoles clay into shapes of art in its purest form.

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Serving the Community, Empowering the Future

The Junior League of Bell County has been a driving force behind the kinds of initiatives and institutions that make our community a healthier, more vital place to live.

T

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A Cowboy Writin’, God-Lovin’ Guy

Guy Smith is blessed to be living out his passion in life.

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Bambu Bash

The shores of Lake Belton resembled the beaches of Hawaii with numerous standup paddle boarders during the first annual Bambu Bash.

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about t he  cover The cover photo is of local Temple artist, Amber Gabriel. To read more about Amber and her unique creations, turn to page 68.

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PARTNERSHIPS F OR  C HILDREN’S  N EWEST  P ROGRAM,  

The Heart  Gallery  of  Central  Texas,   ǁŽƌŬƐǁŝƚŚŚŝůĚWƌŽƚĞĐƟǀĞ^ĞƌǀŝĐĞƐ   ƚŽĮŶĚĨŽƌĞǀĞƌĨĂŵŝůŝĞƐĨŽƌŽůĚĞƌĐŚŝůĚƌĞŶ͕ƐŝďůŝŶŐŐƌŽƵƉƐ͕  

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FORGOTTEN C HILDREN.   dŚĞƐĞĂƌĞĐŚŝůĚƌĞŶǁŚŽĂƌĞůŝǀŝŶŐŝŶĨŽƐƚĞƌĐĂƌĞ͕  

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ĂŶĚĂLIFE O F  STABILITY  A ND  LOVE. The  Heart  Gallery  of  Central  Texas  

ŝƐĂŶART E XHIBIT   AND  C OMMUNITY  E DUCATION/OUTREACH  I NITIATIVE   ĨĞĂƚƵƌŝŶŐĐŚŝůĚƌĞŶǁŚŽĂƌĞǁĂŝƟŶŐĨŽƌĂĚŽƉƟŽŶ͘ DŽƌĞƚŚĂŶϱϬƉƌŽĨĞƐƐŝŽŶĂůƉŚŽƚŽŐƌĂƉŚĞƌƐ ŝŶŽƵƌĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚLJĂƌĞĚŽŶĂƟŶŐ ƚŚĞŝƌƟŵĞĂŶĚƚĂůĞŶƚƐƚŽƚŚŝƐƉƌŽũĞĐƚ͘

>ĞĂƌŶŵŽƌĞĂďŽƵƚƵƐŽƌĂďŽƵƚŚŽƐƟŶŐƚŚĞ,ĞĂƌƚ'ĂůůĞƌLJƚƌĂǀĞůŝŶŐĞdžŚŝďŝƚĂƚwww.partnershipsforchildren.org. &ŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶĂďŽƵƚĂƐƉĞĐŝĮĐĐŚŝůĚĞŵĂŝůƵƐĂƚheartgallery@partnershipsforchildren.org


contents

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Teaching the Responsibility of Leadership

The Central Texas Christian School Student Leadership University develops and equips student leaders to think, dream, and lead by teaching truths that transform.

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Painting the Town

Temple artist Amber Gabriel gives the city a new mural.

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Learning Spanish at the Hanoi Hilton

Jerry Curtis has touched many lives in his two careers. His journey is a miracle marked by destiny and faith.

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The Bells are Ringing & Singing in Bell County

Temple Guitarist Brian Bell & Wife Rock the Marshall Street Band.

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i n  i  sesvueery

Hometown Happenings

A glimpse inside a few of the exciting events recently held in Bell County.

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Hometown Bundles of Joy

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Salt and Pepper Smokehouse

Small town friends Dominic White and Aron Henry’s passion for barbecue blossoms into a thriving business.

Welcoming Bell County’s newest residents.

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Hometown High

Congratulations to Bell County’s seniors and graduates.

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Scenes of Bell County

Take a look at a few more of the reasons why we think Bell County is a great place to live. 6

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y

Let us serve all of your Residential and Farm and Ranch needs! Stop by our office at 3011 N. Main St. in Belton

“Find Your American Dream� www.HBSheppard.com 254-939-3585

Come  see  us  at  our  new  location! Scot Hrbacek, Financial Advisor and -R$QQ7DUYHVWDG%UDQFK2IÀFH$GPLQLVWUDWRU are excited about their new location at

3011 N Main St., Suite C in Belton.

254-933-7680

Please stop by our new location or FDOOWRPDNHDQDSSRLQWPHQWIRUD )5(()LQDQFLDO$VVHVVPHQW (254) 933-7680

Scot has been serving the Belton Community for over 10 years as an Edward Jones Financial Advisor. He is a graduate of the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor with a Master’s Degree in Business. He has also served in the Air Force for over 20 years and recently retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. JoAnn has been a resident of Belton for over 25 years & has over 15 years in the Financial Services industry. She has worked with Scot at Edward Jones for over 2 years at their previous location.

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE EDITOR PROOF READER CREATIVE DESIGN Summertime in Texas means vacations, grilling outside, and sunburns. By now we should be all stocked up on sunscreen and charcoal! One also can’t help but reminisce about breaks from school and getting to hang out with friends and family. From all of us here at With You In Mind Publications, we hope you’re having an enjoyable summer, and that it’s one to remember. Throughout the pages of this magazine, you’ll read stories and see pictures of local people and places. Our hope is that each edition inspires you and brings you closer to the area. Bell County is such a wonderful and down-home place; it’s something worth writing about. In this edition, you will read about local people and organizations serving your community through children, such as the Junior League of Bell County, and Tiffany Schreiner and the Silver Spur Arts Academy! Supporting the development, well-being, and creativity of your kids is one of the best things we can do! We would like to thank each and everyone who contacted us with story ideas, hometown happenings, and those who just wanted to say how much they enjoy the quality of content. Bell County Living magazine is truly the area’s local publication containing stories given from the area, for the area. Thank you!! Please take the time to thank all our wonderful advertisers, as they allow us to produce and distribute this publication free of charge to you. Don’t forget to check out our website, www.hometown-living.com, so that you can share Bell County Living with friends and family around the country. We’ve done a few upgrades allowing out-of-towners to subscribe to an online digital version so they can stay connected with what’s going on. Email Hayley at Hayley.wyim@ gmail.com and let her know you want on the Bell County digital subscription list. Thank you, and we look forward to many more wonderful issues of Bell County Living!

Wishing you many blessings,

Justin and Hayley Six “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13 Phone: (817) 301-3828 Email: justin.wyim@gmail.com

CONTENT DIRECTOR OFFICE MANAGER OFFICE ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHERS

COVER PHOTO

With You In Mind Publications Justin Six Hayley Six enVision Creative Services Brittny Sanchez Hayley Six Rusti Fisher Jessica Flynn Kay’s Photography & Design Mike Bartoszek Ortiz Photography Studio Terry McKeown Wonderstruck Imagery Photo by Christopher Winston

SALES MANAGER

Brittny Sanchez

SALES

Brittny Sanchez Justin Six

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

CONTRIBUTORS

Connie Lewis Leonard Jessa McClure Kim Benestante Martha Helton Melissa Wren Peggy Purser Freeman Rebecca Parvaresh Terry McKeown Belton Area Chamber of Commerce Central Texas Christian School Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce REVELation DÉCOR Salado Chamber of Commerce Temple Chamber of Commerce

Bell County Living© is published semi-annually by With You In Mind Publications. www.hometown-living.com P.O. Box 1239 | Weatherford, TX 76086 (817) 301-3828 All rights reserved. Copies or reproduction of this publication in whole or in part

With You in Mind Publications Bell County Living Magazine 8

Bell County Living

is strictly prohibited without expressed written authorization from the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. Advertising is subject to omission, errors, and other changes without notice.


Little River United Methodist Church

Fall Festival

Saturday October 24th

3:30 – 8:00

Bake Sale • Carnival Games (Free) • Face Painting (Free) • Hay Rides (Free) • Bounce House (Free) Kids and Pets Costume Contest (PRIZES) • Health Screenings (FREE) • Dinner • Live Auction • Trunk or Treat

104 N Kings Trail, Little River-Academy, TX 76554 • (254) 982-4767


Tiffany Schreiner and the Silver Spur Arts Academy:

T he Sky is the Limit By Kim Benestante

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Photography by Jessica Flynn


Tiffany Schreiner gets it. The most basic principal of the universe—explained in Newton’s Third Law of Motion—that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s also the basis of the philosophy of Karma, shared worldwide by practitioners of yoga. And it’s at the core of the Bible’s Golden Rule and the teachings of Jesus Christ; alllike paradigms, otherwise paraphrased. A dance instructor since she was 16, Schreiner has been combining the arts and spirituality to promote wellness and healing for the past 20 years, and teach others that all actions are connected, and everyone’s actions count. Just as dance movements flow one into the other, our actions toward each other should flow with kindness—key elements that inspire creativity and well being, she explained. “It takes a village to be brave and kind in every endeavor,” the co-founder of the Silver Spurs Arts Academy in Salado said recently, a mantra she shares with partners Jill Brashier and Grainger Esch. The trio founded SSAA in 2009, “with the hopes of sharing compassionate, creative education to one and all,” Schreiner said. “SSAA offers a world of inspiration to all ages. From yoga and dance, to set and prop design and filmmaking, to improv and marvelous music, the sky is the limit at the SSAA.”

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The Academy offers an array of visual and performing arts lessons for kids aged four to 18 via summer camps, holiday workshops and private sessions. While tuition fees are competitive at $265 for a 5 ½ day session, applicants can also apply for scholarships, covered by SSAA and other sponsors. “We’ve never had to turn anyone away,” Schreiner said. The academy is more than just a theater camp, she explained; themes like compassion are added during workshops. “We can marry those art forms,” she explained about combining the arts with ethics. It’s “also building our outreach sessions by going to hospitals or senior living facilities. We bring kids, and it teaches them to take care of each other.” The children witness an immediate impact of their extended kindnesses on their joyful elders, who themselves are “youthfully minded; a lot of them are over the age of 70,” Schreiner noted, and remain eternally young through their interactions with the children. “We’re trying to instill that in kids, and make them realize this is a fabric of a community, and everything we do impacts something else,” Schreiner said. “Salado is a village; so to say, ‘It takes a village’, really does apply— literally.” SSAA co-founder Jill Brashier remarked how naturally the children learn in the inviting and creative environment. “Children are such open and opaque little ones,” she said. “I love to watch their beautiful personalities shine as they experience the magical SSAA!” Indeed, the common denominator between SSAA participants, its staff, and the community is that growth is a never-ending process.

“It takes a village to be brave and kind in every endeavor.” 12

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“Learning at the Silver Spur Arts Academy is a two-way street. I often wonder who’s teaching whom,” cofounder Grainger Esch said. “While we teach them about artistic techniques, one simple question from a student can open up a whole new world of creative possibilities our habit-laden adult minds might never have thought of. I call it the gift of ‘Why not?’” While other camps in Central Texas are similar, those sessions are “much more compartmentalized” than at SSAA, Schreiner explained. “We are literally offering a vast array—so it’s not just dance; not just theater. I think of it as watercolors: you’ve got one color, then another; then they blend together and it creates a whole new color and flavor—a fusion.” Fusion is a personal technique Schreiner has implemented into her professional life. She’s also the founder of Yoga Central Texas (2008), and Wild Blue Haven (launching soon), an expanded version of SSAA that will incorporate more culinary arts and outdoor living instruction for campers—a proverbial farm-to-table education. Another partner has been added to the SSAA staff via Wild Blue Haven: Dr. Mark Humphrey, a professor and director of church music at the University of Mary HardinBaylor, the director of music ministry at Salado United Methodist Church—and Schreiner’s soon-to-be life partner; the pair will wed in September. “It’s his music, knowledge and love of building, plus my yoga,” Schreiner said of her professional collaborations with her fiancé. “We’re both foodies, and I’m in love with music and he is a musician, so that’s a nice pairing.” Plans include combining SSAA, Wild Blue Haven and Hometown Living At Its Best

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Yoga Central Texas under one website, www.intothewildblue. com, for more seamless registration. It is the practice of yoga that permeates every aspect of Schreiner’s work, including at SSAA: each session begins with a yoga warm-up. “Breathing, relaxing and mindfulness,” Schreiner evokes to her pupils. “It alleviates stress and bad attitudes.” Schreiner came to yoga through dance. A lifelong dancer, when she was a teenager she began helping younger children learn, and soon began infusing the two practices—one of her first efforts at meshing the arts. Born in Kerrville, she was raised by her rancher father, Charles, and mother, Mary Helen, a former theater director and founder of Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children—a camp facility Mary Helen founded in Killeen in 1984 for terminal children after Schreiner’s younger brother, Charles Schreiner V, died at the age of 11 months after battling a congenital heart defect from birth. Schreiner attributes much of her success to her mother. “Without her inspiration, and endless love, and endless creativity, I can’t imagine…” Schreiner pondered. “God has a reason for everything I believe; her deep love of creativity and compassion to build community is where this comes from in me.” Hometown Living At Its Best

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After high school, Schreiner attended the University of Texas at Austin for three years before moving to Corpus Christi to finish her communications degree at Texas A&M’s branch. “I had an itch to be near the beach, so I went to Corpus,” she said. Soon, she began teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga certification on the beach. She also parlayed her yoga sessions into fundraisers for the American Heart Association at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus. Missing Austin, she returned to begin graduate school at St. Edward’s University. “I was almost done when I discovered my daughter was on the way,” she said about Harper, now eight. “Having her made me fall in love with children’s yoga, and I created ‘Imaginary Yoga,’” her children’s program. Harper “was the inspiration for Imaginary Yoga and the arts academy. She is my ‘Cosmic Cowgirl,’” Schreiner said about The Legend of the Cosmic Cowgirl, a book she will soon publish with her editor, therapist and author Margie Ryerson. The Cosmic Cowgirl “wants everyone to be able to find courage and be kind,” Schreiner explained about her book’s heroine. Schreiner also has a son, Charles Hays Schreiner VI, whose namesake was derived from Captain Jack Hays, the Texas Ranger for whom Hays County was named. “He was known as the protector and defender of women and children,” Schreiner noted. Combining her life experiences with yoga has allowed Schreiner to reach her students in unique ways, allowing for physical and emotional breakthroughs. She incorporates customized techniques, depending on the individuals, when working with breast cancer survivors during wellness retreats at The Baines House, a local Bed & Breakfast. One of the largest groups with whom Schreiner works is Team RWB, a consortium of about 100 military veterans and civilians. “RWB stands for ‘Red, White and Blue,’” Schreiner said. “It’s a team of vets and civilians who are trying to bridge the two groups so it becomes a working community fostering relationships through wellness and philanthropy.” Currently she hosts statewide events for Team RWB with its founder, Major Grant Flynn, a US military veteran; future plans include nationwide 16

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events. Wild Blue Haven also will be a retreat where these groups and others can customize visits. “Wine, food, yoga, hiking trails—all to promote wellness, yoga and savory living,” she said. “Wild Blue Haven Farm is a one-of-akind savory retreat offering much of this same mission in addition to culinary and musical events for families, singles and every age and soul from 2 to 102.” As yoga promotes core strength, yoga will be at the core of Wild Blue Haven. “Yoga has helped me so much; it’s been my best friend in so many times,” Schreiner said, who has scoliosis and a right hip injury. “Not only am I compassionate to my students, but I have great empathy for my students. Whether it is physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain or spiritual pain, yoga has helped me heal and become stronger, and become the mother and citizen I was supposed to be. Without my faith and devotion to my yoga practice, I would not be able to be who I’m meant to be. “I want to say that anyone can do yoga. Yoga has so many stereotypes that have nothing to do with yoga. I’m a Christian and the two go together—that’s where I go to listen to God. Anyone and everyone can do it,” she emphasized, illuminating that everything really is connected.

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PET CONNECT

Pet Connect Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that provides humane care and treatment for abandoned, homeless or stray animals in the Bell County area.

SHELTER SUPPORT Local animal shelters have limited funds and often cannot afford to buy basic medications like antibiotics and dewormers. As our funds permit, we support local shelters with donations of basic medications, vaccines, dewormers, and flea treatment. We also help with veterinary care for sick or injured animals. We work with animal shelters throughout Bell County and beyond, including Temple, Killeen, Harker Heights, Gatesville, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Brownwood, and Comanche.

PROGRAMS • Adoptions at PetSmart, 3550 South General Bruce Drive, Temple, telephone 254.742.1816 and 2500 E Central TX Expressway, Killeen, telephone 254.634.1664. Cats are available for adoption 7 days a week, any time the store is open. • Foster care for cats and kittens to give them specialized care in a home environment • Spaying/neutering/vaccinations to prepare homeless pets for adoption • Medications and veterinary care for sick or injured animals to get them well, so they can be adopted • Public education to promote spaying/ neutering and humane treatment of animals

Want to help? Contact us at petconnectrescue.temple@gmail.com

Pet Connect Rescue, Inc. P.O. Box 2173 Belton, TX 76513 petconnect-rescue.org

VOLUNTEER • FOSTER • DONATE


PHOTO BY DON RINEY

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BY PEGGY PURSER FREEMAN

PHOTO BY MIKE BARTOSZEK

As you step into the Ro Shaw Clay Studio, a mesmerizing whir of the potter’s wheel introduces art in the making. Earthy scents seeping into every nook of this crafter’s paradise lure you to learn more, listen closer. Rolando “Ro” Shaw’s incredible combination of creativity and craft is a controlled artistic passion that transforms lumps of clay into timeless beauty. With each throw, unique designs rise up to become useful works of art. When you meet Ro, you know this isn’t your usual artist who throws something together and calls it art. Watching Ro Shaw coax the hunk of dirt, seeing

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him mold it with patience and timing, you understand the trained process, perfect details—the master craftsman’s touch. He becomes one with the clay—prodding, moving and cajoling Mother Earth into art in its purest form. Nestled in the old Glassworks building at # 2 Peddlers Alley in Salado, the studio is a perfect place to spend a day or a week. I visited with Ro on a late Sunday evening, after a busy Salado weekend. He talked about his formative years, his art, and the events planned for his unique studio. “When you grow up the only child of a single mom in Northeast Texas, you learn to create beauty out of nothing.” Ro’s smile brightened the space as he talked. “I knew in Kindergarten I wanted to do art.” Mom worked late nights and slept late. So I kept myself busy. Rockwall was a blackland area that made great, gooey clay. My earliest art creations, were pie, cookies and little dogs.” His family worked as sharecroppers in the east Texas area for generations. “I grew up one with the Texas soil, and my first art lessons were at the Giggle Snort Hotel on PBS. Each show the artist would bring out “the blob,” a big block of clay, and then the artist created different emotions. I would go out and recreate that same ‘Giggle Snort.’ I loved inventions and believed that to be the only way to make money. Now, I view art as an invention and see science and art as part of the same inventive creativity. So I did my undergraduate work at East Texas State University (A&M Commerce) and started in business and Earth Science. Then I quickly changed to a degree in art/BFA in Ceramics. At Commerce I worked in the library, and I took welding and metal sculpture. A girl I liked took ceramics—so I took the class. I didn’t understand ceramics. I loved art but couldn’t draw. When I came to throwing and working at the wheel, I loved it--but I hated it, because I wasn’t patient. Ceramics makes you patient. Clay is endless. When you learn the timing, you can do anything.” While earning a Master’s Degree of Fine Arts at Texas Tech, Ro’s vision for detail propelled him into the academic world. He taught ceramics and design while he attended graduate school. Then he took the position as a wood shop manager. Ro describes that time like this: “When they hired me to run the woodworking department, I didn’t really know how to do woodworking. That first weekend, I decided to learn how to turn wood. I started with one of the hardest projects— turning a sphere, one of the most difficult things you can do in wood. After I learned that, I could help the students with about anything.” While at Tech, Ro met Bob Rynearson, son of Dr. Robert Rynearson. “Dr. Bob and his wife needed help around their home and retired art studios, so I assisted them in exchange for studio space, etc. I started coming to Salado during that time and found it to be the perfect place for a studio.” 22

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PHOTO BY CAROL LEE


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PHOTO BY MIKE BARTOSZEK


It has been said that Ro Shaw’s art marries Japanese influence to modern design. That technique rings true as each piece he creates becomes a marriage of style. Ro connects furniture and walls, blends various pieces into one space. Watching Ro Shaw work, you fall in love with the art and appreciate the artist. However when Ro explains a process, the master teacher takes center stage. “Everyone has seen the movie, Ghost,” Ro laughs. “I haven’t seen the movie, only the one scene. Working with clay looks relaxing,” he explains, “and it is. But if you come to the wheel upset, you’ll probably make mistakes. Some days you think you can tell the clay what to do, and other days the clay tells you what to do. Your mind has to be in the right place. You have to be balanced. It’s a huge part of working with clay. The whole basis of throwing and creating from the wheel starts with centering. When you first put the clay on the wheel, it’s wobbling and all bumpy. Your objective is to center it. If you’re not centered, if your mind is not focused, if your body is not in line, the clay will not be centered.” Ro showcases that concept. “Teaching classes on how to throw,” Ro says, “the first thing people want to do is finish a product. They don’t want to worry about the steps in between. However throwing a pot is like martial arts. Your elbows must be tight to your ribs, your center. People think I am so strong because I can center a 20-pound ball of clay on a wheel. But I’m not that strong. It’s about technique. Give me muscles, yeah! But the biggest part is the technique. It’s knowing where to move, where to press or pinch. Sometimes it’s about where and how to apply pressure on the inside of the pot.”

Walking around the shop with Ro, getting the tour, you feel a world connection. Ro explains it as communal, sharing with others. “It is also having a connection with the fire and the firing process. The connection is easy to see when using a fire kiln. On the spur-of-the-moment, as you watch, you have to be able to change, or react to the process.” The shop includes: ten to twelve wheels for throwing classes. “For a few hours folks get to sit down and have this experience to feel the clay and to touch the wheel.” The studio offers a Glaze-Your-Own experience, where you can take the project home the same day it’s created. All ages can share the process together, creating family projects, special occasion pieces, and best of all, memories. “This basically will be a really quick event for people to participate in,” Ro explains. “They’ll come in, pick a pre-fired piece, and glaze it. Then they can watch it be fired and removed from the kiln red-hot. Finished pieces should take about an hour and a half. Texas has a vast number of shops. Ro Shaw Clay Studio brings a totally different experience. There’s more than watching. There’s participation, and Ro’s storytelling enhances the detail process. He’s not just putting out a product. He’s an artist first. He’s a teacher second. That adds up to a beautiful experience for you, your family or friends. And ladies, Ro is single. You can contact Ro at (903) 456-8348 or connect at roshawclaystudio.com.

PHOTO BY SARA WHITIS Hometown Living At Its Best

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Upcoming Events 12th Annual Frost Fest

The 12th  Annual  Frost  Fest  will  be  held  on  Friday,  December  11,  2015  from  5:30  pm   –  8:30  pm  with  the  location  to  be  announced  soon.  For  more  info,  visit  http://bit.ly/ Heightsevents  #HHFrostFest  #HarkerHeightsTX

10th Annual Halloween Hoopla

Attention all  little  ghosts  and  goblins!  The  City  of  Harker  Heights  will  be  hosting  this   ˆ—ǦƤŽŽ‡†‡˜‡‹‰–‘’”‘˜‹†‡–Š‡›‘—–Š‹–Š‡…‘—‹–›™‹–Šƒˆ—ǡ•ƒˆ‡ƒŽ–‡”ƒ–‹˜‡–‘ door-­‐to-­‐door  Trick  or  Treating.  The  10th  Annual  Halloween  Hoopla  will  be  held  Saturday,   October  31,  2015  from  5:30  pm  –  8:30  pm.


7TH Annual Food, Wine & Brew Festival

The Harker  Heights  Chamber  of  Commerce  is  excited  to  bring  you  the  7th  Annual  Central   Texas  Food,  Wine  &  Brew  Festival  to  be  held  on  September  12th  2015.  Please  visit  www. ŠŠˆ‘‘†ƒ†™‹‡Ǥ…‘–‘Ƥ†‘—–‘”‡Ǥ

Can Sculpture Contest

The Harker  Heights  Food,  Wine  &  Brew  Fest  will  be  hosting  the  Annual  Food  Sculpture   Competition  at  the  Harker  Heights  Community  Park  during  this  year’s  festival.    This   competition  will  provide  much  needed  food  for  our  community  Food  Pantries.  Your  group   or  organization  has  the  unique  opportunity  to  join  forces  with  HHFW&B  and  create  a   canned  food  masterpiece  to  be   displayed  and  judged  by  the  public   at  the  Festival.    The  winners  will   be  awarded  1st,  2nd  &  3rd  Place.     Each  participating  entry  will  be   given  a  5’  x  10’  area  for  their   display.  Each  group  will  need  to   furnish  all  necessary  food  items   and  structural  supports  needed  for   their  display.  Thanks  for  helping  us   raise  community  awareness  of  the   need  for  food  in  Central  Texas!  To   Ƥ†‘—–‘”‡ǡ’Ž‡ƒ•‡…‘–ƒ…–‡”‹ at  the  Harker  Heights  Chamber  of   Commerce  at  254-­‐699-­‐4999.

Harker Heights  Chamber  of  Commerce

552 E.  FM  2410  Ste.  B  •  Harker  Heights,  TX  76548  •  254-­‐699-­‐4999


Junior League of

Bell County:

Serving the  Community,   Empowering  the  Future

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Bell County Living


By Jessa McClure Photos by Melody C Photography and provided by Junior League of Bell County

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In a room inside McLane Children’s Scott & White Hospital, there is a flurry of activity. But, although there are nurses and volunteers buzzing around sick children, there is no emergency here. Instead, there are snacks, crafts and friendly faces giving these tiny patients and their families a break from the emotional burdens that come with an extended stay in the hospital. This day of fun that can include anything from painted pumpkins to homemade pillows is part of the Junior League of Bell County’s Project S.M.I.L.E. “SMILE is an acronym for Sharing Moments In Laughter and Encouragement,” said Junior League of Bell County President, Nikki Morrow. “It supports the well-being and development of pediatric patients at [the children’s hospital].” Not only do the Junior League volunteers, who are teachers, doctors, stay at home mothers, business owners, lawyers, professionals in the community and everything in between, visit the children at the hospital several times a year to put on big events like their “Santa Express” and “Blooming Buttons,” but they also put together welcome bags for patients who have just been admitted. “Inside a welcome bag it provides information about our league, about the surrounding area and coupons donated by local businesses,” Morrow said. “We also include items from the hospital’s wish list like facial tissue, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, water bottles, hand sanitizer, and snacks.” The volunteer organization wants these families and the patients they’re visiting to feel as comfortable as possible during a difficult time in their lives, especially when they have to miss the fun of the holidays. This is why they also include themed crafts and activities in the patient welcome bags to give them a taste of the festivities.

“We try to put crafts in there that go along with the month or the holiday,” she said. “We’ve done things like foam gingerbread houses, wood birdhouses, Valentine’s boxes, Halloween and harvest crafts and pumpkins to paint.” Local sponsors, donors and members help make these and other events possible by giving money, time and other resources. “The Association of Junior Leagues International is made up over 292 Junior Leagues in four countries. It encompasses over 150,000 women and is one of the oldest, largest and most effective women’s volunteer organizations. Junior Leagues have provided an enduring legacy of civic leadership training for women in our local communities,” Morrow said. “Junior Leagues, however, do not receive financial support from AJLI, or from city or state funds. One-hundred percent of the money we use to fund our programs and operations comes from community donations and community businesses supporting us through sponsorship.” Over the last 40 years, the Junior League of Bell County has partnered with a variety of organizations that directly support children in the community, which is the league’s main focus. Along with supporting those who might be receiving treatment in the hospital, the volunteer group also creates events to help healthy children and families stay a healthy and active part of the community. One of the ways they do this is by hosting events and demonstrations that help kids make healthy food choices. “Kids in the Kitchen started as an AJLI initiative,” Morrow said. “Leagues range in the variety of events and projects they offer for their KITK project. JLBC has partnered with Scott & White and the Children’s Miracle Network for their annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K/10K race. This year, we also began a KITK afterschool program with the Ralph Wilson Youth Club. We visit the center throughout the year to offer healthy snack demonstrations.”

“We hope that through the Junior League of Bell County we are providing mentorship, guidance and the opportunity to empower the future to give back to the community.”

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“Project Prom  helps  to  create  a  memorable  high  school   moment  for  these  deserving  girls.”

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The volunteers go over the importance of healthy food choices and demonstrate how to make snacks at home. The children even get the chance to cook or make the food alongside the volunteers and sample the creative cuisine. Aside from giving them great recipes and inspiration to eat better and live an active life, the league also supports the community’s children by helping them enjoy one of life’s most important events—the prom. “Project Prom is for young ladies who are seniors in local high schools within Bell County,” she said. “We call every single counselor at every Bell County school and ask them to provide us with a list of girls who might benefit from receiving our Project Prom services to help make their prom truly special. These young ladies are generally part of the at-risk population whether due to financial hardships or other challenging circumstances” The organization—through donations from local businesses—provides each girl with a prom dress, shoes, and accessories. “We also, as resources allow, provide additional assistance in the form of gift cards to restaurants for the evening of prom, as well as gift certificates to local salons for hair and nails so as much of the financial burden as possible is taken off of their shoulders for that event. We would not be able to provide that extra touch without the extreme generosity of locally owned hair salons, community restaurants and other businesses that continually support our league and this project.” Not only does this project help to create a memorable high school moment for these deserving girls, it also inspires them to think beyond their circumstances and help others in the community. “We’ve had young ladies and their mothers come back and say it encouraged them to volunteer or to give back to their community in some way,” she said. “We hope that they will continue to ‘Pay it Forward’ because they were inspired by the Junior League’s influence in their lives.” The league’s inspiration for these influential programs and events comes not only from the needs of the community, but also the drive to fulfill the AJLI’s vision, which is “women around the world as catalysts for lasting community change.” Morrow said the league is doing this by recruiting and training diverse women in our community and sending

them out to help others in a variety of ways. “Our members get opportunities to chair committees, write press releases, learn how to fundraise, budget, do website design, develop projects and mentor others,” she said. “We are essentially training them to be leaders in the community. If you look at some of the most successful women in history over the last 114 years and in your local communities, they have most likely been a member of the Junior League at some time.” Many of the organization’s members go on to serve in other local organizations and continue to serve their community, Morrow said. Being a part of the league creates a foundation for continued community service.. “Women interested in volunteering in their community can go to our website, www.jlbellco. org, and click on the “Join” tab to find out more information,” she said. Along with new member orientation, the league also hosts informational meetings and social mixers so that people who are not yet ready to commit can come and meet some of the organization’s members and learn some more about the league. “Our new members spend one semester learning about the league and its projects. At the end of the semester, and using the volunteer skills they learned, the new members develop a small one-time event or project for the day of their own that incorporates our league’s mission and focus,” she said. Once a new member becomes an active member at the end of the semester, they begin to find an area of interest within the league to serve a volunteer placement. There are a variety of placements to choose from to fit the member’s time, resources, skills and interests. The league has placements that range from website design, fundraising, newsletter development, media relations, project focus, member development and mentorship. “Our members also have the opportunity to attend additional training opportunities with AJLI each year,” Morrow said. “We hope that through the Junior League of Bell County we are providing mentorship, guidance and the opportunity to empower the future to give back to the community.” Hometown Living At Its Best

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Bell County Living


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Cowboy Writin’, God-‐Lovin’ Guy By Martha Helton

Photos by Ortiz Photography Studio

“There is just something about sitting in front of a computer and letting the aY\N] ¶Ya P\YW cY_ 3^ S] ^\_Vc K QSP^ P\YW 1YN”

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Bell County Living


Hometown Living At Its Best

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Guy Smith’s wife Maria Estella is co-director of Ghosts of Salado’s Chisholm Trail.

Francis Louis “Guy” Smith certainly has cowboy on his mind…as well as on his head. The latter in the form of a cowboy hat that perpetually perches on his head (except during prayer); the former in the form of cowboy characters, scenes and plots that fly in and out of his brain, into his fingers, and happily culminate in book form. Guy was born in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1938 and was raised in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Later on he worked for Chevron for 10 years before coming to Texas in 1979 as a consultant in Quality Assurance. Then he worked for Phillips Petroleum until he was forced to take early retirement because of falling oil prices. But his love of Texas is as big as…well, the state of Texas. “I consider myself a born-again Texan as well as a born-again Christian. Work brought me here. Texas kept me here!” 38

Bell County Living

As a youngster, writing wasn’t even a thought in his head. In fact, his dream was to go to law school and become an FBI agent. As for the writing part, he said, “I failed freshman English because I would rather read than listen to the teacher.” But apparently a captivating tale still captures his imagination. Growing up along the Gulf Coast, Guy saw up close the destructiveness of racial discrimination. A story stemming from that time period combined with different characters—Joel Dewey Ward, Lane Kendrick, Jessie May and two members of the KKK--swirled in his mind, evolving finally into reality when Guy began writing his first novel in 1985. Although not a western, Oath of Color is a fictional account of the hardships in southern Mississippi from 1926 – 1956. It took twelve years, off and on, to complete.


Publishing his beloved story turned out to be an arduous task. “I submitted it to every publisher in New York City. All returned the manuscript unopened with a note saying, ‘We do not accept unsolicited material.’” Guy took matters into his own hands and published his first book himself on Amazon Createspace. “Createspace makes it fairly easy to do,” explained Guy. “One thing I like about them is, they print on demand, meaning, if you only want one copy, they will still print and ship. My book, A Step-By-Step How to Guide for Authors & Publishers will walk you through the process step-by-step.” After Guy retired in 1994, he traveled full-time in an RV for 15 years—sightseeing around Texas and the northwest. Through his travels he gained a strong desire to portray a historical depiction of how it was in the wild and lawless west when cowboys and Indians roamed this great country, “but still believed in the one true God and Jesus Christ.” A staple ingredient in his books is faith in Christ; some characters start off with faith and some have to find it along the way. Sharing his faith in his writing is “very important. It is my way of trying to reach young and old through the words the Lord has given me.” His target audience is “anyone wanting to read clean western literature with no bad language or explicit scenes. Basically, I write as a mission in hopes that young people may come across a Bible verse and it will

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strike a chord with them.” That mission supersedes getting rich. “One of my favorite things is to go to Whataburger and find young people to hand a book to.” Guy’s ideas for books and plots come in unexpected ways and times. “Most of my inspiration comes from the Lord at 1 a.m. I wake with a character, a book idea, a poem, or even once, a game board. I have been known to put a Neil Diamond CD on and crank it up to the max and write with it playing in the background.” The western theme permeates most all but three of Guy’s twenty-four books except for the following: Oath of Color, A Step by Step How to Guide for Independent Authors and Publishers, and a novella called, Murder at the Old Folks Home. The novella was “…inspired by my love for the Belton Senior Activity Center and all the wonderful people who spend their days there.” Most of Guy’s book covers are photos of people he knows-- many from his cowboy church. Some are Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame stars; some are everyday people, such as the three heroine titles he has written. He normally writes his stories and picks out a person who closely resembles his main character. However one man named ‘Skeeter’ that graced a cover deviated from the norm, and even became his favorite character of all his stories. 40

Bell County Living

Sharing his faith in his writing is “very important. It is my way of trying to reach young and old through the words the Lord has given me.”


“‘Skeeter’ Ralston handed me a photo and said to me, ‘Somebody said you might be able to use this on the cover of a book,’” explained Guy. “I told him I normally write the book first. But I took the photo and wrote a story around Skeeter. Skeeter Ralston is a quarter horse rancher from Rogers, Texas and a true Texas hero!” With Guy’s servant heart to reach out to others, he has enjoyed mentoring others in self-publishing, using his book, A Step by Step How to Guide for Independent Authors and Publishers. “I have helped nine other people to date to get their babies in print.” He also has a publishing company (BBG) Books by Guy, Inc. What advice would he give young writers contemplating writing a book? “Stop talking about it! Do it!” Guy declared. Most recently, Guy tackled something new—he wrote a play. It’s called Ghosts of Salado’s Chisholm Trail. It will play at the Table Rock Outdoor Amphitheater in Salado on September 26th and then at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple on November 7th. Jackie Mills, first vice president of Table Rock Festival of Salado and playwright/ lyricist of Salado Legends, was sought out by Guy for her suggestions and advice. He was familiar with her because his wife, Maria Estella, acted in Salado Legends a couple of years ago. “She [Mills] told me ‘Let’s do it!’ A tremendous

Hometown Living At Its Best

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compliment coming from such a talented lady. She told me to direct it myself, and she will be a great help along the way.” Though retired, he ain’t tired. Guy’s head is still churning with ideas. He currently is working on another play called Texas Canteen--a musical set around WWll Texas USO Canteens. He is also working on a book called Drifter. Guy and his wife are a team. “She is my editor and critic,” said Guy. Maria Estella is co-director of Ghosts of Salado’s Chisholm Trail and she has a talent for cake decorating. The couple has two daughters, a son (deceased), three grandsons and three greatgrandchildren. Some people are blessed to be able to live out their passion in life and their enthusiasm is contagious. Guy is one of those blessed people. He vocalized his thoughts in this way: “There is just something about sitting in front of a computer and letting the words flow from you. It is truly a gift from God. I don’t consider myself to have the knowledge and talent to do what He leads me to do. My wife calls my computer, my horse. I get on it and go for a ride and write what I see.” www.booksbyguy.com

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Bell County Living

S


Bell County

Hometown Heroes Photos courtesy of

Ortiz Photography Studio

S

Sergeant First Class Edwin Javier Rodriguez returned home to his family on June 6th, 2015 from an eight month deployment to Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu, South Korea. This was SFC Rodriguez’s 3rd deployment, the first two of which were to Iraq. At the time SFC Rodriguez left for South Korea, his wife Desiree was four and a half months pregnant and their daughter Willow was only six months old. This heartfelt homecoming was even more extraordinary given that this was the first time Rodriguez was able to see his daughter walk and talk hold his newborn son Ryder who was born on March 1st.

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Bambu Bash

in Belton By Rebecca Parvaresh Photos by Ben Baecker and provided by Bambu Bash 46

Bell County Living


Recent rains may have raised the levels of Belton Lake, but they didn’t dampen the spirit present at the First Annual Bambu Bash for the weekend of June 6th. The shores of the lake resembled the beaches of Hawaii or California as over 70 registered stand-up paddle boarders (SUP) took to the lake. Ranging in ages from 10-60 years old, the contestants took part in a weekend of races and events that Belton Lake had never seen before. “Last summer was my first summer getting into the paddle boarding sport,” explained Ben Baecker, Event Coordinator. Ben is a RN-BSN who works for Waterside Sports. He and several others at Waterside Sports were the reason the event came to Belton Lake. “Working a lot with local groups and businesses, I became aware of how there were cities/groups that would host races to bring fellow paddlers together to not only compete but simply

get on the water all at once for an enjoyable couple of days together. I had no idea there were such things as races the thought was great!” Once the idea came their way, Ben and his coworkers put plans in place to make the idea turn into reality. “Fellow friends and staff of Waterside Sports and I always talk about building a bigger paddling community in Belton and wanting to magnify how amazing of a lake God has given us in this area is. So we set out to travel to these races, befriend other paddlers and tie webs along the way towards discovering what it takes to put a race on! When push came to shove, Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA) was the ideal place with waterfront availability and other recreational activities to be held during the event. BLORA was amazing when it came to working together and merging our two events, and we were blessed to be allowed into their facilities.” Hometown Living At Its Best

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The sport of stand up paddle boarding is fairly unknown in the Belton area but many have been looking to try it as an alternate way to have fun on the water. Dozens of people have taken advantage of the ability to rent boards from Waterside Sports and paddle boarders can often be seen silently gliding across the lake as the temperatures continue to rise. “Through rent availability at Waterside Sports, people have started discovering what it is all about and how it’s an enjoyable, easy simple way to get on the water. Though a small group, we knew people paddled in and around this area, but no steps had been made to connect these water lovers to each other.” Ben paints a perfect picture of the attitude seen at the bash: “When you are on the water, there are no worries. ‘Hang loose’ or ‘Pura Vida’ - all these sayings around beach and water areas are said for a reason because it’s not about how good you do. It doesn’t matter if you don’t pick it up right away. All that matters is you are outside, relaxed, being in God’s wonderful creation and taking a moment to breathe.”

Over the weekend they held a 5k and 10k paddleboard race/paddle and a 5k kayak race. These types of events are considered the true tests of a SUP’s endurance by the majority of participants. In addition to these tests of endurance, they also had some short kid races for any children who were interested in taking a paddleboard in the large square “track” set. One of the favorite events of the racers was the SUP Cross, or the SUP Derby. This type of race is meant for fun where all bets are off according to Ben: “This carnage race is a short course with many turns and unknown complications (wakes from boats, spectators with water guns) and the great part about it was there were NO RULES! We have people stealing others paddles, pushing and jumping on competitors boards. It was the highlight of the day. Racers didn’t know what hurt worse - the race, or their stomach from laughing so hard through the course!” The weekend was full of memories for everyone involved. From the pre-party check-in at the Dead Fish Grill to the farewell party before newfound friends hit Hometown Living At Its Best

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the road, everyone looks forward to another chance to congregate with fellow water lovers next year. “There will be a Bambu Bash next year!” Ben explains how that fact was the icing on the cake for the weekend. “Just seeing it happen is a dream come true. I would love to see more local people come out and take part in the paddling on our lake! There are 10 times as many people who own kayaks out in the central area than there were at the race and I would love to see them all out on the water with us! Yes, it’s a race, but don’t be intimidated by it! Like a 5k run, you don’t have to be in great shape or train to do it; you can set your own pace and make it an enjoyable experience. We had 70 paddlers on the water and to see the Bambu Bash blowing the start horn for over 100 next year would be a sight to see and one local residence won’t want to miss out!” 50

Bell County Living


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With the bash in the past, Ben is gathering other paddlers in the area to form the first team from Belton to travel to the Colorado River Ramble in June of this year. They plan to make connections with other paddlers from all over the state and generate additional interest in the potential of Belton Lake as a stop for paddlers passing through. According to Ben, all you need is a willingness to get wet and an interest in the sport. The group at Waterside Sports can help with the rest. “Waterside Sports is located in Franks Marina off Belton Lake Park and is a great place to rent paddleboards and kayaks for all sizes. Bring your family, group, kids - anyone. We do group and private lessons for both paddle board and kayak. In the near future we will be working with Soulful J Yoga in Belton and have yoga on the stand up paddleboards! We also have a location in Granbury off of their City Beach, a beautiful park they built by importing sand from South Padre, complete with huts and an easy walk to their wonderful downtown square.” For more information on the sport of kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, contact Ben or anyone at Waterside Sports so you can make it into next year’s races at the Bambu Bash. 52

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Nikki Smith  &  John  McLaughlin    

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Mr. & Mrs. Jordan Parker   •  est.  May  17,  2014  •

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odi re et labores equaspis venecus re, omnist fuga. Liquo volorerio. Ut volupti aperores et harchil magnime nditat et et quame volorem. On con cus, sunt, quodita tquatasit, unt, quiam eicia doluptature cum is et aut autem quam alitio iunte ne ditae. Ut rem. Raepell igenit faccull aborenis dolestia nesserf eribea consequo earum faccusdant quistincture volorup tusam, omnit liquian ihicae libus magnis restem il ipit odisimenis illuptatiis cus quat il ma prat quisqui sanduntur maxim sa quo dolupti omnis apiet voluptatum ut utaerci iur? Nequi aut eosa volest, te ad et abo. Et vel id mosIt, officae nectae paruptaesti comnimodi nonsequias

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Mr. &  Mrs.  Sam  Beaty     •  est.  May  17,  2014  •

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Mr. &  Mrs.  Jordan  Parker     •  est.  May  17,  2014  •

Il iligenis peligent pore con est laut exerumquatis earum fuga. Tem. Occaecest, consequatia sumquaspedi des nectur? Bo. Lique sequamus mo elestios eicipsunt dit, et omni quident aboribea seque pratibus reium qui dolor magnatur moloria volupta speris esequos amusdae maionse quibus dolorepe verum dolupta est, ut ipsum fuga. Pos doluptatiis vitam deleseq uundit, conse nihicia nitius, occus maio. Et enduci verum estio. Et velicietusam et vitatur? Us. Mus ea aut et ad modipsae ventis magnate mporempos pedigni hilicto ommollente simint lam dolore laccull ecabo. Agnis et autem. Ignaturissim et eaqui quis am rent, veni

odi re et labores equaspis venecus re, omnist fuga. Liquo volorerio. Ut volupti aperores et harchil magnime nditat et et quame volorem. On con cus, sunt, quodita tquatasit, unt, quiam eicia doluptature cum is et aut autem quam alitio iunte ne ditae. Ut rem. Raepell igenit faccull aborenis dolestia nesserf eribea consequo earum faccusdant quistincture volorup tusam, omnit liquian ihicae libus magnis restem il ipit odisimenis illuptatiis cus quat il ma prat quisqui sanduntur maxim sa quo dolupti omnis apiet voluptatum ut utaerci iur? Nequi aut eosa volest, te ad et abo. Et vel id mosIt, officae nectae paruptaesti comnimodi nonsequias

• 4 Photos - Include at least one vertical High resolution digital images (will appear larger than images than image in sample) • Write-up, between 100 150 words (In digital format, perferably Microsoft Word) • Please include photographer’s name so that we may provide credit for the photos

PLEASE EMAIL BRITTNY FOR PRICING & MORE INFO

BRITTNY.WYIM@ GMAIL.COM

Mr. &  Mrs.  Sam  Beaty     •  est.  May  17,  2014  •

Il iligenis peligent pore con est laut exerumquatis earum fuga. Tem. Occaecest, consequatia sumquaspedi des nectur? Bo. Lique sequamus mo elestios eicipsunt dit, et omni quident aboribea seque pratibus reium qui dolor magnatur moloria volupta speris esequos amusdae maionse quibus dolorepe verum dolupta est, ut ipsum fuga. Pos doluptatiis vitam deleseq uundit, conse nihicia nitius, occus maio. Et enduci verum estio. Et velicietusam et vitatur? Us. Mus ea aut et ad modipsae ventis magnate mporempos pedigni hilicto ommollente simint lam dolore laccull ecabo. Agnis et autem. Ignaturissim et eaqui quis am rent, veni

odi re et labores equaspis venecus re, omnist fuga. Liquo volorerio. Ut volupti aperores et harchil magnime nditat et et quame volorem. On con cus, sunt, quodita tquatasit, unt, quiam eicia doluptature cum is et aut autem quam alitio iunte ne ditae. Ut rem. Raepell igenit faccull aborenis dolestia nesserf eribea consequo earum faccusdant quistincture volorup tusam, omnit liquian ihicae libus magnis restem il ipit odisimenis illuptatiis cus quat il ma prat quisqui sanduntur maxim sa quo dolupti omnis apiet voluptatum ut utaerci iur? Nequi aut eosa volest, te ad et abo. Et vel id mosIt, officae nectae paruptaesti comnimodi nonsequias

• 12 Photos - High resolution digital images (will appear larger than images than image in sample) • Write-up, between 200 - 250 words (In digital format, perferably Microsoft Word) • Please include photographer’s name so that we may provide credit for the photos

TIPS & GUIDELINES • Remember, our new format requires the EXACT number and orientation of photos as shown above. • To be considered high-resolution, images should be at least 300 dpi at about 5 X 7 inches. • Obtain digital photos from your photographers, DO NOT scan from prints, and do not use low resolution digital previews. •Write-ups that are too long will be cut at our discretion, so it’s best to stay within the word count. Double-check all name spellings. • For additional FAQ’s, spelling guidelines and other detailed information, please email Brittny Sanchez at brittny.wyim@gmail.com.


Hometown Happenings Giving Back One Donation at a Time The Baylor Scott & White Blood Center thanks everyone for their blood donations both at their facilities and mobile unit. Our community support saves multiple lives each year. Photos courtesy of Scott & White Blood Center

Killeen High School Student Council leaders accept a trophy from Scott & White Blood Services on Monday, June 1, 2015, for winning Blood Wars, a donation collection contest between high schools. This year Killeen High school took the lead collecting 112 units of blood. (L to R) Anezka Bendova, Adrian Manning, Jasmine Dixon, Lily LaGant, Tatiana Patton and Taylor Caradang.

Trey Soto of Temple Fire & Rescue says that “donating blood is something that I love doing and it only takes about an hour of my time to help someone in need.” (shown with phlebotomist Julie Hrabal).

Baylor Scott & White employee Joseph Baker, Lab Director of Central Texas Division, donates blood 6 times per year. Baker says, “donating blood makes a big difference and I love to give back.” (shown with phlebotomist Liz Wallace)

We travel all around Central Texas in this blood bus, to school, churches and business. Donors donate blood inside of the bus.


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Student Leadership University: Teaching People about the Responsibility of Leadership

By Connie Lewis Leonard Photos provided by Central Texas Christian School

America needs leaders with honor, honesty, and intelligence. Looking at questionable characters running for and “serving” in public offices, the gene pool seems bleak. Yet there is hope for our future. Student Leadership University Program inspires and equips students to excel in future life pursuits with Godly integrity and to develop skills that will put them ahead of their peers in college and beyond. Central Texas Christian School, an interdenominational school, offers students opportunities to participate in the Student Leadership University through their Lion Leadership Program. Located on West FM 93 between Belton and Temple, CTCS strives to raise up a generation of leaders for the Kingdom of God through excellence in Christian education. Hometown Living At Its Best

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Leadership development is a key component of the mission of CTCS. Through Lion Leadership, students are introduced to the sacrifices of leadership and responsibility while learning to serve the community in various ways. Leadership activities may include job shadowing with local businesses, special intern opportunities, and serving at local events such as Christian Concerts. Reed Dunn serves as Leadership coordinator. Participation in Lion Leadership Academy is open to high school students by application. Mr. Dunn says, “Leaders are Readers.” Some of the books on the reading list are: Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Just and Unjust

“SLU opened my eyes to the endless opportunities that can be reached with God leading you.” ~ Abby Brogden

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Wars by Michael Walzer, Christ and Culture by Richard Niebuhr, The Christian and American Law by H. Wayne House, Hand Me Another Brick by Charles Swindoll, Leaders on Leadership by George Barna, Finishing Well by Bob Buford, See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar, Leadership 101 by John Maxwell, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel, Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, The Good Life by Chuck Colson, and The Sky is No Limit by Jay Strack. For Student Leadership University 101, students read one book and write an essay, for SLU 201, they read and write about two books, for 301,


they read and write about three books, and for 401, they read and write about four books. For students to become eligible to attend an SLU trip, documentation of the Leadership experience or training must be kept in a portfolio. Points are earned by the following activities: reading a book and typing a onepage summary; acceptance into Lion Leadership Academy (includes an application and business professional interview); typing a page of notes with personal opinions after listening to a speaker; leadership recognition in an outside organization as evidenced by a recommendation letter from the sponsor; documenting use of an organizer/planner throughout the year; attending a youth organization in their church for 75% of the year; completing their service hours through the school with bonus points for exceeding the required number of hours; mission service locally, in Texas, or internationally as evidenced by a recommendation letter.

To participate in each of the four Student Leadership University programs, in addition to points earned, students also must be trustworthy, responsible, and behave like an adult. To be eligible for the Washington, D.C. trip, students write a 250-word essay clearly communicating the 10 Foundational Beliefs of a Christian Worldview. To be eligible for the European trip, students write a 500-word essay answering the question, “When is war justified?” To be eligible for the trip to Israel, students write a 1000-word essay answering the questions, “Why is there no peace in Israel? Who are the key political figures in Jordan and Israel? What is a Christian’s position on the relationship that the United States should maintain with Israel and why?” The theme for Student Leadership University 101 is “Your Future in Focus. This program launches the students’ dreams and gives them a head start on their future. They learn practical relational and life skills, change the way they think, dream, and lead. The most important truth is that leadership begins at the feet

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“SLU is the ultimate experience for future leaders; it inspires, encourages, and excites students to live for God’s purpose in their lives.” ~ Hallie Smith

of Jesus.” Students travel to San Antonio for a Leadership Conference and enjoy a day at Sea World. “SLU builds up young people from the ground up and positions them for success. I will be infinitely better off down the road for having this foundation of integrity and faith that SLU helped me build in my high school years,” says Mark Besonen. The theme for SLU 201 is “Your Culture in Focus. Students walk the halls of Washington, D.C. and shake hands with some of America’s most influential leaders. They begin to understand their responses to lead in society. Venturing into the heart of our nation’s capital, 62

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students come face-to-face with how theology and culture intersect. Through exclusive experiences, and hearing from significant leadership voices, students are provoked to consider the possibilities with their influence. As they tour the National Monuments by twilight, grapple with deep questions in the shadow of the holocaust museum, and witness the legacy of our Founding Fathers, students will discover their own role in our Nation’s future.” Abby Brogden says of her experience, “SLU opened my eyes to the endless opportunities that can be reached with God leading you.” The theme for SLU 301 is “Your Calling in Focus.


Students dive deeper into history and experience firsthand the legacy of leaders from centuries before. Walking the streets of London, Oxford, Paris and Normandy, students begin to understand the magnitude of their calling. Here on the stage of so many great historical events we consider the great thinkers who have gone before, the artists who have changed cultures, and the men who have died to protect the free world. From the beaches of Normandy to the great cathedrals, students take a backstage pass into history as they prepare to influence the future.” “SLU is the ultimate experience for future leaders; it inspires, encourages, and excites students to live for God’s purpose in their lives,” says Hallie Smith. The theme for SLU 401 is “Your Faith in Focus. The final step in the SLU journey takes students to Israel and Jordan where it all began, connecting firsthand with the life of Christ and discovering the call to lead with a servant’s heart. Not only is faith brought to life as students walk in the steps of Christ, but they begin to discover their individual callings to walk with Jesus and play a role in His redemptive story for the world. Sail on the Sea of

Galilee, pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, retrace Jesus’ steps to Golgotha, and learn that true leadership begins at the feet of Jesus.” Many people dream of going to the Holy Land, but SLU 401 students actually achieve that ambition. Brooke Dickens says, “The four summers I spent with SLU will be some of the best summers of my life because of the genuine and lasting friendships, the unforgettable leadership truths, and the unbelievably incredible travels and experiences only SLU can provide.” Since Jay Strack founded SLU in 1994, thousands of young people across the country have been equipped for leadership roles in their schools, churches, and communities. The students are taught to embrace a Christ-centered lifestyle by forsaking selfish dreams, desires and demands. With more young people being taught to Think, Dream, and Lead based on a moral, ethical, Christian worldview, the best days for America and the world may be ahead, not behind us. Hometown Living At Its Best

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HOMETOWN

BUNDLES OF JOY W e l c o m i n g B e ll C o u n t y ’ s N e w e s t Re s i d e n t s Photos courtesy of Mike Bartoszek and Kay’s Photography & Design

Grayson McKinney Mother: Alexandra McKinney Photo by Mike Bartoszek

Loghan Gomez Parents: Jennifer and Robert Gomez Photo by Kay’s Photography & Design

Hadley Keul Parents: Ryan & Nicole Photo by Kay’s Photography & Design

Emma Hansen Mother: Amanda Hansen Photo by Mike Bartoszek


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Hometown Happenings Central Texas Christian School Happenings CTCS wrapped up their 2014-2015 school year in style. Students and faculty showed their “Lion Pride� both inside of the classroom and out. The Lions are also looking forward to welcoming Coach Jeremy Callahan as their new head athletic director for the 2015-2016 school year. Photos courtesy of CTCS


CTCS Class of 2015 Spanish Class Students

Second Grade Field Trip

Welcoming Home a Soldier


Amber Gabriel: Paint ing t he  Town

By: Terry McKeown Photos by: Christopher Winston, Nan Dickson, and Terry McKeown

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Has your child ever colored the walls in crayon? Before you put them in a time-out, you might want to suggest they go ahead and move on to the other rooms in the house. Well, maybe not. But you may want to enroll them in art classes because you just might have a future muralist on your hands. At least that’s how Amber Gabriel got her start. “I remember being inspired by a Richard Scarry story to paint a mural of a sunshine on my wall when I was 5,” Amber recalls, “but that was non-commissioned, so I got in trouble!” The daughter of an artist, Amber says that when she was growing up her mother would set up two easels for the both of them to paint side by side. At age 8, she won her first art contest, and by age 14 she completed her first sanctioned mural and had even begun selling commissioned paintings. “After I graduated high school, I was focused on mission work, college, and teaching and didn’t get back to painting until after my son was born,” said Amber. “I painted several pictures of him for family gifts, and that got me started painting again.” Today, Amber is an elementary school teacher, but in her free time and during the summer, she paints and offers private lessons. She has painted dozens and dozens of commissioned paintings, and countless other pieces that she keeps or gives to friends and family or even to churches and other organizations. Hometown Living At Its Best

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One of Amber’s most recent canvases is a 110-footwide building in downtown Temple. It’s a mural that depicts scenes from the city’s past and present. The central focus of the piece is a massive 1921 passenger train that bursts through the middle of the painting. (For those of you who don’t know, a railroad company is the sole reason that Temple exists today. In 1881 nearly 200 acres were purchased by the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad Company in the hopes of establishing the city as a central waypoint that would connect hundreds of miles of train tracks across the state.) “I started with [the train] and added other important elements about the history of Temple along with current aspects of the city’s life,” Gabriel said. “I wanted it to look like one seamless scene and have it flow.” And those seamlessly flowing scenes are exactly what one can expect upon viewing the mural. It starts with snapshots of recent history such as the Ferris wheel from the Bloomin’ Temple Festival overlooking a high school football game in which the Wildcats face off against their class rivals, the Belton Tigers. Panning right, the Baylor Scott and White hospital can be seen next to corn and cotton fields. Illustrating the contrast from past and present, Amber painted a bonnetwearing, glove-adorned woman picking cotton by hand on one side of the field, and on the other side, a modern cotton-harvesting machine. Blazing ahead of the machine, and blending back into our state’s past, a herd of legendary Texas longhorns

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trample along the historic Chisholm Trail next to the train. On the other side of the tracks stands the iconic First National Bank of Temple building—or Extraco Banks as it’s known today. Extraco Banks helped contribute financially to the mural and owns the building that the mural is painted on.  “We’re very proud to be a part of something that celebrates the history of our community,” said Extraco Banks’ Central Texas South Regional President Steve Wolfe. The next frame skips seamlessly back to the present, offering us two of downtown Temple’s main attractions: dining and dancing. For years, covered café tables on the sidewalk have been a staple of the city’s downtown scene. (Fun fact: the child sitting down at one of the tables in the painting is an illustration of Amber’s son.) Now, you may have two of the worst left feet around, but chances are some one has drug you out on the dance floor to do a little two-stepping. And if you’ve ever been interested in correcting those funky feet of yours, then chances are you may have checked out dance lessons from downtown Temple’s In The Mood Ballroom. Karen and Rudy Gonzales, owners of the ballroom, initially proposed the idea for a new mural after the old one came down due to repairs that the wall needed. Karen said that she and her husband waited to see if the bank would be putting up another mural, and even went so far as to ask Steve Wolfe about it. “The answer was no,” Karen said.


“We didn’t realize how much the citizens of Temple had come to love and appreciate that particular landmark,” Steve said. “So when word got back to us how much they missed it we began to research options for getting a new mural installed.” “We proposed working with Extraco to have the mural replaced as we had an excellent artist in mind for the project,” Karen said. Amber has been taking dance lessons at In The Mood for a number of years, and had even painted a couple murals for the Gonzales’ home. “We certainly knew she had the skills to tackle the wall,” Karen said. So, Amber and the Gonzales’ worked with Extraco Banks, the City of Temple and the Chamber of Commerce to approve the design and come up with a way to make the new mural happen. In the Mood Ballroom financed the project, and Extraco Banks and the Chamber of Commerce paid for all the paints and the lift that Amber used. “Rudy and Karen let me use their sink to wash my brushes out, and the bank let me store the paint in a garage they have around the corner,” Amber said. “Plus my husband, Wayne, and I were able to have lunch together every day because he works right across the street in the federal building.” But how does one go about making a mural – especially one of such magnitude? “First you have to have the dimensions of the wall

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“I like giving people something that they can look at and enjoy every day.” -‐ Amber  Gabriel

Kyla Dermody, Gabriel’s apprentice 72

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you are going to paint. Then you make a scale drawing or painting of your design proposal.” Amber informed me. “When I started on the actual wall, I projected the scale model on to the wall at night with a large, used auditorium projector that my husband found on eBay, and I outlined everything using a mini roller with a canister that I got at Lowe’s.” It seems like a bit of a daunting task (especially when you see the size of the wall!) but Amber says that she received a little help from her friends, who volunteered to color in blocks here and there. Kyla Dermody, Amber’s apprentice, also came in during the second half of the summer to make sure the mural was done before the school season started. (Remember, Amber is also a teacher!) “I was a little intimidated about the huge space, and worried about finishing on time, especially working in the summer heat!” Amber admits. “But every day people would come by to say how happy they were that the wall would have a mural again. Many of them would offer to bring me iced tea, water or cold soda. Talking with all the people who came by was one of the most fun things.” In fact, Amber says she met several of the actual football players from the game photo that Gabriel signing the wall. she based the first scene of the mural on. She said she also met people who had worked for the old bank or the railway and others still who worked at or were born in the hospital. “The mural helped me to get to know Temple more than ever. I spent time at the library pouring over old photos and post cards in file cabinets before I found a good photo of the

old bank to use,” Amber said. “I had to look at several books to find more details about the old Scott and White building, and the people at the Czech Heritage Museum helped me find someone who had an old photo of a relative picking cotton.” When asked about what inspires her, Amber says it’s the beauty in nature. And that’s exactly what’s depicted on the final scene of the mural, some true Texas beauty: beautiful bluebonnets among various other wildflowers and a mockingbird, all set against the backdrop of our state flag. “I like giving people something that they can look at and enjoy every day,” Amber said. And that’s what she’s given the city of Temple. So, although you may be looking at a crayon-colored wall and a kid in time out, just relax and take a deep breath. After all, Amber can repaint the wall and maybe even give that Picasso of yours a few art lessons. If you haven’t checked out the mural, go to downtown Temple on the corner of Main Street and Avenue A. Also, check out Amber’s website to see her additional artwork: www.paintbyamber.com

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Hometown HIGH Hometown Happenings Please join us in congratulating Bell County’s seniors and graduates with prayers and well wishes for their future endeavors. Photos courtesy of Kay’s Photography & Design and Ortiz Photography Studio Photos courtesy of CTCS Adriana Ruiz Harker Heights HS Class of 2015 Photo by Kay’s Photography & Design

Jessica Herzog Temple HS - Class of 2015 Photo by Kay’s Photography & Design

Kolton Boyd Belton HS - Class of 2015 Photo by Kay’s Photography & Design

Abigail Marie Serna Harker Heights HS - Class of 2015 Photo by Kay’s Photography & Design

Alexis Watson Ellison HS – Class of 2015 Photo by Ortiz Photography Studio


Because your style is worth capturing

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933.1604 Hometown Living At Its Best

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Hometown Happenings Belton Chamber Banquet The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards banquet on January 15, 2015 at the Cathedral Oaks Event Center. This annual event celebrates the many great accomplishments of the Belton business community. This year’s celebration also recognized outgoing chamber president and CEO Stephanie O’Banion’s many years of service and the amazing job she did of developing the chamber during her tenure. Awards for the evening included Joey Peters, an account executive at Townsquare Media, and Ben Pamplin, president of Heart of Texas Landscape and Irrigation Co., receiving the Chairman’s Award of Excellence. Joann Tarvestad, branch administrator for Edward Jones, received the Ambassador of the Year Award. Sandra Russell, executive assistant at Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, received the Citizen of the Year Award; and Robert Jones, vice president of commercial lending for First State Bank of Central Texas, received the Beltonian Award. Photos courtesy of Kay’s Photography & Design


Learning Spanish at the Hanoi Hilton By Peggy Purser Freeman

Photos by Ortiz Photography Studio

Thomas J. (Jerry) Curtis, Colonel US Air Force Retired, recently retired from his second career teaching Spanish and World Geography in Texas Public Schools for twelve years. Jerry Curtis has touched many lives in his two careers. His journey is a miracle marked by destiny and faith. The youngest of nine children, Jerry Curtis learned his core values from his mom, but he learned Spanish at the Hanoi Hilton. He recently shared his story: “My mom was the mover and shaker,” Jerry recalls those years growing up in Texas. “She taught us the 78

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importance of home and honesty. She made sure we went to church and Sunday school every week. In 1942 our family moved to Galena Park, near the Houston shipyard. At some point in time, I realized that I needed a Savior, but I was so shy that I dreaded going down and declaring Jesus as Messiah before men. A year later, I just couldn’t sit in the pew any longer. I walked down and told the church that I had decided to trust Him. I was baptized at Cloverleaf Baptist Church.” As a typical Texas boy, Jerry loved sports, especially baseball, and he had liked Spanish in junior high school. However he didn’t have a career path in mind.


Jerry Curtis has touched many lives in his two careers. His journey is a miracle marked by destiny and faith.

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“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed to go to school and do something. My best friend and I enrolled for a two-year degree in diesel and electrical engineering at the University of Houston. Neither of us was really interested in that line of work, so when we heard about Pilot Aviation Training, we signed up. My class was the first class for pre-flight at Lackland. For some strange reason, I failed my night-vision test and I was assigned to a flight line/aircraft crash-crew trunk in Waco. When I wasn’t working, I played baseball.” Headquarters for Air Force Flight Training was also located in Waco, so Jerry was able to take another eye exam. This time, absolutely no problem was found. He passed, got his wings and was commissioned in December 1954. “I joined the Air Force to see the world, but they sent me back to Houston, Texas. During this time, my brother wanted me to meet Terry. Her family had just moved to Houston and she was playing piano at a revival service at our church. We married in April 1957.” In those early years, through a series of “military 80

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circumstance” and various God-ordained life happenings, Jerry learned he not only loved Terry, he loved flying, too. They lived in California, Germany, Louisiana and Texas several times. He flew everything from single engine, jets and even to a HU-16 triphibian aircraft, H-19, T-29, a T-33 and more. “I enjoyed my job, and finally got settled into my assignment flying helicopters. Then the Vietnam War came along,” Jerry’s voice grew softer. “In 1965 I knew it was a matter of time until they had to replace the search and rescue helicopter pilots there. I knew the only thing I could control was when I go. So I said, send me.” In April 1965, Jerry (known as Tom in the service) went to Thailand and there covered search and rescue over Laos and North Vietnam. “One thing that sticks out in my mind,” Jerry added, “was our mission: to find our service men, get them on board and to safe territory. That was such a tremendous feeling—knowing you had preserved their life. One day seated at lunchtime, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was a man I had picked up the month before. He said simply, ‘Tom, thank you for my life.’”

September 20, 1965, Jerry and his team took a round of fire in a hover position with the man they were to rescue in a sling. “We fell a hundred feet and I thought we would kill him. But we didn’t. We even evaded capture for a while, but there were too many Vietnamese in the area. The four of us who were captured together, were transported to Hanoi. We were POWs for seven years and five months. It’s not something you want to undergo, but you deal with what life brings you and do it to the best of your ability. The 4th Allied POW Wing’s motto was ‘Return with Honor.’ My faith wasn’t, if I go home; it was, when I go home. My strength came by knowing I was a child of God. Like Paul Harvey, I knew the ‘rest of the story.’ I knew regardless of what would happen to me. I knew my ultimate destination.” Jerry recalled the time in solitary and related that to flying. “Flying has been called, ‘hours and hours of boredom, interrupted by moments of stark terror.’ That’s sorta the life of a POW, hours and hours of boredom. But just the stark terror would interrupt... when the torture

“We didn’t hear any airplanes overhead for three years. We thought we were forgotten...” ~ Jerry Curtis

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would start... you would never know. You...” Jerry cleared his throat and I cleared mine. Then he shared the secret of survival. Jerry Curtis and the brave men who endured that life of boredom and torture had something those of us over here in the US would never know. They had their band of brothers. “Being alone, waiting for the moments of terror, we had the fellow in the cell next to us. Thinking you were forgotten, hearing planes, hoping for rescue and then hearing nothing was hard. But we had thoughts and experiences. We used the tap code to communicate. Spelling words out by tapping on the walls, we shared stories, experience and knowledge. Eventually, we found out we could talk through the walls. We covered our head with blankets to muffle our sound. And others would put a glass up against the wall and would listen. We shared languages we knew—Spanish, French and German. For example, our native speakers would just teach vocabulary and then those who knew some of the rules would explain. The education classes didn’t really begin until the last two and a half years we were there. We were moved into Living Groups and had living areas. If you knew a book or remembered a movie, you provided the entertainment in the evening. We just tried to make the time count the best we could.” Perhaps the most difficult time came with silence. “We didn’t hear any airplanes overhead for three years. We thought we were forgotten. Finally, we heard that a group of helicopters, carrying Army Special Forces had raided Son Tay, a camp where we had once been incarcerated. They came to try to rescue us. Knowing they tried to find us, gave us hope. We were not forgotten. Two years later we were released, on February 12, 1973. I was flown to the Philippines, Hawaii, and Mississippi, where I met my family.” Back in the states, Jerry and the other heroes faced the problem of finding work. Jerry took what he had and his newly developed skills in Spanish and applied to teach in the Little River-Academy School 82

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District in Bell County. He taught Spanish and World Geography for twelve years. He and Terry are celebrating fifty-eight years of marriage and enjoying their two children and three grandchildren. The last few years, he has taught as a substitute at Academy High School and the Academy alternative school. Jerry is still involved in search and rescue, but he now watches for students he can help get on board and back to safe territory. He simply says, “Sometimes you get an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.” Thomas J. (Jerry) Curtis is an icon for the American hero on and off the battlefield. He has made the difference in the life of our young people. He was awarded the Air Force Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Cross.

“Sometimes you get an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.”~ Jerry Curtis

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Hometown Happenings Temple Chamber Happenings 2015 has been a busy year for the Temple Chamber of Commerce. They have participated in a multitude events, a few of which are shown below. Photos courtesy of Temple Chamber of Commerce


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2010 W. Ave. H | Temple, TX 76504 254-773-2453 | www.hopepc.com Hometown Living At Its Best

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Hometown Happenings Harker Heights Chamber Happenings The Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce prides themselves on community involvement by participating in events such as Chamber Ambassadors Community Day, gathering donations for flood victims, serving food at the Fort Hood USO, and Lemonade Day 2015. Their monthly chamber mixers also serve as an opportunity for chamber and community members to interact with new people.

Photos courtesy of Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce


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Bell County Living


By Melissa Wren Photos by Ortiz Photography Studio and provided by Brian Bell

Before he’d ever even experienced the adrenaline rush from the roar of a crowd, the spotlight of the stage, or the feeling of his fingers strumming guitar strings, Brian Bell knew he was destined to be a musician. “As long as I can remember I wanted to play music,” Brian said. “My parents said I wanted a drum set when I was two. As I got older and started watching MTV, I just wanted to play on stage.” By the age of 10, Brian knew how to play a variety of pieces on the guitar. He grew up listening to ’50-’60s rock and original country, and at 17 he performed as lead guitarist in a country band. After high school, Brian got a job with a band called Mud Puppies and toured from coast-to-coast for two years in clubs and casinos as the electric lead guitarist.

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Originally from Abilene, Texas, where Brian spent his entire life, he landed in Temple, Texas when his wife Shanna got a job as the Audit Director and Compliance Officer at First State Bank Central Texas. The two met in Abilene when she worked at a CPA firm and went to see his band play. After watching from a distance for a while with her co-workers, and like a giddy school girl, Shanna finally got up enough courage to start talking to Brian between sets, and eventually he invited her to some of his solo shows at Buffalo Wild Wings. Married five years now, they have a 13-year-old daughter, Hailey, and a five-year-old son named Hayden who are both musically inclined. Hailey started playing guitar, and like a lot of teenagers, listens to music twentyfour hours a day if possible. Apparently, it’s paid off. “She’s very knowledgeable about music,” Shanna said. “She can pick out each part of it by listening to every piece and is able to tell you exactly what’s going on. I’m learning a lot from her. Hayden has already started piano lessons and is doing really good. He can just hear something and play it. If you have an instrument around, that’s what he’s going to do. It’s a natural thing for him.” Brian said his kids think it’s cool that he plays in a cover band. It’s called Marshall Street, named after the road Brian and his original bass player both lived on in 90

Bell County Living

Abilene. The trio consists of Brian, Shanna, and Tom Gidely, their drummer from Salado, who Brian met in a music store in Belton. “Tom played with us one time and we loved him,” Brian said. “He’s a great guy and a great drummer.” The most unique thing about Marshall Street is that Shanna, who knew nothing about music and had no experience playing an instrument before she met Brian, is now an accomplished bass player. The reason she picked up the bass in the first place happened because their church, Little River United Methodist, couldn’t find a bass player, and Brian participated in their band. “They only played three songs on Sunday,” Shanna said. “I asked Brian how hard it would be to teach me the bass. He even traded in one of his guitars and got me one. I’d wait until our son went to bed and play from nine until midnight. I knew zero about music but in two months, I was already playing at church.” Brian commented, “I was so impressed. I couldn’t believe how fast she picked it up. She didn’t just learn a song - she’s a good bass player.” After a year of playing in their church, Brian encouraged his wife to learn some new numbers. Shanna playfully said he didn’t really give her a choice. He simply told her she was going to be a bass player, handed over his


“As long as I can remember I wanted to play music.� ~ Brian Bell

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“The thing about music is it’s not about perfection, it’s just about feelings.” ~ Shanna Bell

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Bell County Living


Marshall Street playlist with 50 songs, and booked a gig. “The thing about music is it’s not about perfection,” Shanna said. “It’s just about feelings. It’s all got to come together, and it will.” With her accounting background, it proved a bit challenging for her to let go of always striving for perfection and allow the sweet chords of the harmony to resonate into rhythm. She’s been playing the bass for three years now and has been with the band for the last year. While Brian entertains full-time on his own throughout the week, Shanna works for the bank and cherishes time at home with her children. She joins the band several times a month. Brian said he likes playing solo but prefers playing with the group. Marshall Street offers something that’s entertaining for everybody, from the crazy ’80s, to the ’90s’ and 2000s’ harder and alternative rock, and even a little Billy Idol or Johnny Cash for good measure. He leaves it up to the vibrato of the crowd. He also picks up regular solo gigs at venues, such as the Salado Creek Winery, the Hilton Garden Inn in Temple, Barnett’s Pub, The Gin in Belton and others. One of his future goals is to get back into writing some original melodies again, as well as improving and amplifying the wide selection of songs for the band that people enjoy listening to most. Brian said that there isn’t just one particular memory that sticks out to him during his experience and adventures over the years. However, a keynote moment in Brian’s career happened when he got to open up for the band Great White in Sweetwater, Texas, last year. “I was always a big fan of them when I was a kid,” he said. He also fondly remembers getting to entertain in Las Vegas, as well as Frontier Days in Cheyenne, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. He’s enjoyed fingerpicking his share of chords professionally for almost two decades, but his favorite is rock. His personal guitar collection includes six electric guitars and two acoustic. Like a poetically musical theme throughout a song, the riff of Brian’s life began in perfect harmony and continues on a high note. To find out more about Marshall Street, look for their page on Reverb Nation or contact Brian at: bbrian383@ gmail.com.

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Hometown Happenings Dog Daze of Summer

The Salado Dog Daze of Summer was held at Pace Park on June 20th. The owners and dogs enjoyed watching the doggie fitness demonstrations and the Fort Hood K9 Demonstrations. Their daze also included food trucks and various booths to shop from.  Photos courtesy of Salado Chamber of Commerce


   

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Hometown Happenings 2015 Temple Salute to Business The Temple Chamber of Commerce held their annual 2015 Salute to Business at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center. This event provides opportunities for the business community and for members to join together to celebrate our rich heritage, past accomplishments, present endeavors and exciting plans for growth and development. Photos courtesy of Temple Chamber of Commerce


Hometown Hometown Happenings Happenings Army Birthday Members of the Killeen community celebrated the 240th birthday of the United States Army in downtown Killeen on June 13th. City Mayor Scott Cosper began the ceremony with a proclamation, a traditional Saber cake cutting event, and ended the evening with a festival. Photos courtesy of Mike Bartoszek


By: Jessa McClure Photos by Mike Bartoszek and provided by the Henry and White Families 98

Bell County Living


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The sun is making its final appearance over the horizon as a handful of stadium lights blink on, flooding the small town athletic field with light. Two groups of junior high school football players stand on the sidelines, awaiting the moment when they will no longer be neighbors, but rivals. Dominic White of Moody, TX, rocks back and forth on his heels, shifting uncomfortably in his too-small gear eyeing the other team’s players. He notices a young man on the opposing side, whose football pads and jersey are just as uncomfortable as his own. “What’s up, man? Glad y’all have a big man, too,” White says with a smile. The other “big man,” Aron Henry of Bruceville-Eddy, TX, smiles back and the two strike up a conversation, realizing they have more in common than their size. “Though the rivalry pitted us against one another throughout junior and high school, we always found time to seek one another out before and after games after that,” White said. “We even began to check in on the 100

Bell County Living

other outside of sports. We had a mutual respect for one another’s talents and that ultimately led us to develop a close friendship.” After high school, the two both ended up at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as roommates. This is when Henry said they became more like brothers than friends. Not only did they spend time talking, cooking and worshipping at a local church together, but they also found time to make lasting memories—some of them more comical than others. “During the time we lived together in college, we somehow managed to lock ourselves out of the house,” White said. “Aron, who was a 350-pound man at the time, went full-on ninja and scaled the wall, shimmying himself into a small kitchen window all while wearing a white suit. That poor sink had a few dinks and dunks in it after that.” Aside from their passion for physical comedy, White and Henry also began discovering a mutual passion for barbecue. While they both enjoyed dining on typical


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“It’s all  abo making  so ut   mething   we’re  prou d  of   and  makin people  hap g   py.”     -‐ Aro n Henry

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Bell County Living


barbecue delicacies, it was White who knew that creating his own barbecue recipes would be a part of his future. “I can remember digging holes in the ground as a kid to build a [barbecue] pit,” White said. “I literally used my hands to hollow out a spot for wood and used two cinder blocks to hold the grate up. I’ve come a long way from those days of grilling on primitive equipment.” Although the two both enjoyed cooking and eating barbecue, they didn’t think of it as anything more than a hobby. White found a job teaching history at Belton Independent School District, became an i-vocational pastor at a local church, married his college sweetheart and watched his baby girl come into the world. Henry also married his longtime girlfriend and started a family, and began attending nursing school. Months and years went by and although the two remained close, their barbecue skills were put on the back burner. Then, the church they both attended asked them to cater lunch for a special occasion. “I had never even cooked brisket before, but always wanted to,” Henry said. “It turned out that we were really good at it. So, we kept catering church events and people kept telling us we needed to sell it.” After shrugging off these compliments for several months, the two friends decided last March to enter a competition in Waco. Although they were hooked after this first brush with competition, Henry admits that it didn’t go as smoothly as they’d hoped. “It was a comedy of errors. We had no idea what we were doing,” he said. “We forgot so many things at home. And we had decided to sleep in a tent overnight, but it ended up being about 40 degrees that night. Then the beans ended up being so burnt that we were embarrassed to turn them in and the chicken was terrible. But we made some friends that weekend on the Central Texas BBQ Association circuit and stuck it out and hopefully made a name for ourselves.” In fact, since then, the pair has won several competitions or has ranked in the top five for beans, brisket, chicken and White’s specialty—ribs. “Dominic is definitely the rib guy,” Henry joked. “I can’t even come close to him on ribs. My favorite thing is the brisket. The brisket is my baby. I also take pride in my beans since I crafted the recipe myself.” Henry said to the two friends, barbecuing is like a form of art. “Some people are able to use painting, music or drawing

as a creative outlet. Cooking is mine,” he said. “It’s all about making something we’re proud of and making people happy.” As White and Henry began to realize they had a knack for creating works of barbecue art, they decided to try their luck at starting a catering business, which they named Salt and Pepper Smokehouse. “A friend of ours that we taught with at Belton Middle School heard that Dominic and I were going to start cooking and wanted to start a business and joked that we were like salt and pepper,” Henry said. “It just kind of clicked.” But don’t assume you know which one is Salt and which one is Pepper, he said. “Since Dominic’s last name is White, he is the ‘Salt.’ And since I’m the fiery one, I’m ‘Pepper,’” Henry said. “It’s just a funny little inside joke.” Salt and Pepper Smokehouse has catered weddings, church and school functions, and even an alumni athletic association event for their alma mater. “We have explored the possibilities of having a food truck or a small, traditional brick and mortar place,” White said. “But in the meantime, we look to sharpen our skills and expand the brand through catering and competing. We would also like to compete in the national competitions such as The Jack Daniel’s and the American Royal.” While they wait to grow their brand and their business, they continue to grow their friendship and the friendship between their children. “We have already started the brainwashing process,” White joked. “Our girls have been together since day one (Emma—Henry’s daughter—is three and Ella—White’s daughter—is two). They’ve even been in home daycare together, practicing sign language, potty training and working on giving up the all-important pacifier together.” White said he’s happy to see their daughters becoming friends, because he couldn’t imagine life without his “brother.” “Through all life’s twists and turns, our friendship has remained,” White said. “We are as close as any blood brothers. We’ve seen each other through every major life change from engagements, marriages, and ordinations into the ministry, children being born and family members going on to be with The Lord. You name it; we’ve been through it together. We’re like iron sharpening iron.” Hometown Living At Its Best

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Hometown Happenings 1st Cavalry Living History

The 1st Cavalry Division held a living history retreat ceremony at Fort Hood on June 12th. This unique ceremony entailed soldiers dressing in period clothing dating from the start of the 1st Cavalry to the modern warrior, then they reenact that time period’s significant events. Photos courtesy of Mike Bartoszek


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Hometown Happenings Salado Wildflower Arts Weekend

Wildflower Arts Weekend took place March 27th-29th in Salado. The events included a Pub Crawl and an Edgy Art Competition in conjunction with the Texas Wine and Rogue Art Fest. Visitors experienced different artists’ booths from all over the county.  During the first weekend in August, the 49th Annual Salado Art Fair will be held, many of the Wildflower Weekend artists are returning for.

Photos courtesy of Salado Chamber of Commerce


Hometown Happenings An Outlet for Creativity

Stronghold of Hellsgate, the local Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) held a newcomers festival and competition at the Copperas Cove Public Library on June 27th. The event was held to welcome new members and the public to all aspects of the society’s portrayal which is an essential part of not just recreating the Renaissance, but living it as well. Photos courtesy of Mike Bartoszek


HOMETOWN SCENES

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

breathe, trust, let go -Mandy Hale 108

Bell County Living


What makes Bell County a great place to live? Right now, it’s water park days, patriotic celebrations, and the smell of hamburgers on the grill. Take a look at a few more reasons why we love

Bell County.

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

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Photo by Ortiz Photography Studio

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

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Bell County Living


o

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

Photo by Mike Bartoszek

“

journey, -Ben Sweetland

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index of  advert isers Bell County Living.............................................................................................................Inside Back Belton Area Chamber of Commerce ........................................................................................... 57 Central Texas Christian School.......................................................................................................... 1 Children’s Special Needs Network ...............................................................................................35 City of Killeen Airport .....................................................................................................Back Cover Edward Jones – Scot Hrbacek ......................................................................................................... 7 Gentiva Home Health & Hospice ...................................................................................................95 Germania Insurance – Larry Weiss Agency............................................................................. 105 Greater Central Texas Federal Credit Union ..........................................................Inside Front Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce .....................................................................................34 Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce .............................................................................. 26-27 HB Sheppard Real Estate ................................................................................................................... 7 Hidden Falls Nursery & Garden Center..................................................................................... 105 Hope Pregnancy Centers, Inc .........................................................................................................85 Kay’s Photography & Design .......................................................................................................... 75 Little River United Methodist Church ............................................................................................ 9 Mike Bartoszek – Wonderstruck Imagery ................................................................................ 105 Ortiz Photography Studio ........................................................................................................44-45 Partnership for Children ..................................................................................................................... 5 Pet Connect Rescue ............................................................................................................................19 Salado Glassworks .............................................................................................................................. 75 Salado Chamber of Commerce .....................................................................................................65 Surface Source Design Center .......................................................................................................85 Temple Chamber of Commerce......................................................................................................18 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor..................................................................................................95 Village of Salado.................................................................................................................................... 2 Woodhouse Day Spa ........................................................................................................................... 3

Please thank these advertisers for making this these publication possible! for Please thank advertisers 112

making this publication possible!

Bell County Living


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One local lady takes four ingredients and whips them into elegant and delicious sugary treats. Retired bucking horses that are too old to compete have a place to go to live out the remainder of their days peacefully on Ty Murray’s ranch.

Meet the Mayor Meet the Mayor

Growing up in Stephenville, Up close and personal with Kenny understood that hard work Mayor Norm Archibald andand his with God’s help,wife, making the right decisions artistic Nancy. would be his guide into the future.

The Trip ofthe a Cross CASA For Lifetime Timbers Area 48 Big Country residents made

CASA advocates are everyday a pilgrimage to Israel and agree citizens who are willing commit the experience has madetotheir themselves making difference in walk with to God all theastronger.. children’s lives.

Around Livingthe the Dream World and Backit big in How the dream of making The story ofPastime” Bill Libby:came Vietnam “America’s true for veteran, reverend, coach, Stephenville’s Brock Holt. and professor.

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ComancheLiving County FA L L 2 0 1 2

With YOUCar inERATH Mind Club

Carrie Normand’s Higher Calling:

In the middle of being treated for breast cancer, God called her to bring youth to Christ.

The Rhinestone Renegades is an association designed for women to learn about stock contracting and to show its members that they can do anything.

Forgotten Fairways

The simplicity of two words stirred something deep inside songwriter John Colgin as he stood before a storyboard in the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin. He said quietly, “That cries out for a song.”

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best

COUNTY

Family

We pay tribute to soldiers, like SPC Jesse Wayne Dietrich, who fought for our freedom and paid the ultimate price.

Living

FALL 2012

SPRING 2014

Tribute To A Fallen Soldier

The car show has been around for 24 years now and it just keeps getting bigger and better.

The Recipe for Success

You can take the boy out of Comanche County, but you’ll never take Comanche County out of the boy.

Progress Rolls into Town

The depot now houses the Comanche Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center and a Comanche Railroad Museum.

The

More Than a Mentor

Reveille to Taps

Bell County’s own— Menyhert, Cook, and Marshall share their stories from the wake-up call of the Allied forces, known as D-Day, to the last push to defeat Japan—Bell County heroes served to secure our freedom.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas provides children with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better – forever.

Kim    Macklin   Story A conversation with an Olympian.

H O M E TOW N L I V I NG AT I TS B E ST

Vision for Perfection

STEPHENVILLE’S OPTHOMALOGIST DR. KEVIN KERR SHARES THE GIFT OF SIGHT IN CHINA.

A Mother Disguised as a Teacher

NANCY CROUCH’S LEGACY LIVES ON IN THE LIVES OF MANY.

F.A.I.T.H. Football

FALL 2013

Premier Issue

THE STEPHENVILLE F.A.I.T.H. KNIGHTS ARE A SIX-MAN FOOTBALL PROGRAM THAT STARTED TWO YEARS AGO WITH A CONVERSATION AT THE CHURCH COFFEE POT.

Living the Dream

With a desire to work side-by-side, hand-in-hand creating art, furniture and design, Ben and Allie Guenther took a leap of faith and started REVELation DÉCOR.

also...

H O M E TOW N L I V I NG AT I TS B E ST

Mission: Honduras

Originally started by Don and Bobbi Hopkins over fifteen years ago, the mission for Hondurans in the area visited each year and multiple times a year at that - is simply to serve.

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best

Fort Hood Memorial America was rocked to the core on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

Free Cakes for Kids Killeen Established back in the 1800’s, Bell County has a rich history that goes back multiple generations. At its helm today, you will find a group of leaders truly dedicated to making Bell County’s beauty, amenities and growth their top priority. Among these leaders are the mayors of Bell County.

Between presents and a party and food and drinks, a birthday cake sometimes becomes an expenditure that just doesn’t make it to the table.

Gail Allard

Salado Glassworks in Peddler’s Alley in Salado is home to a unique art form

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best

Art Expressed

Chamber Directory

Your local membership directory for Brownwood and Early.

The Cowboy Way Are you interested in Featuring your business by advertising in bell County Living?

Teacher, Mentor, Friend

With a moto of “Learn a little about theatre and a lot about life,” recently retired teacher Larry Mathis made a lasting impact on those whose lives he touched.

Sharon got a late start at being an artist, those long hours in the saddle taught her how horses move, how they listen, how they see things, and how each one has its own personality.

Email us at: justin.wyim@gmail.com The Pied Piper of Dublin Stephenville is the Cowboy Capital of the World, hands down. Other towns in other places may claim that title, but the statistics show that you need to look nowhere else to find truly professional cowboys than on the streets of downtown Stephenville.

ISD Fosters Community Dublin School Board Superintendent Dr. Rodney Schneider, a man of faith, compassion and innovation, shows that his role is much, much more.

Want to share a story idea or a Hometown Happenings Event with us? Boys and Girls Club of Brown County Are you interested in writing or taking photos for Bell County Living?

Firemen of the Brownwood Fire Department serve and protect the town they love.

ERA

COUN FALL 2012

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best

Offering a wide variety of activities, mentoring programs, sports and leadership opportunities to the children of Brown County.

Email Us At: brittny.wyim@gmail.com

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best

The


Bell county fall 2015  
Bell county fall 2015