Harrison Magazine Summer 2022 Edition

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a r t s & c u lt u r e | b a c k ya r d s u r p r i s e s | b u s i n e s s s p o t l i g h t | & M O R E !

Backyard Surprises:

SADDLE UP

Harrison County horse ranches offer East Texans a chance to ride Business Spotlight:

MARTINEZ POTTERY

keeps Marshall tradition of pottery manufacturing alive

summer 2022 ISSUE

Harrison Champion:

‘God Has Called Us to Do Here’

Tracy Andrus Foundation provides hand up


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LETTER

SUMMER 2022 ISSUE

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nce the temperature goes north of 100 degrees, does it really matter what the thermometer is telling you? Once it is hot, it is hot. For some, it doesn’t matter; they still find ways to enjoy the outdoors, or choose to mow the lawn in the middle of the afternoon, if their lawn is not varying shades of brown like mine. Most of us find other ways to keep cool in the afternoon. Some of you might need a refreshing drink or a dip of ice cream. Inside this issue we stop by and visit Uncle Joe’s to sip on a frappe and eat a cool treat. I don’t think calories count on a hot Texas summer day, do they? Along with seeing great artwork, or learning about the history of our community, our local museums also features air conditioning — which comes in handy when you want to get out of the house but are looking for a little culture in your life. Our area youth have been spending time staying cool in the Michelson Museum this summer as part of their summer programs. Inside this issue, as part of our photo gallery, we feature local children working on a mural at the museum. Every photo shoot we do has its own personality. When we planned this mural shoot, I expected it to be full of smiles and young uncontrolled energy. To my surprise, it was filled with attentive students who hung on the words of their instructor, Olivia. Once the children had their marching orders, smiles were found, but more noticeable was the focus and determination each child showed as they were poised to create the most amazing piece of artwork they could in a relatively short amount of time. We absolutely have some talented young artists. If you are the outdoors type and don’t mind the heat, or are good about finding the cooler times of day, you will enjoy the backyard surprises pages of this edition. We spend some time with local organizations teaching people to ride horses. You know what is really cool? People who are helping other people. No matter what time of year it is, the team at the Andrus Foundation can be found helping those in need of their services within our community. Learn more about their story in this issue. No matter how you choose to be cool this summer, we do hope you enjoy this edition of Harrison Magazine along with a sweet tea or, my preference, lemonade.

Publisher Alexander Gould

agould@mrobertsmedia.com

Editor Meredith Shamburger

mshamburger@marshallnewsmessenger.com

Advertising Sales Johnnie Fancher

jfancher@marshallnewsmessenger.com

Sara Madden

smadden@marshallnewsmessenger.com

Marquisia Wright

mwright@marshallnewsmessenger.com

contributing Writers Jessica Harker Bridget Or tigo Robin Y. Richardson

contributing Photographers Michael Cavazos Jessica Harker Les Hassell

Graphic Designer Katie Case

Special thank you to Michelson Museum of Art

on the cover

Rev. Tracy Andrus at the Tracy Andrus Foundation in Marshall. The Tracy Andrus Foundation is helping make dreams come true, giving a hand up and not a hand out to those in need. Photo by Les Hassell

published by Alexander Gould

agould@mrobertsmedia.com

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903.935.7914 | 309 e. austin st., Marshall



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TABLE of contents

BACKYARD SURPRISES

Harrison County horse ranches offer East Texans a chance to ride

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The Tracy Andrus Foundation is helping make dreams come true, giving a hand up and not a hand out to those in need. ARTS & CULTURE

Harrison Magazine, Michelson Museum of Art team up for kids’ art project BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Martinez Pottery keeps Marshall tradition of pottery manufacturing alive

CULINARY DELIGHTS

Ice cream and iced coffee make Uncle Joe’s the perfect summer hot spot HOUR GLASS

HARRISON CHAMPION

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An honest look at a friend: Bill Moyers’ hometown doc received favorably by city

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BACKYARD SURPRISES

Saddle Up Harrison County horse ranches offer East Texans a chance to ride story by Bridget Ortigo| photos by Meredith Shamburger

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wo Harrison County horse ranches offer East Texans a chance to saddle up and ride out into the beautiful sunset. Karma Farms and Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center, both located in Marshall, offer a wide range of riding opportunities, including lessons for beginners up to skilled riders; group rides; rides for veterans; and rides for special needs guests. “We came out just for this ride today,” Hannah Kessler, 17, a former Karma Farms riding student said recently. Kessler came back to the horse ranch, which offers Western and English riding lessons on its Colonial Spanish horses, to join in a special trail ride celebrating the end of the school year and start of the summer. Kessler is from Texarkana and took lessons for two years from Karma Farms owner Vickie Ives. She was joined on the trail ride by her friend and new rider Robert Haywood. “This is my first time ever riding a horse,” Haywood said. Kessler said they made the drive down from Texarkana because horse ranches that offer trail rides and riding lessons are harder to come by than most people would imagine in East Texas. 8 | HARRISON MAGAZINE

“I’ve always loved horses but there’s not a lot of horseback riding getaways around here, other than in Marshall,” Kessler said. “I came here twice a week, every week, for two years and it really helped boost my confidence. I learned not to be afraid of horses, and I learned not only how to ride but how to care for the horses too.” At nearby Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Owner and Director Sheryl Fogle also teaches her students all of the ground work and instructions for caring for horses, as well as riding lessons, but her horses also have another title — therapist. “The horses are actually the therapists,” Fogle said during a riding event for blind veterans. “The horses can sense when they’re needed, and for our guests with disabilities that can’t walk, the horse becomes their legs. That movement makes new motor pathways in the brain and their mind can improve. We’ve had autistic children that have never spoken before and after coming here and riding the horses for some time, they have gone to school and said their first words. Riding horses also releases endorphins.”


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1. A champagne-colored horse named Cowboy was a favorite during a recent trail ride at Karma Farms. The event had riders of all ages, including the very young (2) and teens (4). 3. Owner Vickie Ives showed off her horse Homey and his ability to do math. 4. Ives helps saddle up the horses. 5. Karma Farms specializes in Colonial Spanish horses. Healing through horseback riding was the motivation for Fogle to open her ranch, which sits on about a dozen acres and includes a riding arena and a fishing pond for guests. The nonprofit provides therapeutic riding for special needs guests, as well as U.S. military veterans and senior citizens. The center also offers private riding lessons and frequently hosts riding camps for all groups throughout the year. Fogle was inspired to open the center after her father, a U.S. military veteran, suffered from PTSD, shock treatments, and later died at a young age. “He was on heavy medications and he died young of a heart attack at 56. But, I believe God can make beauty out of ashes,” Fogle said. Down the road, at Karma Farms, Ives, whose farm has been in the family for more than 100 years, was also inspired to teach others about horses in order to help both the people and the animals themselves. A former animal control officer — the first female to hold that role in Texas — Ives took on animal cruelty case involv-

ing Spanish Colonial Horses. After the auction of the animals left some horses without homes, Ives took one of them home for herself. His name was Titus, Ty for short, and he opened up a whole new world for Ives. “I wanted to prove that there was no such thing as a throwaway horse,” she said. “That if you love something enough and you work hard enough with it, that you can make something out of anything.” Seeing Ty rise from his near-death status and watching his perseverance as a part-bred mustang, she wondered what a full-blood would be like. Later, Ives would go on to purchase a full purebred Colonial Spanish horse, Choctaw Sundance, who came to be the most decorated horse in history before dying in 1994. Now, with only about 2,000 Colonial Spanish horses left in the world, Ives is working to preserve the breed’s history while educating people on “America’s first horse.” “I get to teach my kids American history, because the hisSUMMER 2022 ISSUE | 9


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tory of our horses is the history of the U.S.,” she said. “From the Spanish reign until now, the Spanish Colonial horse has fought in every war with us and even today, they’re a real warhorse. Our kids need something like this. Kids need to be outdoors and they need to interact with nature.” To demonstrate just how intelligent the breed is, Ives brings out her horse “Homey,” who answers a series of math problems in front of the riding group gathered. As Ives calls out an addition or subtraction math problem, Homey paws the ground the correct number of times to show the answer. “These horses are very rare and endangered,” Ives said. “These horses are very smart and understand spoken words better than modern horses. They are also better for long distance riding. When you come out here, you get to ride a piece of all of our heritage.” Ives’ farm has about 65 horses in all at Karma Farms and offers lessons on them to match her guests skill levels. Karma Farms hosts birthday parties, trail rides, moonlight rides, day camps and lessons for $35 an hour by reservation. “I’m just hoping we can continue to preserve America’s first horse and introduce them to more and more people, because if we don’t teach our people to appreciate them, they won’t be here for my grandkids,” Ives said. Both farms offer private, group or trail riding experiences throughout the year. To find out more about Karma Farms or schedule a ride, call (903) 407-0298 or visit www.facebook.com/trailriding. To find out more about Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center or schedule a ride, call (817) 980-2535 or visit www. dayspringtec.com.


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HARRISON CHAMPION

Staff members at the Tracy Andrus Foundation in Marshall.

‘God Has Called Us to Do Here’ Tracy Andrus Foundation provides hand up story by Robin Y. Richardson | photos by Les Hassell

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he Tracy Andrus Foundation is helping make dreams come true, giving a hand up and not a hand out to those in need. “God is doing wonderful work. We’re just blessed,” said Dr. Tracy Andrus, founder and director of the foundation. In addition to an emergency homeless shelter and safe homes for domestic violence victims, the agency offers vocational programs, GED courses, free laundry services, free weekly meals and more. “We’re really working toward making this, what I call, a holistic one-stop shop,” said Andrus. Located at the former police/fire complex on 303 W. Burleson St., food is now served at the foundation in the former fire station bay every Wednesday. Free laundry and shower services are also offered for those in need. Sign-ups are available to use those services. For more information about services offered by the Tracy Andrus Foundation, visit the website at www.tracyandrusfoundation.com. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The foundation welcomes those interested in service to call or visit with a case worker at the facility. “We’ll be more than happy to speak to anyone,” said Andrus. “We also welcome volunteers. People who want to 12 | H A R R I S O N M A G A Z I N E

come in and volunteer with our shelter or may want to come and sit with some of the folks as they come in to wash clothes and take a shelter or whatever. We welcome volunteers to come in and work with us also, because sometimes people, they need to get community service hours, and this would be a great place for them to come in. “Just come in and observe and just help wherever they can, because we do have a little clothing pantry in the back because a lot of people come in the shelter, they don’t have anything. We get some real nice donations from people with clothing and shoes. It just gets them along their way, so they can kind of get established.”

Finding Refuge 63-year-old Sherry Williams found refuge at the Tracy Andrus Foundation after finding herself in a crunch. She’s been living at the shelter since May. Through the Tracy Andrus Foundation, she’s found not only a temporary home through the shelter, but a place of friendship and gainful employment. “I come here and I was waiting to get my Social Security SSI (Supplemental Security Income), but I didn’t have anywhere I can live at or anything I could live on, and that’s what really happened, the reason I got here,” Williams shared. “I just didn’t have anywhere to live at. I stayed with a relative for a


while, but I didn’t have any money to help pay the bills with.” Williams said a friend referred her to the Tracy Andrus Foundation. “She said they were nice, and since I’ve been here, he’s a nice person himself,” Williams said of the director. Williams said she always tries to return the kindness by being a friendly face to others who come to the shelter for a safe haven. “I was able to tell the people here about God, tell them how to treat people and I try to treat them nice,” she said, sharing she also makes sure those new to the shelter get whatever they need whether it’s food, towels or snacks. “The other day I offered the young lady that just got here some cookies. She was so sweet. She was happy to get them,” said Williams. Williams said she likes helping out at the shelter and currently found janitorial work there. “I’m the cleaner here,” she said. “I love cleaning up around here and talking to people and meeting them. I clean up in the bathrooms and mop and find everything I can do and make friends with people and try to help them, with the new people that come in. I like to show the people where the washroom is at, and where they can get some food there.” Williams also offers them prayer for encouragement. “I pray here and I go to church every Sunday,” she said, sharing she’s even had the pleasure of going to the church where Andrus serves as pastor. “I tell them that the Lord is able to bring them out,” she said of the encouragement she offers to those who have come to seek help, as well. “You may be down, but God can lift you up. Yes, he can. He can do that. He can lift you up, in Jesus’ name.” Williams likes to offer that spirit of hope, happiness and joy, because that’s just what she’s received at the Tracy Andrus Foundation. “There’s some hope,” she said she wants people who find themselves in a bind to know. “I don’t want them to feel like no hope.” Williams said the staff at the Tracy Andrus Foundation has become her family. “The young ladies that work here, they’re so sweet. I feel like they are my sisters. I see them in the morning time, I tell them good morning and hi,” she said. Mr. Andrus said: ‘Oooh, they love Ms. Sherry. He said they thought a lot of Ms. Sherry.’” Williams said the feeling is mutual for the Tracy Andrus Foundation. She’s appreciative to the agency for being a rock for her through her storm. “It’s helped me to have somewhere to lie down at. It’s helped me to pray; and helps me to go on and don’t want to give up in

Rev. Tracy Andrus stands in one of the shelter’s sleeping areas converted from a former jail cell at the Tracy Andrus Foundation in Marshall. life,” she said. “I’m not going to give up. I want the Lord to take me farther and higher. That’s the way I feel about it. Williams said she’s most appreciative to Andrus and his wife Sonya. “He’s a very Christian, nice person — him and his wife. They are really with the Lord,” said Williams. She said seeing how Andrus overcame his own obstacles in life encourages her as well. “He is a person, when you see him, he smiles and he makes you want to be up,” she said. “He went further in life. And I thank the Lord to take me on further, because what He do for one, He’d do for others. The Bible says no respect of people. It says whatever you need, God’s got it. You’ve got to believe that He’s got it.” Williams said she’d encourage anyone in need of temporary emergency shelter, free laundry services and more to check out the Tracy Andrus Foundation. “I think if they come here, if they can make it, I think Tracy Andrus… if he can’t help you, he just can’t do nothing for you because he can help you,” she said of Andrus, who is also a local pastor, construction contractor and college professor. “He has a way of helping you, and if you put the Lord first, Tracy Andrus can help you. He doesn’t mind helping people.” As for her, Williams said she plans to stay as long as she needs. “I’m going to stay right here until the Lord blesses me,” said Williams. “I say the same for others. When they don’t have nowhere to stay at, try to make it here or just pray… say Lord direct my path.” S U M M E R 2 0 2 2 I S S U E | 13


“They don’t ever have to worry about having a bill when they leave here, because that’s not what they’re here for.” Dr. Tracy Andrus

Gateway Technical School In addition to shelter services, thanks to cooperation with the Texas Workforce Commission, the foundation is able to offer vocational programs at the foundation’s educational component, Gateway Technical School. The technical school’s mission is to help educate ex-felons and other vulnerable populations. Vocational programs include construction, plumbing, HVAC and electric training. Andrus said such programs will particularly be beneficial for the apprentices that will work for his construction company, Andrus Industries. “A lot more guys that work with us now, we want to get them trained efficiently so that we can pay them money based on their backgrounds; and getting their education is really going to help them,” said Andrus. “I want these guys to be able to sustain their living. I don’t want to just put them in housing. I want them to have some education; I want them to be able to survive on their own. And I tell you right now we have a very good track record with the guys who come out of prison, who work with us – and some of them who haven’t been in prison, just been homeless or something. But when they come in, they take on some responsibilities here and we do give them an opportunity to advance, and now we’re giving them opportunities to enroll in some of these vocational programs so that they’ll be able to earn a decent, livable wage. They don’t ever have to worry about having a bill when they leave here, because that’s not what they’re here for.” Instructors in the program are licensed professionals in the respective fields. The professionals include a license plumber, electrician, HVAC professional and commercial and residential contractor. “These people are working with us hand-in-hand, and they are teaching the skills that these folk need to know, and they’re going to be on the job training so that we can see it,” said Andrus. “We have all the equipment. I own bulldozers, excavators – you name it – we have everything we need. “I want to make sure that my people are well versed in what we’re doing,” he said. The foundation is also excited to now house a GED center. “That is going to be something great,” said Andrus. “And also, we have applied to become a testing center for the GED program; so not only will it be a learning center, but it will be a testing center. That’s why I call it a holistic approach. “We want to be able to help people as much as we can here, because eventually (through) that GED center we’d be able to help them with resumes and get them some letters of rec14 | H A R R I S O N M A G A Z I N E

ommendation – just do some things to really try to help the folk,” he said. “That’s our goal here to just be holistic and try to be able to take care of folk in every stage that we can.” Andrus is also thrilled to announce the soon-to-be opening of a daycare center, which will operate right across from the Tracy Andrus Foundation in a former church building. “It is awesome,” Andrus said of the facility, which will be able to offer a capacity of up to 78 children. “We have a great staff of folk that’s able to really get at it, and I just can’t ask for anything else,” said Andrus. “With the different things that we’re doing now, everything is just coming together. I just thank Jesus for it.”

Community Partnerships Andrus said the Tracy Andrus Foundation is grateful for the thriving community partnerships that they’ve established to help the agency fulfill its mission. “We’ve established some very good community partnerships with Community Healthcore, with Misty Scott at the food bank, with the county judge Chad Sims, with our mayor Amy Ware, and all the commissioners, they’ve really been onboard with a lot of the things that we’re doing here, and they work with us real good, real close,” he said, also acknowledging the Boys & Girls Club. Andrus said they are also appreciative of the support of the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce, of which the foundation is a member of. He said they are also thankful of the partnership with Genesis Primecare. “Genesis Primecare, they come in and do our COVID shots, and if we have any people that need different healthcare insurance or something, the case managers contact them,” said Andrus. “We want to establish partnerships with people in the community,” said Andrus. Also a pastor, Andrus said he’s grateful for his church, Edwards Chapel, who supports the foundation as well. “They’re in conjunction with us with the new feeding program that we’re starting here,” said Andrus. Andrus said the foundation prides itself on its motto, giving people a “hand up and not a hand out.” “This is not a hand-out program,” said Andrus. “We’re not trying to give them a fish. We’re trying to teach them how to fish, so that they’ll be able to sustain themselves in the long run. That’s what our program is designed to do and the fact that they’re able to work with us.” “We want to do what God has called us to do here,” he said.


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ARTS & CULTURE

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hat happens when you give a group of kids a big sheet of white paper, all the art supplies they could want and an hour’s time? Harrison Magazine teamed up with the Michelson Museum of Art to find out – and the end result included familiar sights during the summer months: butterflies, bees, flowers, beetles, dragonflies, ants and lots of green plants.

photos by Michael Cavazos

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Marcos Martinez forms 10-inch bowls on a potters wheel at Martinez Pottery in Marshall.

handmade solutions Martinez Pottery keeps Marshall tradition of pottery manufacturing alive story by Jessica Harker | photos by Les Hassell

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he City of Marshall has a long and proud history in pottery manufacturing, with a number of local companies being well known throughout the country for decades as the leaders of the industry. Today that tradition continues through Martinez Pottery, the last local stoneware pottery manufacturing business. “It’s sad actually; we used to have so many other business owners here in the same industry and it was really helpful to be able to borrow from them, but now it’s just us,” said 20 | H A R R I S O N M A G A Z I N E

Vickie Martinez, who owns the business with her husband. Martinez said that she and her husband moved to the area in 1985, with him taking a position with his cousin at a local pottery manufacturing plant where he learned the trade. “He actually learned how to do this in the building we have now,” Martinez said, “We were able to purchase it many years later.” With his new skills, Martinez said that the two bounced around in the local industry for a while before another pot-


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1. Marcos Martinez forms 10-inch bowls on a potters wheel. 2. Paula Chavez removes products from molds. 3. Vickie and Marcos Martinez. 4. Pottery dries on shelves. 5. Christine Chandler paints mugs for a retail client. 6. Julia Martinez smooths the rough edges on a canister before leaving it on a shelf to dry. 7. Mugs painted by Christine Chandler dry on a shelf. tery business closed down and they decided to venture out on their own. That was in 2006, with the couple owning and maintaining Martinez Pottery at 183 N. Marshall Industrial Ave. ever since. The store offers wholesale purchase of their original stoneware products, along with a retail storefront at their warehouse that offers everything they have on their website directly to the East Texas community. “We are locally made right here in Texas, all of our products are made right here. Plus we get all of our supplies locally as well,” Martinez said, explaining that the company also sources its clay from the Tyler area. The company sells a wide range of products, including mugs, bowls and other traditional pottery products, along with gallon coolers, jugs, butter churns and much more.

“One of our most popular items is our little water bowl that people use for their pet rabbits,” Martinez said, “Apparently that is a very popular thing to do down here in East Texas.” She added that the company also often sells its more unique and often artistic pieces exclusively to the public at their storefront, items that no other person in the whole country has access to. “We love Marshall, and we absolutely love the community here,” she said, “We are originally from North Carolina, and I guess we could have moved back there at some point. But Marshall is our home, and we made our home here and we love the people who are here.” Community members can learn more about the business, or order products by going to the businesses website at www.martinezpottery.online. S U M M E R 2 0 2 2 I S S U E | 21


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CULINARY DELIGHTS

George and Mercedes Kotchev, center, run Uncle Joe’s, an ice cream and iced coffee shop.

Sweet Dreams Ice cream and iced coffee make Uncle Joe’s the perfect summer hot spot story & photos by Jessica Harker

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ncle Joe’s Coffee & Co., located at 409 E. Grand St. in Marshall, is all about one thing: its customers. “We love small communities, it’s always what we are looking for when we want a new location,” said owner George Kotchev. George and his wife Mercedes Kotchev are owners of the three Uncle Joe’s Coffee & Co locations across East Texas, with Mercedes stating that the store’s second location was opened in Marshall in 2021.

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“This was our second location, after our initial Gilmer one,” Mercedes said, “And we also have our store in Longview, and we may have more coming in the near future.” George said that the thing that makes the coffee and ice cream shop unique is that they are capable of catering totally to their clientele, unlike many chains who are required to follow regular and seasonal product schedules. “There’s one thing that’s always true, if we don’t like it, we won’t sell it,” George said, “We also carry items based off of


2

1

3

4

5

6

Uncle Joe’s offers a variety of ice creams (1), pastries (3,4,5) and drinks (2,6) for customers of all ages. Stop by the business on West Grand Avenue. what our customers like. If one ice cream flavor is popular and another isn’t, we will keep the popular one and try something else. We always have something new.” The store carries a wide variety of Blue Bell ice cream flavors, as well as a unique candy selection and flavored honey for community members to enjoy. This is all in addition to its coffee selection, which is catered by the Kotchevs to be delicious with unique flavor combinations to suit any taste. They offer dozens of unique coffee drinks including espresso drinks, hot and iced coffee, frappes and more. George said that he spent years searching for a good cup of coffee after moving to the United States from Europe. “I couldn’t find a decent cup of coffee anywhere, so I decided why not just do it myself,” he said. Additionally, George said that the goal of each location is to offer a comfortable environment and a unique meeting place, offering the community a chance to sit and enjoy each other’s company and the coffee. “In Europe, you sit, you sit and enjoy your drink and I think that’s something that everyone would really enjoy more if they did it,” George said. The company also sells an all-natural, plant-based energy drink called Crunk Juice, which Mercedes said is a huge seller for those in the community looking to cut down on caf-

feine while still needing a daily pick-me-up. The business also sells bursting boba teas, one of the only locations in East Texas to offer the product. The company imports pastries from Italy, which they sell to the community, along with fresh bakery items made by Mercedes. “We like to offer a lot for the community to try, a lot of things that they wouldn’t be able to try anywhere else,” she said. Not only do the Kotchevs support the community through their product selection, but they also work to be sure those working to make the community safe are honored. At each of their store locations, on-duty first responders receive 50 percent off any drink they like. “We try to be sure to donate any of our pastries we don’t sell on certain days to the Marshall Fire Department,” Mercedes said, “We really want to show our support for everything they do.” The business is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Community members can learn more about the local business on their Facebook page. S U M M E R 2 0 2 2 I S S U E | 25


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HOURGLASS

An honest look at a friend: Bill Moyers’ hometown doc received favorably by city story by Meredith Shamburger

M

arshall native and notable TV journalist Bill Moyers has had a long career telling other people’s stories. But in 1984, he took the time to tell his hometown’s tale. “Marshall, Texas; Marshall, Texas” is the result, a personal look at Moyers’ hometown as he remembered it, the harsh realities he was not always aware of and a look at where the city was in 1984. His website describes the program thusly: “Bill Moyers makes a visit to Marshall, Texas, his hometown. The oral history provided by long-time residents of Marshall describes a ‘Tom Sawyer sort of place’ on one hand, and a town formerly divided by racial segregation on the other.” A short clip of the film and the transcript can be found on Moyers’ website, billmoyers.com, while the full version of the film has been posted on various accounts on YouTube for those who are interested in watching it today.

The film’s premiere on TV merited several articles and letters in the News Messenger. News Messenger staffers Rodger Cramer and Kevin Walter got a special preview of the show before it aired, and Cramer, the executive editor, wrote in a Jan. 8, 1984 column that the show did the city justice. “Knowing those principal interviewees and their views, realizing that all were at ease with Moyers and that he kept their trust by editing only for economy (not for effect), we realize that Moyers let Marshall tell its own story, as any good editor would strive to do.” Cramer also interviewed Moyers about how the show came about and what he thought while reporting it. “I want people to understand that it’s all right to take sides in history. History is not a dry recitation of facts and events,” Moyers told Cramer. “People have asked me over the years how I can interview, with obvious empathy, people with whom I could not possibly agree. It’s easy. My work is to

Moyers talk with Inez Hatley Hughes in the Harrison County Historical Museum, which Mrs. Hughes directs.

At the courthouse square, Moyers reflects on Johnny Reb and the nation.

28 | H A R R I S O N M A G A Z I N E


report people just as they are, to illustrate differences where they occur and, hopefully, to allow the viewer the right to reach conclusions. I have the right to tell the story, but the viewer must have the right to take sides.” Moyers told Cramer he hadn’t really thought about the fact that he gave such an intimate glimpse of himself in the film. “I guess maybe that part was done more for folks at home… I guess it is important to let a little of yourself out. It’s a need you have to be honest because, subtly, you are making a judgment.” A short story detailing a few Marshallites’ reactions was published on Jan. 12, 1984: Bill Moyers managed Wednesday night to give the nation an honest look at Marshall without sacrificing his love for his hometown, according to people watching the first installment of Moyers’ new series “A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers.” “Marshall, Texas; Marshall, Texas” was Moyers’ look at a Southern American town, its historical and traditional divi-

Moyers strikes a pose in front of a museum exhibit featuring him.

sions and the changes that brought closer together what was once two places — black and white. “I thought it was extremely well done,” said Hendricks Hightower, 69, and a native of Marshall. “I think it is a credit to the city to have the man project the community as he saw it.” Hightower said he thought Moyers handled Moyers during a summer visit. the show, and its sensitive subject, “professionally” and in an “even-handed” manner. His wife, Anna, agreed. Also a Marshall native, she said “We lived through this. I have many good colored friends. I was taught to respect them.” John Vaughan, 49, an English professor at East Texas Bible College said he thought Moyers was “very objective.” Ruth Trumble wrote in the Jan. 19 issue of the paper that Moyers brought the past alive. “On our return journeys we often find it difficult to reconcile our memories to the changes… Yet, how easily Mr. Moyer moves from that country, that time to this other; so that the romance of the past is not lost, but enhanced by the honest picture not only of the glory, but the mud; so that we say “Yes, that was truly the way we lived and loved. There were our days of bright honor and dark shame.” He helps us catch again, those yesterdays; not only with our hearts and eyes, but, more importantly, with our heads. Reaffirming for us the values, the dignity of human life, he shows us a hometown, and we, wherever we live, recognize it as our own, as our community, too.” Moyers, in the film, sums up his experiences and reporting thusly: “Marshall, Texas: Marshall, Texas. There really were two worlds here. If you grew up in one, you didn’t trespass the other, except superficially. That’s the hardest thing to acknowledge or understand today: That our history could have held such advantage over our moral imagination: that you could grow up so pleasantly in so small a place — wellchurched, well-loved, well-taught — and not apprehend the reality of others.” S U M M E R 2 0 2 2 I S S U E | 29


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