• Sunday, June 27, 2010
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• Sunday, June 27, 2010
Letter from the editor
Roots run deep in the Arkansas River Valley. It’s something we’ve always known, but the truth of that statement was made even more manifest on a recent afternoon at the Pope County Courthouse. There, outside a third-floor courtroom, I had the privilege of listening in as Pope County Sheriff Aaron DuVall traded yarns with River Valley Radio personality Johnny Story. Both men, like me, grew up in the area, but their stories — about the onetime Sadie and Maud’s, a restaurant that years ago stood at the approximate site where Walgreens sits today; the original Art Deco-style courthouse interior that preceded the work of a 1994 remodel; and the layout of a downtown from days gone by — had acquired the patina of age that mine, of a Walmart that once loomed where an empty National Home Centers building now lurks, have yet to achieve. The conversation reminded us here at RVL Magazine that behind the faces and edifices that comprise the Arkansas River Valley today are layers of history that, though largely forgotten, established the framework upon which we stand. In this issue, in keeping with the idea of exploring our “River Valley Roots,” we’ve included features about an oak tree in City Park that generations will remember from play dates of the past (see cover and pages 6-8); a local businesswoman who has been around the world, but always kept the Arkansas River Valley close to her heart; and a group of women who are learning more about their roots — genealogically speaking — than you’d ever dream possible. We’ve also included snapshots from June’s downtown Art Walk, recipes from Oak Tree Bistro for a light lunch we know you’ll enjoy and a list of summer activities in the area that will broaden your family’s horizons even as you maintain your local roots. As always, we’re excited about this issue of RVL — River Valley Living — Magazine, and hope you find as you “root around” inside a thing or two you’ll enjoy.
Mary Kincy, RVL editor
P.S. This issue also marks a special date for us — the one year mark since we launched in 2009 with a feature on the women making downtown a success. Thanks for reading, and for letting us tell your stories.
Sunday, June 27, 2010 •
The tree and me
We’ve all seen the giant oak in City Park — and many of us have played on it. But what else can we know about its venerable roots? Read our cover story to find out.
Summer sports camps
Still looking for some fun in the sun for the kids? We’ve got the ticket.
A group of forward-thinking locals are fixing their gaze firmly on the past, tracing their roots with the help of the local library.
After a lifetime spent in transit, Karen Yarbrough has returned to her Arkansas River Valley roots — and offers tips for financial success gleaned from her travels and experiences, not to mention her job as a branch manager for Liberty Bank.
Bored? Try tie-dye
A creative backyard activity for all ages.
A bite of summer
Oak Tree Bistro offers up a recipe for a simple salad that is as cool as the day is long.
Stills provide a look back at the June Art Walk in downtown Russellville, where the focus of the event paled only in comparison to the faces it featured. Also, see images from Relay for Life on pages 26-27.
Published quarterly by The Courier, Russellville, Ark. Publisher David Meadows Editor Mary Kincy Production Manager Janine Dodd Advertising Director Michelle Harris Sales Representatives Beth Higgins Jim Kelley Lauren Lampkin Judy Manning Marie Norris Christine Wojtkowski Advertising Designer Gracie Camp Photo Editor Joshua Mashon Cover Design Joshua Mashon & staff
â€˘ Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010 •
The tree & me Locals reflect on a City Park institution By Mary kincy
It’s been there since well before the park opened Jan. 22, 1925, the most — and, in ways, the least — well-known feature of the grassy space that serves as a green haven separating two major city thoroughfares. The tree, an oak of indeterminate age, is recognizable by its roots, which protrude well above the soil along the diameter of the trunk. It’s an adaptation that allows the giant to better access water it needs to survive — and that has also played into the games of countless local children. Pam Faulkner, the secretary for Russellville’s Recreation and Parks Department, is one of them. She grew up in the 1960s and ’70s in a house on what was then D Street, near the park, and played there often. “I was such a tomboy,” she recalled. And she recalled the tree. “The roots there were gigantic on that tree (even) then, because they would hide (Easter) eggs in those roots,” she said. Story continues on page 8
Emerson (left) and Easton Stevens, both 5, play on an oak tree in City Park that has hosted hours — and generations — of local fun.
• Sunday, June 27, 2010
The tree and me • continued from page 7
Back then, she never dreamed she would one day work just feet away from the tree’s branches, inside an office at the Hughes Center. “I came down here every day (back then),” she said. “Probably pestered the heck out of the people that worked here.” Jeannette Watts, children’s librarian at the Russellville headquarters of the Pope County Library System, also remembers the tree from Girl Scout-sponsored father/daughter cookouts of her youth. “It was big when I was a little girl,” she said. “And it’s been 50 years since I was a little girl.” Despite its place in the memory of many of those who grew up in the area, however, little is known about the origins of the tree. Faulkner said her department was unable to find any information on it during a search several years ago, and the local newspapers from early 1925 made no mention of the park opening, much less an oak looming over it. But Faulkner said people who stop by the park always remember the tree, its roots — and their own — when asked about it. “It’s almost an immediate response,” she said.
Emerson and Easton, the twin daughter and son of Michael and Beth Stevens of Russellville, also have an older brother, Greyson, 10.
Sunday, June 27, 2010 â€˘
10 â€˘ Sunday, June 27, 2010
Dreams of gridiron glory dominated last yearâ€™s football camp on the Arkansas Tech University campus (pictured).
Sunday, June 27, 2010 • 11
Keep the kids busy with these fun camps
Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys football passing skills camp, grades 7-12, after 11 a.m. Contact assistant coach Scott Preston, 968-0245, 968-0351 or email@example.com.
Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys basketball junior high team camp. Contact head coach Doug Karleskint, 968-0365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys 13th annual lineman camp, grades 7-12, after 11 a.m. Contact assistant coach Scott Preston, 968-0245, 968-0351 or email@example.com.
Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys basketball individual skills day camp, grades 1-12, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact head coach Doug Karleskint, 9680365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 27-July 1 Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys basketball individual skills day camp, grades 1-12, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact head coach Doug Karleskint, 968-0365 or email@example.com.
July 5-9 Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys baseball camp, 9 a.m. to noon July 5-9 for ages 14-18. Cost is $100 per person. Contact assistant coach Jarrod Titus, 968-0211 or e-mail jtitus@ atu.edu.
July 6-9 Arkansas Tech Golden Suns basketball individual skills camp. Contact assistant coach Julio Pacheco, 968-0538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 6-9 Arkansas Tech Lil’ Suns basketball camp, girls in grades K-4. Contact assistant coach Julio Pacheco, 968-0538 or email@example.com.
July 12-13 Arkansas Tech Golden Suns volleyball advanced camp, grades 9-12. Contact head coach Kristy Bayer, 968-0513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 12-14 Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys football youth day camp, ages 6-12, 8:30 a.m. to noon each day. Contact assistant coach Scott Preston, 968-0245, 968-0351 or email@example.com.
July 12-16 Russellville’s Soccer Complex will host the Challenger Sports British soccer camp July 12-16. Call 968-1934 for more information.
July 14-16 Arkansas Tech Golden Suns basketball team camp. Contact assistant coach Julio Pacheco, 968-0538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 29-30 Arkansas Tech Golden Suns shooting camp, grades 3-12. Contact assistant coach Julio Pacheco, 968-0538 or email@example.com.
1 • Sunday, June 27, 2010
Historically speaking Photos by Mary Kincy
easiest way to begin your family research is “ The to talk to your family ... start from yourself and work backward.
— Charity Park, history and genealogy librarian
Sunday, June 27, 2010 • 13
Attendees at a June genealogy class at Heritage Hall sponsored by the Pope County Library System. At left, Lynda Childers Suffridge (background), the program presenter and a former member of the Arkansas History Commission, talks about ways to trace your roots by following information left along migration trails popular in days gone by.
Library classes show tracing your family’s roots may be more accessible than you think By Mary Kincy
he Arkansas River Valley is resplendent with roots, nowhere more obviously than on occasional weeknights at the Pope County Library System’s Heritage Hall, where those interested in their pasts gather to learn about the science — and the art —of genealogy. Lynda Childers Suffridge of North Little Rock presented the program at a June 3 gathering focused on using migration paths from the earliest origins of these United States to find information on family from days gone by. The Pope County Library System’s
Charity Park and Kristen Ulsperger organized the event. Park, a librarian specializing in genealogy and history, said demand for such information is high. “There’s a lot of people looking into their family histories and there’s a lot of information on the Internet right now, but people don’t really know where to look (sometimes),” she explained. The class is designed to help budding genealogists of all experience levels — but much like the process of tracing one’s roots itself, where a days-long slog through musty files can in a moment yield a revelation, the value of the information presented can only be real-
ized over time. “A lot of people have Native American ancestry but they’re not able to document it because written records were not kept during (early) period(s),” Suffridge told attendees. One way to find information? Migration paths. All five of the socalled “Civilized Tribes” — the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole — moved through the Arkansas area in the 1800s, leaving ancestors, and in some cases, information, behind. Pottsville’s Linda Reasoner, who attended the class, hoped to capitalize on Story continues on page 15
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Sunday, June 27, 2010 • 1
Historically speaking • continued from page 13
such information. Her sister first began tracing the family history, a torch Reasoner now carries. “Several members of my family have been involved in doing the genealogy through the years, and finally I got interested,” she explained. Reasoner’s family, which she has been tracing for about two years, migrated to the area from the Carolinas in 1840-43. Reasoner’s aunt, Pat Barrett of Clarksville, also attended the class. Together, they’ve examined church histories and related genealogical projects to try to establish their ancestry. “We’ve been able to trace back a number of years and generations,” Reasoner said of the women’s work. “I’ve just kind of gotten interested in carrying it forward.” Suffridge advises diligence for those interested in acting similarly. “You have to be creative with records,” she said. “You have to use all the records you can find to determine where these people came from.” Suffridge recommends keeping in mind the fact that “people moved together” — in groups not just of family, but of friends, neighbors and fellow church-goers — and that geographic formations may be significant, along with historical boundaries, such as county lines that may have over time been redrawn. “You’ve got a person here,” Suffridge said. “Start looking at the local migration trail. And, if you have to, go county by county (until you find the records you’re looking for).” Park recommended those seeking information start by going to the library. “We keep a lot of records in books for other states and more and more records are also being put online, so it’s easier than it was 10 years ago (to find ancestors),” she explained. But perhaps the most helpful step is one that is often overlooked. “The easiest way to begin your family research is to talk to your family,” Park said. “Start from yourself and work backward.” On the Net: www.familysearch.org www.usgenweb.org
Genealogist Lynda Childers Suffridge explains a migration path during a June 3 talk at Heritage Hall in Russellville.
Research strategies • Create a chronological list of everything you can find on your ancestor. • Focus on the records available during the ancestor’s first few years in a new county. • Concentrate on the families who associated with your ancestor. • Remember clues to prior locations are often found in a new community, especially on the first deed issued. • Be sure to search all record levels: local, county, state and federal. • Search records in surrounding counties. • Follow the migration trail with county-by-county research. • Search all records — you never know what you might find. Source: Lynda Childers Suffridge
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18 â€˘ Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010 • 1
Karen Yarbrough assists financial service representative Mayra Angel (right) with a new customer’s account.
russellville roots Local businesswoman experiences life abroad, but calls Russellville home
By Cara Bailey
aren Yarbrough hasn’t always lived in Russellville, but the Arkansas River Valley has always lived in her. Though she’s followed her husband, Larry Yarbrough, through military service in Saudi Arabia, Germany and across the United States, Yarbrough, 56, always remembered her roots in Arkansas. Now back in the Arkansas River Valley, she’s grateful to have traveled the world — and to be home. “I’ve always been proud to be from
here,” Yarbrough said. “I have a sign that I’ve carried around during my military life that said, ‘Military by birth, Arkansan by grace of God.’” Yarbrough moved to Russellville during her sophomore year of high school and attended Arkansas Tech University, where she met her husband. She began her career as a bank teller, but now manages a branch of Liberty Bank in Russellville. In between have been moves — lots of them.
“My husband and family have traveled from place to place about every three years,” she said. Her experience in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 1995-98 was enlightening, she said. Living in and visiting Europe wasn’t too much of a culture shock, but customs were completely different in the Middle East. “The children belong to men, and in some places women aren’t allowed to enter,” she said. “It’s unbelievable. Story continues on page 21
0 • Sunday, June 27, 2010
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Sunday, June 27, 2010 • 1
Russellville roots • cont. from page 19
Even their weddings are separate, with men in one room and women in the other. There are no mixed parties, even for weddings. I didn’t have much contact with Saudi women (while I was there).” Yarbrough did meet women who were considered royalty, she said, and the women were hungry for knowledge of the world outside their country. The biggest problem she encountered during her travels came one day when she needed to get back to Riyadh after a trip to Egypt. One of Yarbrough’s sons was returning to high school in Europe; meanwhile, her husband was going to Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates. She found herself traveling alone, which was forbidden for women in Saudi Arabia, she said. “It was just unreal,” Yarbrough said. “Nobody believed me.” “I told them my son was going back to school in Europe and my husband couldn’t travel back with me. (One Story continues on page 23
Joined by Yarbrough, bank teller Josh Stroud (right) verifies a check.
â€˘ Sunday, June 27, 2010
$$-saving tips for women
Sunday, June 27, 2010 • 3
Wto the grocery store to fun outings with
e love to shop. But from necessary trips
friends, many Arkansas River Valley women are looking for ways to stay within a budget. And doing so can be a struggle. “I think if we spent less time shopping, we wouldn’t buy so much stuff through impulse purchases,” said Liberty Bank branch coordinator and financial service representative Karen Yarbrough. “We’re nesters and want to have everything in hand’s reach, but making a budget is the best way (to stay financially stable).” Yarbrough shared some advice that can help you make the right financial choices. • Make a monthly budget and keep track of expenses. Entertainment costs should be included in the budget since DVD rentals and restaurant visits can add up. Don’t forget to stick to the budget. • Keep a good record of debit card expenditures in a checkbook to know how much money really is in the bank. This will help prevent debit card overdraft fees. • Put money in an IRA. The savings will grow. • Check receipts to see where frequent purchases
are made. Recent banking history can indicate where you might be overspending. Look over expenses ever month. • Take a list when shopping and go grocery shopping without children and family members who purchase impulse food. Sometimes making purchases with children means shoppers will buy more. • Never go shopping on an empty stomach. Shoppers are more likely to purchase food they don’t need when they’re hungry. • Stock up on snacks you know you and your family will want while grocery shopping and add it in the budget. It’s cheaper to buy some snacks in bulk while at the grocery store than to make trips to a convenience store or restaurant. • When going out with friends and trying to stay on a budget, limit credit cards and carry cash. Cash can prevent shoppers from over-spending since they can only purchase something if they have cash on hand. • Stay out of stores if you don’t need anything, and remember looking at items in catalogs and online can create wants, which can lead to extra purchases. RVL
Russellville roots • continued from page 21
guard) kept saying, ‘You can’t enter our country without a husband.’” In tears and uncertain, she finally encountered a supervisor who allowed her to enter the country. Yarbrough also entered restaurants via the back door since women weren’t allowed to eat in the main areas, she said. But even though many experiences in the Middle East weren’t always pleasant for her, Yarbrough said she’s thankful she was able to experience the culture. “I now know what it felt like in the Civil Rights era ... how they felt,” she said. “It was like I wasn’t good enough. It was a learning experience, and I thought I knew a lot about the world after living in Europe.” Yarbrough said her experiences abroad have made her grateful to be a U.S. citizen. Now, she enjoys spending time with her husband; two sons, Jason and Jacob; and her seven grandchildren. She also enjoys her job. “I just love people, and I really care about customers,” Yarbrough said. “I love helping the elderly and the young.” Yarbrough likes to assuage senior citizens’ financial worries and assist new checking customers with financial tips, she said. “I think she can relate to people more (through her time abroad) because she has a variety of people who are cus-
tomers, and who come from different places,” said Sarah Sanders, a coworker and friend. Yarbrough is approachable and friendly, Sanders said. “She’s good at giving advice and has advised me on a lot of things that I’ve dealt with,” Sanders said. “She’s always honest about her opinion.”
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â€˘ Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010 •
Kids can create a tie-dye masterpiece
ho hasn’t heard the requisite “I’m bored” from children on summer vacation? With endless opportunities for fun before them, they may need a little help narrowing down an idea to fill the lazy summer days. Why not try tie-dye? Tie-dyed clothing was popular during the era of the flower child. With every item of clothing a unique work of art, tiedye showed the creativity of the wearer and his or her free spirit. Making tie-dyed items is a fun summertime activity — one that can be done right in the backyard. It’s like dying Easter eggs, but on a grander scale. Here’s what you’ll need: • White cotton T-shirts or dresses • Powder fabric dye in chosen colors • Rubber bands • Rubber gloves • Water • Buckets • Large plastic bags
1. Mix the dye in buckets according to the package directions and place on the lawn for the least amount of mess from dripping. 2. Have the kids scrunch the fabric of their T-shirts or dresses in various locations and secure with rubber bands. 3. As a family, don rubber gloves and old clothing on which you won’t mind seeing dye drips. 4. Dip the items into the dye color or colors of choice until the areas of the fabric are adequately colored. Don’t be afraid to get a little wild and crazy. 5. Place the dyed clothing into individual plastic bags, seal
and allow to set for 2 to 3 hours. 6. Once the colors have set, remove the rubber bands and allow the garments to dry flat. 7. Wash and dry the items and allow the kids to wear their homemade fashions. For less mess, put the dyes in plastic squeeze bottles and allow children to “draw” on patterns instead of using the traditional tie-dye method.
Who hasn’t heard the requisite “I’m bored” from children on summer vacation?
relay for life â€˘ Sunday, June 27, 2010
May 14-15, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010 •
Photos by Cindi Nobles
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8 • Sunday, June 27, 2010
This crisp Cobb salad, concocted by Oak Tree Bistro, will keep your taste buds cool — and satisfied — all summer long.
a bite of
Sunday, June 27, 2010 •
Oak Tree Bistro’s Classic Cobb You will need: 2 cooked chicken breasts
1 cup cooked bacon
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
4 oz. good blue cheese, crumbled
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 avocado, split four ways
4 beds of lettuce (spring mix)
⁄ cup chopped green onion
To assemble: Mound lettuce in the center of four plates. To garnish each salad, make a row of each of the following: avocado, chicken, tomatoes, blue cheese and bacon crumbles. Slice egg in an egg slicer and place on corner of the plate. This salad works well with a vinaigrette of your choice. Serve immediately. Feeds four. The Oak Tree Bistro is located at 1019 N. Arkansas Ave. in Russellville. Open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch Sunday, it offers a complete menu, coffee hand-roasted in Arkansas and a full espresso bar. The first step? Lay a bed of assorted lettuce. It’s a prelude to the laying you’ll do in the hammock later.
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June 4, 2010
Pictured on this page include (clockwise from top left) Deniece Cox, Stephanie Bates and Rhonda Elliott; Diane and Russ Hancock; and Robert Ford, Kathleen Fullerton, Mary Clark and Dennis Overman. At left (from left to right, top to bottom) are: Avery Peel, Sarah Reel and Meredith Reel; R.E. Hodges and David Harris; Laura Batch; Traci Rood, Preston Rood and Kaci Statler; and Nancy Corbin, Pat Cannon, Paula Steel and Helen Maugnh.
Sunday, June 27, 2010 â€˘ 31