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county line UPPER EAST SIDE OF TEXAS

DECEMBER 2012

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M A G A Z I N E

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Longview Ballet HOOK RETURNS

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CONSCIOUS Shopping Rhonda CROSS Amanda STEWART Lon Morris COLLEGE LAUREN Alexander SANTA’S Workshop ART • MUSIC • PLAY • POETRY • FILM • BOOKS • HOME • WELLNESS • FOOD


Lunch Menus include Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Pecan Encrusted Breast of Chicken Blackened Tilapia, Braised Beeftips and Delicious Sides and Desserts.

With the purchase of a Tea Room ticket comes a free Wreath Raffle ticket.

For more information please call (903) 753-8103.

Food by Perfect Blend Catering Piano Music by Freda Nelson

Open Nov. 29-Dec. 2 Jan. 3-6 Jan. 31-Feb. 3 THURSDAY-SUNDAY BEFORE THE FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH!

2 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012


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CONTENTS FEATURES

10 Longview Ballet Presents Peter Pan: Hook Returns Celebrating their 40th anniversary the Longview Ballet puts their own spin on this classic show featuring New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht as Peter Pan. By Tom Geddie

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11 Lon Morris College Bids Farewell Former Lon Morris student shares his views on the closing of the oldest junior college in Texas in Jacksonville. By Josh H. Ellis

12 Conscious Shopping for the Holidays Buying local, American-made, and Global Fair Trade makes a difference. By Meagan Deen

DEPARTMENTS 5 Editor’s Note Letters 6

ACROSS THE COUNTY LINE Downtown Tyler. Wood County Electric Coop. East Texas Council. Marion County. Stephen F. Austin University. Longview’s World Cafe. Sulphur Springs Restroom Art.

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CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT 14 Calendar of Events

MUSIC 22 Lauren Alexander’s Magical Music By Tom Geddie

PLAY 32 Santa’s Workshop at Mineola Museum

THE ARTS 16 Art News. Events. Workshops. Palestine. Tyler. Lindale. TJC. Athens. Dallas Arboretum. Longview.

24 Music Listings

SHOP 34 Shop Talk. Events.

18 Texarkana Artist Rhonda Cross Helps Kids Express Themselves By Tom Geddie 20 Love of Animals and Heritage Shows in Amanda Stewart Art By Tom Geddie ON STAGE 19 Stage News. Events. Mineola. Wills Point. Longview. Texarkana. FILM 21 Adaptation: To See or Not to See By Jeremy Light

LITERARY SCENE 25 Reviews: Edge of Dark Water, Fragile 27 News. Events.

LIVING ROOM 36 Garden Guide and Calendar. Winterize Homes & Cars

28 Poetry & Prose

37 Home & Garden News. Events.

28 TJC Students Embrace Bookstore Kitty By Jeremy Light

FEEL GOOD 38 I’ll Never Forget What’s His Name By Edward H. Garcia

FOOD & DRINK 30 Reviews: Marshall’s Central Perks Cafe and ZaZa’s Modern Italian Cuisine in Tyler 3

Food News. Events.

SEE WEBSITE EXTRAS! www.CountyLineMagazine.com 4 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

COVER: Wendy and Peter Pan flee Captain Hook once more during Longview Ballet’s “Peter Pan 2 — Hook Returns.” Photo by Hannah Tibiletti Cromer


county line Since 2000

MAGAZINE

PUBLISHER & MANAGING EDITOR P.A. Geddie ADMINISTRATION Lori Easley eMARKETING Leah Lynch

CONTRIBUTORS Ine Burke Robbie Gunn Patti Light Jeremy Light Edward H. Garcia Tom Geddie Alia Pappas Josh H. Ellis Meagan Deen SALES P.A. Geddie

DISTRIBUTION Chris Beverage Pam Boyd Bombyk Beckey Flippin David Michelina Billie Ruth Stanbridge

WEBSITE: Geddie Connections County Line Magazine is published once a month, 12 months a year. It is available free of charge in the Northeast Texas area in select businesses, limited to one copy per reader. Subscription costs: $18 per year in Texas, and $22 per year outside Texas. Bulk rate postage paid at Ben Wheeler, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to County Line Magazine, P.O. Box 608, Ben Wheeler, TX 75754. Contents COPYRIGHT 2012 County Line all rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without written permission. Opinions expressed in articles appearing in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Mailing address: P.O. Box 608, Ben Wheeler, TX 75754 Phone: 903.833.2084 E-mail: info@countylinemagazine.com Website: www.countylinemagazine.com. Free listings are entered on a space available basis. Advertising space may be purchased by calling 903.833.2084.

EDITOR’S NOTE Dear Readers, ‘Tis the season for sure in the Upper East Side of Texas with parades, art walks, wine tastings, home tours, and so much more taking place in our quaint small villages and busy big towns. There are some great shows in the region this year that warm our hearts with holiday magic, keep us smiling through the stress, and remind us of the most important things in life — love, kindness, family, friends. As Peter Pan says, “Think of all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye.” The Longview Ballet is celebrating their 40th anniversary this month with a new production of Peter Pan. In this adaptation Captain Hook did not meet his end

at all but has returned with the rest of his pirates to match wits with Peter, Tinker Bell, and the Pixie Hollow fairies. Besides local talent it features New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht as Peter Pan. What a spectacular gift the Longview Ballet bestows upon our region year after year. Meagan Deen’s article this month reminds us to THINK about where the products we spend our money on come from to make sure it benefits deserving people. It’s a great nudge during this holiday season to support our local merchants and artists, our country, and those in need in our world. Happy holidays and a prosperous new year. P.A. Geddie Publisher & Managing Editor

LETTERS On behalf of ArtsView Children’s Theatre, I would like to thank you for the recent article you published for us regarding our upcoming Playwright Contest. Publications like yours, who so graciously support what we do, go far in enabling us to truly make a difference in the lives of local children. My own two sons, whose confidence has been greatly increased here at ArtsView, are included. Thank you so much! Janet Bourcier ArtsView Children’s Theatre Longview

Just finished reading the November edition of County Line Magazine and found it to be the best yet in terms of content, style, diversity, scope and presentation.  Keep ‘em coming! Eddie Hueston Callender Lake

Let us hear from you!

Please feel free to send us your comments. County Line Magazine P.O. Box 608 Ben Wheeler, TX 75754 email: info@countylinemagazine.com Find us on Facebook or Twitter. Go to LETTERS on www.countylinemagazine.com.

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print, eMag, eNews, video, social networking, face to face

Serving the Upper East Side of Texas

903.833.2084 • www.countylinemagazine.com DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 5


ACROSS THE COUNTY LINE Downtown Tyler Efforts Honored by State Program

Downtown Tyler won top honors Thursday at the Texas Downtown Revitalization president’s awards gala held in Wichita Falls. City Councilman Martin Heines was named the state’s downtowner of the year, and the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition won the statewide best downtown partner program. Heines was honored for his years of dedication to downtown revitalization as a volunteer, Heart of Tyler board member, property and business owner, project supporter, and council member. The arts coalition won top honors for its contributions to promotion of the arts in downtown Tyler. “These are two of the most prestigious awards presented at the event,” said Beverly Abell, department leader for the City of Tyler Main Street Department. “We could not be more proud of those honored. “Real and lasting downtown revitalization must include the leadership of volunteers, and these awards are confirmation that volunteers have a huge impact on our local program,” Abell said. “Our volunteers dedicate thousands of hours per year to the cause of revitalizing the historic heart of Tyler, and we are so grateful for their time, talent and heart.” The Texas Downtown Association, founded in 1985, has more than 400 members involved in more than $1 billion in downtown revitalization efforts.

Debbie Robinson (right) of Wood County Electric Cooperative, Inc. presented a check for $3,472 to Friends of the Arboretum’s Pam Riley in Quitman. This check was made possible through one of WCEC’s lenders, CoBank, as part of the Sharing Success Matching Grant Program. CoBank created and endows Sharing Success, which is a $3 million charitable fund designed to benefit cooperatives and the nonprofit groups they support. Under the program CoBank matches contributions made by their cooperative customers to a nonprofit organization of the cooperative’s choice. Courtesy photo.

ETCOG Again Honored For Financial Reporting The East Texas Council of Governments, for the twelfth year in a row, received the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting, awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report. The certificate of achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The work is judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story.

Marion County Names Six Cultural Honorees City Councilman Martin Heines and Main Street’s Beverly Abell show off Tyler’s awards from the Texas Downtown Revitalization awards gala. Courtesy photo.

6 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

The Marion County Historical Commission recently recognized citizens who have made significant contributions to the City of Jefferson and Marion

County in history, research, arts, tourism, preservation, and genealogy. The awards were named for the first recipients in these categories: the Dorothy Craver Genealogical Award, the Marcia Thomas Arts & Tourism Award, the Lucille Terry Award for Preservation, and the Katherine Ramsay Wise Award for History and Research. Honored were Margaret Jones, Jacque Bagur, Pinkie Turner, Tom Moss, Ben C. Cooner, and Maggie Turner, at 109 years the oldest known resident of the county.

SFA Alumni Group Shares Six Awards

Five Stephen F. Austin State University alumni and one SFA professor were honored by the SFA Alumni Association. Businessman, former board of regents chairman, and former SFA football player and 1986 graduate Melvin R. White received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Distinguished Alumnus Award also was presented to Don H. Keasler, graduate of the class of 1961 and long time agent of State Farm Insurance who was on the SFA Alumni Association board of


directors for nine years and endowed the Don and Gail Keasler Athletic Scholarship. The recipient for the Outstanding Young Alumna Award is Dr. Hollie Smith, assistant dean of student affairs for programs who has dedicated her time to the orientation programs. Dr. Jennifer Criss Montes also received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award. The owner of Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry has been recognized with honors including America’s Top Dentist in 2012 and Top Dentist by Texas Monthly in 2009 and is involved in numerous community activities. Dr. William D. Clark, professor of mathematics at SFA, received the Distinguished Professor Award as a role model for the university and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. His recognized teaching methods, numerous books and articles resulted in receiving the Teaching Excellence Award from both the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the College of Sciences and Mathematics. He used the monetary award to establish a scholarship for mathematics, statistics or mathematics teaching majors. Former president of the SFA Alumni Association and graduate of the class of 1948, James E. Campbell, received the Hall of Fame Award for his continuous service in the community including involvement in the Rotary Club, Ducks Unlimited, Sabine River Authority, Shelby Savings Bank, and more. He is also the chairman and partner of Campbell’s Portable Buildings, Ltd., General Shelters of Texas, Ltd., J-D Port-A-Cool, Cenco, and GSE-RTO. Campbell endowed the James and Mona Campbell Scholarship for agriculture, forestry and educations majors for Shelby County residents.

CodeRED Notifications Okayed for Fourth Year

The East Texas Council of Governments executive committee has approved a fourth year of funding for CodeRED, a reverse emergency notification system, for the East Texas region as a part of its public safety program. The system, funded by a Homeland Security grant, is a telephone communication service that allows county/city emergency management coordinators to quickly notify citizens about emergency situations including tornados

with a sum of $710,060 has been granted by ETCOG to date to provide East Texas with CodeRED including the 2012-2013 contract approved for $140,303.

and storms, drinking water contamination, utility outages, evacuation notice and routes, missing persons, fires or floods, bomb threats, hostage situations, chemical spills or gas leaks, and other emergency incidents where rapid and accurate notification is essential.

All residents and business are encouraged to register their cell phone numbers by logging onto their county websites or contacting their county emergency management coordinator. For more information, contact ETCOG’s director of public safety, Stephanie Heffner, at 903.984.8641 x 251.

The CodeRED system has been contracted through Emergency Communications Network since 2009 for all of the counties served by ETCOG, with the exception of Henderson County, due to its 9-1-1 district already providing a reverse notification system. A total of four years of billing

continued on page 8

The Merry Merchants of Historic Mineola present

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 6 - 10 p.m.

Christmas Gala. Mineola Civic Center

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8

Shop Mineola for the Holidays!

10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Landmark Tour of Homes 1-4 p.m. FREE Carriage Rides @ Gazebo 3-5 p.m. Bank Texas Share Store @ Gazebo 3-5 p.m. Great Shopping 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Twilight Christmas Parade 6 p.m.

MINEOLA HISTORICAL MUSEUM 114 Pacific St (Hwy. 69) Thu–Sat 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Free. MINEOLA NATURE PRESERVE 7a.m. until sunset AMTRAK TEXAS EAGLE Designated Daily Stop. Tickets: 1-800-669-8509

followed by Tree Lighting Ceremony and visits with Santa at the Gazebo.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 903.569.6983 Santa House @ Mineola Historical Museum

11 a.m. Johnson Street Gazebo

Acoustic Music on the Street

SAVE THE DATE! March 16-17, 2013

10th Anniversary Mineola Amtrak Wine Fest Registration begins 01.08.13 at www. mineolamainstreet.com

Experience Fine Dining, Shopping, & Lodging In Historic Mineola!

1.800.MINEOLA • www.mineola.com

DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 7


Sulphur Springs for the Holidays! LOU VINEY’S RESTAURANT & PUB Steaks, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, pastas, sandwiches, salads, and more www.louviney.com 206 Main St. 903.438.8320

CONNELLY STREET GALLERY Dec. 15 6-9 p.m. Art & Wine Night featuring Amanda Stewart. Owners/artists - Mike and Pam Elliott www.connellystreetgallery.com 220 Connelly St. 903.885.1080

Connally Street Gallery

TOWN SQUARE ANTIQUE MALL Country, industrial, architectural, and garden www.townsquareantiquemall.com 102 College St. 903.438.0286

EVERYTHING UNIQUE Interior design, Christmas decor, upholstery, charms, watches, candles, wedding registry, and more. facebook.com/EverythingUnique 124 Main Street 903.885.7016

Everything Unique INTERIOR DESIGN

MAIN STREET POCKET SHOPPES

LAQUINTA INNS & SUITES

Women and children’s clothing, accessories, shoes, pottery, cards, gifts, home decor, and more

Just 2 miles south of downtown. Free wifi, fitness center, HBO TV, indoor pool, refrigerator/microwave in every room www.lq.com

www.pocketshoppes.com 204 West Main 903.335.8905

1344 Eaton Dr. 903.885.8181

Town Square Antique Mall

PRAIRIE 3 COFFEE & EATS Fresh roasted coffee, espresso, frappe, tea, hot cocoa, soda fizz, frozen drinks, boulette, quiche, soup, muffins, and more www.prairie3.com 204 Church St. 903.335.8896

BELLE AMIE DAY SPA & SALON Facials, massages, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, hair, make-up. Gift certificates available. www.belleamiedayspa.com 111 Gilmer St. 903.438.1772

MAIN STREET WINERY A relaxing, cozy setting with a variety of local Texas wines by the glass or bottle. www.pocketshoppes.com 204 West Main 903.335.8905

Main Street Winery DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 9


Longview Ballet Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Return of Hook Photo by Hannah Tibiletti Cromer

By Tom Geddie For the kid in all of us, Longview Ballet Theatre offers a new telling of the Peter Pan story, a musical theater version with a motley but disciplined cast of 50, and the chance – for four performances – to never grow up, never grow up, never grow up again. In recent years, the troupe and special guests have shared crowd-pleasing performances of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “Don Quixote,” and the chestnut “Nutcracker;” this year, it’s an original – “Peter Pan 2: Hook Returns” – that stretches the familiar story into new territory. It seems that Captain Hook didn’t meet his end; he’s back with the rest of his pirates to match wits with Peter, Tinker Bell, and the Pixie Hollow fairies? And perhaps the crocodile. Last year’s performance of “Peter Pan” drew 7,000 people, with tickets sold in 105 Texas cities and as far away as Germany. “Hook comes back this year because we had so much fun with him last year,” said artistic director Pat George Mitchell. “It’s a great family show to celebrate our 40th anniversary.” The dance musical was written by associate artistic director Amanda Edge, a former Longview ballet student who is now on Broadway in a production of “Phantom of the Opera” and who danced with New York City Ballet for 15 years. The cast includes Daniel Ulbricht, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, arguably one of the best companies in the world, and six other professionals along with students from Mitchell’s Studio for Creative Arts and, as pirates, local celebrities including some students’ parents. Toni Erskine, executive director of Longview Ballet Theatre, started out as a volunteer when her daughter took dance lessons. “We reached a point where Pat said she would love to collaborate with profes10 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

sional dancers. I said, ‘Why don’t we do it now?’ That’s how our collaboration began. We said we could raise the money to do it one time, then we did it a second year, and then came a point of no return,” she said, laughing. “What it has done for our local audiences of course is to provide an excitement and a level of excellence that these professional guest artists bring. How many young dancers get to say that when they were 13 years old they were on stage with Daniel Ulbricht? And Amanda knows Pat and this company well. She’s not just dropping in a guest artist to do their thing and then go off stage. It’s truly collaborative with our student dancers.” Many of Mitchell’s students have gone on to prestigious programs, including, School of American Ballet, the Martha Graham School of Modern Dance, the San Francisco Ballet, the Rock School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, and, yes, New York City Ballet. After 40 years of teaching youngsters to dance, Mitchell is 10 years beyond her anticipated retirement date. “Things change,” she said. “So many good things have come to me in the past 10 years. It’s been a wild and crazy ride, and all of my dreams have come true. It’s brought me some new dreams and allows me to keep dancing through all these great kids. It teaches me how to live, really, and I’ve had a blessed life. It’s a hard discipline, but it’s disciplined me for life. I’m in love with the movement and the music.”

Mitchell said what matters most in a performance is, first, that no one gets hurt; real dance is a strenuous and athletic activity. Then comes the actual performance. She wants the cast to “get beyond thinking about the steps. I want to have those kids so ready four weeks ahead of stage time that they are totally confident and can really show you freedom on stage. If you are totally prepared, it’s electric, it’s spellbinding.” “Peter Pan 2: Hook Returns” is, as is customary, Longview Ballet Theatre’s only full production of the year; it’s also a fundraiser for the ballet school. “We tried only one season with two productions, and it’s a lot,” Erskine said. “Everything about the Belcher is big. The stage is big, the seating capacity is big, and it takes a lot of resources to put on one production. We are a small, not-for-profit ballet company and it’s difficult to perform more than once a year in a venue that large.” This year’s shows are December 7-9 with all evening performances on Friday and Saturday and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at Belcher Center, 2100 S. Mobberly. Ticket prices range from $13-$40. For more information, call 903.233.3080 or go to www.longviewballet.com. There’s also a dress rehearsal on Thursday for 2,000 third graders who dream of someday growing up, even as their parents (sometimes) dream of never, ever growing up.


Oldest Junior College in the State Bids Farewell “Mid the Pine Hills of East Texas” By Josh H. Ellis The steeple atop Cox Chapel is the only structure at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville rising above the massive pine trees. The campus is void of multistory buildings, expansive libraries and multi-million-dollar sports complexes. Someone driving by the few city blocks of the campus might not even realize they’ve passed a college at all. This year, this tiny Texas treasure — the state’s oldest private college — shut its doors. Lon Morris traces its roots back to 1854, with the formation of the New Danville Masonic Female Academy near Kilgore. In 1873, the college was renamed Alexander Collegiate Institute and two years later was acquired by the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, before finally receiving its charter in 1887. In 1924, the school moved to Jacksonville and was renamed Lon Morris College. For nearly 150 years, Lon Morris stood as one of the only liberal arts colleges between Shreveport and Dallas, distinguishing it from other U.S. two-year colleges. The school produced a number of notable alumni including Tony winner Tommy Tune, Grammy winner K.T. Oslin, Emmy winner Margo Martindale, country recording artist Neal McCoy, and actress Sandy Duncan.

In 2005 Lon Morris sought to increase enrollment by expanding the college’s programs and admission policies. Enrollment shot up more than 60 percent in in the next four years, peaking at well over 1,000 students although the infrastructure was suited for a studentbody half that size. The school ran out of space to house the new students and launched an aggressive building campaign, leveraged on the shoulders of the school’s assets. Revenue remained stagnant. The college offered significant scholarships to students to increase enrollment; however, much of the scholarship aid provided was not supported by donor gifts or endowments, and was merely a discount to the stated tuition. From 2005 to 2011, the percentage of Lon Morris students receiving Pell grants rose from 40.51 percent to 60.22 percent. Administration of funds ultimately proved unsustainable and in effect, Lon Morris became a charity arm of the United Methodist Church. In December 2011, the regional accrediting body of the Southern Association of Colleges placed Lon Morris on “warning status” for, among other griev-

ances, financial struggles. The financial struggles became more apparent to the local community as vendors began inquiring about past due balances and as the school failed to make payroll. In May of this year a consulting firm was hired to help reorganize. With no cash to pay bills a number of employees were furloughed and the summer session was suspended, excluding on-line classes, pending the formulation of a business plan. That plan ultimately led to filing for bankruptcy which occurred in July. On December 13 Lon Morris College plans to auction off the core of the college’s 112-acre campus including the library, chapel, administration building, classrooms, student center, dormitories and fields. They hope bidders include colleges, churches, school systems, and others that may use the property as a conference center, corporate retreat or rehabilitation center. This appears to be the final move that ends Lon Morris as it was known it but as long as those who passed through the college doors continue to fan the flames of its memory the school lives on in the hearts of many.

Because of its small enrollment, the school constantly battled financial struggles; in the past 10 years, a toxic combination of rapid expansion and shrinking resources amplified these woes. Since its beginning, administrators employed a simple philosophy: provide students with the educational foundation that encourages scholarly pursuits. The school never intended to offer terminal degrees, but to spur academic curiosity. To achieve this mission with limited resources, administrators believed enrollment should remain small, and for much of its history enrollment hovered around 400 to 500. This philosophy worked, with Lon Morris students graduating at a rate well above the national average for two-year colleges. DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 11


Conscious Shopping Shows Support for Local, American, and Global Fair Trade Economies By Meagan Deen ‘Tis the season for family, friends, giving and spending. Many people are making a list, checking it twice and contributing to skyrocketing retail sales. This year the National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend $586.1 billion on holiday purchases. So when it comes to giving and receiving, let’s take a step back to remember that it’s the thought that counts — it’s about making a decision to shop consciously and responsibly when possible. This can be a challenge living in a consumer society where more is less and quality is expected to be cheap. But there is a way to shop smart. The key is knowing the story behind the products on the shelves. In buying local, American or Fair Trade there’s a commonality to consider — safe work conditions, fair treatment, compensation, and stimulated economies. Now that the holidays are here, this is the prime occasion to think beyond the gift. Let’s consider where the product came from, who made it, how it’s

going to benefit others and where the money is going after the transaction. In the long run, it’s this thought process that ultimately supports local businesses, American craftsmen and Fair Trade around the world. Conscious spending habits can make a difference; sometimes it just means thinking outside the big box store.

Going Local All across Northeast Texas businesses have diversified communities by establishing unique destinations and services. These are the places to buy local, American made and Fair Trade products. “It’s not easy to just buy local. The city must have a competitive advantage,” says Stephen Kosovich, Ph.D, an associate professor of economics at Stephen F. Austin State University. He goes on to explain that it’s important that communities market what’s unique to that area. Take “Shop Nac First” for example. It’s a campaign that the Nacogdoches

County Chamber of Commerce and its partners established to stimulate its local economy. The campaign leverages the city’s claim to fame as being the state’s oldest town to attract locals and visitors and support the revitalized historic downtown retail establishments. Northeast Texas cities and towns have done a good job at making their communities unique and the local businesses have created distinct destinations for all to enjoy. By shopping at these destinations, it does more than support local businesses, it helps communities thrive. Consider buying local a civic duty. It’s easier to make a positive impact by knowing where to go. For presents with meaning, take a new approach to gift giving by shopping local boutiques, specialty shops and art galleries. Everyone can do their part to support them now and all year long — finding the perfect gift is right around the corner.

The American Way

There is an American-made movement happening right now. It’s slow and steady but there are manufacturers, designers, creators and business leaders out there making it happen, like Marsha Taylor. She’s leading the way by bringing awareness about American-made products to her Ben Wheeler store, Made In America Emporium. Taylor has been in the American-made business as a designer and owner of Secret Garden Embroidered Arts & Gifts for years. But it was two years ago at a craft show when she noticed a trend; customers kept asking where her linens were made. Her response, “America, of course.” What seemed like the obvious to her was news to her customers. And they were relieved and excited to support American made. That’s when it hit her. “The best way for me to contribute is to open one store that’s all made in America,” says Taylor.

Any home cook will swoon over the selection of cookbooks and food products at Made In America Emporium in Ben Wheeler. The store is filled with fun games like jacks, colorful pencils, slinkies, gliders, and more. Photos by Meagan Deen 12 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

In a building that was once a barber shop is now a successful revival of iconic American brands. One of her best-selling items: the Slinky. There are other nostalgic toys like Jacks and wooden


gliders. “When you walk in here, something will make you giggle,” Taylor says. Everywhere you look, the shelves are filled with unique, patriotic and nostalgic goodies. Look for Kona coffee from Hawaii, cookbooks, gourmet food items, local products like honey and other curiosities. When Made In America Emporium opened in June, it received a warm welcome, and it continues to delight customers. But what’s more is that the American manufacturers that Taylor buys from are doing really well too. It’s a good sign and with that Taylor adds, “It feels really good and it feels really right.”

Make It Fair

Four dollars a day (about $1500 a year) — that’s what’s needed to live decently in some (or many) parts of the world according to the United Nations. There are 6.5 billion people in the world today and 4 billion of them don’t have $4 a day to live a decent life. A simple purchase can mean helping someone live better. That’s what Fair Trade is all about. It provides skilled workers in developing countries access to sustainable employment, including safe working conditions and fair and quick compensation for goods. Fair Trade also means that child labor is not exploited. With this kind of support artisans around the globe are able to earn a decent wage that provides basic necessities, education and, most importantly, self reliance and dignity. The first Fair Trade deal swapped hands in 1940, so it’s not a new concept but it is a growing trend in Northeast Texas thanks to Tammy and Terry Marshall as owners of Come Together Trading. A mission trip to Africa three years ago ended up changing their lives. When they returned home they were compelled to help the people they met. The Marshalls sold their business to start a new business—one where they could partner with crafts people living in poverty to create a sustainable solution. The name Come Together Trading summed it up and they began selling Fair Trade goods at First Monday. They created awareness by educating people about Fair Trade and how the exchange impacted artisans who made the products.

Their concept to do some good expanded when they opened a Fair Trade coffeehouse and boutique two years ago on the downtown square in Canton. The Marshalls have made a positive impact on on their community, customers and Fair Trade artisans. So much so that they just opened another boutique in Tyler’s Bergfeld Shopping Center.

Top: Beaded necklaces line the walls at Come Together Trading. Left: Cuddly and cute knit hats from Ecuador. Above: These throws pack a punch of color and add warmth to those cold days.  Below: These vases and containers are made from paper. Photos by Meagan Deen

There are 40 countries represented at Come Together Trading making it possible to change the world one purchase at a time. To learn more about Come Together Trading, visit www.cometogethertrading.com Other Fair Trade shops are also popping up in Northeast Texas including We Love Moss and Sweet Hope Cafe & Cake Shop in Tyler, and The Green Boutique in Paris. “Like” us on Facebook, write an email or drop us a letter to tell us about your favorite places to shop local, American made and Fair Trade in the Upper East Side of Texas. DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 13


CALENDAR OF EVENTS County Line makes every effort to ensure accurate information. However, pricing, dates, and/ or hours could change. Please call ahead before making plans. For more listings or organizations and activities and for a list of annual events in and around East Texas, visit countylinemagazine.com.

Every Second Saturday

Street Festival and Marketfest. Free. Watch local artists create original pieces, enjoy live music, and listen to the harmony at the Words & Voices concert series. Marshall. 7 a.m. N. Washington near courthouse square. 903.935.4417. www.marshalltxchamber.com.

Through December 15

Holiday Village and Train Exhibit. Longview. $1-$2. Includes a collection of Santa Clauses. Gregg County Historical Museum. 214 N. Fredonia. 903-753-5840. www.gregghistorical. org/home.

Through January 5

Haunted Tours of Tyler. Tyler. Bring cameras and digital recorders. 6:30 p.m to Midnight. Adults $15, kids (12 & under) $7.Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Broadway. 903-245-6535. www.toursoftyler.com.

Check out the eMAGAZINE www.countylinemagazine.com for extended event listings.

Through January 6

Attack of the Bloodsuckers. Tyler. Biological wonders of sanguinivores (creatures that eat blood), through encounters with live species and interactive exhibits. $8 adults; $6 children 2 and up; $6 seniors; $5 military. Discovery Science Place, 308 N. Broadway. 903.533.8011. www.discoveryscienceplace.org.

Through May 6

Downtown Tyler Walking Tour. Tyler. Brisk walk around the downtown area to learn about Tyler’s history: historic movie theaters, county courthouse, famous shootouts and jail breaks, The Glass Onion antique store and other retail, downtown dining and entertainment, county seat history, decades spanning term of Sheriff J.B.Smith, The Haunted Salon Verve, Cotton Belt Depot Museum. Monday-Saturday 11a.m to 12:30 p.m. $8 adults, $3 kids (12 & under). Tyler Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Broadway, 903245-6535. www.toursoftyler.com.

December 1

Auto/Cycle Show & Swap Meet. Canton. Annual event benefits Toys for Tots and includes a bunch of awards in various categories. 8 a.m. to 3 pm. Free admission. $30

entry fee. Old Mill Marketplace. 542 Hwy 64 E. 903-253-3213. Winterfest. Linden. Celebrates the opening of the Christmas season with arts and crafts, food, parade, Santa, music, and more. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Downtown square. 903.756.3106. Country-and-Western Dance. Whitehouse. Music by Against the Wind. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. TASCA members, $6.50; guests, $7.50. TASCA Activity Center Ballroom. 10495 CR 2167 (Jim Russell Rd). 903-871-3217. www. tasca.org. Christmas in the Plaza. Nacogdoches. Children’s activities, entertainment, food. and more. Noon to 6 p.m. Free admission. Downtown. www.nineflagsfestival.com. Christmas Around the Square. Emory. Vendors, barbecue cook-off, & Dutch oven dessert contest, pictures with Santa, parade, and tree lighting. Free. Rains County Courthouse. Downtown. www.emorytx.com. Breakfast with Santa. Longview. Bring a camera to take pictures of your child with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Breakfast and a hands-on art project plus the Toys and Trains exhibit at the history museum. Reservations required. 9 to 10:30 a.m. $20 for each child and adult. Longview Museum of Fine Arts. 215 E. Tyler. 903-753-8103. www.lmfa.org/archEvents/BreakfastSanta09.htm. Annual Christmas Parade. Athens. Lighted parade around the town square followed by party sponsored by local churches and Athens Central Business Association-sponsored movie in the park. 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Free. Downtown square. 100 W. Tyler. 888-294-2847. www.AthensTX.org. Living History Christmas. Longview. Pioneer Christmas with men and woman dressed in period attire. Children’s activities plus holiday village and model train. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free. Gregg County Historical Museum. 214 N. Fredonia. (903) 753-5840. www.gregghistorical.org. 3rd Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. Paris. 6 p.m. Free. Lamar County Courthouse, Downtown. 903-784-2501. www.paristexas.com.

December 6

Lighting of the Hazel Tilton Park. Jacksonville. Immediately following the Christmas parade. Free. Hazel Tilton Park, Corner of Bolton and U.S. Hwy 79. 903-586-2217. www. jacksonvilletexas.com. Christmas Memories Parade. Jacksonville. 6:15 p.m. Free. Downtown. Commerce Street. 903-284-0001. www.jacksonvilletexas.com. 14 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012


Drive Through Nativity. Kilgore. Includes hot chocolate. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Forest Home Baptist Church. 15746 CR 173N. 903-9842117.

December 7

Snow Hill Festival. Kilgore. Holiday snow celebration includes wagon rides, train rides, inflatables, face painting, clowns, Santa, and more. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. Downtown. Kilgore and Main streets. 903-984-5022. www. kilgorechamber.com.

December 7 – 9 & 13-16

‘Twas the Lights Before Christmas. Tyler. The East Texas State Fairgrounds are transformed into a magical Christmas village complete with visits with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus serving snacks, a living nativity, and thousands of Christmas lights. Candy Land will feature amusements like gingerbread house making for young and old and a festival of trees will feature decorated trees from area businesses and non-profits. Local choirs, schools, and dance groups perform nightly. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. $5. East Texas State Fairgrounds, 2112 W. Front. 903.597.2501. www.twasthelights.com.

Downtown. 903 873 3111. www.willspointchamber.com.

December 11 - 13

Process of Collaboration. Ben Wheeler. Staff and volunteer development and grant writing. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $1,000; $800 in Edom Dragon Head Retreat Center. 801 CR 4829. 903-541-0013. www.virtualvillage.org.

December 13

Christmas Open House at the Stinson House. Quitman. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free. Quitman Arboretum. 100 Gov. Hogg in Jim Hogg City Park. 903-466-4327. www.quitmanarboretum.com.

December 31 New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. Longview. Includes Malcolm Kelly Birthday Bash with special guest Slim Thug featuring BAY-BAY from K104 plus midnight champagne toast. 9 p.m to 3 a.m. $42. Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex. 100 Grand. 903-7176119. www.maudecobb.longviewtexas.gov. Annual New Year’s Eve Party. Nacogdoches. Elegant dinner menu, wine pairings, champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Featuring live music by The Signature Band. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call for Pricing Packages. Hotel Fredonia, 200 North Fredonia. 936-5641234. www.hotelfredonia.com.

December 7 - 8

Christmas at the Courthouse. Longview. Two snow hills, arts and crafts vendors, wagon rides, train rides, Santa & Mrs. Claus, and more. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Free. Gregg County Courthouse. 101 E. Methvin. 903.237.4000. www.longviewchamber.com.

December 8

The Sounds of Christmas. Mineola. 903569-2087. 10-6 seasonal shopping, 1-4 tour of homes, 3-5 free carriage rides, 6 p.m. twilight Christmas parade followed by tree lighting and Santa. Free. Downtown Hwy 80 and Johnson Street. www.mineolachamber.org. I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Ben Wheeler. Featuring Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Nana Claus, The 2012 - 13 Hog Queen, and “The Grinch.” Music, skits, readings, and treats. 6:30 p.m. Free. Harmony Garden Wedding Chapel, Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District. www.benwheelertx.com. Lighted Christmas Parade. Canton. Hot dog dinner and shop with vendors. 4:30 p.m. Free. Downtown. 903-567-1849. www.visitcantontx.com. Snow Hill Festival. Kilgore. Holiday snow celebration includes wagon rides, train rides, inflatables, face painting, clowns, Santa, and more. Downtown. 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Free. Kilgore and Main streets. 903-984-5022. www.kilgorechamber.com. Christmas on the Bricks & Parade of Music on 4th. Wills Point. Arts, crafts and food vendors, Live entertainment, kids zone, 5K Reindeer Run, classic cars/antique vehicles show, 1 p.m. parade. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

in

Historic DowntowN c o r s i c a n a

November 30

Downtown Open House & Lighting Ceremony

December 1 Parade of Lights

December 8

Breakfast with Santa, plus

A Victorian Christmas 2nd Saturday Sidewalk Sale For more details and information visit us on facebook or our website: www.corsicanamainstreet.org/events.html or call toll-free: 877-648-2688

SCAN QR CODE FOR MORE INFO

DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 15


THE ARTS

Check out COUNTY LINE ONLINE for our extended coverage of art news and events. www.countylinemagazine.com

Palestine Unveils New 8-Foot Bronze Sculpture

An 8-foot tall bronze statue was unveiled recently outside the Palestine Visitor Center. Commissioned by Palestine Tomorrow, Inc. and donated to the City of Palestine, the epic bronze sculpture, Forging History, is the work of Colorado-based artist Dale Montagne. The bronze sculpture represents the rail history of Palestine from the 1840s through today, incorporating images from the past in a swirl of bronze, out of which rises a man who represents the thousands who have worked and lived the railroad. “We are so honored by the donation of this piece of art,” said Main Street Manager Laura Westgate. “I have had the

pleasure of working closely with Palestine Tomorrow and Dale to make this a reality. The artist has spent hundreds of hours on this piece, and I know that the volunteers of PTI have thrown themselves into the project heart-and-soul. The statue makes a fabulous permanent anchor for our annual sculpture show, and we feel it will be a destination and draw.” Temporarily located at the Palestine Visitor Center, Forging History will eventually find a home in a railroad park envisioned by Palestine Tomorrow, Inc. that encompasses the visitor center, farmers market and a small island across from the visitor center. The statue will remain on permanent display once it is unveiled.

Anonymous Supporters Share Gifts with TMA The Tyler Museum of Art has recently received a number of generous gifts from anonymous supporters including funds to create a new staff position.

Daniela Matchael, a native of Brazil who lives in Athens, has her first exhibit in New York City through December 30. The show organized by ArTConneKT features many international artists who submitted their work for selection. The exhibition is at JMC Frames & Gallery, 674 9th Avenue.

A significant restricted gift from an anonymous donor will provide funds to specifically underwrite an executivelevel business manager. The museum has also received a couple of major gifts from other anonymous supporters to help offset the loss of some traditional funding. These funds will be used to carry out daily operations, educational programs and provide world-class exhibitions. “The board is gratified to receive such wonderful support from the local community and our patrons,” said Verna Hall, president of the board of trustees. “This support is greatly appreciated at the present time as we are actively engaged in the search for a new Executive Director.”

Lindale Photo Contest Winning Entries Named James Cowart, Larry Wilson, and Kim Brody each earned multiple honors in the 2012 Lindale Area Chamber of Commerce photography competition. Here’s the full list of winners: 16 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012


SNAPPED. Left: Susan Chesley of Tyler won the first “Perfect Bloom” art print contest sponsored by Gallery Main Street in Tyler. Chesley’s watercolor, “September Peace,” has been reproduced on 18”x24” posters that are being sold for $25 each by the gallery, with all proceeds going to downtown arts programming including art exhibits, workshops, ArtWalk events and other projects. Center: The Tyler Junior College Art Club recently won a friendly competition with The University of Texas

Landscape: first place, Brody for “Boots n Hat in the Flowers;” second place, Vicki Gregg Faulkner for “In Spring;” and third place, Renee Ramsey for “Cow in Flowers.” Human interest: first place, Brody for “Resting In The Chevy;” Cowart for “Little Cowboy;” and Brody for “Girl Holding Sunflowers.” Sports/leisure: first place, Wilson for “What A Catch;” second place, Wilson for “Slam The Vball;” and third place, Cowart for “Friday Night Light.” LACC events: first place, Cowart for “Cowgirl Chicks;” second place, Cowart for “White Bronc;” and third place, Michaela Blanchard for “Shrine Clowns.” Community Events: first place, Stan Surratt for “Pacbuilding;” second place, Wilson for “Flag Retirement;” and third place, Blanchard for “Red Truck in Parade.”

ARTS EVENTS Every Second Tuesday

Red River Photo Club. Bonham. Photographers of all skills and experience meet to improve skills and share photographs and experiences. Annual membership $24; $36 family; guests welcome. 6:30 p.m. Creative Arts Center, 200 W. 5th. 903.640.2196, creativeartscenter.us.

Every Thursday

Art & Wine. Tyler. Showcase for a local artist every Thursda. Wine & cheese & fruit platter specials, full menu. Free admission. 5-9 p.m. Caffe Tazza, 4815 Old Bullard. 903.581.6601, www.caffetazza.net.

Every Second Thursday

Northeast Texas Fine Art Alliance. Terrell. 6:30 p.m. Free. Program/demo by a North Texas artist at each meeting. Members can

at Tyler and Texas College by generating the most items to the Tyler AIDS Services food drive. The haul was more than 2,000 cans – 1,500 more cans than the other two institutions and, more important, to help fill and maintain the food pantry which area individuals and families in need use as a resource. for provisions. (right) “Little Cowboys” by James Cowart won second place in the human interest category in the annual Lindale Area Chamber of Commerce photography competition.

learn, participate in shows, workshops, and field trips. Terrell Heritage Museum. 207 N. Frances Street. 972-427-6511.

art projects. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. Creative Arts Center, 200 W. 5t. 903.640.2196. www.creativeartscenter.us.

Every Friday

Through December 19

Art Talk. Marshall. Informal gathering of artists and art lovers to share, critique (if desired), and even work on art. Free admission. 4-6 p.m. Marshall Visual Art Center, 208 E. Burleson. 903.938.9860, www.marshalltexas.net/Departments/ Visual_Arts.

Every Saturday Artists in the Garden. Bonham. Local artists gather in the garden to work on specific

ABCs with Charles Arnold. Longview. Every Wednesday Artists Brainstorming and Critique where adult professional artists can bring samples of their work and discuss them with other professionals. Bring a beverage and snack of your choice. For ages 21 and older. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Free. Longview Museum of Fine Arts. 215 E. Tyler. 903-753-8103. continued page 19 www.lmfa.org.

EXPERIENCE EDOM Where Art Comes to Life

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ARBOR CASTLE BIRDHOUSES Birdbaths Garden Sculptures 903.852.7893 www.arborcastlebirdhouses.com

Original Handmade Stoneware 903.852.6473 www.pottersbrown.com

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B&B on 25 Wooded Acres at 675' The Lodge (sleeps 9+) Cedar Cabin (sleeps 4+) Outside Living Area WiFi • Kid Friendly 801 VZCR 4929 903-520-2069 www.dragonheadretreat.com

DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 17


Texarkana Artist Rhonda Cross Helps Kids Express Themselves By Tom Geddie Giving the gift of art for Christmas can open a child’s world to all sorts of joys. Helping a child learn how and why to draw can provide so much more than relatively simple technical skills; it can “grow” the brain through greater attention to details and to the world – near and far – of life. Art centers all over the Upper East Side of Texas help kids learn to draw and, in some cases, just get out of the way and let them draw. One of those is the Renaissance Art Academy in Texarkana where Rhonda Cross sees kids’ selfesteem grow while they learn and have fun. “Studies show that children who can express themselves through art do better in school. Art is all about problem solving, so it has everything to do with education and with work,” Cross said. “Everything is about solving problems. With fine art, basically the problem is, how is this going to be interesting to the viewer? What would make the viewer feel the way I want them to feel? That’s an excellent quality for education.” Cross teaches the Gluck method; she’s got 13 students, ages six to adult with the emphasis on the kids, right now. Larry Gluck is a Pratt Institute graduate and Los Angeles art educator whose philosophy and techniques have spread globally. Renaissance calls itself the world’s largest fine art program. Cross does mostly portraits and landscapes in pastels, watercolor, and oils, although teaching has become a passion. After she got married and raised a family, she temporarily relocated to Los Angeles to study in Gluck’s classes, then trained as a teacher and returned to Texarkana. The fundamentals of fine art, Cross said, begin with proper posture sitting on benches that date back to the Renaissance times, configured so that students can look straight at the art board without distortion.

18 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

“You can learn to paint, but we say that line comes before color, and color before tone,” she said. “How you draw

something is the basis of any painting. That’s how we start.” The basic skills “can be taught just like math,” she said. Those skills include how to hold the pencil for sketching and “how to simplify everything into basic shapes. Anyone can draw a circle, square, or rectangle. That’s among the first things children learn. Even drawing the Grand Canyon, we simplify it into basic shapes. If we draw a cat, we draw an oval for the stomach, a circle for the face, triangles for ears, and so forth.” Cross breaks drawing into steps, beginning with the largest elements and finishing with the smallest, most difficult parts. Students use charcoal pencils and pastels to learn shading and perspective before moving on to watercolor and color theory. Cross teaches representational art – art that “looks like” the subject. She believes, though, that abstract painters can’t become expert without doing representational work first. “You have to have the eye to interpret what you see. That’s really the basis for all things, simplifying everything to the basics.” The classes she teaches last nine and a half weeks and she also offers threehour workshops. “Some students enjoy the process, and some enjoy the results,” she said. “Some are innately born with the desire to express themselves, and don’t care if what they draw and paint doesn’t look like the subject. They just want to express themselves,” Cross said. “Other kids get frustrated if it’s not exactly like the original. We work with them both to get what they want out of art.” Her favorite moments are when the brain goes on “auto pilot.” “The artist can get into a zone that’s almost unconscious. It’s a nice place to be, where the brain is taking over on a non-conscious level and we are able to draw or write or anything in that zone.”


THE ARTS

continued from page 17

Through December 19

Julie Speed: Snug Harbor. Longview. Survey of work 2007-2012 curated by Lisa Hatchadoorian. $5; members free. Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E Tyler. 903-7538103. www.lmfa.org/calendar.htm.

December 7 – 8

Christmas Open House. Marshall. Handcrafted gifts and art from 20 area artists. 4 p.m. Free admission. Marshall Visual Arts Center. 208 E. Burleson. 903-926-0440. www. gingkoart.com.

December 7

The work of the world-class glass artist, Dale Chihuly, continues at the Dallas Arboretum through December 31. Chihuly’s 22 installations are scattered throughout the arboretum’s 66 acres. Pictured are the Float and Carnival Boats on the reflection pool. For more information go to www.dallasarboretum.org/ chihuly. Photo by Ine Burke

Art Walk Longview. Longview. Downtown Art Walk teams with Discover Downtown Christmas and Downtown Market for holiday happenings and shopping opportunities. 5 to 8:30 p.m. Free admission. Downtown Longview, Tyler Street. 903.753.8103. www.artwalklongview.com.

December 8

279 Second Saturday Art Jam. Edom and Ben Wheeler. Artists, galleries, music and more. Now enjoy wine tastings in Ben Wheeler during the Art Jam! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. FM 279 Ben Wheeler and into Edom. www.279artisanstrail.com/events.html.

December 15

Fine Arts Jury Exhibition. Tyler. Live music, refreshments, and a display of art works by the Fine Arts Jury at Gallery Main Street through January 15. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Free. Gallery Main Street, 110 W Erwin,. 903-593-6905. www.downtowntylerarts.com. Art & Wine Night. Sulphur Springs. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Connelly Street Gallery. 220 Connelly. 903- 885-1080. www.heritagesquaregallery.com

December 22

Image Warehouse Retrospective. Athens. Adam Douglas Arts partners with Gallery 211. 7 to 9 p.m. Free.Gallery 211. 211 N. Palestine. 903 292 1746. www.artgallery211. weebly.com.

ON STAGE

Julie Speed’s “Fire Season” is on display with many other of the artist’s works at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts through December 19.

January 5

Drawing Figures in Action. Longview. Explore how to draw the human figure in movement and action in pencil and charcoal. For all ages. 1-3 p.m. Advance: Members $18, nonmembers $20; $25 at the door. Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E. Tyler. 903-7538103. www.lmfa.org.

Check out www.countylinemagazine.com for our extended STAGE news and event listings.

November 29 – December 2 A Christmas Carol. Mineola. 7:30 p.m. Adults $15; students $7. Select Theater. 114 N. Johnson. 903.569.2300. lakecountryplayhouse. com.

November 30 – December 1 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Wills Point. 7:30 p.m. $10 adults; $8 seniors/students; $5 children under 12. Talent Box. 244 N. 4th 903-856-1665. www.thetalentbox.org.

December 7-9 Peter Pan 2: Hook Returns. Longview. Presented by Longview Ballet Theatre. 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. $13-$48. Belcher Center. 2100 S. Mobberly. 903.233.3080. www.belchercenter.com.

January 6 9th Annual High School Art Exhibition. Tyler. Awards ceremony and reception honoring participants of the 9th annual High School Art Exhibition. 2 to 4 p.m. Free. Tyler Museum of Art., 1300 S. Mahon. 903-5951001. www.tylermuseum.org.

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December 13 Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Texarkana. 7:30 p.m. $52; $47; $38; students half price. Perot Theater. 321 W. 4th. 903-792-4992. trahc.org.

www.countylinemagazine.com DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 19


Love of Animals and Heritage Shows in Amanda Stewart Art By Tom Geddie Amanda Stewart paints pictures of chickens. She does it well enough to get commissions all over the United States and as far away as England. That’s not all she paints, but it’s been a dominant subject since she was a child. She grew up in several places, mostly in Neches, and has lived in Sulphur Springs for the past six or so years. Her childhood years shaped her art. “I paint mostly animals – wildlife – and grew up on a small farm that also had a hatchery,” Stewart said. “My love for animals developed out of that, and I raised most of the chickens you see in the art.” Her watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings vary from as small as 8x10 inches up to 2x4 feet, and also encompass Native American subjects, who are part of her family background. “My great, great grandmother was Cherokee, and I’m kinda real close to that,” Stewart said. Stewart raises endangered Japanese roosters known as Onagadori hybrids and Ohikis which are as colorful, naturally, as her paintings. “They are pretty and come in different colors,” she said. “I’m fascinated with the genetics. Once you learn the colors in your palette, you can create many colors. That’s kinda what I do: make different colors.”

Today, her chicken paintings are spreading across the United States. She also did a commission piece for a woman in England whose mother had a favorite chicken breed. The woman emailed her a picture of the chickens for her to paint from. Stewart has no formal training beyond high school, but enjoys the work. She’s inspired by “the beauty of nature, the things around me. You can almost be a creator like God is a creator,” she said. “To me, art is a life experience, one of the few things in life you can enjoy, especially if you actually do it because you can step back and say that’s a part of me.” Stewart’s work will be featured at a December 15 reception from 6-9 p.m. at Connelly Street Gallery, 220 Connelly in Sulphur Springs. It’s not her first actual show for her work, but it’s something she didn’t pursue for a long time. Her best friend’s mother was an art instructor who visited Stewart’s second grade class in Franklin, and praised Stewart’s drawing of a wolf, encouraging her to enter it in the State Fair of Texas competition. “I figured out I could draw when I was in second grade,” she said. “I won a blue ribbon. Then in 12th grade I took an art class, and she took five or six of mine to the fair and I ended up in first place with almost everything she entered.

The genetics angle helped spread Stewart’s work.

“I never did anything with it until one day a guy asked me to do a chicken picture for him. I said sure, and he liked it a lot. So I started doing commissions of poultry art.”

“I had friends who were breeders who bred for certain colors, and they asked me if I could paint those colors so they’d see (in advance) what they would get.”

For more information about the show, call the gallery at 903.439.8753 or go to http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ amanda-stewart.html.

20 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012


 FILM Adaptation: To See or Not To See By Jeremy Light One of the treats of watching Hollywood’s offerings during the fall season is the chance to see books translated to screen. This is always a double-edged sword. A masterful book is often butchered for the sake of the viewing public for whatever mercurial reasons govern the marketplace. Conversely, it is wonderful when an adaptation remains relatively faithful to the source material, exposing viewers who may not be avid readers to ideas and works they might not have otherwise realized existed. For instance, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry have recently acted in the thoughtprovoking Cloud Atlas, based on the challenging work of the same name by David Mitchell, one of the finest living writers working today. Even younger readers have the chance to see their favorite works translated to film. Part two of the fourth installment of the world-famous Twilight series is set to hit theaters within weeks. Also, the period piece Gangster Squad, set to hit theaters early next year, is based on a true crime work. The recent Oscar favorite Argo, too, is based on a book researched from true events. Adaptation is certainly not a new concept and it is not likely to be considered a passing trend. Oftentimes, the best material available originates with au-

thors who are not a part of the so-called Hollywood machine. Perhaps that is what makes their works so unique. That’s not to say these works are always the best or necessarily strike a chord with the viewing public. Ayn Rand’s monumental opus Atlas Shrugged, for example, is a part of a three-film series. Panned critically and largely ignored by the public, works like this tend to go unnoticed. It is not an exact science, nor is it always a successful enterprise. In fact, one of the major arguments against adaptations is one I have made myself on numerous occasions: “It wasn’t as good as the book.” This is true quite often. So why keep making films that are obviously not as powerful as the source material? It is easy to answer by arguing simple economics. However, I think this is an oversimplification. Ultimately, it is readers’ imaginations that make books work. A film is simply a few filmmakers, visions of that work. That does not mean the work may not have merit. At the very least, adaptation opens a larger world of reading to viewers who might not crack a book until they see it on its feet on the silver screen.

December 8 Magic Lantern Theater. Tyler. The American Magic-Lantern Theater recreates Victorian magic lantern shows, a popular 1890s combination of projected color images, live drama, live music, comedy and audience participation. Includes such classics as The Night Before Christmas, The Little Match Girl,and Dickens A Christmas Carol plus illustrated carols like O Holy Night. Shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $15 adults, $10 children 12 and under. Liberty Hall. 103 E. Erwin. 903-595-7274. www.libertytyler.com.

January 5 “Lbs.” the Movie. Edom. Independent film depicts the life of Neal Perota, a 27-year-old, 300-pound man who has a heart attack and reevaluates his life, buying a dilapidated trailer in the middle nowhere with plans to kick his addiction to food in isolation, and learns how to compromise, love, survive, and change. 7 p.m. $8. The Old Firehouse in Edom, 8241 FM 279. 903-852-2781. www.theoldfirehouse.net.

FILM EVENTS December 1

The Old Firehouse Cinema Presents: 2 Days in New York. First-run independent comedy, 2 Days in New York: stars Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, and Brady Smith exploring relationships, art, and clashing cultures. Edom. 7 p.m. $8. The Old Firehouse in Edom, 8241 FM 279, Downtown, 903-852-2781. www.theoldfirehouse.net.

Harrison & Son

december 8 at 2pm & 7pm Magic Lantern Theater december 6 at 7pm

A Christmas Story december 13 at 7pm Holiday Inn december 20 at 7pm

It’s a Wonderful Life

K N I F E S M I T H

World renowned knifesmith Dan Harrison presents a large selection of handcrafted hunting, collector, and custom knives for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

FM 279

Downtown Ben Wheeler, Texas Open Tuesday thru Saturday

903.714.5911

KNIFEMAKING CLASSES Learn to make custom, handmade knives from a master knifesmith. Gift Certificates Available!

www . harrisonknives . com DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 21


Lauren Alexander’s Music is a Magical Thing “I try to not be forced. I like songs that just kinda write themselves,” Alexander said. “I just do it. If you think about it too hard, it can be forced, untrue, and not genuine. The song has to be genuine.”

By Tom Geddie Anybody who’s been in the music business for a dozen years might expect a few worry wrinkles from wondering how to pay the bills, or perhaps a road-weary expression from spending so much time on the highways and back roads getting to and going home from gigs.

Alexander describe her music as “Americana,” a somewhat nebulous term these days that originated as a catch-all word for American roots music: genuine country, folk, and blues often mixed with Southern rock. In her case, it’s most often folkie rock.

Not Lauren Alexander, though. She’s 12 years into what gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson once described as “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs,” and closed by saying, “There’s also a negative side.” Alexander recently celebrated her 20th birthday, and still sees music as magical – which, despite what Thompson said – it is. Music is magical, yes; the business side, not always so except for the few who, for a while, perhaps for a whole career, grab onto the best of it. “I started singing in church when I was eight years old, and my dad would play

guitar,” she said. “My dad would book me for festivals and fairs and stuff, just like a fun little thing to do. Now it’s grown into something I couldn’t not do. I have to do it.” She likes being able to share, through her songs, who she is. “It’s really a magical thing for me; it’s hard to define,” she said.

“It’s a blend of everything, including the country aspect that I grew up playing and listening to,” she said. “I love Janis Joplin and Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac – and Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves; they are East Texas girls doing awesome. I’ve been compared to Miranda, and just this past weekend somebody compared me to Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane when we did a cover of ‘White Rabbit.’” Alexander’s second album, Perfume and Gasoline, put three songs on the Texas Music Chart, and she’s shared stages Photos by Parris Photography

22 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012


with, among others, Josh Abbott, Aaron Watson, Easton Corbin, The Eli Young Band, Little Texas, JB and The Moonshine Band, Walt Wilkins, and The Bart Crow Band. Her band – she plays guitar, harmonica, and “a little bit of mandolin,” with Richie Kindle (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jeff Odom (drums and other percussion), and Collin Anderson (bass) – does mostly originals with a mix of classic covers including songs by Neil Young, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, and others. Generally, the band has at least one gig every weekend. Confirmed December gigs include December 7 at Half Moon Bar & Grill in Tyler, December 14 at Moore’s Store in Ben Wheeler, and December 29 at Charlie’s BackYard Bar in Marshall. She’s keeping some time open because she hopes to make it into the top four of the Recording Conservatory of Austin singer-songwriter competition during December. Alexander has recorded four songs so far for her third album, which she hopes to release sometime in 2013.

She was born in and grew up in Bullard – her mom works for the City of Tyler and her dad builds swimming pools and runs sound for her – and she helps pay the bills with a day job as a Bullard police department secretary. (“They are so awesome to me if I need to take off,” she said.)

Shoji Tabuchi Christmas Show

Now she’s thinking ahead, perhaps following the success of Lambert and Musgraves. “I’m a pretty shy person in real life. I consider myself very awkward. It’s different being on stage; you can really become who you want to be if you are genuine. I want to be real.” She traveled to Nashville in April and October, and hopes to move to that music business center in the middle of 2013. “I just love Nashville. The first time we went, I got to be in a music video with my guitar player. We just walked onto the site, so I have a two-second clip.” That’s just a tiny bit of the magic – and the hoped-for “overnight success” – for somebody who’s still so young and has been at it for a dozen years already. n

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DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 23


MUSIC LISTINGS

Check out www.countylinemagazine.com for our extended MUSIC news and event listings.

Every Saturday

Bluesman Craig Wallace. Ben Wheeler. 3 to 6 p.m. Free. The Forge. FM 279. benwheelertx.com.

December 1

Kirby Kelly. Ben Wheeler. Acoustic. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge. 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com. Geezer. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $7. Moore’s Store. 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com. Withrow - Cooley. Nacogdoches. Mike Withrow and David Cooley share acoustic classic rock and blues and some country. 7 to 10 p.m. Free. Hotel Fredonia. 200 N. Fredonia. 936-564-1234. www.hotelfredonia.com. Holiday Concert. Linden. Randy Brooks, the writer of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer; plus Lucky Boyd and Grady Lee singing favorite Christmas songs. 6:30-9 p.m. $10 adult; $5 children. The Texas Music Barn, 301 E Houston. 800959-5796. texasmusicbarn.com.

December 6

Buddy Varnell. Nacogdoches. Alternative country. 7 to 10 p.m. Free Hotel Fredonia. 200 N.Fredonia. 936-564-1234. www.hotelfredonia.com. Jimmy Bailey. Ben Wheeler . 7 p.m. Free. The Forge. 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com.

Decmber 7

Ben Lowery & Texas Express. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $5. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com. David Bradshaw & Joel Marsh. Canton. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. The Creek at Mill Creek Ranch Resort, 2102 N. Trade Days. 903.567.6020. www.millcreekranchresort.com. Taylor Heard. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com. Handel’s Messiah Christmas Concert. Marshall. 7:30 p.m. $10. ETBU Baker Auditorium. 1209 N. Grove. 903-935-4484. MarshallArtCouncil.org.

December 8

Robby Hecht Acoustic Music Concert. Edom. Reminiscent of early 70s acoustic pop. 7:30 p.m. $8. The Old Firehouse in Edom. 8241 FM 279, Downtown. 903-852-2781. www.theoldfirehouse.net. Matt Bradshaw & Heather Little. Ben Wheeler. Acoustic. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge. 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com. Steve Carpenter Band. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $7. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. benwheelertx.com. Country Christmas Show. Caddo Mills..Country music variety show. 7 p.m. $5. Caddo Mills Opry. 2312 Main. www.caddomillshs.com. 24 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

Music producer Jacque Hollander and 16-year-old Carson & Barnes trapeze performer/ singer Franchesca Cavallini were in Hawthorne Studios in Powderly recently to record Hollander’s song “I Am the Circus.” It will be available for purchase by Christmas with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Endangered Ark Foundation based in Hugo, Oklahoma. The elephant sanctuary works to bring awareness to the public about their need for care. Musicians contributing to the recording include Calvin Hickerson, Staley Rogers, Learn more about Todd Hines, Tyler Edwards, and Rick Hawthorne. For more information about the project the Foundation video by call 815-814-5671 or 918-605-1360. Learn more about the foundation at www.carson- in this Discover barnescircus.com/saving-elephants. Photo by Robbie Gunn/InParisTexas.com. Oklahoma. A Country Christmas. Palestine. Features The Hall Brothers. 7 p.m. $12.50 advance; $15 door. Palestine Civic Center. Loop 256 at Hwy 19N. 903724-2556.

December 13

Tyler Joiner & Katie Brooks. Ben Wheeler. Acoustic. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com.

Robby Hecht. Edom. Live, acoustic music. 7:30 p.m. $12 in advance; $15 at the door. The Old Firehouse, 8241 FM 279. theoldfirehouse.net. Travis Bolt. Ben Wheeler. Acoustic. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www. benwheelertx.com. Wesley Pruitt. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $10. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com.

December 14

Annual Christmas Show. Gladewater. Santa and his helper visit with children. 8 p.m. $10. Gladewater Opry. 108 E. Commerce. 903-845-3600. www. thegladewateropry.com.

Meredith Crawford. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com.

December 16

Lauren Alexander Band. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $5. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com.

Matt Bradshaw. Canton. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. The Creek at Mill Creek Ranch Resort, 2102 N. Trade Days, 903.567.6020. www.millcreekranchresort.com. Shoji Tabuchi Christmas Show. Crockett. Japanese-born fiddler and his family. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. $30. Crockett Civic Center. 1100 Edmiston. 936-544-4276. www.pwfaa.org.

December 15

Crossroads 7th Anniversary Celebration. Winnsboro. Featuring Adler & Hearne with special guests Kate Hearne and Warren Jackson Hearne. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. $15 advance; $18 at the door, $20 reserved. Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room. 100 Market. www.crossroadsmusiccompany.com.

Michael Bolton. Longview. Multi-Grammy-winning pop singer. 7 to 10 p.m. $50-$70. SE Belcher Chapel and Performance Center. 2100 S. Mobberly. 866-550-5388. www.belchercenter.com. Tyler Youth Orchestra Family Concert. Tyler. Christmas concert. 4 p.m. Free. Wise Auditorium. 1400 E. Fifth. 903-597-4896. www.tyleryouthorchestra.com.

December 20

Van. Ben Wheeler. Acoustic. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge. 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com. Ochestral Christmas. Longview. Members of the Longview Area Youth Symphony Orchestra join the Longview Symphony Orchestra. 6 to 10 p.m. $15-$52. SE Belcher Chapel and Performance Center. 2100 S. Mobberly. 903-236-9739. www.


longviewsymphony.org/contact-the-symphony.

December 21

Happy Holidays!

Ben Lowery. Canton. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. The Creek at Mill Creek Ranch Resort, 2102 N. Trade Days, 903.567.6020. www.millcreekranchresort.com. Ben Lowery & Texas Express. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $5. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com. Heather Little & Matt Bradshaw. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-8335970. www.benwheelertx.com.

MUSIC • FOOD • FUN

Decmber 22 blacktopGYPSY. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $10. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx. com. Withrow – Cooley. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www. benwheelertx.com.

PIZZA • WRAPS • SALADS • FULL BAR

BURGERS • PLATE LUNCHES • BEER 903.833.5100 LIVE MUSIC 8-11 P.M.

903.833.5970 Live Acoustic Music, 7 P.M. No Cover

blacktopGYPSY

12/1 Kirby Kelley

December 27 Patrick James Freden. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com.

December 28 Clay Thrash. Ben Wheeler.. Matt Bradshaw opens. 8 p.m. $5. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com. Stan Lawhon. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-833-5970. www.benwheelertx.com.

December 29 Buddy Varnell. Nacogdoches. Alternative country. 7 to 10 p.m. Free. Hotel Fredonia. 200 N. Fredonia, 936-564-1234. www.hotelfredonia.com. Ben Lowery & Wes Hendrix. Ben Wheeler. 7 p.m. Free. The Forge, 1610 FM 279. 903-8335970. www.benwheelertx.com.

12/1 Geezer (Classic Rock) $7 12/7 Ben Lowery & TexasExpress (Country Dance) $5 12/8 Steve Carpenter Band(Country) $7 12/14 Lauren Alexander Band (Country/FolkRock/Blues) $5 12/15 Wesley Pruitt Band (Blues/Americana/Soul) $10 12/21 Bill Hilly Band (Country/Rock/Blues) $5 12/22 blacktopGYPSY (Country/Americana) $10 12/28 Clay Thrash Band (Country/SouthernRock/Texas Country) Matt Bradshaw opens $5 12/29 Chase & The NewSouth Band (Country) $5 12/31 NEW YEAR’S EVE with Mouse & The Traps $50 Includes meal, champagne, favors. Reservations suggested.

Seven. Winnsboro. Debut performance. 7:30 p.m. $25. Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room. 200 Market. 903-324-1854. www.crossroadsmusiccompany.com.

Bring It Home. Canton. Wesley Pruitt Band. 20 percent of ticket sales go to the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial. Limited VIP tables available. 8 p.m. $15 advance; $20 door; $5 cooler charge. Todd Berry Building. 24742 Hwy. 64. 903-567-0657. www.vzcm.org. Mouse & The Traps. Ben Wheeler. 8 p.m. $50. Cover does not include drinks. Moore’s Store, 1551 FM 279. www.benwheelertx.com. New Year’s Eve Barn Bash. Canton. Featuring the FM 19 Back Porch Band. Chuck wagon cooking, full bar, great band! The Creek at Mill Creek Ranch Resort. 2102 N. Trade Days. 903.567.6020. www.millcreekranchresort.com. DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 25

Karaoke Thursdays 6 p.m.

1 2/21 Heather Little & Matt Bradshaw

12/7 Taylor Heard

1 2/22 Withrow-Cooley

12/8 Matt Bradshaw & Heather Little

1 2/27 Patrick James Freden

1 2/13 Tyler Joiner & Katie Brooks

1 2/28 Stan Lawhon

1 2/14 Meredith Crawford 12/15 Travis Bolt 12/20 Van F

A

R

M

R

O

A

1 2/29 Ben Lowery & Wes Hendrix 1 2/31 Ann Armstrong & Steve Hughes

EVERY SAT. 3-6 p.m. Bluesman Craig Wallace

D

JAM Dec. 8    ART Artists, galleries and more ◆

  EDOM TO BEN WHEELER, TEXAS

along FM 279.

Now enjoy Wine Tastings in Ben Wheeler!

Ben Wheeler Swirl Wine Festival December 13 • 6-9 p.m. • $25

Showcasing Texas wineries inside downtown shops. Enjoy wine samples from Texas wineries, interact with local artisans, and hear holiday music. Proceeds benefit the beautification and promotion efforts of historic downtown Ben Wheeler.

Harmony Garden Wedding Chapel Community Christmas Celebration Photo by Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA

December 31

12/6 Jimmy Bailey

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

December 8 • 6:30 P.M. Featuring Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Nana Claus, Hog Queen 2012/13, and The Grinch Music, skits, readings, and treats Bring the children and your camera for pictures with Santa!

Cosponsored by Edom United Methodist Church, Flatwoods Assembly of God Church, and First Baptist Church of Ben Wheeler

Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 25 www.benwheelertx.com • 903.833.1070


BOOKMARKS Edge of Dark Water By Joe Lansdale ISBN-13: 978---0316188432

Reviewed by Jeremy Light It is refreshing to read a work that is simultaneously retro and contemporary. Although he is primarily considered an edgy author with a somewhat twisted sensibility, Joe Lansdale remains a writer with a distinctly literary bent. In fact, in October Lansdale was named to the Texas Literary Hall of Fame. The creator of off-beat works like Bubba Ho-tep proves that he has the chops to put forth a work that is every bit as good as works it has been compared to. Edge of Dark Water is certainly not new in terms of its subject matter. However, as with most writing, the success or failure of such a work depends upon execution. It is in this realm that Lansdale succeeds. The Texas native sets his work in the Depression era. The events of the story proper involve the main character, Sue Ellen, and her quest to scatter her friend May Ellen’s ashes in Hollywood, where May Ellen hoped to become a star. Although the story is even more interesting than this bare bones sketch, it is Lansdale’s characters and his uncanny ear for realistic dialogue that make this book well worth the price of admission. I immediately thought of Mark Twain and William Faulkner while reading this wonderful gem. I especially thought of As I Lay Dying, Faulkner’s multi-pointof-view masterpiece quest which shares many similarities to Edge of Dark Water. I also recalled Lansdale’s arguably greatest work, The Bottoms, and his lesser known Leather Maiden. The new book is a difficult yet quick read; I could not seem to put it aside because his characters are that compelling and his timing could not be better. Having met the author personally on a variety of occasions, I sometimes find it hard to believe that this quiet man is capable of diamond-hard prose with a solid message. Why he has never, until recently, been considered a top-notch author of our day remains the greatest mystery of all. This book is as good as anything on bookstore shelves currently. 26 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

Joe Lansdale and his daughter, Kacey, are among the 25 authors scheduled to appear at the Ben Wheeler Book Fair on December 8. Photo by Tom Geddie

If you are approaching Joe Lansdale for the first time, I could not seriously tell you to start elsewhere. He has the knack for taking the commonplace and making it relatable and eerily creepy. Stephen King has nothing on Lansdale. Kick back with a period piece and allow him to immerse you in a world reminiscent of Mark Twain and yet uniquely his own. That is the joy of Lansdale. You have been there before but you have never quite seen it his way.

Fragile ByShiloh Walker Berkley Sensation ISBN-13: 978--0425250952

Reviewed by Patti Light The evenings are longer and colder. The days as they shadow into winter call for an evening in comfy pajamas and a warm bed with a great book. A book of adventure, mystery, and romance seems to fit the agenda. This month’s review offers all three. Fragile is the newest novel by national bestselling romance and suspense author Shiloh Walker. The story throws together combat vet-

eran turned trauma doctor Luke Rafferty and social worker Devon Manning, and chemistry explodes with these two. The problem is they are both so scarred from life and battle that love may not have a chance. Devon fights as hard as any good romance heroine should when she begins to fall in love with the isolated doctor. Walker does not play it to an ideal romance or romantic misconceptions. It is this modus operandi that has made her a fan favorite and even convinced a legion of male fans to turn her pages. As a writer in a somewhat predictable genre, she gives men and women demons they must conquer before they can even begin looking for happily ever after. Devon’s demons are from an abusive childhood and Luke’s from a battle he cannot leave behind. Walker does an excellent job at representing the effects of PTSD on many different characters in her novel. The suspense of the book centers on a mystery stalker of Devon, who falls right out of a classic “Basic Instinct” script. It will make the reader shiver while the romance makes the reader tingle. A cast of great characters supports the main couple, with Luke’s twin brother in all his darkness is screaming for his own book. The author is great at creating enough hurt and pain in him to make


anyone want to pay for his therapy. Quinn is his name and Walker really uses him to show the depth of some of the fears and nightmares that are following our soldiers home from the Middle East. This is a simple paperback in the romance section or a book rack at the local store, but such is her way. Shiloh Walker creates an enjoyable and full tale for new and old fans alike.

LITERARY NEWS Ben Wheeler Book Fair Features Popular Authors Twenty-five authors from all over the Upper East Side of Texas and a couple of “outsiders” will share their books and writing experiences at the Ben Wheeler Book Fair on December 8 as part of the Second Saturday 279 Art Jam. Patoski will be at the fair from 10-11:45 a.m. with his new, nationally acclaimed book The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America, a definitive, 805 page history. He has written and co-written biographies of Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and his book Willie Nelson: an Epic Life, won the Texas Book Award in 2009. “Mojo” storyteller Joe Lansdale, who was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame in October, will be present all day. He is author of more than 200 books and stories, most of them set in East Texas. The most well known of these, perhaps, is his “Hap Collins and Leonard Pine” mystery series. Genres represented at the book fair include general fiction, historical fiction, Christian mystery and fiction, mystery, suspense, western, romantic mystery, humor, inspirational/self help, poetry, short fiction, music criticism, essays, romance, detective, children’s fiction and poetry, photography and more. Authors will sell, sign, and talk about their books and the writing and publishing processes. It’s free to attend, and it’s from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the historic and beautifully restored Elwood School House, 5475 FM 858 in downtown Ben Wheeler. Book fair sponsors are the Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation, County Line Magazine, and Half Price Books.

Cedar Creek Lake Literary Club president Lucy Jones, benefit chairperson Jeanie Hulsey, $100 gift certificate winner Barbara Mueller, and benefit co-chair Ruth Pimm celebrate raising $3,287 at the fall bridge benefit in Tool. Vona Nason and Patsy Gordon won the duplicate division bridge tournament. Courtesy photo.

Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, was created by Brooks and Rese Gremmels to serve as the vehicle for reconstructing not only the physical aspects of Ben Wheeler and returning a sense of community to the town by providing it with various outlets through music, art, history, education, entrepreneurship, basic civil service, and philanthropy. Its Elwood School House also hosts the Ben Wheeler

❧ B

E N •

Children’s Library, which provides free books for children. County Line Magazine celebrates, presents, informs, and entertains the unique territory of the “Upper East Side of Texas,” focusing on the best people, places, culture, food, art, music, and entertainment, both in print and online, that enhances the Northeast Texas experience. Special editions provide in-depth coverage of the ancontinued page 29

W H E E L E R❧ •

BOOK FAIR A Celebration of Authors in the Upper East Side of Texas

Saturday, December 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Elwood School House behind Moore’s Store

Featuring More Than 20 Authors

General and Historical Fiction, Christian Mystery And Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Western, Romantic Mystery, Humor, Inspirational/Self Help, Poetry, Short Fiction, Music Criticism, Essays, Romance, Detective, Children’s Fiction And Poetry. 10-11:30 a.m. Joe Nick Patoski The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America Nationally Acclaimed New Book. Plus books about Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Selena, and more. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Joe Lansdale East Texas “Mojo Storyteller.” 2012 inductee into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame. Edgar Award, 8 Bram Stoker Awards, Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, British Fantasy Award, and many others Sponsored by

Arts & Historic District foundation

county line M A G A Z I N E

For more information call 903.963.3788. DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 27


POETRY & PROSE She Says She says: “You know what I mean,” When the name is not just right,

The Wild Horse

Each night as the sky turns to diamonds, I hear the wild horse flying – flying across the mountains as I rest my head for the night. No one sees the horse but I – as if it’s calling to me, saying ‘you should be free.’ To everyone else, the horse is a ghost. I wonder what it’s like not to worry but to be free. They say that a horse is a simple spirit before it becomes the god, the northern light in the mountain telling us not to feel pain or to care what people think about you. For the horse is just wild, free, and not scared of what comes next. But no one knows what happens to the horse after it breathes its last breath, but me. It’s reborn. Kendra Barker, Kaufman, sixth grade

Syllables slightly askew. And he does.

Changing Colors

Reflections

But he wonders If she knows what he means When he keeps children quiet With, “Shh-hh, Mommy’s asleep,” When he holds her in the night, Pats her safe and back to sleep, Calls from work And calls and calls, Brings her home her babies. Edward Garcia Murchison

28 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

A sea of broken glass On a sunny day the waves will blind Surfs up! Dive in! Turn your soul into a million bits of light! Wait for night, oh! Starry, starry Swim in the Milky Way!, The moon will light the way, Until you awake for just another day, and wonder, Why is there sand on your pillow. Joe Pritchett Edom

The trees in solemn brown parade Sedately through the woods While their gayer companions Wildly fling their coats Of red and gold to whistling Breezes new in town From northern climes. But even they will finally yield Their rattling coverlets and also Starkly stand until The gentle whiteness of the snow Gives modest cover while They wait for new apparel In springtime shades of green. Martha Heard Canton


LITERARY

continued from page 27

nual Best of the Upper East Side of Texas, Home & Garden, The Arts, Summer Fun Guide, and Farm to Market. Half Price Books is the nation’s largest family-owned new and used bookstore chain, with 115 retail locations in 16 states. The chain launched its Million Book Donation Project in 2012 in honor of its 40th anniversary and has donated books to schools and non-profit organizations throughout the country. In addition, Half Price Books hosts its Half Pint Library book drive each year to collect and distribute children’s books to those in need. The book fair is scheduled in conjunction with the Second Saturday 279 Art Jam that spreads along Hwy 279 from Ben Wheeler to Edom and beyond. All of the galleries and other shops and restaurants will be open, and there will be live music in both towns. For more information about the book fair, call 903.963.3788.

LITERARY EVENTS Through December 20

Read Aloud Crowd. Tyler. 10:30 am to 11:15 am. Free. Story time for families followed by a simple craft. Directed toward children ages 3-6 years of age. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free. Story room, Tyler Public Library, 201 S College Ave. 903-593-7323. www.tylerlibrary.com.

December 3 – 6

Three Ring Holiday. Tyler. Holiday stories, games, songs, and simple crafts with preschoolers in mind. Groups need reservations. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free. Tyler Public Library. 201 S. College. 903-593-7323. www. tylerlibrary.com.

TJC Students Embrace Bookstore Kitty By Jeremy Light When new students visit the Tyler Junior College Corner Bookstore, they are often looking for the staples of all college students: books, pens, blue books, and all the sundries of higher education survival. But sometimes it’s just to visit the resident cat. Shoppers are greeted by a friendly staff, a well-organized store, and, quite often, Sweet Pea, a muted calico cat who is likely to be curled up on the backpacks or in the nearest empty box. Sweet Pea wants one thing out of life: attention. Patrons of the Corner Bookstore may find Sweet Pea following them around as they make their purchases. There is no need to be alarmed. She just wants a scratch or two. That is a small price to pay for admission. At just over a year old, Sweet Pea has become the unofficial mascot for TJC. In fact, many people frequent the store just so they can visit this feline. Found in a box on the patio by some employees, Sweet Pea was originally set to be put up for adoption. But as they grew more attached, Sweet Pea found a home among the stacks of school supplies and serves as the night watchman for the store. Many students come by the corner bookstore just so they can have their picture taken with the precocious cat. Said one of the employees, “Sweet Pea belongs to everybody that comes in and loves her.” Further, many students, who had to leave their pets be-

hind to come to school have “adopted” Sweet Pea as their own. Sweet Pea has become something of a minor celebrity. So much so that the employees have thought of sending the story to Ellen DeGeneres in hopes it will be featured on her TV show. If ever a cat deserved national exposure, it is this one. She has become an employee in her own right. Many visitors will come to buy something just so they can see the cat everyone talks about. The employees even have a lint roller for those who can’t resist picking her up. It’s worth the cat hair. Sweet Pea does not discriminate against non-students. Affection is welcome from all comers. For TJC students and other visitors, attending stress-relieving seminars may not be necessary. Get some cheap therapy and come pet the kitty. She welcomes it. Demands it. It will certainly brighten the day. It’s nice to have a friendly ear during the doldrums of academia, even if it’s an ear you have to scratch.

December 8

Local and Regional Authors Book Fair. Ben Wheeler. General fiction, historical fiction, Christian mystery and romance, detective, children’s fiction and poetry, and more. More than 20 authors will sell, sign, and talk about their books and the writing and publishing process. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. Ben Wheeler Children’s Library, 5475 FM 858. 903.963.3788. www.benwheelertx.com.

December 19

Poetry Reading. Winnsboro . Local poets. 6 p.m. Free admission. Winnsboro Emporium, 316 N. Main. 903.342.6140. www.winnsboroemporium.com. DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 29


FOOD & DRINK Central Perks Cafe 211 N. Washington Ave. Marshall 903.934.9902 www.centralperks.us

Review and photos by Patti Light Semi-deserted downtowns in East Texas towns are becoming a big focus for redevelopment, and one of the leaders is Marshall. In this downtown surrounding the majestic Harrison County Courthouse is a dining gem, Central Perks Café in the historic Weisman Center building, nestled into booths of antiques and artisans.

This slow-roasted green-chile pulled-pork sandwich at Center Perks Cafe in Marshall will meet any taste bud’s demands.

chile verde on an onion roll with Swiss and fresh veggies or the chicken tomato and feta which is layered with sharp feta and chicken and caramelized onions on a warm ciabatta roll.

Central Perks is a full-service espresso bar created by Debra and Robert Sorich, although the caffeine-filled creations are just the beginning as the menu of this café is bursting with flavor and comfort from food and beverage.

A favorite on the menu is the gourmet bacon and bleu burger. It is a hand-pressed burger patty with crispy bacon and bleu cheese crumbles. The burger is rich, so pair it with the kettle chips.

The menu of sandwiches boasts both cold and warm varieties. Hot sandwiches are created with warm comfort in mind. Café visitors can sample the roasted pork

Another favorite is a hot lunch plate

Best of the Upper East Side of Texas 2010 - 2011 Best Steaks and Best Restaurant

named the whole enchilada. It is a healthy portion of the house recipe enchilada casserole served with a side of chips and salsa. On a cold winter day, it is the lunch that people crave. The star of a visit to Central Perks for this diner is tea. The café serves Tea Forte, an organic brand with dozens of tea blends in black, white and green teas. Those wanting a bold spicy tea should have a teapot of steaming Bombay chai tea. The soothing white ambrosia with hints of vanilla will lull customers into a morning of browsing the booths of the Weisman Building. The comfort for tea lovers, however, is found in the spice fruit iced tea. It has hints of mango swirled with cardamom and vanilla. Sitting down with this tea will make a meal a culinary destination. Central Perks’ green and white awnings shade the sidewalks. The place is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. It usually stops serving food around 4 p.m., so plan ahead on orders late in the day. But do plan for a relaxing meal and great conversation at this café gem in Marshall.

Tuesday & Wednesday DINNER SPECIAL Mixed Green Salad Choice of Fresh Fish of the day, Ribeye Steak, or Filet Mignon Served with Whipped Potatoes and Green Beans $24.95

Located in a beautiful lakeside lodge at 21191 FM 47 in Wills Point, one block north of Interstate 20, Exit 516 Open Tuesday - Saturday 5pm. to 10pm. Available for Special Events

Reservations Recommended 903.873.2225 www.fourwindssteakhouse.com 30 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

“World Famous Hamburgers”

Open 24/7 Full Menu Breakfast Anytime! Hwy. 19 near I-20 in Canton • 903-567-6551 www.dairypalace.com facebook.com/dairypalace


ZaZa’s Modern Italian Cuisine 6899 Oak Hill Blvd. Tyler 903.617.6050 www.zazasitaliantyler.com

Review and photos by Alia Pappas Since its opening in Tyler this past June, Zaza’s Modern Italian Cuisine has intrigued my curious taste buds. I was not sure how one could modernize the rustic, classic genre of Italian food, so after passing by this restaurant several times, I decided to find out. The exterior of Zaza’s Modern Italian Cuisine is sleek and picturesque, its patio offering a panoramic view. The dining area is equally contemporary, with occasional touches in the decor paying homage to Zaza’s rustic Northern Italian roots. Overall, this restaurant proved to be the ideal mixture of upscale and casual; elegant, but not confining. I was greeted promptly by a friendly waiter. He was very attentive, making my enjoyable dining experience his priority. He was also very knowledgeable on the menu, and was eager to answer any question I offered to him with explanations and recommendations. The light and delicious grissinis (thin, authentic Italian bread sticks) served with a unique, dynamic combination of a balsamic parmesan olive oil made for an experience that was a great one from the very beginning. There is a slight wait for your food, but it is worth it. All dishes are made fresh, including the pizza dough and pasta. There is something reassuring about watching a cook toss your pizza dough before your eyes. To begin your meal, I recommend the Caprese Tower or Bruschetta Arrostiti appe-

Haley’s Pretzels Opens in Downtown Canton Haley’s Pretzels has opened in downtown Canton on Highway 64 across from the courthouse. They offer pretzels, cinnamon rolls, soupof-the-day, among other things and are available for catering with 1224 hours notice. Haley’s Pretzels is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call 214.317.5466.

tizers. The Italian Wedding Soup, Sangria Salad, and Zaza’s Imperial Caesar are also worth tasting. In my opinion, the quality of an Italian restaurant’s pizza determines the quality of the establishment itself, and Zaza’s Modern Italian Cuisine did not disappoint. I sampled the Classic Margherita pizza, topped with fresh basil leaves, juicy tomatoes, and a thin layer of sauce and creamy mozzarella. Unlike fast food pizzas, Zaza’s take on this classic was similar to true Northern Italian pizza. I cannot choose one pizza that Zaza’s does best, so I simply recommend them all. Zaza’s pasta dishes are also delicious. House-made pasta and fresh ingredients were a delightful combination in the Bucatini All’Amatriciana. This dish contained spicy Italian sausage, garlic, and red pepper flakes. These flavors melded together to create a flavorsome combination that those with milder palates should probably avoid as the pepper flakes and sausage produced a spicy kick. The waiter

Zaza’s Modern Italian Cuisine serves up delicious Italian classics such as pizza and pasta such as the Classic Margherita pizza and the Bucatini All’Amatriciana pasta. For dessert, the Tre Bambini gives cannolis a sweet spin, filled with cream and garnished with fresh strawberries and ground pistachios.

continued page 32

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DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 31


PLAY

Mineola Museum Presents Santa’s Workshop There’s a magical Christmas display at the Mineola Historical Museum on 114 North Pacific that includes Santa’s House and scenes of the 12 days of Christmas painted and glittered as postage stamps. It’s a perfect theme next to this historic building that used to be the old post office. The Christmas Postage Stamp Lane is a drive through that leads to Santa’s Workshop. This very special decorated little red structure holds many wonderful memories from Christmas past. Zeb and Louise Love owned and operated the house at their Lake Brenda residence for several years. He collected toys to distribute to all children who visited Santa at the little red house. The family donated Santa’s Workshop to the museum after Zeb passed away last year and a group of people decided to continue the tradition. The little red house is now anchored at the end of Postage Stamp Lane. There is a marker established beside Santa’s Work-

shop, with the facts of Zeb and his efforts to bring joy to many children each year and his famous adventures as the Love Conductor when he was an employee for the AMTRAK Texas Eagle. In the door of Santa’s Workshop is a letter drop for the children to send their Christmas wish list to Santa. Children are invited to come see him in his workshop from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, December 15. There will be surprises and toys for each child.

Discover the East Texas Oil Fields of the 1930s

The East Texas Oil Museum is located on the campus of Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. This fascinating museum houses the authentic re-creation of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s from the largest oil field inside U.S. boundaries.

MUSEUM HOURS Tues-Sat 9am - 4pm April-Sept 9am - 5pm Sun 2-5p.m. Hwy. 259 at Ross St, Kilgore, Texas On the Kilgore College Campus, 903.983.8295

www.EastTexasOilMuseum.com 32 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

Window Tint • Bedliners • Lifts Brush Guards • Tool Boxes Goose-Necks • Fifth Wheels Nerf Bars • Wheels/Tires Car Audio/Video WOODY’S ACCESSORIES & OFFROAD TYLER • 903-592-9663 WWW.WOODYSTRUCK.COM


SHOP SHOP TALK “Shop Local” Drives Help Fill Tax Coffers “Shop local” efforts impact property taxes in a positive way, points out Chana Gail Willis, executive director of the Wood County Industrial Commission. Wood County retail sales were $444,926 in September, up about 7.8% over the same period in 2011, with much of that coming from Mineola, Quitman, and Winnsboro. Willis said increases in sales tax revenue from shopping local have a direct impact on diminishing a portion of Wood County property tax bills.

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When someone buys something in retail in Wood County, they generally pay 8.25% sales tax; that’s 1.5% city if the transaction occurs inside a city, plus 0.5 % county. Total sales tax revenues to the county for the year are offset the total county property tax, dollar for dollar, she said. That reduces property tax bills. If retail trade does well, it lessens the burden on the property owners, from commercial to residential. “Generally, from an economic standpoint, a consistent 4% growth rate or better is a comfortable target figure to work with for retails sales, and we are certainly tracking ahead of those figures in most of our communities,” Willis said. “The climate continues to remain positive for measured economic growth continuing into the fall season and the coming holidays.” Other economic indicators released this week show continuing good recovery in many sectors, especially in Texas’ robust economy. Statewide, non-farm employment continues to rise, with employment rates holding steady or increased in some sectors. Demand for truck drivers, staffing firms, and retailers hiring for the holiday season continues. Optimism and consumer confidence seem strong with some expectedly cautionary components in some industries.

SHOPPING EVENTS Through December 19

Danville Christmas Tree Farm. Kilgore. Cut your own Christmas tree and enjoy a hayride with hot chocolate. Monday-Thursday 3:30 p.m.-dark; Friday & Saturday 9 a.m.-dark; Sunday 1 p.m.-dark. Danville Farms, 2366 Danville Road. 903-520-8929. www.danvillefarms.com.

Through May 15

Unique Shopping Tours of Tyler. Tyler. Stops: Ye Olde City Antique Mall, The Gipson Girl (Tues-Wed only). The Glass Onion. Ground Zero Comics & Games. Pea Picker Book Store (Tues-Wed only). Hobby Town USA. Crystal Rock Shop. Christmas Store (Sun only, Sept 2 - Jan 6). Sunshine Records (Sun only). 1 to 6:00 p.m. $15 adults, $7 kids (12 & under). Tyler Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Broadway. 903-245-6535. www. toursoftyler.com.

Nov. 29-Dec.2 & Jan. 3-6

First Monday Trade Days. Canton. Free. The oldest and largest flea market in the world. The ultimate shopping experience. Wander 300 acres of antiques, arts and crafts, and handmade articles. First Monday Trade Days Grounds. 877.462.7467. visitcantontx.com.

December 1

Holiday on the Square. Athens. 4-6:30 p.m. Free. Decorations, story time, holiday market, arts and crafts for children, and more including Santa visits and Christmas tree lighting hosted by Light Up Athens. Downtown square. 100 W. Tyler St. 903-675-7691. athenstx.org/ things-to-do/holiday-on-the-square. Holiday Art Sale. Athens. Includes reception featuring a harp performance by Paula Lemmon. Gallery 211. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission. 211 N. Palestine. 903 292 1746. www. artgallery211.weebly.com.

December 4-7

Southern Living Holiday Tea Room & Marketplace. Longview. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $25. Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E. Tyler. 903.753.8103. www.lmfa.org.

December 7-8

Open House and Arts Market. Texarkana. 10 a.m. Free. Local artists and artisans will have their creations on sale throughout the firstfloor gallery spaces. Regional Arts Center. W. 4th and Texas Blvd. 903-792-4992. www.trahc.org.

Through December 24

Reindeer Games. Athens. Athens chamber and participating locations. 201 W. Corsicana St. Ste. 1. 903-675-5181. www.athenstx.org/things-todo/reindeer-games.


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LIVING ROOM: HOME. GARDEN. REAL ESTATE. Garden Guide, Calendar Focuses on NE Texas

gardening more enjoyable in East Texas, working with conditions unique to the region and with proven plant winners.

The 2013 Northeast Texas Gardening Guide and Calendar, produced by the Smith County Master Gardeners, is now available for purchase. Novice gardeners or those just moving into this locale find it an invaluable tool as they become more familiar with East Texas soils, unique climate, pests and diseases. The new calendar and guide focuses on ways to make

The calendar is printed with color photos throughout and features a garden each month with pictures and comments. A “things to do” section identifies plant care and bed preparation, when and what to fertilize, pests and diseases to watch for, and of what to plant each month. Other articles provide information on such top-

ics as Earth-Kind Roses, heat and drought tolerant plants, azaleas and camellias, rainwater harvesting, and treatment of fire ants. There is also a list of web sites for questions about gardening, landscaping, and pest management. The guide is available for $8 at many nurseries and gardening centers,and at the Smith County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in downtown Tyler. By mail it’s $10 each via check sent to: Calendars, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 1517 W. Front St, Suite 116, Tyler, TX 75702. Master Gardeners, a volunteer organization of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, are people from all walks of life who enjoy and are dedicated to teaching others about gardening, plant diseases, and pests. For more information, go to scmg.tamu.edu.

and

Winnie & Tulula’s WRAP UP YOUR GIFT SHOPPING IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF WONDER & DELIGHT! Join us for a glass (Mimosas) of Christmas Cheer, Luncheon & Style Show Saturday, December 8 11 a.m. to Noon

Tickets are presold. Reservations only. $16

Sweet Pea Bistro and

Espresso Bar 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stroll around the shoppe for cooking demonstrations, artist in residence, jewelry and hand beaded trunk shows, and other special activities throughout the day. soups

• salads • desserts

gourmet sandwiches

& free trade coffees cappuccino • signature mint tea organic

The Sweet Pea Collection, Inc. 119 E. Tyler • Athens, TX 75751 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. 903-677-6868 www.sweetpeacollection.com 36 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2012

Winterize Homes, Cars To Help Avoid Problems

The Better Business Bureau reminds that it’s time to winterize homes and vehicles to save energy and prepare for cold weather emergencies. “Getting your heating system in tip-top shape can prevent breakdowns and save money in the long run. You may need to service cars or assemble a cold weather kit”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and chief executive officer of BBB in Central East Texas. “At least once a year, it makes sense to check your furnace, put ice scrapers in your car and make sure your home is winterized.” An emergency kit should contain bottled water, first aid, battery-operated radio, batteries, candles, matches, and non-perishable food. BBB also recommends assembling a similar kit for the car, complete with blankets, extra gloves, a shovel and salt or snow-melting chemicals. Other items on the cold weather checklist: Heater checkup and cleaning: Have a professional check the heater and ensure the thermostat and other parts are working properly. A computerized thermostat can save energy and money by reducing the temperature when not in use. Consider insulating heating ducts: The U.S. Department of Energy estimates


that a centrally heated home can lose as much as 60 percent of warmed air before it reaches vents if the ductwork is poorly connected, not insulated, or if it travels through unheated spaces. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt from vents. Get a chimney checkup: Before lighting the first fire of the season, check the chimney for animals, nests, leaves and other debris, as well as for any necessary repairs. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Homeowners should routinely test these devices to make sure they work and install fresh batteries as needed. Detector units should be replaced every 10 years.

December 8

Holiday Happenings in Historic Homes. Kilgore. Tour historic homes built during the oil boom. Benefits Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation. 2-6 p.m. $10. Historical District. 903-984-1333. www.khpf.org.

December 9

Tour of Homes. Jacksonville. Tour decorated homes and businesses. 1-5 p.m. $5 ad-

vance; $7 day of event. Jacksonville Chamber. 526 E. Commerce. 903-586-2217. www.jacksonvilletexas.com.

December 13 Christmas Open House at the Stinson House. Quitman. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Quitman Arboretum. 100 Gov. Hogg in Jim Hogg City Park. 903-466-4327. quitmanarboretum.com.

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Clear gutters and ridge vents: Clean gutters to prevent or remove any debris that could cause rainwater to clog, freeze and damage gutters. Ridge vents should be cleared to allow the house to “breathe” properly to eliminate stagnant inside air. Close any attic vents or windows that would allow heated air to escape and cold air to seep in. Plug holes: Small air leaks have a cumulative effect on home heating costs. Make sure windows close tightly. Check for leaks around them, and use caulking to plug. Inspect all weather stripping for cracks and peeling. Consider applying insulating film to drafty windows, and install a tightfitting fireplace door or cover to stop a day-long loss of heat through the chimney. Car checkup: Make sure to have ice scrapers, blankets, and other cold-weather gear in cars. Have a mechanic check fluid levels, including the coolant, to be sure reservoirs are full and able to withstand freezing temperatures. Do windshield wipers need to be replaced? Are defrosters and heaters working? Is there enough tread left on the tires for safe driving? Are they inflated properly? For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB hotline: 903.581.8373.

HOME & GARDEN EVENTS Through December 8

30th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes. Jefferson. Step back in time and tour historical homes decorated in fresh greenery, flowers, fruit and candlelight in historic Jefferson. Free music concerts. 3 to 9 p.m. $15.00. 903-665-7064. www.historicjeffersonfoundation.com.

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DECEMBER 2012 • COUNTYLINEMAGAZINE.COM • 37


FEEL GOOD

I’ll Never Forget What’s His Name Edward H. Garcia I’ve recently turned 70, so naturally I’m concerned with memory problems. I find that names and abstract nouns have started dropping out of my brain at an alarming rate. I am telling my wife about the pilot for a tv show I’ve seen. I want to tell her the name of its star, but the name is nowhere to be found. I know just what she looks like, I remember that she was in a wellreceived television show as a teenager, I know she played Temple Grandin on HBO, I remember she played Sarah Jessica Parker’s sister in “The Family Stone.” But I can’t remember her name. I can’t even get a whiff of it. The disappearing name was a characteristic of many of my conversations with my 92 year old mother. Sometimes we just gave up trying to discuss a movie starring a dozen people whose names we

couldn’t remember who were also in other movies whose names we couldn’t remember. Recently, however, I have had reason to be more optimistic about my mind. Maybe it’s not just me; maybe it’s us. Increasingly, I see people have conversations which their smart phones are an essential part of. Even though they’re much younger than I am, they can’t remember Claire Danes either, unless they turn to their phones. They can ask their phones, “Who played Temple Grandin?” and Siri supplies the answer. Then the human conversation can proceed. The phone, the computer, the Internet are like the smart friend we used to have who knew everything and remembered for us. When my father was well into his seventies, he was able to recite poems he

had memorized in high school. Once when I was in college and having girl friend problems, in a letter my father quoted from memory a 17th Century poem which had a refrain that went, “If she be not fair to me, what care I how fair she be?” I know he didn’t have the poem in front of him and, of course, there was no Internet; it was just there, floating around in his memory. I have a few lines of poetry from high school in my memory, certainly not whole poems. That reminds me of a line from “Laugh In”: “I used to know all that stuff.” There was a time when I knew people’s phone numbers. Now I remember my childhood phone number (now disconnected), my old home phone number in Dallas (now disconnected), my present home phone number, and my cell phone number. That’s it. The

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rest my phones know and my ipod. I remember hearing that there was a group of illiterate Yugoslavians who had memorized epic poems, thousands of lines long. When any of the group learned to read and write, he would start to forget the poems he had memorized. He didn’t need to memorize them anymore; he could read them. I think the same thing is happening to Twenty-first Century man. We don’t have to remember things because our machines do, and so we don’t. It’s not immediate and it’s not complete, but little by little it’s happening. This is not necessarily a bad thing. We can only imagine what we will do with the parts of our brains no longer required for feats of memory. (Some of that capacity will no doubt be devoted to learning how to work our remotes.) But like it or not, I’m afraid it’s inevitable. Someday in the future, I hope after I am dead and gone, we will tune in to see “Jeopardy” played by three players holding their smart phones in front of them and amazing us with how quickly they can find the answers on the Internet. n

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