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november 2012

Now Hear This Urban Reader The Art of Being Funny

28 32 36

Marlene Plays Maggie Urban Appeal When Dave Left Dallas

40 44 48

Urban Eats: Tusk & Trotter Rustic Apple Pumpkin Tart Pumpkin Eater

50 56 60

Marry Me Making Time for Marinoni She Broke My Heart and Stole My Wallet

lifestyle entertainment

20 22 24



Catherine Frederick

8 12 16 18

For the Weight of Gravity in Early Autumn Ignite: Helping America's Heroes Sweet Turkey Urban 8 See the Light at Crystal Bridges


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@INSIDE Marla Cantrell


Marla Cantrell Adam Clay Marcus Coker Kody Ford Catherine Frederick Laura Hobbs Anita Paddock Whitney Ray Jim Warnock


Catherine Frederick Jim Warnock


Jeromy Price


David Jamell


Read Chair Publishing, LLC

Advertising Information

Catherine Frederick at 479 / 782 / 1500 Editorial Information

Marla Cantrell at 479 / 831 / 9116 Š2012 Read Chair Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions contained in @Urban are exclusively those of the writers and do not represent those of Read Chair Publishing, LLC. as a whole or its affiliates. Any correspondence to @Urban or Read Chair Publishing, LLC., including photography becomes the property of Read Chair Publishing, LLC. @Urban reserves the right to edit content and images.



he other night at dinner, I overheard a friend and his momma taking about how much snow we were in for this year. They’d seen the signs. First, we have tons of acorns falling. And then there was the

persimmon. Evidently, my friend’s momma had cut open a persimmon and inside was a kernel, shaped like a shovel. It could only mean one thing she said - lots of heavy, wet snow in our future. Snow! Can you believe it? I remember one Thanksgiving not too far back when all the men had been ushered out of the kitchen to the backyard, bellies full to the brim, wearing T-shirts and shorts. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a little snow over a warm Thanksgiving any day. Not too much though; we have too many places to go and too many things to do! In fact, there’s so much going on that we’ve expanded @Urban by sixteen pages. The increase came after listening to you, our readers. You wanted more stories, more tips on places to see, AND FOOD, you said. Give us more food! Well, we have! In this issue alone, we’re taking you on a hike in some of the prettiest land Arkansas has to offer. We’re devouring alligator and pork sausage. And we’re sharing a Southern love story that unfolded in Savannah. Want more? How about some of the best recipes in the South? How does a rustic apple and pumpkin tart sound? Delicious, right? We’ll show you how to make it. And I’ll be taking you inside my kitchen for a lesson on how to make a cupcake look like roast turkey. Yep, you read that right! Still not enough? We’re giving you the inside scoop on improv comedy, introducing you to a non-profit that’s changing veterans’ lives, and giving you some great decorating tips. So, stick around, and start thinking about that Thanksgiving feast. Heck, we don’t care if you call it “stuffing” or “dressing,” or whether you mix it up with or without the toasted white bread- to us, your family – and we’re mighty thankful you sit down and read the pages of @Urban every month. Happy Thanksgiving. To reserve this free space for your charitable non-profit organization, email:


The sidewalk split open to reveal the dirt underneath it, the sky sometimes splitting open too, the way an entire rack of school supplies tumbles over and on top of you. We are always swallowing our laughs.

We are always admitting to ourselves far too late

that dusk is a joke and we are the punch-line.The morning grows biblical in the dull street-light haze. An orchard. What sea fell from the sky? What sky can turn from blue to the pure color of an Asian pear — no matter, it falls too. Sometimes at the market I forget

@lines Adam Clay Previously published in Linebreak

who I am, as if lost in a field of corn, not a maze, but it might as well be. And when you grab my hand — for just a second — I am not sure who

you are. Looking for a mirror out of the corner of my eye, and out of the corner of my eye,

it is Fall and like the redbud we planted months ago in the yard,

I am lucky to be alive.


in school at John Brown University where he plans to finish his bachelor’s degree and then continue until he earns his master’s. Just three years ago, Caleb was an E5 sergeant serving in Iraq, in charge of 123 other Marines. He worked twelve-hour days, seven days a week in a place where there was no running water. The only electricity was supplied by generators, and at night the only light came from the stars. “Nothing will make you appreciate what you have more than seeing the way others have to live,” Caleb says. “Even people here, who are having a really hard time, have it better than the people I saw in Iraq.” Caleb, now twenty-five, joined the service right out of high school. He believed the military could teach him skills he could transfer when he returned to the private sector. And he’d always worked, starting at age eleven when he lived in Bentonville. That’s when he began mowing lawns, a business that grew throughout junior and senior high. When he left home, he had 123 clients, so many his step-dad took over and continues operating the service today. When he left the Marines, he came back to Arkansas and @story Marla Cantrell @images Catherine Frederick


enrolled in school. At the same time, he was also looking for a job. “The unemployment rate is dismal for veterans. But I thought it would be easier for me. At twenty-three, I’d been in

aleb Dover stands inside a semi trailer at SA Concepts in

charge of more than 100 men. I made E5 in two years. I thought

Springdale, and begins the work that will leave this trailer

with all that experience someone would want to hire me.”

in pieces. Most of the metal he and four other veterans harvest


today will be used to create aerodynamic side skirts for semis

A local company did want to hire him, but before that happened

still on the road. The process is labor intensive and the work

there was a hiring freeze and the position disappeared. The

hard, but Caleb is glad to do it. Working here is keeping him

man who’d interviewed him called to tell Caleb the news, and


then encouraged him to contact SA Concepts and see if they could help. “I came for an interview and spoke with the executive director, Don Vanhooser, for about forty-five minutes. We talked about my service and what I wanted to do. At the end of the interview he told me I was hired. I can’t tell you how grateful I was.” Caleb was exactly what SA Concepts was looking for. The nonprofit, which started hiring earlier this year, targets veterans who are in college and need a flexible work schedule. In return, SA Concepts takes the financial burden off the employees, paying them $40,000 a year for working twenty-five hours a week. Considering Arkansas’ average yearly wage is $36,000, it’s a great opportunity. But SA Concepts has another mission. They are looking for ways to help clean up our environment by repurposing materials. The first product they developed was the semi-truck side skirt, which keeps the wind off the back axles. It is made from aluminum they glean from semi trailers, along with the rubber off old conveyor belts they gather from a mining operation. The aerodynamic properties cut down on fuel cost and its design reduces splash back on the road, making highways safer for the truckers and nearby drivers. It wasn’t long before Walmart made a donation of thirty trailers that had been retired from the company’s fleet. The SA Concept team, including Don’s son Drake and family friend and environmental attorney, Jon Hamlin, were happy to get them. But soon they realized they had an even bigger market. Walmart began sending them wooden outdoor play sets that had been returned to the stores. They made a template for



Adirondack chairs and got to work disassembling the pieces.

The possibilities they see are endless. Tons of metal and wood

Now, in one corner of the warehouse, there are stacks of chairs

are being repurposed. And the veterans are working toward

ready to be sold.

degrees that will help them the rest of their lives.

They also started thinking about the parts of the semi trailers

“I just signed the papers on my first house,” Caleb says. “My

they weren’t using. The beds are made of thick strips of wood,

family is secure.” He pulls out his phone to show off a photo

often oak, that could be turned into furniture. They went back

of his little girl, who was born while he was in the Marines. His

to the drawing board, coming up with designs for oversized

face lights up. “She’s wonderful,” he says. “My wife is happy. I’m

chairs – Ruth Chris Steak House in Rogers has already bought

doing well in school. And it’s because of this place.”

two – coffee tables and even a conference table. Recently, the Green Submarine Espresso Café and Sub Shop in Fayetteville

Behind him, his four buddies are working hard. No one appears

ordered all its tables for SA Concepts.

to have any rank over anyone else, and that seems to be just fine. They work easily together, these men who have seen the

The hardest part is getting the wood out of the trailer. They

worst life has to offer. They work and they study and they plan

have to cut the tops of the bolts off and then pry out the

for a future that looks brighter with every paycheck.

remainder. And then the process of planing the wood begins. The equipment they use is taking a beating but the results are impressive. Word is spreading and now they’ve begun to do custom work for designers and customers who can’t find what they want in furniture stores.


To find out more about SA Concepts, visit


ow amazing would these be on your table for Thanksgiving? Perhaps next to a place

card? Imagine the surprise when everyone discovers they aren’t just for looks. They are 100% edible cupcakes! My inspiration for these adorable turkey cupcakes came from the ingenious minds of @story and images Catherine Frederick

Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, creators of the books, Hello Cupcake, What’s New Cupcake, and the latest Cupcakes, Cookies and Pie, Oh My! You’ll find easy to follow, step-by-step directions so you can whip up some mind blowing sweet treats!



12 vanilla cupcakes baked in orange paper liners

1 can (16 oz.) plus ½ cup vanilla frosting

Green and yellow food coloring

1 cup cornflakes

72 soft caramels (Kraft), unwrapped 12 wheat sticks (Wheat Thin brand) ½ cup crushed corn flakes or 1 granola bar, crumbled

2 tablespoons green nonpareils or green sprinkles

These are not difficult to make, but assembly will be much quicker if you prep the pieces in advance. Let's break this project down into workable pieces.

Baking the cupcakes Bake them ahead of time, even the day before. I use box cake mix, which works well, just avoid any with pudding in the mix or angel food mixes, since cupcakes require a firm cake. I replace the number of eggs called for with 4, and replace the water with 1 cup of buttermilk. Add the amount of vegetable oil called for on the box. To make them come out level, fill the liners 2/3 full (the cake should not be higher than the liner when baked). I also place my batter in a ziplock bag to fill the liners. Here’s how. Place a 1quart freezer-weight Ziplock bag in a plastic or glass container. I use a tall glass and fold the opening of the bag over the container’s edge. Pour half of your batter into the bag, lift up from the container, press out the excess air and zip shut. Snip off a 1/4 –inch corner from the bottom of the bag and fill the liners two-thirds full. Bake as directed.

Making the Lettuce Spoon ¼ cup of vanilla frosting into a Ziplock bag, seal and set aside. Tint another ¼ cup of the vanilla frosting with the green and yellow food coloring. Heat the tinted frosting for a few seconds in the microwave (until the consistency of lightly whipped cream). Pour the tinted frosting over the corn flakes and gently stir to coat. Pour the coated flakes onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to dry. Use your fingers to separate .

Making the turkey skins { Part 1 } Soften 4 caramels at a time in the microwave. You want them to be soft, not runny. Press the caramels together and with your hands roll them into a ball. Place the ball onto wax paper and then cover with another piece of wax paper. Roll the ball of caramel into a 3 ½ circle. Each circle represents one turkey, so repeat this process until you have the number you need. Place the circles in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up the


caramel, making it easier to cut. Like the cupcakes, the skins can

edge of the cupcake. Using a small knife or mini spatula, push

be made a day or more in advance- just store in the refrigerator.

the caramel into the frosting, making the turkey body appear nice and plump. Pinch the ends of the caramel at the opening.

Making the turkey legs

Some of the frosting will squeeze out of the opening. Press the

Cut the wheat sticks into

crushed cereal or crumbled granola into the frosting to look like

2 inch lengths. Soften a

stuffing and add the green sprinkles to look like herbs.

caramel in the microwave. For the turkey leg, press the caramel around 1 inch of the wheat stick and form it into a drumstick shape. Repeat this process so you have enough legs for all of your turkeys.

Adding the turkey legs Lightly brush the caramel on each side of the stuffing with a drop of water. Attach a turkey leg to each side of the opening (see photo for placement). Repeat for remaining turkeys. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Put a few dots of frosting at the end of each wheat stick to look like the end of the leg bone.

Making the turkey skins { Part 2 }

Adding the lettuce

Remove the caramels from the refrigerator. Place the turkey

Add the green cereal as lettuce around the edge of the turkey.

skin template over the wax paper and lightly press around the

Use dots of frosting to secure it if needed.

template to create a guideline for cutting (I used a pizza cutter.) Repeat until you have the number of skins you need.

Gobble gobble, it’s dinner time! Or is it dessert? No matter when you choose to unveil your creations, they’re sure to elicit


Spoon a big dollop of frosting on the tops of the cupcakes

laughs and will have guests asking, “How’d you do that?” I also

to make a mound. Place a caramel turkey skin on top of each

recommend having some “regular” cupcakes on hand as many

cupcake. Tuck the edge of the caramel in ¼ inch from the

guests will find these too cute to eat.


Turkey Template Use the template below to construct the skin of your turkey cupcake.


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with Dan Flavin’s minimalist sculpture featuring fluorescent tubes. Flavin (1933-1996) used only commercially available fluorescent tubing in standard sizes, shapes, and colors, to create monumental works of art. Be sure not to miss “No. 210/No. 211 (Orange)” by Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko. Rothko, who was born in Russia in 1903 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1913, is known for his soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color. “Orange” is one of the museum’s newest acquisitions. It had been in a private collection since the 1960s and was only exhibited “No. 210/No. 211 (Orange)” by Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko

see the light at crystal bridges @story Marla Cantrell @image Mark Rothko, 1960, photograph by Edward C. Robison III


publicly on two other occasions before Crystal Bridges brought it to Arkansas. The second exhibit will help you understand the majesty of Crystal Bridges. Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges showcases the architect’s masterful use of light in the building that blends seamlessly with the rolling hills and valleys that surround it. Each of Safdie’s previous projects, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, helped light

ith colder weather moving in, we’re on the lookout

the way for the work he did in Bentonville. There are models,

for great indoor activities. How lucky are we that this

architectural drawings, photographs and videos that will walk

year we get to add Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in

you through the world of architecture, and the design elements

Bentonville to the mix? Even better - admission is free.

that make Crystal Bridges a national treasure.

Right now, the museum is hosting two temporary exhibits

After you’ve seen the exhibits, be sure to stop by Eleven, the

focusing on light as a source of inspiration for works of art and

café inside Crystal Bridges. It’s Southern food with flair, and

architecture. Both will be on display until January 28.

boasts a separate kids menu.

The first is called See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American


Art. It focuses on the importance of light for American artists.

To plan your trip, please visit

This exhibit walks you through works from the masters of the

The museum is closed on Tuesdays. There is no cost

nineteenth century, including Martin Johnson Heade, and ends

for admission.


with the games, let there be no mistake but I’ll see you the next time around.” “Oh Brother” uses upbeat guitar riffs and stellar lyrics to dish out advice like this: “Try to be sure to make more love than hate. Oh Brother, once you realize that you’re a star, you’re going to shine so bright.” He even references his father, saying, “We get some old time JT right here,” and for a second it is as if he is James Taylor remade for a new generation. For me, the highlight of this album is “Not Alone.” You feel the ache and the power in Ben’s voice. “You may be a lot of things,

now hear this ben taylor — listening @review Marla Cantrell

but you’re not alone… I draw you in with every breath. Same song, same sky, so far away I sing along to make the time go by.” He has fun with an upbeat song called “Dirty.” It feels like he’s


stretching here, with lyrics that include the word obsequious,

is worth the wait. Taylor, son of music royalty James Taylor and

The entire album is wonderfully mixed and mastered. Ben’s voice

Carly Simon, is a talented musician, a stellar songwriter, and has

is enticing, sometimes mournful and sometimes playful. He says

a voice that’s as addictive as Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

the songs are “little windows into the last four years of my life.”

Ben does sound a little like his father, but that’s a very good

We’re lucky he’s writing songs like this, and that we have the

thing. The difference is that Ben combines so many styles

chance to walk with him on his musical journey. You need to keep

that he’s hard to pin down. On Listening, you’ll hear a country

up with Ben Taylor. He gets better with every album.

t’s been four years since singer/songwriter Ben Taylor

something you don’t expect to hear in a pop song.

released a full-length album. The good news is, Listening

influence, rock and roll, folk and a whole lot of soul. Listen to "Not Alone" by logging on to In “Next Time Around,” Ben grows introspective, singing about the lessons he’s learned. “I counted my blessings and burned my mistakes, and I’ll see you the next time around. I’m done


I Rate It


cook, and gardener for her siblings, were best friends and were happiest when hidden away in the kitchen with its big black stove or outdoors gathering ferns, herbs, and other greeneries to beautify their lives. Thanksgiving was a joyful time when relatives and friends arrived with an assortment of casseroles and desserts to go along

The Thanksgiving Visitor By Truman Capote 63 Pages @review Anita Paddock

with the five turkeys Sook baked. The house was decorated with chrysanthemums from Sook’s flower garden, and some of them were “as big as a baby’s head.” She also described them as lions: “Kingly characters that I always expect to turn on me with a growl and a roar.” Sook knew that Odd Henderson bullied Buddy at school, so she decided to call on Mrs. Henderson (Odd’s father was in jail for bootlegging) to invite Odd to be Buddy’s guest for Thanksgiving dinner. Buddy, of course, was horrified, but Sook thought the


invitation would promote a friendship between the two.

his lovely written novella, once packaged in a beautiful case along with A Christmas Memory, has occupied a place in my

That year, Thanksgiving dawned with on-and-off showers. Guests

heart every November for close to fifty years. It’s the story of

arrived by horseback, mule drawn wagons, shined up farm trucks,

Buddy and Miss Sook, the same characters found in A Christmas

and one mint-green 1932 Chevrolet driven by rich Mr. Conklin

Memory, my all-time favorite book.

who brought along his wife and four beautiful daughters.

The story begins: “Talk about mean! Odd Henderson was the

Buddy, as well as the rest of the guests, were enchanted by the

meanest human creature in my experience.” Odd was twelve

Conklin girls who sang and played the out-of-tune piano prior to

in 1932 and was in the second grade with Buddy. Odd was

the meal. But his joy quickly faded when Odd Henderson arrived.

tall for his age, a skinny boy who terrorized Buddy in a small elementary school in rural Alabama. All the kids feared him,

I’ll close with the simple ending I always used when I was a sixth

even those his age or older.

grader writing book reports: Read the book to find out what happens. You’ll be glad you did. And may your Thanksgiving

Buddy lived with distant relatives, three elderly cousins and their bachelor brother. He and Sook, who acted as housekeeper,


table be graced by chrysanthemums that roar!

n rso e b ul er oel C k o J s C sy cu urte r Ma o y sC r to ge @s ima @




rkansas, the Natural State, is famous for a lot of things — the Ozark Mountains, President Bill Clinton, even cheese

dip — but improvisational comedy isn’t one of them. However, a new group of comedians from Fort Smith is hoping to change that. The group is called Naturally Improv-able and has recently started meeting on Sundays for what they call Sunday Night Live, an evening of howls and laughs and who-knowswhat-will-happen. Sunday Night takes place at Movie Lounge in Fort Smith. The show, similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, starts at seven p.m. and has no cover charge. The format is always the same—two teams of actors compete against each other, each being given different

Luke, who graduated from Greenwood High School, started

challenges to act out. That could mean pretending to be a four-

Naturally Improv-able in 2010 after spending three months in

year-old eating cotton candy or a pair of burglars trying to steal

Chicago studying at Second City, the first ongoing and perhaps

a litter of weenie dogs. The scenes aren’t rehearsed, and the

the most famous improv theater in the U.S. He’d wanted to work

actors don’t have scripts, but one thing’s for certain—the cast

in the entertainment industry as a comedian, maybe make it

will do anything for a laugh, including crawling on the ground,

onto Saturday Night Live, but knew that was a long shot. That’s

jumping into each other’s arms, and contorting their bodies like

when he came back to Fort Smith. “The area is growing, and the

circus performers.

arts are growing,” says Luke. “The talent here is phenomenal. I knew that if I didn’t start an improv group, I’d be auditioning for

Doug Shadell, who’s fifty and has been working as a stand-up

someone else’s group ten years down the road.”

comedian for the last six years, is part of Naturally Improvable. He says, “Stand-up and improv are as different as day and

It took a couple years for Naturally Improv-able to get going, but

night. With stand-up, you’re working as a single person to make

just a few months ago they started holding weekly workshops

people laugh. With improv, you’re working as a group, playing

at Lost Beach Bar and Grill to improve their improv skills. They

games, and you never know what’s going to be thrown at you.”

opened the workshops to the public, both for participation and viewing. Luke says, “We never turn anyone away. If someone

“For a performer, the experience of improv is priceless,” says

wants to be a part of our group, we can use them, and it’s our

Luke Perkinson, the thirty-year-old founder of Naturally Improv-

goal to create a format for everyone to succeed.”

able. “It’s an opportunity to hone your skills and learn from others. It’s basically youth group for comedians.”

The workshops were an instant success; the spectators had such a good time, that the would-be practices quickly became



anything else, it’s a process. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t.” That’s one of the beneficial things about improv—it teaches a lot of life skills. Since starting Naturally Improv-able, Luke’s been hired by a number of corporations to teach those skills in the office place. “Think about it,” says Luke. “In business, you have limited resources, you’re sometimes working with people you’ve never met, and yet you’re expected to succeed. Improv is the answer—being flexible and being willing to maneuver around to meet the goal.” Luke believes you can’t learn those lessons too early. On November 10, Luke and Naturally Improv-able will be offering performances. “One of the reasons improv works is that the

a workshop at the Fort Smith Public Library to teach improv-

audience gets to be part of the show. They give us ideas and

based teamwork to area youth. Then, on November 17, they’ll

sometimes get called up on stage,” says Luke. “People like

be collaborating with the Young Actors Guild as part of YAG’s

having input into something. That’s what makes it succeed.

fall theater classes. Luke sees it as a way to give back to the

One of the great things about doing this in Fort Smith is that

community, help grow the arts, and teach aspiring actors how to

we aren’t just starting an improv group, we are creating a whole

work from the hip and increase their self-confidence.

scene.” Clearly, being funny is something Naturally Improv-able takes All the actors in Naturally Improv-able are volunteers, ranging

seriously. With any luck at all, it won’t be long before Arkansas

in age from twenty-one to sixty-six. Summer Ferguson, who’s

adds improv to the list of things that put us on the map.

twenty-four, is one of the only girls in Naturally Improv-able. “I didn’t have any training and didn’t think I’d be any good,” says Summer. But to watch her, you’d never know it; she’s quick-witted,

For more information, including live footage of Sunday

creative, and doesn’t mind being silly. In other words, she’s

Night Live, visit

perfect for improv. “I don’t know where it comes from. I guess you can’t overthink it. You just have to go up there and let go.” Of course, the actors don’t always get the laugh they’re shooting for. But Luke says that’s okay. “Improv includes failure. Like


breaking dawn, pt 2 @story Kody Ford @images Courtesy Nick Holmes and Lionsgate Films


arlane Barnes time at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville taught

her one very important thing —she wanted to act. That decision led her to her role in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, which will be released on Nov. 16.



Marlane plays Maggie, a member of the Irish vampire coven.

sizable reel of her film roles. During her time in grad school, the

For those unfamiliar with Twilight, The Volturi, the vampire

most important break came from the UT showcase in New York,

authority, send Maggie and the other members to learn more

when she signed with Consortium Entertainment. She soon had

about Bella and Edward’s daughter Renesmee. Maggie and her

an audition for her first gig, an episode of iCarly. This exposure

cohorts later side with the Cullens against the Volturi.

led to her the audition for the role of Maggie.

Marlane had wanted to act since childhood, but it always seemed

They gave her lines of dialogue from the book to learn.

like a dream. After graduating from Southside

She did some Wikipedia research on her

High School in Fort Smith, she planned to

character and watched the first two Twilight

go to college and become a lawyer. Still, the

films. Going into the audition, Marlane had

acting bug never left her.

two advantages—she looked the part and had learned to speak with an Irish accent convincingly during grad school.

“Living in Arkansas I had no idea how you would go about it,” Marlene said. “The only people I knew who were actors did it for the

“I try to audition as though that thirty seconds

local community theatre after their day job

in the room is the job, so Twilight was a really

at the bank.”

enjoyable audition to do,” she said.

But while studying theatre at the U of

The call came three days later while she was

A, Marlane got to work with some of the

vacuuming her house. She’d gotten the part.

university’s best theatre instructors. “I was completely shocked,” said Marlane. “I “They do theatre at a level that is the same

never in one million years thought it would

or exceeds any of the great theatres in this

be me! Why would it be me? But then again,

country. Arkansas is really lucky to have them.”

why not? Someone has to get it. So I jumped up and down a lot and called everyone who would even remotely care. That was a

After graduation, Marlane headed to Austin where she earned

good day.”

an MFA in Theatre at the University of Texas. The capitol city has been a hub for independent filmmaking since the 70s and many

Filming for Breaking Dawn took place in Louisiana and

acclaimed directors and actors hail from there.

Vancouver. While Marlane had film experience, she had never been on a big-budget production. She welcomed the change

Such a bustling film scene gave Marlane experience on camera,

and said that it’s much easier.

which allowed her to move to Los Angeles in 2010 with a



“There was always someone to tell me where to be and when,

this movie now that they will have more flexibility as actors.”

make my face look nice, help me with my shoes and jacket, make sure I had a good breakfast, a cup of coffee, whatever it was,”

Looking back, Marlane is still humbled by her time on set. “It's

she said. “Those production, makeup, and wardrobe assistants

hard to sum up an experience like that because there were so

are saints in disguise.”

many people and so much going on all the time and so much to think about, so many talented and passionate people with such a

At first, she found herself undergoing culture shock and

variety of interests,” she said. “Pretty strange for it to have been

felt shy like the first day of school. However, supporting cast

my first experience on a major set, because it was such a huge

members were housed together and they quickly became like

production both in scale and hype. But I think that's the best way,

family. Over the course of two months, they went to the movies

probably. Just jump right in and see what happens! I'm still alive.

together, explored the locales, and ate Japanese food at a roof

Not only that, but it's pretty special that there are a few people

top restaurant ironically named Tsunami.

from the production who I will probably keep in contact with for years to come. That's the most you can hope for, I think.”

“It turned into a kind of weird summer camp/high school retreat with a lot of inside jokes and things to keep ourselves entertained during down time,” said Marlane. “There was always

Marlane recently finished an independent film called Sake

something going on, so I had to balance having fun with being

Bomb and is slated to appear in a dark comedy called Stuff It.

ready for a five a.m. call. If I had it to do over again, though, I

Her spare time is devoted to animal rescue. She is also writing

might have gone out even more.”

a young adult supernatural adventure fantasy set in fifth century Ireland. No word on whether the main character is a

She spent a lot of time on set filming with the core cast who

vampire, but she is well equipped to do the audio book when

played the Cullens, particularly Robert Pattinson and Kristen

it’s published.

Stewart. However, she only got to shoot with Taylor Lautner for a couple of days. She described Lautner as “a sweet kid, was quiet and very professional. Every bit as handsome in person.”

You can follow Marlane on

“Rob is thoughtful and caring and seems to have a lot of interests outside of film,” said Marlane. “I had a close ‘field position’ with Kristen and got a chance to get to know her a little. She has to be careful, even on-set, and has security with her all the time. She is very wry and sharp and passionate about finding good projects to work on and she gives her whole self to the search for that. I look forward to seeing the choices they all make after


or on Twitter: @marlaneMarlane.




Christine Howard Creative Director, I.O. Metro

Looking for an easy makeover for the season? Adding fall colored accessories will change the mood of your room in an instant. And as always, autumn’s it color is orange. Take a serene space and rev up the energy by adding


orange patterned pillows, accessories, and art. Orange brings out the rich brown tones of wood. It works especially well with metallics and black and white. If you use lots of orange, be sure to use various shades, to make the color interesting, not overpowering.

4 Neutral walls and dark furniture make a perfect backdrop for a bold shade. Using pops of orange will make your room glow. No matter the hue, orange is a warm color that is both revitalizing and calming. During the day oranges are bold



and energizing, but at night they become warm and cozy.

1 In Motion Canvas Art – $399.95 2 Derby Lamp – $199.95 3 Paisley Pillow – Orange – $79.95 4 Gates Cuddler Sectional RHF - Boucle Stone – $1999.95 5 Whirlwind Metal Art – $199.95 6 Palmer Chair Udder Madness – $599.95 7 X-Range Mirrored Sideboard – 4 Door – $1299.95 8 X-Range Coffee Table – $599.95





@story Marla Cantrell @images Courtesy Dave Holocomb




008 was a year of reckoning for graphic designer Dave Holcomb. The TV station he worked for in Dallas faltered

and then fell, filing bankruptcy and shutting its doors, another casualty of the Great Recession. While the news was bad, it did offer Dave a chance to decide what to do with his future. He’d been working in TV since 1984, and he was tired of the stress that came along with it. Once he decided to take another path, the decision to leave Dallas came easily. But where would Dave go? He’d starting thinking about Arkansas. He’d been here before, floating the Buffalo River and visiting friends in northwest Arkansas. He made another trip, landing in the tiny town of Winslow, population 391, and found of piece of land where he built a cabin in the woods. “When I saw this place, it reminded me a lot of rural Alabama where I’d grown up,” Dave says. “When I was unpacking I came across my paintbrushes and art supplies. For so long I was focused on making a living, and art had fallen by the wayside. But now I was working from home, doing web and graphic design, and I started experimenting with my art.

Still, Dave struggles with the need for perfection. Even when he cooks he gets sidetracked, trying to chop the carrots into exact

“I do think working as a designer in a commercial context helped

pieces. It’s one of the reasons he started doing assemblage

my work. You do learn discipline. You learn to finish something

projects, using found objects. “You have to roll with it a little

and move on to the next thing. I have a tendency to want to

bit,” he says. “Things depend on whether the glue sticks or the

go back and revisit. Nothing kills anything more than trying to

paint dries properly or a piece of wire coils in a certain way. You

perfect, going back day after day to work on something. I had

can’t direct it on a very direct path; you have to let it wander.”

a sculptor friend who used to compare it to drinking. You have one drink and then a second and when you start to pick up the

Dave’s work is stunning. On some of his pieces, there are

third drink you know it’s a bad idea.”

images of children, their innocence bright against the layered backgrounds of torn newsprint and paint. On others, he’s uses




tracks. He looked down and saw an irregularly shaped piece of

metal, even Styrofoam.

metal that was likely a patch welded onto a train car at some

And in one, there are

point. He picked it up, studied the edges that looked like waves

three photos of himself

on the sea, and knew he had to use it in one of his projects.



from childhood. In each he is climbing off his

Days like that remind him how different his life is now. He

tricycle, the succession

is able to slow down, to notice something as simple and

of his attempts captured

profound as dappled light falling across a sugar maple in the

in black and white photos

woods near his house.

so endearing it’s hard to turn away.

And light has always played an important role in Dave’s life. “When I lived in Birmingham,” he says, “there was this apartment

“Everyone gets the idea of a child trying to get the hang of

building made of yellow brick, ten stories high. I remember it was

something,” Dave says. “It’s unimportant that the photos are of

late in the afternoon, and I’m walking along and it’s dim where I

me. I believe not telling the story all the way through, leaving

am. The sun is still hitting the top of that building against a blue,

things unfinished, lets people put themselves in there and they

blue, blue sky. I remember stopping in the middle of the street

get to be part of it.”

and just staring at this thing. You get moments like that, that feels like connection, and you want to share it.

What he tries always to do in all his work is start a story that begins with him and ends with the viewer.

“In the winter here, I’ll go walking. Sometimes you’ll see the slope of the ground through the trees and rocks. A piece of

“I want people to say things like, ‘That reminds me of something

broken glass might catch the light. You get the sense that there’s

else.’ Or, ‘That reminds me of when I was twelve.’ I want them

a narrative there. That there’s a story and I want to pick the story

to fill in blanks. I think the story we end up with between us is

up and carry it a little further.”

a little more interesting than the one we would have if I told it all by myself.”

And so he continues to work. At fifty-four, he thinks he has enough experience to keep him steady and the same love of

His art and stories continue to unfold in the hills of Arkansas. At

art he had when he started college. Back then, people told him

his cabin, all along the porch, are containers with found objects,

art should be viewed only as a hobby. He now knows none of

from Styrofoam to bits of string, he’s either gathered or other

that was true.

people have brought to him. To see Dave’s work, visit Ozark Folkways in Winslow or One of his best finds was during a walk near Winslow’s train


110 SE "A" St., Bentonville 479.268.4494 Monday – Thursday 11:00am to 9:30pm Friday – Saturday 11:00am to 11:00pm Sunday 10:00 to 9:00pm


usk and Trotter, an American Brasserie opened in 2011, is nestled just one block off the square in downtown

Bentonville. From the outside, it looks a lot like an English pub. Inside you’ll find a casual atmosphere and an eclectic menu. It even boasts an extensive selection of micro brews, wines and house infused cocktails. The menu features Southern comfort food with a European twist. Owner and executive chef, Rob Nelson, who trained in France after attending the University of Arkansas, works with chefs David Bradford and Scott Riedesel to come up with dishes like Fried Chicken and Waffles, Crispy Pig Ear Salad, and Maple Bacon Brittle Ice Cream. And that’s just the beginning. Welcome to Tusk & Trotter.


Chef Riedesel

Chef Nelson

Chef Bradford


Beans and Cornbread

{ $25 }

Definitely not your mama’s beans and cornbread. Housemade duck confit, duck pastrami, corn casserole, cassoulet, and duck cracklin vinaigrette. What a memorable dish! The duck, sitting atop the delicious corn casserole, pulled easily away from the bone and the duck pastrami was some of the best food we’ve ever eaten.

Gator Dog

{ $12 }

This dish combines ALLIGATOR with pork sausage topped with a Creole sauce. It’s served on a housemade brioche hot dog bun with a side of pommes frites, which are like french fries that fall down on your plate from heaven. The gator/pork combo had a slight kick, but it wasn’t too spicy. The Creole topping adds another layer of flavor, and the pommes frites are crispy without the least bit of greasiness.

Maple Bacon Brittle Ice Cream

{ $6 }

What’s that you say? No way? Yes way! You’re combining two foods we adore: bacon and ice cream. What’s not to love? The ice cream was spot on, with tiny chunks of pralines and ribbons of maple. Then you taste it. The saltiness of the bacon. It’s pure perfection.



Valrhona-Callebaut Chocolate Cake

{ $6 }

Dare we say this was the best chocolate cake we’ve ever eaten? This French chocolate chiffon cake is filled and glazed with a dark chocolate fudge sauce. While the staff obtains the majority of their ingredients from within a 150 mile radius, the chocolate is imported from France. A luscious chocolate cake that’s not too sweet and pairs perfectly with their French Press.

Mixology Mixologist, Scott Baker, is the winner of the 2012 Arkansas Bartender of the Year Award from the Arkansas Hospitality Association. They say the proof is in the pudding. This time the proof was in our Pickle Bloody Mary. Next time, we’re going for the Peach Whisky Manhattan, which is just one of their house infused cocktails.

On your trip to Tusk & Trotter, take note of the story on the front

there in October of 2013, making Tusk and Trotter one of the

of your menu. It’s the story of how the French recipes ended up

top 200 restaurants in the U.S.

in Chef Rob’s hands. It includes Jacques Nelson (Rob’s ancestor), a lost recipe book, pirates, and a woman so overbearing her husband took to the sea to try to escape her.

@Urban is looking for the next great restaurant to review. Contact us at

Tusk and Trotter definitely got our attention, and it seems we’re not alone. Their food recently gained the attention of the James Beard House in New York. The chefs have been invited to cook


@recipe and images Laura Hobbs



Thanksgiving is a time for fun family gatherings and delicious food. Thanksgiving is not a time for gloppy pecan pies, mealy pumpkin pies and other desserts that our family members think are appropriate – and edible – choices. For the many Thanksgiving meals I’ve participated in, I’ve leaned toward simple recipes that are flavorful and pleasing to a wide array of palates, without

The dough is an easy-squeezy recipe that comes together in the blink of an eye with the help of the always-handy food processor. While the butter-licious dough chills, you can focus on the filling. For the filling, choose whatever apples you like best; I prefer Granny Smiths for baking because they’re tart and keep their

being overly fussy or complicated.

shape when cooked. As for the pumpkin,

That being said, I’m a firm believer in a

pie pumpkins are perfectly delicious

little elbow grease going a long way. In these times of convenience, efficiency and go-go-go, where it’s much easier to pick up a $6 apple pie at the grocery store than it is to take an hour to make one, any effort you make in the kitchen will be noticed and celebrated, and you’ll be placed on a pedestal. OK, so you’ll at least get lots of

this is a personal choice, too – standard (and appropriately named), but going for an heirloom variety, like blue hubbard or kabocha, can be fun too. The tart’s flavors are complemented with fall spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, and a liberal sprinkling of crunchy turbinado sugar covers the buttery

praise and maybe even a few hugs.

crust. After an hour in the oven, you’ll

With apples and pumpkins in season,

emerge. Serve this rustic tart with a dab




goodies abound – so why not combine both of these autumnal flavors into one delicious dish? Why not celebrate fall’s

witness a browned and bubbling beauty of sweetened cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and let your family sing your praises. Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers – and enjoy!

bounties with a dessert that epitomizes the season’s falling leaves and crisp air? Why not wow your Thanksgiving crowd with something that looks fussy but is, in fact, as easy as…pie.


For the dough: 1 ½ c. flour 2 tsp. sugar ½ tsp. kosher salt ½ c. cold butter, cubed 1/3 c. cold water

For the filling: 1 ½ lbs. pumpkin, sliced and peeled 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1 tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. each ground nutmeg, cloves and salt 3 Tbs. flour 1/3 c. brown sugar 1 ½ c. sugar 2 Tbs. bourbon or whiskey 2 Tbs. coarse turbinado or decorating sugar



Make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and whirl to mix. Add the butter and pulse into pea-size pieces. Drizzle the cold water over the crumbs and pulse until just moistened. Turn dough out on a floured work surface and gather into a ball, turning to combine any dry crumbs. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375° and put an oven rack on the bottom rung. On a greased baking sheet, place the pumpkin slices in a single layer. Roast, turning once, until tender when pierced with a fork, about 12 minutes.

Set the chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll into a large disk, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour the apple/pumpkin filling into the center of the dough, leaving at least 1 ½ inch border. Fold the edges over the fruit, allowing the dough to pleat as you go. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush the folded edges of the dough. Sprinkle the edges with the coarse sugar. Bake the tart until browned and bubbling, about an hour. Allow to cool before cutting.

In a large bowl, mix the apples, spices, salt, flour, both sugars and bourbon or whiskey until evenly coated. Add the roasted pumpkin and toss gently to combine.



¾ oz Vodka ¾ oz Fulton’s Pumpkin Pie Liquor ½ oz Amaretto ¾ oz Irish Cream Cinnamon Stick Fill a lowball glass with ice. Combine vodka, Fulton’s Pumpkin Liqueur, amaretto, and Irish Cream. Stir well and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy responsibly with friends!

Sponsored by Cheers Liquor


4000 Rogers Ave. Fort Smith 479.782.9463 Cheers of Fort Smith

@story Whitney Ray @images Courtesy Elizabeth Osterberger, Lizard Eye Photo




e were late for dinner, or so she thought. For most of the day time had crept by like coal turning in to a fine

diamond, but now, somehow, time sped up. Minutes seemed like seconds. We approached Madison Square in Savannah. My phone, which I had strategically placed on vibrate, buzzed in my jacket pocket. The sun was setting. Our pace quickened.

An Arkansas guy meets a girl in Florida and they fall in love in Georgia. This is their story. A month before, I'd planned the whole thing. The third smartest thing I did, besides finding the woman of my dreams and asking her father's permission, was hiring a professional photographer. Lizard Eye Photo was complicit in my scheme. Together we

some, according to locals, have ghosts.

planned, emailed, worried. I had to surrender control. The photographer was in Savannah. I was hours away in Tallahassee.

On our first trip, we walked for hours on the brick streets and

I searched the internet, studied maps and plotted.


sidewalks, past houses, hotels and museums. When we tired

photographer visited the squares. Considered their benches,

of walking we sat on a bench in a shaded square. The sun went

the surrounding buildings, statues.

Savannah has eleven

down as Elizabeth and I gazed at a statue of a confederate

squares, each with its own history. Some are haunted, others

soldier hoisting the Stars and Bars, standing amid leaves and

are immortalized in novels and paintings. One had a special

limbs of the magnolia trees that framed the sculpture. I watched

place in my heart.

Elizabeth as she watched the people passing by. I fell in love.

Savannah was our first trip as a couple. Elizabeth Cate and I had

I kept it a secret. It was too early. We were too new. In the

been dating less than a month and on a whim, I'd suggested the

beginning, a relationship is like an egg balanced on a spoon; there's

city of Southern sorcery. Days later, I learned just how magical

room for the egg to wobble, but move too fast and the egg crashes

this city could be. Savannah has the largest historical housing

to the floor where it can never be salvaged. I let the moment pass.

district in the US, more than three square miles. Many, like the

Instead I snapped an arm's-length photo of us with my cell phone.

world famous Mercer House, were built during the Civil War.

Not a month passes where I don't scroll through my phone

Some date back to the American Revolution. All have histories,

and look at that picture. The quality is weak, but the emotion


remains strong. So fresh are those memories, I decided it was time to take the next step in our relationship. I looked at the picture. I knew what I had to do, but I didn't know where to begin. All the squares in Savannah have benches. Most have statues. It had been more than a year since our first trip to the small Georgia city and my picture revealed few clues. I searched frantically online. I Googled "Savannah Squares" and "Savannah Statues." Each query created a new search, uncovered a new question. I viewed online maps, used satellite images to zoom in on every bench. After several days I narrowed my search to just two squares.

Then after reexamining my

picture, Eureka! Only one bench on my whittled down list was surrounded by shoulder high bushes. I had found the perfect place to propose. My birthday was near. An unassuming distraction. I played it loose, causally suggesting Savannah for the celebration. She agreed. I booked a hotel across the street from Madison Square.

percent. I called Lizard Eye. She told me the showers had been

The square where I fell in love. I told Elizabeth I wanted to have

spotty and any rain wouldn't last long. Sunset was due at 7:30.

my birthday dinner within walking distance of our hotel, and to

My faux reservations were for 7:00. If we were running on time

leave the dinner reservations to me.

(and it didn't rain) I'd have thirty minutes to pop the question and pose for pictures before we lost light.

With two weeks left, I decided this proposal needed some horse power. I contacted Dee Thompson, owner operator of Madison

On the day of my caper, rain chances fell to ten percent. It was

Tour Company, and told her my plan. Dee arranged a horse and

sunny and comfortable for September in the South. Elizabeth

carriage to meet me in the square after my proposal. Lizard Eye

took me to lunch, ice cream and a walking tour. At 3:00 we

Photo helped add some flare by securing a bouquet of bright

headed back to the hotel to watch the Hogs. This was the

flowers and a bottle of our favorite champagne, Rosa Regale,

perfect excuse to allow Elizabeth to rest a while and give her

which in Savannah you can drink right out in the open.

plenty of time to get dolled up. I told her after dinner we would go to a Jazz club, with a posh dress code. I put on my best


I checked the weather daily. Ten days out and the forecast

sport coat and my black cowboy boots. I hid the ring in my sock.

showed no rain. Five days later the rain chances grew to thirty

Elizabeth wore a black lacy dress.


Five minutes till 7:00. I texted Lizard Eye, "Leaving in 5. R U

out of hiding and continued snapping pictures. A tourist yelled,

there?" My phone buzzed. "Here and Excited!!! Good Luck!"

"Look." Elizabeth began to shake. She said yes.

We had exchanged cell phone numbers and pictures days before the trip. Her job was to arrive in Madison Square early

Moments later tourists asked to see the ring. Then I explained

and hold our bench.

As we entered the square, slightly late

to Elizabeth that the photographer wasn't random. There were

for our dinner reservations, but on time for our future, our

tears. We kissed. We posed for pictures. She stared at the ring.

photographer recognized me from the picture I sent.

Our carriage arrived. I uncorked the champagne, gave Elizabeth the flowers, and toasted our future.

We made eye contact. I winked. She stood up and walked across the square. I turned to Elizabeth and asked her if she

We boarded our carriage and rode through the historic streets,

remembered the bench. She didn't. She was in a hurry. She

under moss-covered trees, drinking our bottle. A newlywed

tried to keep walking. I grabbed her hands. From across the

couple in a passing carriage wished us well. The horses’ hooves

square our image was captured, two lovers at a crossroad

clipped and clopped on the brick streets as the warm Southern

in a historic square. I explained to Elizabeth why the bench

breeze picked up. We headed toward our future on the happiest

was special and told her how much I loved her. My intentions

night of our lives.

became clear. I dropped to one knee. Our photographer came




@story and images Jim Warnock




here’s a treasure waiting for you in Franklin County, near

Oklahoma City. Dale goes on to say, “The Marinoni Scenic Area

the small town of Cass. One local backpacker recently said,

is one of the most intimate and inspiring sections of the OHT.

“Hiking there is like walking through a beautiful cathedral!”

It’s secluded and packed full of dramatic landmarks. The area

Those who have experienced the Marinoni Scenic Area would

is now more accessible than before with the addition of the

completely understand this statement.

Dawna Robinson Spur Trail at Indian Creek, making for one of the best day hike opportunities in the entire region.”

Imagine a place with twisting waterfalls, arching rock bluffs and towering trees. Walk along a gentle stream that flows over rocks

It’s fitting that this area feels like a sanctuary and that it

into quiet, clear pools. The sounds of gurgling water, windblown

memorializes the lives of two special individuals. Paul A.

trees, and a variety of songbirds will soothe your soul. Leave

Marinoni was from Fayetteville and was involved in volunteer

your cell phone in the car because there’s no coverage here;

efforts with Tim Ernst’s father. Tim, renowned outdoor

who wants to hear cold digital sounds in this acoustic setting?

photographer and author of the Ozark Highlands Trail Guide says, “My dad had his first heart attack when I was only six, so he

The Marinoni is beautiful in every season. Fall colors glisten

was unable to take me to the woods like he would have wanted

and shimmer, appearing as stained glass atop pools of water.

to. When I was seven, I began spending a lot of time with Paul

Winter brings the possibility of stunning ice formations and

Marinoni, hunting and camping during annual retreats into the

frozen splash patterns around waterfalls. Spring brings dwarf

woods. Paul was a real character, one of the most down-to-

crested irises peeking out from the most unlikely cracks and

earth and honest people you would ever meet.” Given Tim’s

crevices. Their violet-to-purple hues sparkle against damp

sentiments, it seemed proper to name this area after a man who

stone walls. During any season, you’ll find lush green moss-

influenced others to appreciate the Ozarks.

covered sandstone and lichen-speckled bluffs. Your greatest challenge on this hike might just be keeping your footing as

The short trail allowing us to enter this natural area is named

you gaze up, entranced by the beauty.

in memory of Dawna Robinson. Dawna and her husband, Bob, spent years maintaining sections of the OHT. She was

Access to this jewel of a place used to be difficult and limited

well known for her love of the trail and her desire to share it

to strong, long-distance hiking legs. The Ozark Highlands Trail

with others. “When the new Indian Creek Spur Trail was first

Association (OHTA) held a weeklong work camp in March of

proposed, Dawna's spirited personality and dedication came

2011 and built a .6 mile spur trail that connects to the Ozark

to mind as a fitting tribute to memorialize how the entire trail

Highlands Trail (OHT) just west of the Marinoni Scenic Area.

came into existence through the hard work and perseverance of

You’re now able to hike a couple of miles and find yourself in

volunteers,” says Mike Lemaster, President of the OHTA.

one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas. In many ways the Marinoni Scenic Area reflects qualities of these “Well worth a 3-hour drive,” says Dale Fudge, a hiker from

two lives. Sitting at the edge of Briar Creek, you’d think these



bluffs had always been as they appear today but this valley

OHT Access. The trail is on the north side of Hwy 215 and begins

was shaped by centuries of water and ice. There’s an honesty

at an opening in the fence directly across from the Indian Creek

and straightforwardness in its beauty. Giant rocks stand like

OHT Access sign.

monuments of strength where they folded down to the creek years ago. Although fragile, there’s a sense of permanence here

The spur trail is marked with 2x6-inch blue metal blazes. You’ll

and although subtle, the beauty is deep and unmistakable in

hike .6-miles to the OHT and then turn right, hiking another 2

any season.

miles to the Marinoni Scenic Area marker at the base of a bluff. Hiking out-and-back gives you approximately 5.2 miles. With a

If you’ve never visited the Marinoni Scenic Area, it’s an

shuttle you can hike through to the Lick Branch Trailhead which

experience not to be missed. If you have hiked the area, you

will be a 5-mile hike and cover even more scenery.

will want to return again and experience an even deeper appreciation of its beauty. So, lace up your walking shoes!

For More Information:

Let’s go visit an Arkansas natural cathedral and pause there as

Ozark Highlands Trail Association

it becomes our own special place of sanctuary and reflection. Ozark Highland Trail Association Facebook page

Getting there: From Hwy 23 just north of Cass, turn onto Hwy 215 east. Travel 7.4 miles to Indian Creek Canoe Launch and


Ozark Highlands Trail Guide by Tim Ernst


@short story Marla Cantrell



t was blowing up a storm when we started to practice, our

knows what to do.

bluegrass band called Sweet and Lowdown, but that don’t

stop Effie. He thinks you got to play no matter what. If the

“I ain’t doing mouth-to-mouth,” Effie says, while the rest of us

tornado sirens go off down in town and one of our old ladies

are trying to right him.

calls up here at the hunting cabin we all share, Effie’ll say, “Ya’ll can go get in your fraidey holes if you want to. Me, I’m playing

King comes to soon enough, and he leans up on his elbow,

my fiddle.”

looking like ten miles of bad road. And just then, the hail starts and it sounds like gunfire when it hits the tin roof.

Well, you can’t go to the storm cellar with your tail between your legs, so we stay, me and Layman and King, even though

“My new truck,” King says, and covers his eyes.

King, who plays the washtub, lost his house in the tornado of ’96 and he still shakes when the sky rumbles. And then Effie’ll

Our pickups are parked outside, and they’re getting blasted. I

start in on some song like “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,”

see my old Dodge, the one I’ve had since May left me in ’81.

just to put his spin on how things might turn out if a twister

The hail, big as cotton bolls, is hitting it, and it makes me sick

does find us.

to death.

So we’re playing, me on the guitar, and we’re looking out the

Effie’s truck, his is under the old lean-to carporch we threw up

window, where you can see the sky turning the color of a two-

last summer. Well, sure it is, I think.

day bruise, and King’s sweating and Layman’s got his eyes shut like he does when he plays mandolin, and Effie, truth be told,

Then Layman, who is usually as peaceful as a Sunday morning,

can be a flat-out bully. So he’s getting the show list together

says, “Heck Fire Fuzzy,” and hits the wall with his fist. We all go

and acting like everything’s business as usual.

quiet. We ain’t seen nothing like this before, and it feels like the storm is moving inside with us.

“I think we should start with ‘Sitting On The Front Porch,’ Effie says. “Crowd pleaser, every single time. And then, ‘Baby’s Little

Outside, the rain flashes down. Pounding everything, soaking

Shoes.’ And then ‘Walking With Clementine’ for the old folks.

through what used to be my back windshield.

We’ll finish with ‘God Bless the U.S.A,’ since the veterans’ home is bringing a bus.

“Mercy sakes alive,” is all I can say.

Lightning is hitting closer, the sky like the Fourth of July. King’s

King tries to stand, grabbing my arm to do it. He’s about as wide

sat down, and he’s turned white as milk. King’s a big man. He

as he is tall, and he near about pulls me down on his way up.

can’t even button his overalls up all the way on the side, so when he doubles over and then falls out of his chair, none of us


“I’m off like a prom dress,” King says, “so don’t try to stop me.”


But then he stands still for a second, and pulls himself up as tall

cowboy boots flying off the wood floor.

as he can, like he does when a pretty woman walks by on the avenue. He’s trying to push his chest out farther than his belly,

“You are a liar and a snake,” King Brammel,” Effie says. “A liar

which ain’t no easy task.

and a snake. You’re going to go straight to hell. And just so you

“You’re about as helpful as the U.S. Congress,” “You’re about as helpful as the U.S. Congress,” he says to Effie.

know, when you do, I plan to play the fiddle on your grave.” King looks like he could put Effie in the ground right then and there, his own self. I start to butt in, but then Layman steps in, which is hard for him, I know, because he don’t like fighting.

“We should send you to Washington, D.C., where you could bow up like a mad dog every time somebody has a good idea, and

“Ya’ll cut it out,” Layman says. “Ain’t nobody going to hell. Effie,”

then vote against it.”

he says and then points right at him, “you and King need to quit showing your behinds. That gig on Saturday pays $100, plus

We don’t talk politics, not since we got into a knockdown drag-

they feed us. We ain’t had a set-up like that since we played

out when Clinton ran for governor that second time, but King

that Blue Magnolia shindig for the rich ladies who wanted to

don’t seem to be abiding by any rules today. I take a step

dress up in thousand dollar boots and wear tight jeans and

toward him, in case I need to referee.

drink beer in front of their husbands.”

King just keeps going.

And then Layman swells up, like I never seen him do before.

“You act mighty high, like you’re the backbone of Sweet and

“And Effie, we ain’t playing ‘Walking With Clementine,’ he says.

Lowdown,” King says. He points to Layman. “But Layman here,

“The old folks can do without it for one dang night. I wrote my

he might not play as good as you like, but he’s the one got the

own song and I want to sing it. It’s called ‘She Broke My Heart

news folks out here to do that story calling us the best bluegrass

And Stole My Wallet.'"

band in Arkansas. And he books every show, and when you get drunk, let’s just be honest here, when you get drunk, you can’t

I’d known Layman forty-two years, and that was the first I’d

play worth a dang.”

heard of his songwriting. His ex-girlfriend, the one who brought over the Mexican casserole when Layman’s wife died two years

Effie’s a little banty rooster of a man, but he’s been known to

ago, was probably the inspiration for this new tune. Word was,

fight mean, and when he lunges at King, it takes me and Layman

she was over in Branson now, hooked up with a cowboy singer

to stop him.

who wore a bolo tie and colored his hair.

We’re holding Effie by his scrawny arms, and he’s kicking, his

Effie’s face is scarlet; even his ears are red. He looks like he



might ignite at any minute. But he backs down soon enough,

true. And then she stole my dad burn wallet, took it out and

his shoulders falling. He looks at all of us, me and King and

followed you. You must be a handsome cowboy. You must look

Layman, and then he says, “Fine, that’s fine as a feather. I been

like Johnny Cash. But Dandy Heartthrob, I forewarn you, she is

carrying you ya-hoos for way too long.”

fishing for your stash.”

We ain’t had a setup like that since we played that Blue Magnolia shindig for the rich ladies who wanted to dress up in thousand dollar boots and wear tight jeans and drink beer in front of their husbands.” King is towering over Effie, and for a minute he looks like he don’t know what to do. He eyes me and then Layman, and shakes his head. The wind is still howling, and the windows rattle. Finally, he cuffs Effie on the shoulder, and then the two shake hands, and the rain keeps falling, and the wind whistles down the chimney. Effie has a bottle in his fiddle case, and he goes to get it. “Ain’t nobody driving till the rain stops,” he says. “And that includes you, King.” And then we sit down, and pass the bottle until Layman starts singing. “I loved a girl from Minnesota. Loved her with a passion


We are laughing now. Effie brings out his fiddle, and I pick up my guitar, and Layman his mandolin. King drags out the washtub, and we get back at it, the boys from Sweet and Low Down, and we start to play, better than we have in a long time, maybe better than we ever will again.

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Gobble - November 2012  

November 2012 issue of @Urban Magazine