You - February 2019

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February 2019

CONTENTS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / OWNER Catherine Frederick CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Scott Frederick MANAGING EDITOR Marla Cantrell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS / PHOTOGRAPHERS Marla Cantrell Catherine Frederick Dwain Hebda Jade Graves Jessica Sowards GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jessica Mays-Meadors Artifex 323 PROOFREADER Charity Chambers PUBLISHER Read Chair Publishing, LLC

34 ADVERTISING INFORMATION Catherine Frederick - 479.782.1500




14 30 34 50


THE 46 MILE RIDE Steep hills. Low valleys. Panoramic views. Muscles that burn. Cheryl Hutchens-Perry loves everything about biking, including what it does for her spirit.

A SMALL SLICE OF HEAVEN What could be better than pie? Nothing we can think of! We’ll show you some of the best places to eat pie in Arkansas.

THAT’S AMORE! Spaghetti is a romantic dish, just ask the two lovestruck pups in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp! Our recipe, made with tons of love, will make you just as happy.

WEDDING GUIDE You found the love of your life, and now it’s time to plan your life together! In our Wedding Guide, we’ve gathered local experts to help with those big decisions so that you can relax and enjoy your big day.


EDITORIAL INFORMATION Marla Cantrell - 479.831.9116 ©2019 Read Chair Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions contained in Do South® 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 Do South® or Read Chair Publishing, LLC., including photography, becomes the property of Read Chair Publishing, LLC. Do South® reserves the right to edit content and images. Printed in the U.S.A. | ISSN 2373-1893 Cover Image: Jesse Goll

FOLLOW US Annual subscriptions are $36 (12 months), within the contiguous United States. Subscribe at or mail check to 4300 Rogers Avenue, Suite 20-110, Fort Smith, AR, 72903. Single issues are available upon request. Inquiries or address changes, call 479.782.1500.



from our publisher

Valentine’s Day has me thinking back to my

so deeply, that their romance just kept growing

wedding. Scott and I said our vows in front

as the years rolled by.

of our family and friends at St. Paul United Methodist Church, in Fort Smith. I was a typical

I’ve been asked what running a local magazine is

bride, rushing to get all the last-minute errands

like. I can tell you that there are some late-night

handled, and the night before my wedding, I

hours. That I have to schedule family trips around

lived up to my title of klutz, fell down a flight of

when Do South® is due at the printer. I can tell

stairs and hurt my foot.

you that there are some days when I’m at my son’s basketball game, carrying my computer so that I can work while I sit in the stands.

Like, really hurt it! There I was, hours before my wedding, wondering if I would have to walk down the aisle with one of those clunky black

But none of that is troubling to me. I get to be a

boots you get from your doctor. I decided a trip

cheerleader for Fort Smith and the River Valley. I’ve gotten to bring you stories about our new

to the doctor could wait; I’d walk down the

mayor, about the Ronald McDonald Room at Mercy, where every

aisle in my gorgeous shoes if it killed me!

day they open their doors to comfort and support families whose When I look at this photo, all I can see is my absolute joy and

children are in the hospital. I’ve gotten to tell you about two

not the pain I felt as I tried to stand on one foot! I’d found “the

independent bookstores, Chapters on Main and Bookish, that are

one.” In the years that followed, our family grew. We found a

thriving because you understand the value of reading and the

house in Fort Smith we dreamed of owning and drove by it every

importance of supporting local businesses. I could go on and on.

week, hoping to see a for sale sign in the yard. And then one day, it happened. We called immediately, and before long, the

When I look back to 2010 when I started Do South®, I remember

house was ours and it was one of the happiest days of my life.

thinking about how much we needed a magazine that captured

We were home.

stories and showcased all that was good about this region, and beyond that, Arkansas. I started the magazine almost as a love

In this issue, we have the story of three brand-new, local brides,

letter to this area that I adore.

and as I selected each one to be in this issue of Do South®, I thought about how lucky they were to have their start here

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I’m sending my love and my

in the River Valley, where we understand the importance of

gratitude to our advertisers and to you, our dear readers.

family and community.

Thank you for loving Do South® and for recognizing what a great place the River Valley is to call home.

We have the story of Tom and Cheryl Hutchens-Perry, who met when they were thirteen and twelve respectively, falling in love

~Catherine Frederick


To reserve this free space for your charitable non-profit organization, email:





Night of Miracles By Elizabeth Berg Random House | 261 pages | $26 review Marla Cantrell

I fell in love with Elizabeth Berg’s novel, The Story of Arthur

A cast of other small-town characters round out this thoughtful

Truluv, and couldn’t wait for this sequel, Night of Miracles. In

novel. Iris, hurting from a divorce, becomes Lucille’s assistant.

it, Berg picks up the story of Lucille Howard, who was Arthur

Tiny, the overweight cab driver, enters the story with his big

Truluv’s roommate and dear friend.

heart and good intentions. Monica, who works at Polly’s Henhouse, has a few lessons to learn about love and self-

Lucille is a former elementary school teacher who never

esteem. And Maddy, the young mother introduced in The Story

married. Now in her late eighties, she teaches baking classes

of Arthur Truluv, shows up with big news for Lucille.

in her kitchen, creating masterpieces she also sells to the local diner, Polly’s Henhouse, in a small town in Missouri. Lucille is

As if Lucille didn’t have enough going on, the Angel of Death

precise and direct. When students make mistakes, she lets them

keeps showing up in her dreams. Lucille is determined not

know, partly because that’s her personality, but partly because

to leave this world until she’s ready, something she makes

she believes in the power of baking. After all, there’s nothing

perfectly clear to the angel who’s never met anyone like her.

like watching the delight as those you love taste a fresh-made cake or yeast rolls just minutes after they leave the oven.

Lucille is determined to stay where she is so that she can help Lincoln. She has people who depend on her as well, like Maddy

Her newish next-door neighbors, Jason and Abby, invite her to a

who’s become her family, and the students who take her

dinner of tofu lasagna, which Lucille tells them is not very good.

classes. Even her assistant, Iris, is in need of her as she finds her

While the dinner is far from a success, Lucille does meet the

second chance after a painful divorce.

couple’s son, Lincoln, who starts to visit her house, where she introduces him to John Wayne movies and the delights of baking.

Night of Miracles, while filled with sugar, is never overly sweet. Instead, it is populated with the good and bad of everyday life.

Jason and Abby have kept Lincoln on a vegetarian diet with

If a few baked goods help sweeten the deal, so be it.

no sugar, which Lucille largely ignores. This would be a cause of contention if the family weren’t in crisis. But Abby has been

Author Elizabeth Berg is a genius at writing these quiet stories

diagnosed with leukemia and is getting sicker by the day. As

of people we all seem to know, who ascend to greatness when

she does, Lincoln is left more often with Lucille, who becomes

the need arises. She is a peddler of hope, offering a gentle

his lifeline.

reminder that each of us has a calling to make this world better, using every gift we’ve been given. DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM




Fan Mail

The Calendar February 2019

Send comments and suggestions to

Subscribe Me! Please send me a Do South® Magazine every month in 2019! I love every issue and I want it coming to my mailbox so that I don’t miss an issue. Thank you!

February 23 Fostering Fashion Fort Smith Fort Smith Convention Center

A. Merrell Community History I appreciate that Mr. (Tom) Wing is writing good articles about the history of Fort Smith that we can all enjoy.

R. Barker III

Contests (Deadline February 15th) Go to, click on our “Contests” button at the top of the page. All who enter will be subscribed to our mailing list. Please see rules and policies on our Contests page! SODIE’S WINE & SPIRITS

Get in the spirit with a $25 gift card from Sodie’s Wine & Spirits, your one-stop shop for the best selection of wine, beer, and spirits. Sodie’s also carries an excellent selection of cigars, unique gift items and party supplies.


Order up all your favorites from Arts BBQ & Burgers with a CODE: BBQ

CONGRATULATIONS Congrats to our contest winners from January! Calico County: Christine Schneider Olde Fashioned Foods: Andrea Davis

February 9 Oh WATA Night at the Oscars Fort Smith Fort Smith Convention Center February 9 RAM’s Annual Art Affair: Love Art Fort Smith Fort Smith Regional Art Museum February 10 5th Annual Fort Smith Marathon Fort Smith Downtown


$25 gift card!

February 3 CCMC Chocolate Festival Hot Springs Embassy Suites

February 23

Pardi Gras

Fort Smith Fort Smith Convention Center

February 23 Encounter Tour with Lysa TerKeurst East Side Baptist Fort Smith

February 10 Jeff Dunham North Little Rock Verizon Arena February 15-17 Hearts and Hugs Weekend Morrilton Petit Jean State Park

Submit your events to DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM

L ive ! 5


Don’t-Miss February Concerts



Luke Combs Luke Combs’ album, This One’s For You, was the most-streamed country album of 2018. He was nominated last year for the 2018 CMA Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. You probably recognize his platinum singles like “Hurricane,” “When It Rains It Pours” and “One Number Away.” Don’t miss this opportunity to hear this rising star! Show starts at 7pm. Verizon Arena North Little Rock



Dwight Yoakam Country music legend Dwight Yoakam has been making music for decades, with hits like "Guitars, Cadillacs" and "Suspicious Minds," not to mention his 12 gold albums and nine platinum albums, including one that went triple-platinum. Show starts at 8pm. Temple Live Fort Smith



Winter Jam 2019 This concert features an epic roundup of Christian artists including GRAMMY®nominated Danny Gokey; GRAMMY®- winning recording artist Mandisa; Northern Ireland's Rend Collective; Skillet drummer and female solo rocker LEDGER; GRAMMY®-nominated NewSong; and Dove Award-nominated Gotee recording artist Hollyn. Show starts at 6pm. Verizon Arena North Little Rock



James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt What a great opportunity to hear two recording legends on the same stage. James Taylor teams up with Bonnie Raitt to bring you a concert of a lifetime. If you love hits like Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” and Raitt’s “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About,” this is a night you won’t want to miss. Show starts at 7:30pm. Verizon Arena North Little Rock




Arkansauce Put your dancing shoes on and get ready to hear Arkansauce, the four-piece string band that blurs the lines between bluegrass, “newgrass,” folk, Americana, country, and blues and funk. Show starts at 9PM. Harry’s Downtown Fort Smith




Our Community Cares words Do South® staff

The Gregory Kistler Treatment Center was founded in 1978 by Gregory’s family after they were unable to find suitable therapeutic facilities close to Fort Smith for his injuries in a car accident at age six, and for the special needs of his niece, Michelle, born with spina bifida some years later. A staff of more than a dozen licensed therapists have blended their professional skills with loving care and patience at this outpatient facility. Therapists work with children whose needs range from mild to severe. Individual treatment depends on the diagnosis and treatment can last from a few days to even years. Executive Director Jennifer Kistler explains more about their mission. DS: How many families have been helped through your efforts?

JK: Currently there are over 400 families being served by the Kistler Center. Thousands of families have benefited over the years. DS: How do families find out about your services?

JK: Our services are often recommended by local physicians and by word of mouth. We encourage families to check out our website and Facebook to see all of the services we provide. 3304 South M Street 479.785.4677

DS: What ages do you serve?

JK: For therapy services, we serve children from birth to 21 years of age. Our Community Employment Supports Waiver program serves children and adults with developmental disabilities with an onset before the age of 22. DS: Can you share a success story?

JK: Olivia was born with Down syndrome. When Olivia first came to the Center, she was unable to speak, and lacked the ability to pick up small toys using her thumb and forefinger. Now, Olivia is talking and learning new words every day. Olivia’s ability to draw has improved, along with her use of safety scissors. These skills are vital—the ability to play and just be a child—to gain confidence, to try new things, and to build self-esteem. DS: How can Do South® readers help the Gregory Kistler Center?

JK: Since the Kistler Center is a nonprofit organization, support of our fundraising events, such as A Night in the Caribbean, on March 9, is extremely important. Next month, we’ll showcase another worthy charity in our area free of charge. If you have a non-profit you’d like to see recognized, email us at

DS: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

JK: Put on your dancing shoes and head to the Fort Smith Convention Center on Saturday, March 9, at 6pm. Enjoy great food from 21 West End, including coconut and hoisin roasted pig, chimichurri grilled shrimp, and green curry chicken. An open bar will be available, featuring a mojito bar and specialty cocktails from Top Shelf Entertainment. There will be live and silent auctions. Mr. Cabbagehead and the Screaming Radishes will be performing. Special corporate tables are available for businesses or groups of eight, with advertising, special gifts, and drawdown tickets included. Must be 21 to attend. Call Aaron for more information at 479.785.4677. DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM


We Spell Love R-E-S-C-U-E F










3800 Kelley Hwy., Fort Smith | 479.783.4395 |

Little Girl



Each month, Do SouthÂŽ donates this page to local and regional non-profit animal shelters. If you work with a shelter and would like to reserve this space, please email DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM




For the Love, Go Local! words Catherine Frederick imageS Jade Graves Photography and courtesy vendors

Lost Forty Currant & Cherry Ale, Baileys Strawberries & Cream, Floral Elixir Co. All Natural Flower Syrups, Raptor Ridge Sparkling Wine, Fallen Queen Belgian Style Witbier

Hearts On Fire Engagement Rings, available in Platinum, 18kt. Rose, Yellow and White Gold





Young Living Essential Oils Sticky Sweet Cinnamon Rolls


CALICO COUNTY 479.452.3299



Local shops have the brands you love, in the city you love, for the holiday of love! So, follow your heart this Valentine’s Day and shop local. We promise you’ll find a gift to make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet!

Nubian Heritage Body Lotions, Lily’s Sweets Fair Trade No Sugar Added Keto Friendly Chocolate, Organic Rose Petals

OLDE FASHIONED FOODS Schramsberg Brut Rose, Champagne Flutes, Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne

479.782.6183 / 479.649.8200

IN GOOD SPIRITS 479.434.6604

Tiffany & Co. Sunglasses


GN ReSound LiNX Quattro Hearing Aids







THE 46 MILE RIDE WORDS Marla Cantrell images courtesy Cheryl Hutchens-Perry


On New Year’s Day, when fog rolled in and the temperature

1970 and Alma was a bit of a culture shock. At school she

topped out at forty-five degrees, Cheryl Hutchens-Perry

asked classmates where the town’s planetarium was, where

bundled up, put on her helmet and climbed on her gravel

the museums were. The town, whose population hovers

bike that she’d named Lilah. Her goal was to ride a forty-six-

around 5,700 today, was considerably smaller then.

mile loop that would take her from her hometown in Alma, through Rudy, on roads that bank the Ozark National Forest, then Dyer, and finally home.

Gradually, Cheryl found her own planetarium underneath the blue-black bowl of night sky. Museums were replaced by trips to ponds and streams where she observed fish and frogs,

She’d taken up riding again on Memorial Day, 2018, after a

native grasses, the tumble of water rushing across rocks.

family friend, Michael Wiseman, offered to help her. She’d bought a mountain bike from Phat Tire. “The first time, I thought I was going to have a heart attack and die. I was so out of breath,” Cheryl said. But they continued training, and Cheryl grew stronger.

While she didn’t have the hills of San Francisco, she still rode, often to Van Buren, the next (slightly bigger) town over, where, in the summertime, she’d spend much of the day at the city pool.

As a child, Cheryl had been an avid rider in San Francisco, zipping around on a green Schwinn Sting Ray with a banana seat. At twelve, she moved from San Francisco to Alma. It was

While she was adjusting to small-town life, Tom Perry, a boy who would play a starring role in Cheryl’s life, was finding his footing as a brand-new resident of Van Buren.



One day, when Cheryl was visiting her cousin, she met Tom.

He was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, often

On the surface, nothing much happened. But deep down,

called farmer’s lung or birder’s lung because these groups

everything that mattered occurred in those few seconds.

are most likely to be exposed to certain offending organisms

Cheryl took one look into Tom’s sky-blue eyes and felt more

specific to working the land or with birds. The doctors told

than her young mind could comprehend.

Cheryl that Tom would be an invalid, that he probably wouldn’t live very long.

Tom felt it too, and soon they were burning up the phone lines. They were boyfriend and girlfriend long before Tom turned

“Tom looked at me from ICU with chest tubes in his body.

sixteen and took Cheryl on a proper date. “We had the same

He said, ‘Oh, don't worry. I'm going to get better and we’re

thoughts,” Cheryl said. “We’d finish each other’s sentences.”

going to have our business.’ We lived in a trailer at the time, and he said, ’I'm going to build you that big house. And we’re

On June 5, 1976, Cheryl Hutchins, age eighteen, a week after

going to have more babies.’”

graduating from Alma High, married Tom Perry in her parents’ yard. That day, it rained, and Cheryl remembers feeling the

He did everything he set out to do. They had two more children.

weight of that, of worrying the day might be ruined.

They created Tom Perry Landscaping, which operates today in seven states. Their big house sits like a promise on their forty

It is said that rain on your wedding day is a sign of a good union, but Cheryl didn’t know that. All she knew was that her outdoor wedding was in jeopardy. But then, around five in the

acres. Cheryl got her degree in nursing, and later enrolled at the University of Arkansas, in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, working to become a Family Nurse Practioner.

afternoon, the sun came out. The orange daylilies on the lawn In 2016, when Tom’s condition finally caught up with him,

all but glowed.

Cheryl put her schooling on hold, and stayed by his side, Guests sat in borrowed chairs on either side of the aisle, and Cheryl walked between them and into her grand, new life.

Cheryl and Tom Perry

There were times, of course, when Tom and Cheryl’s fairytale was anything but. Sometimes money was tight. Sometimes their two big personalities clashed. But always they loved each other. In 1987, Tom and Cheryl were parents to a son and daughter. Cheryl was an artist with a growing following, her sketches and paintings showing up in homes across the region and beyond. She’d also been in and out of nursing school, juggling motherhood, trying to make everything fit. Tom, who was most at home surrounded by nature, loved the land and the plants that sprang from it. He’d worked as a stone mason, at a garden center, and in landscaping, and planned to have his own landscaping business one day. But something was going terribly wrong inside his body, and he eventually ended up in ICU.





convincing him to try her preferred plant-based diet, a decision

she thinks of a million things: rain on her wedding day, the

she believes gave him an extra year. But on March 26, 2018,

first time she saw the love of her life whose eyes were the

Tom passed away.

color of the bluest sky, the promises he made and kept.

Tom left this world gently, held by his big, caring family.

The physicality of biking mirrors the process of working

They’d made a playlist for him, and as he passed from this

through grief. “These hills or waves of grief are so hard. You

plane to the next, his favorite song, “Gold Rush,” by Crosby,

look around, and you think, I can't get through. I can't do it.

Sills, Nash & Young, played.

You keep your head down and you just keep going, and you get past it, and then you're like, I can do it. I'm capable of

They’d talked a lot about death and dying, something Cheryl recommends for every couple. “In one of our conversations

doing so. The next hill doesn't look as intimidating and the next wave of grief doesn't feel as powerful.”

toward the end, he said, ‘You know, I wouldn't change anything good or bad.’ He said, ‘I would want it to be just

On New Year’s Day, Cheryl stopped just short of her forty-

exactly the way it was.’”

six-mile goal. Dusk was falling and her bike, Lilah, didn’t have lights. It was fine, though. Her ride had given her what she

Not having Tom beside her was heartbreaking, and she did her best to deal with the grief that followed her every step. When Cheryl was asked if she wanted to bike again, she understood

needed. There’d been an incident with a dog that had left her shaken for a bit. But there’d also been a stop at a spot that seemed like the top of the world. If heaven could be more

how much she needed to ride.

beautiful, she didn’t see how.

Once, on a trip to the Sequoyah National Park, she’d stood

Since then, she’s been asked to ride along with Pandemonium

beneath the towering wonder of her favorite tree, a giant named President, and she asked it for the secret to life. The

Cycling, an all-female bike club and race team in Tulsa. Her childhood friend from Alma, Pamela Smith Mitchell, invited

answer she heard was “be still.”

her, something that thrilled Cheryl.

As odd as it seems, it’s easier for her to be still while she’s in

One of the last requests Tom had was for Cheryl to “see

motion. Her mind and spirit settle down. As she peddles up a steep hill at three miles an hour, her only thought is getting to the top. As she sails down the other side at thirty-one miles-

everything.” She started with a ride on January first, past land she and Tom had seen a thousand times. She felt him beside her. She thinks she always will.

per-hour, she’s giddy with the feeling of freedom. In between,





WELCOME HOME WORDs Lauren Walker and Do South® Staff images courtesy Cobblestone Homes



Home Specifications 3,879 sq. ft. 4 bedrooms 3 full bathrooms 2 half-bathrooms 3-car garage

Cobblestone Homes | 9600 Wey Bridge Drive

An elegant SCANDINAVIAN FARMHOUSE boasts minimalistic styling yet bold colors and rustic finishes throughout. BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL hardly describes 9600 Wey Bridge Drive in Fort Smith, Arkansas, located in Stoneshire at Chaffee Crossing, a neighborhood developed by Cobblestone Homes. Stoneshire is an upscale subdivision which abuts Ben Geren Park and Lake Torriane, with direct access to the Fort Smith trail system.





“Our goal was to build a spacious home with an open floor plan that encourages social gatherings while remaining cozy and warm enough for everyday living," says builder/ broker, Rocky Walker. “We desired to build a premier home that included everything a potential home owner could dream of. We spent countless hours researching current home trends, while relying heavily on our combined forty years of experience in the home building industry.” If the specialty touches and standout design features showcased throughout this elegant home are any indication of success, we’d say mission accomplished. DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM


STANDOUTS: Hardwood floors, specialty tile, luxurious carpet, quartz countertops, specialty finishes, curved stairway, brick accents, a shiplapthemed powder bath, painted brick fireplace, wood-beamed ceilings. GOOD FOR THE EARTH; GOOD FOR YOU: Cobblestone Homes designs every home for energy efficiency. This house has a high-efficiency York heating and air equipment, with a 95% furnace and a 16-Seer A/C. There’s also a gas water heater that provides instant hot water.

Not to miss: - Mud area with lockers and desk - Option for additional upstairs laundry room - Spacious study room - Media/game room with a snack bar - Covered back porch with gas fireplace, and TV cabinet - Outdoor kitchen beneath a cedar pergola - Oversized insulated 3-car garage - Free-standing bathtub in master bathroom

You’ll love: - Bold navy cabinets in the kitchen with natural and gold accents - Custom barn doors leading to the dining room - Accent brick wall in the study - Double convection oven in the kitchen - Built-in drawers and cabinets in the master closet - Cedar closet - Full irrigation system - Exterior LED accent lighting





– GET THE LOOK – Windows, Exterior Doors, Fireplace, Interior Doors, and Millwork: Lumber One | Garage Doors: Overhead Garage Door Shower Door, Mirrors: Arkansas Glass & Mirror | Brick & Stone: Godfrey & Black | Lighting fixtures: Lites Etc. | Wood Flooring, Tile, Carpeting: Allison Flooring | Kitchen/bath fixtures: Ferguson Supply | Plumbing Contractor: Precision Mechanical Inc. | Electrical Contractor: LCR Electric | HVA Contractor: Air Pro Heating & Air | Security Contractor: Custom Electronics | Insulator: Insulation Works | Cabinetry: Deaton & Son Custom Cabinets | Painting Contractor: Merry Custom Painting | Paint Vendor: Sherwin Williams | Countertops: Monk Granite Countertops | Appliances: Metro Appliances | Tile Setter: M&S | Siding: Phillips Siding Co. | Landscaper: Greenview Lawns | Hardware: Hearth & Home





Gifted words Marla Cantrell IMAGE courtesy Fort Smith Regional Art Museum

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum Receives Endowment from the Windgate Foundation We’re fortunate to have the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum

allows participants to express their feelings abstractly with

(RAM), which offers visitors free general admission. Last year,

color on three canvases, available to be taken home afterward.

the museum welcomed 12,307 visitors, and in December, RAM

The fee is $65, and all supplies are provided.”

announced it had been awarded a $12 million endowment from the Windgate Foundation, which will be distributed in

From July 30 through August 3, the museum will offer RAM

installments each quarter.

Art Camp, a week-long, all-day camp with classes for kids aged five through eighteen, at a cost of $40 per child. On

The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum will use the endowment

February 1, the exhibit, Bold Improvisation: Searching for

for educational programming and general operations. RAM

African American Quilts, opens to the public and runs through

offers a wealth of free programs. Melissa Conry, who’s the

May 5. Timothy J. Clark: Masterworks on Paper, is on display

marketing coordinator, said their most popular program is

through March 31.

RAM Saturdays, a weekly family education program that takes “More exciting news is that we are currently working on

place from noon until four in the afternoon.

opening a new permanent gallery, the Dr. William E. Knight Every other Tuesday, RAM offers Toddler Tuesdays, for children

Porcelain Gallery. Several years ago, before we were gifted our

ages eighteen months to four years. The group creates art,

current building at 1601 Rogers Avenue, a large collection of

listens to music, and participates in a fun activity. On alternating

Boehm porcelain was donated to us by Dr. William E. Knight.

Tuesdays, there’s Homeschool School of Art, an art history class

Until now, we never had the available space to display this

for homeschooled students ages five through eighteen.

exquisite collection.”

On the first two Wednesdays of the month, Arts with Grace,

Finally, for those who love art, a good party, and a great

geared toward senior citizens and persons with disabilities,

cause, RAM is holding its annual black-tie optional fundraising

takes place. Drop in and Draw is held every Thursday, complete

gala, Love Art, on February 9. To learn more, visit or

with easels and a live model.

call 479.784.2787.

In addition to the free programs, there are several paid workshops planned. “Starting this year, RAM will offer In Touch, a three-hour workshop held on the last Sunday afternoon of every month,” Melissa said. “This class uses the Art4Healing method developed by Art & Creativity Inc., which

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum 1601 Rogers Avenue Open: Tuesday through Saturday, 11AM-6PM; Sundays, 1-5PM



>>Do South Reviews<< ®

words Catherine Frederick Images courtesy vendors words Catherine Frederick Images courtesy vendors

This month I’m reviewing sweet treats that are actually healthy to eat, luxurious candy-themed sugar scrubs to moisturize your skin, and insulated drinkware that eliminates warm, watered-down beverages forever. All are per fect Valentine gifts for your honey bunny! Have a product to submit for consideration? Please email your request to

SmartSweets SmartSweets recreates the traditional candy favorites we all know and love with only 3 grams of sugar per bag, compared to traditional gummy bears at 24 grams per bag! Varieties include Fruity Gummy Bears, Sour Gummy Bears, Sour Blast Buddies (Vegan), and Sweet Fish (Vegan). Not only are they delicious, they’re also high in fiber, allergen-friendly, non-GMO, and free of: dairy, soy, lactose, peanut and tree nuts, gluten, sugar alcohols, and artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. You can feel good about enjoying candies that are bursting with juicy, fruity flavor. Plus, they’re made in the USA!

$19.74 for a 6-pack,

Bonblissity Bonblissity has created a line of luxurious products designed to bathe your skin in moisture with their blend of premium, natural ingredients including fine salt, pure cane sugar, and a delicious blend of richly-scented botanical oils and butters. My favorite is the Sweet & Single Candy Scrubs. They look like tiny pieces of candy, individually wrapped. Simply unwrap, massage, and rinse for the softest hands and moisture that won’t wash away like lotion does. Other products include Body Truffles, Bath Bombs and Vegan Soaps in amazing scents such as Lemongrass, Lavender, Mango, Vanilla Brown Sugar, Ocean Mist, and Sweet Satsuma.

$4 (Truffles), $8.50 (Soap), $20 (30 Singles),

Snowfox I love warm wine and watered-down cocktails… said no one ever! Snowfox insulated stainless steel partyware is the solution to keeping your favorite drink at the right temperature while tasting its best. They are unbreakable, perfect for indoors or out, and created in classic stemless silhouettes to complement your drink of choice. Choose from wine, champagne, martini, rocks, high ball and beer glasses in a variety of fun and vibrant colors. Snowfox even features cocktail shakers and wine crafts. Make watered-down or warm beverages a thing of the past and enjoy your favorite drink the way it was intended, down to the last drop!








Words and images Jessica Sowards


I spend the winter craving the world to turn green again. By

the seasons could be anticipated by what lined the Walmart

February, it is a fairly desperate situation. Every morning, I sit

shelves. And according to the Walmart shelves, in February I

at the living room window overlooking my garden. There is

should be purchasing my bathing suit for the year and filling

more mud than anything in my view, and it has been months

my cart with red and pink heart-shaped things for those I love.

since it has been the source of beauty and comfort that it was in the summer.

My world is different now, and so is my February. February 14 is a muted affair in our home. On Valentine’s morning, I

When I lived in town, before embarking on the adventure of

make the boys egg-in-the-hole toast but with a heart-shaped

having a small hobby farm where we grow our own food,

hole. Even though the days are still cold, it's been long



enough since the solstice for the days to be lengthening, so the hens start laying again just in time for our Valentine’s Day traditional breakfast. I give each boy a small box of chocolate and let them eat all five pieces at once, which makes me cringe, but it thrills them. I've never cared much for Valentine’s Day, to be honest. I'm not much for grand gestures. Rather, I've always found the simple beauty of everyday romance to my liking. My husband Jeremiah knows this, so he brings me coffee with just the right amount of cream to the garden on summer mornings. He builds shelves in the greenhouse and hangs a planter box on the window of the chicken coop. These are the gestures that move my heart.

"We've settled into the kind of romance that I never even knew to dream for, the kind with strong love and a comfort like wool socks on a cold morning. Love like that doesn't find much expression on the aisles of Walmart, so Valentine’s Day for us means egg-in-the-heart-shaped-hole and the warmth of the home we've

We've settled into the kind of romance that I never even knew to dream for, the kind with strong love and a comfort

built together. "

like wool socks on a cold morning. Love like that doesn't find much expression on the aisles of Walmart, so Valentine’s Day for us means egg-in-the-heart-shaped-hole and the warmth of the home we've built together. Then comes February 15. Oh, February 15! This day is circled on my calendar year after year. This is a day I long for, yearn for, dream of every day of winter. The frost moves in at the start of November. It kisses the garden with a roughness I resent and sends her away until spring. Every year, I know I will wake up the morning after frost and watch every zinnia and every sunflower turn black. Then I begin my wait for February 15. February 15 is seed-starting day. It’s roughly six weeks before the average last frost date in my region, so it is the day I annually drag my seeds out and spread them across the kitchen table. I look through all the varieties of tomatoes and peppers and choose which ones will get space in my garden. Then I trek across the yard to my greenhouse and tuck the seeds into soil to start their lives. And just like that, the garden season is conceived.





Jessica Sowards

February 15 isn’t a magic day or an exact science. It’s just the

There will be weeks before the threat of frost passes. We

day I set for myself, the beginning of the end of winter. The

may have inches of snow to look forward to. There may be

first half of February may find me yearning at the window,

mornings when the trees look encased in glass. Nonetheless,

aching for the gray world to turn green. The fourteenth of

the womb of the greenhouse will glow with warmth and light.

February may find me pressing a heart-shaped hole in bread

My precious seeds will break beneath the soil, and their green

for a holiday I really don’t understand. But the fifteenth

sprouts will raise their arms to the sky. The goats’ bellies will

finds me hopeful, rejuvenated and ready to start my year of

swell while their kids roll beneath their tightly stretched skin.

growing food. Jeremiah and I will carry on in our everyday romance. We will Then, every day after is one of wonder. I don’t know what

break ground on a new garden and build a new greenhouse.

it is exactly about it, but I think this may be the most

We will aid the goats in birth and make no less than a hundred

wonder-filled time of the year. It doesn’t hold the harvest

egg-in-the-hole toasts with regular old circular holes.

of summer or the fire of fall. It doesn’t hold the sparkle of Christmastime, but this is the season of hushed expectation.

It will be a year full of beauty and bounty, but none of it will hold the special place in my heart that February fills.

To watch Jessica’s garden tours, visit her YouTube channel, Roots and Refuge.





HONEY PIES 315 North Bowman Road, Suite 14 Little Rock, AR 501.613.7950 | There may be pie places in Arkansas that are older, but none quite like Little Rock’s Honey Pies. Launched in 2016 as a delivery service, Honey Pies moved words Dwain Hebda images courtesy featured locations and the Arkansas Department of Tourism

up to partnering with food trucks then finally opened its stylish West Little Rock storefront. The place is the brainchild of baker extraordinaire and northwest Arkansas native Sharon Woodson, who learned the art of baking pies at her grandmother’s side. Honey Pies has expanded into other sweet treats and features breakfast and lunch menus, but the headliner is still the decadent pies the place cranks out one after another. Workers start baking at 6AM and continue throughout the day to meet demand, with an average of eight varieties available at any given time. Chocolate lovers need to try the chocolate fudge brownie pie,


a consistent winner with food critics and the store’s number one seller. Think of a gooey fudge brownie that poses as pie

Oh, the glory of pie! Sure, cake may be dressier and cookies more portable, but nothing says, “Thanks for dropping by,” like a beautiful slice of pie.

minds over this treat. Rounding out the top three sellers are coconut cream with toasted meringue and possum pie, comprised of layers of cream cheese and pecans, chocolate

Variety? There’s a pie for every day of the year and two on Sundays. Artistry? There’s nothing more beautiful in all the world than a perfectly browned meringue, a flaky crust curled around the season’s brightest fruit or the story of a family captured in Grandma’s pecan masterpiece.

cream and toasted meringue in the signature all-butter crust. Honey Pies was even a People’s Choice nominee for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame last year.

Arkansas certainly knows how to do pie! Here’s a short list of shops that every true pie junkie should visit before they die. We know this doesn’t begin to cover every one of the great bakers in the Natural State, so don’t be shy. Let us know where you get your favorite slice for the benefit of your fellow pie junkies. Together, we can make the world a nicer, sweeter, more delicious place.

(or vice versa), and you’ll understand why people lose their

The Food Network listed the store’s peanut butter cream pie as one of the best




Staff are loath to share too many trade secrets, saying only that lots of love and butter make all the difference, which are words we can all live by.


Sharon Woodson


R H O D A’ S F A M O U S H O T T A M A L E S 714 St. Mary Street Lake Village, AR 870.265.3108 It’s hard to say who it is that comes to Rhoda’s: Tamale fans who venture into pie or pie fans that start with tamales. Both Charlotte Bowls

dishes are equally legendary. Rhoda Adams has been making both the sweet and the savory


from this spot for decades and has developed a nationwide

290 Main Street

following as a result. She once said God called her to make pies,

Keo, AR

which she sold out of her house and then turned the proceeds


over to her church. Originally, she only made sweet potato pie, but eventually caved to popular demand that she make a pecan

Keo, Arkansas, is a sleepy little bend in the road about a

variety. The dessert world has never been the same.

half hour from downtown Little Rock. Hunters annually whiz past it to get to the duck hunting fields of the Grand Prairie,

Rhoda also makes mini pies that perfectly polish off a meal or

and antique lovers know it as a prime spot for scouring for

tide over pie pilgrims. The other thing she’s perfected is the

treasures (although the stalwart Morris Antiques is no longer

half-and-half pie (get the pecan and sweet potato variety).

here, having called it quits last spring). Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales was enshrined in the lexicon of But one corner of this tiny community on the threshold of

Arkansas food in 2017 as part of the inaugural class of the

the Arkansas Delta is known for something else, year-round.

Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. But it’s not such accolades or the

Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets has become a landmark for

stack of glowing reviews that have cemented this spot in the

delicious pie creations that are favorites of locals, visitors and

public’s consciousness. It’s the line of people that continues

national media alike.

to wind its way to her door, from all points in the nation and beyond that truly speaks to her mastery in the kitchen. Take

The headliner here is coconut, named one of The South’s

one bite, and you’ll understand.

Best Pies by Southern Living a couple of years back. Charlotte Bowls, owner and master pie-maker, can’t make these treats fast enough to satisfy her legions of fans, mixing fresh coconut into both the filling and into the dish’s towering pompadour of meringue. As if that weren’t enough, Charlotte also cranks out a dozen other varieties—the chocolate and caramel are also highly recommended—so you’re sure to find something you’ll like. A word to the wise: It’s generally only the tourists, out-oftowners and rookies who stand in line to experience Charlotte’s creations. Locals know to call in their order and pick it up. Also, if you order off Charlotte’s lunch menu, it’s not only something of a tradition to order dessert with your entrée but highly recommended. When the day’s supply of pie is gone, it’s gone. DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM

Rhoda Adams




FORK & CRUST 5208 W. Village Parkway #11, Rogers, AR, 479.268.6634 600 N. Mission, Fayetteville, AR, 479.445.6925 What makes pie great—or any food or meal for that matter— is how it inspires conversations and creates connections. But sometimes it’s the story behind the dish that’s equally captivating. So it is with Lori Rae, creator of northwest Arkansas’ Fork & Crust Pie Company. The mother of four, her family was rocked by the sudden diagnosis of her daughter— an aspiring soccer athlete—with a heart condition that ended her dream of playing college athletics. The mother/daughter duo was watching TV one day after the diagnosis and happened upon a cooking show where they were hand-pitting cherries for pie. The youngster asked her mom if they could try making one, and, despite having never baked a pie before, Lori agreed. It was an afternoon project that somehow eased the stress and pain of what had entered their lives. The cherry crumb pie baked that day is still prominently on the menu at Fork & Crust, and while it is a sentimental favorite, the pie elbows for top honors among a dizzying array of other varieties. Notables include the Salty Honey, a custard number made with local honey and finished with sea salt. Or, try the carrot cake pie which contains exactly what the name suggests. Fork & Crust has grown to two locations and hundreds of fans. But for Lori, the magic of that first creation has never quite worn off. “I wasn’t looking for pies; instead, they found me,” she writes on her website. “I never would have guessed how therapeutic making that pie would be for both of us. It gave us something new to focus on, and as we watched our creation bake in the oven, we shared a feeling that, somehow, everything was going to be okay.”

If you have recommendations for outstanding pies in Arkansas, email us at





That’s Amore!

Homemade Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe Catherine Frederick



Italian Meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef

1/4 pound ground veal (or use 1/2 pound if not using pork)

1/4 pound ground pork (or use 1/2 pound if not using veal)

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, whisked

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups sauce (store-bought or homemade -

recipe below)

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

1 lb. spaghetti noodles

Marinara Sauce

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup red wine

1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper





method For the Meatballs In medium bowl, combine beef, veal, pork, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, nutmeg, parsley and Parmesan. Add egg and bread crumbs, stir to combine. Form mixture into 2-inch balls. In large sautĂŠ pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add meatballs to pan, taking care not to crowd them. Carefully turn with fork until fully cooked and browned all over. Remove to paper towels. Discard any remaining oil, but do not clean pan. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions.

For the Sauce Heat oil in same pan meatballs were cooked in. Add onion, sautĂŠ over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute longer. Add wine, cook on high heat, scrape up all the bits in the pan, and stir until almost all the liquid evaporates, 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add cooked noodles to sauce along with meatballs. Toss to coat. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley. Serve with crusty French bread.



Chocolate Raspberry


ingredients 1 1/2 oz. Godiva Milk

Chocolate Liqueur

.75 oz. Raspberry Liqueur

.75 oz. Vodka - Chilled

Sweetened Cocoa

Chocolate Shavings

recipe Catherine Frederick

method Combine vodka, raspberry and chocolate liqueurs together—stir gently. Chill for 1-2 hours. Chill martini glasses by filling with ice, let stand 5-10 minutes, discard ice. Rim glasses in chocolate liqueur and chocolate shavings. Pour mixture into chilled glasses.

Please drink responsibly. Never drink and drive.





Oaklawn Bets BIG on the Future words Dwain Hebda images Oaklawn Racing & Gaming

It’s an ordinary weekday at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and despite the biting weather, the parking lot is loaded past the second lot. Icy barbs ping the pavement and leave frosty traces on the shuttle bus turning its endless loops outside. Those that don’t hop aboard—who elect to traipse from their car to the front door tinged with neon—are bundled and hunched against the cold. But still, they come.



Inside, there’s no hint of the blustery weather, no trace of the

“Oaklawn has one of the best models in the entire country

howling wind. The rain outside doesn’t stand a chance against

of racing and gaming working well together,” said Jennifer

the chattering regiments of brightly-lit machines. It could be

Hoyt, media relations manager. “You go to any other

eighty in the shade or rain four feet high and risin’, and you’d

racetrack that has gaming, and their grandstands are empty.

never know it. In here, it’s always a perfect sixty-eight degrees,

Here, we pack them in.”

with the forecast for a sunny tomorrow right around the corner. In fact, despite a less-than-ideal weather year, Oaklawn Times are good at Oaklawn. And when voters overwhelmingly

reported record-setting wagering for its two premier race

approved Issue 4 last fall, a measure to allow casino gaming

days that pushed the total handle for the season up eleven

in the state, none showed the fruits of that measure more

percent. April fourteenth's Arkansas Derby saw a total

immediately than the state’s foremost racing and gaming

handle of $16.2 million, easily outpacing the former record,

institution. Less than two weeks after the election, Oaklawn

2000’s $15.1 million. Equally impressive, the Rebel Stakes’

executives unveiled a $100 million-plus expansion to include

$10.8 million total handle represented the highest single

a 200-room, high-rise hotel, 14,000-square-foot event center

non-Derby day’s wagering in the track’s history.

and expanded gaming area. “We have probably the most aggressive stakes schedule of Louis Cella, president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club, and a

any other racetrack that's preparing horses for the Kentucky

legacy who can trace his family’s leadership of Oaklawn to its

Derby,” Jennifer says. “We have four stakes starting with

founding in 1904 called the project “a new chapter” in the

our Smarty Jones on opening day. We have raised the purse

storied entertainment complex, one that even predated Issue 4.

of our Rebel Stakes to $1 million, so that gives us two $1 million Kentucky Derby preps. The horses that you see here

“While one may assume that today’s announcement comes in

are going to be the ones you hear about in the Kentucky

response to the passage of Issue 4 on November 6, we actually

Derby, The Preakness, and The Belmont Stakes.”

began planning for this during our last expansion in 2014,” Louis told a crowd during the project’s November 19 unveiling. “Our goal then, as it is now, is to use a quality gaming experience to enhance racing and help attract even more great champions to Arkansas. “As we enhance the entertainment experience for our customers, we will also




racing and help make Arkansas and Hot Springs even stronger regional tourism destinations.” In fact, Oaklawn had already made headlines in advance of the November elections with the announcement that it would lengthen its 2019 live season, racing into May. It was a move that many tracks around the country could only dream of. DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM




Artist’s Rendering of Oaklawn Expansion



Oaklawn expects the increasing numbers of fans, particularly

Similar forethought has gone into planning for the racing

those motivated to gamble, to flow from the ponies to the tables.

season as it now extends into potentially hotter weather,

While gaming and racing fans have traditionally represented

namely, industrial ceiling fans and expanded air conditioning

two distinct clienteles, that trend appears to be changing.

in the grandstands. Another perk that long-timers will notice

Throw in the soon-to-be-built on-site accommodations, spa,

is the creation of a winner’s circle.

dining and event space to host big-name entertainment, and there will be little that people can’t see or do here.

“For the first time in the 115-year history of Oaklawn, horses are actually going to return to a dedicated winner’s circle,”

“I think a lot of it is, we offer a full entertainment package.

Jennifer says. “We’ve always had one in the infield for all of

You can come here for the races and then you can come

our stakes winners, but in the past, if you just won an everyday

into the gaming side and have live music Thursday through

race, you came back to the track to the main area, and you

Saturday nights,” Jennifer says. “We have the restaurant

stayed on the track to get your picture taken.”

options as well. So, people are making that transition, they’re not just leaving and pouring out [after the races].”

For everything that is changing and will continue to change at Oaklawn, some of the best are still here, such

Construction on the expanded gaming area and new hotel

as the accessible paddock for viewing mounts, the helpful

will begin at the completion of the 2019 racing season and

red-coated employees and, most of all, the legendary corned

is expected to be done in 2020. The new amenities, funded

beef sandwiches. But as the looped presentations on the

entirely with private money, are expected to generate around

casino monitors attest, what lies ahead is unprecedented in

400 new jobs. Other improvements will begin to appear for

the company’s history, grand improvements that will tow the

the gaming side of the house even sooner.

entire city of Hot Springs in its wake.

“Now we won’t have to say ‘Vegas-style games’ anymore

“Hot Springs only has a population of 36,000, but I think

because we will actually have craps, we will actually have

because of the jobs you'll see Hot Springs grow,” Jennifer

blackjack,” Jennifer says. “That is going to happen as early

says. “We’ll probably have people from all over the country

as April or May of this year. That’s an exciting thing for us.”

applying for our jobs. There’s going to be that many positions that are going to be opening.”

Oaklawn operates day and night, rain or shine, construction or no construction. Jennifer says that also goes for the months

“I think if Oaklawn hadn't made the strides we've made to

ahead when the improvements are in full swing and for that,

improve our business, I don’t think you would have seen the

the complex has planned accordingly.

rebirth of Hot Springs. But because of our commitment to making things bigger and better, the other places in town see

“We began the first phase (of construction) in the end of

that the potential is there to grow.”

2008, completed that right before the 2010 racing season,” she says. “Then we had another expansion that began at

The 2019 racing season kicked off January 25 and runs

the end of 2014, and we opened in 2015. So, this the third

through May 4.

time that we've had a major construction project going on throughout the summer.” “Our goal is that yes, the construction will be happening, and the parking lot will have a lot of things going on, but our guests will not be inconvenienced. This past summer we did a lot of things in preparation. We repaired the parking lot, we added shuttles. The guests will come in, they'll find the shuttles, they

OAKLAWN RACING AND GAMING 2705 Central Avenue Hot Springs, AR 1.800.OAKLAWN

will still find the same great service once they get in.” DOSOUTHMAGAZINE.COM


44 42


Downtown Eureka Springs

extraordinary escape to

EUREKA SPRINGS words and images Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, has a mysterious effect on people. No one seems to be able to explain quite why they love the place, which is secluded and peaceful with winding mountainside streets. The city has flair like no other. Chosen as one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this Victorian village boasts the country’s only entire downtown on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, this picturesque town has painstakingly preserved Victorian homes that hug the sides of cliffs and hillsides. There is block after block of one of a kind shops, boutiques, fine art galleries, craft emporiums, spas, and restaurants. The town’s history is colorful and lengthy. Artifacts of Eureka Springs’ rich past are displayed in the Historical Museum. The town first drew visitors in the late 1800s because of the healing powers believed to be present in its more than 60 natural springs. The healing tradition, spawned by the springs in the early days, lives on today in the abundance of day spas, massage therapists, herbalists, and alternative healers. While the springs today are not potable, they are wonderfully landscaped and lushly gardened. They provide excellent picnic and rest areas as well as a beautiful arboretum-like feel.



Eureka Springs is a small town and proud of it! The absence of traffic lights, malls, and giant discount stores is a big part of the lure. Fewer than 2,500 folks live in this magical, friendly village, and yet there’s as little or as much to do as you like. Many come to Eureka Springs to enjoy the slow-paced peace and quiet, but those who are looking for an adventure can find plenty to do as well. More than 20 million have seen the Great Passion




outdoor drama, a depiction of Jesus’ last days on earth. One of the country’s largest sanctuaries Canoeing Lake Leatherwood

for big cats, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, rescues large felines and places them in natural habitats. Visitors can enjoy nightly music shows,

Lake Leatherwood Dam

annual jazz, blues and bluegrass festivals, opera, and the country’s oldest folk festival. There are free outdoor concerts in Basin Spring Park, shows at the city auditorium, and colorful parades for every occasion! Trolleys are a preferred way to get around the winding, crisscrossed streets. Trolleys run year-round, though fewer days and hours during the winter months. There are more than 115 stops around town making it convenient for everyone. Lodging options include something for everyone. There are numerous family-owned motels, historic hotels, and Victorian homes turned into bed and breakfasts, as well as nightly rentals. Unique treehouses, rustic cabins, and quaint cottages are

Despite Eureka Springs’s small population, more than 300

tucked into the hillsides and woods. You can even sleep with

residents are working artists, helping the town make the list

tigers outside your window at Turpentine Creek!

of “Top 25 Arts Destinations” by American Style Magazine for the past several years. The entire month of May is May

Eureka Springs can satisfy every appetite for everything from

Festival of the Arts, dedicated to all the arts including theater,

down-home southern food to romantic, candlelit dinners.

performing arts, and music. A monthly gallery stroll and artists’



studio tours celebrate these artists’ works on a regular basis.

dishes, authentic Italian cuisine, and spicy East Indian fare.

For those who wish to expand their own personal creative

You'll find Mediterranean, Chinese, Irish, Mexican, Cajun, and

art expression, the Eureka Springs School of the Arts offers

Thai as well. You can even dine on a dining car at Eureka

workshops for adults and children throughout the year.




Springs & North Arkansas Railway.





May Festival of the Arts Parade

Outdoor adventures abound in Eureka. Two rivers and three

Lake Leatherwood offers a huge variety of trails for mountain

lakes surround the city. On Table Rock Lake or Beaver Lake

bikers of any experience level, from beginners looking for a

you'll find excellent fishing, and smooth water for canoe/kayak

scenic ride through breathtaking Ozark Mountains to seasoned

float trips. Take a guided cruise, rent a boat or jet ski, or even

bikers looking for professionally developed routes and are up to

paddle board! The 1,600-acre Lake Leatherwood City Park is

the ultimate challenge of the Eureka Springs Downhill.

one of the largest city parks in the nation. The hills surrounding the 85-acre spring-fed lake are crisscrossed with hiking and

This is decidedly not an ordinary town. For more information or

biking trails. Part of the Oz Trails system of Northwest Arkansas,

to plan your extraordinary escape, visit




southern fiction

T Stung FICTION Marla Cantrell Image James Wainscoat


The newspaper photo is one of my clearest memories of

it, so prominent that a boyfriend I met in high school called

Arizona, of Phoenix in particular, where I lived for a few years

me Spot. I later married him and then divorced him. I never

with my mom and dad, my older brother and sister. I remember

liked nicknames.

our house as being stucco, bright yellow or maybe mustard colored. I remember a patchy lawn, a chunk of turquoise I

In Phoenix that day, I was standing beside our kitchen table. It

once found there, my mother dressed in a blue circle skirt and

was after seven in the morning. My father, who’d drug himself

blouse, the skirt and cuffs and collar edged in rickrack. Those

home after the overnight shift at Reynolds Aluminum, sat in one

things make sense. They were the ingredients of my life: lawn,

of the metal kitchen chairs. His right leg crossed his left knee,

house, stone, mother.

and he leaned slightly backward, this posture pushing him away from the Formica table, which may have been red, or white, it

But the photo is another thing. I was five years old, with white-

escapes me now. He wore blue jeans, a tight-fitting white Fruit

blond hair and blue eyes. My left eye had a blotch of green in

of the Loom T-shirt. His hair, not quite as blond as mine, was


southern fiction

wavy and smelled of VO5, the hair tonic in a tube that populates

father made a decent living—and coffee, of course, and the

most of my early childhood memories.

golden scent of nicotine smoke. We’d left a bottle of ketchup on the table and a set of Tupperware salt and pepper shakers that

He held the newspaper, The Arizona Republic, at arm’s length.

always felt slightly greasy when you picked them up.

I liked the span of it in his hands; it seemed almost too big to hold, spread out as wide as the bedsheet that covered my

If my mother had stepped in, she would have given me a different

small bunk. I moved closer to my father; in the morning he

story, I’m sure of it, one with some sunshine at the end. But she

seemed alien, having been someplace I’d never seen before.

walked my brother and sister to school most mornings so she

I approached him the way you might your dog that had run

wouldn’t have been there.

away and now stood just beyond your grasp at the edge of a As years passed, I would wonder what kind of person snaps a

busy street.

picture of someone in pain instead of calling for help or helping On the table, a cup of black coffee steamed. In an ashtray with a

themselves. But at that moment, I felt as if there must be

weighted bottom filled with pebbles and covered in a green and

something I could still do, as I still believed that wrongs could

black tartan, a cigarette sat clouding the air. This was the image

be magically righted, and that time was a fluid thing that sailed

of an everyday morning: hot day, hot coffee, fire-lit cigarette.

between dimensions. I cried often as a child, and the tears rushed

The word I think of now, a word I did not know then, is swelter.

to me then. I bit my bottom lip. I tilted my chin upward. I did not want to cry, mostly because my father was talking to me as he

If I had been the kind of child that asked questions of adults, I

would another adult. I didn’t want that to stop.

might have spoken to him about the irony (another word not mine yet) of filling an already blistering morning with steam and

A cavern opened in the pit of my stomach. I’d gotten something

smoke and fire.

seriously wrong. Where I should have seen distress, I saw pleasure. I remember how shamed I felt, how distrustful I suddenly became

There were men in suits in the photos in the paper. Stern men in

of my own reasoning.

black and white, looking sour above a caption that read Moscow Snubs Peking. Beside the men were artist-drawn ads for plaid

My father laid the paper down, picked up his now-stunted

dresses worn by slim women wearing gloves and barely smiling

cigarette. He had strong, square hands and a wiry body. He was

as if the effort of being beautiful took away their ability for mirth.

a runner when almost no one ran. He boxed, believing it might get him somewhere. He wore a silver ID bracelet my mother had

As my father turned the pages, I saw a photo of a man whose

taken back from an old boyfriend and had re-engraved for him.

face was covered in bees. It was a miraculous thing, the bees’ bodies making a mask and beard across his face. His mouth was

“You okay?”

uncovered though, and the man seemed to be smiling wide. I nodded yes. I pointed. “Look,” I said, “that man with the bees is happy.” It felt like something an adult might offer. I remember making

“Go on then,” he said. Mornings were hard for him, the

my hands into fists, standing on one foot and then the other,

transition from industry to slumber that was exactly the opposite

waiting for my father to respond.

from most of the world. He sheltered his bedroom windows with heavy covers against the Arizona sun. He liked the TV on, said it

He must have read the caption beneath before he said, “That

kept out other sounds like traffic on the street, dogs barking, the

man is in pain, Barbie.” He snapped the paper between his

occasional shouting match between the couple who lived in the

two hands and folded it so that everything else on the page

house next door.

disappeared. “See,” he said, “the bees are hurting him.” When he was in bed, I stole the paper from the table. The photo The kitchen smelled of last night’s T-bone steak dinner—my

of the bee man was framed by newsprint, still folded the way my




southern fiction

father had done it, and I took it to my bedroom and looked at

Well, live and learn.

it for a long time. I wanted to ask my father if the bee man had died, but I was too afraid of the answer. Also, we never bothered

The husband I have now raises bees. They are in a thicket at the

my father when he was trying to sleep.

edge of our property. He started out by bringing home a bee house that looked like a birdhouse with small pieces of bamboo

I have often gotten other people’s stories wrong since then. I have

inside where native bees stopped to rest.

thought men in love with me who were only seeking comfort for a time. I have taken a comment from my favorite aunt as a barb

Last spring, he bought an actual hive, white boxes stacked like

when it was only a joke and quit talking to her for twelve years.

dresser drawers, and now he wears a white suit and a netted

I have left jobs that felt like a stone around my neck only to find

helmet and long gloves. Bees require rituals, and sometimes my

the rock waiting on my desk at my next place of employment.

husband carries a can that emits smoke to wrangle them this way and that. He reminds me of a priest then, of a holy man. I watch

Recently, I traveled two thousand miles to see my newest

from our kitchen window, but I never go out.

grandchild. He is so young he still looks like a wise old man. His biggest accomplishment is fitting his tiny fist inside his yawning

He says that a beekeeper in England died and his bees followed

mouth. His parents, my daughter and son-in-law, sleep in shifts

the funeral procession to the cemetery, a cloud of bees swaying

to make sure he is tended. The way they care for him makes

this way and that until the coffin was in the ground. Once it

my heart hurt.

was, the bees congregated on the new grave, unwilling to let their master go.

For some reason, it reminded me that I was left at a Big Boy restaurant when I was nine months old. My parents always

My husband sees bees as righteous things with a purpose that

laughed when they told the story. My mother would say, “We

creates sweetness and love that lasts beyond the grave.

got to talking, and we just forgot about you. Well, you were sound asleep on the other side of the booth, Barbie! I had to tell

I have told him the story in the Arizona Republic. My husband

the waitress what color dress you had on to get you back! I said

doubts my father’s interpretation of the photo. He has seen similar

yellow, but I had no idea. I guess I got lucky because you were

photos himself. It’s a beekeeper’s trick, he says, as old as time.

wearing yellow, or maybe I should say you did! Ha. Ha. Ha.” As I write this, my husband, a tall man covered in white, is On the ride home, I’m sure I sat in my mother’s lap in a station

surrounded by insects the color of gold. I can see him from my

wagon whose safety-belts were tucked inside the seats to keep

spot by the window. His body moves easily among the tribe he’s

from getting in the way. In my parents’ defense, those metal

fostered. He will be grinning when he returns home, bounding

buckles were branding irons in the Arizona heat, so maybe they

through the kitchen door. I will watch him closely, squinting so

had the right idea.

that I take in only a section of his face at a time. I will watch him until I’m certain I’ve read the planes of his face correctly,

I fell somewhere in the middle of my parents’ brand of parenting

that I’ve interpreted the posture of his body in just the right

and my daughter’s. When her older girl was two years old, I

way. Agony, I learned early, can look a lot like joy. It can be so

asked her if she’d ever crawled out of her crib in the night, and

similar, you can hardly tell.

roamed the house. I wanted to share a similar story about my daughter, which was one of my favorite memories, but she said, “What kind of parent leaves a baby alone to wander?”




Before You Say “I do” Congratulations, you’re getting married! But wait a minute. There’s so much to plan before you say “I do,” isn’t there? The ring! The venue! The photographer! How to wear your hair! And that’s just the start. It can seem overwhelming. Take a breath. Feel better? Wonderful, because we’ve got you covered. Do South ® has gathered experts to make your dream day even dreamier. Plus, using trusted, local professionals should


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Hannah Wackerly was not officially engaged to Christopher (Chris) Davis until two days before their wedding at Chateau on the Greens in Greenwood, Arkansas. You might wonder how they were able to pull off a wedding with 100 guests in fortyeight hours.


words Marla Cantrell Image courtesy Christopher and Hannah Davis via Special Moments Photography

The answer lies in the engagement ring, those few ounces of gold and gemstones that set the heart aflutter. Chris wanted to Christopher and Hannah Davis

The Two-Day Engagement

offer her a ring when he proposed. But when they first talked about getting married, he couldn’t afford the one he wanted. They made plans without it, and when Chris, who’d been serving in the Marine Corps in Spain, flew home for the wedding, he popped the question in front of the entire airport. That was on December 20, 2018. The wedding, which they’d been organizing for seven months, took place on December 22. Hannah describes their wedding as “laid-back formal.” Their colors were white, hunter green, red, and gold, a nod to the holiday season. The couple’s best moment was as Hannah was just about to walk down the aisle and Chris saw her in her gown for the first time. That day would never have happened if Chris, who was serving in the Marine Corps, hadn’t visited Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, as part of a recruitment program. Hannah, a senior, had lingered in the hallway hoping to strike up a conversation but never got up the nerve, although later she learned that he had, in fact, spoken to her, but she was in such a rush to get to class she didn’t hear him. After he’d deployed to Cuba, he messaged her on Instagram, and the romance began. Hannah says they couldn’t get enough of each other, even though they were more than twelve hundred miles apart. Two months later, Chris came home, and Hannah was at the airport, standing beside his mom and sister. “When he was finally in plain sight, we locked eyes. I don’t think the two was with a big hug, and I felt like I was so at home. Ever since that day, I knew I was going to marry this man.” When the wedding took place, Hannah and Chris said ‘I do’ surrounded by family and friends. And every day since, Hannah says she’s been surprised by just how much you can love and cherish another person.


of us had ever smiled so big. Our first interaction with each other


Jade Graves Photography 4000 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith Find us on Facebook 479.782.9463 479.996.5199


I'm a River Valley-based photographer specializing in wedding Cheers Liquor strives to be a unique liquor store catering to

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5622 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith 479.452.2140 Valentine’s Day is upon us, and that means love is in the

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words Marla Cantrell Image courtesy Logan and Sara Elizabeth Howard via Anne Marie’s Photo and Video

On December 22, 2018, at the Enchanted Wedding Chapel in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Sara Elizabeth Chavis married Logan Howard in front of 125 guests. The two had met while students at the University of Central Arkansas. The following year, they started dating. Sara remembers the moment Logan first told her he loved her. “We were hugging, and his heart was pounding so hard before he said it, and it was the sweetest thing because I knew how

The Ultimate Proposal

much he meant it.” The two went through all the rituals of dating, including meeting the parents. “I knew Sara was the one whenever she met my family for the first time a few months into dating,” Logan says. “It was a Super Bowl party at my parents’ house with all my siblings. They loved her, and I knew I didn’t want to bring anyone else home to them.” On January 20, 2018, Logan proposed. “I showed up at his apartment, and when I opened the door, there were rose petals and pictures of us lined up the staircase. I walked upstairs and heard our song playing (“Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran) and turned the corner and there were hundreds of candles lit around the room. He was standing in the middle of the living room on a blanket that he had gotten made with our names on it. It was a complete surprise, and I loved how sweet and intimate it was. Just the two of us!” Their wedding was planned in less than a year, with so much care. Their colors for this holiday wedding were burgundy, black, gold, ivory, and lots of greenery. Sara carried a handkerchief from Logan’s mother’s side of the family that is nearly 120

Logan and Sara Howard

years old and has been carried by all the women in the family on their wedding day. For her something blue, Sara wore her grandmother’s ring (Sara is named after her grandmother), and


all the granddaughters have worn on their wedding day. The two decided to have a First Look, where couples see each other and take photos before the ceremony. “We were having a winter wedding, the daylight hours were limited,” Sara said. “We didn’t want to have to rush taking pictures afterwards. Reading letters to each other made the moment special before Logan turned around to see me.” It was a perfect day and the start to a perfect life.




2717 South 74th Street, Fort Smith 479.274.6600

314 Lexington Ave., Fort Smith 479.649.3435

Weddings involve a lot of planning and preparation. If you

Love is in the Hair! On your wedding day, you'll have plenty


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words Marla Cantrell Image courtesy Aaron and Hope Ann Harris via Virgila Dale Photography

On December 29, 2018, 250 guests gathered at The Loft at Stone Oak, in Greenwood, Arkansas, to witness the wedding of Hope Ann Durham and Aaron Harris. The couple’s first date was in October 2016, and Aaron had shown up twenty minutes late, a fact that would not typically be endearing. But he was escorting someone home from a wedding rehearsal dinner, and Hope Ann was impressed by how kind he was. The two talked for hours, and they fell head over heels. The next evening, Aaron took Hope Ann to his best friend’s wedding,

The Message on the Pumpkin

where Aaron confessed to the groom that he’d met “the one.” Hope Ann felt the same way. On September 24, 2017, after nearly a year of dating, Hope Ann was tending to the fifty guests she’d invited for a cookout to celebrate Aaron’s twenty-fourth birthday. The two had barely had a chance to speak. She had hoped he’d propose that night, but her parents told her he hadn’t talked to them about it, so she didn’t think it was going to happen. “I had thrown my hair into a ponytail and taken my heels off,” Hope Ann said. “Aaron asked me to take my hair down and put my shoes on so we could take a picture. After that, my mom insisted that I go grab pumpkins she bought for the kids to carve.” Hope Ann didn’t see the sense in that because all the kids were swimming. But she did it anyway, and along the way, Aaron picked up a white pumpkin with the words “Will You Marry Me?” printed on it. He dropped to one knee, teary-eyed and grinning. Of course, she said yes. Their wedding colors were navy blue, ivory, and cranberry. Hope Ann wore her grandmother Miriam Robinson’s mink fur shawl as


Aaron and Hope Ann Harris

her something old, and a pearl necklace and bracelet, gifts from Aaron, as her something new. Before the ceremony, the two had several photos taken together, something she’s glad she did. “Aaron and I got to have a moment to look at each other and hold one another while our photographer was taking pictures. I loved this. It didn’t matter that I had a first look. When it was time for the ceremony, my dad, Aaron and I were crying all over again as if we hadn’t seen each other yet.” The wedding, filled with love, was the perfect start to their life as husband and wife.




9505 Chad Colley Blvd., Fort Smith 479.222.6322

Sodie’s 2 You is the first mobile bartending and beverage

You’ve set the date, sent out the invitations, and now you’re

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Contact us at 479-926-2YOU or

looking for a place to start your life together. The Reserve would love to be your first home. Outstanding amenities include granite countertops, laminate floor wood floors, large walk-in closets, pool with cabanas, clubhouses, theater room, tanning bed, business center, and state of the art fitness center. We even have beautifully furnished units with everything included: furniture, bedding and kitchen items, and all utilities paid. Call today at 479.222.6322 to schedule your tour and find out more at

Read Chair Publishing, LLC 4300 Rogers Avenue, Suite 20-110 Fort Smith, AR 72903