Butterfield LIFE July + August 2024

Page 1

Cr ystal Bridges Presents

Cliburn Concer Series t

Kevin Spears CEO


Kelly Syer Director of Marketing

Alice Dawson

Marketing Specialist

Leann Pacheco Sales Counselor

Dave Marks Move-In Coordinator


Riki Stamps Director of Programs & Events

Michael Burks Asst. Director of Programs & Events


2024 Council Members

Doug Prichard, President

Marolyn Fields, Vice-President Adella Gray, Secretary

Jerry Rose, Past President Liz Brantley, Marian Catron, Roy Clinton, Vernon Collins, Ned Irving, Lenora Metz, David Renfroe, Carol Spears


Chuck Nickle, President Will Clark, Vice-President LeRoy Duell, Treasurer Dr. Kim Chapman, Secretary Chuck Culver, Dr. Michael Hollomon, Mark McNair, Bill Mitchell, Tom Olmstead, Nina Simmons, Tim Stults, Beth Vaughan-Wrobel, David (Dave) Williams

1923 East Joyce Boulevard

Fayetteville, AR 72703

Main: (479) 442-7220

Marketing: (479) 695-8056


Butterfield LIFE may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from the publisher. Butterfield LIFE is published by Butterfield Trail Village. Contents © 2024. All rights reserved. Produced by DOXA / VANTAGE doxavantage.com

Opened in 1986, Butterfield Trail Village is a locally governed 501(c)(3) non-profit retirement community. As Northwest Arkansas’ only comprehensive Life Plan Retirement Community, BTV offers active older adults worry-free living that is secure, independent and fulfilling – and the freedom to enjoy plentiful activities both inside and outside the Village.

From the CEO

There’s a great quote by business management expert Henry Mintzberg, "Strategy is not the consequence of planning, but the opposite: its starting point.” As Northwest Arkansas continues to evolve at a remarkable pace, Butterfield Trail Village must identify strategies that will keep our campus vibrant and sustainable for the people who live here now – while we also keep sight of how we will meet the needs and desires of the next generation of retirees.

Butterfield’s strategic planning committee will begin meeting in July, and the group’s initial charge will be to purposefully think, envision and discuss what we want for the future of our campus and residents. The strategies that emerge will serve as the starting point for developing intentional, achievable plans – such as how to best meet the healthcare needs of our population and how to effectively use our available land and building footprints. I am excited about the possibilities and look forward to keeping you informed as things unfold.

Even before any long-term strategies are unveiled, I am happy to share immediate news that will positively impact BTV. First, we have officially welcomed our new Senior Director of Healthcare, Vickie Prince. Her redefined role reflects some expansion of responsibilities, namely to include oversight for all skilled healthcare services, as well as Resident Care services for those in the independent living setting. By incorporating her talent and guidance at each level of our healthcare offerings, BTV residents will experience more seamless and engaged care at every stage of their health journey. Second, the construction of two new 1,600-square-foot Village Homes is well underway. Their completion will financially benefit Butterfield – and bring us great new neighbors who have patiently waited for the opportunity to move to our community.

As you read this issue of Butterfield LIFE, you will see good things are already happening all around us. I have heard from so many who share my enthusiasm for the BTV culture that has been built over decades. It is time to begin molding the shape of what is to come, and I have faith we will accomplish amazing things together.

Best regards,

Buzz Baker A Life of Adventures

In Buzz Baker’s apartment, two paintings showing the starkness of a snow-covered rural landscape hang near the couch. These serene scenes aren’t unlike the northern Wisconsin dairy farm where he grew up during the Great Depression.

But the harsh reality of that frigid climate meant that blizzards were a way of life. The family strung a clothesline between the house and barn with a worn bicycle tire on it to use for navigation. A similar setup connected the house and outhouse. Some winters, temperatures warmed to 20 below from 40 below.

After Buzz, now 91, was delivered by his grandfather at his home, he was brought to the log house where his parents used kerosene lamps and candles to cut the darkness. His family lived there until he was 5, when they moved into a house with electricity.

“Things were kind of tough back in those days, but everybody was in the same boat,” he said. “I don’t think I missed a meal, on a dairy farm of course.” He’s named after his grandfather, Julian Crawford

Baker, who was a physician. His brother, 16 months younger, couldn't pronounce Julian, so instead called him “Buff,” which eventually became Buzz. The name, which has stuck with him since age 3, has been a good thing: “Buzz is hard to forget.”

A Solid Foundation

At age 6, Buzz rode a bus 50 miles each way to school. His dad bought three local dairy barns. Buzz recalls how he and his brother took care of many farm chores: giving the cows hay, filling the water tank. Early on, he decided he didn’t want to be a dairy farmer; it was too labor intensive.

In the middle of World War II, the family moved to Hawkins, a town of 596, where he attended grade school. After his grandfather died, they moved to Eau Claire, and Buzz went to high school and started playing football. They moved again to Stanley, where he played football, basketball and baseball. Baseball was his favorite, and, today, he enjoys going to Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Arkansas Razorbacks games.

Words by Michelle Parks
Photos by Stephen Ironside

When the Korean War came along, Buzz and three friends enlisted together, flipping a coin between Air Force and Navy. Navy won. The friends were dispersed after boot camp, and Buzz was assigned to the USS Dyess, a destroyer ship, in December 1951. He was lead petty officer over the supply division, overseeing the cooks, laundrymen, barber and sick bay, along with storerooms, refrigerators and pantries.

During his service, they went to the Mediterranean three times, as occupation forces as well as NATO forces. The USS Dyess protected the fleet when it moved, particularly through anti-submarine and aircraft detection.

“It was a wonderful experience for me. It was like a very liberal education,” he said. Over the years, he’s attended reunions for the ship all across the country.

He bought into a Cherokee 235 plane and got his private pilot license in 1972.

He could take the family to see his parents in Albany, Georgia — about a five-hour flight. One Christmas, he and his son, Marty, went to visit Buzz’s brother and family, and he met the woman who’d become his second wife.

The people here – they’re all so bright and well educated; many are professors who’ve retired, or doctors or lawyers, and there’s a lot of former military.
– Buzz Baker

Faye was a paralegal who’d been divorced for a while, just like Buzz. They ran up high phone bills for a stretch, and then he invited her to come to North Carolina, where they married a couple years later.

He served four years in the Navy so he could get the GI Bill to pay for college. He earned an associate degree at a two-year junior college, then-Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia. He went on to Valdosta State University for a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry. Since he was named after grandfather, he figured he was supposed to be a doctor.

Buzz met his first wife, Patricia Sullivan, while he was in junior college. They married his senior year at Valdosta State and soon had two sons, Michael and Martin. It was a tough relationship. He was working very long hours as a pharmacist, not able to be home very much, and she didn’t cope well with the strain.

After 17 years, they divorced. She went back home to her family in Georgia, taking their oldest, Michael. Marty stayed with Buzz through high school and college graduation.

Second Chance at Love

Buzz took flying lessons when living in Goldsboro, North Carolina, a town of about 65,000, because it was difficult to get in and out of via major highways. In his youth, he knew every kind of World War II aircraft, and he’d always wanted to fly himself.

Buzz admired so much about Faye. As a paralegal for Farmworkers Legal Services, she once went to Costa Rica for a month to learn Spanish and came back to help the local labor force. She decided to get her insurance license and passed the test the first time. She was a vital, intelligent person — reading five books a week — and an excellent cook.

They did all kinds of things together. They’d get up in the morning and fly to Ocracoke for lunch or to Norfolk for breakfast — just impulse outings. They enjoyed great conversations and shared a sense of humor.

“I was important to her, and she was important to me,” he said. “She was an amazing woman. I miss her.”

Buzz and Faye were planning for their 25th wedding anniversary when she died in 2006. Over two months, her health had declined. A week before she died, she was officially diagnosed with a tumor that started at the base of her brain and grew rapidly.

Faye had two daughters and a son when she met Buzz. With his children from both marriages, he has nine grandchildren — three of them through international adoptions.

A Career of Care

Early in his career, Buzz sold pharmaceuticals to veterinarians in Georgia and Florida. He then went to pharmacy school at Auburn University and graduated in 1961. He didn’t enjoy his first job at a retail pharmacy, and then took a residency in a


hospital pharmacy. He went back to Wisconsin in 1968, planning to buy into a pharmacy — but that didn’t work out. Done with harsh winters, he applied to several places in the South.

He started Jan. 1, 1971, as director of pharmacy at Cherry Hospital, the state psychiatric hospital, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. “I really didn’t know what I was getting into, but learned very quickly.”

The hospital served 2,500 patients; there was no pharmacist, and drugs were locked in a room. As the first licensed pharmacist there, Buzz organized the medications and stored them on picnic tables stacked down the middle of the room. Requests for medicine had to come through Buzz, with a doctor’s order.

Buzz worked with the nursing staff and medical records department to coordinate use of prescription and other medications, and he wrote a pharmacy manual. He worked with a team across the hospital to create a holistic treatment plan for patients. He also established a doctors’ lounge where physicians could rest and where drug salesmen could visit with them; he charged the drug reps and used the money for continuing education for staff.

By the time Buzz left the hospital in 1994, he said, “I would compare that pharmacy with any pharmacy in the state of North Carolina. I really brought in into the 21st century.”

Licensed in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Georgia, he was also head of pharmacy for a 32-county region. He’d travel to the mental health centers and guide them on storing and dispensing drugs legally.

Buzz and a partner had started a clinical pharmacy in 1972, for which they did clinical work as part of treatment teams. When they dissolved that corporation, Buzz decided to retire. He was burned out, and his son Michael invited Buzz to live with him in an Alabama resort area.

Michael had an issue with a mitral valve in his heart that he was getting checked out. When Buzz and his other son Marty arrived in December 2019, they found Mike lifeless in a chair. Marty took care of handling funeral arrangements. And he invited Buzz to live with him and his family in Fayetteville.

At Home at BTV

After a couple of years with his son’s family, Buzz wanted to find a place of his own, and he heard about Butterfield Trail Village through Marty’s friends. He took a tour, loved what he saw, and joined the Carriage Club. He moved into his apartment April 1, 2022.

Through the loss of two wives and a son, Buzz has found comfort and companionship through his aviation friends. He belongs to the QBs, a centuryold flying society. He still drives and is socially active, especially in activities at BTV. He plays Bunco once a month, walks on the trails and works out regularly in the fitness center.

Most mornings, he drinks coffee with friends by the fireplace or on the patio. He’s enjoyed getting to know many of his neighbors. “The people here — they’re all so bright and well educated; many are professors who’ve retired, or doctors or lawyers, and there’s a lot of former military.”

A diabetic, he often cooks for himself, to manage the ingredients in his meals. He enjoys the patio outside his living room, and recently added a hydrangea to his flowerbed. He reads aviation magazines and National Geographic.

Buzz also keeps in touch with his sisters and friends who live in Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina. He and an Auburn classmate talk every Sunday night, as they’ve done through the years. He and son Marty have lunch every Friday.

Over his 91 years, he’s learned a lot about himself and others. If given a task, he will work hard to do the best he can. He doesn’t assume much; he aims to be truthful and honest in what he says; and he’s learned not to take anything personally. “Nothing irritates me anymore. I just won’t let it.”

Paula Eicher Anniversaries

When did you move to Butterfield?

My apartment “move-in” date was April 12.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Fayetteville.

What did you do before retirement?

I spent a short time as a flight attendant for American Airlines. When my children were in school, I worked as a realtor in North Carolina. Eventually, when my late husband H.N. “Nick” Eicher and I moved our family to St. Louis with Ralston Purina Company, we found out we were expecting another baby – so I became a stay-at-home mother again. Actually, we were very happy about that!

Do you have children and grandchildren?

We have two sons and one daughter. Nick is now 60, Christy is 56 and Eric is 45. We also have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Why did you choose to come to Butterfield?

My husband’s mother, Ruth Eicher, lived at Butterfield before she passed. I also had a stepmother, Fern Younkin, who resided here. We had a good feeling about everything Butterfield offered. I also felt this was a good choice for me personally, as my children are scattered far and wide – and having extended family here is an extra bonus.


Dennis and Cheri Kahle 1st

Glen and Martha Fincher 2nd

Duane and Beverly Wilson 4th

Raj and Usha Gupta 11th

Chuck and Donna Horne 15th

Bob and Geri Bender 19th

Perry and Shirley Franklin 24th

Ned and Cathy Irving 26th

Wulf and Ingrid Polonius 29th


Morriss and Ann Henry 1st

Joe and Judi Schenke 7th

Jimmy and Diana Horton 10th

Ray and Penny Culver 12th

Jim and Margaret Hunt 13th

Ellis and Kay Melton 19th

Jim and Judy Cole 22nd

Ron and Polly Hanson 23rd

Jim and Lois Ferguson 28th

Otto and Betty Loewer 28th

Neil and Judy Ingels 29th

Paul and Wyvern Beach 31st

New Neighbors

Recent Village Move-Ins

Marvin and Sharon Moles

Linda McBride

Tom and Paula Bemberg

Jeanette Millar

Juan Portillo Fuentes

Butterfield Floor Technician and Friend to All

“To know him is to love him” would accurately describe how Butterfield residents and staff feel about Juan Portillo Fuentes. A dedicated BTV team member since 2016, Juan’s role as the Village floor technician would be a mostly behind-the-scenes job for the more typical employee – but because of his obvious warmth and kindness, residents truly love engaging with Juan as he makes his way around campus each day. Some even go so far as to bake him special treats, watching for him as he comes by or takes a break.

Originally from El Salvador, Juan moved to St. Paul, Minn. in 2001. He never got completely used to the extreme difference in climate between his tropical birthplace and the frigid upper Midwest winter. After a fortuitous visit to Arkansas, Juan decided to make Springdale his permanent home. “I really liked the natural surroundings of Northwest Arkansas,” said Juan. “I loved seeing the farms nearby and the beautiful green of the hills. And, I wanted to leave the cold!”

came true – he was hired practically on the spot for the role he has now filled for over eight years.

Juan takes enormous pride in his work and has learned all about the functions and maintenance of the specialized, often temperamental machines he uses to keep the Butterfield floors shiny and spotless. While his commitment to doing the best possible job is always on his mind, his heart is with the residents he feels led to serve.

“I respect people’s experience and like to hear their stories. I love that our residents are retired, but they still want to learn new things.”

Trained as an electrician in El Salvador, Juan’s work experience was initially built on doing a lot of small technical jobs. Once he relocated to Arkansas, he quickly found an opportunity that had him working an overnight shift. As he would make the dark drive home at 2 a.m., he would always closely observe the lights of the Butterfield campus along Joyce Boulevard. “I told myself I was going to work at that beautiful place someday. I didn’t know who lived there, but I knew I was going to find a way to be part of it,” said Juan. Less than a month later, right around Christmastime, the heavens smiled and his dream

-Juan Portillo Fuentes

“I enjoy it here so much,” he said. “I respect people’s experience and like to hear their stories. I love that our residents are retired, but they still want to learn new things.” Juan makes it his personal mission to take care of people in the best way he knows, by being friendly and putting others first. For him, caring so much about the residents can be hard when he eventually loses someone he considers a beloved friend – but it is always worth the emotional investment.

Juan is a true family man who can’t help but smile when talking about his wife and children.

Married to his “queen” Brenda for 18 years, he says he’s “never lost one day with her” because they’ve stuck together faithfully through both the good times and the tough times. His 18-yearold son, David, is bilingual, very bright and an excellent cook.

Daughter and “little princess” Gabriela is 14 and loves music so much – she is now teaching herself to play the piano keyboard by watching YouTube videos. He also loves his tiny sidekick, Capitán, a black chihuahua-mix pup with lots of personality. “I don’t try to be a perfect husband or father. There’s only ever been one perfect person – Jesus Christ. I just try to do my best, be firm when I need to and show what is the right way,” said Juan. “They will see my love.”

Featured Village Events


JULY 10 | 2:30 PM


Prosthodontics: Specialized Dental Care and What It

Can Do for You

Prosthodontics is a dental specialty crucial to maintaining and restoring oral health, particularly in older adults. Prosthodontists offer common solutions like dentures, bridges and dental implants – but are also trained in prosthetic and reconstructive dentistry needed for more complex cases than general dentistry typically handles. Good prosthodontic treatment can enhance oral function, appearance and health. Board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Andrew Johnson is committed to spreading the word about his profession while bringing many modern solutions to the forefront. Thanks to new technology, Dr. Johnson can complete 3D computer modeling of teeth faster and easier than ever before. This educational session explains how prosthodontics can benefit seniors, and demonstrates how technology is making specialty dental care access more straightforward than ever before.


Le Dîner en Blanc: A Parisian


Bonsoir! Le Dîner en Blanc started in Paris, France in 1988, to gather friends for a night of good conversation, delicious food and wine in an iconic white setting. We’ll be recreating this special evening and even turn it up a notch. Guests will don pristine white and sit at tables adorned with exquisite white décor as they enjoy enchanting Parisian melodies by The Mischievous Swing Band of Tulsa. A sumptuous French-themed dinner will be accompanied by wines, cheeses and croissants. It's an evening you won't want to miss. Reservations are limited and required.



Kansas City, Here We Come! Museum Tour and Moulin Rouge at Kansas City Music Hall

Join us for an overnight stay in this beautiful city of great museums, restaurants and shows. We will visit the Arabia Steamboat Museum, home to artifacts salvaged from The Arabia, which sank in the Missouri River in 1856, and The World War I Museum. Then we’ll enjoy a night on the town to attend the live musical “Moulin Rouge”, winner of 10 Tony Awards® and including Best Musical! This show presents a world of splendor and romance, eye-popping excess, glitz, grandeur and glory! The revolutionary film by the same name has come to life onstage to celebrate truth, beauty, freedom and – above all – love! Enjoy the comfort of a charter bus, elegant meals, and great friends.


Communities Unlimited with CEO Ines Polonius

You’re invited to learn about Communities Unlimited, a nonprofit that serves seven states in the southern United States. Their programs touch many highpoverty rural communities that experience food insecurity and other serious challenges. CEO Ines Polonius, daughter of Wulf and Ingrid Polonius, will define the organization's mission to find solutions through human connections. Using ingenuity, cutting-edge technology and expertise, generations of inequity and disinvestment are beginning to unwind to build healthy businesses, communities, food systems, bank accounts – and lives.

City of Fayetteville Mayor's Environmental Stewardship Award presented to BTV Resident Recycling Committee

Aux Arcs to Ozarks History and Travel Series: Mt. View Ozark Folk Center, Blanchard Springs Cavern and Calico Rock

Butterfield Pen Pals End-of-Year Ice Cream Social in the Lodge
Health Care Center celebrates Mother's Day
Health Care Center celebrates Derby Day

Buzz Baker’s Apartment

Portraits of loved ones, memorabilia from an accomplished career as a pharmacist and model planes to represent Buzz's years as a pilot are all close at hand – ready to spark great stories from a remarkable life.

Downsizing to efficient apartment living doesn't mean downsizing on memories. Buzz Baker's one-bedroom apartment may be compact on space, but it is full of items he chose very intentionally to represent a life of adventures, special people and great accomplishments.

Buzz's living room and kitchen flow together to create a tasteful, airy space. His stylish kitchen features full-sized appliances and ample storage, a perfect place to prepare healthy meals when Buzz often chooses to cook for himself.

Over his bed, Buzz displays several framed images from a favorite North Carolina beach. His space throughout the apartment is simple and uncluttered with tasteful masculine touches that say volumes about his life passions.

Buzz enjoys the fresh air his patio offers, and the access he has to space for growing beautiful plants.

The convenient en suite bathroom carries forward the same crisp, yet relaxing color palate found in the rest of the apartment.

BTV Butterfly Garden Undergoes a Beautiful Metamorphosis

Butterflies symbolize powerful traits across multiple cultures, from transformation, renewal and freedom – to beauty, optimism and resilience. Delicate butterflies serve as one of Earth’s critical pollinators, supporting our ecosystems as they flutter from bloom to bloom.

Butterfield has enjoyed many butterfly-like residents – people dedicated to spreading joy and quietly doing great things. BTV couple and avid gardeners Hillard and Eloise Jackson made a generous gift to the Butterfield Trail Village Foundation to establish a Health Care Garden over 20 years ago. Located at the southwest entrance of the Health Care Center, the vision for the spot was to offer respite and reflection. Other residents eventually took on the care and upkeep of the garden, and it evolved into a pollinator-friendly greenspace now called the Butterfly Garden.

Nurturing a garden well requires knowledge, an eye for design, energy and tenacity. Master Gardener Jo McClarrinon moved to Butterfield in late 2023 with husband Rick, her able gardening partner of 38 years. Upon meeting long-time resident Ardith Wharry, the couple heard about the Butterfly Garden for the first time. Ardith shared that she had tended to the garden for a few years, but the responsibility was becoming too much and she hoped to find someone to carry the torch. After seeing the space, the McClarrinons knew right away – they wanted to help.

Rick and Jo began developing a rehabilitation plan, looking for ways to evolve and improve the existing garden design. Their critical, not-soglamorous first

step was to invest significant effort into improving the soil. After hours of working nutrients into the bed and pulling countless weeds out by the roots, they began implementing the design they’d been dreaming about for weeks.

“Seeing this project come to life and knowing it will bring joy to Butterfield residents and staff means a lot to us.”

By early May, the McClarrinon’s efforts were visibly paying off in the form of colorful blooms and thriving plants no longer struggling for space. “I believe the opportunity to take care of this garden was put directly into our path by God,” said Jo. “Rick and I think it is so important to give back. Seeing this project come to life and knowing it will bring joy to Butterfield residents and staff means a lot to us.”

Despite their current high level of physical agility and stamina, Rick and Jo know they will slow down someday. They have created a detailed garden resource guide for those who will be future keepers of the Butterfly Garden – full of details about how to encourage birds and pollinators, the importance of native plants, information on each type of plant and its mapped location. Rick beams when he talks about what they have accomplished as a couple. “She’s the mastermind behind it all. I just provide the muscle,” he laughed.

Gifts to the Butterfield Trail Village Foundation’s Garden Fund are taxdeductible. Visit butterfieldtrailvillage.org/about-us/btv-foundation-donate or contact Riki Stamps at (479) 695-8073 or rstamps@btvillage.org.

Master Gardener Jo McClarrinon and her husband Rick

Dining Room Renovation

Ask anyone where the heart of the Butterfield community is, and you’ll learn that the dining room ranks at the top of the list for many residents. With several hundred meals served each day, foot traffic is busy in this important shared social space.

After addressing many challenges posed by the pandemic, Director of Dining Services Memo Vaca decided to take a critical look at the dining room and consider how residents could be served more comfortably and efficiently. Brainstorming sessions and planning evolved for more than a year, resulting in three months of construction and remodeling in early 2024.

The refreshed space features comfortable, easy-to-clean furniture and new flooring that is safer to navigate with mobility devices. A bright wall color and new fine art prints by local artist George Dombek are enhanced by windows that flood the space with cheerful natural light. An electric fireplace on the back wall provides cozy ambiance.

The sophisticated new buffet line with hot and cold serving capacity and space for a culinary action station is a proven dining game-changer. Residents have praised the lighted dessert display case, and a multi-flavor ice cream bar with a range of tasty toppings is very popular. Those who choose buffet dining may opt for self-service or request assistance from nearby staff.

Like all major construction projects, a bit of settling-in time is needed to identify any last adjustments once the space has been put to full use, such as installation of sound-reduction panels to ensure conversations don’t compete with background noise. As final touches are completed, residents and staff are expressing satisfaction with the new amenities – and the dining services team is enthusiastic about the variety of updates that will enhance their ability to provide wonderful experiences for years to come.

A New Broadway Season Full of Brilliant, Breathtaking Shows

It’s showtime! For the upcoming season, Walton Arts Center is bringing six must-see shows, all on their first national tours, to Northwest Arkansas audiences as part of their 2024-25 Proctor & Gamble Broadway Series.

First up on Sept. 24-29 is the high-flying musical that has thrilled audiences of all ages. Peter Pan is brought back to life in a new adaptation by playwright Larissa FastHorse, directed by Emmy Award® winner Lonny Price and choreographed by Lorin Latarro. Peter Pan embraces the child in us all.

Beetlejuice earned his stripes on Broadway … now the ghost-with-the-most will make his Arkansas premiere on Oct. 22-27! This hilarious musical tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets

a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes. Under its uproarious surfaces (six feet under, to be exact), it’s a remarkably touching show about family, love and making the most of every Day-O!

On Dec. 17-22, Shucked, the Tony Award® winning musical comedy, will make its Arkansas debut.

Based on a book by Tony Award winner Robert Horn, featuring a score by the Grammy Award® winning songwriting team Brandy Clack and Shane McAnally, and directed by Tony Award winner Jack O’ Brien, this corn-fed, corn-bred American musical is sure to satisfy your appetite.

In spring, WAC will welcome guests to musical comedy heaven for the next Arkansas premiere when Funny Girl takes the stage March 18-23. This

Peter Pan Beetlejuice
Funny Girl

bittersweet comedy is the story of Fanny Brice, a girl who dreamed of a life on the stage. Everyone told her she’d never be a star, but then something funny happened – she became one of the most beloved performers in history, shining brighter than the brightest lights of Broadway.

Great Scott! In Back to the Future: The Musical, the beloved classic sets its destination for Northwest Arkansas, April 8-13. When Marty McFly is transported back to 1955 in a time machine built by the eccentric scientist Doc Brown, he accidentally changes the course of history. Now he’s in a race against time to fix the present, escape the past and send himself … back to the future.

Known as one of the greatest entertainers of all time, Michael Jackson’s unparalleled artistry is featured in the Arkansas premiere of MJ on May 20-25. The multiTony Award-winning musical is centered around the 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

Created by director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and Lynn

Nottage, MJ goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.

There are also four bonus Broadway shows that are part of the season: Hamilton (Aug. 16-25), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical (Nov. 12-17), Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations (Jan. 22-23), and THE BOOK OF MORMON (Feb. 21-23).

Broadway Series subscriptions and Create Your Own subscriptions are on sale now, available online at waltonartscenter.org, by phone at (479) 443-5600, or in person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office weekdays 10am to 2pm. Subscription packages are offered Tuesday through Saturday evenings and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matinees. Choose the day of the week that works best for you; prices vary depending on selected performance and seat location. Single tickets for the upcoming Broadway season go on sale in August.

Back to the Future: The Musical
Shucked Hamilton
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

The Foundation is grateful for the gifts received between April 6, 2024 to June 7, 2024 from the following donors:


Rebecca Summerlin in memory of Martha Westberg

Richard and Ardith Wharry in memory of Bill Stewart and Martha Westberg

Lyle and Sue Gohn in memory of Bill Stewart

Ron and Polly Hanson in memory of Bill Stewart

Ray and Penny Culver in memory of Bill Stewart

Carol Sonnenberg and Jane Coffin in memory of Faye Crowell's sister

Health Care

Kay Brewer in memory of Bill Stewart and Martha Westberg

Linda Hegeman in memory of Rick Roessler

Garden Fund

Ann Waligorski

Music Duo from Fayetteville Broke Racial Barriers in Nashville

Sarge West was too young to enter the nightclub. Instead, he hid in a nearby ditch so he could hear Hank Williams blasting through the jukebox. When the song ended, he clapped to nobody. He thought Hank was the greatest. He wanted to be like him. But Sarge didn’t look like Hank or the country singers he saw in advertisements and on record albums. He was Black. Back then, country music records didn’t feature artists who looked like him.

Loydis Wyatt West was born in 1932, one of ten children, in Coal Hill near Ozark. He bought a $7 guitar when he was 16 but didn’t immediately pursue a music career. By the time he did, his résumé included jobs as a cook, policeman and Air Force airman, the latter of which landed him the nickname “Sarge.” He also earned a black belt in karate.

Sarge married Ozark native Shirley Newton, who didn’t initially share Sarge’s love for country music. But she came around, and the two, who were now settled in Fayetteville, worked up an act, debuting it Muskogee, Oklahoma, in the mid-1960s. When the parents of six found a manager and signed a contact with Nashville record label, Jack O’

Diamonds, it made Music City News, the country music equivalent of Rolling Stone magazine. The publication didn’t mention that Sarge and Shirley were the first known Black country music duo to cut a record, but a photo of the couple accompanying the article revealed the rarity that they were.

Sarge and Shirley West of Fayetteville pose with their record, “Ain’t It a Shame” backed with “We’re Gonna Have a Good Time Tonight,” on the Jack O’ Diamonds label in Nashville in this circa 1971 photo from the

They recorded a 45-RPM record, “Ain’t It a Shame,” a gospel-style country song backed by “We’re Gonna Have a Good Time Tonight.” To the Wests’ surprise, the record was most popular in Alabama. Though not a hit, the couple persevered, performing in high-profile concerts and even touring with country superstar Tom T. Hall.

Superstardom never came to the couple, however, but they remained popular local performers. Shirley, the first in Washington County to be certified by the Child Development Associate Consortium, continued working at the local Head Start, and Sarge settled into a successful insurance career. Their sons Joe and Luke are also country musicians.

Sarge died in 2014 at the age of 81. The couple’s story was told in the 2019 documentary, A Song Can Change a Life. Country music star Rissi Palmer has also brought awareness to the duo’s accomplishments through her writing, playlists featured on country music websites and social media.

Shiloh Museum’s Springdale News Collection.
Sarge and Shirley West of Fayetteville perform for a journalist in this circa 1971 photo from the Shiloh Museum’s Springdale News Collection.

Tai Chi: Breathing Fresh Life and Positive Energy into the BTV Wellness Program

Class Schedule

Tai Chi/Qigong


9:45 a.m. in the Lodge

Yang Tai Chi 24

Form Lessons

Monday 9:30 a.m. in the Convocation Room

Yang Tai Chi 24

Form Daily Practice

(15 minutes)

8:00 a.m. in the Aquatic Center Gym

For over ten years, Tai Chi has consistently topped the list of the most popular Butterfield fitness classes. The original class began after BTV Wellness Director Jennifer Neill received certification in "Tai Chi Easy," a method developed by Dr. Roger Jahnke. Practicing as an Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD) for nearly 40 years, Jahnke’s specialized technique helps to make Tai Chi simple, fun and beneficial without requiring years to learn the form. The program is designed to help people dealing with chronic pain or limited mobility – and those looking for a great introduction to learning Tai Chi.

Seeing the popularity and benefits of Tai Chi classes grow on the BTV campus, Jennifer sought additional instruction and began learning another option, known as the “8 Brocades.” Also called “Ba Duan Jin,” the 8 Brocades is one of the most popular Qigong practices and dates back nearly a millennium to China’s Song Dynasty. Pronounced "Chee Gong," Qigong is a system of physical exercises and breathing control related to Tai Chi. Among the numerous benefits of practicing the 8 Brocades are improved energy, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.

Responding to BTV residents’ strong interest in Tai Chi and Qigong, Jennifer expanded the class schedule by adding a second Tai Chi class centered on the most popular “Yang Tai Chi 24 Form.” Following her study

with local instructor Terry Condren, Jennifer has taught residents this new form since early 2024. Starting in July, Butterfield’s wellness program will grow to feature a daily Yang Tai Chi 24 Form practice.

The first Tai Chi Easy-style class at Butterfield that inspired such participation has undergone an overhaul this summer, following Jennifer’s return to train with her original instructor, Dr. Jahnke. With the benefit of nine research and study trips to institutes, sacred temples and mountain sites in China, Jahnke’s personal experience led him to found and direct training and research at the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC). Over the years, he has taught more than a thousand Qigong and Tai Chi teachers and practice leaders. Jennifer has begun integrating what she has learned to enhance BTV’s original Tai Chi class in fresh, challenging ways since recently completing Jahnke’s Integral Qigong and Tai Chi teacher training.

In its various forms and practices, Tai Chi provides numerous health advantages tailor-made for the needs of seniors. Gentle, low-impact exercises improve posture, flexibility and strength crucial for maintaining mobility and preventing falls. Tai Chi also fosters relaxation, reduces stress and improves breathing – and promotes a meditative aspect to enhance mental clarity and sharpness that ultimately combats cognitive decline.

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