July 2022

JULY • 2022

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE July | 2022 | Volume 3 | Issue 7

44. STYLE A Diamond in the Rough 52. LIFE Dear Mrs. (Slightly) Sophisticated


10. CITY BUSINESS A Call to Action 12. cover/POLITICS A Life of Service

36. SPORTS Hanging on by a Rope 40. ENTERTAINMENT Good Evening TXK



54. TXK 411 Fresh Watermelon Margarita 56.


20. COMMUNITY You’re a Grand Old Flag 24. CULTURE Cultural Exchange

THE MONTHLY MIX Sun Protection Style 58. TXK ROOTS Taylor Jackson


What are your three most frequently used emojis?















DAVID ORR I don’t use emojis that often but typically it’s





txkmag.com letstalk@txkmag.com 903.949.1460 OFFICE 911 North Bishop Street Building C • Suite 102 Wake Village, Texas 75501 MAIL 2801 Richmond Road #38 Texarkana, Texas 75503

Publisher CARDINAL PUBLISHING Staff CASSY MEISENHEIMER cassy@txkmag.com TERRI SANDEFUR terri@txkmag.com KARA HUMPHREY kara@txkmag.com LEAH ORR leah@txkmag.com MATT CORNELIUS matt@txkmag.com BRITT EARNEST britt@txkmag.com Local Sources CLARE ANGIER JOHN LUKE ANGIER MARY CAROLINE ANGIER

R emember when cruising State Line was the thing, making the turn arounds at Taco Bell and the Goodwill parking lots? We had music playing and our windows rolled down, cruising up and down the road to fill our summer nights. Obviously, these were the good ole days when gas prices did not stop you in your tracks. These are some great memories from my teenage years. It is how we met up with people. We did not have cell phones, so, back then, you just had to guess where the crowd may be, but nine times out of ten, cruising State Line was a sure bet. Being from Queen City, we thought it was cool to hang out in the big city of Texarkana and I put many miles on my Pontiac Firebird cruising up and down State Line with all the other “cool” kids. I even had a ridiculous neon license plate holder over my personalized license plate. A word to the wise, these things might indeed make you think you are cool, but they also make you noticeable and cause you to stand out, so you better always be on your best behavior. Thinking back, I cringe about some things we did. What was I thinking? I can tell you I wasn’t concerned about much other than which mixed CD I would burn and how to make my AOL profile cute. Speaking of AOL, do you remember what your AOL screen name was and the sound

you heard while waiting on the connection? (Mine was CaSsiBuG, by the way.) We were also the generation who learned how to make all the emojis before emojis existed. I know some of you remember. (<3 & :) & ;/) It is fun to think back on those nights and many other stories I won’t share here, but I know a few people who will giggle as they read this. These days, if you catch me cruising down State Line, it is probably in daylight hours on my way to Zapata’s to eat with my family, with my windows rolled up, and the AC blaring instead of my music. I jokingly say that the older I get, I have to turn down the music to see better. As a mom, my favorite thing to do in the summer is spend time with my family on the water and doing anything outside. You will probably catch us at Lake DeGray if we are not on the golf course with our kiddos. I love both and the slower pace of life and no make-up activities that seem to define these summer months. It is nice to step away from the hustle and bustle. While my summertime activities may look different at this stage of life, this is still the season of making lifelong memories. Let’s get out there and make some great ones.





Texarkana Magazine is a multimedia publication showcasing the Texarkana area and is designed and published by Cardinal Publishing, LLC. Articles in Texarkana Magazine should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Ideaology, products and services promoted in the publication are not necessarily endorsed by Texarkana Magazine .





D o you remember what it felt like the first time someone asked you for advice? Maybe you were at work one day and you suddenly realized you were the most senior member on staff. Perhaps you were in college and came home to visit your parents, who suddenly trusted your formal education and the knowledge you had gained. It might have been more recently than that, when your grown children finally telephoned to ask for help fixing a car or baking a cake. We are all experts at something, and it feels good to be helpful and lend our expertise to others. It is with that premise in mind that I’m asking you to consider lending your expertise to your community. Your city needs you. The vision of the City of Texarkana, Texas, is to be a thriving regional center for education, business and culture which attracts and serves our residents and visitors. To accomplish our vision and mission, it takes a network of selfless volunteers who advise the city as part of its board and commissions. These volunteers often not only have a significant impact on identifying the needs and future plans of our community, but they often provide invaluable feedback to city staff on current initiatives as well. Because of the vital role these volunteers play, we have recently revamped our boards and commissions application process to encourage more community members to become actively involved in local government. A new webpage is now available that provides

descriptions of each board, commission and committee, along with term dates, duties, residency requirements and meeting schedules. The City of Texarkana has a number of City Council-appointed boards, commissions and committees, and sometimes the City Council may appoint ad hoc committees for special purposes. As a part of this year’s process, the city’s staff has proposed to restart Keep Texarkana Beautiful (KTB), which was organized in 2010 to promote the beautification of the Texarkana community. Some boards, commissions and committees have residency requirements or require special skills and knowledge, while others do not. Board, commission and committee members are required to attend regularly scheduled meetings. A current list of each board and commission, along with current appointments and openings can be found at www.ci.texarkana.tx.us/370/Boards-and-Commissions . If you are interested in serving on a board or need more information, please contact Jennifer Evans, Texarkana, Texas City Secretary at (903) 798-3930 or email j.evans@txkusa.org . The city will receive applications annually from persons interested in serving during the summer months. To begin the process of filling these vacancies, an altered schedule may be necessary this first year and applications will be accepted until July 15th. Applicants to boards and commissions that are currently full will be held for City Council consideration for the next available vacancy.




A Life of Service


Over the years, Texarkana has had bragging rights to being the hometown of many famous people, from actors and politicians to musicians and athletes. In 2017, Texarkana native Sarah Huckabee Sanders moved into the national spotlight when she became White House press secretary. The two years she spent in this role were challenging, to say the least. Imagine being the one who answers questions on behalf of the most powerful political leader in the world. That might be how most people came to know her, but that is not where Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ story began, and it is certainly not where it will end. This wife, mother, political analyst, gubernatorial candidate and best-selling author values God, family and country and has committed her life to public service.

Sarah, Bryan, Huck, George and Scarlett Sanders




Sarah Huckabee Sanders with members of the Miller County Republican Women on Monday, May 16, 2022, at Crossties Event Venue in Texarkana, Arkansas.

S arah and her family moved to Texarkana in 1986, just after she turned four. Her father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (we will come back to that in a minute), was the pastor of Beech Street Baptist Church. Sarah fondly recalls her early years attending preschool and kindergarten. “We rode to school together each morning, and I’d play in his office until it was time to go to class. I had my own ‘office’ under the credenza of my dad’s desk where I kept my arts and crafts supplies and made many great masterpieces and memories!” Depending on who you ask, wearing the label “pastor’s kid” can have its ups and downs, but Sarah only has good things to say about being a “PK.” Sarah and her older brothers, David and John Mark, enjoyed the perks of having a dad/ pastor. She recalls how they used the Sunday school classrooms to play hide-and-seek and admits to taking the occasional swim in the baptistry. Sarah’s memories of life in Texarkana are simple and innocent and include riding bikes with friends, building forts in the woods behind their house and creating a neighborhood newspaper. She stated,

for herself and should just stay in Texarkana with her friends. However, much to her dismay, her parents did not feel that their job was done, and soon the entire family was packing up to head to the state capital. If growing up as a pastor’s kid is noteworthy, then spending your teenage years in the governor’s mansion is absolutely extraordinary. Again, Sarah recalls some of the best memories from those times in her life as well as some of the most traumatic. In her book, Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House , she recounts the overwhelming grandeur of the mansion, the strange feeling of living in a home that was also a public space, being greeted by

I am eternally grateful for all the people who have helped me become the daughter, wife, mom, friend,

co-worker and Christian I am. ”

—Sarah Huckabee Sanders

“life in Texarkana wasn’t grand, but it was good.” Sarah will always cherish her time in Texarkana and all the wonderful, lifelong friends she made here. When Sarah was thirteen years old, something happened that would prove to have a profound impact on the trajectory of her life. Her father became governor of Arkansas. She tried to convince her parents she was old enough to care

complete strangers at the bottom of the stairs while still wearing her pajamas and the close familial type relationships she developed with the staff and state troopers who worked at the mansion. It was not all fun and glamour, though. Being the daughter of a governor brings with it an awareness of things that most children will never know. In her memoir, Sarah details the difficulties her family faced




with possible terror attacks and the anguish they experienced as her father oversaw the executions of death row inmates. Sarah also shared her fondest memory of living in the Governor’s Mansion. “At Little Rock Central High, it’s a tradition for the entire class to attend a senior breakfast to celebrate the end of high school. My senior year, our class decided to host it at the Governor’s Mansion for every student in the senior class. We raised money to pay for the food, and we even had an LRCH ice sculpture for the class of 2000. It was a great way to finish our years of high school together and close that chapter of my life before I went off to college at Ouachita Baptist University.” Beyond the logistics of having unfettered access to a house of worship and a 30,000-square-foot mansion, Sarah noted her upbringing shaped her perspective and laid the foundation for a deep faith in and reliance on God. She insists that her faith helps her deal with every aspect of life.

“It grounds me, reminds me what is really important and gives me hope and strength to persevere in adversity.” She credits being exposed to a diverse group of people during her formative years for helping her develop sincere compassion for others. “Nobody is unworthy of our compassion or beyond the redemptive power of God’s grace. I focus on people’s good qualities and do not dwell too much on their flaws.” One of the best lessons she learned from her dad while growing up was to, “always be who God created you to be, and never try to be anyone other than the unique and special person God has made you.” She stated, “It’s a principle I strive to embrace, even when it’s hard.” Sarah also feels strongly that her upbringing ingrained in her an appreciation for public service. Her parents did not shield her or her brothers from political life. On the contrary, they took them to political events as often as possible and exposed them to the life of campaigns and elections. It wasn’t until college that she realized it wasn’t completely normal to spend weekends asking people to vote for her parents. Reflecting on her life, Sarah has tremendous respect for the values her parents instilled in her and is committed to passing them on to her children as well. She also takes her children with her on the campaign trail anytime she can. “I let them loose with stacks of push cards and bumper stickers and hope that I am also instilling a deep appreciation for public service and a love for Arkansas and our people.”

I want to pave a path for kids in this state to run free and clear toward success by protecting their freedom and creating greater opportunity. ”

—Sarah Huckabee Sanders

For more information on Sarah Huckabee Sanders, pick up a copy of Speaking for Myself or visit www.sarahforgovernor.com.




As someone who has worked side by side with the president of the United States, authored a book that made it to the New York Times bestseller list and most recently won the GOP primary for Governor of Arkansas, Sarah has experienced some notable accomplishments. Still, she holds that her greatest success is her family. Mother to Scarlett, Huck and George, Sarah describes her children as beautiful, energetic and wild. She says they keep her laughing and humble and are part of her reason for running for governor. Most of Sarah’s days are spent juggling a typical hectic family schedule, including getting the kids off to school, parent-teacher conferences, afternoon tennis matches, evening baseball games and bedtime stories. However, amid all that family wrangling, there are campaign rallies, roundtable meetings with business and industry leaders across Arkansas and conversations with supporters in

and he fully supports his wife’s political aspirations. Even though she may be the one in the spotlight, Sarah looks to Bryan as the leader of their family. Sarah’s parents have also been a very present support to their daughter’s goals and regularly offer words of wisdom. “My parents were also supportive but didn’t hold back from reminding us of the challenges we would face,” she said. “They have been there every step of the way, from giving me my very first donation to babysitting our kids on a regular basis!” Sarah has a deep love for the people of Arkansas and a passion for public service. These two things have fueled her ambitions and propelled her toward the highest-ranking office in the state. “I am running for governor because I love our state and care about our people, and I want to unleash our full potential. I want every kid

gas stations or restaurants. Sarah explains, “between the campaign and kids, there is certainly never a dull moment!” She is “constantly focusing on what it takes to make Arkansas even better and stronger,” and explains, “I know that every decision I will make as governor will have a direct impact on [my children’s] lives and the lives of every child growing up in Arkansas. I want to pave a path for kids in this state to run free and clear toward success by protecting their freedom and creating greater opportunity.” Running for governor was not a decision Sarah and her husband, Bryan, made lightly. It came with a great deal of prayer and support. “My husband and I prayed about it and talked about it at length and with our kids. We wouldn’t have taken this step if we weren’t all fully committed and didn’t believe this is the path God wants us on.” Bryan Sanders is also no stranger to political life. In fact, the two met while working together on her father’s presidential campaign. He understands the pressure that comes from choosing a life of public service,

growing up in Arkansas to love this state the way I do and to have every opportunity to succeed.” She has focused much of her attention on children and has set her sights on affecting change in education, insisting that this is the foundation for a state’s success. “I believe every child growing up in Arkansas should have access to quality education, putting them on a path to prosperity instead of a lifetime of government dependency. We must teach them a skill set and prepare them to become contributing members of society.” Successes in life don’t happen in a vacuum, but they are the culminating result of lots of hard work and many external influences. In Speaking for Myself , Sarah acknowledges that “life isn’t much fun if you don’t have good people to share it with.” She attributes her successes to the support of her family and the wonderful relationships she has made along her journey. “I am eternally grateful for all the people who have helped me become the daughter, wife, mom, friend, co-worker and Christian I am.”

cover photo courtesy of Sarah Huckabee Sanders





You’re a Grand Old Flag BY BRITT EARNEST | PHOTOS BY MATT CORNELIUS A t any point in the year when you get to see the town’s streets lined with flags, the words of the song “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” written by George M. Cohan in 1906, may spring to mind. Have you ever wondered where diverse range of groups and individuals in the community to help run the fifty-five routes where flags are placed. David explains you might see scouts, high school students, church groups, fraternal organizations, Rotarians, or one of many other individuals and groups assigned to work on a flag route. It has proven to be a great way for people to earn money while being part of a project that honors this great nation.

the flags come from or who organizes such an enormous project? Perhaps you have also considered whether you can get involved. According to Texarkana Rotary Club’s Flag Coordinator David Mims, the local Rotary Clubs founded the Flag Project to raise funds for the many things they do in the community. The annual project is now in year 22 and is just as popular today as it was back in 2000. Texarkana resident Malise O’Banion, a flag project participant, said, “We love our flags and are so happy to see them put out each time. We have five flags, one for each of our children. We chose to participate in the program to support the Rotary Club and the good work they do in our community. The flags are a reminder of the young men and women who gave their very lives so that we can live in the best country in the world.” Five thousand flags (and growing) are displayed in and around Texarkana during seven holidays each year: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Patriots Day and Veterans Day. The project was initially handled exclusively by Rotarians, but it outgrew them many years ago. The club now partners with a

The execution of this project provides a truly fantastic opportunity for the community to come together. The Liberty- Eylau Independent School District Welding Department produces the bases that fix in the ground to hold the flags. Randy Sam’s Outreach Shelter and Liberty-Eylau Athletics provide people to load flags for route runners. David proudly explained that Rotary Club members are exclusively responsible for all flag builds. He believes these operations run as efficiently as any assembly line a factory would be proud to have. Carol Wilder handled the organization’s bookkeeping for many years, keeping track of around 5,000 flags. This massive job is now administered by Shirley Pinnix, Sundae Braley, Kathy Graves, Alice Coleman and Dianne Martin. For many years, Joel Orr has generously provided storage of the flags in one of his buildings. Zone leaders Mike Richardson, Landon Forbes, Jennifer Lacefield and Bill Patton each manage a different section of town. David




Mims’ five-year tenure as Flag Coordinator ends this July, and Ralph Waits, a zone leader with many years of experience, will take over the position. It takes a committed team to keep bringing the flags back year after year. The breathtaking vision of American flags lining the streets of Texarkana’s neighborhoods and waving in the wind provides Cindy Bunch with “a feeling of inner peace and a warm sense of pride” that she lives in this free country. Being a part of the project for every patriotic holiday reminds her “God has blessed America,” and it is just one of the many reasons she and her family want to thank the Rotary Club for starting this program in our community. If you’re interested in being part of the initiative, please contact one of the four Rotary Clubs administering the project: Wilbur Smith, Texarkana Oaklawn, Texarkana Sunrise and Texarkana International. Each group has its own website, where you will find additional information. The primary flag route operates in the Texarkana area, with additional routes run by local scout teams in Redwater and Maud. A single flag costs $55 per year, with discounts for orders of three or more. The Texarkana Rotary Clubs use all proceeds to fund numerous projects in the community. These include: the Rotary Splash Pad, local backpack programs that provide school supplies and food to students in need and scholarships to local universities and colleges. Each club donates its proceeds to causes they feel are important to their specific club. As a program participant, Tammy Hun is thankful to those who sacrifice their lives to defend this country, and she feels having flags in her yard is an excellent way to remember them. “Without their sacrifices, I wouldn’t enjoy the freedom I value so much.” The next time you see the flags in and around town, remember what they represent and those who have sacrificed their lives for us and the country we live in. But also recognize them as a symbol of this great community working together for the greater good, in honor of those who have gone before and those still standing for us today. David sees the Flag Project as an opportunity for us all to show our gratitude for those who have made it possible to live in a free country. It is humbling to remember this patriotic project is run by volunteers, with its proceeds staying to help those in need in the local community. The special people of the Texarkana Rotary Clubs established this flag initiative to represent the spirit the words of the song express so well.

You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high-flying flag, And forever in peace, may you wave. You’re the emblem of the land I love, The home of the free and the brave. Ev’ry heart beats true ’Neath the Red, White and Blue, Where there’s never a boast or brag. But should auld acquaintance be forgot, Keep your eye on the grand old flag!

David Mims, Flag Coordinator




Each year in August, more than 5,000 excited, courageous and adventurous young people from over 25 countries with the Foreign Links Around the Globe international student exchange program (FLAG), pack their bags, leave the only home they have ever known and travel to the United States to study at high schools and universities. Texarkana and surrounding communities, such as New Boston and Maud, have had the pleasure of hosting some of these special students for the 2021-2022 school year. FLAG has been an industry leader since 1989. This is a program that creates bonds that last a lifetime, forever linking families across the globe. Over 60% of the time, FLAG students even return to visit their host families, or host families make trips to visit their students’ home countries. Jayme English, local coordinator for FLAG, shared, “By hosting an exchange student, you will open yourself and your loved ones up to a new world of culture and unforgettable experiences—you are bringing the world together, one friend at a time!” CULTURAL EXCHANGE BY TERRI GRAVITT

If you would like more information on how you can become an exchange student or a host family, contact Jayme English at Jenglish@flag-intl.org or go to flag-intl.org .




Judith Kramer

Why did you want to become a foreign exchange student? My uncle was the first in my family to do an exchange year. I talked to my uncle about it, and he told me that he had so many positive experiences as an exchange student. I was absolutely impressed! I talked to my parents, and they thought it was a very good idea because at the same time I could improve my English, as I always had problems with it. What has been your favorite experience in the United States? One of my favorite experiences was my friend asked me if I wanted to go fishing with her and another friend. Of course, I said yes because it was the very first time for me. I found it so beautiful and relaxing. When I caught my first fish, I was so proud of it. What have you learned about yourself through this experience? I feel like I found myself. I always had my twin with me, and I guess I thought I could hide behind him. Here in the U.S., I had to do all things by myself. I think I’m not shy anymore, and I’m more responsible and confident. I also know now I can live in another English-speaking country and get along there.




Anton Krueckels What has been your favorite

experience in the United States? I would say my favorite experience here was my first NFL football game when I went to see the Cowboys in Dallas. I’ve been to big stadiums in Germany, but the Cowboys stadium blew my mind. They don’t have football in Germany, so this whole experience was so unique and amazing for me. Why did you want to become a foreign exchange student? I always wanted to become a foreign exchange student because it was a great opportunity for me to grow, to experience a different culture, and to meet new people. I was curious about how other people live. It’s a terrifying thing to leave your home and your family for one year, but it’s also very exciting. What was your opinion of the United States before you came here? In Germany, we experience quite a bit of American culture through social media, movies and music. Germany was always boring to me because I’ve lived there my whole life, and America just seemed so much more exciting and fun—especially American high school. But I can’t lie to you. I had my stereotypes, especially about Texas. I thought it was just a bunch of cowboys with guns. Have you learned new habits or traditions that you want to take back home with you when you go? I really liked the Thanksgiving food, so I can see myself trying to cook turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving. I also liked all the Christmas lights that people put up. I’ll do that in Germany. What have you learned about yourself through this experience? I have learned that I am capable of leaving everything behind and starting all over. You need to literally step out of your comfort zone and leave your family, friends and everything that you considered home.




Eilidh MacDonald Why did you want to become a foreign exchange student? The American lifestyle has always intrigued and excited me! I am very passionate about learning about other people, other cultures and meeting new people. I have always loved to travel and becoming a foreign exchange student was the perfect opportunity to do that. Little did I know when signing up that it would be everything that I’d hoped for and more! What was your opinion of the United States before you came here? I wouldn’t say I had an opinion, but more of a stereotype. For example, when I found out my placement was in Texas, I thought I would be living amongst cowboys in the middle of the desert. I wondered if American schools would feel and be like I saw in the movies, if the accents would be strong, or the radio stations would be strictly country music. Some of what I expected was true, but as I also expected, there is so much more depth to it than that. What has been your favorite experience in the United States? It’s impossible to choose just one, but I’d like to say how grateful I am for the people I have met here–my family, my friends, my teachers and directors, my fellow exchange students and local coordinators. However, something entirely unique to America that has left me with a permanent flood of happy memories is high school football and the Friday night lights! For an American student in the school, this was just another Friday. For me, this was everything I had dreamed of and grown up thinking about America. It all came to life - the spirit, the pride, the excitement in the air. Getting to support your classmates in a sport that pumps adrenaline through your veins, chanting with the cheerleaders on the field, watching the showstoppers perform, feeling the band’s songs rush through you–there is nothing like that at home. It was exactly like I had stepped into a movie. It blows my mind how normal and average it is to so many people here. Did you get to participate in any student sports or organizations? Tell us about that experience. I took part in UIL speech (poetry) and UIL theatrical design. I got a bronze medal at district contest for speech, which meant I got to advance and compete at regionals. Theatrical design, however, took the cake for me. I won a state championship medal with my team of three other girls and our sponsor, Mrs. Beck. This is by the far the coolest thing I get to take home with me. Aside from the hardware being as bling as I like, I owe a lot of thanks to Pleasant Grove’s Curtain Call Productions. I can say I am a Texas State Champion. Not many people in Scotland get to say that! Would you recommend this experience to other exchange students? Absolutely, without a doubt, YES! This is easily the greatest thing I have ever done. I have learned more in a short ten months than I think have in years, about other people, about myself, about the world and about what I want to be in the next five years and beyond! I have gained so much! I have a new family and a new community of people that I will never forget. I have friends for life from all over the world and ultimately an excitement about life and what it offers that I never had before. I feel like a new and improved version of myself in the very best way!




Kana Okuba What was your opinion of the United States before you came here? I was thinking Americans don’t hesitate to express their opinion. I believe this is a very important thing—to respect different opinions and accept it. In Japan, people tend to be scared to say their opinions, especially when it’s different from others. What has been your favorite experience in the United States? It would be Halloween or Christmas. Both holidays were way bigger events than I thought. For Halloween, my host family hosted a big party. We planned it for a month! We made spider rooms and scared people. We invited friends, family and other exchange students and they all wore costumes. At Christmas, we decorated the house, Christmas tree and yard. I had fun exchanging gifts with many of my friends and my host family. I gave them Japanese gifts. My host parents planned a surprise shopping trip to Little Rock. I also had multiple parties every week. It was the busiest month I’ve ever had, but I definitely had a lot of fun. Has it been as difficult as expected being away from your family for this entire year? Yes. For me, being away from my family was the most difficult issue to overcome during this year. I cried many times. I realized how much I love my family and I started to appreciate them more. I’m excited to see my family again. What has been the biggest difference in your life here versus your life at home? I came here from Tokyo, so New Boston was a whole different environment compared to my hometown. But I love small communities. Everyone knows each other, which never happens in Tokyo. Also, we get eggs from a chicken every morning, I can ride horses, and I get to touch cows. Have you learned new habits or traditions that you want to take back home with you when you go? One thing that I learned from my host family was how important it is to do things for not only me, but others. My host family loves to plan surprises for others, help others and make others happy. I want to be like them and think not only about myself, but about people around me.






Lando Winter Did you participate in any student sports or organizations? I had already played tennis for quite a while before I came here, and there is nothing I love more than being able to play. My school here didn’t have a tennis program, but thanks to my host mom and some other people in my school district, we were able to sign me up for the district tournament. My host parents would take me to different practices and tournaments before district to get ready and when it was time, I was ready. I got first place in district and went to the regional tournament in Dallas. There, I got beat in the final but advanced to state as second place. In the state tournament, I was ready and played a lot better and made it through to the third round to become State Champion. I was happy and proud of what I achieved, but also very thankful for everyone supporting me on this journey, especially my host parents. What was your opinion of the United States before you came here? In my imagination, America was always the country of unlimited opportunities and chances, and I was super excited when I found out that I could live there for ten months. What have you learned about yourself through this experience? I have learned that I can achieve so much more with hard work

and dedication and that it is important to leave your comfort zone to get better.








R alph Samuelson could never have imagined all the joy his invention of water skiing has given so many people all over the world. When he began experimenting with two boards and a clothesline for a towrope 100 years ago on July 2, 1922, a sport was born that has challenged, frustrated, and been enjoyed by millions, including many people in Texarkana. A century later, a hazy sun slowly rises over glistening turquoise dyed water in Zachary, Louisiana as wildlife chirp, whistle and sing a wakeup call to students attending Bennett’s Water Ski & Wakeboard School. The faint scent of eggs, bacon and pancakes wafts through the dorms. The start of a Mastercraft boat engine growls in the

Summer is here, and for a lot of us, lake days are what it is all about. Whether you are spending the weekend with family or with friends, summers at the lake make for some great memories, especially when you are speeding across the water being pulled behind a boat on a tube, a knee board, or skis. Tubing and knee boarding are both thrilling and can be physically demanding, but they require little skill. Skiing, however, requires balance and practice and can challenge your body with significant cardio and strength training. It is difficult, but for those who know what they are doing, skiing can provide a lifetime of summers full of excitement and fun.

distance as staff prepare water ski equipment for students. It’s already hot and muggy in this tucked away bedroom community of Baton Rouge, LA, but it doesn’t matter since most of the day will be spent on the water learning a much more advanced version of Samuelson’s invention. A voice over an intercom wakes the students, “Attention, breakfast will be served in 10 minutes in the dining hall, then stretches and warm up in the driveway.” It’s the voice of Anne Bennett, a championship water skier, now aged 65. She and hardworking husband Jay founded the school in 1980 and still run it today. Anne can still often be seen gliding down the lake in her off time.







One of those groggy students heading to breakfast is Cole Shipp, who is there with his father, Chad Shipp, from Texarkana. It’s 2016, Cole’s first time at Bennett’s, and by the end of the week his goal is to be a slalom skier—a person who can ski on a single ski. Cole attends the school two more times in following years. Now age 17, he reflects, “Bennett’s is a lot of fun and I’ve made several friends there who I still talk to,” says Cole. He often showcases his skills for friends on weekend trips to the lake. “When I was thirteen, I slalomed thirteen miles across Lake DeGray. I was so tired!” he exclaims. Fast forward to June 2022, and it is Cole’s 14-year-old sister, Caroline Shipp, following in her brother’s footsteps or skis. Caroline’s goal is the same, to become a slalom skier by the end of her one week stay. “I want to learn to slalom because so few people do it anymore. I already surf and wakeboard and I ski on a pair, but I want to slalom.” Both Cole and Caroline have been pushed to learn water skiing from their dad, who learned how to ski on a pair around age 4 at Lake Greeson, taught by his parents. “My mom cut up some old adult skis, painted them yellow, tied them together and we hit the water. My dad was a boat dealer, so we spent a lot of time on the lake. I learned to ski behind a jet boat! My parents skied most summer weekends, so it was just natural that I’d learn to ski, too. I was on a slalom around age 8. And that pair of yellow skis is still in my attic.” Chad says bringing his kids to ski school is a luxury that’s not required and that both could learn to slalom ski at any local lake, but

Bennett’s is great father/kid time. “It’s a unique place only 5 hours away and one that is sought after by pros and college students from all over the world. I just enjoy the time alone doing something fun with the kids that doesn’t include video games or electronics.” Chad never attended any ski schools and never competed, nor will his kids. “This is strictly for fun and the memories we’re making,” he says. As a boy, Chad read Water Ski Magazine and paid attention to the sport but attending a ski school wasn’t an option. “We went to a few competitions at Champion Lake in Shreveport as observers. It’s fun to watch,” Shipp stated. “As far as Bennett’s goes, I might be living vicariously through my children,” he laughs. While most parents drop their kids off here for the week, I rent a lake cottage and stay with them and get a lot of great photos. In the evening, the lake is turned over to the college kids who work at Bennett’s, and we watch them slalom and do tricks and jumps. I feel very at home in this environment,” he says. For anyone who wants to learn to ski, Shipp recommends patience and practice. He says it’s not as easy to learn like other water sports, such as knee boarding, surfing or wakeboarding. “Standing on a skinny slalom ski at 30-plus mph will definitely result in some hard falls, and it takes a while to get the hang of it, which is why so few learn it anymore.” As for Ralph Samuelson, no doubt he’d be happy to know just how much his sport has meant to so many, and if the Shipps have anything to say about it, it’s a legacy that will continue for another 100 years.






GOOD EVENING TXK COLUMN BY BAILEY GRAVITT R emember last summer when I wrote in this very magazine that Sonic milkshakes were the best part of my summers? Boy, have things changed! This summer I’m (unfortunately) trying to lose weight… What a joy. I’m not just doing it for appearance’s sake; health matters too. But I’d be straight lying if I said appearance had nothing to do with it. I know for a fact that I am not the only one who has been in the water with their shirt on, whether that be at the pool, the lake, even the ocean! However, there is a big difference, in my opinion, in just being a little boy wearing a swim shirt to keep from getting a sunburn and being a full-grown adult wearing a t-shirt because you don’t want others to see your body that exposes all your late-night fast-food drive-thru secrets. Of course, perception is reality, but it seems to me that every single person around me can frequently binge, eating anything they want at any time of the day and not gain a SINGLE pound. This was torture while I sat freezing from my t-shirt being soaked and stuck to my body and dripping all over everything at the pizza- pool parties I went to as a kid. Everyone else seemed perfectly fine with everything hanging out as they swallowed three or four pieces of pizza before jumping back in. Pool parties always gave me the most heightened anxiety. A common misconception is that only girls deal with self-image and body issues. While I have never felt extremely overweight, and by no means do I hate my body, if I’m being completely transparent,


July 3 Freedom Fest 2022 Fireworks and Free Hotdogs First Baptist Church Redwater, 7 pm July 4 Freedom Fest/Fireworks T&P Trailhead Park, New Boston, 6 pm July 8-10 Heat Check

July 17 Cornhole Tournament Presented by the Texarkana Home Builders Association in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Texarkana Crossties Event Venue, 2:30 pm July 21-22 Sculptarama with Kay Thomas Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council, times differ daily July 23-24

3-on-3 Basketball Tournament First Baptist Church Texarkana July 9 Universal Fire Block Party 301 E. 3rd Street, Texarkana, Arkansas, 7 pm-1 am July 11-15, 18-22 & 25-29 Spartan Summer Camp St. James Day School July 13-16 Texarkana Open All Pro Tour Texarkana Country Club, start times differ daily July 16 Used Book Sale Benefititng For the Sake of One 422 Hickory Street, Texarkana, Arkansas, 8-11 am

R & K Gun and Knife Show Four States Fair Grounds July 23 Calvin Richardson Live “One Night Only in AR” Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center, 7 pm July 29-30 BOSS Sprint Cars 67 Speedway, 6 pm SATURDAYS IN JULY Get Out and Play Oaklawn Resort, 7-11 pm

For more events visit










Addie Son The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Michelle Madrid Criminal Minds on Paramount+

Lacey McCulloch Hell and Gone

LIVE BANDS July 2 Stone Blue 67 Landing, 8:00 pm-midnight July 2 KdB The Hideout, 9:00 pm July 8 Heather Linn and the Deacons Whiskey River Country, 9:00 pm July 15 Amie Bishop & The Slinger Fat Jacks, 9:00 pm July 29 Palmer Anthony Whiskey River Country, 4:00 pm

I definitely would not say I love my body either. I don’t have the self-discipline necessary to survive an hour gym session every night, but I certainly CAN enjoy at least six pieces of pizza in one sitting. See my problem? They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This summer, my only goal was to break that vicious cycle by putting down the chocolate milkshake in favor of being able to comfortably pull my shirt off at the lake. No, one milkshake a week will not make you gain five pounds, a fact I am eternally grateful for, but I think we make ourselves mentally sick convincing ourselves it must be all or nothing.

I’m not trying to restrict myself from the pleasures of life, but which pleasure is more worth it, the milkshake every night of the week or the swim party where you feel confident now that your extra pounds are gone? That is a question only you can answer for yourself, and if your answer is to keep those milkshakes coming, GOOD FOR YOU! Enjoy every single drop of them and feel no shame! I want something different for myself now, and I am not sure what that is, but I am excited to be driving into a summer sunset where I know full well I am doing my best to focus on having the best health with self-confidence and an unshakeable self-esteem!






A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH BY TIFFANY HORTON, HORTON DESIGN STUDIOS PHOTOS BY MATT CORNELIUS F inding the perfect home often means seeing beyond the surface and straight to the potential. And sometimes, in looking for the potential, the perfect home might just find you. For Amber and Byron Stewart, what started as a financial that allows plenty of parking whenever friends or family come to visit. Inside, guests continue to be welcomed by the spacious open concept living provided throughout.

The home’s original living room is now a large dining room, complete with a custom dining table. An old, enclosed porch was completely reborn into a large family room that connects the dining and kitchen areas. The Stewarts seamlessly created the new addition in a manner that allowed them to organically update the floor plan. Amber credits Byron with most of the design choices. “I have to give Byron all the credit on the layout and most of the design. When we bought the house, our original thought was to flip it, but the previous owners had converted the garage into a mother-in-law suite,

investment has turned into an even better investment in family and friends. When they first purchased their home, it was a three bedroom, two and a half bath with a mother-in-law suite and no garage, but they have turned it into an incredible six bedroom, five and a half bath, entertainer’s dream. With their uncommon ability to see the full potential of the home, the Stewarts were able to highlight the best parts. First, the beautiful white brick home welcomes guests with a large circle drive




and we knew in this area we really needed it to have a garage. So, we decided to keep the square footage and add a garage. Byron decided that with that, we should also add the upstairs. About halfway through the remodel was when we then decided that we should keep the house and finish it to our style.” As for aesthetics, the Stewarts chose an overall color palette that mixes both warm and cool neutrals. By choosing this as the background, the house feels clean and modern while also welcoming and laid back. The neutral background also gave them the opportunity

to mix metals throughout and to add bold color with their choices in art and other decor. You can find pops of blue, yellow and even orange. One grouping of art is above a table flanked with orange lamps, drawing in the subtle use of orange from the rugs and pillows of nearby spaces. “I had seen a piece of art that was a mix of sizes and liked the concept, but not the exact piece. So, I talked to a local artist and told her that we wanted something similar but gave her free range with textures and color scheme and I love how it turned out,” explained Amber. Another favorite decorative feature is






entertaining is the glass wall system between the family room and the porch that can be opened completely. The backyard is every entertainer’s dream and boasts plenty of covered and uncovered areas framed by the large yard and wooded view. Walking out the back doors, you are greeted by an expansive covered area with space for grilling and plenty of seating. Further from the house is an inviting wooden deck with more seating, along with an uncovered dining area with two eight-top tables. All three spaces flow seamlessly alongside a pool and jacuzzi area that has a water feature at the far end. “We had a pool at our old house, so once we decided the house was going to be ours, I told Byron, ‘If we’re moving out there, we’re going to put in a pool,’ and I’m really

a beautiful mirror wall in the dining room that was created using a variety of mirrors in multiple shapes and sizes. The mirrors not only add a fun quality to the space, but help to accentuate the vaulted ceiling, as well as the stunning pair of black and gold light fixtures that hang over the dining table. In addition to using repetition in their color palette, the Stewarts created cohesion by adding two brick fireplaces that match the fireplace in the dining room. The home now has a fireplace in the dining room, the new living room addition and outside on the covered back porch. The three fireplaces line up down the same side of the house, leading the eye out to the backyard. Further enhancing the open concept of the home and increasing flow for





Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 24-25 Page 26-27 Page 28-29 Page 30-31 Page 32-33 Page 34-35 Page 36-37 Page 38-39 Page 40-41 Page 42-43 Page 44-45 Page 46-47 Page 48-49 Page 50-51 Page 52-53 Page 54-55 Page 56-57 Page 58-59 Page 60


Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs