October 2023

Texarkana Magazine

OCTOBER • 2023

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE October | 2023 | Volume 4 | Issue 10

56. LIFE It’s Getting Hot in Here 60. TXK 411 Breast Cancer Awareness

10. COVER The Shark of Cass County 22. POLITICS Arkansas Girls Lead




42. ENTERTAINMENT Good Evening TXK 46. STYLE The Enchanted Corner of Pine

24. COMMUNITY True Crime Obsession 30. CULTURE The Legend 40.

62. SHARE THE LOVE Milestones 64. THE MONTHLY MIX The Cozy Edit 66. TXK ROOTS Lauren Davis Turner

SPORTS Let’s Roll



What is your favorite scary movie?

CASSY MEISENHEIMER I am not a scary movie fan, but I watched Scream countless times in high school.

TERRI SANDEFUR Psycho (1960) The Omen (1976) Cat People (1982) Poltergeist (1982) Hellraiser (1987)

ALANA MOREL I Know What You Did Last Summer


MATT CORNELIUS I don’t watch scary movies.





KRISTIN DAVIS Final Destination


MEGAN GRIFFIN Double, Double Toil and Trouble

(This one continues to give me anxiety.)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (The one I’ll never forget.)

TIFFANY HORTON None, I don’t like scary movies at all.

GREY JOHNSON Friday the 13th Part VI

ANDREA LOREDO The Conjuring Universe Series





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

W hen our days become overrun with memes, caffeine overloads, and the constant buzzing of our smart devices, there often comes an unexpected turning point for many of us to refocus. For me, it has not been the average mid-life crisis when you buy a flashy car or have the sudden urge to take interpretive dance classes (though, no judgment if that’s your jam). It’s been a slower, quieter, and maybe a little weirder, subtle pull toward... bird watching. Yep. Bird watching, or ‘birding’ for those of us in the know. It might seem like an activity designed only for those who have run out of things to watch on Netflix, but let me tell you, it is not. I have plenty to do daily, and I still catch myself distracted by watching the hummingbirds. I was supposed to be heading to my treadmill, but watching the hummingbirds outside my kitchen window inspired me, derailing me to come write this editorial. If you are not familiar or have yet to reach this point in your life, let me assure you it is a wild ride. Instead of swiping on my screen, I get mesmerized by all the different types of birds at my feeders. You can sometimes even catch me with binoculars, desperately trying to determine what type of bird I have spotted across my pond. The simple truth? Bird watching is like life’s blooper reel. It’s full of unexpected laughs, a few mishaps, and moments that

ALANA MOREL alana@txkmag.com KARA HUMPHREY kara@txkmag.com LEAH ORR leah@txkmag.com BRITT EARNEST britt@txkmag.com BRITTANY ROBLES brittany@txkmag.com MATT CORNELIUS matt@txkmag.com

remind us not to take things too seriously. Because if you can find joy in staring at birds that, frankly, are just not that into you, you are doing something right. I would say I enjoy all animals. Some only from afar, but anytime we get a chance to visit a ranch with animals, you will find me giddy, like the afternoon we spent at Buzbee Antioch Ranch with Frances and Tony Buzbee. It was a wonderful time spent with a lot more than just hummingbirds. Their beautiful ranch is a place of refuge for animals that others have cast out. They even have some llamas that were brought to them in a minivan! Did you hear me? A minivan… llamas! Thank goodness for the Buzbees, so those poor guys never have to ride in a minivan again. Tony grew up in Cass County, just like I did. I remember his sweet mother working at my school when I was growing up. To see all his accomplishments coming from similar roots, shows how hard work and determination can pay off. Kids, take note of this. We have so many great stories this month in Texarkana Magazine —a field trip to the Buzbee Ranch, visiting the Monster Mart in Fouke, Arkansas, learning about true crime podcasts, preparing for menopause, and so much more. We have had a blast putting this issue together. Happy fall y’all!





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 .





In the heart of East Texas, one often hears stories of individuals whose humble beginnings propel them into extraordinary journeys. Tony Buzbee is the embodiment of the American dream—an exceptional individual, achieving remarkable success while holding steadfast to his small-town roots.







B uzbee got his start at Queen City High School and has been making his mark and leaving a trail behind him with every step he has taken. While serving as Battalion Commander in the Corp of Cadets at Texas A&M, Buzbee was recognized as the Outstanding Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Senior and earned the title of Distinguished Naval Graduate. He has since had the Buzbee Leadership Learning Center named after him on the A&M campus in College Station, permanently securing his place among a long line of proud Aggies. After college, Buzbee enlisted as a United States Marine, distinguishing himself as an Honor Graduate of his Marine Corps training. He earned the top score in leadership out of over 200 other Marine lieutenants. As an infantry officer, Buzbee led special operations infantry units in the Persian Gulf and Somalian conflicts. Later, he was selected to become a reconnaissance officer and commanded Recon Company, First Marine Regiment. After an assortment of awards and accomplishments, Buzbee ended his military career at the rank of captain. Buzbee’s aspirations next turned toward a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. While there, Buzbee served as the managing editor of the Houston Law Review. His peers elected him class captain, and he won state and regional mock trial championships. Additionally, Buzbee was voted best advocate. He graduated summa cum laude and second in his class. After an impressive start to his law career working for other firms, Buzbee founded The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston, Texas. By successfully bringing many notable cases to billions of dollars in verdicts, he secured his legendary status as “The Shark” to clients and opposing attorneys alike. He has been called a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, named 2015 Attorney of the Year by the Texas Lawyer , and a “big, mean, ambitious, tenacious, fire-breathing Texas trial lawyer. Really big. Poster boy big,” by The New York Times . He was featured on the cover of New York Times Magazine and Texas Monthly said, “Buzbee has made his name going after corporations, and he usually wins big!”











Needless to say, he is not your ordinary attorney, and he is no ordinary man. To truly understand Tony Buzbee, one must look beyond his professional accolades. When you get to the heart of the matter, it is the firm foundation of his upbringing that crafted him into the superstar he has become today. Cass County leaves an indelible mark on those who have ever called it home. Like so many other young people from this quiet area, Buzbee could not wait to get away to the hustle and bustle of big city life, but he could not stay away for long. His 7,000-acre ranch in Northeast Texas is not just a testament to his success, it has been the perfect home away from home, bringing him back to his roots and giving him a place to step away. At one point, Buzbee admits, he and his friends used the property for “all kinds of dumb things, like blowing up cars and shooting competitions. I owned a tank, and we’d run over old cars with it,” he said. But today, this beautiful acreage, dubbed Antioch Buzbee Ranch, has been set aside to fulfill a greater purpose. “I love this area. It’s very unique. Everywhere is changing and growing, but this place isn’t much different from when I was growing up. Everything I do now is the same as I did back then, just on a different scale. I wandered these woods, trespassed, and fished in other peoples’ ponds, and hunted on other people’s land. My family has been in this general area for five generations, and my parents still live in the home I grew up in. When I originally bought this place, it was to be near them,” said Buzbee. “They live about a mile up the road.” In 2021, Buzbee married the gracious and beautiful Frances Moody, whose family name appears on buildings, bridges, and banks across Texas. Many are familiar with Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas, and The Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas. “I knew her family for years and sat on a bank board with her father. I obviously knew who she was since the Moody family is probably the most charitable family in Texas,” said Buzbee. “We kept on running into each other at charity events—one time specifically at a valet stand,” said Frances. “I was leaving, he was just arriving. I guess that shows the difference in our personalities,” she said with


Addax Alpaca Axis Blackbuck

Blesbok Buffalo

Camel Cattle

Chicken Donkey Dog Eland Ellipsis Waterbuck Emu Fallow Goat Highland Horse Kangaroo Lechwe Llama Oryx Ostrich Pere David Deer Pig Red Stag Sheep Water Buffalo Wildebeest Zebra








“Quarried Consciousness” by Angus Taylor

a laugh. Because the Moody family name has become synonymous with philanthropy in the Lone Star State, Frances does her part to carry on that legacy. She has a big heart for many causes, but her love of animals supersedes many passions in her life. When she and Buzbee joined together, the future of Antioch Ranch became obvious. “First, it started because we needed a place to put some of these horses we were rescuing,” Buzbee said. “I told her, ‘I have plenty of pastures.’ We were involved in several animal rescue charities in Houston even before we were married, and I always had a passion for animals. I just had never before included this property in that work.” With Frances, the vision, organization, and scale of the couple’s rescue project quickly grew. What began as pastures of horses and cows, which aren’t all that uncommon in this neck of the woods, has grown into a safe haven for kangaroos, camels, alligators, llamas, goats, zebras, wildebeest, and many other species. These animals are not just rescued and thrown out to pasture by the Buzbees. Each animal lucky enough to find its way to the ranch can count on a permanent place to live out its life. “I used to kill two or three deer off this property every year. I’d bring my buddies up here the first week

they are actually protective. You can put them in a field with other animals, and they are likely to guard them from coyotes and other predators. I just love them.” “She has made sure we have donkeys in every main field,” joked Buzbee. There are marvels around every bend in the road, including a chapel that is a cherished refuge. “The chapel is about a mile round trip from the main house, so it’s a nice walk over here to have a quiet moment. Everything inside was recovered from churches that were closed, including the stained glass windows. The Bible in there is about 200 years old, and the door is almost 200 years old too. I bought a lot of these things at auctions. We have special Easter services here, and the former Governor of Texas once even preached here.” Another passion of the Buzbee’s is art. They are serious collectors of impressive, invaluable pieces displayed at their Houston residence. However, Houston is not the only place to benefit from their impeccable artistic taste. Friends and neighbors of Antioch Ranch can all share in a special exhibit anytime they drive past the large-scale, stacked-stone sculpture, “Quarried Consciousness,” which is a reclining male figure created by artist Angus Taylor. The installation of this unique creation came after a trip to Cape Town,

of November and we’d hunt, but there has been no hunting on this property since two years before Frances and I got married. Now it’s just kind of a refuge.” There is no breeding or selling of animals from the property, and many are lovingly known by name. They are cared for on a level that most house pets rarely enjoy. The ranch is staffed with caretakers who have adopted the vision and created an oasis. “We love this place. Every time we are here, Frances wants to get out and hand-feed every animal,” Buzbee said. “I love them all,” said Frances, but she and Buzbee agree the donkeys are one of their favorites. “They are sweet,” she said, “and

South Africa, where Buzbee and Frances attended a solo exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery and decided this eye-catching wonder of another world was destined for East Texas. Power couple is a well-deserved description for Frances and Tony Buzbee. But, beyond the flash and frills of the beautiful life they have built together, the peace and quiet of their East Texas home brings them back to the family, faith, and belonging that is easily found in a small community. Antioch Ranch is a beautiful reminder that the only thing better than setting off to discover the adventures of a big life is coming back home again.

cover photo by Matt Cornelius





I n our current society, we often find ourselves in a hyper-partisan world where it seems increasingly difficult to reach consensus on any issue. If you’ve ever watched the Arkansas General Assembly debate a highly controversial piece of legislation, you might conclude your local lawmakers are just as deeply divided as those in Washington. But I want to let you in on a little secret: most of us are friends. In fact, we probably had dinner together minutes after you watched us vote down one another’s bills. There’s also a group with a very special bond within the walls of the State Capitol… and that’s the women of the House. There are 26 of us right now. In November, we broke a record for the highest number of women voted into the House in the general election. After a special election in 2020, there were 27 of us for a short time. Some of us have kids at home. Some of us are grandparents. Some of us are attorneys and others put our careers on hold to raise

children. We are diverse in age, race, and socio-economic status. But there is not one woman serving in the Arkansas House right now who I wouldn’t call upon if I needed help. And in turn, I’d drop everything if one of my colleagues called me. In 2017, the women of the House started a movement called #ARGIRLSLEAD. Each of us has a unique story to share about our journey on the road to our current leadership position. We share those stories on our social media pages for #ARGIRLSLEAD. You can find our social media pages by searching # ARGIRLSLEAD. We also visit schools and provide shadow and mentor opportunities for girls in our districts. The purpose of this movement is to promote positive self- image and leadership for young girls across the state. This is an opportunity for female lawmakers to use their own experiences and stories to help the next generation. These stories have helped young girls see themselves in a leadership role.




Among females in the House, there are stories of overcoming physical and learning disabilities, sickness, grief, and even sexual abuse. The point is to show girls no matter what your circumstances are, you can rise above and use your experience to make our state a better place. We share these experiences with one another often. The women of the House occasionally have get-togethers in our homes or meet for dinner after work. Sometimes we talk about legislation, but most of the time we’re talking about what we’re reading, watching on Netflix, or what’s happening at home. It is these conversations that create better legislation. What I’ve noticed is that when we know one another on that personal level, we can trust each other’s intent is always good. So, when we see a bill we might not like at first glance, we’re comfortable enough to suggest changes with one another. Working with the other political party can lead to more effective governance and better outcomes for the people. Collaboration and compromise are essential in a democratic system, and by working together, legislators can find common ground and pass legislation that addresses the needs and concerns of a wider range of constituents. In my eight years at the House, I’ve witnessed great progress for women. We’ve created paid maternity leave to state employees, expanded coverage for new mothers on Medicaid, and strengthened

economic opportunity for women business owners. We’re just getting started. Approximately 2,451 women serve in the 50 state legislatures in 2023, making up 33% of all state legislators nationwide. This percentage is the highest we’ve seen in our nation’s history. After the 2022 elections, women legislators reached a historical record of representation. This represents a steady increase over the past four years, with a significant increase since 2018 when women represented 25% of legislative bodies. Across the nation 97 women serve as speaker of the House, president of the Senate, speaker pro tem, Senate president pro tem, majority leader or minority leader for the 2023 legislative session. This is the highest number of women serving in leadership to date. There is still vast room for improvement. Arkansas has not yet had a female Senate president or a female speaker of the House. We still have wage gaps in earnings, and maternal health still needs improvement. I’m optimistic about the future for Arkansas women because I’ve been so fortunate to work with women who won’t rest until progress is made. Regardless of our political differences, the moment we step out of the chamber doors, our shared connection as Arkansans takes precedence. We all want to make Arkansas an even better place for the next generation.







TRUE CRIME OBSESSION BY ANDREA LOREDO The addiction begins with a simple-minded curiosity, evolving into a craving to know more. Each terrible detail deepens the dependence. Carefully chosen background music, suspenseful presentation, and an intriguing cast of characters all contribute to a growing obsession with today’s hottest trend... true crime podcasts.




T he rise of podcasts, YouTube channels, and even TikTok accounts has forever changed the way we consume news. Some of these accounts have completely dedicated themselves to becoming a major source of true crime information. From unsolved mysteries of past decades to keeping us up to date with current missing persons, true crime storytellers can be found on every media platform. One example, Texas True Crime , is a podcast dedicated to shining a light on everything crime-related that takes place in the state of Texas. Its producer and host, Jessica Moore, is a Texas native who has always been interested in true crime podcasts. Moore began releasing episodes in January of this year and puts out a new episode every other week. “I think true crime has become more popular recently because we have access to media and information from around the world at our fingertips. You can easily go online and read about almost any case that interests you,” Moore said. “Before the internet, people really only knew about what was happening in their community or the few things that were reported on news broadcasts. You were limited. That’s not the case anymore.” In the past, local and national news stations did a relatively good job at reporting basic facts, but today’s average podcast can bring the story closer to home. It’s not uncommon while listening to today’s true-crime storytellers to be struck with a moment of heartbreaking clarity. These were not mere stories. There was no music, no suspense, and the people involved were not just characters. The depth of the details available through today’s podcasts remind us that these were real individuals who experienced laughter and tears and had families who loved them, like anyone else. “I think it’s very important to remind others that these are real people and that their lives were changed forever by these events,” Moore said. In her podcast, she is determined to show the human side of tragic characters. “I give information about a person’s background and life to show that they were real-life, living, breathing people. Not just characters in a story.” It is that type of connection that draws today’s average listener. For Karl Richter and Mallory Wyatt of the Texarkana Gazette , and the minds behind local podcast True Crime Texarkana , understanding the audience was key. “Based on our web graphics, crime stories are our most-read stories. So that’s partly where this [ True Crime Texarkana ] came from, being aware of what our audience wants,” said Richter. “I had been doing the interview podcast On the Line for about a year, so I felt it was a good time to get another one started.” The podcast premiered in late June of this year and has three released episodes, with more coming in the following months. True Crime Texarkana is currently covering an unsolved tragedy that took place in Texarkana, Arkansas, in 1981, known as “The Alexander Children Murders” that continues to captivate listeners. Collaboration with Calvin Seward, a retired police captain from the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department—who was already working the unsolved case—created a clear path for the subject of the new podcast. The Alexander children’s murders were a tragedy involving 14-year-old Karen Alexander and her younger brother, 13-year- old Gordon Alexander, who were attacked in their own home.

(L-R) Chrismtas photo of 14-year-old Karen Alexander and 13-year-old Gordon Alexander who were attacked in their home in 1981.

April 8, 1981, Texarkana Arkansas Police Department officers at the Alexander crime scene located at 501 Baden Street.

The True Crime Texarkana podcast is currently covering the unsolved tragedy of the Alexander children’s murders.




The Texas True Crime podcast is dedicated to shining a light on everything crime-related that takes place in the state of Texas.

The Spookies podcast broadcasts out of Lawrence, Kansas.

Handprint of the suspect from the 1946 Texarkana Phantom Killer case file released by the FBI.

Unfortunately, Gordon died at the scene, while his sister was taken to St. Michael Hospital, where she tragically died three days later.

People are drawn to true crime stories for a variety of reasons, and it’s a complex phenomenon that can’t be attributed to a single factor. Is it empathy and connection to the victims? Is it psychological interest? Or is it simply morbid curiosity that draws the masses? “True crime interests me because I want to know what makes a person decide to hold people up at night in their cars like the Moonlight Murderer,” said Moore. “What goes wrong in your brain that you don’t recognize this is wrong? I think most people interested in true crime feel the same way. Most of us want to know what causes a person to behave this way. Are killers born, or are they made?” The loose ends of unsolved cases also draw self-proclaimed sleuths, hoping they will notice something that was overlooked in the past. “People don’t like loose ends,” she explains. “They want a resolution, and in cold cases, there aren’t any.” It may be that human desire for justice that is making true crime one of the most consumed forms of today’s media. When cases grow cold, they tend to grow old. People stop searching, the media stops reporting, and police officers must eventually retire. Everything comes to a halt until someone takes a renewed interest. That spark of interest can help light a fire that illuminates the shadows around forgotten cold cases.

While the Alexander tragedy resonates with locals, there is another local case that garnered an even more extensive

spotlight. The infamous 1946 Moonlight Murders were the inspiration behind two movies, including The Town that Dreaded Sundown . It is also believed to be the inspiration for the classic horror story of “The Hook Man.” Known by many names, “The Texarkana Moonlight Murders,” or “The Phantom Killer,” is considered to be the oldest cold case in Texas history. Michael Little and his wife, Stephanie, are hosts of The Spookies podcast, broadcasting from Lawrence, Kansas. Their podcast not only focuses on true crime but also dark history, conspiracy theories, weird mysteries, and the occult. “I find most of the cases we cover through research,” said Little. “I heard about the Texarkana Moonlight Murders as a child living in Texas. My mother used to talk about it a lot. She heard rumors and stories about it… It doesn’t seem real, and yet it is. I hope someday the truth will be revealed.”




photo courtesy of Pamula Pierce Barcelou (copyright 2019) | poster art by Ralph McQuarrie





Even the smallest towns of America have local lore as intricate as the largest cities. There is a legend in Fouke, Arkansas, that is well known among the locals and cryptid enthusiasts everywhere. The beast of Boggy Creek has spread its influence far beyond the land it’s said to inhabit. Admirers of the story have come from afar to step foot in those infamous woods. One such traveler is Lyle Blackburn, author of various books covering the beast and other similar creatures.




A s a child, Lyle Blackburn was fascinated by creatures such as Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster. His interest in them grew even more after watching The Legend of Boggy Creek . “I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, so it wasn’t until I saw The Legend of Boggy Creek that I thought something like that might be in our own area.” Over the course of writing about the monster, Blackburn acquainted himself with Fouke and its community. He is considered a reputable source of information regarding the legend because of his extensive research and interviews. Through his work, Blackburn can relay the story to others who have not grown up hearing the legend. This depiction gives the town a mythical status to outsiders. “I probably romanticize the whole thing more because, when I first saw it, Fouke was a mystical place. It was a real place, but it was something shown on a movie screen,” Blackburn said. “That’s what captured people’s imaginations. It was painted in such a cool picture as this is a mysterious place, and [it told people to] beware when the sun goes down. To outsiders, it’s something larger than life. They have that sort of outsider view of ‘maybe the woods here are just a little bit different, they’re just a little bit more creepy, or there’s something about this place.’”

Lyle Blackburn




The release of The Legend of Boggy Creek in 1972 initially caused this widespread attention. Directed and produced by Charles B. Pierce, it has a documentary style combining real and staged interviews with fictional depictions of the events. The Legend of Boggy Creek gave the town a new level of fame, which, since its spread, has been a train that cannot be derailed. “It’s so famous you wouldn’t even imagine that it could have happened, but it was just the right timing and the right circumstances that the movie did so well,” Blackburn said. “That made this little town famous, and for that, it’s [reached] fame that other little towns can’t compete with.” The film used many locals in its production, often having them play themselves as they recount their personal experiences with the monster. There have been many sightings over the years, and the local newspaper recorded one account, garnering the town a lot of attention. But the movie, which made over $20 million at the box office, is what brought the masses to this rural town. People who wouldn’t usually come to the area were interested in it after reading the story in the Texarkana Gazette in 1971. “It initially brought people in, and then, when the movie got big, it brought an even bigger wave of people down here,” said Blackburn. The movie’s influence could easily be seen through the sudden invasion of tourists hoping to see something extraordinary. This influx of visitors had both positive and negative effects on the community. “Small towns don’t like a lot of people tromping around and coming in. On one hand, it’s great because they’re stopping at your gas station and your convenience store and your two or three restaurants or whatever you have,” Blackburn said. “But it is kind of an invasion, because these people are used to being out here a little bit away from the hubbub and stuff.” Along with the tourists came more zealous attempts to see the monster, such as setting up tents on private property near Boggy Creek. The town realized their situation wasn’t going away soon, and the reactions were mixed. “Some of them found humor in that, and some of them were mad. This was an invasion of privacy, and so they had a split

Denny Roberts, owner of the Monster Mart in Fouke, Arkansas




reaction to the movie,” Blackburn said. “Then, some people profited [with the mindset of] ‘well, let me sell some t-shirts... People are here anyway.’” Over time, the hype slowed down to an acceptable level, and town residents slowly accepted it as part of their history. Many locals view the story in a positive light, and some even use it to make some profit. Most of the negativity surrounding the story appears to have been left in the past. “The people who wanted to do something [with the story] and make something out of it have [done that], and the people that just kind of let it be, then they let it be. But you don’t have so much of the problem with people clamoring down here, running over fences and invading properties. That’s all in the past, and that generation is gone,” Blackburn said. “The generation now just has fond memories. They’re proud of it. So, they have a much more positive view of it.” The Legend of Boggy Creek has undoubtedly changed the community forever without changing the town’s identity. The legend works alongside Fouke instead of overtaking it. “It didn’t revolutionize the town in [the sense] that there’s no amusement park or anything. There are no water slides, and there are no motels and things that really exploit it. There are a few things, [for example] the Monster Mart, which has embraced it; it has a souvenir shop and a small museum,”

Blackburn said. “So, it’s changed in terms of if you’re going to come here [they have] stuff to show you if you’re interested. You can also see things about the monster in that, at one time, Highway 71 was called Monster Expressway, and there are establishments like the Monster Activity Center.” Many festivals and events have been held in the creature’s honor over the years. The Fouke Monster Festival’s most recent event was held in April 2023. It was their fifth annual meeting. These events have brought more than just publicity, though. Some funds raised at the camp-out were donated to Smith Park. Money raised at other events has gone to the local school or scholarships. The popularity of this local legend has transformed Fouke into a landmark, and the locals have either adapted to or ignored the beast of Boggy Creek. Mysterious and widespread, this chapter of Fouke’s history is not closing any time soon. “[It’s] this monster legend that never ceases. It kind of ebbs and flows, but it’s always getting bigger and bigger,” Blackburn said. “It’s never-ending.”

Newspaper pages from the Texarkana Gazette





THE MONSTER MART in Fouke, Arkansas, is dedicated to preserving the history of the Fouke Monster, a local creature made famous by the movie The Legend of Boggy Creek . The store displays historic Fouke Monster items and an assortment of Fouke Monster and Boggy Creek shirts, gifts, books, and memorabilia. The Mart has had visitors from 26 foreign countries and all 50 states. The owner, Denny Roberts, is planning future Airbnb options for lodging when visiting to search for the legend. NEW 50 TH ANNIVERSARY 4K UHD HDR 10+ DISC PACKAGE of the movie is being release with never-before-seen original outtakes prepared by Justin Beahm, Reverend Entertainment, film commentary from Lyle Blackburn, and 5.1 surround sound option.

THE MOVIE Original Release Date— August 25, 1972 Directed by Charles B. Pierce The film grossed more than 20 million dollars. Re-Released in 2019 The film premiered at the historic Perot Theatre on Friday, June 14, 2019, breaking Perot screening records.

STAY TUNED Carrying on in her father’s footsteps, Pamula Pierce Barcelou is in the pre-production stages of a NEW The Legend of Boggy Creek franchise!

LOCAL TALK According to witnesses, the creature resembles Bigfoot, standing over six feet tall and covered with hair. Some say the monster weighs between 300 and 800 pounds. The beast smells of a combination of skunk and wet dog.




BRINGLE LAKE OUTDOOR ETHICS • Leave no trace behind. • There is NO smoking. • Stay on the marked path. • Respect wildlife. • The trail is open from dawn to dusk. • Tag photos #gotxk.

Scan here to visit Bringle Lake Mountain Bike Trail System: Texarkana, Texas. A Facebook page where local contributors and users of the bike trails post updates and communicate with the Parks Department regarding storm damage and other relevant updates.

Bringle Lake Trails map courtesy of Texarkana, Texas Parks and Recreation




LET’S ROLL BIKE BRINGLE LAKE BY ALANA MOREL T he Bringle Lake and a half miles long, perfect for biking, hiking, walking, jogging, and exploring! Along the paths are mountain bike trails that have been developed Wilderness trail is a loop trail that measures approximately five and maintained by citizen volunteers and city staff. Bringle Lake Trail is a “Top 25 Mountain Bike Trail in Texas,” according to singletracks.com . These trails range from beginner and intermediate to advanced within the Bringle Lake Park Wilderness Area. The best entrance is from Bringle Lake Park East. This trail leads to the Waterworks Spillway,

where new art will be added along the Art Walk soon. The trail continues around the Texarkana Golf Ranch and back to University Avenue.

Everett DeLoach enjoying riding his bike on the new pump track. photo courtesy of T.J. Coltharp





A h, October—the month of crispy leaves, pumpkin patches, and Halloween costumes. It’s a time for spooky tales and candy-induced sugar comas. Or at least, that’s what it’s supposed to be. But apparently, someone forgot to inform the universe that October is not just the runway for December’s holiday extravaganza. Let’s take a moment to collectively raise our eyebrows at the speed with which people shift from Halloween to Christmas these days. It’s like sprinting from your first bite of turkey to setting up Santa’s sleigh in the blink of an eye. Honestly, the holiday rush these days makes The Flash look like he’s moving at a snail’s pace. Picture this: you’re still trying to perfect your werewolf costume, and there’s already a full-fledged winter wonderland of twinkling lights and snowflakes displayed in every store window. I mean, come on, can’t we give Halloween its five minutes of fame before the tinsel brigade takes over?

Sure, marketing teams are sprinting to stay ahead, but I’ve got to hand it to them for their impressive feat of juggling jack-o’-lanterns and gingerbread houses simultaneously. Speaking of juggling, let’s take my friend Brittney Quinn, for example. I’m convinced she’s the real-life embodiment of the saying “burning the candle at both ends.” Brittney’s fall candles are aglow by August while the temperatures are still above 100 degrees, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she already has a Christmas tree ready to roll out before the first leaf hits the ground in October. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for those who adore fall candles and mugs of pumpkin-spiced everything. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a pumpkin-flavored pencil on my desk as we speak. And Christmas is always one of my favorite times of the year. But here’s the thing: while we’re rushing to welcome the festive decorations of the next holiday, are we missing out on the brief moments that make each holiday special in its own right?







Imagine trading the hurry-hurry-hurry for a leisurely stroll through the season, like savoring every bite of your Thanksgiving feast instead of gobbling it down to move on to the next course and giving yourself indigestion. There’s a certain charm in living in the moment—in finding delight in the pumpkin spice latte that’s still warm in your hand. The holiday rush might be relentless, but let’s not allow it to sweep us away from the simple pleasures: the crunch of leaves underfoot, the joy of watching a classic horror movie on Halloween night, the warmth of a family gathering where the focus is on togetherness rather than gift-giving. So, as the carols creep onto the airwaves and Santa’s sleigh inches its way

toward store shelves, let’s share a chuckle at the audacity of it all. Sure, we’ll get there eventually, but for now, let’s make the most of this October magic. After all, time flies faster than a reindeer on Christmas Eve, and we don’t want to miss the beautiful moments that each season brings… even if they do come faster than Brittney Quinn’s fall candles lighting up in August.

Shelby Bartlett Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Kamri Edades Gia on Max

LIVE MUSIC October 6 Greg Gardner Redbone Magic Brewing October 7 TSO—An American in Paris Perot Theatre 7 pm

October 7 Honey—The Ultimate Heart Tribute Band On the Border Mexican Cantina 6 pm October 20 Jake Tankersley Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar 8:30 pm

October 22 Heaven Changes Everything Tour Big Daddy Weave, Tasha Layton, & Hannah Kerr Trinity Baptist Church 7 pm

October 27 Honey Duo Red Bone Magic Brewing 7 pm October 28

Trey Lewis 67 Landing 5:30 pm

Allie Lewis True Crime with Kendall Rae

LOCAL EVENTS October 12, 17, 19, 24, 26

October 11 LifeNet Celebrating 30 Years Texarkana Texas Convention Center 11 am-2 pm October 13 Destination Downtown Check-in El Frio & Hopkins 6 pm October 13 Pink-Out Day Wear Pink to Fight Breast Cancer

October 14 Oktoberfest Downtown Texarkana October 14 Texarkana Down Syndrome Society Sporting That Extra Chromosome Spring Lake Park 9-11:30 am October 19 For the Sake of One Hope Banquet Crossties Event Center 6 pm

October 20 & 21 Gayble Moss Tennis & Golf Tournamnt Northridge Country Club October 21 Rotary Club Car Show

October 27 & 28 UAHT Fall Fest Hempstead Hall Hope, Arkansas 4-10 pm October 27 The Rocky Horror Picture Show Perot Theatre 8 pm October 28 Four States Auto Museum Annual Car Show

Texarkana Public Library Pumpkin

Decorating October 7

Gregg Orr Auto 8 am-10:30 am (awards at 2 pm)

Jeans and Bling Texarkana Texas Convention Center, 7 pm October 9 Singo for a Cause

For more events visit

Redbone Magic Brewing, 6 pm













T he magic of Halloween is upon us and at the corner of Pine and West 31st Street, you’ll find two families who work together each year to create a seasonal display that looks like it came straight from the set of Hocus Pocus . It’s here that Sha and Patrick Quinn and Samantha and Jon Stokes will work up to Halloween day creating a bewitching wonderland for trick-or-treaters. “We start about the first of September,” Patrick shares, “but keep adding as we find stuff. I even had a friend ask, ‘When will you stop decorating?’ and I told him, ‘Halloween night.’” The Quinns have been decorating for Halloween since they can remember, and specifically in this location since they bought the house in 1999. “Sha had been decorating [for Halloween] anyway and then Home Depot came out with the 12- foot skeletons,” Patrick said mischievously. “We didn’t get it the first year but made sure to get one the second year. Then [the Stokes] started decorating, and we just got obsessed with it.” For the Stokes, it started when they were house hunting. They were drawn to the charm of the area. “I remember when we started looking for a house. We knew we wanted to live over here, and we saw their house decorated with skeletons climbing up the side. We both commented, ‘How






cool is that?’ It’s funny that we then ended up being neighbors,” laughed Samantha. Jon elaborates, “It was the middle of summer when we actually bought our house, but we remembered that they were the ones who decorate for Halloween and said to each other, ‘Hey, that’s the fun house!’ So, when Halloween came up that year, we knew we had to do something. We started with the big inflatable pumpkin.” From there, the pair of neighbors has continued to grow their collection of decor. They spend all year with their eyes open for anything that could be added, and they even make some decorations themselves for a more personal look, like a collection of tombstones honoring Texarkana’s bygone landmarks that Jon created. Overall, the focus on both yards is over-the-top family fun, sometimes a little scary, but never gory according to the Quinns and the Stokes. “When we first started, my mom was concerned. I told her it wasn’t going to be scary, but then we got the 12’ skeleton,” said Jon. Concerned for the kids, Jon’s mom had to be reassured. “They have been drawn to it!” he said. Both couples are shocked when people all over town know where they live and comment on the decorations. Sha shared a memorable incident. “Once we were out to eat and talking about the decorations and this lady completely turns around and goes, ‘You’re the house on Pine with the big skelly and the dragon?’ And I just couldn’t believe someone in town knew our house like that. The lady even said that they drive by all the time and that it’s her favorite house. After hearing this, we just knew that we wanted to start building it and






get more. From there, it’s grown into what it is.” Samantha added her own experience, “At the doctor’s office, someone asked, ‘Are you near those houses that decorate?’ and I just said, ‘Yeah, we’re one of those.’ It’s really so cool how many people enjoy coming by to see what we’ve done.” The neighbors are frequently asked if it’s a competition between the two houses. “We actually work together,” Patrick said. “Jon knew of a particular skeleton that I was looking for. We didn’t have it here, but he saw it in Shreveport and brought it home for me. We do stuff like that all the time.” The decorations have become such a draw on Halloween night that the Quinns and the Stokes have decided to make two changes in logistics this year. “We’re getting the street shut off. We talked to the city, and they said they would barricade it for us. We have so much foot traffic that we were kind of worried last year, so this should make it much safer. We just may need some volunteers to make sure the barricades don’t get moved,” Samantha said with a laugh. Sha added, “And since we’ve started decorating, more and more houses near us do too, which adds even more people.” The second big change is that they will be raising money this year for the local charity, For the Sake of One. “We had seen in a Halloween Facebook group that people






had set up displays where you could donate money for a cause. I thought, ‘How cool would that be?’ As we stood outside last year, people would comment about how they felt like they should give us some money towards everything. But that’s not why we do it,” Jon explained. “But to use it as a way to raise money for a local charity? We liked that, and if all these cars and people do just a little bit, that could be kind of a big thing. It’s a goofy thing that we’re going to do anyway, but to give it a purpose is pretty cool.” Through their boundless creativity, unwavering dedication, and some help from their kids, the Quinns and the Stokes transform their quiet corner into a captivating Halloween display. It’s proof that shared passion and collaboration can make a difference. As they continue to weave their Halloween magic, come by, and experience it firsthand! And, if you can, contribute to their charitable cause. It’s a bewitching blend of whimsy and goodwill that builds community, and it is sure to put you in the mood for Halloween.







I was somewhere in my forties when I told my doctor at my annual checkup that I felt very hot sometimes. “It’s not hot flashes,” I assured her. “I just get really hot.” Fast forward twelve months to my next annual checkup. My doctor checked her notes and opened with a question. “Are you still having the hot flashes?” she asked. Denial, as they say, isn’t just where they found baby Moses floating in a reed basket. My doctor gets points for not chuckling as she wrote “hot flashes” in her notes the previous year. The average age of menopause for women in the United States is 51. Perimenopause, which is a slightly less hellish condition, can begin up to 10 years before the main show. It was perfectly normal for me to be having hot flashes at that time, but I wasn’t going there. Not me. Hot flashes, by the way, are kind of like 2 a.m. infant feedings. They’re pretty humorous until they happen to you. Then they’re

not one bit funny. I guess we should have known that something that starts with “men” was going to be troublesome. And “pause?” It’s not a pause. It’s the end. If your identity as a woman is connected to your ability to bear children, that’s over for good and you’d better find a hobby. As a fourth grader, I joined my fellow female classmates one afternoon in the school cafeteria to view a short film called “Growing Up and Liking It.” Produced by a company that made feminine hygiene products, it was blatantly commercial but factual, nonetheless. It was rife with information that no one, including our mothers, wanted to discuss with us, so the school showed it, and we giggled. It was, to be sure, good preparation. Maybe if they made an educational film for menopause, we would all be better prepared to deal with it when it occurs. They could call it “Growing Old and Tolerating It.” I’m thinking the makers of Premarin ® could sponsor it. Or maybe the people who make







cotton nighties. Or chardonnay. Rather than giggle, we would probably laugh out loud. A friend advised me at one point to put my drink on my wrist, promising that it would quite amazingly cool down my entire body. It didn’t. It was even less effective when I started drinking red wine. I can remember walking outside coatless on a frosty January day to get some relief. My coworkers were concerned for my sanity. In short order, I became chilled and needed a blanket. We’re advised to “wear layers,” but eventually, the constant donning and removal of clothing articles makes us feel like Barbie dolls. Or Colorforms. Until menopause, I loved to sleep in silky gowns and night shirts because they made it so easy to turn over under the covers. Victoria’s Secret was my go-to vendor for sleepwear that was comfortable and didn’t tangle up. One night I realized that my polyester nightwear was acting like a crock pot, and my body was slow-cooking inside it. I had to get rid of numerous nightgowns and have since been on a search for the perfect one. Like the perfect handbag, it doesn’t exist. I know what you’re thinking. Get some hormones, girlfriend, and get them now! Sadly, if your breast cancer was estrogen receptor positive, which mine was, you can’t take estrogen even 22 years later. Because of familial links, I had to advise my sisters to stop taking hormones upon my diagnosis, which they did. A year later, one reported she had such awful symptoms she started taking them again. “I’d rather die than feel like that,” she assured me. I didn’t argue with her. My friend Peri worked in marketing for one of the big beer companies. Her hot flashes turned her face the color of a faded Razorback jersey. “And I work with all men,” she mourned. Maybe the term “menopause” means that we need a pause from men. That’s something to think about, isn’t it? I always try to find something to laugh about when life gets rocky. I firmly believe a sense of humor to be an effective tool for navigating the toughest of situations. Still, I cannot help feeling that menopause is like a comedian with bad timing. It just isn’t very funny. I’ll leave you with a meme. I don’t know where the credit for it should go because a friend told me about it, but here it is. To the twenty-something girls who think the fifty-something women are jealous of them: Enjoy your next 240 periods. Now that’s funny. ESTROGREN HORMONE LEVELS BY AGE

51 years old the average age for onset of menopause 50 million women in the U.S. are currently in menopause 12 months must pass without a period 8 possible years of perimenopause can last before menopause 5 years symptoms may last 80% of women say menopause did not decrease their quality of life more than 75% of women experience hot flashes during menopause, making them the most common symptom

Source: The North American Menopause Society



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