September 2021

SEPTEMBER • 2021

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE September | 2021 | Volume 2 | Issue 9

64. E N T E R TA I NME N T Good Evening TXK 66. L I F E A Reminder to My Teenage Child 68. L I F E Coffee Pots, Baby Gates and Grandparents

10. B U S I N E S S A Rich Heritage 14. P O L I T I C S Honor for Service

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35. c o v e r/ S T Y L E House on a Hill 60. S P O R T S Sliding into Home

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16. C OMMUN I T Y Community Under Construction 26. C U L T U R E Home Is Where The “Art” Is

70. S T Y L E Tailgate Style 72. T X K R O O T S Telvin Griffin

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My favorite part of the house is…

CASSY MEISENHEIMER …our yard. I’d always rather be outside working on projects with my family.

TERRI SANDEFUR …our dining room. It’s where we celebrate family milestones and feast excessively during the holidays.

KARA HUMPHREY …our kitchen/dining room. Family dinners bring everyone together and are some of our sweetest times together.

LEAH ORR …my closet.

It’s the only room in the whole house I don’t have to share with anyone else!

MATT CORNELIUS …my bathroom.

BRITT EARNEST …our screened in back porch. We love overlooking the pond at sunset!

LIZ FLIPPO …our courtyard.

BAILEY GRAVITT …my bathroom. That’s where the bath is, and I spend 95% of my free time in there relaxing.

I’m pretty sure I could win a Grammy® with my superior

It’s a little piece of relaxation in the center of our home where my kids play, we watch the Razorbacks, and some of my favorite memories have been made!

shower singing skills. I’m trying to remain humble, but I’m the most famous person in my house.

TERRI GRAVITT …my living room. It’s a really inviting and comfortable place to hang out with my family and friends.

MEGAN GRIFFIN …my son’s nursery. There have been so many sweet memories made there.

TIFFANY HORTON …the living room.

BRIAN JONES I mean… I only have one room.

I love it when the whole family cuddles up on the couch for a movie.

CAROLINE PURTLE …my bedroom. It is the space that most represents me. I call it the cave.

EMILY SARINE …my kitchen.

ELLIE TYE …the living room.

LIBBY WHITE …the living room. That’s where we can play games or have movie night with our kids.

It’s where I can always f ind my family and my snacks.

That’s where you can always f ind life and entertainment.

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2801 Richmond Road • Suite 38 Texarkana, Texas 75503 903.949.1460 letstalk@txkmag.com txkmag.com Publisher C A R D I N A L P U B L I S H I N G Staff C A S S Y M E I S E N H E I M E R cassy@txkmag.com T E R R I S A N D E F U R terri@txkmag.com K A R A H U M P H R E Y kara@txkmag.com L E A H O R R leah@txkmag.com M AT T C O R N E L I U S matt@txkmag.com B R I T T E A R N E S T britt@txkmag.com Local Sources C L A R E A N G I E R J O H N L U K E A N G I E R M A R Y C A R O L I N E A N G I E R

their opinions, and what they really wanted was a “big brother” for the family. It did not take long for us to settle on Anton. He seemed like the most perfect fit for our excited family. A year is a long time and leaving the comforts of home is never easy. I already admire Anton for stepping away from everything and everyone he knows and the normalcy of his routines for an opportunity to learn and grow. Can you imagine being 15 years old and moving across the globe to live with strangers? Could you see yourself leaving behind your family, culture and country to enroll in a completely different education system where only your second language is spoken? I am amazed at his courage and commitment to this adventure. As the time drew closer for him to arrive, the logistical implications of adding another kid to our crew began to sink in. He would be another boy with a busy schedule and activities and places to get to and from. I’m learning that the high school back-to-school supply list is different than the fourth and fifth-grade lists. We will have a teenager who will get to experience his first pep rally, American football game, homecoming dance and all the other fun festivities of high school. There will be so many brand-new adventures for all of us and we are ecstatic to experience each one. As we are learning each other’s customs, routines and a new way of life, we are building a bond that we hope to carry for a lifetime. Home is more than a place. It is more like a state of mind that, in the best cases, evokes feelings of safety and security, warmth and welcome, and a place for each occupant to feel a sense of belonging. As we are welcoming a new family member and endeavor to create that type of space and experience for him, we hope you will enjoy getting an inside look into the incredible homes featured in this month’s issue of Texarkana Magazine . Don’t miss our special section highlighting some of Texarkana’s Most Beautiful Homes. Whether mine, yours or the neighbor’s, as the saying goes, “there is no place like home!”

John Henry Meisenheimer, Anton Krueckels and George Meisenheimer

O ur family has embarked on a new and exciting journey. We have welcomed a new member to our crew! In early August, a 15-year-old German boy flew across the globe to join our family and live in Texarkana for the next eleven months as an exchange student! People have asked me, “How in the world did this all come about?” I credit my friend Lacey McCulloch for helping to make it all fall into place. While spending the day together, Lacey mentioned she had received a text from Jayme English about hosting an exchange student. When she read me the text I responded with, “That sounds fun!” Lacey shared my contact with Jayme and within two weeks of my first conversation with Fred and the boys, we committed to hosting a student and adding a teenager to our family for the school year. I am a little impulsive and always down for an adventure. My steady family members and friends are left scratching their heads regularly. Finding the right student who would fit into our busy lives was an adventure of its own. George, my nine-year-old, had the best time scanning student information sheets to figure out each person’s favorite sport (because, of course, that’s the most important factor when choosing a new family member). Both of my boys voiced

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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 .

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A RICH HERITAGE BY TERRI GRAVITT | PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS

W ith the COVID-19 pandemic pushing millions to work from home over the past 18 months, it has brought about the end of the traditional office and changed our view of the workplace as we once knew it. Working from home has become the new normal for many Americans and professionals around the world. It has forced us to create workspaces that allow us to perform at our highest capacity, while also being surrounded by all the comforts of home. With this challenge, we are endeavoring to find that delicate balance between creating a space that expresses who we are professionally, without overlooking style and functionality, as our offices have become extensions of

our homes. Jessica and Blake Rich, local business owners, have successfully achieved this balance and created a comfortable, masculine and practical office reminiscent of Mad Men , that seamlessly flows with the style of the rest of their beautiful home. Blake Rich, owner of Heritage Home Health and Hospice, is in the business of providing home-based health care to East Texans. He specializes in offering restorative and end-of-life care. He has been busy doing this since he graduated from nursing school in 2007. The work done by Rich and his staff is considered front line, so, unless there was known exposure to COVID-19 or a staff member had COVID-like symptoms, work for his staff was full steam ahead. Blake stated, “We experienced our fair share of

staff members going into quarantine, which has been a challenge in making sure we have enough feet on the ground to get the patients seen. We were guided by state and federal recommendations to help keep everyone as safe as possible.” Part of that effort meant allowing staff members to work from their homes for a time. If Blake was going to be spending more time at home, Jessica, Blake’s wife, decided he needed an office to make the transition easier. Jessica has her own personal space or “ladies’ hangout” in their home she affectionately named her “pretty purple room.” She thought it was only fair to give Blake the same type of environment, which could also be used as a “guy hangout” or “man room.” So, Jessica brought in local

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about art, brush up on their history or to learn a foreign language, this library has the books to answer all their questions. There is even a collection of the “For Dummies” series left by the previous owners. It’s the perfect complement to this special and eclectic office. Blake uses the space now for private business meetings, a place to go for peace and quiet and to plan for the week ahead. He enjoys a more collaborative approach to leadership and his home office supports this perfectly. “What I like most about my home office is the open seating arrangement. For work or family conversations, it is nice not to be confined behind a desk. I believe a conversation area like the one in my office is much more conducive to good ideas and openness. I also appreciate the masculine touches our decorator, Lauren Callaway, provided which really made the space a cool place to just hang out.” Recently, life has begun to return to a more normal state. The staff have all made their way back to the office and are glad to get back to a more traditional version of day-to-day work. “I like any opportunity to hang out with my family, so being at home is always nice,” Rich said. “However, my family will agree that I like the daily grind at my office. Being visible and working hand to hand with my team is how I like to run things. It is good to see everyone coming back to the office and life getting back to normal, for now.”

designer, Lauren Callaway, to help her create the perfect space for Blake. Inspired by his vision for the room, Callaway stated, “We wanted the space to feel like a men’s lounge rather than ‘an office.’ The cool leather chairs and the masculine vibe make it a space for Blake to work, as well as entertain his friends.” Callaway’s goal was to give Blake a space that also reflected his style, which she brilliantly did by mixing antique furniture pieces bought from the previous homeowners, fun and quirky accessories like a scarf clad deer, nice coffee table books and a beautiful set of crystal whisky glasses that were a gift from Blake’s parents. These choices, when mixed perfectly with beautiful art, a luxurious rug and the perfect paint color, brought it all together. “My goal is to make my clients happy and comfortable in their own space.” Callaway added, “I love to gain a sense of their style and push them a little out of their comfort zone. The end result is always amazing!” Most of the art and furniture were purchased from The Merchant House, which is one of Texarkana’s great locally owned

businesses run by owner, Bryan Callaway. There is also a stunning original abstract painting by former Texarkana resident, Kathi Couch, with subtle gold and purple hues of color that are conducive to the masculine feel of the room. Jessica added her own personal touch by creating her very own fun art piece for Blake. “My favorite is the one the boys and I created for him for Father’s Day. It is a silly picture where you add in faces. It is an old-school head shot of both Blake and our bulldog, Taz, in classic sweaters. Anything to get a laugh or smile from Blake was the goal here, and we achieved our mission!” Right beyond this room and around the corner sits a beautiful oak, floor-to-ceiling bookcase complete with a rolling ladder and well stocked with books of every genre. If a person is in the mood to make discoveries

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Earlier this summer, I stopped by VFW Post 4562 in Texarkana to listen to what local veterans and organizations that advocate for them had to say about the current state of affairs as it relates to getting their care and assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This visit also gave me an opportunity to update them on what I’ve been working on to enhance the federal government’s efforts to provide support to our former servicemembers. Some common themes came up: the disability exams backlog, the hardship related to traveling to distant facilities to receive care, the suicide crisis, toxic exposure and more. These serve as a reminder that there remain areas for improvement to the quality of care and delivery of services that the men and women who proudly and honorably dedicated themselves to defending our nation deserve. I’ve been privileged to serve on the VA Committee throughout my time in the Senate and am familiar with the long-standing issues we’ve faced in this mission as well as the new challenges that have arisen. We have made progress on several key fronts, but there’s more work to do. Last Congress, I introduced legislation to reduce the backlog of pending VA disability claims by expanding eligibility for health care providers who are allowed to conduct the required medical exam for veterans applying for benefits. President Trump signed it into law as part of a comprehensive veterans’ package, highlighting the need to address this problem quickly. As far as the need for a solution to the burden of having to travel great distances to receive care, the VA MISSION Act has been a tool the federal government is now implementing to bring care to veterans in their own communities. I was proud to support it because the service options provided in this bill will give veterans who live far from a VA facility and need frequent follow-up care, easier access to local providers and walk-in clinics. The veteran suicide crisis is an issue I’ve paid particular attention to because it is such a tragic situation. I also serve as the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee that funds the VA and know firsthand that continuing to increase the Department’s budget is not the solution to bringing down the number of veterans who take their own lives. Instead, what I’ve successfully pushed for is an alternative approach that seeks to leverage the work non-profit organizations are already doing to provide support to veterans. My IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act, which became law last October, will allow us to reach more veterans and support organizations that have a track record of success in suicide prevention and better measure the effectiveness of these programs. In fact, earlier this summer, the VA Secretary testified that the department intends to implement this effort next year. I will be closely monitoring its progress to insure it is working as intended. Care for women veterans has also been a top concern I’ve heard about from Arkansans. Women comprise ten percent of the veteran population, and there are approximately 20,000 women veterans in Arkansas. That number is only going to grow as more women serve our country in uniform. Still, we know that many of them face barriers to care and services because the VA has been slow to adapt to this reality. I led efforts to pass the Deborah Sampson Act last Congress to help address this concern. The bill, which had bipartisan support, will help create a culture at the VA

Sen. John Boozman, Arkansas Republican, serves as Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

HONOR FOR SERVICE BY SENATOR JOHN BOOZMAN W e recently marked the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the start of Operation Overlord that helped turn the tide of World War II. Like those who came before them and their successors, the men and women of the Greatest Generation were heroic yet ordinary people who were asked to do extraordinary things—and they did. My dad was a waist gunner on B-17s during the war, and he continued his career serving our country in uniform for years afterward. Because of his service, I understand intimately what it means to grow up in a military family and witness all the challenges and opportunities that America’s servicemembers and their loved ones encounter. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I work diligently to ensure veterans in the Natural State and throughout our country are getting the benefits and services they have earned.

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that welcomes women veterans and makes them feel like they belong. It mandates primary care for female veterans at all medical centers and clinics, expanding eligibility and access to counseling, and improving standards for providing women’s health care. Building on this foundation is something I’m committed to because this is just the beginning of the work necessary to make certain all veterans have access to the benefits and services our nation owes them. Just last month, my latest policy initiative to further improve women veterans’ care through the VA passed out of committee unanimously. This bill, the Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans in Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act, would require the VA to conduct mammograms for all women who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposures regardless of age, symptoms or family history. The incidence of breast cancer in women veterans and military populations is estimated to be up to 40 percent higher than the general population, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health and is believed to be correlated to their proximity to burn pits and other toxic exposure occurrences. Knowing this is the case, getting women veterans screened for breast cancer early makes perfect sense. Therefore, I’m working to make sure the VA does so. Finally, one issue that has direct ties to Arkansas has also seen some progress this year. Mena resident Bill Rhodes originally approached my office and informed us of the VA’s presumptions for

toxic exposure as it relates to those who served in Thailand in the VietnamWar era. To the concern of many, arbitrary restrictions are preventing veterans like Mr. Rhodes, who has developed illnesses linked to Agent Orange, from proving toxic exposure in order to qualify for VA benefits. I reintroduced legislation to correct this inequity, and the Senate VA Committee passed it earlier this year. I look forward to helping advance it so we can make sure these veterans get the care they need. Whether it is through the Veterans History Project or meetings like my sit-down with individuals and veterans’ organizations in Texarkana, I’m always seeking the input of former servicemembers, their loved ones and advocates so I know what their concerns are and can craft policies or conduct oversight to find solutions. When talking about this issue, I always like to remind people that our nation made a promise to these men and women in exchange for their service. Therefore, the services and benefits they are owed have been earned and they have every right to expect them. It’s up to all of us, Congress, the Executive Branch, state and local governments, and communities across our great nation, to stand up for our veterans and require accountability to ensure the commitments we made to them are being fulfilled. My recent visit with local veterans at VFW Post 4562 confirmed this is the case in Texarkana, and I’m proud to partner with them to keep pushing for more improvements that will best serve the men and women who so valiantly and nobly answered their country’s call to serve.

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COMMUNITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION BY CAROL INE PURTLE PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS T exarkana’s growth continues to broaden the community, encouraging new opportunities and innovation, but its towering

freely and buy any of the artwork seen. Trade Days are on the second Saturday of each month and are a fun event featuring artists and crafts, connecting artists with the community.” “Ms. [Georgia] Hubnik had the art gallery up the street. I brought her down here and said, ‘Look at this place. What do you think?’” Her vision, alongside Peavy’s, brought about the current gallery design. A column in the center of the entrance spawned one of the most iconic features of 1894’s innovative interior design. It is a rigged display connecting floor to ceiling with canvases trickling down, giving the illusion of walls and utilizing the full space in a unique and beautiful way. “Of course, you should have art in your interior design,” said Peavy. “Some mass produced art is beautiful and just fabulous, but to have something that was created by hand and is uniqurely yours, that’s a little bit more special.” The building is massive. The 1894 Gallery is found on the first floor and looks like a small museum. The original building, being decades old and once dilapidated, has undergone extensive renovation, but the improvements continue, and the building’s metamorphosis has only just begun. “I suppose what drove me to this building were the beautiful arches and how

history casts a large shadow on the twenty- first century. This is not to say heritage is unimportant or that “old” is bad. Texarkana’s past is the character, and in many ways the literal foundation that waits to usher in a future where each may coexist. Nestled alongside the railroad tracks on an overlooked block of downtown is the 1894 Gallery. The building, formerly home to Ritchie Grocery, is now owned by David Peavy. The art gallery opened in 2018 and today it is the largest gallery in the area, representing approximately 100 artists from the region with original pieces that range from canvas to fragile glass, all available for purchase. “There’s no other place in town, or anywhere, that does more for local artists than we do,” said Peavy. “We give people an outlet for their art, and when you want to see the art of the Southwest Arkansas, Northeast Texas area, this is the place to go. The 1894 Gallery and building gives a place of pride for people that are from Texarkana. We work really hard to make it that.” The gallery is free to enter, and guided tours can be provided, but it is an operating art gallery so visitors may walk around

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it was built magnificently,” said Peavy. “It was just something to be seen back in that day, and it is even today. I didn’t really choose the location; it might have chosen me.” The building comprises three floors with the gallery and five plaza apartments on the first. The second floor is a large venue space for rent called “Studio ‘71,” designed to highlight each decade. Peavy says, in the future, the second floor will include an “Airbnb.” Entering Studio ‘71, Peavy showed off its features. Standing in front of The Godfather poster, he said, “That’s my ‘man’s corner’ over there.” He also commented, “It’s funny to hear how many of these silver-haired guys say they had that same poster of Farrah Fawcett in their room.” Vintage ashtrays bought at auctions were scattered about, era-defining vinyl records hung on the walls, gadgets like a portable TV were on display and even an authentic, playable Atari Pong video game. Peavy stepped on the elevator. “You ask where I live. Well, I live in a 50,000 square-foot building,” said Peavy. The third floor is home to 13 luxury apartments, including his residence. Entering his apartment, a cat appeared around the corner down a long hallway beyond the entrance which opened to sky high ceilings and an open floor plan filled to the brim with natural light. The dining area is cleverly defined in the open space. “That’s a textured wall,” said Peavy. “I wanted to create a separate room inside this larger room, so by texturing the wall it allows you to create a little space here.” Jazz music played softly throughout, with three 125-year-old glass windows holding their own. An original painting by Joseph Raymond, which later inspired a bright downtown mural, stretched across the wall above the kitchen.

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Peavy, who spent years in the electrical business, used his ambitious creativity to make two statement chandeliers. One of the light fixtures was grills from the electrical wires in the old Post Office. Across the room is another masterpiece of lighting above the dining area table. Describing his bedroom, Peavy said, “That’s the cocoon room back there. That’s where I stay. It’s quiet. There are no windows. You’re just in a cocoon.” Pointing to the top of the stairs, he describes, “up there is kind of an open-air bedroom.” Walking up the industrial railing he explains, “we’re technically in the attic. I just took the ceiling out.” In the loft’s corner stands a narrow wooden ladder and a skylight no bigger than a small TV. “You haven’t really seen the space until you’ve been on the roof,” said Peavy. The view gave a 360-degree look across downtown, the railroad on one side and city blocks of all shapes and sizes on the other. “It’s kind of like all of a sudden

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you feel like you’re at the hub of the city, at the heart of the city, at the heritage of the city;” said Peavy, “you can’t go across the interstate and build ‘old.’” “You walk on these floors and you see these little marks and you wonder, ‘What did that mark signify?’” In one bedroom, reclaimed wood from the building was crafted into a large, geometric shelving unit and back-lit with bright LED lights. Among these neon blue shapes that patterned its wall, the “old” and the “new” merge, becoming intertwined, transcending time. “Some people live in new places and that’s where they need to be,” said Peavy. “A lot of people don’t want to live in the same- ole apartment complex. They want to live somewhere different, and that’s what we try to do, to have a community here where everyone knows people.” Walking into the dark space of the basement brings you back to the speakeasies of the 1920’s. Down the center of the space is an area featuring an impressive bar still under construction. “We built that bar out of all these spare parts. Everything that is interesting in the building we brought down to [the speakeasy],” said Peavy. They are currently working on the space, with hopes of someday adding to Texarkana’s options for dinner and live entertainment. “We represent about 100 different artists upstairs. I think there’s people that do music the same way.” Providing a place to feature such talent is the goal. Vintage pictures of Texarkanians lined booths and Art Deco motifs covered its columns. Behind a sliding door was its “secret” street entrance. Holding to the history of the original speakeasy, whispered word of mouth will advertise the new establishment and

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will determine its patrons. “It’s a speakeasy, so you can’t be telling people,” Peavy said slyly. However, while speakeasies of the past were supposed to be run on the down low, they were considered the worst kept secrets of prohibition. It stands to reason the same will be true of this establishment and customers will be excited to get a place at the bar. The 1894 Gallery is an amazing feature in a building that offers immense possibilities. Peavy’s ambition and creative eye conceived new opportunities for commerce, community and culture that had yet to be seen. “People might say ‘oh, he had vision; he had all these dreams,’ or whatever,” said Peavy, “But, no. I just kinda walked by a building and saw that it was a really cool, beautiful building, but it was literally falling apart. I thought somebody needs to [fix] that, and no one else was doing it, so I did it. It’s kind of like you were assigned a task, you do the very best you can to accomplish it and get it done.” Having been successful thus far, Peavy decided, “I can do this. I know my way through the maze; I can show someone else how to go through it.”

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HOME IS WHERE THE “ART” IS BY ELL IE TYE PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS C ertain pieces of art, such as Leonardo Davinci’s The Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s The Starry Night , have been etched into the minds of people across the world. These pieces are well known, not because they are new or recently discovered, rather, these masterpieces continue to be beloved because of their extraordinary beauty that has carried them through the ages. It is through pieces such as these that we can see the way art brings people together, draws conversation and questions and can tell hundreds of stories at the same time. If art can speak depth and meaning to a blank wall, why not decorate your house with bold statements from the heart? Whether design-oriented photographs or boldly textured paintings, these Texarkana homeowners have a deep love for art. When walking through the front door of the residents’ home, your eye is immediately drawn to two large paintings titled Rain Dance and Sun Dance by actor Anthony Hopkins who starred in movies like Legends of the Fall and S ilence of the Lambs . This brightly colored art sits perfectly in the home without taking attention away from the rest of the stunning architectural moments. The homeowners wanted the design of the house to be complemented by the art because the art introduces you to the family and gives a look into who they are. When working art into their design,

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aesthetic and style were their highest priorities; therefore the art incorporated continues to add more depth to this home. The homeowners strived to create a place they love with pieces of art that speak to them. While many pieces of art can be found in this family’s home, they come from a wide variety of origins. A beautiful photography triad by Edward Curtis, a famous photographer from World War I, consists of images of three Native Americans. The artist photographed these men in order to grasp and share the life lived by the Plains Indians during a time they were unsure of the future and their own survival. Curtis said he lived within the premise of “we, not you.” He wanted to show he could work alongside them to tell the stories of their lives, as good art so commonly does, instead of simply using them to make himself more successful. There is no “in your face” statement being made through these images, but when you look at them, there are many stories being told, stories these Texarkana homeowners get to share and pass on.

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Just as certain art pieces can be passed down through many generations, the love of art can be spread through families as well. The homeowners state they have “always loved art.” Artistic parents who loved to paint and whose art is among the pieces in this incredible collection, passed on a passion for art no matter the medium. Whether paintings, sculpted pieces or photography, you can find beautiful examples of each throughout the house. There are even photographs taken by the homeowner personalizing the rich decor and taking it to another level. Surrounding yourself with things you love helps you grow a deeper knowledge and respect for them. While it is true, they have art from developing students attending The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), to big names such as Edward Curtis; some of their most eye-catching pieces come from the homeowners themselves. This shows the benefits of having an art-filled life. Art isn’t something limited to the genius minds of the eighteenth century; it only requires someone willing to look deeper than surface level and be willing to celebrate what they discover. As homeowners of the 21st century, many strive to make the biggest statement or to create the most Pinterest-esque living room. When these Texarkana homeowners remodeled their house, they wanted to add

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in the things they loved regardless of what “normal” was. Having only the pieces they created themselves, the residents decided to build their collection. This building process can take a long time and beautiful additions can be found in the most unexpected places. Of ten, simply walking around and exploring other cities has brought about

some of their favorite finds. They stumble upon something they like and consider if it will fit with what they already have. Just like any designer, their primary concern has been decorating to their own unique aesthetic while trying to engage their own interest. Therefore, they choose to decorate with more than the average department store offerings. Instead, they commit to the things that inspire them and make it work beautifully. Going beyond the basic “design rules,” this family broadens the status-quo of the modern-day home into something that tells stories beyond its walls. Every piece of art, including unique sculptures, has meaning behind it. Artists create to share their voice and opinions in ways beyond public speaking or big productions. Their voice requires more understanding and commitment to see. It requires people

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who are willing to share and talk about it. That’s what these homeowners strive to do. They dress their house with more than decorations; it is adorned with the stories, values and visions brought to life through the minds and talents of incredible artists. A home isn’t something to be taken lightly. A person’s home should be where they share their most prized items and where they feel safe to display what they want seen. It should be the place where visitors are able to gather the most insight into who you really are and the things that matter to you. Whether someone presents shadow-boxed football jerseys of their favorite player, or they put an amazing piece of art on each wall, a home should represent a person’s most valued talking points. As Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” So, our homes are like a work of art on their own, telling the stories of who we are and all we value.

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HOUSE on a HILL BY L IBBY WHITE PHOTOS BY BR IAN JONES AND MAT T CORNEL IUS

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W alking the halls of the most beautiful homes in Texarkana is awe-inspiring. But hearing the stories of the families who daily walk those halls is truly inspirational. For Kelli and Jeff Phillips, their ranch-style home on 50 acres is a magnificent sight to see. Rolling hills, beautiful views out every window and the peaceful setting of country living, minutes from the conveniences of town, embody the space they now call their forever home. Their story begins like most: “We met at Legends Gym,” Jeff said cunningly. “Every day she would come in and start her little workout. I liked what I saw. One day I decided to introduce myself and made the longest walk ever over to her. I said, ‘Hi, I’m Jeff. I just wanted to meet you.’ It was the most awkward introduction ever.” “I told my co-workers, ‘He seems nice, but I just don’t know about a bald guy!’” Kelli admitted. “But his personality won me

over. Just one date with Jeff did it for me. Conversation-wise, we just really clicked.” “We went out every night for the first two weeks,” Jeff said. “I knew what I wanted.” You can’t help but laugh around the Phillips. Their energy is uplifting and their fun-loving attitude as a couple is infectious. “Jeff and I have been married 15 years this December,” Kelli said. “We are daylight and dark on a lot of levels, but he is our rock. We really balance each other out and complement each other. I’m high energy and have an adventurous spirit, and he is laid back, calm, always wants to take a nap, a hard worker, loves us like crazy, and puts God and family first.” The Phillips have two kids. Roman is nine and Molly Kate is eight. “Roman is a fourth grader at Pleasant Grove. He loves LEGOs, loves to run and practice sprints up our driveway, and is super smart. He has a memory like an elephant, and we couldn’t be prouder of him,” Kelli said. “And then there

is Molly Dolly, who is going into second grade. She is big into competition cheerleading and is a flyer for Twin City Cheer. She is our gymnastics superstar, and she’s as bendy as a rubber band! We don’t call her ‘tiny hiney’ for nothing. She was born in the front seat of a car and has kept us on our toes ever since.” We cannot forget Daisy, the family’s black lab, who is the “most lovable dog on the planet. She’s never met a scratch or rub she didn’t love. We laugh and joke because our neighbors (through the woods), Sharon and Greg Richter, basically have ‘joint custody’ of Daisy. She spends half her days over there when we aren’t home. Thank goodness they are dog lovers. Ole ‘Crazy Daisy’ definitely lives up to her name.” Both Jeff and Kelli grew up in tight-knit families in rural parts of Oklahoma, and they loved the idea of open-air country living when they thought about their future home together. “As a kid, my friends and I loved to play M-A-S-H (Mansion-Apartment-Shack-

House),” said Kelli. “I always wanted the mansion, but Jeff and I had a two-story house before, and the kids never went upstairs. Our last home on Springwood Circle was too big. In the master bedroom, I could do at least five cartwheels across it! A one-story house was really my dream home. It’s functional! And this place allows Roman and Molly to rip across the back pasture on their four-wheeler or fish in the pond in our front yard. This place isn’t just about our house. It is also about our property and all the fun it allows us to enjoy.” “Home to me is where your family is,” Jeff added. “I never had any desire for a big home-just something comfortable where we could enjoy our family.” The glitz and glamour of their previous residence in North Fork was lacking the trees and the forever feeling they were looking for. Jeff had his eye on a particular piece of property owned by a mentor and dear friend. “I bought my (optometrist)

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walk up any stairs. So, while we were living in the shop house, we designed this house. I didn’t want any steps in it, and I wanted zero-threshold doors. I want wide doors in case I’m in a wheelchair one day. I don’t want to be scraping paint off the walls busting around in here.” Lynlee Harvey walked the Phillips through the designing and building process and helped them create the perfect home to meet their unique needs in the perfect spot. “I had a lot of friends who were building homes and using Lynlee Harvey for their plans. They were clean looking, with white walls and white oak, and I liked that style. I knew I wanted to go in that direction, so I told Lynlee to

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put me on the books,” Kelli said. “We chose this spot for the incredible view. It’s just so beautiful to look out toward the bottoms. We can see all the way to the smokestacks at Domtar in Ashdown. If this land could talk, so to speak, I feel like it would tell tales of Native Americans having battles on this bluff years ago.” “The Phillips’ home is a unique style in our area. It has a very Texas modern feel. It features clean lines and single sloping roofs with updated, designer finishes inside, all while being totally comfortable and livable for a young family who is in and out and making the most of their outside surroundings,” said Harvey. Despite the challenges of building a home and finishing the last details, there is one detail in their home with a story they love to tell. “So, my husband is a gambler,” Kelli laughed, “and one night we got together with some close friends, Kara and John Humphrey. John and Jeff were gambling about square footage in our new house, and then there was a bet.” “I’m not building this monster mansion,” Jeff told John. John bet the house would end up being bigger than they were planning. “We won the bet!” finished Kelli. “But we didn’t care about it and told him not to worry about it. We weren’t the Horseshoe! We weren’t holding him accountable. But Kara, being the personality she is, wanted to make it right. She knew we would not take the money, so she ended up going to Nicole Brisco, a local artist here in town, because she knew I loved her artwork. Kara gave her the money to make me a special abstract piece that is beautiful! It says, ‘Look up’ meaning to keep your eyes focused on Jesus.’ It’s so special to me, and it reminds me of sweet Kara and makes me smile every time I walk by it.” That reminder, along with the reality of what may come, gave them confidence that this home would be one that would fit their family and future generations. “My hope is that my kids will see this as their house forever. I don’t care what my kids do. I just want to make sure they know God is first, family second, and friends third. I want these core values instilled in them. But we have a lot of land, and I hope eventually they’ll come back, and we can put

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a little spot over there for them to build their home. We can have our little family live here forever. That’s what I hope.” “Our own compound!” joked Kelli. “It’s not the perfect spot for everyone. Some people want to live in a neighborhood. But for Jeff and me, the way we were raised, it’s ideal for us. And we thank God we have it. I get a sense of gratitude every time I drive up the driveway and see our view. I want my kids and their friends to always feel welcome here, remembering the Halloween hayrides, countless pool parties and redneck car hood ranger rides we are famous for.” Kelli recalls, “I recently had my car detailed by a good friend, Steve Brooks. He was admiring the house, and I told him about Jeff’s medical diagnosis. The conversation turned solemn for a second and I joked and laughed, ‘Now don’t feel sorry for us, Stevie Ray. Look around. Look what we have to be grateful for.’ He laughed and agreed.” “We will never take any of it for granted,” she said. “One

positive thing that has come from Jeff having muscular d y s t r o p h y i s that it gives you perspective. Each day on the hill is a gift and we plan on making each one count.”

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A HOME IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A PLACE TO STAY. If we are lucky, our homes are a place of safety and refuge from a world that can sometimes be stressful. It’s a place where the people who mean the most to us gather and share our life’s greatest moments. For a time, a global pandemic transitioned us from busy lives filled with activities and destinations, back into the confines of our four walls. While it was difficult, it also reminded us that our homes are worth the time and investment it takes to keep them inviting, up to date and comfortable for all the invaluable moments spent there. Texarkana’s talented designers, in the business of home functionality and beautification share some of the latest trends, shaping the landscape of current home design.

Paper pleasers! “Wallpaper is definitely a way to make a statement. it can easily add color, texture and life to any room. Even small amounts make a big impact! A powder bath is an excellent opportunity to go a bit out of your comfort zone, or you can include a great pattern in a child’s bathroom, your mudroom, or even the laundry. Functional spaces deserve a little fun too!” —Lynlee Harvey

Neutral with a pop! “Walking into a furniture store you will see neutral toned sofas and chairs, like gray, tan, and off-white. People are using neutral tones in their furniture and adding color with area rugs, accessories and art. Blue is a very popular accent color right now and so are gold medals. I see a lot of painted brick homes with light wood accents and white interior walls have made a comeback.” —Janet Green

The colors of joy! “The use of color is making a comeback! Grays are on the way out and people are wanting the joy that beautiful colors can bring… especially after this last year of being cooped up. Eclecticism is new and fresh with a mix of contemporary, tribal, and European but still clean lines and pared down. Luxurious fabrics and surfaces are also the rage.” —Jeff Brown

Your style is the best style! “Trends come and go. However, when you purchase what you love, your home will always be in style. Your own personal style and decor personality is much more satisfying than copying the look of HGTV, Pinterest or other’s tastes. If you need help, find an interior designer who listens to your preferences and doesn’t just go with the flow. Be as you are in life, original and one of a kind, and never be afraid to step outside of the box!” —Kyle Barrett

Home Gyms, Home Offices and Revamped Closets

“The most popular trends right now have definitely been brought on by Covid, and I think they’ ll stay around for a while! I’ve done a lot of home offices, home gyms, and closets. Tons of people started working from home during the pandemic, and even if they’ve returned to the office, they still want that office space at home. Home gyms have been huge too because there are less germs, and you can tailor them to your exact needs and likes! Being stuck at home, people also started organizing, mostly out of boredom, and now we are doing tons of custom closets. People are loving it!” —Lauren Callaway

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION SPONSORED BY

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25 RIVER PLANTATION | TEXARKANA, TEXAS

Resort living right here in town! This one-of-a-kind property is a contemporary showstopper with so many custom upgrades there is not enough space to list them all! The exterior is made from concrete, the wood floors are a beautiful zebra wood and there are quartz countertops throughout. This home has all Viking appliances and a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer. It is completely wired throughout with a stereo system, shades, in ground sub woofers outside and a forced air system so every room has its own temp control. The outdoor space is nothing short of amazing, featuring a gigantic heated and cooled gunite pool that has an infinity edge and is punctuated by a hard-wired gas fireplace at the end. The large hot tub sits right beside the 1,700 square foot pool house complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, living and dining, as well as a one-car garage. This home is a must-see spectacular home!

LAUREN CALLAWAY 903.280.8360 LAUREN@LCSELLSTXK .COM

5120 SUMMERHILL ROAD TEXARKANA , TEXAS 75503 903.280.8360 LCSELLSTXK.COM

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3401 BUCHANAN LOOP ROAD | TEXARKANA, TEXAS

This immaculate home boasts over 9,000 heated and cooled square feet and over 14,000 square feet under roof. And that is JUST the main house. There is also a 7,000 square feet of workshop space complete with upscale guest quarters, RV parking and a separate office space. The workshop is attached to 2,000 square feet of horse’s quarters, complete with top-of-the-line horse stalls. There are over 150 acres of property with 17 of those acres completely manicured, while the other acreage is heavy with timber, which holds considerable value! The Mediterranean style home features high-end appliances, hand-scraped hickory hardwoods and travertine flooring throughout. The master closet is two-stories with a spiral iron staircase just off the amazing master bathroom featuring travertine columns. The formal living has a one-of-a-kind hand-painted dome ceiling with a crystal chandelier that is sure to wow. This home was built right with features like industrial steel caging and wiring throughout, a central vacuum system, a water filtration system, and solid wood beams. This is truly a unique property that you do not want to miss out on!

LAUREN CALLAWAY 903.280.8360 LAUREN@LCSELLSTXK .COM

5120 SUMMERHILL ROAD TEXARKANA , TEXAS 75503 903.280.8360 LCSELLSTXK.COM

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