September 2021


it came time for the drawing, they called my raffle ticket number and I jumped up, so excited because the prize was a brand new computer. This was our first computer too, so winning that prize made it even more special. I just remember my mom crying at first and looking back on it now I realize they were tears of joy. Driving home she said, “See, aren’t you glad we went now Telvin?”. They had a big assembly at Kilpatrick with the newspapers and news stations there as well, officially gifting the computer to me. It was pretty cool, I have to admit, and something that I will always remember. Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life? Well, my wonderful God-fearing parents are by far the greatest influences in my life today, with the values they instilled in me from birth, which are with me to this very day. Next, I’d have to say a man named Billy Bland. He has impacted my life in a major way. He’s been the on-air personality and station director for KTOY 104.7 FM radio station at least since I was in elementary school and probably before. During my teenage years, I was part of a talk show for teenagers, addressing teenage issues and I had the chance to watch him work and do his thing on the radio. I had never seen anything like that, up close and personal. I had only listened in the car on the way to school in the mornings and in the afternoons, which were his on-air shifts. One of my God-given gifts is the ability to speak into a microphone and entertain people. I had always wanted to be on television and host my own morning radio show, so when I saw him in person, working his craft, it really impacted me and made me want to pursue my dreams even more. So I guess you can say, I knew what I wanted to focus on in college way back in the sixth grade. Just growing up listening to him and seeing the influence he had on Texarkana back then, was very impactful to me. The entire city knows Billy Bland. If you want something announced on the radio for the city, everyone knows you call Mr. Billy

Bland. I remember not wanting to leave the radio station. I stayed as long as I could just to help with whatever I could, to soak in as much wisdom as possible from him. He and his wife are very good friends of my family, so I see him as much as possible when I’m visiting home and sometimes he’ll have me call in as a guest, to see how I’m doing so the city can hear from one of their own. What do you love about Texarkana? Well for one, Texarkana is my hometown so you have to love that! Living in Los Angeles for the last three years and Dallas before that, made me appreciate Texarkana even more. I’m a country brother at heart so I value the little things like everyone knowing each other, hometown traditions such as the annual parades, and being able to get to places in 15 minutes or less. I guess you can say being born and raised there spoiled me. Living in a city like Texarkana, your name and reputation carry weight. Growing up, there were things I just couldn’t get away with even if I tried, simply based on the fact that people knew who my folks were and they’d tell on me in a heartbeat. Texarkana is the epitome of a village support system. Now of course we have our flaws as many other cities do and we’re going to work on those, so we can continue to grow into a city that sets the example for other cities across the country. But for the most part, Texarkana is a city of pride and joy! How do you describe Texarkana to your friends?

What is your favorite Texarkana memory? I have so many fun memories for sure, but the first one that comes to my mind was during my second-grade school year at Kilpatrick Elementary. There was a charity fundraising marathon race being held on a Saturday morning and, of course, like most kids, I wanted to sleep in. My mother wasn’t having it at all. She made me get up and we were out there bright and early. They gave us raffle tickets, and of course, I thought nothing of it. At the end of the race, when TXK ROOTS Telvin Griffin Actor/Entertainer YEARS LIVED IN TEXARKANA: 23

I keep it nice and simple for those who don’t know about Texarkana, especially the friends I met in college and after. I tell them that Texarkana is unique in its own way. One city in two states

with a state line dividing each side, so we are “Twice As Nice.” Many friends have been through Texarkana since I-30 goes through the city and I jokingly tell them as they drive along I-30,“if you blink, you’ll miss it.”

TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine ’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”



Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs