June 2021

JUNE • 2021

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE June | 2021 | Volume 2 | Issue 6

38. L I F E The Life Equation 40. S T Y L E A Place to be Together

10. B U S I N E S S Flavor of the Season 16. P O L I T I C S A Regional Opportunity

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32. S P O R T S Moving Fore-ward 36. E N T E R TA I NME N T Good Evening TXK

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18. c o v e r/ C OMMUN I T Y Our Journey 24. C OMMUN I T Y Time Travel Tour Guide 28. C U L T U R E From Our Town to Motown

46. L I F E No Shame Zoloft Game 48. S T Y L E Gifts for Him 50. T X K R O O T S Dr. Otis Williams

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Wise words from Dad…

CASSY MEISENHEIMER “Nothing good happens

TERRI SANDEFUR “Do willingly at the beginning what you know you will have to do at the end.” —Ben Sandefur via Jeff Sandefur

KARA HUMPHREY “You can’t f it a square peg in a round hole. If you have to force it, don’t.” —Tommy Smith (and “You’re my favorite, but don’t tell your sister.”)

LEAH ORR “There is peace of mind in knowing you did your best. It’s all you can do!” —Donnie Camp

after midnight.” —Jay Simmons

MEGAN GRIFFIN “Keep God in the center of your marriage.” —Tom Shirley

MATT CORNELIUS “Don’t apologize for doing what the Lord tells you to do. Most people won’t understand it so don’t try to explain it to them.” —Harvey Cornelius

LIZ FLIPPO “Think of it like a seesaw. When your faith goes up, your worry goes down.” —Mark Gabbie

BAILEY GRAVITT “Get focused on one thing and work towards that one thing until you get it.” —Cody (Pa) Deal

TERRI GRAVITT “Be careful the habits you create.” —Devon Beaird

TIFFANY HORTON “Don’t end up on the front page of the paper.” —Pete Snow (That’s his way of saying, “don’t do anything stupid.”)

BRIAN JONES “If it’s something you truly love, do it.” —Terry Jones

DAVID ORR “Don’t worry about the mules, just load the wagon.” —Billy Orr

CAROLINE PURTLE “Buy low, sell high.” —Brian Purtle

EMILY SARINE “Emily, calm down. We don’t need to do that right now.”

JONATHAN WEAVER Smith System’s “Five Keys to Driving: Aim high in steering. Get the big picture. Keep your eyes moving. Leave yourself an out. Make sure they see you.”

LIBBY WHITE “Chicks dig scars.” —Brad White (My husband and father to our four young and ACTIVE boys)

—Ross Sarine at every crisis point since 2003

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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 E G A N G R I F F I N megan@txkmag.com M AT T C O R N E L I U S 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

T his is the month we get to celebrate our dads, not just for the roles they play, but for the men they really are. The importance and challenges of fatherhood can sometimes be overlooked. The role of the father in American society is constantly evolving. Traditionally, fathers have shouldered the cultural image of breadwinner, disciplinarian and authority figure. How often do you remember hearing your mother say, “Just wait until your father gets home!” to get you back on the right track? Our culture has relied on fathers to fulfill a difficult role; they must be detached, but intimate; earn the wage, but be present; be compassionate, but the disciplinarian. My dad was fresh out of high school when I was born. As a parent, I can reflect and value all the sacrifices he made to step up while simply trying to survive himself. Now in my late 30s, I find the beauty of getting to grow up together and I am so proud of where he is today. I also had a wonderful stepdad who entered my life when I was in Kindergarten. He took me in and treated me as his own. Even though I was not biologically his daughter, he did not miss the opportunity to coach my softball team, watch me cheer or sit through a band concert. Both dads made me who I am today, and I am very grateful for them. They taught me the value of hard work as I watched both of them grind it out to achieve goals and provide for their families. My lucky streak continued when I married Fred, and I have George, Fred and John Henry Meisenheimer

been able to watch him absolutely nail it in the dad role with our boys. I remember before Fred and I even had children, we would have projects around the house and I would often ask him, “How do you know that?” His response was always the same, “It is in the ‘boy book.’” I would roll my eyes and say, “whatever,” annoyed he would not just give me a straight answer. Now that our boys are nine and ten years old, I get to witness the mysterious contents of the “boy book” being passed on, a task he takes seriously in his role as dad. Almost daily he is teaching and leading them with knowledge they will use through this life. Now I understand that while the “boy book” was never actually a book, its invaluable lessons were taught by the time Fred spent with his father and grandfathers. It really is one of the sweetest things to see life’s transition from one generation to the next. I am not sure I would have believed you if you had told me all we would have to face together in our almost fourteen years of marriage, but I am grateful that I get to go through it all with Fred by my side, and have support from my dad. Take the chance this Father’s Day to honor the men who have invested so much time, energy and heart into you and your family. As George Strait says, “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then, it’s a love without end, amen.”

P H I L I P A N G I E R L I N D S E Y C L A R K J O S E P H G U E R N S E Y J AY C E K E I L M O L LY K E N D R I C K V I C K I M C M A H O N

J O E R E G A N T O M M Y T Y E

C R A F T E D I N T E X A R K A N A . E M P L OY E E OWN E D A N D L O C A L LY S O U R C E D .

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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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Jim and Stephanie Rainey, owners and full-time operators of Southern Tropics Shaved Ice

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TIGER’S BLOOD, BAHAMA MAMA, SILVER FOX, FUZZY NAVEL, WHITE LIGHTNING.

No, these are not the names of the newest pop songs topping the charts; they are flavors, five out of 100 flavors to be exact, and they are all waiting to be poured over some freshly shaved ice. Stephanie and Jim Rainey are the owners and full-time operators of Southern Tropics Shaved Ice located off of State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Arkansas. Established in June 1988, the couple has worked side-by-side providing their unrivaled seasonal, sweet treats to a community that has grown up in front of their eyes. Before Southern Tropic’s conception, Stephanie worked in retail management for 12 years while Jim worked at his family’s business, Rainey Construction Company, until his father’s retirement. They knew they wanted to start a business of their own. One day over thirty years ago, some of their relatives returned from a trip to Hawaii and brought the delicious idea back with them. The Raineys’ fates were sealed. “We just kind of fell into it,” said Stephanie. “Opening a business then, you didn’t know if you were going to stay open very long,” Stephanie said. They started small and have made adjustments along the way, including a switch from their original product—Hawaiian Shaved Ice, which they imported for a season or two. Jim chimed in, “They weren’t as good [as ours].”

FLAVOR OF THE SEASON BY CAROL INE PURTLE

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They nicknamed their first location the “Little Green Building.” It was an eight-by-eight-foot stand with one shaved ice machine, so inevitably they were stepping on each other’s toes. By 2010, they constructed their current building and now have two machines. Southern Tropics is “still just full to the gills.” The newest edition is the walk-in freezer Jim built last year where they have their own ice maker. “[Jim] comes in between six and seven o’clock in the morning, and I get there about two hours after him,” said Stephanie. “There’s always ice to be done because we make our own. We use filtered water, and we make our own ice blocks, just like we use filtered water to make all of our own flavors. Everything that we do is all done here, on site.” Jim says they use approximately 100-150 pounds of sugar a day for mixing the flavors. But don’t worry, Southern Tropics has sugar-free options too. Southern Tropics is seasonal; it is active from March 1 through the end of September. “We work here every day, both of us,” said Stephanie. “At least 99.9 percent of the time, we’re here. We are the only ones who touch the machines, so every shaved ice that goes out the window has had, well, I don’t want to say my hands on it, but we’ve touched everything that goes out the window.” “We work, we sleep and we eat. That’s about it,” Jim said. The Raineys have always employed a staff which is typically a younger demographic, namely high schoolers, as a result of the type of business and its environment. Even their own two children worked at the stand all the way through college. “Another thing we really enjoy is this is an entry-level job position for people that we hire,” said Jim. “[Southern Tropics has] had so many good kids.” Stephanie and Jim are the only people working right now, which is out of the ordinary. They have been operating short-handed for the first time in 12 years, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stephanie says, “It is what it is, and we will continue on,” a mentality also shouldered by many other small business owners throughout the last year. “[Customers] have been standing in lines, waiting out there. It is now a little bit longer wait-time than normal for that reason. People have been wonderful.” Locals love Southern Tropics Shaved Ice and Southern Tropics loves them. The Raineys constantly look for ways to be involved in the community. Before COVID-19, they provided sugar- free shaved ice for K. I. D. S. Day Camp, a program that serves children with type 1 diabetes. They have also worked with the local non-profit Pink Behind the Thin Blue Line and College Hill Middle School’s P. R. I. D. E. Camp. They plan to work with them again in the near future. There is one important philanthropic activity that the pandemic could not disrupt. “We sell bottled water, and we donate the money to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital; we’ve done that for the last ten years or so,” said Jim. “[The

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bottled water] is a dollar, and that whole dollar goes to the Children’s Hospital and then we match it.” Additionally, Southern Tropics offers a 50 percent discount to servicemen and women who present their active military ID at purchase. “We’ve been very fortunate with Texarkana,” said Stephanie. “By having the lack of staff, we’ve had some really long lines,” said Jim. “We had a line one day that went out to the road. We appreciate those people that were standing out there so long.” There is a sense of pride in seeing such devotion from locals for Southern Tropics, but one of Stephanie’s favorite memories was a special moment among family. “[Jim and I] take very few days off. We’re always closed on Easter. Our daughter got married one year, and we closed for that. One of the best pictures that we have of this place was at the Little Green Stand. She and her husband came over for one of their wedding photos and took a picture for us there with

the sign we had put up that said we were ‘closed for our daughter’s wedding,’” said Stephanie. “I loved that.” Jim’s favorite memory is more of a recurring sentimentality he’s experienced over the years. “[Kids] will actually start coming up here before they can see over the shelf where you’re looking into the window to order,” said Jim. “One huge milestone that the kids have when they come up here is the year that they can finally see over the shelf.” Snowballs, snow cones, shaved ice, whatever you may call it, a person does not outgrow the taste for the indulgence of Southern Tropics. “Texarkana’s home,” said Stephanie, “and we’ve got such a great base of customers. Not only customers that have been coming up since we’ve opened, but who are bringing some of their children and, depending on how old they were at the time, some of their grandchildren, to see us. People who moved away and come to visit family, come back up. We love to see that.”

If you ask the Raineys if they ever expected Southern Tropics to become as successful as it is today, one will hear the humble disbelief in their voice. “We just didn’t know. We didn’t know what it would take to make this a really good, viable business,” said Stephanie. “I think that’s because we weren’t ever sure that it was actually going to be one, and yet here we are, 33 years later.” With all the hard work and time invested in the business, and after listening to how in unison they are with one another, it is apparent what’s bolstered and nurtured Southern Tropics into prosperity. They both agree their favorite thing about their small business is being able to work together. November will mark 38 years of marriage for the Raineys. Jim says, “We always look at each other and laugh and say, ‘if you die, I quit, and if I die, you’ll quit.’ I can’t do what she does.” “And I can’t do what he does.” Stephanie says, “That’s part of what makes us such a good team.”

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photo by Matt Cornelius

A REGIONAL OPPORTUNITY TEXARKANA’S POST-COVID ECONOMIC REBOUND STRATEGIES BY DAVID ORR

A year after the coronavirus pandemic first drove the U.S. economy into the deepest downturn in generations, there is a robust debate about how local communities can position themselves for a brighter future. At the City of Texarkana, Texas, we are fortunate to have survived the past year facing numerous disasters at once, and even more grateful to look ahead to what is in our bright future at such a time as this. One of the things that is most notable about the team I work with at the City of Texarkana is that when the going gets tough, we keep going, and this past year has been no different. While there is still much work to be done in our city, county and community, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a few strategies Texarkana leaders are focusing on at the local, regional and state levels to catalyze

economic development post COVID-19 that will lead to meaningful, long-term growth for our region. First, in Texarkana, Texas, we are working to develop a COVID-19 recovery and resilience strategy for small businesses through a partnership with Ash+Lime and the Antero Group, two Texas-based consulting groups. While the study is primarily focused along the New Boston Road Corridor, the recommendations and guiding principles are applicable city-wide. An early recommendation includes working with the Northeast Texas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide ongoing technical assistance, tailored market research and assisting small business owners with grant/loan opportunities related to COVID-19 recovery stimulus funding. The Northeast Texas SBDC is a tremendous, underutilized resource, funded in part by an agreement with the United States

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Small Business Association (SBA) and hosted by Northeast Texas Community College. In response to the recommendation, we are working on a lease agreement to host the Northeast Texas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide additional office space in City Hall. This opportunity will work to create a “one stop shop” for small business owners to navigate SBA assistance and permitting processes all in one location. Another important strategy is the focus on increasing our region’s broadband capacity that includes a private-public partnership being led at the state and county levels. Back in April, the Texas House passed HB-5 unanimously, which included $2 billion for broadband expansion across the state. The broadband expansion program’s goal is to develop an account to incentivize providers to get internet service to residents without it now. There are an estimated one million Texans and over 500,000 estimated Arkansans who do not have broadband access. Locally, fiber optic internet service is available to only 36% of Bowie County and 48% of Miller County residents. In a post-COVID-19 economy, connection to high-speed reliable internet is vital for our region to grow, especially if we expect to attract and retain talent in a growing remote work world. Regions such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, have even launched programs such as Remote Tulsa that recruit remote workers to their region with stipends, along with highlighting the region’s broadband access and quality of life. As we work to improve our region’s broadband, a similar model could work for Texarkana

as we seek to bring back our best and brightest residents that now can return home thanks to remote work opportunities. Finally, another strategy that I’m excited to share is a regional collaboration between AR-TX Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI), our local colleges and universities and two cities for a business incubator in our region. While the concept goes by many names such as business accelerators, startup studios, etc., the common goal is the same: to create a space where like-minded folks can congregate, collaborate and create something new that launches future businesses for the next generation of Texarkana residents. Like the broadband initiative, this strategy will help Texarkana keep many of our best and brightest students who have been educated here and have the opportunity to launch their business ideas in our region. Currently, a core team of people are engaged in the effort using the Strategic Doing model that has taken our regional collaboration to a new level, thanks to Leadership Texarkana and willing participants. Look for more on this exciting initiative to be released soon as we develop plans for the new incubator space. In conclusion, I am truly excited about the potential for our region in a post-COVID-19 economy and the opportunities that it will bring. While there are certainly challenges to overcome, our community has shown time and time again the resilience and determination it takes to remain strong and vibrant amidst adversity. I have no doubt our region will rise to the occasion once again and succeed in the post COVID-19 economy.

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BY L IBBY WHITE PHOTOS BY BR IAN JONES

I nside each of us is a story. A story that reveals the ups and downs of our journey through life and all the choices we make in between. For Karen and Artie Rayfield, theirs is a story of second chances and silent heroes who came alongside them… heroes who did not give up on them in their darkest days but gave them a reason to look up and keep going. Now they are the silent heroes for so many in our community, all because someone down the road stepped in and made a difference in their story. Karen moved to Chicago at 19, leaving her home and an abusive relationship behind. Despite wanting to start over and live her dream, she instead found herself living on the streets, pregnant and alone. In her darkest time, she met a woman who helped change her course in life and find new purpose. “Rose gave me a ‘hand up,’ not a ‘hand out,’ because she made me accountable,” Karen said. “She helped me get back on my feet and able to live on my own. I knew that one day I would be able to give back because somebody gave to my life. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.” Able to start again, Karen relocated to Texarkana and raised her son.

At the same time, Artie was also finding his way after the mother of his two young daughters walked out on them. A full-time single dad, Artie worked hard to provide for his girls. He did not want them to struggle like he did as a child. As one of nine brothers and sisters, Artie remembered life with no electricity or running water or shoes to walk to school. Now in charge of a family of his own, he worked multiple jobs to pay the bills, cooked, cleaned and sacrificed for his daughters. Over the next several years, Artie credits the relationships he made through Church on the Rock and discovering a relationship with Christ as the thing that carried him through. “My co-workers kept inviting me to church, and I finally went because I wanted what they had. Then during my divorce, Pastor John (Miller) would call me and pray with me,” Artie said. “I barely knew him, but that meant so much, and it was during that time that I found Jesus. I found what was missing in my life.” The next piece of the puzzle for Artie was a wife. “I told the Lord, ‘It’s been eight years. I need a wife. I can’t be like Paul! I want her to love you more than she loves anything else in this world. Because if she loves you, then

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she’s going to love me.’ Everything I asked for in a wife, He gave to me even more with Karen.” Artie was shopping with his daughters at Walmart one Friday, when he saw Karen for the first time. “She had her back turned to me, and I said, ‘She looks good from the back!’ She turned around, and I said to myself, ‘Oh, she’s PRETTY!’ We spoke, and I went on to the check-out counter. I kept looking back, and she was smiling at me.” The couple married in 2005. Because of her experience with Rose, Karen was passionate about giving back. “I was on a mission trip with Church on the Rock in Africa,” Karen explained, “and I remember God telling me that charity begins at home. So, when I returned home, I was at work one day and a guy came in who asked for me specifically. He begged me to come to a service at Church Under the Bridge. I had never seen the man before and have never seen him since. But I dragged Artie there with me that first time and we haven’t turned back.” At the Saturday morning services, their eyes were opened to the often unseen, impoverished population of homeless in Texarkana. In getting to know these men and women, they saw each one had a story and needs like everyone else: clothes, food, shelter and an opportunity to be back in the workforce again. When the Rayfields heard many were unable to wash their clothes, they started a laundry ministry. Still happening today, “they have to be homeless and attend the service at Church Under the Bridge. Afterwards, we transport them to Tanglewood Laundromat and provide the quarters and laundry detergent they need,” Karen said. They also became aware of the hungry elderly staying at the motels on State Line. “They need perishable food because they don’t have a microwave or refrigerator,” Artie said. “Chicken Express gives me chicken every Monday. I pick it up and take it to the homeless camps in the woods and the elderly in the motels.” Karen and Artie call their ministry “Project Hope,” and they work to not only help clothe and feed those in need, but also to help break the cycle for moms and their children caught in extreme poverty, sex trafficking and prostitution. “Karen has helped so many women, I can’t even count them,” said Pastor LaNell Miller, wife of Lead Pastor John Miller at Church on the Rock. “She has such a reputation in town that these women know who to go to when they need help. She’s not afraid. I remember she confronted a pimp here in Texarkana about a young, pregnant woman. She stood up to him and said, ‘I’m not judging you, but she’s no good to you. She’s pregnant, so give her to me.’ That’s Karen. Her heart is for these moms and kids, rescuing women out of the sex trade and off the streets. Artie fully supports her mission, and our church is behind them, whatever is needed.” Karen’s passion is to help women get back on their feet and able to support their families. “I’ll hear where a woman in need is and go to help her. I tell her, ‘Just because life has dealt you a bad hand, you don’t have to stay here.’” Through the support of Church on the Rock, Karen opened Grace House for moms and kids to reestablish themselves. The five-bedroom home is currently filled with ten kids and five moms, which includes a house mom who helps homeschool all the children and provides childcare while the women search for employment. “My long-term goal is to have a larger facility that is big enough to house 40 families,” Karen explained. “We would need churches and organizations throughout Texarkana to partner with us. This is not about me and Artie. This is about the generation we’re leaving behind. Because for these kids, it wasn’t their fault.” In addition to opening Grace House, Karen (51) and Artie (67) are temporary parents to six young children, ages six years old and under. “This last year, God has just touched my heart. I’ve had girls who have called and asked will

Twenty years ago, most of us had never heard the term “human trafficking.” However, because of the hidden nature of the crime, it is essentially impossible to know with certainty how many people are trafficked in the United States. Unfortunately, Texarkana, USA is not exempt from these detestable practices and it is up to all of us to be watchful and step up to offer a helping hand to victims. Today, worldwide, there are 40.3 million victims. 75% women and girls, 25% children. *The International Labour Organization Human trafficking is modern-day * Department of Homeland Security Sex trafficking occurs when force, fraud or coercion is used to cause a commercial sex act with an adult. Force, fraud or coercion need not be present for sex trafficking to occur with a child under the age of 18. When a commercial sex act occurs with a child under the age of 18, it is by definition sex trafficking. *U.S. Department of State 4.8 million people are involved in forced slavery and involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

sexual exploitation worldwide, with more than 1 million of those victims being children under the age of 18.

* International Labour Organization

Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.

* International Labour Organization

90.8% of trafficking survivors reported being arrested, whereas we estimate fewer than 10% of buyers are arrested.

* National Survivor Network

92% of victims are physically assaulted.

* Loyola University’s Annals of Health Law To report a tip with an anti-trafficking service in your area or to request information, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at (888) 373-7888. To find more information visit https://usiaht.org/the-problem/#facts- about-human-trafficking.

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you take my baby?” With the Rayfield’s willingness to step up, they have opened up their home to two foster children and four children who were living on the streets. The Rayfields have become “Mimi and Papaw” to grandchildren in their own biological family, but they have also been willing to start over, caring daily for children who are in need. Their most recent addition is a six-month-old baby girl named Journey. Journey’s mom was first introduced to Karen six years ago. “I had gotten a call from a lady who thought one of her workers was homeless,” Karen said. “I came and met the mom at midnight when her shift started. The mom came into Grace House, and in the process, I ended up with custody of one of her sons. I kept up a relationship with her and six years later she found out she was pregnant again. She called and said she was going to have an abortion. I told her if she wouldn’t have an abortion, I would help her raise the baby. So now we have Journey.” Karen is on staff in the Children’s Ministry at Church on the Rock, and Artie came out of retirement and went back to work to help support the new additions to their family. He sees his role as helping any way he can to support Karen and help raise the children. He said, “Pastor John was teasing me one day and asked, ‘What are you going to do with all these kids?’ And I said, ‘Well, Pastor, she said the Lord told her to bring these kids to the house. The Lord didn’t tell me that! But I trust God, and I trust her.’” To the Rayfields, seeing lives restored reminds them of their own story, and gives them perseverance through the tough days. “The brokenness these moms experience can be messy. But when they see your heart, and if you stay for the long haul, they know they can depend on you,” Karen explained. “When the girls come to me, they see Jesus through my eyes. But by the time they leave and are out on their own, they know Him for themselves. It’s always my goal to reestablish the family. So once the family is back together, I still want to be their ‘Mimi.’ I want to have fun with the kids and be able to say, ‘Go back home to your momma!’ And I hope to God these women get there.”

Artie and Karen Rayfield with Journey.

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BY TERRI GRAVITT TIME TRAVEL TOUR GUIDE

Dr. Craig Nakashian

photo by Matt Cornelius

Imagine living in a time when castles, knights and chivalrous romance were the norm-a place of kings, lords, vassals and peasants… the Middle Ages.

If travel to such a time was possible, Dr. Craig Nakashian would be the perfect tour guide. He is a medieval historian and professor at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. “I had always enjoyed history, but as a kid I was mostly into the U.S. Civil War, and later, World War II,” he explained. “When I was a senior in high school, my stepfather set up a meeting with one of the historians at Western New England University (then College). When I went into his office, it was cluttered with maps of Medieval England, books, papers, a shield, etc.,” he shared. The disordered workspace of mappa mundi, tomes, papers and a shield birthed an interest in the Middle Ages that would grow into a lifelong passion and career of teaching. “While I gave some thought to becoming a lawyer, or joining the military, those were never particularly serious goals (to the benefit of both the legal profession and U.S. Armed Forces),” he jokingly continued. “I knew ultimately that I wanted to teach, and teaching college students seemed the best opportunity to really engage with a topic and discipline and to share it with students of all ages.” His goal of student engagement seems to have been very successful as Katheryn Hartshorn, colleague at TAMU-T shares, “Dr. Nakashian is very popular with students, not only

for the expertise that he brings to his subject, but for his engaging teaching style. Having earned his master’s degree in Medieval History at the University of Durham in England, Dr. Nakashian has fascinating stories related to their studies that make students want to learn more and do research of their own. He is known for his willingness to meet with students, whether they need direction in their coursework or just want to talk and share their interest in history.” Originally fromWilbraham, Massachusetts, “Home of Friendly’s Ice Cream,” Nakashian earned his undergraduate degrees in the neighboring town of Springfield and his master’s degree from the University of Durham in northeastern England. That is where he met his wife, Zoe. “She was pursuing a master’s degree in the conservation of historic objects, but ironically we met at a Christmas party at a flat shared by someone in her department and someone in mine.” Zoe moved to the United States after she and Craig got married, and Craig started his PhD at the University of Rochester. They lived in Rochester for five years and it was during this time their son, Meran, was born, followed by their daughter Pelin, who was born during their first year in Texarkana.

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Nakashian had a one-year position at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, while finishing his PhD. During that year, a position became available at Texas A&M University-Texarkana for a medieval historian who could also teach ancient history. Having taught ancient history for three years at Syracuse University while doing his PhD, he decided this would “fit the bill.” Nakashian’s wife, Zoe, is a District Executive for the Caddo Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Before that, she was the Collections Manager at the Ace of Clubs House for the Texarkana Museums System. Meran and Pelin both attend Pleasant Grove schools. Meran plays saxophone in the band and video games at home. “Pelin,” her father jokingly adds, “largely believes she’s a cat.” “The old adage is that if you do not know history, you are doomed to repeat it. That isn’t true, really,” according to Nakashian. “As Mark Twain supposedly said (but probably didn’t) ‘history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.’ So, while history doesn’t repeat, we do see patterns and similarities.” An understanding of history means a better understanding of people. “History encompasses everything about people,” he said. Historians essentially have to be “jacks of all trades,” needing to understand politics, religion, psychology, social

the other humanities) standardized testing is especially detrimental. History is not black and white; it is written in shades of gray.” For hundreds of years, the Middle Ages has remained a fascinating time in history, and that fascination is made clear through the success of popular places like Medieval Times and widely attended Renaissance fairs. Nakashian suspects this could be because the Middle Ages were what he describes as a period of “enduring romantic appeal.” He goes on to laughingly say, “While we have a plethora of RenFaires, for instance, I haven’t seen an Ancient Rome Fair recently. Apparently, no one wants to dress up in a toga and debate imperial sewer policies.” His assumption is that the Middle Ages intrigues us because “it harkens back to a ‘simpler’ time - a time of castles and knights and chivalry. We live in a post-industrial, largely urban world, and we imagine the medieval period as one of heroes and magic. Tales of magic and monsters often take on a vaguely medieval setting (Lord of the Rings is a great example), rather than a Classical Roman one, or a nineteenth-century industrial one (though we do see that with steampunk fiction)–those are too urban and familiar to us. The medieval time period is appealing precisely because it is a style of human society that we no longer live in.” Nakashian does his part to try

forces, economics, culture, etc. Being an expert in all these areas may not be realistic for most, but Nakashian believes we all need to recognize how they each fit together and interact to create historical reality. “I believe it is important to try to get as strong an understanding of history as possible; immersing yourself in historical inquiry will help you understand people themselves, but also human institutions.” “All history,” Nakashian goes on to share, “is interesting because history

“ History is not

to spread his passion for history into the minds of people outside of the college classroom as well. “I try to engage with public-facing history as much as possible.” He has spoken to the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, as well as the Texarkana Museums Systems and the Hardy Methodist Men’s group. “I’ve done podcasts and YouTube interviews, and published in popular publications, but I would always enjoy doing more with youth- focused events,” he said. Nakashian

black andwhite; it is written in shades of gray. ” Dr. Craig Nakashian

is, at its heart, the study of humanity. To paraphrase the celebrated French medievalist Marc Bloch, a medieval cathedral and the local post office are both ripe for historical inquiry. Both have stories to tell. History consists of both the exceptional and the mundane. The Middle Ages were fascinating for a variety of reasons. It was a very different world than ours, but in it we also see commonalities of human experience. I am always interested in seeing how people in the past approached problems that are both specific and eternal (building an orderly state, finding their religious identity, etc.) and the medieval period is a rich world to study for those questions.” According to Nakashian, “students probably learn the basic facts about United States and Texas history, and a bit about previous periods. However, the obsession with standardized testing and quantitative assessment undermines what true education is about, which is teachers engaging with students and fostering in them tools to critically approach educational topics. The best approach is to fund schools adequately and then stay out of their way while they do their jobs.” He continues, “That is oddly not a popular position among politicians (despite it being true) .... I think that for history (like

recently gave a talk at Texas A&M University-Texarkana on Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court from 1889, which satirizes our romantic attachment to the medieval period. “[Mark Twain] suggests (perhaps only tongue-in-cheek) that Walter Scott, the author of Ivanhoe, should be blamed for the U.S. Civil War, presumably because southern gentlemen tried to emulate medieval knights,” he shared. Teachers like Dr. Craig Nakashian are the ones you want to listen to more closely because their passion is infectious. Dr. Del Doughty, Dean of Education and Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, shares, “The thing that amazes me about Dr. Nakashian is his ability to draw anyone, regardless of background, into history. I’ve had computer science majors tell me things like ‘Dr. Nakashian’s class really doesn’t relate to my major, but I found the subject really interesting and will probably think about it a lot.’ I think Dr. Nakashian has that effect on people because he genuinely loves history and genuinely loves talking to students. I think that students know he is rooting for them.”

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who will be 80 years old this October, is the founding, and only surviving, member of the original super-group, The Temptations. He is unlike any other musical artist in American culture. June 2021 marks the sixtieth anniversary since the founding of this legendary group. Dr. Otis Williams,

The cultural significance of Dr. Williams’ overall life achievements, along with the success and longevity of his musical career, have made him an icon of entertainment. His personal journey from Texarkana, Texas, to Motown and eventual global superstardom, is chronicled in the acclaimed autobiography, Temptations , written with The New York Times best-selling author Patricia Romanowski. There is also an Emmy Award-Winning television mini-series entitled The Temptations and a smash hit Broadway musical, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations , which won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography . Broadway producers also announced a touring production of the musical will appear in more than fifty cities across America, in 100+ weeks on dates to be determined. The Temptations ranked #1 in Billboard Magazine’s most recent list of the Greatest R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of All Time, and the group also appears in the magazine’s list of the 125 Greatest of All Time Artists (2019). In September 2020, the editors of Rolling Stone magazine commented that The

Temptations are, “indisputably the greatest black vocal group of the Modern Era…,” and listed the group’s Anthology album among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time . The Anthology album has appeared in all three of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums’ lists. The Group has sold millions of albums, won four Grammy ® Awards plus a Grammy ® Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been inducted into the Grammy ® , Rock and Roll, Rhythm and

Blues Music, and Vocal Group Halls of Fame. The Temptations also have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in June 2019, Dr. Williams and members of The Temptations’ legendary, classic five line-up were inducted into Apollo Theater’s “ Walk of Fame. ” Dr. Otis Williams was also honored at the Apollo Theater’s 85th Anniversary Gala on June 10, 2019. The Temptations delivered Motown’s first-ever Grammy ® at the 11th Annual Grammy ® Awards ceremony in 1969 for Best Rhythm and Blues

FROM OUR TOWN TO MOTOWN Out of the almost eight billion people in the world, there are only a handful who have earned the title of “Living Legend.” Of those legendary few, Texarkana can proudly claim one of the greatest who grew up right here in our city. In 60 years of artistry, he has earned more accolades than most people do in an entire lifetime. But our hometown legend is still making music and entertaining fans. For those of us who love Texarkana, USA, Dr. Otis Williams is a source of pride. From our town to Motown, Dr. Williams has paved the roads with slick dance moves, beautiful music and Grammy ® gold. photo by Jay Gilbert BY KARA HUMPHREY AND MARI LYN DUCKSWORTH-DAVI S

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Performance by a Duo or Group, Vocal or Instrumental, for the song, “Cloud Nine.” They have released countless gold, platinum and multi-platinum hits, many of which are considered American masterpieces. They have 16 #1 R&B chart albums, 44 Top Ten R&B chart hits, including 14 #1 R&B singles, plus four Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles, including what many call their magnum opus, “My Girl.” In 2018, “My Girl ”

digital formats. It features three new, original songs, in addition to inspired renditions of songs from Maxwell, The Weeknd, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars and others. At the time of the album’s release, Dr. Williams said, “…Looking back, I never could have imagined where my life has taken me. I’m proud of what The Temptations have achieved, and I’m grateful for every opportunity we’ve been so fortunate to receive. The music

Opening night of the Broadway premiere of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations , March 21, 2019, the Imperial Theatre, NYC. (L-R) Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, Dr. Otis Williams and Shelly Berger, manager of The Temptations.

was entered into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress and was inducted into the Grammy ® Hall of Fame in 1998. It was The Temptations first #1 million copy hit song. The Temptations have played numerous sold-out world tours. The group’s versatile voices, synchronized dance steps, handsome style and dazzling dress, set a new standard that became world famous and is still their distinguished trademark today. The Temptations were also trailblazers in leading the way for other R&B groups to break into mainstream audiences. Blockbuster #1 hits like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” are included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll,” and marked the early years of what turned into a prolific career and cultural phenomenon spanning six decades. They were awarded the first-ever American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group in 1974, and they also won an American Music Award in 1976 for Best R&B Album for A Song for You . Dr. Williams, also a songwriter and producer, is well-known for his fortitude, for fueling The Temptations’ enormous and ever-increasing popularity and for inspiring a new generation of musical artists. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Stillman College, a historically black college and university in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2006. In 2018, the group released worldwide their latest studio album, All the Time , which was the group’s first new album in eight years. It was released in CD, vinyl LP, limited edition white vinyl LP and

carries me. Together, we lift our voices with love and wonder…” In March 2020, Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books, released the audio edition of Dr. Otis Williams’ critically acclaimed autobiography, Temptations , written with The New York Times best-selling writer Patricia Romanowski. The audiobook includes a never-before-released introduction and a newly revised final chapter. Dr. Williams reads the new introduction and J.D. Jackson, an AudioFile Golden Voice Award winner (2020), narrates the book. The audiobook is available in CD, MP3 and digital formats. In June 2020, The Temptations released, “A Message for Our Times,” a new, soulful version of “You’ve Got a Friend,” as a YouTube video. The group raised their voices in the video to reflect on their 60s struggles and pay tribute to today’s movement for change. The video was recorded in a private session in Los Angeles, California. In July 2020, The Temptations were among the award-winning stars who performed in the fortieth anniversary presentation of “A Capitol Fourth,” the national July fourth TV tradition on PBS-TV. The Temptations are planning a U.S. concert tour with dates to be determined, and a UK concert tour, for the fall of 2021. In addition, after a year away, the Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud:

The Life and Times of the Temptations , returns home to Broadway, on October 16, 2021. Tickets are on sale now, for more information go to ainttooproudmusical.com. The Temptations continue singing their way into the hearts of fans worldwide.

Television Mini-Series

Book/Audiobook

Members of The Temptations today. (L-R) Dr. Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, Mario Corbino, Willie Greene, Jr. and Terry Weeks. Photo by Jay Gilbert. Be sure to follow The Temptations on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @thetemptations and visit their website, www.temptationsofficial.com.

Broadway Production

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BY JONATHAN WEAVER PHOTOS BY MAT T CORNEL IUS MOVING FORE-WARD

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G raci Henard stepped up to the 15th tee box of the 2020 Jay Brewer Memorial Lady Tiger Classic at Texarkana Country Club, down five strokes with four holes to play. After a 30-foot birdie on the 15th hole and a par on the 16th, Henard was still down three strokes with two holes to play. During this improbable comeback moment, she kept saying to herself (and out loud) “I want it more than her. I want it more than her.” After forcing a playoff by birdieing three of the last four holes, Henard won the playoff by sinking another birdie putt—this time from ten feet away. “It was Brewer’s tournament. And I miss him every day, so winning it was more than another trophy for my shelf. It was the smile from him I felt as he looked down,” Henard said. Jay Brewer was Henard’s former high school golf coach at Texas High, who passed away unexpectedly during the summer just before her junior year. “I will never forget that day when I won that tournament. I felt so entirely loved that day. The feeling was indescribable.” Ryan Huntze, Henard’s golf coach at Texas High, said, “No female golfer from Texas High had ever won our tournament, and Graci became the first. It was extra special because of the bond she and Coach Brewer shared. Graci told me last year one of her goals was to win that tournament for him, and the way she did it was truly remarkable.” According to her mom, Joy, Coach Brewer used to tell Henard, “grit was the best club in her bag.” Nothing could have been truer, revealed by the way Henard came back to win that tournament. A golfer and recent graduate of Texas High, Henard learned the game of golf with her family at an early age. She said, “I would go to the golf course with my dad and sisters to hit golf balls or to play holes. I played so many sports growing up, and golf was the one I chose. It’s a sport I can always work at getting better at, and I can enjoy the rest of my life. I also chose it because of the responsibility it requires. Golf is an individual sport, so I have to rely on myself. My mistakes are my own and that’s what motivates me to better my game.”

Graci Henard

Henard’s dad, Jeff, mimicked those words of wisdom. He said, “Golf is a game you will never master. It’s one where you only hope to get better. I tell Graci to be patient and let her practice become permanent. Her worth is more than the number she posts on the course on a given day.” Henard’s work ethic and passion are just a few of the characteristics she is known for among her family, coaches and teammates. Coach Huntze said, “If it’s cold and rainy, she would still be out there practicing. It did not matter what the conditions were, she would be out there. Graci was always the first to get to practice and the last to leave. You can tell how much she loves the game just by watching her practice.” Her father said, “Graci’s dedication and sacrifice have been inspirational. On summer days before she could drive, she would beg to be dropped off at the golf course by 8 am and wouldn’t be ready to be picked up until after 5 pm. Those summer days could have been spent playing with her two younger sisters, but instead she chose to work on her game. She has missed sleepovers and other fun activities to practice.

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