April 2022

APRIL • 2022

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE April | 2022 | Volume 3 | Issue 4

46. L I F E April Showers Bring... 48. S T Y L E Modern Aesthetics

10. B U S I N E S S Insurance Provider Profiles 14. P O L I T I C S Getting It Right

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34. S P O R T S Let The Good Times Roll 40.

E N T E R TA I NME N T Good Evening TXK

54. T X K 4 1 1 Grilled Cheese Grillin’ 56. T H E MO N T H LY M I X Spring Cleaning 58. T X K R O O T S Lauren Hubbard

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20. C OMMUN I T Y We Stand Ready 26. c o v e r/ C U L T U R E No Clowning Around

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What is your favorite fair food?

CASSY MEISENHEIMER Kettle Corn!

TERRI SANDEFUR Roasted Corn on the Cob!

KARA HUMPHREY Churros!

LEAH ORR Caramel Apples!

MATT CORNELIUS Pickles!

BRITT EARNEST State Fair Lemon Shake-Up!

ANNI BISHOP Cotton Candy!

RACHAEL CHERRY The only thing better than Oreos is Fried Oreos!

LINDSEY CLARK Peanut Patties!

BAILEY GRAVITT Fried Twinkies!

TERRI GRAVITT Turkey Legs!

MEGAN GRIFFIN Fried Pies!

TIFFANY HORTON Funnel Cakes!

GRANT ROMMEL If I go to the fair I always go for the fresh lemonade stand. It’s one of my favorite things about it!

EMILY SARINE Diet Coke!

JENNIFER TANNER It’s certainly not traditional fair food, but my favorite is the booth with the fresh fruit and Tajin. So refreshing!

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T E X A R K A N A M A G A Z I N E

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

“ I THRIVE IN THE CHAOS .”

I jokingly say this to people amid packed schedules and the constant challenges that arise. A typical day for us is running a business, working full time, household chores and all the after-school activities our three kids enjoy. While we all seem to complain about the monotony of the everyday, if we are honest, we recognize that every day comes with a certain amount of uncertainty. For example, something I seem to be frequently holding my breath about these days is paper. A nationwide paper shortage is a very real problem when you are in the magazine business. I would never have guessed this would become an actual issue. Now, the over-the-top gas prices are adding even more uncertainty to our day-to-day lives. As gas prices go up, so will the cost of everything else. It is something on the minds of most Americans. Uncertainty is just part of life. Many people are facing much more significant challenges than a paper shortage right now. My heart can’t help but stir for the people of Ukraine who face a kind of uncertainty I cannot comprehend. Wives and children being forced to flee their homeland while leaving behind all the men in their family is unthinkable. As a daughter, wife and a boy momma, my heart aches for them. In the last few years, we have faced a global pandemic, political turmoil, inflation, and the list goes on and on. But I believe that in the middle of uncertain times, there will inevitably be heroes waiting in the wings, ready and willing to step up. Apr i l is Nat ional Chi ld Abuse Prevention Month. Children are among the most vulnerable in our society. When they are abused, often at the hands of those who should love and protect them the most fiercely, they need someone to step in and fill their uncertainty with a strong, trusted presence. That’s what the Bikers Against Child Abuse who are featured in this month’s issue have determined to do. They are the heroes who come to the rescue. In John 16:33, the Bible says, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”

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

It just confirms what we all witness if we spend much time on this planet. But luckily, that is not the end of the scripture. It goes on to say, “But take heart because I have overcome the world.” You see, we can have hope because while we may be uncertain, God is not. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him, and He holds us in His hands. So, can I take back what I said about thriving in the chaos? I really mean that I thrive when I turn my worries over to The One who is in control. Thanks be to God! A great place to step away and get a much-needed break from all the chaos of life this month is the Four States Fair and Rodeo. You can catch the subject of this month’s cover story, Tanner Zarnetski, in the middle of the rodeo arena. He is another example of that hero spirit who, as a bullfighter, is willing to put himself between danger and others. Don’t miss him and all the other excitement of the rodeo, the delicious food and the guaranteed fun of the fair we have counted on for years.

P H I L I P A N G I E R A N G E L A E V A N S L E S L I F L O W E R S J AY C E K E I L TA M M Y L U M M U S V I C K I M C M A H O N J O E R E G A N

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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P U B L I S H E R ’ S L E T T E R

INSURANCE SERVICES

Need help navigating the world of insurance? These local agents are here to help.

AUTO

2022 TEXARKANA MAGAZINE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

The insurance agents participating in this special advertising section provided the information in these articles. Texarkana Magazine and Cardinal Publishing have not independently verified the data.

T E X A R K A N A M A G A Z I N E

KESLER & SONS INSURANCE You’re in good hands

515 Main Street Texarkana, TX 75501 903-831-3866 allstate.com/calebkesler1 KESLER & SONS INSURANCE

OUR MISSION Our mission is to help our clients protect what is important to them, while providing the highest level of service with the goal of exceeding their expectations. WHY CLIENTS CHOOSE US We are a motivated, energetic agency that is excited to help our clients protect what they care about most. With over 25+ years of combined insurance experience, we are well equipped to handle any challenge that comes through the door. We pride ourselves on immaculate customer service and the commitment we have in serving our clients. We are excited about the opportunity to serve your insurance needs. Give us a call today!

MELISSA GALVAN, CALEB KESLER, RHETT BRIGHT

PRODUCTS Home Auto Life Boat Landlord Motorcycle ATV PUP Insurance

OUR QUALIFICATIONS Since it was founded in 1931, Allstate ® Insurance has been a

pioneer in the insurance industry. As a local Allstate ® Insurance Agency, we are proud to represent the largest publicly held personal lines insurer in the United States. DERRICK McGARY STATE FARM ® INSURANCE Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm ® is there.

590 N. Kings Highway, Suite 6 Wake Village, TX 75501 903-831-2000 www.derrickismyagent.com

WHY CLIENTS CHOOSE US We have been delivering Good Neighbor service in the Greater Texarkana area since 2017. Derrick is a lifelong resident of Texarkana and attended Texas High School, Texarkana College, and TAMU-T. He is a former Texarkana Texas City Council member and is also a member of other organizations. It is his passion to help make sure your hard-earned assets are protected from the unexpected. We would love to help you and your family with your insurance and financial services needs! Se habla Español.

PRODUCTS Auto

Life

Home Renters Business

Health

Pet

Personal Articles

CREDENTIALS License in TX and AR

TX #1478076 AR #9995017

DERRICK McGARY

Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. Pet insurance products are underwritten in the United States by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100-4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. Please visit AmericanPetInsurance.com. For additional information and disclosures concerning Pet insurance please see Pet Insurance From State Farm ® and Trupanion. State Farm ® Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, its subsidiaries and affliates, neither offer nor are financially responsible for pet insurance products. State Farm ® is a separate entity and is not affiiated with Trupanion or American Pet Insurance.State Farm ® VP Management Corp. is a separate entity from those State Farm ® entities which provide banking and insurance products. Investing involves risk, including potential for loss. Neither State Farm ® nor its agents provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax or legal professional for advice regarding your personal circumstances.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Proud Member of the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce

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T E X A R K A N A M A G A Z I N E

FARMERS ® INSURANCE KACIE KIRKLAND AGENCY

We Are Farmers

4015 N. State Line Avenue Texarkana, TX 75503 903-306-0963 www.farmersagent.com/kkirkland1

NORA TEER (CUSTOMER SERVICE SPECIALIST), KACIE KIRKLAND, HALEY CROCKER (AGENCY PRODUCER), TONI BROWN (AGENCY PRODUCER)

OUR QUALIFICATIONS The Kacie Kirkland Agency has been serving the Texarkana community and surrounding areas for nine years now and is a Farmers Toppers Club Achievement Award winner for multiple years! Only the top 7% of Farmers agents qualify for this achievement year after year! Kacie’s agency is fully staffed with licensed agents in Texas and Arkansas and they specialize in all lines of

WHY CLIENTS CHOOSE US The Kacie Kirkland Agency strives to make insurance a positive topic in every household. Insurance is confusing for most everyone, so they like to spend a little extra time educating all prospective clients about what they are paying for. The general atmosphere in their office is warm and welcoming. You may even get loved on by Kacie’s Miniature Schnauzer mascot, Louie, when you visit the office! A few interesting facts about Kacie. Kacie grew up in Atlanta, Texas and attended college at Ole Miss where she majored in accounting and finance. This was the perfect foundation for her insurance career! She has an extensive background in being self employed and working with the public, which helps her thrive in the insurance business. She loves to spend time with her family, travel every minute she can, experience great food and shop her heart out! Stop in and get to know everyone in her office soon; you won’t regret that you did!

PRODUCTS Auto Home Life Renters Business

Motorcycle Recreational Condo Insurance Farmers Financial Solutions ® Umbrella Insurance CREDENTIALS Licensed in Texas and Arkansas COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Proud Member of the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce Proud Supporter & Contributor to: OPTIONS Academic Alternative High School Program Randy Sams’ Outreach Shelter Local Schools Athletic Booster Clubs Temple Memorial Pediatric Center AR License #16898845 TX License #1830947

personal insurance, business insurance, life insurance and financial services. OUR MISSION Kacie and her staff strive to provide excellent customer service in a relaxed, pressure-free environment for their prospective clients. Their ability to present the best possible options and sound advice without pressuring customers creates a sales relationship based on mutual respect and one in which referrals are the best source of business. A yearly Farmers Friendly Review gives clients a chance to feel appreciated and gives Kacie the chance to make sure all policy information is up to date.

85% Grants

Life insurance and accidental death insurance issued by Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, 3120 139th Ave SE Ste 300, Bellevue, WA 98005. Products and features may not be available in all states and may vary by state. SM-01 08/17 Farmers Registered Agents are registered with, and securities are offered through Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC (In NY: Farmers Financial Solutions and Insurance Agency), 31051 Agoura Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361. Member FINRA & SIPC. Farmers Registered Agents may only offer products in states where they are currently licensed and/or registered. Not all products are available in all states. Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC and Farmers Registered Agents are not tax or legal advisors. Consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your personal situation. Comments that reflect an individual’s experience with a Farmers Registered Agent or his/her services should not be relied upon, as such comments may not reflect the experience of all customers.

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TEXAS FARM BUREAU INSURANCE ® -BOWIE COUNTY

Insurance for Texans by Texans

WHY CLIENTS CHOOSE US Protecting families in the great state of Texas since 1952, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® is an insurance provider built by Texans for Texans. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® helps dreams come true while protecting dreams along the way. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® is centrally located in the heart of the community. Our agents help policyholders manage the financial risk of everyday life and successfully recover from insured losses through prompt, professional, personal service based on high ethical standards. Our agents do not see you as “customers,” but rather as friends and family members. The relationship between customers and agents goes so far beyond simple policies and premiums; Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® Agents actually care. We are in the insurance business because we love helping people, and everything we do helps protect policy holders daily. From inspecting a shiny new truck or getting a new home insured, to sitting down with a customer and reviewing existing coverages and discussing how we can help policy holders protect their family’s future with life insurance, we are there. We are passionate and motivated to help others in the phenomenal career as an agent at Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® .

PRODUCTS Life Home Auto Farm and Ranch Commercial CREDENTIALS

Licensed in the State of Texas COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Junior League of Texarkana Tough Kookie Foundation Randy Sams’ Outreach Shelter Just Love and Kindness Susan G. Komen Temple Memorial Pediatric Center Run the Line and Kids Run the Line Too—Partnership for the Pathways CASA DeKalb Alumni Livestock Four States Delta Waterfowl Board Greater Texarkana Young Professionals

4413 Galleria Oaks Drive Texarkana, TX 75503 903-838-8707 www.txfb-ins.com

OUR QUALIFICATIONS Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® has been serving the people of Bowie County for 60+ years. We have two office locations in Bowie County to take care of your insurance needs. Our Texarkana office is located at 4413 Galleria Oaks Drive and our New Boston office is located at 911 West Highway 82. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance ® has ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Insurers in Texas” for ten years in a row.

OUR MISSION We help our policyholders manage the financial risks of everyday life and successfully recover from insured losses through prompt, professional, personal service based on high ethical standards.

85% Grants

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. Life insurance provided by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Jackson, MS. Texas Farm Bureau received the highest score in Texas in the J.D. Power 2012-2021 U.S. Auto Insurance studies of customers’ satisfaction with their insurance provider. Visit jdpower.com/awards. ©2022 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies.

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T E X A R K A N A M A G A Z I N E

W e know little in youth, and often that is a good thing. We are impulsive, we can be arrogant and we certainly do not know enough about the world to make big decisions. That being said, the current generation of young people happens to be one of the most motivated and politically active since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In my time within the political realm, I have learned four important lessons, and they are lessons people in politics should always keep in mind. The small stuff matters. The fall of 2020 was an enormous opportunity for everyone in politics. After a chaotic year of COVID-19 and civil unrest, the election season was in full swing. I wanted to help as much as I could and gleefully took a job block-walking around the Austin area, promoting candidates in the Republican party. It paid well, and the task was to knock on 1,500 doors before election day, beginning in October. What I did not expect was how long and tedious the job would be. Austin heat persists in October, so walking through neighborhoods knocking on doors, and leaving flyers about potential candidates was not the most exciting thing in the world. But hey, making an impact is not always sexy. As far as the candidates I promoted, we won some and lost a few. While I wish we had won all of them (especially Texas House District 47), knocking on 100 doors a day to help get some of those candidates across the finish line was something I was happy to do. I may have been a small part of those campaigns, but when you want to make a difference, even the small things matter. Texarkana received the gentler version of the winter storm last year compared to the rest of Texas. Chaos ensued. The grid was failing, pipes were bursting and the tragedy of people freezing to death in their homes was a reality. I was fortunate to be in Texarkana during the storm, so I did not experience the difficult struggles so many Texans encountered. At the time, I had taken an internship in the state House of Representatives for a member in southeast Texas, which meant I answered the phones in the office before anyone else did. As expected, angry calls poured in from across the district and the state to the Austin office when I returned to work. We responded to every phone call and helped those we could by redirecting them to the proper people, whether an agency in the state government or someone from the district who could help. Yes, it was exhausting, but what mattered was that we helped every person we could. Angry phone calls from constituents and citizens are guaranteed in Angry phone calls will always happen. Listen when they do.

GETTING IT RIGHT BY GRANT ROMMEL

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this line of work. What matters is that you buckle down, listen and help. Politics is not about you. It is about the people you impact. Help them at all costs. Never stop learning. Ever! Last summer, I somehow managed to join the ranks of college students (known as “hill-terns”) interning on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. In the office of Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, I met seven other students who I now consider dear friends. We worked from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm every day, taking calls and running around the Capitol Building with memos and letters for members of Congress. The most consistent part of our week was our online learning, which Senator Cotton had made part of our duties in his office. Each week we were educated on something specific, whether it was Congress, the Constitution, the problems of the American political system today or the occasional lecture on how our American government came to be what it is. The message from Senator Cotton was clear; learning is more than just the experience of office running. Our minds need to be sharpened daily with ideas, arguments and discussions. The pursuit of knowledge is crucial in the development of humankind and something we must never stop pursuing. Within the political realm, politicians and their staff can become so caught up in ideology and politics that they forget to serve the critical public interests.

Reading, learning and understanding everything possible keeps us from falling into that habit. While we can still be partisan, if we continue to embrace learning and expand our knowledge, we can improve the situations we are in. That includes reading opposing mindsets, understanding them and hearing their perspectives. Public service comes before ambition. The last lesson is the one I believe is most important. Not just because it is sound advice, but because I firmly believe it would help the political divisions we see today. American politics is fractured, and many of those leading it have completely forgotten what they are there to do. They shout about how they care for the public and accuse their opposition of hating the nation. The truth is their ambitions have blinded them to public service. Ambition, like many characteristics, is good in moderation. In excess, it can be intoxicating and poisonous not just to the person but to the entire system. Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, other members of Congress and American politics as a whole could use a sobering dose of humility. It would make our country better. To anyone hoping to enter the political arena, I have one request. Look beyond yourself before starting that campaign or taking that job. Consider whether you are pursuing a position for yourself or whether you want that position to serve others. Let’s try to get right what many of our current leaders get wrong.

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B U S I N E S S & P O L I T I C S

Strong, Supporter

Mr. Miyagi, Road Captain

Sharail, Treasurer

Shaggy, President

Patience, Child Liaison

Wayback, Secretary

Kaiser, Sergeant at Arms

Sideswipe, Vice President

T E X A R K A N A M A G A Z I N E

WE STAND READY BY TERRI GRAVITT PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS

No child deserves to live in fear! Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (B.A.C.A.) is a nonprofit 501-C-3, tax-exempt international organization with a chapter right here in Texarkana. The organization was founded in 1995 with one man’s desire to help just one suffering child, an eight-year-old, who was so frightened by his perpetrators that he would not leave his own home. The founder, having had kind and loving experiences with bikers during his own childhood, was moved to include this boy in his biker circle. Within a short amount of time, that boy was out of his home, riding his own bike and playing again with other children. With this knowledge and success, it was time to act and help in the effort to end child abuse around the world; thus, B.A.C.A. was born. Imagine you are a child who has been abused by people who are supposed to protect you. How do you regain that feeling of safety we all crave? That question is at the very heart of B.A.C.A. Their goal is ultimately to break the chains of child abuse so those affected by it do not grow up and bring what happened to them into their relationships. Before B.A.C.A. members are allowed to help a child, they undergo extensive background checks and training for handling sensitive situations. “Shaggy,” the President of our local Texarkana chapter, shared, “We have an MOU or a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Texas. It is an agreement stating that every 18 months, our members will have new background checks run. Our fingerprints are even on file with the FBI.” After this process is completed, the true mission of B.A.C.A. begins. “We receive information about a ‘hero’ (a child abuse victim),”

Shaggy explained, “and we set up a visit. This visit includes about four or five people. We go and meet the child. We tell them about what B.A.C.A. does and how we would like to help them by standing with them. We advise them that this is a big decision and that with any big decision, they need to think on it for at least 24 to 48 hours. After they have thought about it, if they decide they want to be a B.A.C.A. kid, they can give us a call back and we will make it happen.” Shaggy passionately continued, “Usually within that first 24 hours, we hear back that they want to be part of our family. We welcome them and let them know we will be coming back with a few of our friends. That is when we reach out to all our 28 chapters in the state of Texas and [the] surrounding area to see who can join us in welcoming the child. There is no telling how many people will show up. It can be 20, 30 or even up to 50 people.” This visit is what B.A.C.A. calls a Level One. It is when the entire group makes the ride on their big bikes to welcome that child into the biker family at a location where the child feels safe. They have a brief ceremony where the “heroes” are presented with their own B.A.C.A. vest, or “cut,” as the group calls them, with a patch on the back, with the child’s very own road name. It serves to make them feel like they are a part of the group. That group then gets assigned to that child as their primaries. They are then there for that child 24/7 around the clock. The biker tells the child that they are now a part of their family, which also means, “We’ve got your back,” empowering the child. “One of the big things we like to do is give kids back the control that has been taken from them. We tell them they are in charge.

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They tell us where they want to meet and what they want to do during our time together. We have kids that are in a shell. They are scared. We try to make them more comfortable with little games we play with them. Something I started and like to share with other B.A.C.A. members is saying things to them like, ‘Hey you dropped your pocket’ and they look down and laugh and say, ‘you can’t drop your pocket’ and I will reply ‘but I made you look!’ Then I tell them to go see how many people they can get to look. The kids will come back to me laughing and saying, ‘I got 12 people with it, Shaggy!’ We high five! That is when the ice breaks! That is when they start feeling more comfortable with us.” Services B.A.C.A. might provide for the child include driving by the child’s house on the night before the trial and revving up their engines, reminding them they are truly not alone, or escorting the child, along with our Texarkana Police Department to the courthouse and, if the judge allows, even walking in with them and sitting behind them. The family members of the perpetrators will sometimes show up and this can be intimidating for the child. Having this powerful gesture of support builds their confidence and gives them the strength they need to be brave while on the stand. “When we are not busy locally in our chapter,” said Shaggy, “we will see if any of our surrounding chapters need our support. One time I drove 700 miles to meet a child. When they stood me in front of the child to introduce me and asked me how many miles I had driven and I told them, they actually had to stop so the child could go back into the house to take a minute. That child could not believe someone who had not known them a day in their life would drive all that way to meet them. Moments like those are what we call our ‘pork chop moments.’ It is when we are reminded of WHY we do what we do.” And B.A.C.A. members do all of this for free, but the rewards are countless. As the B.A.C.A. mission statement says, “We exist as a body of bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which

they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner. However, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.” B.A.C.A. members do whatever it takes to make abused kids feel safe, which is huge for children who have been hurt, especially by adults who are supposed to love and protect them. They help give them their life back. They are there for them when they are scared and stick around until they are not. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Our local B.A.C.A. chapter has awareness events throughout the year where you can meet some of the members personally and find out ways you can support them, including donations which are always appreciated. If you would like more information, you can visit bacaworld.org, or the local chapter of B.A.C.A. which meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 at the Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road and visitors are welcome. To donate directly to the local Texarkana chapter, call 866-757-7689 or mail checks directly to 2801 Richmond Road, PMB #307, Texarkana, TX 75503.

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NO CLOWNING AROUND BY RACHAEL CHERRY

The atmosphere is buzzing with excitement. It is that hand-on-your-heart, American flag experience. It is beautiful horses, cowboy hats, boots and shiny buckles. It is the dirt arena and the announcer introducing events and contestants. Even the smell signals that you are about to see something spectacular. The stands are full of rodeo fans who have come to participate in a piece of southern culture. One of the most exciting, and by far, the most dangerous rodeo events is bull riding. The rider climbs in the pen to mount 1500 pounds of fierce, aggressive, unpredictability. He grips the rope, tucks his chin and gives the nod to pull the gate. You can feel the heart-pounding excitement as the bull bucks and twists, trying to rid himself of his unwelcome passenger. The rage and rancor do not subside when the rider, finally flung from his host, hits the ground. Now come the hooves and horns. Possibly the only thing scarier than being on the back of a bucking bull is being under one, and that is where this story begins because this tale is not about a bull rider. Heck, it’s not even about the bull. This is a story of heroism, skill and death-defying courage mixed with a dash of downright crazy. Because, when everyone else is keeping as much distance and fencing as possible between themselves and that raging bull, there is one who runs right in to save the day—the bullfighter.

Texarkana native, Tanner Zarnetski, knows a thing or two about bulls. He has been riding them or charging toward them to rescue other riders for more than 20 years. Tanner started out riding bulls as a kid, but he soon discovered he was “better at fighting bulls than riding them.” He explained, “At eleven years old, I began investing in what I wanted to do. My mom would take me to rodeos, and if I won, I would use that money for fuel and entry fees for the next one [rodeo].” When he was not riding bulls, he began to show a knack for helping other riders escape danger by commanding the bulls’ attention. “I had buddies paying me five dollars every time they got on a bull just to help protect them.” Tanner recollects he was even compensated for his efforts with pearl snap western shirts. By the time he was 17, Tanner had made a name for himself in the local rodeo circuit and was contacted by Felton Jackson of Hope, Arkansas, about fighting bulls for the Arkansas Rodeo Association. His response “Let’s do this!” For the next three years, Tanner continued to spend his weekends both riding bulls and fighting them. As a young husband and father, he came to realize the high cost associated with competing in rodeos, but he loved the sport. Tanner learned while bull riding only rewards the winners, bullfighting pays the bills. Tanner walked away from bull riding permanently at the age of 20. Since then, he has been a regular bullfighter on the Professional Rodeo circuit.

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photo by Matt Cornelius

(L-R) Korbyn, Lainey, Tanner, Rostyn, Emma, Legend and Rylan Zarnetski

At one time, bullfighters were known simply as rodeo clowns. These were the guys who painted their faces, wore baggy clothes and suspenders and jumped in to help a dismounted rider get out of harm’s way. They also worked to entertain the crowds between the events. These days, rodeo clowns and bullfighters are two separate roles. The rodeo clown provides a bit of comic relief, but bullfighters are only there to protect the riders. While some bullfighters choose to dress athletically in jerseys with no face paint, Tanner has chosen to follow the model of traditional bullfighting attire. He is easily recognizable in his red shirt, denim baggies with black suspenders and trademark face paint. “I like the face paint and the baggies… people get to know you and recognize you.” Bullfighting is a dangerous sport that brings bullfighters face to face with a thrashing and sometimes bone-crushing beast, and Tanner has definitely had his share of bone-crushing encounters. During his career, he has broken his ribs, fingers, wrist, hip and knee. He has fractured his vertebrae, punctured lungs and tore his rotator cuff. Currently, he is preparing to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair a crushed foot. “It’s hard on your body, and it’s not something you can do for the rest of your life.” Tanner knows the day will come when he retires from this sport he loves so much. When asked what he will do when he is no longer fighting bulls, Tanner

says he would consider judging. “I will always be around the rodeo.” Tanner is married and his wife, Emma, loves the rodeo life almost as much as he does. He is also the father of five children: Rylan, Korbyn, Lainey, Rostyn and Legend. His two oldest are already following in their dad’s footsteps. At ages nine and twelve, they are junior bull riders. Tanner looks forward to watching his children pursue their love for the rodeo as well. “My kids are going to grow up seeing their dad pursue his dreams and I want them to know they can do the same thing. I don’t want them to feel that they are tied down to a day-to-day, nine-to-five job. You know, there is so much more to life than that.” Bullfighting is a sport, and while it is a contracted job that Tanner is fully compensated for, he also gets to fight competitively. In the rodeo, as in all competitive sports, there are stages of the competition. When bullfighters can demonstrate their skills at the highest levels in the rodeo circuit, there are prizes to be won. The traditional award in rodeo competition is a trophy buckle, and Tanner has 25 buckles to commemorate his time as a bullfighter. Tanner describes one of the proudest moments in his career. The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) has a competitive protection match for bullfighters. It is by invitation only, and you only get one chance to compete. “If you know rodeo and you see a buckle that has got NFR

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on the front, you know somebody has done something good.” He continued, “One of my biggest goals going into bullfighting was to win the buckle from the NFR protection match, and I won that buckle.” In addition to bullfighting, Tanner is a small business owner in Texarkana, Arkansas. “Since I was a little kid, I said I was going to be a bull rider and a truck driver. Now I fight bulls and work on trucks.” Tanner got his start working in a diesel repair shop for a friend in Tyler, Texas. For the past five years, he has been building his own successful business that brings in customers from all over the country. He credits at least part of his success to the connections he has made as a bullfighter. “I know that the reputation I have built through the rodeo has helped my business.” You can find Tanner Zarnetski on YouTube and see some exciting examples of his work and passion for bullfighting. There is nothing quite like chasing your dreams and grabbing the bull by the horns—literally.

cover photo by TAG OUTDOORS

SCAN HERE TO VIEW THIS MONTH’S COVER STORY VIDEO

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(L-R) Evey Martin, Grace Otwell, Callie-Jo Brookes, Abby Wren, Sydney Reynolds

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL BY ANNI BI SHOP PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS

W ould you believe bowling dates back to 5200 BC? The ancient Egyptians rolled stones at objects aiming to knock them over. Over time, other bowling variations emerged from the original ancient Egyptian game. Today, besides the mainstream version of bowling, two different forms of the game continue to be played, including lawn bowling and Bocce. Several historical figures that have enjoyed the sport are King Henry VIII and Martin Luther. Francis Drake is rumored to have been engrossed in a game at the arrival of the Spanish armada. He did not let their appearance distract him too much, though. He said, “We have time enough to finish the game and beat the Spaniards, too.” Bowling’s popularity has endured for a very long time and has been a much-loved sport by many. It is so loved to this day that it is the number one recreational activity in the United States! Most of us have been to a bowling alley and have knocked down a few pins at a birthday party or two. Whether you are a natural or one whose ball always seems to end up in the gutter, skill and strategy are required to hit the mark consistently.

The Arkansas High School (AHS) bowling team knows a thing or two about that strategy. They have recently ended a very successful season, winning matches against Lakeside and Hot Springs, and four team members qualified to compete in the State Bowling Tournament in Rogers, Arkansas. Those team members include Callie-Jo Brookes, Evey Martin, Abbie Wren and La’Damien Davis. Although the season was cut short because of COVID-19, the team gave it their all and played hard. Coach Roger Rico expressed how proud he was of the team this season. “The team worked so hard every day to get better, even those in their first year on the bowling team.” The AHS team, Varsity and Junior Varsity combined, comprises 15 girls and 15 boys. The season begins at the end of November and typically lasts until the beginning of February. During each season, the team competes against many schools across the state of Arkansas: Lakeside, Lake Hamilton, Benton, Hot Springs, Little Rock Christian, Siloam Springs, Greenwood, Russellville, Van Buren and Alma. AHS has consistently achieved successful seasons and produced top-notch players.

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Arkansas High has had a bowling team for the past decade. For the past seven of those years, Coach Rico has been leading the team. His love for bowling goes back to his high school days. The school he attended did not have a bowling team, so he participated as part of the junior leagues of his local lanes. Fortunately, Coach Rico’s AHS team is able to practice and compete more formally, thanks in part to Holiday Bowl on State Line, where they are always more than accommodated by the staff and owner. Rico expressed how extremely grateful he is for the support Holiday Bowl has shown and the opportunity they have given the team to practice. “The owner and managers at Holiday Bowl do a great job allowing us to come and practice. They are the reason this team can compete and get better,” he said. Not only does the team practice at Holiday Bowl, but it is also where they play all their home matches. High school bowling is more than a fun pastime. Scholarships are offered to the most successful bowlers. In fact, two past AHS team members received scholarships and

are currently bowling on college teams. Linda Himes, daughter of Holiday Bowl’s General Manager, Larry Himes, received a bowling scholarship from Kansas Wesleyan University. Millie Henderson is attending Dallas Baptist University also on a bowling scholarship. Texarkana Arkansas School District is proud of these students and this year’s bowling team for all their hard work. “I enjoy watching the kids get better and when their hard work pays off,” said Coach Rico. He is already looking forward to next season as he plans to “make a run at winning the Conference and State Championship Tournaments.” He is excited to have all the girls back next season, and their drive to get better has Coach Rico ready to bring home the victory. This season’s success has given Rico and the team new confidence and just the drive they need to win the State Championship next season. Rico expressed great pride in the team’s success and expects next season will be even better. “Remember,” he said, “it’s not about how you bowl, it’s about how you roll!”

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A pril is International Guitar Month which is something I never would have known had I never started playing guitar because it would not have interested me. How cool is it that there’s an entire month dedicated to an instrument? The Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) founded International Guitar Day in 1987 to promote guitar sales around the world. A plucked four-string instrument was named a guitar in the fourteenth century in Spain. When I was in middle school, I was often bullied for being different from a lot of the other guys in my school. I was, according to them, more “feminine” by nature and had absolutely zero interest in anything involving a ball. This made me an easy target for guys who felt like they had the right to box me in and label me because I wasn’t like them. Labeling others who are different from we are makes us feel more comfortable, and I got that, even then. That did not make things any easier, though. I have done a ton of growing since those difficult times, thanks to the power of finding my true identity in Christ, but also thanks to the healing power of music. I have always loved music, just as many others do. But for me, music started as just being something I did just for fun. It wasn’t too deep. Music was nothing I really had to think too hard about. It was just enjoyable. I would spend hours upon hours sitting in front of the computer watching music videos that I was FAR too young to be watching, obsessed with Britney Spears, Sean Kingston, Avril Lavigne, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. They were people whose music I LOVED but didn’t necessarily contain too much depth. The way I saw music completely changed one really bad day in seventh grade when I distinctly remember coming home from school super defeated from the name-calling and heavily churned rumor mill when I heard a song by P!nk entitled “Perfect.” The song is a big fat public service announcement that says your flaws, the little things others make you question about yourself, are ultimately what make you, as the song describes, “perfect!” This is the first moment I remember music actually making a palpable difference in my life. This was more than just a song about being at the club or being in love. It was speaking life into the darkness where, for me, light and hope did not exist. This newfound light fascinated me. A simple three- minute audio recording can literally be the words your friends may not know how to say to you when they are trying their best to comfort you. It can be the escape you desperately need when your reality feels like it is closing in on you. I’m being dramatic now and this is the part where my mom would say, “Okay honey, land your plane.” So, consider my plane landed here.

GOOD EVENING TXK COLUMN BY BAI LEY GRAVITT

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RECOMMENDATIONS

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AUDIO

Parker Gravitt Unashamed by Lecrae

Travis Bishop Roadkill on MotorTrend+ (motortrendondemand.com)

Carletha Pree Daily Radio Program with Charles Stanley In Touch Ministries

Discovering my love for music that, in turn, healed me, made me discover something else… I have a pretty good singing voice. I have developed it and it has matured over time, but for a couple of years, my mom and brothers, unfortunately, had to hear me try way too hard in the car, squealing and squawking to songs on the radio. I think now they would say I am decent, at least. I wanted to use this voice of mine to sing things I didn’t know how to say. I then wanted to couple it with an instrument. That was when I found out that my brother’s dad had given him a white guitar that had been sitting in his closet for years, just collecting

dust. I picked it up, strings all out of tune, and decided I wanted to give learning guitar a shot! That was January 2020. Fast forward two years into the future and you can now find me uploading amateur song covers on my Facebook, leading worship or just singing whatever my heart desires with that same guitar in hand. It is all thanks to the guys who bullied me, P!nk, the incredibly healing

power of music and my brother’s dad for leaving behind that little white guitar. Happy International Guitar Month! RANDOM THOUGHT… Why can’t broccoli or green beans taste like Chick-Fil-A? Same taste, fewer calories? Life is so unfair.

LOCAL EVENTS

April 1-10 Four States Fair and Rodeo Four States Fairgrounds, opens weekdays at 5 PM, 10 AM on Saturdays and 1 PM on Sundays April 1 AMMP Motorsports Monster Truck Madness Four States Fairgrounds, 6 PM April 2 31st Annual Demolition Derby Four States Fairgrounds, 7 PM April 2 Big Jake’s BBQ Open Sporting Clays Tournament Rocky Creek Outdoors, 8 AM April 2 American Legion Razorbacks Golf Scramble Texarkana Golf Ranch, Registration Time 8 AM, Tee Time 9 AM April 3 Sunday Funday Opportunities, Inc. Fundraising Event Crossties, 4 PM

April 7 Save Jane Event The Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center and CASA for Children Texarkana, taking a stand against child abuse. Downtown Federal Courthouse/Post Office and Live streamed on CASA and CAC’s Facebook pages, 10 AM – 12 PM April 23 Texarkana Symphony Orchestra’s “Dreaming Together” with Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez The Perot Theatre, 7:30 PM April 23 CASA Colorful 5K Trinity Baptist Church, 8:30-11 AM April 30 Boomtown Border City Steak Cookoff Hosted by Dot’s Ace Hardware with over $3,000 in cash prizes at stake. Dot’s Ace Hardware

LIVE BANDS April 2 Tailgate Poets Redbone Magic Brewing, 7 PM April 2 T-Town 5 Four States Fairgrounds, 6 PM April 8 Brandon Rhyder 67 Landing April 9 T-Town 5 67 Landing, 7:30 PM April 9 Relentless Four States Fair and Rodeo, 6 PM April 22 Kemosabe Fat Jacks, 9 PM

For more events visit

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of emotion. Others become embittered and angry. Still others become defeated and lose hope that the sun will come out again. And some of us have a different reaction to each storm depending on when it hits. I have been through many storms. You cannot get to 41 years old and not have your parade rained on a few times. Sometimes they are just little emotional showers that blow in for a short time and then dry up quickly. Sometimes they are thunderstorms, loud, dark and scary, causing some branches of my life to be scattered about haphazardly. Sometimes they are tornadoes that cause complete emotional destruction in an instant, with an extremely long period of rebuilding what was destroyed. Here are a few lessons I have learned through my storms... • They are not fun, even when they are necessary and for my betterment. • It’s okay to ask for help when you are overwhelmed. I had a few years that were extremely rainy, so I sought the help of a trusted friend and my Primary Care Physician. It turned out that I needed to be on a low-dose antidepressant because of some family history of depression. I am so glad I asked for the help because my storms were being exacerbated to unnecessary degrees because of a biological issue. • It is okay to not be okay for a minute or two. Trying to pretend that a storm is not raging just leaves you standing in the middle of a downpour without an umbrella, with a fake smile plastered on your face. This does no good. We often have expectations of a life that is all rainbows and puppy kisses, and there are lots of days that are exactly that. But when a rain cloud and morning breath seem to define the moment, we need to understand that this is a normal thing in the life of humans. We are not failures because we go through trials. • EVERY storm has a purpose. There is not one storm that I have weathered that the Lord has not weathered alongside me. He has held me up, wiped my face, lifted His holy eyebrow at me when I complained too much, and shown me how much I can trust Him with everything that comes my way. With each storm in my life, I have grown. Sometimes I needed pruning. Sometimes I needed replanting in another location. Sometimes I needed a stake in the ground to lean into so I would grow upward instead of bent or completely inverted. • How I respond to the storm will determine the outcome. If I allow myself to wallow in the mud puddles of bitterness and despair, I will end up wet and dirty, not learning much, with my focus centered on self and self-pity. If I lean into the Lord and let Him provide His umbrella of protection over me, guiding me because He can see past the storm, I will stay drier and warmer and learn new things about Him and His purpose for my life. • Looking back on some of these storms and seeing where I have grown, I am able to be thankful for them. Now, I am not quite ready to throw an emotional hurricane party when I see a storm a brewin’, but I’m not as scared of storms as I used to be. I know good will come from them. I’m so blessed that God uses the April showers that come my way to reveal the May flowers He has planted in my life’s garden.

A SARINE THOUGHT… OR TWO COLUMN BY EMI LY SARINE April Showers Bring...

T he older I get, the more aware I am of the stormy seasons that inevitably come into our lives. When I was younger, I just assumed that someone being rude, throwing a fit or acting irrationally was because they were, well... a jerk. But the more times I have been rude, thrown a fit or acted irrationally, I’ve discovered it wasn’t because I was a jerk, but because my life felt like it was being “jerked” out from under me and I let that flow into my actions and reactions. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, I’m actually being a jerk. But most of the time, I don’t intentionally try to be hurtful or hateful. When the storms of life come, they can be dark, scary, overwhelming, disheartening, even devastating. Maybe it is losing a job, getting a bad health diagnosis, finding yourself in financial trouble, losing a loved one, realizing a certain relationship will not pan out the way you had expected, watching someone you love make bad decisions and then experience the consequences… the list goes on. These are hard things to work through and experience and can be gray and depressing. Maybe it is the rut you cannot get out of at work, or the questioning of decisions that you make regularly, or feeling disconnected from those you love even when you’re in the same room. Some of us handle these things better than others. There are people who can experience a storm and learn how best to weather it in the future should the need arise with no outward spillage

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