January 2023

Texarkana Magazine

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE January | 2023 | Volume 4 | Issue 1

56. STYLE Creating Comfort 60. LIFE Look to the Future, Live for Today


11. BUSINESS Healthy, Beautiful, You 22. POLITICS The Legacy of the King Dream


42. SPORTS Getting Technical About Fitness 46.

ENTERTAINMENT Good Evening TXK 50. LIFE 2022 Debutantes


62. TXK 411 Green Smoothie 64.

26. COMMUNITY Turning Love into Service 34.


THE MONTHLY MIX Shop Local This Year 66. TXK ROOTS Will Bryant

cover/CULTURE For the Fun of It


Three biggest pet peeves...

CASSY MEISENHEIMER Not replacing a trash bag, unfinished water bottles, and litter

TERRI SANDEFUR Talking on the phone, visual clutter, and alarm clocks

SHELBY AKIN Dry mouth on a mic, side conversations, and loud ringtones

KARA HUMPHREY Loud chewing, lipstick on teeth, and silent letters

LEAH ORR Unaware slow walkers, birds, and double dipping

BRITT EARNEST Speaker phone in public, staying up late, and vagueness

BRITTANY ROBLES Cabinet doors left open, people who clap when the plane lands, and people who don’t use a blinker

MATT CORNELIUS Kids who are allowed to disrespect their parents, sticky salt and pepper shakers, and women who don’t put the toilet seat up when they’re finished

CHRISTI HERRINGTON Weeds in my flowerbeds,

BAILEY GRAVITT People who drive too close, bad customer service, and small talk

TERRI GRAVITT People who smile while telling you bad news, kids playing loud games on phones in restaurants, and empty milk cartons put back in the fridge

MEGAN GRIFFIN Slow walkers, people who get in your personal

empty ice trays, and forgetting to put the trash out for pickup

space while having a conversation, and disorganization

KAILYN WILLIAMS Tapping sounds, people who complain about things they can control, and people who pull out in front of me!

TIFFANY HORTON Bad drivers, dirty dishes left in the sink, and people who don’t return their shopping carts to the cart return

DR. CHARLES JORDAN When people leave water running, people who park over the line, and cruelty

EMILY SARINE People who laugh at their own jokes… LOL!, dirty laundry left 6" from the hamper, and humidity




F or the last several months, my response when discussing many topics has been, “I’m just treading water into 2023.” Well, here we are. It is time to stop treading water and start swimming. So instead of coming up with the same ole things about how I hope to do better in the new year, here are some quotes and advice from others that motivate me to pursue my next steps with intention.

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

Publisher CARDINAL PUBLISHING Staff CASSY MEISENHEIMER cassy@txkmag.com TERRI SANDEFUR terri@txkmag.com SHELBY AKIN shelby@txkmag.com KARA HUMPHREY kara@txkmag.com LEAH ORR leah@txkmag.com BRITT EARNEST britt@txkmag.com BRITTANY ROBLES brittany@txkmag.com MATT CORNELIUS matt@txkmag.com Local Sources WHITNEY ALLEN CLARE ANGIER JOHN LUKE ANGIER MARY CAROLINE ANGIER

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

—Dolly Parton

“The book is called Opportunity , and its first chapter is ‘New Year’s Day.’”

—Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.”

—Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

—Brad Paisley

“I have the opportunity once more to right some wrongs, to pray for peace, to plant some trees, and sing more joyful songs.”

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.’”

—William Arthur Ward

—Alfred Lord Tennyson


“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

—Robert Breault

—T.S. Eliot

“No matter how dirty your past is, your future is still spotless.”

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”



—C.S. Lewis

I hope you enjoy our incredible cover artwork designed by artist and Texarkana native, Will Bryant, who finds inspiration in the little things every day and turns it into art. We have a community full of inspiration. Look around, take notice in this new year, and let it inspire you to write whatever story you choose in 2023. Happy New Year!


“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.”

—Anne Frank


“The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” —Maya Angelou “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better person.”

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 .

—Benjamin Franklin






Welcome to the Beautiful Life

5303 Cowhorn Creek Road Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-831-5659 TEXT 903-903-2885 TexasBodySculpting.Com






WHO WE ARE Ten years ago, the Beauty and Wellness Center was created with you in mind. We want to help you not only maintain your health but improve it. We want to revitalize not only your skin but your life. Whatever your needs, the BWC offers a wide range of options to address them. From facials to body sculpting treatments, skin care therapies to cosmetic surgeries, our treatments can be combined with conventional medical care in order to achieve overall physical and mental health. We are committed health care professionals who want to make a difference for you! DR. DAVID WHITTEN, MD, PHD, FACEP Dr. Whitten is a practicing physician who is also an internationally published Scientist and University Professor. He has multiple articles published in peer reviewed scientific literature. He has taught physiology to medical, dental, nursing, graduate, and pharmacy students at the University of California in San Francisco and has served as National Faculty in Ultrasound for the American College of Emergency Physicians. He has also been a featured guest on TV and radio, including Good Morning America , The Today Show with Katy Couric , Maury Povich , Larry King Live and others. He was an invited speaker at international symposia in Sarasota Florida and in Adelaide, Australia as a guest of the Australian government.”

WHY WE LOVE OUR PROFESSION They say that beauty is only skin deep, but when you feel confident in how you look and feel, your beauty radiates from within. You are healthier! It’s an amazing blessing to share in someone’s wellness journey, whether it’s about weight loss, a suture suspension lift, better skin, reduced pain or whatever gives someone comfort and makes them feel better. “I feel like myself again.” This is a statement we often hear patients share. The BWC is a ‘feel good’ place and we love our patients! It’s an honor to do what we do.

WHAT SETS US APART At the BWC, we see Beauty and Wellness as one. Every improvement in the way you feel and look will have a positive impact on your life. We are real people. We want to know our patients’ names. Our office has a family atmosphere and in fact, we are a family run and owned business. We listen. We understand your needs, and we cater to specific indulgences and requests through individual treatments, parties, and events. We are all about a beautiful, healthy life. Allow us to welcome you with our genuine service and laid-back sophistication to our ‘place set apart’ from your everyday experience.

SPECIALTIES COSMETIC SURGERIES Suture Suspension Lifts Breast Reduction Liposuction Scar Revision Mini Tummy Tuck Fat Transfers MED SPA TREATMENTS Massages Facials Medical Weight Loss

PRODUCTS DeU America Skin Care EPIONCE OBAGI Medical Skin Care FarmHouse Fresh (made in Texas) EltaMD

Cellulite Reduction and Slimming Skin Toning and Tightening Varicose/Spider Vein Removal Botox ® and Facial Fillers Laser Hair Removal and Brow Waxing




EAGLE DENTAL CENTER Excellence in… Treatment, Care, Service, and Commitment

4009 Moores Lane Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-794-9974 www.eagledentaltxk.com


“While improving your physical health is likely part of your New Year resolution, do not forget to include oral health! Your oral health plays a major role in your overall health. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to a number of systemic health problems, including, congestive heart disease and diabetes. The doctors and staff at Eagle Dental are not only here to get your smile back on track, but your overall health, as well. Call to schedule a visit with our hygienists and doctors to help you reach your goal!”

Implant Placement Crowns and Bridges

Sure Smile Orthodontic Aligners Dentures and Partial Dentures Nitrous Oxide and Level 1 Sedation Surgical Procedures and Extractions Root Canal Therapy Teeth Cleaning and Whitening Hygiene and Gum Treatment

WHO WE ARE Eagle Dental Center is a full service dental office. We take care of all your dental health needs and issues and always strive for excellence in treatment, compassionate care, service, and commitment. This includes referral to the proper specialist for treatment if needed. If you have been looking for a professional dental team who will take care of your needs and will listen to your dental concerns, you have found the right place at Eagle Dental Center. We are dedicated to providing you with the comfort and well-being that you deserve. Our team wants to make certain your visits and experiences are

WHAT SETS US APART Our staff is dedicated to making

pleasant. We understand your smile is one of your biggest assets. At Eagle Dental Center, we proudly serve patients in the entire four states area! DENTISTS:

your experience at Eagle Dental the best it can possibly be. You will be greeted with a smile from everyone you meet. Our goal is to make you feel less stressed and more comfortable when going to the dentist. We aim to give you an amazing and healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

Todd Hegmann, DDS Robert Levine, DDS Mark Looney, DDS Punit Patel, DDS Chad Patterson, DDS





Your Trusted Beauty Experts

WHO I AM I am Amanda Ross, Family Nurse Practitioner, a medical provider, and cosmetic injector at Eternal Beauty Medical Aesthetics and Day Spa. I have been with Eternal Beauty for two years. I previously worked as an urgent care Nurse Practitioner, and previously, was an ICU and GI RN. My husband and I have been married for 19 years, and have three kids, Rafe, Ava, and Cora. My husband, Jonny, is owner of Peak Fighting, an MMA promotion company. We have always been hard workers, and try to instill that trait into our kids. I cannot wait to see what impact my kids have on our world in the future. A little tidbit about me: I am a shoe fanatic! My clients know me for my crazy, blingy, and colorful shoes! I am a quiet and shy person, so my shoes help me express my personality. WHY I LOVE MY PROFESSION I love making people feel better about themselves, and I love seeing their smiles after their procedures. I am a skin care and vitamin junkie, so I love sharing my skincare regimen and secrets with people, not only to help their skin look better, but also to make them feel better. When a person feels good, they express that on the outside, and when you feel good about yourself and how you look, it projects into your personality. I feel my ICU and GI nursing experience really gives me the experience and knowledge to teach my clients how to improve their well being and skin from the inside out. WHAT SETS ME APART Attention to detail! I am very meticulous with my work. No two people are the same, therefore, each treatment is different and catered to that particular person. I am a forever learner! Just because I have graduated from school and hold certifications, it doesn’t end there. At Eternal Beauty Medical Aesthetics and Day Spa, we do extensive one-on-one trainings with product educators, plus we attend stream line and comprehensive classes and work shops multiple times a year, so we can bring the newest and greatest techniques and products to our clients.


“Work on yourself now! It doesn’t matter your age, if you’re young, prevention is key! If you’re more mature in age, do it now. Don’t wait. Do you! Treat yourself now!”

SPECIALTY Cosmetic Dermatology PRODUCTS

Neuromodulators such as Botox ® , Xeomin ® , and Dysport ® Dermal Fillers such as Restylane ® , Juvederm ® , RHA ® , Radiesse ® , and Sculptra ® Laser Treatments such as Scar Revision, Hair Removal, Tattoo Removal, Skin Resurfacing, and Sun Spot Removal PDO Thread Lifting QWO Cellulite Treatment Cool Sculpting and Cool Tone Medically Assisted Weight Loss Potenza TM Radiofrequency Microneedling

Radiofrequency Skin Tightening Obagi and Epionce medical skin care BioTe Hormone Replacement Therapy Advanced facials such as Hydrafacial, chemical peels, microneedling, and dermaplaning Female Sexual Health, such as Vaginal Tightening and O-shots Customizable IV Vitamin Infusions Massages Luxury Spa Water Therapy with Sauna, Hot Tub, and Zero Gravity Float Pod

5510 Summerhill Road Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-278-9566 www.eternalbeautytexarkana.com




LAVENDER THORNE All-Natural Heath Products Made With Love

WHO I AM I am a child of God, mother of three boys, loving wife, friend to all, stranger to none, woman-owned and operated business owner. I am a dedicated, hardworking, passionate business owner and I absolutely love what I do. I fill any roles needed in the business from taking out the trash to being the leader of the strong women of Lavender Thorne. WHY I LOVE MY PROFESSION My job is rewarding because of the testimonials from our customers saying our products have truly changed their lives. I love spreading the word of God, being hands on in the community, and using my platform to help people around the world. I love natural products and essential oils! They have changed mine and my family’s lives. I have a history of miscarriages and I’ve experienced first hand what switching to natural can do for your health and ultimately life. Several doctors told me my chances of ever having children were slim. Three boys later, I’m here to say there is a way! WHAT SETS US APART We use natural butters, oils, organic ingredients and therapeutic grade oils in all of our products. We balance family and work life. There have been many days or nights we have had to bring the kiddos to play in the warehouse while the mamas work. This isn’t just a job with co-workers, it’s a sisterhood of moms, daughters and best friends. We put scriptures on every product, spreading the word of God in a creative way, planting seeds in homes, stores and individual lives. We pride ourselves on consistency. Customer service is at the forefront of our business. We strive to make sure all of our customers are happy.

1323 Spruce Street Texarkana, Texas 75501 903-276-5580 www.lavenderthorne.com

CASSIDY LAVENDER OWNER “It’s never too late to clean up your lifestyle. Switching to natural and ditching false fragrance or medication can be a challenge. Start slow and educate yourself. There is a product for anything and everything in life. If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help!”

SPECIALTY Creating Non-Toxic Wellness, Home, Baby and Beauty Products, and whatever else our wonderful customers need. BEST SELLING PRODUCTS Elderberry Syrup (immunity booster syrup) Honey Dew (Healing Salve for eczema, psoriasis, cuts, burns, bites, etc. It’s called Honey Dew, because it literally does EVERYTHING!) Body Polish (exfoliating bath scrub— will leave your skin feeling amazing from head to toe.) Hair Growth (hair spray made to boost hair growth, re-growth, and thickening) Dry Shampoo (the hairstylists favorite powdered dry shampoo) Baby Wash (Organic Baby Wash moms can feel comfortable using on their little ones) Stain Bye (stain spray that gets out even the toughest stains) Pure Joy (Moisturizing Facial Serum) Relief (headache and migraine roller; a true God send) The Cycle (cramps, fatigue, PMS symptoms, endometriosis, PCOS, etc… a woman’s best friend)

We know our customers by name and their favorite products. All recipes are formulated in house and tried and tested before hitting the shelves. We have wholesalers in every state in the United States, plus overseas—Italy, France, Cayman Islands, Netherlands, Australia, Africa, Canada, and more.





Texarkana Never Looked So Good

5520 Christus Drive, Suite A Texarkana, Texas 903-306-0838 903-826-1010 lonestarhealthwellness.com

SERVICES Facial Aesthetics/Skincare Medical Weightloss Hormone Replacement Therapy

SAMANTHA HARRIS OWNER, MSN, APRN, FNP-C “Always wear your sunscreen!”


WHO WE ARE Two busy mommas making Texarkana Look Good!

Samantha Harris, owner of Lonestar Health and Wellness, loves boosting her patients’ self-image and self confidence. Samantha is married to local physician Dr. Jason Harris, and they have three children. She has a masters degree from Walden University, multiple advanced certifications, and master level aesthetic training. Miranda Baugh is married to local physician Dr. John Baugh and they have three children. She has a masters degree from North Dakota State University, and multiple advanced certifications, and master level aesthetic training. WHY WE LOVE OUR PROFESSION The Lonestar Health and Wellness team loves to make people feel amazing and be the best version of themselves. The entire team loves learning new techniques, helping clients reach their goals, and always looking and feeling their best. WHAT SETS US APART Results! Continuous education and training to bring the best results to our patients! We strive to offer up-to-date services and techniques! The Lonestar Health and Wellness team is personable, experienced, and here to service all of our patients.

PRODUCTS Allergan Products Portfolio— Botox ®

Juvederm ® Collection of Fillers Kybella

Galderm Products Portfolio— Dysport ®

Restylane ® Collection of Fillers Sculptra ®

RHA line of Fillers Genius ® RF Microneedling SkinPen

ZO ® Skin Medical Grade Skin Care SkinMedica Medical Grade Skin Care SkinBetter Science Skin Care PCA Skin Care Evexipel ® Pellet Therapy PRF and EZ Gel

UpNeeq ® Eye Drops Daxxify Coming Soon





WHO WE ARE Age Management and Aesthetics by Healthcare Express offers advanced treatments and expertise in a spa-like atmosphere. Our hormone replacement specialists, estheticians, and licensed medical professionals are extremely knowledgeable with extensive experience and training. Services include hormone replacement therapy, weight loss treatments, Botox ® and fillers, Microneedling, laser hair removal, facials, and much more.

4401 Corporate Drive Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-223-9911 AgeManagementHCE.com

“Remember to show yourself the love and care that you give to others. Take time for your health, your passions, your goals, and maybe even a little pampering!”

SERVICES Hormone Replacement Therapy Medically Supervised Weight Loss Body Sculpting and Resurfacing Vaginal Rejuvenation Laser Hair Removal Permanent Make-up Lash Extensions Microdermabrasion Platelet-Rich-Plasma Treatments



JANÉE ATKINSON, DDS Boost your Confidence and Brighten your Smile

WHO I AM I am an artist in smiles and facial beauty and have been a cosmetic dentist for over 25 years. I am married to Dr. Jeff Atkinson, a dentist from New Boston. We have two amazing children, Emily 23 and Kyle 19. I am on the board of The Center for Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry (CARD) and a member of the Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE). WHAT SETS US APART My staff is knowledgeable and kind. We treat our patients like family; relationships are important to us. I love to learn new things and still challenge myself everyday. We are in the business of service, everything from handling your dental insurance needs, scheduling

SERVICES Non-Surgical Gum Therapy Tooth Colored Fillings Dentures, Partials, Implants Root Canal Therapy Nitrous Oxide/Laughing Gas Facial Pain/TMJ Therapy Tooth Whitening/Veneers Invisalign Botox ® and Fillers Full Mouth Reconstruction Emergencies Seen Same Day


your appointments with our wonderful specialists, or simply just calling and checking on you after a procedure. Our vision is always to provide optimal dental/beauty care rendered in a friendly and professional setting, where our patients feel well cared for.

4303 Texas Boulevard, Suite 1 Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-792-0760 www.janeeatkinsondds.com




CHEF K Creating a Healthier, Happier Community, Starting at Home



WHO I AM I am an entrepreneur, chef, artist, community advocate, tri-athlete, and mother.

WHAT I DO I offer organic, clean, whole foods meal preparation. My specialty is creating unique, nourishing recipes from scratch. My products never contain hydrogenated oils, preservatives, or refined sugars. I offer free postpartum meals and cooking classes to new mothers through my charitable organization, Virgin Mothers. It provides support for postpartum healing and kick-starts healthy lifestyles at home to create a healthier, happier Texarkana.

WHY I LOVE MY PROFESSION It gives me a sense of fulfillment to use my creative skills in a way that makes other people happy and helps the community. WHAT SETS ME APART Passion! I am passionate about every aspect of my life and career. No matter what I do, I always give my best and I go above and beyond pre-existing expectations.

“Be your best self.”

Delivery in the Texarkana Area 903-809-8026

In addition, I offer cooking parties and catering events.

ANDREW S. CURRY, DDS Texarkana’s Top Rated Local Dentist

WHO WE ARE At Dr. Curry’s office, our goal is to provide the highest level of patient care and dentistry in a relaxing environment. We offer the latest pioneering techniques in cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, dental implant restorations, and more. WHAT SETS US APART Dr. Andrew Curry’s friendly, gentle manner has earned him the title of Best Dentist. We offer a wide range of dental services, including porcelain veneers, ClearCorrect braces, and sleep apnea treatment.

4222 Texas Boulevard Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-792-8351 texarkanadentist.com

SERVICES Dental Services for all ages— Cleanings, Crowns, Bridges, Fillings, Dentures, Dental Bonding,

Tooth Reshaping, Contouring, Implant Crowns, Root Canals

Cosmetic Dentisty ClearCorrect Braces Porcelain Veneers Sleep Apnea Treatment Zoom Whitening

ANDREW S. CURRY, DDS “Your smile is your best accessory.”





WHAT SETS US APART Forever Young is the only local medical spa that is owned and operated by a board certified dermatologist. Dermatology Associates and Forever Young are located in the same building. We provide services addressing all of your skin’s needs. We can treat your rashes, bumps, and acne and then get you in for a facial, injectable, or laser treatment. We are Texarkana’s only “all- inclusive skincare destination.”

2011 Moores Lane Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-792-2777 www.fvryoungatderatologyassociates.com

SERVICES Medical and Surgical Dermatology Botox ® and Dysport ® Fillers Facials SkinPen Microneedling Laser Hair Removal BroadBand Light Laser Therapy

JEFF P. YOUNG, M.D., BOARD CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST “We work to create healthy skin as opposed to just treating damaged skin.”


WHO WE ARE We are parents, a disabled veteran, and passionate about serving our community and educating others about alternative healing practices that have changed our lives. We love our children, we love our life, and we love adventure. We facilitate safe, ethical, and modern Kambo experiences—an ancient all-natural peptide remedy traditionally used by tribes in the Amazon to cleanse, strengthen, and protect the body and mind. We also organize Texarkana’s first and only music, art, and wellness festival—Universal Vibe.

470 O’Leary Street Hooks, Texas 75561 903-809-1829 hombreranakambo.com universalvibe.org

SERVICES Private and Group Kambo Sessions Kambo Practitioner Training First Aid/CPR/AED Certification Workshops, Retreats, Events, and Festivals Event Planning and Management


“Whatever it is in life you want to do, you need to start doing it now. Take care of your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Work out, take a moment for yourself, eat healthily, get some sleep, pray, and do whatever you need to do to find peace.”




LIPPIAN FAMILY DENTISTRY Receive the Smile of Your Dreams!

WHO WE ARE Lippian Family Dentistry consists of a husband and wife team of dentists, as well as one other dentist, five hygienists, six assistants, and six front- desk personnel. Almost all of the staff is cross-trained to provide you with the best service possible. Doctors Adriane and Jim Lippian decided they wanted to form a practice together early in their careers, and they felt Texarkana would be the ideal location for their growing practice. The team proudly provides a wide range of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services to provide you with the healthy, beautiful smile you want and deserve.

Drs. Adriane and Jim Lippian Dr. Emily Markle

5220 Gibson Lane Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-793-6976 lippianfamilydentistry.net

WHAT SETS US APART We are dedicated to providing patients with a comfortable experience at each appointment by forming personal relationships with you, offering a relaxed environment, and using innovative technology to make dental treatments gentler and more enjoyable.

SERVICES General, Cosmetic and

Restorative Dentistry Patient Comfort and Technology

Smile Makeovers Teeth Whitening Porcelain Veneers Dental Bonding Implants

TEXARKANA YOGA Texarkana’s Hometown Yoga Studio

WHO I AM I am Jessica Gray, owner of TXK Yoga. I was a student before purchasing the studio during my yoga teacher training a couple years ago. I have also been a hairstylist for 14 years. My husband and two children are my biggest supporters. WHAT SETS US APART At TXK Yoga you will feel kindness, acceptance, and encouragement. We are genuinely excited to see each person walk through the door. The lineup of teachers is exceptional. Each one has a unique flair. The comraderie among the students, new and old, is fantastic. Come join the fun; there

SPECIALTIES Hot, Warm, and Cool Classes Power, Yin, Traditional, Hatha, and Thai Classes Private Classes for Individuals and Groups PRODUCTS Liforme Yoga Mats Yoga Props Zum Products Sand and Stone Products Txk Yoga Merch

2011 Mall Drive, #5 Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-748-3303 www.txkyoga.com


“Self love and self care are not selfish. Invest in your health and wellness; you won’t regret it.”

is definitely a place for you to unroll your mat at TXK Yoga.



TEXARKANA MAGAZINE A s America prepares to mark in remembrance the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us do so with a sober, abstemious (self-disciplined) mind. National sentiments and emotions seem somber and saddened as we approach sixty years since the March on Washington and the momentous “I Have a Dream” speech. The logic and reasoning of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have outlived most hearers of his words that day in 1963, and they will continue to live on as an engrafted root of this great nation. The legacy of the King Dream has not become a nightmare, as some would have us believe, surely not, but rather a resounding chorus as loud as the roaring sea. The theocentric philosophy of Dr. King, which applied nonviolence as a strategy for change, centered on personal sovereignty and civic righteousness. What is the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often quoted John Locke, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Reinhold Niebuhr, who was once known as the “Conscience of America.” Today, Americans have personalized both liberty and freedom

without being judged by their skin color. In Alabama, thanks, in part, to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, an entire state is solidified behind one team with one fight instead of standing in doorways blocking access to education. Are there instances of racism in America today? Sure, there are instances, but America is not a racist nation, and no American institution is off limits based on race. Yet, these manifestations of change are not the real legacy of Dr. King. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King stated, “The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all White people, for many of our White brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” (Library of Congress, 1963) Therefore, his legacy is not superficial or subjective only, but tangible and pragmatic. The legacy of the Rev. Dr. King is real and based in logic and rational thought.

Today, I contend that Dr. King’s legacy is one that continues to be centered on a Holy and Righteous God. Dr. King often describes the God of the Bible, who gave His Son as a living sacrifice that we might see and believe that “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” A functional belief in God is paramount to an in-depth understanding of the future of America as a shining beacon of light where freedom and liberty are derived from a source other than man. Therefore, man can neither add nor take away these truths, which are self-evident. I also know that the legacy is based on cooperative economics and the construction of neighborhoods and communities that are self-sufficient and resilient. This, sadly, is often best seen amid tragedy as we pick up the pieces after a natural disaster or search for missing children who fall prey to a fallen

to clothe themselves in the liberty to choose or freedom to reject those things on which we agree or disagree. So, can we freely and liberally ask, what is the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Is it merely those statements that follow the words “I have a dream?” If so, then we have exceeded all of Dr. King’s expectations and should pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. In America, we see interracial marriages resulting in biracial children, which no longer result in ire but are a well-deserved outcome of our collective love that transcends race and skin color. We see that the red hills in Georgia hosted a contentious senate race in which the sons of former slaves and slave owners have nominated two Black men; one of whom will represent the state to which Dr.

King openly referred. We see that the state of Mississippi has fashioned itself into a beacon of opportunity and innovation that welcomes visitors from around the world with black and white faces and not in blackface. As Dr. King mentioned, his own four children have had the multigenerational opportunity to advance

world. We have shown the capacity to build together a community that is so free that the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was explicitly candid and open when he said, “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we





will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.” (Library of Congress, 1963). Quite obviously and for a number of reasons, this part of the “I Have a Dream” speech is often omitted and relegated to the annals of history as it does not fit the separatist victimizing agenda of today’s race peddlers—both Black and White. However, we cannot separate Reverend King from his belief in his God, just as we cannot separate God from this great nation. A nation without God is no nation at all but a collection of chaotic individuals who change their values, morals, and languages with the prevailing wind. How do we live up to the legacy of the King Dream? Dr. King began his “Let freedom ring” statements by saying that if America is to be a great nation, then logic and reason will compel “all of God’s children” to sing with new meaning “My Country, ’Tis of Thee.” Almost 60 years later, I submit to you that 80% of Americans do not know or have not even heard the words to this great song (best performed by Aretha, in my humble opinion). I have yet to see a TikTok or YouTube video of a young person reciting or singing it… instead Americans have twerked, “Tide Podded,” and made fools of ourselves on social media. We have reacted and given our two cents on every social issue, blasted opposing views, and have shared memes of cool quips or one-liners in vain. Enough is enough. We, today’s America, have not contributed to that roaring sea that is the legacy of the King Dream. It is time for Black men and White men to gather TOGETHER to sing the words of the old Negro hymn, “Free at last, free at last, thank God all mighty we are free at last”. This statement is the last line of the speech. Replaying the footage shows this line was delivered to a crescendo of applause and ovation from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. It was the aforementioned Reinhold Niebuhr who believed that all civil rights are born of civic righteousness. This belief stems from an idea that the reasonable service of man is not to serve himself, but to serve God only; Sed Servire Deo Tantum. The notion of reasonable service is also found in Romans 12:1, as the Apostle Paul continues to describe a government which rests on the shoulders of the Lord God. Still, in today’s America, church membership is approaching an all-time low, church attendance, since COVID, has declined by as much as 50%, and congregations across this country are failing to meet the spiritual needs of the surrounding communities. Isn’t it ironic that every street named after this man of peace is a bastion of poverty and violence? To be the dream, we have to know the dream, and to add to the dream, we must connect to the source from which all dreams flow. America is built and undergirded by the idea that strong families produce a strong nation. So, too, is the legacy of the King Dream. During the time of this speech (1963), less than 20% of all children in America were born out of wedlock to a single parent. The number of out-of-wedlock births increased among Blacks as it approached upwards of 25-30% by 1970. Today that number is upwards of 80% among Blacks, 35-40% among Whites, and over 50% for Latinos. This is indefensible and untenable as a nation. Black men and White

men, along with our Latino brothers, have an obligation to our women and our children to build strong households. Moreover, it is the obligation of these men to care for and shepherd the weak, the fainthearted, and the elderly. This is not collectivism or some socio-communist agenda. It is quite the opposite, as it is preordained to be so and part of the legacy of the King Dream. We are but pilgrims in this barren land of life. We are sojourning our way through hills and valleys, mountainsides, and mounds. Our strides are made all the better by every Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic, Asian and European that we encounter on this journey. The answer to the question “How do we live up to the legacy of the King Dream?” is simple. Marry and be given unto marriage. Be fruitful and multiply. These are the key ingredients in cooperative economics, strengthening communities, and nation building. Whether stew or melting pot Americans are in this together, one family at a time. I s the legacy of the King Dream enough to sustain us? Yes. Yes. And yes, again. As we remember the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must understand that it is not merely a past effort to remember a civil rights icon. The legacy of the King Dream is a catapult that can be used over and over to hurl the ideas, thoughts, and philosophies of personal sovereignty, personal responsibility, and personal freedom into the future. America is a free society that is unincumbered by governmental suppression. America has been entrusted to responsible men, not to the detriment or the exclusion of women, but to the praise of women in America. Simply, women give birth to all voters, and to every innovator. I believe that the barometer of this great nation is our women who have carried the torch of family and freedom even as men have languished in uncertainty and selfish pursuits. As a nation, we now press forward towards the mark of freedom and liberty with the legacy of the King Dream as an example. The future is a blessed hope that grows not from a seed but upon the branches of a mighty tree that was planted with the blood of American patriots, the sweat and toil of slaves, and the sacrifice that tells the story of an Amazing Grace. Our children and our children’s children have inherited a nation that is filled with promise. Dr. King said, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, Black men, as well as White men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Library of Congress, 1963). Today, let our signatures be added to the congregation of the men before us and future audiences who would rather live in a nation based on freedom and liberty than a nation of hatred and division. Let us not forget that the heirs of an inheritance are the beneficiaries of a legacy and not those who hold the lampstand of today. The legacy of the King Dream is alive and strong and so too is the state of our union. God Bless America. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is not to be worshipped or deified, but his legacy should be remembered as a reasonable service. The legacy of the King Dream.








M other Teresa said, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service.” Catie and Scott Swenson had a vision to do just this—not only love but serve. Out of their own personal struggle, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, a non-profit organization created to provide support for families of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), was born. The name of the organization comes from Psalm 139. “This entire Psalm became a prayer and a promise we clung to when we got the call from the doctor in December 2016 that our baby, SJ, may have had spina bifida,” Catie recalled. “It started off about SJ,” she continued, “but after he was born, it became a reminder that our big boys are also fearfully and wonderfully made with resilience, strength, tolerance, love, hope, and energy!




Samuel James (SJ) Swenson, born ten weeks early, in the NICU.

The first recipient of a Blessing Bag, Katie Lorance.

SJ, Grant, and Tyler Swenson with a Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Sibling Bag, created to encourage siblings of NICU babies while visiting the hospital.

And we too are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Father and a Creator that has love and strength enough to see us through every obstacle and hard day. We had so many people who loved us through every minute.” Scott was playing on (and eventually assistant coaching) a local Texarkana hockey team, and Catie helped with marketing and sales for the team. Through hockey, the couple met and were married, and they just celebrated 15 years of marriage in November, and now have three boys, Grant (12), Tyler (9), and SJ (5). In 2017, Samuel James (SJ) Swenson was born ten weeks early, weighing in at two pounds, three ounces. This led to three different NICU visits over 65 days. “We had about three months of pretty scary times before he was born,” Catie shared. “There were weeks that were pretty unsteady. However, that unsteady feeling never got to be too much. It really was met with peace every time.” Surrounded by their family and church family at City Church, the family made it through that difficult time. SJ is now thriving. One act of kindness was the catalyst, encouraging the Swensons to turn their own love into service. While SJ was in the NICU in Dallas, a friend of Scott’s who had just lost his dad to brain cancer and had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor himself, left a gas card and words of encouragement on their back porch. As she drove back to Dallas, Catie made a decision. “I called Scott and told him how overwhelmed I was with the outpouring of people who were fighting their own very hard battles but loving us through ours. I told him that day I had no idea what it would look like, but I felt God was going to use our situation to help people experiencing a NICU journey.” They tried off and on for the next couple of years to get something going, but it seemed every time, SJ would have a setback, putting their dream on hold. But one idea during that time was a backpack. They brainstormed a list of items they felt would most

help NICU families cope. They would fill the backpacks, or as they called them, Blessing Bags, with the items and pass them on. Fast forward to the Fall of 2020 when everything was closed. A family close to the Swensons posted on Facebook that she was going to need an emergency C-section because of high blood pressure, and her baby was only 28 weeks. “It was all too close to home,” Catie said, “and we knew then God’s timing had come. He opened every door to help fund the Blessing Bags and Fearfully and Wonderfully Made was off the ground.” They delivered their first Blessing Bag in January 2021. The very first Blessing Bag was given to Katie Lorance, who remains extremely grateful. “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made will always be very special to us. Our family was the first recipient of the blessing bag. It was a very pivotal and impactful moment in our NICU journey for several weeks when we met. It’s difficult to remain positive when you deliver early and you’re not experiencing a typical birth—where you get to meet your baby immediately, your baby comes home quickly, and your family gets to meet them. This ministry allowed us to feel supported during a time of uncertainty, prayed for, and there were also very thoughtful resources in the bag. We have continued to have their support two years later post NICU. We are forever grateful for a community who continues to support this ministry,” Lorance said. Blessing bags, stamped with SJ’s tiny footprints as the ministry’s logo, are designed with the purpose of supplying parents/guardians with all they will need while their baby is in the hospital. They are gender neutral, and the only variation is how many gift cards go into each bag. That is determined by the information the Swensons receive from the family as to how long the infant is expected to be in the hospital. Each bag starts with about $75.00 worth of gift cards, making each a value of about $250.00. Families with babies who are super early or seem very sick will receive more gift cards.




If a family lives more than an hour away, gas cards will be provided. They also all include a devotional and a journal written specifically for a NICU journey. There are hygiene items for the moms, and there is even a roll of quarters for trips to the vending machines or laundry mat. “We want the bag to feel like it was built with that specific mom in mind,” remarked Catie. “One of my favorite items in each bag is a handwritten card of encouragement. These cards are written by Christian ladies who have walked through their own NICU journey. It’s a beautiful way for them to speak hope into a family sitting in a NICU room. It’s also healing for the mommas writing them.” A Sibling Bag was added to the mix in June 2021. “This has always been an important piece for us,” Catie shared. “Having two little boys at home while having another one in the NICU is a lot. We would never want our big boys to feel like they were forgotten. We knew other parents experiencing this dynamic could use an opportunity to check in with those ‘big’ kids at home. Grant and Tyler, our own kids, actually pay for a book with their own money and write a note inside the books for the children receiving them.” Because all NICU stories do not end the same way, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made also has an extension to their ministry called Remember Me with Joy. The ministry accepts donations for babies, pregnancies, and young children who have passed away. This came to fruition because of sweet Mabrey, another baby in the NICU who experienced complications. Lauren Hilton, Mabrey’s mom, stated, “Although there are so many things to share, what I can say for certain is being a recipient of the ministry meant a lot to

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Blessing Bag given to NICU families.

my husband and me. Knowing you’re not alone in such a vulnerable state supplies such a comfort.” Lauren has been courageous enough to go on and serve the NICU nurses and volunteers in many ways, and she is another example of love coupled with service. With the support of local churches, businesses, and individuals, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made has delivered over 250 Blessing Bags to NICU families in the past two years. In September, they gave over $40,000 to the Christus Foundation to pay for 20 NicView cameras at Christus St. Michael NICU. This will give parents peace of mind, allowing them to check on their babies when they cannot physically be at the hospital. In 2023, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made will offer a scholarship to students who were at one time in the NICU or students planning to enter the neonatal field. The reach of this ministry continues to grow, making a real difference in our community. To learn how you can get involved, visit fearfullyandwonderfullymade.co. “I cannot explain the feeling I have when I get to meet and pray with a NICU family,” Catie shared, “but the most joy comes from getting a picture at three months, six months, and even a year later of momma and daddy beaming over their thriving baby! Or even if it is just a text that says, ‘Will you have the prayer warriors pray for our baby? There is a test coming or something we are concerned about.’ For them to know that we celebrate with them in the wins, but we also have their backs on the hard days… man, that will make my heart explode!”

Quarters, included in each Blessing Bag, are provided for vending machines and other needs of NICU families during their hospital stay.




NRP Garage








Amy’s Ice Creams, Cedar Park, Texas

W alk down any of the most iconic streets in Austin, Texas, and you will notice the fun, vibrant, one-of-a-kind art installations by Texarkana native Will Bryant. His canvases include everything from a four- story parking garage on South Congress to apparel collections for some of the most popular cycling communities in Texas. Even more of his art can be found in advertising campaigns, offices, and storefronts for world-famous brands like Adidas, Nike, Lululemon, Facebook, Nickelodeon, Southwest Airlines, Fiat, New York Times, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Wieden+Kennedy, and Target—just to name a few. It also appears in unexpected places like on pickleball paddles,

Married to his longtime love, Sally, also from Texarkana, Will considers his family to be the top priority of his life. With his parents close by for support, they are a tight-knit group, and Will loves watching the world through his children’s eyes. He is honored that his family members have always been his biggest fans and greatest support. Will was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; he moved to Texarkana with his parents, Dorene and Steve Bryant, when his dad was relocated for work. For him, growing up in Texarkana felt safe, as he was supported by a strong community network. Making friends and learning from the upstanding adults in his life taught Will many of the most important lessons he leans on today as a professional creative and business owner.

record sleeves, furniture, snowboards, and even underwear. As a professional artist, designer, and illustrator based in Austin, Will is one of the most well-known and highly respected creatives of his kind. His unique atheistic is bold, cheerful, and full of colors, with a strong 90s influence. Of all his amazing work, Will says one of his favorite campaigns was for Michaels. This campaign allowed his daughter, Polly, to participate, making her a literal part of his work. The Michaels project captured his daughter at a beautiful age and will always be close to his heart. These days, it is common to find Polly, who is now eight, in his studio, hanging out and even helping him select colors for new designs. Will also has a precious three-year-old son, James, who loves visiting his studio, and currently believes his dad “invented the smiley face.”

Will played multiple sports and participated in various clubs and activities while in Texarkana. Things like Boy Scouts and Pleasant Grove Youth Association basketball taught him the importance of a strong work ethic. Sports also taught him extreme attention to detail and that a person always has to challenge and push themselves to break through to the next level. His artistic career requires a certain type of discipline, so he has always been grateful for his upbringing in Texarkana. His coaches and teachers instilled that discipline in him from a young age, and he will never forget those lessons. Going to high school at Pleasant Grove (PG), Will remembers his first real creative outlet being a t-shirt company he created with a friend, Lance Russell. The two would use fabric blow-pens to create each element and spend hours making just one shirt. It was very inefficient. At PG, Will was part of the yearbook and newspaper teams and took two art classes. However, it did not register in his



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