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Pictures of the Past

Johnny Dail (left) of Ravenden, his daughter, Misty, and his wife, Joan, (right) show a 1928 Ford Special Model A automobile at the 1991 Lawrence County Fair Auto Show. The car earned Johnny a first place win in the 1928-1937 division. This car also won the People’s Choice Award at the Cave City Watermelon Festival that same year. (Pictures of the Past is a cooperative effort of The Times Dispatch and the Lawrence County Historical Society. Readers are encouraged to submit historic photos.)


10 Years Ago

During a Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting on Thursday, the Lawrence County Tourism Committee unveiled plans for two attractions along Rock and Roll Highway 67, including a sculpture to memorialize the Beatles’ September 1964 visit to the Walnut Ridge Airport. The sculpture is a life-size replica of the Abbey Road album cover. The group also announced plans for a guitar walk, to be located along Highway 67 in downtown Walnut Ridge. This project will focus on the rock and roll stars, such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Fats Domino, who played at clubs along Highway 67 in the 1950s.

Payton Poole ran for four touchdowns and passed for two more to lead the Walnut Ridge Bobcats to a 45-26 victory over Salem on Friday night at Salem. He finished with 20 completions on 30 pass attempts, for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 74 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries. Walnut Ridge improved to 3-1 in 2A-3 conference play and 4-1 overall.

Blair Ballard, who teaches fourth grade at Walnut Ridge Ben R. Bush Elementary, has been selected as one of 14 regional finalists for Arkansas Teacher of the Year. Ballard is a WRHS graduate and is now teaching fourth grade in the classroom in which she attended fourth grade as a student. The Arkansas Teacher of the Year will be named at a gala at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock on Nov. 12.

Royalty for the 2010 football homecoming at Hoxie High School includes: Kelli Anglin, senior maid; Karina Mashburn, senior maid; Neely Ragsdale, senior maid; Cayley Rosson, junior maid; Maddison Woodard, sophomore maid; and Sierra Morris, freshman maid. Pages are Cannon Dail and Cara Forrester.

20 Years Ago

A new General Electric Hi-Speed Helical CT Scanner is now in use at Lawrence Memorial Hospital to provide doctors with fast, clear three-dimensional x-ray images. Radiology technologists who operate the $590,000 scanner at LMH are Kera Shoe, Tammy Brady, Sharon Van Winkle, director of radiology, and Ashley Mullen.

Hoxie High School homecoming royalty are Candie Neldon, senior maid; Susan Penn, senior maid, Tiffany Smith, senior maid; Jill Tate, junior maid; Amanda Benesch, sophomore maid; and Alicia Phillips, freshman maid. Pages are Kayla Ward and Ryan Vaughn.

Over 300 people attended the second annual Wings of Honor ceremony on Saturday to recognize veterans and civilians who have been affiliated with the Walnut Ridge air base. Among those honored were: Chuck Ledbetter of Walnut Ridge, pilot instructor during World War II; Larry Sloan of Walnut Ridge, part owner of a bus service from the base to Walnut Ridge; Dr. Ralph Poindexter of Richardson, Texas, and formerly of Walnut Ridge, for his service as one of the bus drivers; Mary Rainwater and Dorothy Willmuth, both of Walnut Ridge, for the contribution of papers, records, photos and historical facts from when they were employed at the base.

Heath Evans and Breanna Sisk, both seniors at Walnut Ridge High School, have been nominated for the seventh annual Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

The River Valley chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America recently elected officers for the 2000-2001 school year. The new officers are: Dustin Gilbert – president, Ginnie Voyles, Brenn Dickison, Alicia Halfacre, Cha Thomas and Tisann Crouch.

30 Years Ago

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office reported calls from all areas of the county reporting they had felt tremors from an earthquake that registered 4.6 on the Richter scale.

Catherine Brown, daughter of Jerry Brown of Walnut Ridge and Peggy McDaniel of Bono, was crowned as queen at the HHS homecoming ceremony on Friday night.

Warren and Melinda Williams of Smithville have announced the birth of a daughter, named Katie Frances, who was born Sept. 25 in Pocahontas.

40 Years Ago

Diane Hawk has been chosen as homecoming queen to reign over the 1980 Bobcat Homecoming, which will be Oct. 10. Other members of royalty include: Chlo Bobrowski, maid of honor; Sherry Brady, senior maid; Laura Felts, junior maid; Martha Wilson, sophomore maid; and Sloane Gibson, freshman maid.

Nina Cate won the Ladies’ Golf Championship at the Walnut Ridge Country Club tournament recently. First runner-up was Annette Hilburn, and third runner-up was Sue Wilcoxson.

Those attending the WRHS 1935 class reunion include: Coach W. Price and Edythe Harlan, Harry and Mildred Hilburn, Ronald and Ruth Sallings, Elton and Cle Irby, Silas and Rhema Stone Eskridge, Marlin and Mary Sue Eskridge Wilcoxson, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Davis, Irene Ratliff, Mrs. William P. Schmidt, R.L. and Ruth Schmidt, George and Louise Mays Promberger, Leo and Mary Agnes Redwine Parker, Ben and Jeanette Bush, Billy Bone and Joe and Mary Craig.

50 Years Ago

J.D. Blankenship of Old Walnut Ridge was elected president of the Lawrence County Farm Bureau at its annual meeting Saturday night. Elected to serve with Mr. Blankenship were Glen Worlow and Ray Moseley Jr.

60 Years Ago

J.H. Myers of Black Rock was elected vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium at a meeting in Little Rock.

The 41-man roster of the University of Mississippi freshman football squad, as released last weekend, lists Dennis Brown of Walnut Ridge as a candidate for the end position.

John King Sexton pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Louisiana State.

After gaining a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, the Walnut Ridge Bobcats had a punt blocked in the fourth quarter and the Newport Greyhounds recovered on the seven and pushed across, tying the game at 7-7 at Newport, last Friday night. The Bobcats capitalized on a fumble in the second period when guard Donny Linn recovered on the Newport 43. Mac Justus pitched to Jackie Park, who went 25 yards and then passed for 15 yards and the touchdown. Richard Taylor ran the extra point.

Mary Jane Jansen, who is attending William Wood College in Fulton, Mo., spent the weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pat Jansen.

Cadet Milton Hatcher has been promoted to acting squadron leader at Columbia Military Academy, Columbia, Tenn. Cadet Hatcher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wright Hatcher, is a l2th year student at the Academy.

70 Years Ago

A “Draft Choate for Mayor” movement was initiated in Walnut Ridge this week, and petitions are being circulated to place the name of R.S. Choate on the ballot as a candidate for mayor of Walnut Ridge. Backers of the movement said a formal announcement would be made next week.

Albert V. (Uncle Al) Smith, 90, died Monday night at the home of his son, W.G. Smith, on Route 2, Imboden. A pioneer Lawrence County farmer, Mr. Smith had a pleasing personality and was widely known and respected. His wife, the former Annie Pickett, died three years ago.

Miss Patty Wilcoxson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Wilcoxson of Walnut Ridge, was named Miss Lawrence County at the fair held in Imboden last week. Miss Julia Ann South, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe South, also of Walnut Ridge, was named runner-up.

75 Years Ago

A wonderful tribute was paid Murrell Moore, fellow member of the OPA Board and price panel committee, by the Chamber of Commerce at the noon luncheon Tuesday. The dining room at the Hotel Lawrence was crowded to capacity for a program designated as “Murrell Moore Day.”

Private Lloyd Bonner, son of Mr. and Mrs. F.C. Bonner, Route 3, Walnut Ridge, was among returnees arriving at Brooke Convalescent Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Master Sergeant Joe M. Pyland was discharged from the army on Sept. 18, and on the following day re-enlisted and was granted a 35-day furlough. The sergeant, Mrs. Pyland and their son, Joe M. Jr., left Black Rock Oct. 2 for Camp Atterbury, Ind., where he will be stationed. Mrs. Pyland is a nurse in Wakeland General Hospital in Atterbury.

80 Years Ago

Sheriff M.C. McLeod has accepted appointment to direct the 24th annual membership drive for the American Red Cross in Lawrence County and will be assisted by Paul Morgan.

The Lawrence County Draft Board met Sunday and elected C.W. Webb of Portia as chairman, J.J. Sharum of Walnut Ridge as secretary and Pat Chaney of Imboden as clerk.

Max Sallings, 160-pound sophomore back of Walnut Ridge, ran for three touchdowns in scrimmage today as Coach Fred C. Thomsen worked his University of Arkansas Razorbacks for the Texas game at Little Rock Saturday.

In an advertising by Levit’s of Walnut Ridge the following prices were noted: men’s khaki pants 98¢; shirts 79¢; double blankets 89¢ and 98¢; men’s dress shirts 98¢; men’s top coats $9.95; and men’s work shoes $1.96 a pair.

134 Years Ago

(Taken from Walnut Ridge Newspaper, Oct. 16,1886.)

At a tent meeting held by the church here a week ago there were 25 candidates for baptism. The fine new church has not been completed, so it was necessary to conduct the ceremony in Black River at Black Rock, a distance of nine miles. W.C. Burel took the matter up with President Bush of the Iron Mountain Railroad and secured a special train from Walnut Ridge via Hoxie to Black Rock for $150. The train left at 2 p.m. and returned at 6 p.m. Five hundred people went on the excursion. Two thousand people attended the baptism.

(Note – The editor of the Walnut Ridge newspaper of long ago apparently thought there was only one church, because he makes no mention of any denomination.)

Fire Prevention Week time to be thankful, mindful

As we mark National Fire Prevention Week, designated as Oct. 4-10, it is a good time to be both thankful for the local fire departments that work tirelessly to keep our communities safe, and mindful of the work that we as individuals can do to help prevent fires and protect our families, as well.

According to a survey by the American Red Cross, most of us are underprepared for a fire in our home. The Northeast Arkansas chapter urges residents first and foremost to test their smoke alarms and practice their escape plan.

Since February, the Northeast Arkansas chapter has responded to 220 home fires to help 1,187 people with urgent needs like emergency lodging, financial assistance and recovery planning.

Having had good family friends lose their home to a fire this past week, I know how important this immediate assistance provided by the Red Cross is, not to mention how devastating it is to be the victim of a home fire.

The American Red Cross offers the following tips to help protect your family:

Test your smoke alarms monthly.

Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.

Change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.

Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they need to be replaced because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes.

Include at least two ways to exit every room in your home.

Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.

Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.

Several of Lawrence County’s fire departments are also certified through Firewise USA, a program designed to help communities prevent the spread of wildfires to homes.

Homeowners are reminded that open space between wildlands and homes is the best defense, and Firewise USA says we should think of our yard as the primary defense against wildfire.

Some tips include:

The area up to 300 feet from homes should contain lean, clean, and green vegetation of all kinds – this includes landscaping, grass, trees, and shrubbery. Homeowners primary focus should be directed to the Immediate Zone (0-5 feet from the home). Keep grass mowed short and provide water, making it very resistant to fire embers.

Trim trees so limbs do not touch the roof, windows, or deck areas; also work to keep limbs trimmed at least six feet up from the ground so that a small surface fire is not transferred to treetops.

Be mindful of burn bans and high fire weather.

Don’t leave trash, leaves, or brush unattended while burning at anytime.

A final tip in case we do have to call on our fire departments, is to make sure your house is numbered correctly with large reflective numbers to help those responding to provide assistance as quickly as possible.

We can all do our part to prevent fires, protect our families and help those who provide vital assistance when it is needed the most.