Few holiday stories are as well-known or as well-loved as Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s a timeless story that has entertained generations of readers. There are truths that play out in the life of the story’s main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable man who is blinded by his insatiable appetite for money. At the beginning, Ebenezer is visited by the ghost of his recently deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, whose spirit returns for the sole purpose of warning the bad-tempered old miser of the awful reality that Marley has discovered after his death.
As the fervor of the recent election season slowly recedes, it is helpful to reflect on what has transpired over the last few political cycles. Though reasonable people may disagree over methods, models, and modalities, it is undeniable that the concept of ‘identity’ rests at the core of our struggle. Firmly establishing who we are, both individually and in the broader social context, is critically important to building healthy relationships, and when our sense of identity is challenged, it undermines the integrity of our structural framework.
This month’s issue of Texarkana Monthly is a sentimental look into the history of Texarkana. These twin cities have been deeply enriched by so many people with fascinating stories, traditions, and resources. We are taking the opportunity this holiday season to reflect on where we came from, who we are, and where we are going. So much of our incredible past is completely unknown to most of the community, but it’s a history that is worth knowing and passing on to the next generation of Texarkana residents.
In the 1890s the U.S. Congress made the mailing of “penny” post cards legal. Their use became an instant success—specifically among business and vacation travelers on railroads all over the nation. These postcards were very slow, but they were an economical means of communicating. Basically, it was a penny for the card and a penny for the stamp. In a week or two, the kinfolks in Chicago could get word on their family traveling to Waco, or the Texarkana businessman could send a note to a client in St.
Grace… The New Normal … Friends, we have made it to December. It is the final month of this crazy year of COVID-19. Hallelujah! For so many of us, 2020 has brought fear, uncertainty, loss, anxiety, and memories we want to leave behind a locked door. Through the chaos, I have been able to find a few experiences I hope to carry with me into 2021 and beyond. … The Brothers, our twin boys, were born in January 2019. We had been a comfortable family of three for almost four years, and I knew growing to a family of five would force me to let go of some things and lighten up a little.
Many times an idea is birthed from a casual conversation. Such is the case with the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra. Remica Gray and Mary Scott Smith, two friends dedicated to promoting music in the Texarkana area, talked about offering live orchestral music locally. … Unsure if there was an interest, they inquired about the amount of funding needed for such a venture and formed a committee. The duo asked area music patrons to be founding members by donating a thousand dollars each.
“The Grove is a family. That is what sets us apart from a lot of schools.” … And that family has been extremely successful, winning two University Interscholastic League (UIL) Texas State Football Championships in the past three years. This year, the Hawks are state ranked and well on their way to making a fourth consecutive trip to AT&T Stadium for the UIL State Title game.
Six Things You Should Do in Texarkana During the Month of December! … We’re headed towards winter, which officially begins December 21, and we’re inching closer and closer to the handful of holidays we get to (or HAVE to, and we’re dreading it) spend with our family. I know that I’m kind of looking forward to spending some extra quality time with the people I’ve been told to socially distance from all year! That doesn’t mean that all the family squabbling at the dinner table will subside, but this year we might actually enjoy the chance to disagree, as long as we’re together.
Christmas 2020—YAY or YIKES? … Whew! What a year it has been, to say the least… and I mean the very least. Pandemic. Economic shut down. School shut down. Church shut down. Quarantining with our people. Masks. Stage one opening. Stage two opening. Back to stage one opening. School re-opening with a virtual option. The election of the century. Good night! I’ve never seen anything like it! It makes me wonder, can something as regular as celebrating Christmas be a valid option this year? … Well, my friends, I’m just going to go ahead and claim Christmas as a YES!