Ainsley Ross

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Chasing a Dream

Ainsley Ross is a fascinating young lady who is smart, beautiful, and vivacious. She knows where she’s headed in life, and she’s only 14. Most girls her age spend their waking hours on a smartphone either texting or tweeting or posting on Instagram or Facebook. She doesn’t have time for that. She’s busy honing her talents—singing, acting, writing. “I kept getting a calling from Jesus that I should be in the entertainment industry. I initially began with acting, but it’s funny how God works. He just weaves that in. I found out I had writing skills and it’s just grown, and out of that my singing career took off.”

Busy as a Bee

Written by Teresa Dennard.

John Ray, A Beekeeping Enthusiast

Honeybees are interesting little critters. Brought to North America by early settler, they have remained unchanged for 20 million years. Bees are the only insects that produce food for humans. The honey made by the bees includes all the ingredients necessary to sustain life, including water. Additionally, about every third bite of food we eat was pollinated by a bee. We owe a lot to the honeybees—they are some of the hardest working creatures on the planet.

I just like to build things

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Keeling made it a lifelong passion

Most boys like to tinker and build things when they’re young, but Keith Keeling made it his lifelong passion. As a kid, he was constantly in the neighborhoods where houses were being built and hung out with the carpenters all day long. Down the street from where Keith grew up, Jodie Soape and his brother, Glenn, had a cabinet shop. If the shop was open, Keith was there. “When I got home from school, I’d go over and they’d teach me how to do all kinds of projects. I guess that really helped fuel my desire to build things. I also like to re-build things, take things apart, restore them. I like anything to do with carpentry. It doesn’t matter if it’s frame carpentry, finish carpentry, building cabinets, trim work--whatever. I just like to build things.”

Carthage Book Club

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Hosts Book Review

The Carthage Book Club is a civic organization made up of 26 women who dedicate themselves to giving back to the community. Jo Nell Phillips, this year’s Book Club President, chose “Literary Treasures from the Blue Bonnet State” as the theme for the year’s events.  Each of the Club’s meetings is centered on books that were written and published by Texas authors. “We’ve had some really interesting programs on the “True Blood” series by Charlaine Harris and also Patricia Highsmith’s, “Stranger on a Train”. Another Texas author is to be featured at the Club’s annual Spring Event.

Heart Strings

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Making people smile

These people have a passion for making people smile. They do it with their music. Known as “Heart Strings,” the group travels to local nursing homes playing tunes that range from folk to gospel music to the delight of the residents. Their instrument of choice is the dulcimer. A stringed instrument whose name comes from words that mean “sweet sound,” it looks similar to a guitar, but is played on the lap. Terry Morris is the person responsible for organizing the group. As a member of Hopewell Baptist Church, Morris wanted to become more involved with the church, so the pastor suggested he start a nursing home ministry. Morris got in touch with Mary Linhart, director of Carthage Healthcare and the partnership began. “I thought I’d go there and visit an hour each week, then it turned into a day a week, and then an hour a day.” He was soon holding church services on Sunday afternoons.

Lottie Sullivan

Written by Teresa Dennard.

No signs of slowing down

Lottie Sullivan will turn 106 years old her next birthday, March 8, and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. Born in the small Texas town of Denson Springs in 1909, she was the 13th of 15 children born to Thomas Franklin Lee Hassell and Henrietta Martha Ann Ferguson. It was a close-knit community where families went to church on Sunday and as many as 20 additional people would gather at the Hassell home for a dinner cooked by her mother and older sisters. The family moved to Beulah when Lottie was in the 2nd grade. They were the only family to have a vehicle, a 1912 Overland, which her daddy bought instead of a Ford because all the kids could fit in it. But he wouldn’t drive it; he had someone else do the driving.

Brother Billy Shoffner

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Miracle after Miracle

Brother Billy Shoffner has an amazing story that is filled with many miracles. His new book Fields of Grace, tells of God’s plan for his life and how he has served Him faithfully for over 60 years. Shoffner was raised as a Christian and knew Jesus as his savior, but once he graduated from high school, he became careless in his relationship with the Lord. He began to wander away from the church and it seemed as though nothing could turn him around. Fields of Grace relays the story of miracle after miracle that occurred in Shoffner’s life that led him back on the right path and into God’s grace.

Steptoe Classic

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Annual Golf Tournament

One thing always a constant at Easter is the annual Keith Steptoe Classic golf tournament. For 22 years, golfers have been gathering at the Carthage Country Club to not only try to place in the top three of the two flights, but to also support a cause that has been a labor of love for the Steptoe family. Coordinated by cousin Mark Roberson for years, the tournament changed hands least year. The Carthage Education Foundation is now directing the tournament. Foundation Director Cynthia Harkrider says, “Last year was a learning experience for us because we were new at this, but we’re better prepared now and expect a great tournament. I’ve got a great crew helping me that has many  years of experience—Scott Lee, Tate Barber, Stacie Steptoe Smith and Pat Dorman.”

Loblolly Reunion

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Tuesday, April 21 @ Noon

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, M.P. Baker library at Panola College will host the Lunchbox Lecture Loblolly Reunion at noon in the Murphy-Payne Room. Those who attend will be able to view the newly digitized editions of the Gary High School Loblolly Magazines, hear the story of how Loblolly began, visit with former Loblolly staff members and sponsor, Mr. Lincoln King, and hear some of the great stories that made Loblolly Magazine so popular. Recently, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) awarded funding to the Library under its TexTreasures Grant program. The project is one of 70 made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Cleaning up Carthage

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Saturday, April 11

It’s time for a little city-wide spring cleaning…are you up for it? Put on your gloves, lace up your shoes and get your “picker-uppers” ready to scan the streets for unwanted trash that makes our city look tacky! Main Street Manager Cindy Deloney, in charge of the operation, is encouraging civic organizations, churches, youth groups, and businesses to join forces and come out to support the event. “Let’s take pride in the way our city looks and make this our biggest turnout ever!”

It's a Tea Party

Written by Teresa Dennard.

In conjunction with the Pineywoods Quilt Festival

Little girls love to dress up--high heels, feathery boas, sparkly jewelry, fancy hats, lots of makeup. All those make a perfect combination for a tea party. Thanks to Main Street Manager Cindy Deloney, girls will get the opportunity to demonstrate their social skills at such an event. The party will be held in conjunction with the Piney Woods Quilt Festival on April 18. Beginning at 10:00am in the Carthage Civic Center conference rooms, the tea party will include lessons on etiquette and party manners and have finger foods, sweets and an assortment of teas and drinks. A contest will be part at the event and prizes will be awarded for most beautiful, most original, most fun, silliest and biggest hats. To add the fun, a photo booth will be set up and each child will get to tour the quilt show, plus go home with a goodie bag.