Community & Culture

Anish Sheth

PHOTO BY Jonathan Williams
Pleasant Grove alumni, Anish Sheth, graduated from The University of Texas at 19 with a degree in Government and graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law in 2001. He practiced law in both Washington D.C. and New York for international law firms. Anish also worked in international finance at the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Hong Kong. He founded and later sold World Peas Brand of plant-based snacks.

A Heart Made Whole

PHOTO BY Molly Kendrick
Heart-shaped candy boxes, heart-shaped balloons, heart-shaped cookies… February really is all about the heart. Every year, we use the fourteenth to celebrate those we love and express to them how much they mean to us. However, our heart obsession is not limited to the parties and confections of Valentine’s Day. February is also National Heart Month and serves to bring awareness to the importance of heart health and the millions across the nation who suffer with heart conditions.

Mark McWilliams

PHOTO BY King Lawrence
Mark McWilliams lived in Texarkana for 18 years. He is owner of Arista Winery and Vineyards, founded in 2002 in Sonoma County, California. Arista has become one of California’s most sought after producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Arista’s wines are produced in small quantities and have deep, rich flavors that reflect the unique sites from which they come. … What is your favorite Texarkana memory? … Growing up in a place, you have tons of memories and it’s difficult to pick one.

The Entertainer’s Home

PHOTO BY Molly Kendrick
The communal roots of talented artists find their homes in the twin cities. Growing up here, I enjoyed the music of my parents, Professor Samuel and Rosie Williamson-Collins, both singers of gospel music and pianists. After performing with the Dunbar High School Marching Band in 1968, I continued my music studies with the late Bob Ingram, former Texarkana Independent School District Supervisor of the Instrumental Music Program. I also enjoyed singing in the choir.

Collin Raye

PHOTO BY Lindsey Merrill
Hometown country music star, Collin Raye, has had 24 top ten records, 16 number one hits and is a 10-time CMA and ACM nominee. Getting his start in Texarkana, he has enjoyed a successful career and continues to release incredible music. His newest album, SCARS, is now available. … What is your favorite Texarkana memory? … Probably our mom sitting in my brother’s room with us, with our guitars out singing harmony. Didn’t truly appreciate it at the time, but that’s how I learned to sing harmony. … Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?

The Gift of Gab

PHOTO BY Molly Kendrick
I grew up in a large family, and my favorite time was Sunday dinner after church, sitting around the table eating fried chicken and talking. Everyone discussed the previous week’s events and spoke about their plans for the following week. In those talks around the table, I learned so much about my family; the areas where they were struggling, where they were succeeding, what their hopes were for the future and their plans for making those dreams come true. It was precious time. … It is as true now as it was then; the table sets the stage for some of the most meaningful conversations.

A Life Taylor-Made for Dancing

PHOTO BY Molly Kendrick
A famous philosopher once said, “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” This statement stirs something inside the heart of even the most dedicated wallflower. Whether for fun or romance, in worship or in performance, there’s just something about dancing that takes stress and worry and sets them aside for a brief moment and replaces them with joy.

My Drift

PHOTO BY Molly Kendrick
Ready or NotA few weeks ago, one of those quizzes that pop up on Facebook came across my feed. … It was a word search with directions advising that the first three words you saw would define your 2021. If you looked closely, you could find words like “hope,” “friends,” “job” and “marriage.” More humorous prospects like “wine,” “sex” and “pot” were there too. My friend David’s comment resonated with me most. The first words he saw were “QAATH,” “VBTEQC” and “FEHLLP.” … Amen, brother!

If These Walls Could Talk

PHOTO BY Molly Kendrick
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.

Texarkana Forte

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.

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February 2023
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