Thomas, Th.D. Clinton S.

Thomas, Th.D. Clinton S.

A published writer of  poetry, fiction and non-fiction in both the digital age and the pre-digital age of publishing.  Currently serving as editor and writer for the Four States News all while living life across the four states region from Texarkana, USA.

Recent Articles

West Bowie County Football League Super Bowl Today

The West Bowie County Football League will host its “Super Bowl Saturday” today in New Boston, Texas. The event starts at 9 a.m. this morning and will go through the afternoon. Multiple games will be held throughout the day with the “Superbowl Games” occurring at 9 am 2 pm and 3:30 pm. The public is encouraged and invited to come out and watch. Schedule: 9 am Flag Dekalb vs LE 10 am Jr Queen City vs Hooks11:30am Sr New Boston vs Maud1 pm Cheer competition 2 pm Jr Dekalb Vs New Boston3:30pm Sr Dekalb vs Hooks. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

President Trump In Bossier City on November 14

President Trump will be in Bossier City, LA at the Centurylink Center on November 14. The President is visiting as part of his support campaign for Republican candidates across the state. The public is welcome to attend with tickets. Members of the public and press may obtain tickets online at Trump-Pence. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. People wishing to attend are encouraged to follow all guidelines and arrive early for seating and entrance. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

1894 Art Gallery to Host Art Show

1894 City Market picture from Facebook

Heritage, Heart, and Arts, a local non-profit group, will sponsor an art show from October 26-November 30 at the 1894 Art Gallery. Several local and regional artists will be featured in the month-long event. The event should provide exposure for some artists who might otherwise go unnoticed. The art gallery is located in the 1894 City Market which has undergone extensive renovations and revitalization in downtown Texarkana, Arkansas. In addition to events like the art show, the 1894 City Market also host weekend events monthly where local artist and others are able to gather. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Lt. Governor Tim Griffin to Speak at Miller County Republican Meeting Tuesday

Lt. Governor Tim Griffin

Texarkana, AR – Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin will be the guest speaker at Tuesday night’s Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) meeting. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Big Jakes on Arkansas Blvd. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting. After Lt. Governor Griffin speaks, there will be a ten-minute intermission before the MCRC starts a business meeting. Tim Griffin is a former Congressman for District 2, a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, and a graduate of Hendrix College and Tulane Law School. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

BBQ Scholarship Fundraiser Saturday

Texarkana Masonic Lodge will host a BBQ Scholarship Fundraiser Saturday, October 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plates will feature a BBQ Sandwich or Hot Dog, chips and drink for a donation of $5 per plate. The event will als have popcorn. All proceeds will go to benefit the Oscar Brooks Scholarship Fund. The community is invited and the event is open to all. Texarkana Masonic Lodge is located at 4102 East 9th Street in Texarkana, AR. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Texarkana Arkansas Cleanup Day October 12

Texarkana, Arkansas’ City Beautiful Commission is sponsoring a city-wide cleanup day on October 12, from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Groups will meet at 3rd Street and Hazel Street behind City Hall before spreading out across town. Dumpsters will be available. The dumpster locations and regulations will be announced later. The commission will provide trash bags, vest, and other needed supplies. Civic, church, school, and community organizations are encouraged to participate in force. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Brawl in Fouke Does not Represent the Community

If you haven’t heard about the “Fouke Brawl” at last week’s game, then maybe you’ve been under a rock or blessed.  The fight was recorded between the local Fouke High School team and a visiting Glen Rose High team.  According to most reports on social media and the news from Little Rock to Dallas, the fight was allegedly initiated by a Glen Rose player.  By the end of the conflict, multiple players were involved.  Now, a fight alone is not unusual in a football game.  It’s not uncommon for several players to join in a fight during a game.   Spirits and frustrations can be high for many reasons in football. Usually, coaches and referees break up the fight, a team gets an unsportsmanlike penalty, and the game moves on to the next play.  There were marked differences in the fight at Fouke. The fight seemed to quickly spiral out of control in the video and referees, coaches, and local law enforcement can be seen trying to break it up.  One recording shown on Facebook has the sound of some fans in the crowd laughing when all at once what appears to be adults run out onto the field.  One adult, or assumed adult, tackles a Glen Rose player from behind.  The player appeared to be standing on the sideline away from the fight when the man tackled him.  Bravely, (yes, whoever you are, sarcasm is intended here) when the student turned to face the adult, he quickly backed up.  The adult moved away in a dancing motion that made him appear to be either doing a lousy dance or a pathetic attempt to imitate Muhammad Ali.  On second thought, this guy’s actions should not be compared to anything Ali did in the ring.   Ali faced his opponents straight up and would never have hit a kid (a minor most likely) from behind.  Needless to say, that one incident alone was enough to make anyone sick.  Several people on Facebook and other social media sites made comments about it.  So far, to my knowledge, the guy has not stood up to be recognized.  It’s likely if he does stand up, the Miller County Sheriff will want to visit with him a little – as well they should. 

Within a few minutes of the video, the fight is over.  The result has been suspensions on both teams, and an investigation by the sheriff’s department with possible prosecution for some local adults.  There has been a lot of suggestions online like “cancel the rest of the season,” or “forfeit all games.  The fact is Fouke will miss a game this week since they do not have enough players because of suspensions.  However, we need to stop and remember a few things before we allow ourselves to judge the Fouke School District, team, or city and community too harshly. 

The first thing that must be considered is that the actions
recorded represented a few people.  In
the 2010 census, the population of Fouke was 859.  When we look at the video, it appears to be
somewhere around maybe five adults or so going onto the field.  Five out of the population does not represent
Fouke.  The second thing to consider is
that punishment for the entire team, such as canceling the season, in my
opinion, is just not fair.  Canceling a
season would harm seniors, cheer, dance, band, and others.  The players who took a knee during the fight
and showed actual sportsmanlike conduct would be punished as well.   To punish all for the actions of five or so
adults and a few players would be wrong to other students and the community.  Finally, we must consider that these five or
so adults and the few players involved do not represent the values and the
people of Fouke.  

Fouke is a thriving and growing community with a rich and beautiful history.  Fouke has a couple of stores, a fantastic community center that is always in use, thriving neighborhoods, a great school district, and some of the best people you’ll ever meet. I have never gone to Fouke, and not met a smiling face or someone that treated me like I had lived there all my life.  The city is vibrant with churches, a masonic lodge, restaurants, shopping, and that one unique thing that nobody else in the state has, a Monster Mart.  The city is always looking for ways to grow, with a farmer’s market,  the Miller County Fair, and who can forget having the Fouke Monster Festivals related to that delightful little history.  Finally, if anyone is on social media looking for the current weather forecast, rest assured that the Fouke Mayor has posted it somewhere online.  He always has all of us in the county and area covered for weather issues. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Masonic Lodge and City of Texarkana Arkansas Saves a Small Piece of History

By now, social media has ensured that most people in
Texarkana know about the Regency building and the recent collapse of a front
wall.  If you don’t know about it, take a
drive to downtown Texarkana, Arkansas and look for the blocked off section of
the road.  The top portion of the
building fell in creating a safety hazard and concern for the pocket park and
surrounding businesses.  As is the case,
it seems when any old building has issues, and the city seeks out the owner,
the owner suddenly appears to be nowhere to be found.  With no owner in sight, and a falling in
building that the city may have to secure, the time to save a part of Texarkana
history finally arrived. For years the building was the location of Dillards before
the move to the mall.  It has been the
home of several other businesses as well before it began to fall into a state
of disrepair sometime in the early 1990s. 
That disrepair and lack of maintenance by the, now lost owners, seems to
have contributed to the recent collapse. 
Another aspect of the building’s history is that while Dillards and
other stores were housed downstairs, the upstairs was once the home of
Texarkana Masonic Lodge #341.  The lodge
met upstairs for several years, and in the late 1970s, the group opted to
purchase some land to build a new lodge building.  By the early 1980s, the lodge moved to their
current location at 4102 East 9th Street in Texarkana,
Arkansas. 

Like most moves, the lodge carried their furniture, pictures, charter, and other belongings to the new location.  It was an exciting time of growth and expansion as the lodge moved into their new building at the 5-acre location.  Unfortunately, there was one item the lodge could not take with them at the time. Regency House Building before fall

Over time, some may have noticed that on the front of the Regency building, up high on the wall, was a small metal-looking emblem.  The square and compass contains the letter “G” and is the symbol of Freemasonry.  The little sign that marked the home of Lodge #341 had to be left behind because there was no way to obtain it. Masonic symbol on Regency Building

Through the years the Lodge #341 had attempted to retrieve
the symbol.  Because of the same
difficulties the city is now having in contacting the owners, the lodge was
never able to obtain their property. 
Lodge member Mike Bunn noted that the lodge had access to a bucket truck
at one time and city approval to take the symbol down.    By that
time, they could not reach the owner to discuss removing the symbol. Regency Building fall – from Facebook post

When the building fell in recently, it was apparent that the
lodge symbol had gone with the collapsed wall. 
Members of the lodge assumed the metal symbol, and a significant piece
of Texarkana history, as well as the Lodge #341’s history, had been lost.  Contact was made with the city and
arrangements were made to see if the symbol could be retrieved.  While members of the lodge and community
could not, and should not go into the restricted area, city officials could
arrange for inspections, reviews, and preparations to remove the remainder of
the building.  Because city officials
knew the desire to have the historic symbol back home with Lodge #341, they
safely looked for an option to obtain the symbol. 

Surprisingly, the galvanized sheet steel symbol was found
together on top of the collapsed wall.  City
officials quickly obtained it before further damage could be done and turned it
over to the lodge.   The symbol is now
safety secured, and preparations are being made to restore it, and display it
at the lodge’s home. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Local History Group Finds Soldiers’ Lost Graves

The Major J.B. Burton Camp, a Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) camp, of
Miller County, Arkansas recently located seven graves in Miller County. The
graves are those of Confederate soldiers from the 13th Texas Cavalry Regiment. The graves have been discovered and documented with the United States Veterans,
and U.S. gravestones have been placed. Frank McFerrin, the Commander of the Major J.B. Burton Camp, provided the
history of the unit:

According to records, the 13th Texas Cavalry Regiment, about 900 men and their mounts, camped on the Spring Bank Hill in early July 1862. The Soldiers named the camp, “Camp Blair,” after Riley Blair, the Sergeant Major for the regiment. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Two Local Organizations Dedicated to the Preservation of History

Paul Gramling, CIC, of the SCV speaks

Members of two Sons of Confederate Veteran (SCV) camps came together this evening to discuss history, plan a dedication, and hear from the Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the organization.  Paul Gramling, CIC,  and his wife Lynda were in attendance which meant leadership from a national level was in Texarkana to hear about the joint work of the camps.   Throughout discussions with Paul, trips to grave dedications, and attendance at various meetings, it has become clear this organization is dedicated to the preservation of history.  The mainstream media, for the most part, continues to ignore the SCV and the work they do.  Outside observers can only assume that the overwhelming positive qualities of the organization are overlooked by the media because it does not fit into their agenda.  SCV members come from all races, and they work to ensure the preservation of the history of the Civil War. Like any organization, the meeting opened with business, new
members, planned events, and charities. 
While the Red Diamond Camp hosted the meeting, there were also plenty of
members present from the Major J.B. Burton Camp.  The two camps from Texas and Arkansas
discussed the preservation and dedication of a recently found cemetery in
Arkansas.  The central focus was a planned
dedication day.  The United States
Government has provided memorial headstones for the Confederate Soldiers buried
at the cemetery.  The stones have been
placed, and the actual dedication day is being planned for October.  Some people may not understand Confederate
veterans have been made American veterans. 
When Congress completed this act, the men who fought for the Confederacy
were given the same rights and privileges of any veteran of the United
States.  These rights include a headstone
and dedication. 

During the meeting, the group was informed the land at the cemetery
had been donated to the SCV.  Future
maintenance of the cemetery will now be the responsibility of the  SCV. 
The Texas unit will provide cannons for the dedication ceremony.  Had it not been for the research of the SCV
and the work put into this project, the cemetery may have been lost to history
forever. 

During the meeting, Robert Edwards, Treasurer of the
Arkansas SCV Division, spoke briefly and commended both SCV units from two different
states for their work in the history and preservation of the cemetery. 

Paul Gramling then spoke and provided an update on the SCV
national museum being completed by December of this year in Tennessee with a
dedication planned sometime in early 2020. 
The museum will hold both temporary exhibits and permanent exhibits
regarding the history of the Civil War. 
Paul also provided a copy of “The Southern Defender,” a small news-like
handout that contains history, information, and pictures from around the SCV in
the United States.  Interestingly, Paul
is one of the people who has continuously said that current attacks and removal
of Confederate Monuments will not be limited to those memorials only.  His words rang more accurate than ever as it
was noted on the front page of “The Southern Defender” that “Vandals
defaced” a Baltimore monument to Francis Scott Key.  Key is the author of “The Star-Spangled
Banner.”  

The cemetery in southern Arkansas and the continued joint efforts of two SCV groups to preserve the cemetery is an integral part of historic preservation.   The work protects graves which are vital for all histories and decedents.  Cemetery research has also retained the history of what was going on around the area during the Civil War.  The movement of troops and camps in southern Arkansas was reviewed extensively.   Colleges and universities will likely use the work of these two SCV units in the future as they study the history of southwest Arkansas.  The dedication to preserving history by the SCV should be appreciated by all students of history. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,