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Archive for October, 2007

One Monticello Life: Calvin Murphy

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

I’ve known Calvin Murphy for several years, and the more I’m around him, the more I learn.

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Calvin, and his wife Mrs. Carolyn, operate O&M Oil Co., on East Gaines street.

Mr. Calvin has always lived in Drew County, and was born in the “Sipio” community, south of Ladelle and Lacey.  At the time, the Ashley, Drew, & Northern Railroad had a stop in that area.  Calvin grew up and graduated from Monticello High School.

Calvin started out as a meat cutter at “Clay’s Grocery Store”, which was located on North Main St., across from where Union Bank is now.

Calvin served in the U.S. Army, and was stationed at Ft. Chaffee, AR, Ft. Sill, OK, and was sent to Germany, shortly after the Korean War.  After he was released from the Army, he joined the National Guard, and served there until he’d completed 39 years of service to his country.

Next month, Calvin & Carolyn Murphy will have been married to each other for 50 years.

They have 2 grown children.  Their son, Les lives in Star City, and runs O&M’s bulk plant there.  Les is married to Jacque, who teaches 1st grade.  Calvin’s daughter, Kim, lives in Springdale, and teaches 1st grade there.  Kim is married to Rob Tanksley, who works at the Tyson corporate office.

Calvin got into the oil business back in the 1950’s, when he went to work for his father-in-law, Mr. Hellums Owen.  Back then, the station was at the corner of S. Main, and Shelton streets, and the bulk plant was located right where O&M is now.  This was when all “service stations” were “full service” stations.

Mr. Calvin told me, “I believe a man should work 5 days.”  He added, “Saturday is mine, and Sunday belongs to the Lord.”

On Saturday’s, if the Razorbacks play a home game, Calvin is usually somewhere close.  If the Hogs are playing an away game, he’s probably at Monticello Speedway.

On Sunday, he’ll be at Northside Baptist Church.  Calvin is the senior deacon at Northside and sings in the choir. “Quietly,” he adds.  Northside has been the only church he’s been a member of.

Over the years he has served as Sunday School teacher and director, “Training Union” teacher and director,  youth and building committees, and anywhere else that there was a need.

Calvin is also a member of Gideons, Int., which provides Bibles to schools, hospitals, and to our soldiers.

Mr. Calvin’s other passion, besides Mrs. Carolyn, is cars.  He has two “older” cars he’s working on restoring now. “Very slowly”, he comments.  One is a 1948 Lincoln Continental Mark I, and the other is a 1939 Cadillac LaSalle.

As you can tell by the photograph, Calvin Murphy loves his cars, and Mrs. Carolyn doesn’t like being in pictures.

Thanks, Calvin Murphy, for sharing your One Monticello Life. 

Drew Central Crisis Drill Consideed a Success

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

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Drew Central High School took part in a recent crisis response drill to see how well students, faculty, and emergency responders would react during a lockdown of the school that involved intruders on campus with weapons. The drill was designed to help school officials and responders plan for a worse case scenario. (more…)

MonticelloLive Viewed 1375 Times Last Week

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

MonticelloLive.com had 1375 pageviews last week, according to onestat.com.

This is the highest number of readers to the website, since it was re-activated recently.

 Thanks to all of “our regulars” for helping make MonticelloLive.com, Monticello’s community website.

One Monticello Life: George Strain

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

It was around 1:30, Monday morning, January 29, 2007. Monticello Police Dept. Patrolman George Strain was working a call at the intersection of E. Gaines and Conley streets.

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That was when officer Strain was run over by an oncoming vehicle. The force of the impact that cold, early morning, either fractured or broke his right wrist, left leg, left ankle, and multiple ribs. One of the broken ribs punctured and collapsed his right lung. He also had a broken pelvis.

George spent the next 19 days hospitalized. When he was able to go home, he still had to use a wheel chair.

It’s now 9 months later, and he’s still in physical rehabilitation to overcome some of the muscle deficiencies from the accident, but George never gave up.

George grew up in Tamo, AR., just north of Dumas and Grady.

He joined the U.S. Army, received his high school diploma, and even earned college credit, while he was serving his country.

In the military, George was stationed in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky,and was a member of the 101 Airborne, and the 2 / 17 Cavalry Unit.  His military duties carried him to Germany, Egypt, & Panama.

When he left the service, George worked in construction and in food-service, until he entered law enforcement.

George’s police career began in McGehee, then Grady, before coming to the Monticello Police Dept. in August, 1999.

Next month, George will be celebrating his eighth anniversary to Mrs. Dorothy.

They are very active in First Missionary Baptist Church, on Bailey street, here in Monticello, and Mrs. Dorothy sings.

Mrs. Dorothy is a member of the McLettic Stars, a family singing group, that has traveled to over 20 different states, singing about God’s love, mercy, and grace.

Through George’s accident and recovery, they’ve been blessed by that love, mercy, and grace.

George told me, “going through the accident, and everything that followed, has given me the chance to talk, and to witness, to many people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to, without the accident.”

When I was talking to him, I realized that he sees this as an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives.

George isn’t still in that wheel chair.

Last week I saw him at City Hall. He was on his way to work.

Officer George Strain is back in uniform, in Monticello, serving as the School Resource Officer for the Monticello School System. His office is at the high school, but he’s on duty at all of the Monticello School facilities, spending time with the students, and he’s teaching them something, simply by being there.

Officer George Strain, now there’s a good roll-model for our kids, and for us.

George Strain, thanks for sharing your One Monticello Life.

Click here to read MonticelloLive.com’s original story about the accident.

Click here to read MonticelloLive.com’s original report, Officer Comes Home.

How Deep Wuz Them ‘Taters?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

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A local roadside was used to serve a couple of different purposes, recently.

A local produce vender was selling sweet ‘taters, next to a piece of road working equipment.

The super-sized digger was not used in the harvesting process.

One Monticello Life: Rhonda Brooks

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

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When most people meet Rhonda Brooks, they see her as a “lady in a wheelchair”, but there are many things that they don’t realize about Rhonda.

Rhonda grew up in Dewitt, where she lived with her parents and two sisters.

Her hobbies include listening to music, her favorites are Christian and bluegrass.

She also enjoys computer crafts, such as making cards, boxes, and similar projects, that make other people feel appreciated.

She is also well known for making balloon animals for nurses, patients, and drive through bank tellers. 

Rhonda graduated from Dewitt High School in 1979, attended UAM, and received her teaching degree in 1983.

Rhonda also got married in 1983.

Her husband is Sanders Brooks, who grew up just east of Hamburg, and was also at UAM.

Rhonda taught kindergarten for the Hamburg School District, Portland Campus, from 1983-2000.

During this time, Sanders was pastor at Parkway Baptist Church (Lake Village) and New Hope Baptist Church (Eudora).

Life so many times changes.

Rhonda is in the wheelchair because of complications from juvenile diabetes, a broken leg, and knee deterioration.  She also had a kidney transplant in 1998.

So many people would have given up, but not Rhonda.

When her husband became pastor of Northside Baptist Church, in 2004, Sanders and Rhonda moved back to Monticello.

Rhonda may be in a wheelchair, but she still is able to teach her Northside Baptist Church Sunday School elementary class and serve on the youth committee.

Between the many trips to out of town doctors, Rhonda spends a lot of time with the Northside Baptist Sr. adults, and goes out with the Wednesday night missions group to visit the Guest House residents, and other shut-in elderly members, and feed 11 stray cats.

At other times during the month you may see her spending time at the Other Way; visiting patients as a hospice volunteer; or maybe even hear of her visiting patients at a clinic or hospitals, that need a “pep talk” to gain encouragement to help deal with life’s struggles.

Rhonda may be a “lady in a wheelchair”, but she certainly doesn’t live a “wheelchair life”.

Thanks, Rhonda for sharing your ONE MONTICELLO LIFE with us!

Burgess is New Owner of MonticelloLive.com

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

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The Monticello Chamber of Commerce welcomed MonticelloLive.com to its membership, shown here, with MonticelloLive’s new owner, Joe Burgess.

Burgess is a long-time Monticello resident, with 12 years radio broadcasting experience, and is owner-operator of Monticello’s Time & Temp, 367-7777.

(more…)

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