July 1, 2009 Edition

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Frankly speaking....

By John Bland

We welcome visitors to Lawrence County and wish for all to have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. The 104th annual Portia Picnic is now underway, and other communities are also offering special celebrations to mark the holiday. Strawberry held a fireworks display, along with musical entertainment, this past Saturday night. Walnut Ridge will have a similar event on Friday night at Stewart Park, and Hoxie and Imboden plan fireworks shows on Saturday night.

As always, several community, school and family reunions are also planned to coincide with this weekend, and Lake Charles State Park is another holiday weekend draw.

*******

TD readers will remember Jim Brown, who is retired and living in Heber Springs. Jim was a teacher at Walnut Ridge Middle School for seven years and at Hoxie School for three years. He wrote the column "Sports Talk and More" for The TD for approximately 10 years.

"Now I am spending my time these days doing what I always dreamed of ~ writing," said Brown.

Brown's most recently published book is "The Foster Twins in The Mystery of the Haunted Canyon." The book is classified as juvenile fiction, but is also enjoyable for adults. Part of a series based on his twin granddaughters. It has been out for about a year.

Lorie Thompson, Heber Springs Sun-Times co-editor, recently wrote a review of the book and called it a page-turner. "I have read all the books in the Foster Twins series, and all have been fabulously written. I've enjoyed all of them, but particularly enjoyed this last one."

"After reading all four of the Foster Twins novels, you get a sense of them as a family, and it is like watching a family member grow up and mature. I'm not sure if there will be a fifth novel, but I'm glad I had the chance to be a part of their lives for their adventures."

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