July 19, 2017 Edition

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A highest of high points

A highlight of the recent Arkansas Press Association's SuperConvention was hearing World War II veteran Morley Piper's presentation. The 92-year-old retired newspaperman was part of the Omaha Beach invasion of Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

At the time of the event, which was the largest amphibious invasion in history, Morley was only 19 years old. He was a second lieutenant with the 29th Infantry. Enlisting at age 18, he was still at the age of innocence, having had an ordinary childhood that was shaped by growing up in "the steel grip of the Great Depression."

Pictures of the Past

This photo shows the Smithville Brass Band in front of the magnificent Welch Hotel in Ravenden Springs at the 1908 Woodsman of the World Picnic, which was attended by many including Gov. George W. Donaghey. Jim Ratliff, a blacksmith, built the bandwagon, drawn by a team of two mules. The band disbanded in 1910 and the wagon sold to the Denton band being organized in 1912. Sam Haley was the bass horn player for the Denton band. Avo Ratliff Webb also brought in a newspaper clipping from the 1970s that shared information about the Smithville band, naming the members as (standing from left): Edd Moore, Claude Brady and Dr. Edd Burns, leader of the band; (in wagon, from left): Tom Norris, Dot Fortenberry, Jim Ratliff (holding brass horn), Cleve Howard, Childress Moore, Newt Fortenberry, Bill Goad, Taylor Howard (drummer boy), Don Brady, Allen Garner, Robert Taylor, secretary of the band, and Henry Steadman, driver. (Pictures of the Past is a cooperative effort of The Times Dispatch and the Lawrence County Historical Society. Readers are encouraged to submit historic photos.)
Photo courtesy of Genevieve Haley

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