By Brenda Dowdy

This is Arkansas weather for sure. One day it is hailing and storming and the next day it is 80 degrees. I love Arkansas weather, and wouldn’t live anywhere else.

This week I lost a very dear friend, Andrea Hall. I first met Andrea when I was riding the Arkansas State transit. We sat and talked on the way to North Little Rock and coming home. We had great conversations and she was always there with good advice, too. My deepest sympathy goes out to her wonderful family, whom she loved so much. I am so glad you are not in pain anymore. Rest in peace, my dear friend.

Please keep the following in your prayers: Wilma Stevenson, Clark Stevenson, Dorothy Stevenson, Wayne Stevenson, Darrel Bearden, Dorothy Glover, Billy Williams, Bogan Hartwick, Betty Griffith and anyone else that is sick, in the hospital or who has lost a loved one.

Congratulations to the Guy-Perkins band and choir; they have been selected to go to Walt Disney for competition in Florida. They will be having Musicfest April 2 to raise money to go. This is a great honor to be selected. Contact Julie Hicks or the band teacher for more information. Please come out and support

them so they can raise the funds to go.

Last week on March 16 my baby boy, Jerry Dowdy, turned 40 years young. My, how time flies; I can remember the day you were born. I am so proud to call you my son. You have grown into a very handsome man and you are a great husband and a great father to your son and daughter. You make me proud to call you son. I love you very much! The weekend before his birthday we met at Toadsuck Bucks for dinner with family and friends. As always Sean Brown, Jamie Hicks, Chad Spears and their spouses came, along with several friends he has worked with in the past and their great new neighbors, Shirley and Gary Dranbaugh. Thanks to each of you that came. Jerry, you set a good example as a father.

Send news to or call 501-450-0395. Have a safe week. Remember to not drink and drive or text and drive.


By Jennifer Freeman

My mom, Andrea Hall, passed away on March 11, 2016 and her funeral was held on March 15, 2016. Mom had recently been diagnosed with several illnesses and the most severe of those was pancreatic cancer. I am not going to talk about how much I despise cancer or how hard it is to see someone you love weaken, but want to share a few things about her life that I forgot to mention during her funeral.

Mom was a dependable, hard worker, which is evident in the fact that she still worked at the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas at the age of 75. She worked to relieve employees through the holidays or at times when all trained employees needed to be off work.

Mom was not feeling well when she worked through the holidays but did not want to let the girls down that depended on her. One of the first things she had me do when I took her to the ER was to call and let Carrie know that she wouldn’t be able to work the next week.

As I grew up, mom adopted many of my friends and the friends of my siblings. That continued as we grew into adulthood and it was nothing for me to be going out with friends and call mom to see if she wanted to join us. Mom was easy to be around and was a good listener who would give a little advice when it was warranted but would not harp on us.

She did not meddle in our lives and was always ready to spend time with her kids, both natural and those she cared for because they were a part of her life through the years.

If you have spent much time with me, you have heard me say that it was child abuse when she fed me bologna salad and I still stand by that statement. You have also heard me say that I wasn’t raised right and I would say I kind of agree with that statement.

We probably got into more mischief than others because there were so many of us kids and someone was always looking for it, but I would say we all turned out alright. When mom needed our love and support the most, we stepped up to the plate for over eight weeks and held her hand each day while we talked to her and told her we loved her. She giggled every time I told her, "I love you even if you did feed me bologna salad." She was a good mom, grandma, great-grandma, and was a pretty great friend and I will miss her greatly.