Friday, November 27, 2009

Reflections Expedition

The occasion behind the "Reflections Expedition" was the annual luncheon of the North Arkansas College Foundation for scholarship donors and recipients, held in Harrison, Arkansas, at the college's downtown location, called "The Durand Center". I was attending to represent scholarships in the name of my late father, Joe F. Keeling, and my late husband, Dr. Fred C. Turner. As attendees gather in the banquet room, a large wall screen in the room is telling a brief synopsis of the life of the donor who is be remembered. "Remembering" is one definition of the word "reflection", and that is just what all of us did, as we looked back on the lives of those being honored. However, as I was taking some photographs of the Durand Center to put with this posting, I recalled, with a smile. another definition of the word "reflection". The lower part of the photo above, is the half-block section of the Durand Center that is directly adjacent to its location on Main Street (or "The Four Lane" as us local old-timers refer to it). Whenever my husband and I would ride our motorcycle through Harrison, I noticed we always went through downtown, instead of taking the bypass. Fred very logically explained to me the reason why---the downtown route took us by that long stretch of reflective windows, where he could look with pride at how well he had polished all the chrome on the Harley, as well as the profile of the couple on the motorcycle. After he told me that, we got to where we waved at the window when we went by, so we could practice the "secret sign" one motorcycle rider gives to another that they pass on the highway. Bikers "in the know" always wave with a hand below the waist, and NEVER above the waist! (This is just a little tidbit I will share with you, that the bike salesman won't tell you.)

In addition to getting to meet the recipient of the Dr. Fred C. Turner Scholarship, Mrs. Jamie Cheek, (pictured in lower left photo), I was delighted to be seated at the same table with long-time friends, Dr. Robert Langston, and his charming wife, Frankie (They are pictured in the lower right photo with the Langston Scholarship recipient, Ms. Kayla Frederick). Since I had not visited with them in years, we "reflected" on lots of things from the past. I recalled a time I introduced Dr. Langston to someone as the doctor who delivered my son. He very humbly responded that all he did was "catch" the 8 lb. 8 oz. bundle of joy, as the infant made his entrance into the world. As I reflected upon how I originally met Frankie Langston, it gave me the opportunity to thank her for making a personal visit to my home in the first weeks after Grover was born, to encourage our family to not delay in returning to regular church service attendance. She assured me that as a Registered Nurse, with years of experience in taking care of infants in the First Baptist Church nursery, our treasured little baby would be in good hands. And she was right! In fact, he was in much more capable hands under her care, than under mine!
Yet another "reflection" I had as I was taking photographs for the blog, was remembering some significant events that took place at the Seville Hotel, located directly across the street from the Durand Center. Not only did I attend numerous social events there in high school, but it was the location of my "debut" speaking in front of a group, outside of a classroom. A local civic organization asked me to come speak at their luncheon meeting in the hotel, to tell them about a trip to Italy, that my father and I took whenever I was a sophomore in high school. I had a slide projector with slides from our trip, and told with excitement about all the incredible sights we saw on our trip. (I credit that trip to Italy with my father as the source of my "Expedition Fever" that has been an ongoing "infection" throughout my life!) Finally, an extremely joyous occasion took place at the Seville Hotel, in August, 1992, when we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of my mother and dad, there---surrounded by friends and family who had come to wish them well. As I was taking the photographs, I noticed a young family posing for photographs in front of the historic building, just as others before them have done for generations. I am very thankful for the recent renovation of the Hotel Seville property, and would definitely recommend that you visit it soon, and often!
The last photo collage shows several different views of the Durand Center, whose architecture I have admired, since its original construction as The Security Bank. I am thankful that is has been "re purposed" for use by North Arkansas College. Because of my history with the college, it pleases me to see it do well. I was living in Harrison when the college first started, and was even a Nutrition Instructor there at one time. But my sister is the one with the most history at Northark. In fact, the 2003 College Graduation Program included her photograph, and a tribute that started with these words: "For the first time in the history of North Arkansas College, an employee will receive the Board of Trustees Award. Frankie Bellora, who is retiring this year as administrative assistant to the president, is being honored for her 29 years of service to Northark." I am very honored to be known as "Frankie's sister" at the college! All this flood of memories that the Foundation Luncheon brought up, reminded me of the verse that helped me deal with the sudden death of my husband. It is the verse that changed my attitude of sorrow and self-pity, to an attitude of gratitude. Philippians 1:3 says "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." This is the time of year for giving thanks, so I hope you will reflect on whose memory you will thank God for. Wishing you "Miles of REFLECTIVE Smiles"!! Tricia Posted by Picasa