CONWAY As Americans pause to reflect on this Veterans Day, members of the Faulkner County Historical Society want to share some local thoughts and memories in its newly published fall-winter issue of Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings. The issue, which is titled “Time Is of the Essence,” is dedicated to all veterans.
Vivian Lawson Hogue, the journal’s editor, said that while the title of the issue is not original, the meaning of it is applicable to all veterans, especially those of World War II, who, according to the Honor Flight Network, are dying at the rate of approximately 900 a day.
“I got the idea for this special edition last fall,” Hogue said. “I presented it to the board early because I knew it was going to cost a lot.
“As I really began to think about where to start, I visited with a friend who lived elsewhere and was involved in the Honor Flight Network that provides World War II veterans with free flights to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial. As I was doing research on the Honor Flight, I found the statement ‘Time Is of The Essence.’ I thought that would be a good title for this publication.”
The local publication features war stories from veterans and/or their family members with ties to World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Several stories were personally written by those who are now deceased, while others were gleaned through interviews in recent months.
“I did some of the interviews, and Nancy Breeden Mitchell did some,” Hogue said, noting that some were done via email, as well as in person. “We also received some submissions.”
Veteran stories are by or about Homer Hoffman, Johnnie Walter, Marie Hiegel Pinter, H.P. Barham Jr., Al Hiegel, William T. Mattison, Doyne Montgomery, Hubert L. Tucker, Larry Yarbrough, Tony Nahlen, Curtis Breeden and brothers Leon and Billie Hazel. A number of photos and documents accompany their personal accounts.
The journal also features articles about war bonds and rationing and wartime recipes, military training on the Hendrix College and Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas) campuses, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Gold Star Mothers organization and a poem by Ron Spradlin. A special article focuses on the Honor Flight Network.
“The time seemed right to do this,” Hogue said. “We are grateful to those who answered the call for stories and photos, as they are first-person accounts either by interview or from personal diaries.
“Those of the World War II era are often called ‘The Greatest Generation’ in America’s history. Citizens of that time still remember the unity of purpose. They credit the bravery of military men and women, strong allies, patriotism, spiritual belief and sacrifice at home for our victory in war. Whether the hardship was at home, in business or in battle, they still say they did what they had to do to help the country’s war efforts.”
“Time Is of the Essence” is available for a special-edition price of $10 at the Faulkner County Museum on the courthouse square and at the Faulkner County Regional Library, 1900 Tyler St. in Conway.
Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Library hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
Hogue said the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., receives a copy of Faulkner Facts and Fiddlings. “Hopefully, others will see this issue,” she said.
The Faulkner County Historical Society was founded in 1959, at which time it began its first issue highlighting people, events, locations and customs in Faulkner County history.
The society also offers its 1986 book of county history, Faulkner County: Its Land and People, for sale on compact disc.
It requires Adobe Reader, which is free and available at the Adobe website.
The cost of the disc is $15, which includes shipping and handling. Checks may be made to FCHS, P.O. Box 731, Conway, AR 72033.