Cheerleading program at Old Independence Regional Museum – January 28th

On Sunday, January 28 at 2 p.m. the museum will be filled with a number of cheerleaders from the past. Helen Musgrave has recruited 14 former cheerleaders to tell about their roles during the 1950s through the 1990s in generating excitement as they led local teams and the crowds with enthusiasm, acrobatic gymnastics, and the rhythmic words “Go, Fight, Win.” This spirit always added to the competition on the football field and the basketball court.

The cheerleaders spurred crowds to rise and shout out their support through energetic winning chants. Cheerleaders from Batesville and Southside High will be represented, as will Lyon, Hendrix, ASU and the University of Arkansas. Leader uniforms and formations have changed during the decades, but the heart to win is still there.

Bruce Johnston, program chair for the year said, “Our thanks to Helen Musgrave for recruiting the participants for this program. All during 2017 the museum has offered a sports-related program every month. It has been a grand run!”

This museum program will be the final opportunity to witness the historic Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit “Home Town Teams: How Sports Shape America.” It will be taken apart and shipped back to Washington D.C. within days after this program.

Many museum visitors have enjoyed this special thematic display that depicts the impact of sports on the American culture, along with local stories and memorabilia.

Twyla Wright, museum exhibit curator, tells what is next. “We will be reinstalling the “Living With the White River,” but I’m excited to be planning a new exhibit about the history of air flight in our region. There is always something new happening at Old Independence!”

The program will be free and open to the public. Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children. The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.