Fort Smith High School
Phyllis Bartlett

My husband, Don Byrum, and I live in Benton, AR, moving here in 1966. He is a staff pharmacist at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. I am still a professional landscape designer and self-employed.

Our son, Curtis, and his wife, Beverly, and their 3 children moved to Benton 3 years ago. He flies captain on one of the many Gulfstream airplanes of Netjets, a private airline which is a timeshare company.  Since he is airlined to his plane and airlined home after every assignment, he is allowed to live where he chooses.

Our daughter, Amy Golden, her husband, Bryan, and 2 sons live in Little Rock. Amy is employed as the church administrator of St. James United Methodist Church in Little Rock.

We enjoy having all of these family members close to us.

Don's father, Rev. W. T. Byrum, of Lonoke, AR, still prepares a new sermon each Sunday for a small church he is able to shepherd even though he is 87 years old. He was widowed this year when the matriarch of this family died.

My mother, Golden Bartlett, tells her church friends she is "going on 90."  She just weighs 79 pounds, but she still lives by herself in the home she and Daddy shared until his death in 1999. My sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Johnny Standridge, whom many of you know, are pretty close by for her. My other sister is Virginia Tedder of Searcy.

I am very active in Garden Club work in Arkansas. I give programs over the state on horticulture, landscape design, and flower arranging. I hold a state office in AR Federation of Garden Clubs, and serve as state horticulture chairman. I am president of Arkansas Council of Flower Show Judges, having been a nationally accredited flower show judge for about 30 years.

We enjoy going to watch our 5 grandchildren play soccer, baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. We are just starting to get to see some of them perform in the band.

A few years ago at the AR Flower and Garden Show the Nature Conservancy gave away a book entitled, The River is a Wicked Witch. When I got home with it I discovered the author was Hazel Presson. She had dedicated the book to me, actually all the students who had passed through her classes. She said, "How could I ever tell them what riches they have added to my life?" She contributed this book to the Nature Conservancy as a fund raiser. She has died since then, but I cherish this book. It's a novel worth reading.

I am sending some pictures, and a 1972 Benton Courier newspaper interview I did with Jennifer Billingsley (with her picture) as a separate e-mail. It was when she appeared in the film, 'White Lightning'. I later sent Jennifer a copy of the article, and she wrote back a cordial thank you note. I've had no other contact with her since then. At the time they were filming the movie, they were calling it 'McClusky', but later changed it to 'White Lightning'. (webmaster's note: to see the interview and picture, click on her name that follows - Jennifer Billingsley.)

Phyllis "Bartlett" Byrum - 2003