The Forester Herald That Special Place
By Ghost Writer
I think everyone has a "special place" where they return to, even if it is only in their memory, and Forester's people have so much to be thankful for since they have years and years of memories and can return to their old home place and renew friendships at reunion time each year. Someone once asked, a few years ago, "What was so special about Forester, and why are they still talking about it?"
The answer is that they still talk about it because "it was so special!" Just in the last two weeks I was reminded of how special our town was when I stopped in at the Waldron News Office and found a not with name, address, and phone number of a lady who moved to Forester in 1930, who has wonderful stories and memories to share with us about her family and life there.
I called her and she and I agreed to share her life stories in the Herald even if it takes a serial type continued story. I've never done one of those, but figure it is worth a try. This first one will introduce a Forester girl who now lives in Hemp, CA. Everyone around Waldron will recall her folks, Jeff and Girtie Barnett.
My name is Janis (Barnett) Shuffield. My parents, Jeff and Gertie Barnett moved to Forester, AR in the arly 30’s. We moved into a little red house in negro quarters before the black people arrived. We were there only a short time then moved into a bent topped sawmill shack across the creek where the swimming hole and a railroad spur was.
There were 4 families living there, the Bucks with 2 children, Mabel and Dick, the Johnsons with 3 boys, one was named Flynn and I do not recall the other 2 names and the Johnsons married daughter. Mabel Buck and I were in the 4th grade and we walked all the way to school which was a long way. Out teachers name was Mable Moore an dher husband was Forester’s town barber.
I do not remember how long we lived there but our next move was to “Green Town” near the church, the school houses and the ball park. I finished grade school there then rode the but to Waldron and graduated in 1938. I married Carrol Shuffield and we had on child, Billy Carroll. When Billy was a 3 years old we moved to Denver, CO. Carroll joined the Navy and served in the south pacific during WWII. When he was discharvged we moved to CA and have lived here ever since.
In 2010, our son Bill had a massive stroke and passed away. Seven months later my husband, Caroll who had Parkinsons disease passed away. I have a daughter-in-law who lives a couple hours away and a grandson who lives in Erie, PA and a granddaughter who lives in Idaho. I have 3 great granddaughters and 3 greatgrandsons but none in CA. I would love to hear from any Forester people who knew me in the 1930’s.
My dad Jeff Barnett was a wonderful husband and dad. He was a hard worker and cut logs for several years before buying a truck and hauling logs. When he and his partner was cutting timber they were using a crosscut saw and was on piece work which meant the more trees they feeled each day the more money they made. His partners names was Elmer Hodges.