Friday, June 14, 2013

Film Festival Draws Largest Court Square Thursday Night Crowd Ever

The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival made a change this year in their lineup of entertainment for the Thursday night court square event, and it paid off.  The new documentary film festival sponsored by Fossil HD, owned by Rob Reep, drew the largest Thursday night crowd ever to the court square.

The event premiered the new documentary, The Saline.  The film was just over 1 1/2 hours of documenting the Saline River, its geography, history, and its struggle to remain forever free-flowing.  It was packed with breath-taking views and interesting interviews.

The interview panel consisted of ten people who each had different perspectives on the Saline River.  Ricky West, whose fish tale drew great laughter, and Mayor Bryan Martin's recollection of days at Longview evoked sentimental feelings about family and friendships along the water's edge, were among the panel.  Former County Judge Lavern Rice talked about his boyhood days growing up along the river bands seeing the retrieval of submerged logs and enjoying huge fish fries.  Zach McClendon, Jr. of Monticello talked about his family's love of the Saline and how it led to the creation of his latest enterprise, the processing of Saline River Diamonds jewelry line.  Buddy McCaskill and John Little recalled days spent at Camp Mansfield.  Bernadine Jones talked about river baptisms, while Ron Moseley shared much of the knowledge he gleaned from the writing of his book.  He told of old landings and steamboats that once traversed the river.  Former Senator and Governor David Pryor spoke about efforts in 1975 to keep the river free flowing.  Former State Representative and Mayor of Warren shed light on the fight to keep it free flowing.

The Saline River is the only free-flowing river in the Ouachita River basin and is one of three in the state of Arkansas.

The film concluded with passionate desires to keep the river free of dams.  Zach McClendon said,  "To dam it up would just be a crime."  Mayor Martin said,  "...leave it alone.  God will take care of it."  Senator Pryor expressed the importance of keeping it free flowing and reminded all of us and future generations that we are the trustees of this beautiful piece of nature.

In his introduction of the film, Reep noted that many people had made donations and contributed to the productions of this film.  He thanked the Bradley County Retired Teachers, the Warren Lions Club, the Bradley County Genealogy Society, Dr. and Mrs. John Durmon, Gerald Burton, Sue Wagnon, Dr. Robert Smalling, and Carlton Davis.  Reep also noted many who helped by supplying photos, serving as guides, and providing valuable information:  Brenda Ezell, Francis Kelley, John Frazer, Gen Garner, J.R. Kelley, Roger George, and Ryan Moseley.  Special thanks were issued to Historic Arkansas Museum, Bradley County Chamber of Commerce, Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival Committee, Wired, Benton Chamber of Commerce, and Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center.

Copies of the DVD are on sale for $25.  If you wish to purchase one, you may do so in a number of ways:
1.  Contact Rob Reep at 870-820-2894, Beverly Reep  at 870-820-2893, or Gregg Reep at 870-820-2403.
2.  email to

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