10 things ABOUT – Bill Hefley

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Age: 76
Hometown & Years in the River Valley: My home town is Dover, but I was actually born at Ben Hur in Newton County. I left the Valley to join the Marine Corps in 1964 and returned in 1977. I have not left since.
Occupation: I am a retired mental health professional with 16 and a half yrs at Community Service Inc., 16 and a half years at Counseling Associates Inc., and 2 years with Crisis Care Inc. out of Detroit, Michigan.
Family: I have two adult daughters and one adult son along with seven grandchildren. My wife of 53 years is deceased.

1) What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is, “Way back in the Hills,” by James Carl Hefley. This book provides a simple yet complex description of the struggles of people in Newton County and the surrounding area in north central Arkansas, describing the good and difficult times and the simple pleasures enjoyed by each.

2) Dog or cat? Why?

I have two dogs and two cats. They are all rescue animals with their individual stories. The choice is tough but I am going with cats. My big male black and white cat always greets me with a soft “meow” and rubs against my leg until I pet him. He owns me.

3) What do you think is the most positive aspect of living in the River Valley?

I like living here because we have so many choices of things to do. There are so many lakes, ponds and streams if I want to fish. There are beautiful mountains with trails to explore. There are many music venues to choose from every weekend and most are free or very cheap and the entertainers are first rate. We have some very well-traveled and talented musicians in the Valley. There are many civic/service organizations to join if you want to contribute to the well being of the area.

4) What’s something no one would ever guess about you?

IMost people would never guess that I have a PhD in hypnosis.

5) What is your favorite music genre and artist? Why?

I love Country music and my favorite Country singer is Merle Haggard. He had many hits but the two that I like most are, “Momma’s Hungry Eyes” and “Kern River.” They are that unique Bakersfield country twist. Many of my relatives experienced living in a tent in the fruit orchards of that California Valley.

6) What do you nerd out on?

Poetry: I love the twist and turns and rhymes or not. It is so open to interpretation.

7) If you could change one thing about the River Valley, what would it be?

I just wish people would stop throwing trash in the lakes and streams and along our highways.

8) Where is the one location in the River Valley you would tell a first-time visitor that they must go?

For first-time visitors, I would suggest going to the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitors Center. They can obtain a lot of information there. If they are a veteran or have veterans in their family, then I would suggest they go to the new Veterans Park on Lakefront Drive in Russellville.

9) Pizza, tacos, cheeseburger, or fried chicken? Any particular reason why?

Those are off my list although I did eat a lot of each in the day, and pizza was my favorite. It was convenient and could be reheated in the microwave in the middle of the night. Now I go with lots of salads.

10) What is your favorite quote? Could be from an inspirational person, could be be an original.

My maternal grandmother had several. The one that I have taken through life is: “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” I have interpreted this to mean that there may be more than one way to solve a problem. This has helped me make decisions in some very difficult situations. PS: I have never skinned a cat.