An interview with Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder, author

Q. After leaving school in Louisiana, when did you return to Dumas to start your 50-year career in the newspaper business?

A. Publisher W. M. Jackson of the McGehee Times called in August 1944 to offer me $40 a week as editor—not assistant—and a month later, I headed "home" to live with my mother and commute to McGehee. I was told my salary was the best offered to journalism grads that year.

Q. After serving many years in the state's House of Representatives, did you get tired of politics?

A. I would never end my interest in state government and policy. I enjoyed the many dedicated people with whom I served, some of whom became friends for life. I even smiled upon hearing one Dumas voter call me "Ole Tax and spend Democrat."

Q. What have you been doing since you retired from politics?

A. In retirement, I have focused on education and economic development as critical to the Southeast Arkansas Delta I love. Job creation remains a critical challenge.

Q. What things are needed to help small towns in Arkansas?

A. Our small towns can survive through innovation and aggressive leadership. Volunteers can be a major component for progress, and I am happy to be among them.

Q. Could you give a brief summation of your life? A. My life has been enriched by great friendships, inky adventures, and political participation. I hope I will be remembered for never, never, ever giving up!