Chairman of TCWR’s Board of Directors, Charles “Rags” Ragsdell and his wife, Lori Ragsdell, have been supporters of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge for almost 20 years. Producers of the popular blues festival: the Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, Charles and Lori’s work with the festival has helped to draw thousands of blues lovers to Eureka Springs every year. With a portion of the festival’s profits going toward Turpentine Creek, the Eureka Springs Blues Weekend is one of the most significant fundraisers that the Refuge benefits from.
In 2008, the first year of the Blues Weekend, two tiger cubs were born at the Refuge. Their parents, Ziggy and Tigger G., were rescued by TCWR after having spent years as someone’s housepets. Charles and Lori christened one of the cubs B.B. King, after the King of Blues, and sponsored him in 2008.
It is very fitting that Charles is a blues musician –the trance-like rhythm of these narrative ballads generated from sharecroppers and prison work songs were about the celebration of overcoming that strife and struggle. B.B. King’s own song, “Every Day I have the Blues” translates well into the circumstances of TCWR’s rescued animals:
Oh nobody loves me, nobody seems to care
Yes nobody loves me, nobody seems to care
Speaking of bad luck and trouble
Well you know I had my share.
I’m gonna pack my suitcase, move on down the line
Yes I’m gonna pack my suitcase, move on down the line
Where there ain’t nobody worried
And there ain’t nobody crying.
Every single one of these animals that have been rescued by Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has, in a sense, packed their suitcase and moved down the line from difficult starts to rejoicing in a new and happy life at the Refuge –and it has been the greatest of joys for Charles to be able to play an active role in that celebration.