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Spotlight on HSV Villager Ricky Hays

Blind date HSV style

Hot Springs Village Property Owner and golf-enthusiast, Ricky Hays, had an interesting and unusual experience the other day. Photographer Heather Lane of Lane Creations set Ricky and her friend, Jenna Hinman, up on a blind date so she could do a “blind date” photoshoot. But before we talk about that, I would like to introduce you to Ricky.

Ricky’s roots are in north Louisiana

Hays was raised in the country in north Louisiana. As a youngster, he pitched in with hay cutting and baling or whatever was needed. When he was growing up, there was always plenty to keep him busy. Ricky said, “I’ve worked my whole life. Since I was three or four years old I always had a tool in my hand.”

Ricky’s college and career

Ricky is 39 years old. He attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and graduated with a degree in business. Originally he planned on attending dental school so he also took pre-dental classes.

As often happens, Ricky changed his career direction. After completing college he enlisted in the Navy where he performed underwater search and rescue work. Ricky has a love for the water.

After his stint in the Navy, Hays attended Young Memorial Louisiana Technical College in Morgan City where he trained for commercial diving.

Ricky used his swimming, diving, and welding skills to pursue a career as a commercial diver and underwater welder for Oceaneering International. According to the company website, “Oceaneering International, Inc. is a global provider of engineered services and products to the offshore oil and gas industry. The Company offers services and products in remotely operated vehicles, mobile offshore production systems, engineering and product management, manned diving, and other deepwater applications. Oceaneering also serves the defense and aerospace industries.”

Spending eleven years with Oceaneering International, Ricky traveled the world, installing underwater floors for killer whales at Sea World. Ricky visited most of Europe, Trinidad, and finally South Africa, where he performed his last dive for Oceaneering.

Ricky comes to live in Hot Springs Village

Ricky came to a point in his life where he craved a calm, peaceful, and beautiful environment. This is where Hot Springs Village comes into the picture.

Ricky is friends with Calvin and Maggie Walker of Hot Springs Village. As Hays is semi-retired, his friends encouraged him to come visit them in the village for a change of scenery. The Walkers love living here and wanted to share the beauty with Ricky.

Ricky had never owned a home before but he was so impressed with the village that he decided to purchase his dream home in September of 2019. “The village is a happy place,” Ricky enthused. Ricky and his twelve-year-old Australian Shepard named Sky now call the village “home.”

Ricky loves villagers, golf, and lakes

“The people here are great. I have not met one negative person here,” said Hays. “Everyone I have spoken with has been very open and nice.”

ricky hays loves hsv lakes blind date photo shoot
Ricky Hays kayaking with his friend, Jenna Hinman on Lake DeSoto in Hot Springs Village – photography by Heather Lane of Lane Creations

Ricky said he is a fanatical golfer and “loves, loves, loves golf.” My father is a “super big golfer,” so Ricky comes by his love of the sport naturally. Ricky hopes to one day surpass his father in golf. One of the reasons Hays was interested in owning property in Hot Springs Village is because there are nine golf courses. He has a golf simulator in his garage and a putting green in the back yard. “There is not a day that goes by…I don’t care if it’s raining…I will be on the balcony, in the garage, out back…I will be hitting golf balls. I am almost to the point that I think I can beat my father now. We’ll see.”

“The lakes are amazing and the golfing is phenomenal,” said Ricky. “There is something very spiritual about this place,” Ricky declared. When gardening, Ricky often finds crystals.

Ricky worked out issues with the POA

As is life, nothing is perfect. Ricky ran into a problem with the POA. He installed a permitted fence for his dog and the Inspector told Ricky that his fence was not up to code. Eventually, it was sorted out and it was determined that his new fence was fine.

Ricky would have preferred to install a more expensive and beautiful fence, but he was restricted due to the Protective Covenants. Ricky feels the chain length fence he installed does not match the appearance of his house and feels there should be variances allowed as long as someone plans to install something nice.

Heather Lane sets up Ricky on a blind date

Ricky settled in more and more as the months flew by. A few months ago Ricky met Heather Lane of Lane Photography. Heather decided she wanted to set Ricky up on a blind date with Jenna Hinman. Lane wanted to do a photoshoot of the blind date. Of course with Ricky’s love of the water, kayaking was the perfect choice of activity for this blind date. Initially, Heather wanted to do this at Lake Catherine but Ricky talked her into doing it at Lake DeSoto at Hot Springs Village. “There is something about the village that connects people,” he explained. Ricky wants to promote the natural beauty and active lifestyle of the village.

Wearing blindfolds for this blind date was a fun way for the couple to be introduced. Ricky offered Jenna a beautiful rose which she accepted with a big smile.

Ricky Hays offers Jenna Hinman a rose on blind date – photography by Heather Lane

Jenna loved the village and “was in awe.”

Only time will tell, but right now Hays and Hinman are good friends.

Click through the slide show below – photography by Heather Lane
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Hot Springs Village – not just a retirement community

Hot Springs Village is not just a retirement community. We are not age-restricted and welcome folks of all ages. There is something for everyone here.

Click here if you are interested in discovering the village.

About photographer Heather Lane in her own words

 “A little about myself,  I am a nurse,  RN BSN and I was in the middle of my master’s program to become an APN when I decided to step back and spend more time with my children.

“I wanted to start doing what I had always wanted to do before I had children. I started my career in medicine when I had children who I needed to support. 

“I was always into photography and was an advanced art student in high school, But I moved into the science fields in college when I was told to be realistic and get a stable career.  I do most of my work in wedding and event photography and am popular with the artistic and entertainment community in Arkansas. 

“I have certifications from the Hollywood Art Institute and hope to further my education in photography with the New York Institute of Photography.

“When my spouse and I saw a random Facebook post on a photographers site doing this I thought, I can do that but I can do it in a more wholesome way. 

“I would gladly do more shoots with both Ricky and Jenna,  separately or together.  We want to do more blind date shoots definitely,  but they are very hard to put together!  We have to do background checks on the people as well as wait to match them with what they are looking for. 

“I am always looking for an inventive shoot,  and who knows what ideas I may have tomorrow!  I would love to do some vintage style shoots in the future.  One of my favorite quotes is “when you change the way you look at things,  the things you look at change” – Albert Einstein.

I love to see the different perspectives on things and how you can take the ordinary, freeze it, and capture a beautiful moment. 

“I have shot for an Inked magazine contest which is how I met Rick.

“I shoot live-action shots and was working on a dirt bike piece when COVID hit.

“I also do quite a few intimate and female empowerment portraits so my Facebook page where I show my work is by invite only. 

“I was the photographer who went viral in Hot Springs for taking the pictures of the empty streets during COVID when the pandemic started.” 

Heather Lane, owner of Lane Creations is from Mayflower, Arkansas. Ms. Lane can be reached via email: Lanecreations0808@gmail.com or by telephone at:

  • (760) 391-2244
  • (501) 326-0780

By Cheryl Dowden, July 14, 2020

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