Louisiana State Police Announces Recipients of Annual Awards

LSP Awards 2018 (1)

Baton Rouge – The Louisiana State Police held its annual Awards Ceremony May 17 to honor Troopers and public safety personnel from across the state for performing above and beyond the call of duty over the past year. The ceremony was held this afternoon at the Louisiana State Police Training Academy Auditorium on Independence Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Examples of bravery, dedication, and exceptional work ethic were common themes throughout the ceremony.

Awards presented to these extraordinary individuals for Region III, which covers Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, Vernon, and Winn Parishes are as follows:

Lifesaving Award – Awarded for any act which results in saving or sustaining the life of a person:

· Trooper First Class Mark O’Brien (Troop E)

· Former DPS Officer Stephyn Prine (Current LA Deputy Fire Marshal)

Plainclothes Trooper of the Year – Awarded for consistent display of outstanding qualities that exemplify a member of the Louisiana State Police:

· Trooper First Class Timothy Ledet Jr. (CID – Region 3)

Meritorious Service Award – Awarded for performance of duty that exceeds the normal expectations of duty and demonstrates an exceptional degree of good judgment, initiative, and competence:

· Master Trooper Jeff Argrave (CID – Region 3)

· Trooper First Class Mark O’Brien (Troop E)

 

LB-casa

 

 

Community enjoys Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival

By Reba

Zwolle Loggers Festival_1560 2

 

The 24th Annual Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival took place May 11-12. The Friday events kicked off with a Forestry Skills Competition and ended with live entertainment provided by The Essentials Band and Cody Cooke and the Bayou Outlaws. Saturday’s festivities began with the Melissa Anderson Memorial Race, followed by a parade that boasted over 30 entries. The official opening ceremonies were held at the Zwolle Festival Grounds and opened with prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner. After the introduction of the local elected officials the Festival Queen and her Court were introduced to the crowd of hundreds.

Mr. Sam A Rivers, Jr. was also honored as the oldest living logger in Sabine Parish.

As the warm afternoon progressed the festival goers enjoyed dance entertainment from Studio B Dance Company. The Toledo Bend Fishin’ Line Dancers wowed the crowd with their dance moves as they boogied to Country hits old and new.

The Mulit-Purpose Building housed the Bingo in which many great door prizes were given. If bingo and line dancing were not adventurous enough for you and you didn’t mind getting a little muddy then you would have enjoyed the Mud Bog Competition that was also a huge success and paid out $4800 in prizes.

As the 24th Annual Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival came to an end the festival goers enjoyed live music provided by DJ Hunter Malmay, Next of Kin Band, Jared Bridges and The Bernie Alan Band.

List of contest winners include the following:

Best Looking Log Truck – Huey Malmay Trucking – White/Silver Peterbilt

Best Looking Float – Rolling Thunder Ball Team

Best Looking Vehicle- Rick Seasock red convertible street car

Loading Contest – 1st place Jay Cartinez, 2nd place Curtis Fountain

Log Weight Guessing- Michael Buster

The festival was well attended and organizers are looking forward to expanding the festival next year.

 

Sabine Parish Robotics Camp

Robotics

Red Stick Robotics has partnered with the Sabine Parish School Board to offer robotics camps at four campuses across the parish. This is the second year the program is being offered and is provided at no cost to students.

Students from 4th-12th grade in the parish are eligible to register and each campus is limited to 20 students. However, registration priority will be given to Native American students due to the grant they received.

Each camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes lunch during the five day program.

According to a press release, during the five day Robotics Camp the youth learn to build, program, and control VEX robotics, work together with a team to solve challenging problems and hone their robotics skills, and put their skills to the test in a competition against their fellow roboticists on the final day of the camp.

The link to register is still open.

Registration for the June camps are open until May 25 or until the site is full. However, the July camp will remain open until June 29 or until the site is full.

Robotics Camp Schedule & Campuses

June 4-8: Zwolle High, 649 Championship Dr, Zwolle, LA

June 11-15: Converse High School, 400 Wildcat Dr, Converse LA

June 18-22: Ebarb High School, 5340 Highway 482, Noble, LA

July 9-13 Florien High School, 500 High School Drive, Florien, LA

 

Fisher Sawmill Days, this weekend

Sawmill

Fisher Sawmill Days May 18 – 19, “tells it like it was” in Fisher at the turn of the last century during the early days of lumbering in Louisiana.

The Sawmill Days recaptures the flavor of life in a sawmill village with a wide variety of events.

Sawmill Days is a homecoming for former residents of Fisher as well as former residents of new extinct sawmill towns. It is also the annual reunion of alumni from Fisher High School, which closed in 1946. Reminiscing spans the years as some have seen oxen and mules give way to tractors and today’s skidders. The cross cut saw relinquished the stage to chain saws and hydraulic shearing machines. They’ve also heard the rhythmic pulsing of the shotgun log carriage and awakened, gone to work and returned home at the command of the mill whistle.

Fisher Sawmill Days was first held in 1976. Seeing Fisher is a delight to those who appreciate a turn-of-the-century village.

May 18
Friday
6-9 Auction

May 19
Saturday
10 a.m. Opening Ceremony in the center of commissary parking lot
10:15 a.m. Parade line up beginning at the fire station
11:00 a.m. Parade
12:00 p.m. 2017 Miss Queen Erin Powell & court introduction, visiting queens introduction at stand
12:15 p.m. Parade Awards presented by 2017 Miss Queen, Erin Powell
12:30 p.m. Queen’s tea for current court and visiting queens, located at church
1:00 p.m. Cheer off in front of stand
1:45 p.m. Dance off in front of stand
2:00 p.m. Pig Chase
2:15 p.m. Log sawing
3:00 p.m. Pageant at opera house
5:00 p.m. Introduction of 2018 Miss Fisher Sawmill Days and her court at the stand
6:00 p.m. The Stewarts with picking on the square.

Vendor information please contact Mary Russell 318-228-7551

Pageant information please contact Kaylynn Remedies 318-315-1094

Parade Information please contact Kaycee Powell 318-332-5911

Dance and Cheer teams please contact Tonia Bridges 318-315-8059

 

Northwestern State graduates players of year, other record setters in huge class

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By Matt Vines

Northwestern State Sports Information

NSU- Two NCAA All-Americans and two Southland Conference players of the year were among the 74 Northwestern State athletic graduates receiving their degrees Friday at spring commencement exercises in Prather Coliseum.

Track and field’s George Flaviano and Ty Shilling were half of the 4×100 relay team that finished 15th at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, earning second-team All-America status. Both runners won two Southland golds and were named to the All-Louisiana team twice.

Female counterpart De’Shalyn Jones won her second consecutive high-point scorer honor at the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships and appears to be headed for another Runner of the Year honor from the league. Jones has nine gold medals and owns three NSU sprint records.

Soccer goalkeeper Alex Latham was the Southland and Louisiana Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016, finishing her career ranked second in NSU history in saves and wins.

Other career record holders include baseball’s David Fry, a three-time all-conference selection who broke NSU’s doubles records with opportunities to break several other marks this season.

Track and field’s Marquise Foster owns the hammer throw record set this March.

Tennis player Polina Ivanova finished her career ranked seventh all-time in singles wins, while soccer’s Esdeina Gonzalez broke into the program’s top-10 list in three different categories.

Softball’s Micaela Bouvier ranks in the top 10 in career wins and winning percentage, highlighted by an all-conference selection in 2015.

Track and field’s Quanese Jones-Young earned high marks in the high jump, being selected to the All-Louisiana team in 2017.

Fifty-seven current and former student-athletes and 17 staff members walked across the stage Friday.

Arguably the most accomplished staff member is men’s basketball’s Trey McCrory, who was a 2017 national finalist for the “Most Courageous Award” by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association.

Nineteen undergraduate student-athletes and staff graduated with honors.

Track and field’s Kylie Nodorft, Jacqueline Rushford and David Mortiz and softball’s Kaytie Proctor earned summa cum laude, compiling a GPA of at least 3.9.

Football’s Hunter Bedgood, Andrew McAlister, Eric Piccione and Jordan Sennett, soccer’s Latham andwomen’s basketball’s Libba Gilliam garnered magna cum laude (3.70-3.89 GPA)

Receiving cum laude distinction are soccer’s Sage Leffew, Jasmine Juarez, Amy Renteria and Esdeina Gonzalez, tennis’ Polina Ivanova, track and field’s Erin Sitzarz and Hunter Wamack and student athletic trainers Casey and Corey Johnson.

Spring 2018 Athletic Graduation List (74)

Baseball (3)

Kwanstan (Kwan) Adkins (Football Student-athlete as well): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration
David Fry: Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: History; Minor: Business Administration; Honors: Honor Roll
Hunter Uzzle (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: History; Minor: Social Science; Honors: Honor Roll

Men’s Basketball (2)

1. Devonte Hall: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Honors: Honor Roll
2. Iziahiah Sweeney: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Social Science

Women’s Basketball (1)
Elizabeth (Libba) Gilliam: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Football (16)
Joshua Armstreet (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology
Eduardo Balderas: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Honors: Honor Roll
Samuel (Hunter) Bedgood (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Industrial Engineering Technology; Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Andrew Bluiett: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration
Taylor (Zane) Bush (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Fine Arts; College: Arts and Sciences Major: Fine and Graphic Arts; Concentration: Graphic Communications
Jacob David (former student-athlete): Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Social Science
Peyton Guidry: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science
Chase Hawthorne (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Industrial Engineering Technology; Honors: Honor Roll
Korliss Johnson: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Criminal Justice
Andrew McAlister: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentration: Finance; Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Lucas Morgan: Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: History; Minor: Social Science
Eric Piccione: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentration: Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Jordan Sennett (former student-athlete): Master of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Homeland Security
Koby Welch: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology
Lionel Williams: Master of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Homeland Security
Randy Woodle: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Social Science

Soccer (9)

1. Shelby Drope: Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Minor: Chemistry; Honors: Honor Roll
2. Mackenzie Geier: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Minor: Pre-Law & Paralegal Studies; Honors: Honor Roll
3. Esdeina Gonzalez: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Majors: Business Administration and Computer Information Systems; Concentration: Networking & System Management; Honors: Cum Laude
4. Jasmine Juarez: Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Minor: Chemistry; Honors: Honor Roll
5. Alexandra (Alex) Latham: Bachelor of Science; College: Louisiana Scholars’ College; Major: Accounting; Honors: Magna Cum Laude
6. Sage Leffew: Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Natural Science; Honors: Cum Laude
7. Kelsey Lewis: Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Health Promotion
8. Chandler Monk: Bachelor of Arts; College: Louisiana Scholars’ College; Major: Liberal Arts; Concentration: Scientific Inquiry; Honors: Honor Roll
9. Amy Renteria: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Family and Consumer Sciences; Concentration: Child Development and Family Relations; Minor: Social Science; Honors: Cum Laude

Softball (2)

1. Micaela Bouvier: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Addiction Studies; Honor: Honor Roll
2. Kaytie Proctor (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Hospitality, Management and Tourism; Concentration: Hospitality Services; Minor: Business Administration; Honors: Summa Cum Laude

Tennis (1)

1. Polina Ivanova: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Majors: Business Administration and Accounting; Minor: Computer Information Systems; Honors: Cum Laude

Men’s Track (10)
Odionkhere (Odion) Agbi (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology
Guy (Grant) Butts: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Computer Information Systems; Concentration: Networking & System Management; Honors: Honor Roll
George Flaviano (former student-athlete): Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Arts and Communications; Minor: Art
Marquise Foster: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Computer Information Systems; Concentration: Networking & System Management; Minor: Business Administration; Honors: Honor Roll
Michael McGruder: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Social Science
David Moritz: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentration: Management; Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Jarrot Remo (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Majors: Accounting and Business Administration
Ty Shilling: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Majors: Addiction Studies and Psychology
Cody Wager (former student-athlete): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Hunter Wamack: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentration: Marketing; Honors: Cum Laude

Women’s Track (12)
Lyric Bacote (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Honors: Honor Roll
Taishia Holt: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science
De’Shalyn Jones: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Concentration: Substance Abuse; Honors: Honor Roll
Quanese Jones-Young: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Accounting
Widline Lageroy: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Criminal Justice; Honors: Honor Roll
Nijah Lane (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Honor Roll
Gerianna Lyons: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentrations: Marketing and Management; Honors: Honor Roll
Kylie Nodorft: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Summa Cum Laude (Perfect 4.0 GPA)
Jacqueline Rushford: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Concentration: Pre-Physical Therapy; Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Emily Sitarz: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentration: Marketing; Honors: Honor Roll
Erin Sitarz: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Cum Laude
Erin Wrozek: Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Honors: Honor Roll

Volleyball (1)

1. Kylie Spencer: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Elementary Education Grades 1-5; Honors: Honor Roll

Administration (17)
William (Will) Anglin (Graduate Assistant/Football): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Daniel Emirzian (Volunteer Coach/Tennis): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration (Perfect 4.0 GPA!)
Antonie Godin (Volunteer Coach/Volleyball): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Brittany Goldberg (Athletic Trainer/Sports Medicine): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Health Promotion
Robert (Bobby) Green (Student Employee/Sports Information): Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Social Science; Honors: Honor Roll
Javon Guilbeaux (Student Employee/Sports Information): Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Criminal Justice
Steel Henry (Former Graduate Assistant/Football): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Taylor James (Graduate Assistant/Football): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Casey Johnson (Student Employee/Sports Medicine): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Cum Laude
Corey Johnson (Student Employee/Sports Medicine): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Cum Laude
John (Trey) McCrory (Director of Operations/Men’s Basketball): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Victoria Morris (Athletic Trainer/Sports Medicine): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sports Administration
Zachary (Zack) Nielsen (Former Assistant Coach/Strength and Conditioning): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Health Promotion
Aaron Potoshnik (Assistant Coach/Strength and Conditioning): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Christopher (Chris) Sauer (Head Coach/Cross Country): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Dana (Tori) Thompson (Director for Marketing and Digital Media): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Riley Walker (Graduate Manager/Men’s Basketball): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration (Perfect 4.0 GPA!)

 

 

NSU recognizes top graduates in morning, afternoon ceremonies

Top Grads Morning

Northwestern State University recognized top graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Louisiana Scholars College and the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development prior to morning commencement ceremonies Friday, May 11.

Top Graduates Morning Ceremony:

Honorees were, seated from left, Oni Melendez of Cartagena, Colombia; Alanna Benoit of Thibodaux, Amanda Curry of Minden, Kristen Eusay of Anacoco, Ashley Rico of Natchitoches, Alexis Rice of Luling, Christina Arrechavala of Kenner and Amanda Simmons of Haughton. On the second row are Aaron Rogers of Amarillo, Texas; Candice Smith of Pineville, Natalie Borowski of Gretna, Maria Rome of Baton Rouge, Katie Rayburn of Pineville, Kylie Nodorft of Wylie, Texas; Jacqueline Rutherford of Deridder, Alicia Foy of Grayson and Molly Baker of Melrose with NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio and commencement speaker Jim Clinton. On the back row are Kailey Leach of Many, Sabrina Ross of Many, Alexander Butler of Bossier City, Conner Dillon of Leesville, Katherine Speicher of Glen Burnie, Maryland, and Abby Hinds of Many.

Top Graduates Afternoon:

From left are commencement speaker Jim Clinton, Kiera White of Bossier City, Jessica Mango of Leesville, Robert Jones of Minden, Jessica Love of Shreveport, Kaytie Proctor of Little Elm, Texas; Rachel Opbroek of Keithville, David Moritz of Cedar Park, Texas, and Jeremy Jones of Natchitoches with NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio and Rep. Terry Brown, who was a (1968) Golden Jubilee Graduate.

Top Grads Afternoon

Don’t miss out on the Zwolle Loggers and Forestry Festival this weekend

Zwolle Loggers

Much of Zwolle’s and even the entire Toledo Bend area’s local industry once revolved around the logging business. Still today, the Zwolle area is dependent upon the logging industry. So it is fitting that just about a decade ago, a group of local leaders came up with the idea of the Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival.

The festival pays tribute to all the logging and forestry families and industries in the town and parish. Activities include a Blessing of the Fleet (logging trucks), parade, logging activities, contests, music, food, arts and crafts, and forestry exhibits.

Friday, May 11: Gates open at 5:30 pm

Forestry Skills Competition:

Registration from 8-9 am

Competition at 9:30 am

Lunch at 12 pm

Sabine Parish 4-Hers spend the day learning about logging and forestry. Under the careful supervision of local foresters, provided through Walsh Timber, the students participate in hands on learning experiences, competitions, and events.

Tree Identification
Match Splitting
Rope Climbing
Cross Cut Sawing
Pulp Wood Throwing
Log Rolling
Bow Sawing
Treasure Hunt
Puzzle Scavenger Hunt
Lunch
Entertainment and Music

Shop till you drop with our wonderful vendors! Our vendors have that perfect something you just have to have! Not to mention, the food that will be on site!!!! Come shop, drink and eat!!!!

Music will fill the air all festival long. Live Bands with the best southern sounds will make you want to dance the night away. Don’t forget live performances by dance groups, tribal dancers, and more. Zwolle Loggers and Forestry Festival knows how to crank more sounds than just the chainsaw!

Join us in the festival building for everyone’s favorite game – BINGO! Sit awhile and visit as you wait on your numbers to be called and the prizes to be given.

Saturday, May 12: Gates open at 10 am

Join us for a parade experience second to none at 10 am. See floats, 18 wheelers, trucks and more! And, of course, there will be candy and throws galore! All are welcome to ride!

All loggers and forestry are invited to compete in a logging and foresting skills contest from 12:30-2 pm. Try your hand at whatever skill this year may be from skidding, sawing, or loading ! Who will win the bragging rights for this year!

Loggers sure now how to get dirty at the Mud Bog at 2 pm! Join us at the mud bog pit for a muddy good time. Winner will receive a prize. Coolers allowed for a fee and tents spaces available for rent. Come see the mud flying and feel the excitement in the air – an experience you will be sure to enjoy and not forget! Registration is from 9 AM – 1 PM

For more information call Wanda Ezernack, 318-581-0098.

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A Mother’s Nature

Reba_Family_MAIN GRAPHIC

By Reba

When you grow up in a house with multiple siblings you usually get multiple versions of how your childhood happened. There’s what you personally witnessed. There’s what your sister recollects. There’s also what your brother remembers. Somewhere among the murky details that cloud our memories lies the truth. The unabashed truth, so help me God.

On any given holiday or Sunday lunch you could find all of us heavily debating the important family issues:

Who was the favorite child? Me, of course.

Who got away with more childhood crimes? My brother…without a doubt.

Who was the smartest child? Hands down, my sister.

Some things were indisputable but our love for exaggerated stories and accusations always kept the laughter alive. Often, the verbal sparring was all in good fun and light hearted.

However, during one particular Sunday lunch many years ago the taunting took a sharp turn for the worse when one of my siblings alluded to the fact that Eva Gail’s mothering skills may not have been compliant with today’s standard of care. Although I started to laugh it took me a millisecond to see the “Zwolle” look in my mother’s eyes. My laugh was suddenly gulped away as I saw the lives of my siblings flash before my eyes.

Eva Gail may have been a sweet preacher’s wife but she was no stranger to expressing her anger.

The rest of the day was a bit awkward and no one dared elaborate on what was said. We were overly polite and accommodating with everyone and it was as if we didn’t even share the same last name. It was evident mom’s feelings were hurt. It was evident my dad was nervous about the ride home with her. Normally my dad is a quick visitor. He always has something to do and must get there quickly. On this day he lingered. He was camping out at my house until it was absolutely necessary for them to leave.

He knew what awaited him in the vehicle.

Later that night, just as expected I heard from my sister and we rehashed where things might have gone wrong. Once we played the highlight reel we discovered that we joked about the same things just as we had many times before. The replays included how we think we received more spankings than the average child. We were made to go to church every time the doors were open. Even for cleaning day. We included how our parents left us alone at a very young age (I am guessing the statute of limitations has run out on this one). We included how our little brother always seemed to escape punishment. He may not agree with that but if two people witnessed the same thing it must be true.

We were feeling bold about our accusations and we were prepared to stand behind them once Eva Gail confronted us. We chalked it up to her just being overly sensitive. We were going to set her straight.

Almost like clockwork as soon as I hung up with my sister my mom called. Her voice was completely different then I’d ever heard before. She was deeply hurt over what we thought was comical and was beginning to think she was a horrible mother. When I heard the pure hurt in her voice I fully vacated the pact my sister and I made earlier and went into rescue mode. It broke my heart to hear my mom so upset. We talked on the phone for a very long time and we finally hung up when I felt like she understood we were joking and there was no other mother we would have rather had.

Like all family squabbles it was quickly forgiven by the next family dinner.

Mother’s Day was around the corner and that year I chose to give my mother a card with a hand-written note that included a list of all the things she had done right as a mother. When she read the note she was teary eyed and after an extremely long pause she said, “I cannot believe how much you write like me.” She was correct. I joked with her that I spent my high school years perfecting her signature. I really expected she would say something more profound and meaningful. But, at least she knew that every kind act she ever performed meant something to me and shaped the woman I was becoming.

My mother passed away in 2011. Not too long after the funeral I was helping my father organize her belongings to donate and we ran across the handwritten note that I gave to my mother some 10 years prior. She had tucked it away in a box along with some other miscellaneous items. I was really astonished that she had kept it all those years and all I could think of after all this time is how she was right. I did write like her. Just like her.

A mother’s nature is to know their children better than any other person on this planet. A mother’s nature is to nurture their children and be supportive of their dreams and love them unconditionally. A mother’s nature can also be very sensitive and always second guessing our skills as a mother. We just hope we are doing it right….if not it will come out years down the road at a random Sunday dinner.

My siblings and I were blessed with the most amazing Eva Gail that anyone could ever ask for.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her”

Proverbs 31:25-28.

 

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BOM delivers goodies to Sabine Parish schools

BOM donates goodies to schools_1473

BOM’s Many Branch delivered goodies to all of the schools in Sabine Parish. Tiffany and Ashley had a wonderful time thanking the teachers and giving them an extra “payday.” The goodies included cups, keychains, pens, information about our new Premium Checking Account, and PayDay candy bars. Schools included Pleasant Hill, Converse, Zwolle, Ebarb, Negreet, Florien High, Many Jr. High, Sabine Career Academy, Many High, and Many Elementary.

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