The MVPs of Mardi Gras

How we made it through Mardi Gras parades without them, only our excretory systems know for sure.

Those were archaic and tawdry times.

Today, we are more civilized out there on the parade highways and byways, all thanks to the upright and rectangular 3-D miracles of translucent roofs and vents, and the miraculous pairing of high-density aluminum and polyethylene.

They are no question the MVPs of the Mardi Gras parade season.

Most Valuable Potties.

Look at them, will you? Admire them. Lay flowers and rolls of toilet paper at their feet, which is probably a worn spot in the grass where quick-stepping, over-served revelers hurried to take advantage of their favors.

They are the figurative port in the storm. Or the literal Port-O-Let in the storm.

A mere few feet off the parade route, they stand there as silent sentries, loyal soldiers, dutiful and dependable, ready if called upon, available but not obvious.

On the streets and in our ’hood they go by names like “Honey Bucket” or “Porta-Loo” or “Johnny-on-the-Spot.” The business community that makes a living renting, servicing, and supplying these crucial devices to the Great Unwashed call them portable toilets or chemical toilets.

But the way most of us first came to appreciate them was when we heard the phrase “Port-o-Let” or “Port-a-Jon” or “Porta Potty.” It should come as no surprise that each starts with a “P.”

Poetic justice is served.

Hemingway said once that Paris is “a moveable feast.” Had the outhouse of his day been mobile, he’d have said the same thing of the Port-o-Let.

The street where I live is perpendicular to the four-lane that marks the end of the route of Shreveport-Bossier’s two largest parades. By largest, I mean a quarter-million of our closest friends turn out to enjoy what krewes have worked (and played) all year to assemble. There are smaller parades in town and in the area, but these two pulled in the most bladders.

Thus, the Potty Patrol is needed. Down that otherwise unassuming street that marks the parades’ end, these portable must-haves stand stately for a quarter mile, maybe a bit more. They are rented by people who have reserved “spots” along the route, and the envied contraptions will be picked up next week. But right now, they are assurance and insurance for the renters, who can sleep well, knowing that on The Big Day, help will be just one opening of a plastic door away.

If you didn’t rent one and you need to “go,” well, you’ll find out who your friends are come parade time. You think you’re No. 1 and might just find out that you’re No. 2.

Sad, but such is the human condition. There will come a time when relief is demanded for the laboring kidney, the anxious bladder, the suspect colon. Those who fail to prepare are prepared to fail, and this is the kind of failure that does not go quietly into that dark night.

When Mardi Gras in our area was new, in pre-Port-o-Let days of yore, the make-believe portable potty was a shrub, a shadowed tree, the side of an unassuming garage.

That was rural fare. Tacky. We’ve since come a long way.

Who could have known then that instead of going to the bathroom, the bathroom would one day come to us. And usually, not a second too soon.

Contact Teddy at

Acute Sinusitis or Chronic Sinusitis or Allergies?  

While many people experience acute sinus infections at some point in their lives, most sinus issues come and go without the need for medical care. However, chronic sinusitis that lasts for several weeks requires a trip to the doctor.

What happens for people with chronic sinusitis is that mucous does not drain the way it should resulting in a myriad of symptoms. There are four sinus cavities: one below each eye in the cheek area near the nose, in between the eyes, in the middle of the head, and one above each eyebrow. When these cavities become inflamed, swollen, or infected, patients can experience the following:

·       Stuffy nose

·       Pain or swelling in the cheeks, eyes, forehead, jaws, or across the nose

·       Thick mucus discharge that tends to be gray or yellowish in color

·       Sore throats and coughing caused from the mucous running down the back of the throat

·       Bad breath

·       Ear pain

·       Headaches

·       Tooth pain

·       Jaw pain

“There can be many causes of chronic sinusitis including a persistent infection, nasal polyps, and other structural issues, so it is important to be seen” explained Dr. Lauren Anderson, Board Certified Otolaryngologist with NRMC Ear, Nose & Throat Associates. “After examining patients and listening to their history with sinus issues, and if needed getting CT of the sinuses or other tests, we can offer treatment options for chronic sinusitis and help people get well.

Some patients are candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty which is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of sinusitis. Using endoscopy, Dr. Anderson places a small catheter into the blocked sinuses and then inflates it which helps reposition the structures in the sinus cavities. Once opened, the sinus drains and functions properly. The entire procedure is done through the nostrils, often eliminating the need for bone or tissue removal or surgery.

“Most patients see results in a very short period of time,” Dr. Anderson noted. “Being able to breathe through their noses is a great outcome. What matters most is that we want to get the sinuses healthy again. My goal is to correct the drainage issues which contribute to chronic infections and inflammation.”

 Dr. Anderson also helps patients with allergy issues which can contribute to bouts of acute sinusitis and other respiratory issues. The most common symptoms include ongoing sneezing, coughs, earaches, and watery eyes. “We treat a lot of people for allergic rhinitis.  Commonly called hay fever, this issue is common especially in the fall and spring months. Grasses, pollens, trees and even flowers can trigger an allergic response, so we help patients understand their allergies and try to help them get some relief,” Dr. Anderson explained.

For more information, call 318.214.5770

The Prospector’s Pen

Sam was born in Missouri in 1835, the sixth of seven children. His father, John, was an attorney and judge in Hannibal during Sam’s childhood. In 1847, when Sam was 11-years-old, his father died “after a protracted and painful illness,” which was later revealed as pneumonia. In the following year, Sam quit school and went to work for the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper owned by his older brother Orion.

Beginning in 1859, newspapers reported the discovery of the Comstock Lode, a rich gold and silver ore deposit located in the Virginia mountain range in Virginia city, Nevada. The Comstock Lode was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States. News of the find quickly spread across America and beyond. It created an excitement reminiscence of the California Gold Rush ten years earlier. Droves of prospectors flocked to Virginia City to make their fortune. The population quickly rose from a few hundred and peaked at around 25,000 residents. Businesses in Virginia City flourished and new businesses opened seemingly overnight with much success.

In March of 1861, during a two-hour Executive session, the Senate confirmed numerous nominations for office including Orion’s nomination as the Secretary of the Nevada Territory. Orion’s appointment required him to move to Nevada. Rather than going alone, Orion and Sam decided to move to Nevada together. As Secretary, Orion would work under Nevada’s governor, James W. Nye, and Sam planned to make his fortune as a prospector in the gold and silver mines. It would be an adventure.

Sam and Orion gathered their belongings and began the journey to Nevada. For more than two weeks, Orion and Sam rode in a dusty, bumpy, and swaying Concord stagecoach. Rather than a hard iron suspension, the Concord stagecoach had an improved suspension system which employed leather straps to produce a swinging motion when the coach was in motion. Sam later described the ride on the Concord stagecoach as being like “a cradle on wheels.” Another Concord stagecoach traveler described a “ride [which] will always live in my memory – but not for its beauty spots.” He and the other passengers were “jammed like sardines on the hard seats.” When traveling over rough terrain which required the stagecoach to creep along at a snail’s pace, the passengers would get out of the coach and “foot it” for relaxation. The coachman made frequent stops to exchange horses with fresh ones and the closer they got to Nevada, the more stories they heard about minors becoming wealthy. They trekked over 1700 miles from the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains, through Salt Lake City, and eventually arrived at the boomtown of Virginia City.

Almost immediately, Sam began working to unearth his fortune. He toiled for months at the backbreaking labor but never found his fortune. Unlike a lot of prospectors who continued searching in almost a maniacal fashion, Sam was smart enough to know that prospecting was not for him. He needed a job. His experience working for the newspaper owned by his brother enabled him to find employment at Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise newspaper. Two years later, in 1865, Sam had his first significant success as a writer when he published “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” He wrote a book called “Roughing It” based on his experiences in the American West. Sam is most well known for two books based on his own childhood entitled “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” However, we know Sam under a different name. It was in 1863, in Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise, the job Sam took when his prospecting career failed, where Samuel Clemens first used his pen name, …Mark Twain.


1. Palmyra Weekly Whig (Palmyra, Missouri), April 1, 1847, p.3.

2. The Daily Exchange (Baltimore, Maryland), March 29, 1861, p.3.

3. Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), March 30, 1876, p.3.

4. Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania), January 18, 1884, p.2.

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is looking for Food Service Personnel for The Café

Food Service Worker

·       Responsible for routine food service tasks in the kitchen, cafeteria, dining room, dish room and special function areas.

·       Duties of this position include preparing, serving, and distributing food and may require working in various areas of the department.

·       The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and customer skills. Prior food service experience is preferred.


·       Responsible for performing food preparation and production tasks efficiently and accurately while following safe food handling policies, procedures, and recipes.

·       Duties of this position include, ensuring portion control, temperature, and appearance of food items is per standard.

·       The ideal candidate will have prior cooking experience preferably in an institutional setting with an emphasis on scratch and high quantity cooking.

·       The ability to read, write and understand directions and to work both independently and as part of a team is also required.


•       Position requires standing, walking, and bending throughout the entire workday

·       Ability to lift, stack and maneuver objects that may weigh 30 to 50 pounds. 

·       Perform all other related duties as assigned by management.

To view and apply to these openings, please visit:

Notice of Death – February 22, 2022

Theddie Ray Miller of Florien, Louisiana
April 10, 1936 – February 20, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 26 at 1 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

Herbert John Bayoune
April 22, 1939 – February 20, 2022
Service: Friday, February 25 at 10 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Susan D. Hemphill
January 31, 1952 – February 19, 2022
Service: Friday, February 25 at 12 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Buford “Sonny” Elmo Lashley
January 12, 1933 – February 20, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 23 at 2 pm at Atlanta Baptist Church

Donald Roy Dupree
December 10, 1943 – February 20, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 23 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church

Podcast: DA John Belton joins Billy West re: Ronald Green Investigation

District Attorney John Belton from the Third Judicial District Court joins Billy West Live re: Ronald Green Investigation

DA John Belton has released a timeline of events regarding the investigation of the death of Ronald Green. Belton updates the public about his decision to defer at this time to the US Attorney’s office and the Federal Government, as they continue to review the actual death of Mr. Green and the subsequent investigation of the Louisiana State Police and their actions and conduct.

Sabine Parish Man Arrested for Multiple Warrants

** Update **
Buckey Adams (age-54) was located and arrested for several warrants yesterday evening.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Dispatch received a call about a vehicle parked on Rocky Springs Road and a white male walking away from it towards LA Highway 6.
Upon Deputies arrival, Adams ran and hid in some bushes near the highway. Sheriff K-9 “Kay” located Adams in the bushes and he was arrested.
Adams was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for several Failure to Appear for court warrants for various criminal charges including Possession of schedule II (Meth).
No bonds have been set at this time by the 11th Judicial District Court.
** Original **
There is a large Sheriff’s Office presence on LA Hwy 6 east of Many in the Fort Jesup area and Rocky Springs Road.
A white male subject was spotted in the area and ran from Sheriff Deputies.
The subject was located hiding in the bushes by K-9 “Kay” and arrested.
We will update this post with more info.

Many Man Arrest on Drug Trafficking Charges

MANY, La – Marcus Lynn Wiseman Sr (age-47) of Many was arrested Wednesday afternoon by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Tactical Narcotics Team.
Wiseman was arrested during a traffic stop on LA Hwy 175 near Primm Road where T.N.T. Agents located approximately 2160 Xanax pills, 1 ounce of suspected methamphetamine, 1 ounce of marijuana, and a 9mm pistol inside his vehicle.
Wiseman was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth), Possession with intent to distribute Schedule IV (Xanax), Possession of firearm while in possession of CDS.
Bond has been set at $40,000 by the 11th Judicial District Court.

Anacoco Man Arrested on Drug and Weapons Charges

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces the February 17, 2022 arrest of Weston Galen Smith, age 25, of Anacoco.
Detectives with the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office were attempting to recover stolen property at a trailer park located on Malcolm Smart Road. Upon arrival at the location contact was made with Weston Smith. Detectives immediately recognized a strong and distinct odor of what they believed to be marijuana.
Detectives requested that Agents with the Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force come to the location.
While speaking with Detectives Smith admitted that there was a quantity of illegal narcotics located inside his trailer.
A search warrant was prepared and executed on the residence and during the course of the search a large quantity of marijuana, a quantity of methamphetamine, and several guns were located.
An additional search warrant was prepared in relation to the investigation for a residence located in Anacoco. The search warrant was executed and during the course of the search stolen property, marijuana, and methamphetamine, were discovered and taken into evidence.
Weston Smith was arrested and charged with one count of Illegal Possession of Stolen Goods, one count of Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, one count of Possession of a Schedule II Narcotic (Methamphetamine) with the Intent to Distribute, one count of Possession of Methamphetamine in excess of 28 grams, and one count of Illegal Possession of a Firearm while in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Bond has not been set and Smith remains in the VPSO jail.
The investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Sabine Parish Tax Deadline

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office posted the following public service reminder to the citizens of Sabine Parish:
As a reminder, property tax payments for the year 2021 were due December 31, 2021.
Per Louisiana state law taxes still unpaid are now considered delinquent and are subject to interest and penalty costs.
The amount of taxes due right now will remain the same until February 28, 2022. As of March 1, 2022 the cost will increase significantly as we are required to begin doing more extensive research to locate property owners.
The Sabine Parish tax sale is currently scheduled for May 20, 2022.
Please contact our tax office for questions and payment options at 318-256-9241 option 1.

NSU lifts mask mandate

Following updated guidance from the University of Louisiana System, Northwestern State University is eliminating the mask mandate that has been in effect at all university campuses and other educational sites and facilities.

Although the mask requirement will end effectively immediately, students, faculty, staff, and visitors on NSU campuses are still encouraged to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, according to NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones.

The university will continue to monitor COVID trends, and masking protocols are subject to change if transmission patterns and rates increase.

Information on NSU’s COVID protocols are at

Women’s Resource Center & NPFD6 To Introduce Free Child Safety Class

The Women’s Resource Center and the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 have partnered together to introduce a free monthly Child Safety Class, to begin in March.

This class aims in preparation to keep one’s baby safe and happy. Each class will be led by trained fire personnel from Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 who will walk participants through basic infant and child CPR, choking, basic first aid, and home safety tips for inside and out along with practicing fire safety. This is not a certification course and NPFD6 encourages everyone to take a full CPR & First Aid Course.

“One of the most effective ways for us to provide life safety is through effective public education. FD6 is honored to partner with the WRC to provide such a critical class for parents.” stated FD6 Chief Mike Sesvold.

Each attendee will also receive a portable compact first aid kit, ideal for a home, car, travel, and outdoor emergencies.

Executive Director of the WRC, Jennifer Luna, stated, “Being able to consistently deliver quality education to our clients in a variety of ways is a marker of the essential work that we do on a daily basis at the Women’s Resource Center. Community partnerships are a key part of growth and we greatly look forward to NPFD6 educating hundreds of our clients.”

Other classes that the WRC offers expecting mothers are Car Seat Safety, Breastfeeding Education, Childbirth Education, and Healthy Beginnings. These one-of-a-kind classes in the entire Natchitoches area are uniquely designed for expecting mothers.

If interested in attending this complimentary class (available to pregnant women in the Natchitoches and surrounding areas), call 318-357-8888.

*Must have finished core visits before taking monthly offered classes.

The Women’s Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that empowers women to make life-affirming choices. They offer a multitude of support and assistance throughout a woman’s pregnancy journey free of charge.

To support and donate to the efforts of the Women’s Resource Center, click here.”

Notice of Death – February 17, 2022

Dorothy Marie List
August 13, 1935 – February 16, 2022
Service: Sunday, February 20 at 2 pm at Oak Hill Baptist Church

Jennifer Tidwell
May 6, 1967 – February 15, 2022
Service: Friday, February 18 at 5pm at the Robeline Baptist Church

Mary Lene Lawrence
June 1, 1929 – February 14, 2022
Service: Friday, February 18 at 2 pm at Calvary Baptist Church

Eugene Alton Coffey
September 6, 1943 – February 15, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 19 at 2 pm at Midway Baptist Church

Carolyn Smith Lonadier
October 1, 1946 – February 14, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 2 pm at Christian Harmony Baptist Church

Bert “B. R.” Whitehead
July 30, 1928 – February 16, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 19 at 10 am at Provencal Free Methodist Church

Vera Carnahan Mariner
December 25, 1925 – February 13, 2022
Service: Monday, February 21 at 10 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church

Joshua Leander Ward
November 21, 1981 – February 11, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 19 at 11 am at Bellwood Baptist Church

Max Evans
September 13, 1934 – February 14, 2022
Service: Friday, February 18 at 12 pm at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Donna Ann Corbett
January 28, 1964 – February 16, 2022
Service: Sunday, February 20 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home

EH Lashley
January 18, 1935 – February 13, 2022
Service: Friday, February 18 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home

John Lewis Keiffer
February 18, 1940 – February 8, 2022
Service: Friday, February 18 at 10 am at Clear Lake Cemetery near Goldonna

Diana Joyce Foster
January 25, 1962 – February 16, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 19 at 10 am at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church

Things Anglers Should or Should Never Do

All our lives we have heard of things we should “never do,” things like never play with matches, never kiss a girl on the first date, never ride in the back of a pickup truck, never run with a knife, never run at the pool… and the list goes on and on. Our parents took the time to teach us these, and many others, that you should and should not do. Now we did not always follow their teachings, but at least we were told. It was your own fault if you went against these teachings and got hurt. As we all know, it’s human nature to disregard the advice of our parents. It was more fun to be a rebel, no matter what the consequences were. Bass fishermen are no different, and today we’ll go over a few things you should never do as an angler.

Let’s first start with launching the boat. This can be a circus to watch, as you know, if you’ve spent much time around a boat ramp. You could make some really funny YouTube blooper videos with some of the antics I’ve seen at a boat ramp. But the most important thing to remember…never block the boat ramp while launching your boat. I’ve seen this so many times; an angler backs his boat down to the ramp and then starts to put all of his gear in the boat! Major no-no!!! Load your boat BEFORE you back it down to the ramp!!!!

Next, always wear your life jacket. This is a must, no matter how much experience you have. Unfortunately, this is something some people ignore. Just like driving a car and wearing your seatbelt, sometimes things happen beyond your control that can result in serious injury or even death. Even the pro’s, who basically run a boat every day, wear their life jackets all the time. Too many deaths have occurred on our waterways due to people not wearing their life jackets. Today, there are more anglers on the water than ever before, many who are young and inexperienced. Don’t take a chance, put your life jacket on!

On a lighter note, never go fishing without snacks. This is a major no- no as well. Snacks can turn a bad day into a not-so-bad day, especially when the fish aren’t biting. Here are a few items I like to bring every time I hit the water. Number one for me is a turkey sandwich. Now I have a special bread I use for my turkey sandwiches. I really like the Hawaiian Bread sub rolls, along with either a good Hellman’s low-fat mayo or mustard. Most tournaments I’ll bring one for my co-angler and I’ve had several that have said they would like to marry me after they’ve eaten one of these. But I always tell them that I’m already married to the best lady on planet earth…. sorry!!! If I don’t have any sub rolls, I’ll just take a sandwich bag full of smoked turkey or sliced Honey Baked Ham. But there’s one thing I will always have in the boat…beef jerky. This is a great filler food that will hold you over until you get back to the house.

Obviously, these are just a few of the thing’s anglers should never do. Of the three I’ve listed today, none is more important than wearing your life jacket and yet, there will be someone who will totally ignore what I’ve just written. Next week we’ll look at more things that anglers “should or should never do.” Till then, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook! Make sure to check out Tackle Talk Live every Tuesday at 11:30 on our Facebook or You Tube channel.

Steve Graf

Statewide Burn Ban Issued Due To Concerning Dry Conditions

BATON ROUGE- Due to the extremely dry conditions statewide and the overwhelming emergency responses recorded by local fire officials, State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, along with Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, have issued a statewide cease and desist order for all private burning, pursuant to authority under R.S. 40:1602.

Private burning shall only be allowed by permission of the local fire department or local government.

This order is effective as of 8:00 a.m., February 15, 2022, and shall remain in effect until rescinded.

This ban shall not apply to prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, by those trained and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or by those who conduct prescribed burning as a “generally accepted agriculture practice” as defined by the Louisiana Right to Farm Law (R.S. 3:3601 et seq.).

Violation of this Fire Marshal order could result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Rescued Two Men in Sabine Parish

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents rescued two men in Sabine Parish on Feb. 12.

Agents received a call around 12:45 p.m. that a vessel flooded with two men on board and was not able to return to shore on Toledo Bend.  Agents learned that the two men were fishing in a tournament when the weather turned bad and waves overtook their vessel.

Agents responded to the scene immediately and found the men around 1:30 p.m. about a quarter of a mile from Solan’s Landing on Toledo Bends.  The vessel was flooded and grounded in shallow water.

Agents loaded the men into their enforcement vessel and transported them back to shore where an ambulance was on standby.  One of the men was treated for hypothermia at the Desoto Parish Medical Center and released the same day.

Agents involved in this successful search and rescue mission were Corporal Marcus Delaney and Agent Dustin Nash.

Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team Agents Speak to Students at Northwestern

On Wednesday, February 9th, 2022, Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team Agents Lt Jesse Branam and Sgt Josiah Steinke spoke to Criminal Justice students at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
Lt Branam and Sgt Steinke told students about the narcotics issues in the area, how arrests are made, asset forfeiture and other related topics.
The students and staff enjoyed the presentation and thought the T.N.T. Agents were very knowledgeable in their field of narcotics. These students are the future in law enforcement and the criminal justice field.
Sheriff Aaron Mitchell thanks the NSU Department of Criminal Justice for the opportunity for his Agents to speak to these students.

Obit: Charles Lester Pilcher 

Obit: Charles Lester Pilcher 

August 26, 1937 – February 13, 2022

Charles Lester Pilcher, 84, of Many died at his home Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, surrounded by his family.  

Services will be at Rose-Neath Funeral Home of Many at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16.  Graveside services will follow at Beulah Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the funeral home. 

Charles was born Aug. 26, 1937, in Rodessa, the oldest child of Henry Lester Pilcher and Esther Lopez Pilcher.  He attended Alliance School as a youngster and graduated from Negreet High School in 1955. Upon completing high school, Charles worked on the pipeline and served in the U.S. National Guard. 

On July 1, 1961, he married Sarah Walker, also of Negreet, and they shared over 60 years together, settling outside Zwolle and rearing three children.  

Charles had a long career in the oilfield starting in Sabine Parish and working up to become a senior toolpusher / OIM in the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, the Middle East and South America. He was also a cattleman and spent many years farming in Zwolle and on Recknor Road.  He was a 50-year member and past Master of Little Flock Masonic Lodge and member and past president of the El Karuba Sabine Parish Shrine Club where he served as secretary for many years. 

After retirement, Charles and Sarah took several trips around the country in their travel trailer before building their home at Lanan Bay on Toledo Bend, in the area where he grew up.  They became involved in the Toledo Bend Lake Association and made friends with other retirees on the lake.  Charles served as a board member of TBLA for several terms and assisted in organizing the Bass Unlimited program for several years. 

In addition to his parents, Charles was preceded in death by brothers Wayne, Jerry and Stanley Pilcher.  He is survived by Sarah, who was his devoted caregiver, and their children, Karla Migues and husband Lonny, Cade Pilcher and wife Tina and Leah Jackson and husband Clay.  Grandchildren are Claire Wilson and husband Regan, Joey Migues and wife Katy, Gracyn Migues and fiance Luke Lowery, Cale Pilcher and wife Heidi, Chas Pilcher, Clayton Jackson Jr. and Walker Roe Jackson.  Great-grandchildren are Karly, Joseph, Olivia and Lily Kate Wilson. Also surviving are a brother Jim Pilcher, sisters Bonnie Pilcher and Connie Suazo and a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews. 

Pallbearers will be grandsons Joey Migues, Joseph Wilson, Cale Pilcher, Chas Pilcher and Clayton Jackson and nephew Wade Pilcher. Honorary pallbearers are Kenneth Anderson, Clint Anderson, Shannon Gandy, Billy Guay, Carroll Salley and Bennie Walker.

The family wishes to thank Paige Procell and Mary Farmer who assisted with Charles’ care. 

Ask the Paperboy, Chapter 59: Grammar Edition

Dear Ask the Paperboy,

My understanding is that collaborative is an adjective meaning “two or more parties working together,” i.e., “a collaborative effort.” This week I heard a similar word: “cobladderative.” During a particularly long sermon, the parishioner by me said they were in a “cobladderative situation.” They looked most uncomfortable? Being just a visitor, I nodded politely and didn’t pursue a line of questioning. Any help?

Asking for a Friend

Dear Asking for a Friend,

Paperboy has been there. No fun. It’s not a religious word at all; it’s actually about as human and secular as you can get. You find yourself in cobladderative peril when your personal bladder and a long movie or long sermon conspire to make you have to decide whether to go to the bathroom or hold it until the credits. Or until the “amens.” It’s one of those potentially violent and dicey deals. If you can avoid cobladderation, the day is worth as much celebration as you can offer.

Dear Ask the Paperboy,

With Louisiana Tech and other programs about to start their baseball seasons, I read about Tech’s 2021 “historic” run last spring and in another article read of the Love Shack’s “historical moments.” Are these two adjectives interchangeable? Which is preferable?

History Fan in Ruston

Dear History,

Paperboy just dusted off his Grammar for Dummies, Junior Edition, turned to the “Things I Don’t Know” section and concluded that while both words describe the past — and everything that happens, like your reading of the question above, is now in the past — “historic” means something that’s really important. Tech hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time last spring, making it important/historic. “Historical” can be just about anything from the past that has to do with an event but isn’t necessarily the most important thing from that event: for instance, the box scores from the Regional are historical. If a batter had clobbered eight home runs in a single game, then the box score would be considered historic. (If a second-year home team batter had done it, the feat would be both historic and sophomoric, and the mood in Ruston that weekend would be as it was anyway: euphoric.) Whether or not these answers hold up, time will tell. Either way, just in case something historic happens this spring, get to a ballpark.

Dear Ask the Paperboy,

Speaking of the past, a now-seldom-used term is one of my favorites. I say term: it might even be an idiom. Oh, how I do love an idiom! Anyway, “hue and cry,” as in, “When taxes were raised, there was a great hue and cry.” My question is, Can you have one without the other?

An Idiot for Idioms

Dear Idiom Idiot,

Hue sure can.

Dear Paperboy,

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

Clever in Calhoun

Dear Clever,

We see what you did there. Why must you pun-ish us?

Until next time, feel free to submit your queries. This is a collaborative enterprise, after all, and Paperboy never sleeps.

Contact Teddy at

Foster Financial Local Retirement Planning 

Reinette Foster, local owner of Foster Financial, is a financial planning and retirement professional with several years as a trusted advisor to families, individuals, and businesses. Reinette will help you sidestep unnecessary risk, keep your retirement assets intact, and achieve the retirement you have always dreamed of.

Her desire is to help others grow out of their own discovery of safe money products and solutions by providing the guidance necessary to truly enjoy your golden years.

Reinette is a Federal Retirement Consultant that specializes in several areas of retirement planning;

Federal Employee Benefits

Tax Planning

IRA/401K Rollovers

Asset Protection

Social Security

Income Strategies

Contact Reinette today!


A Letter of Criticism

By Brad Dison

One day, 11-year-old Grace Bedell’s father showed her a photograph of a man.  Grace was instantly appalled by what she saw.  She described his appearance as having a “high forehead over those sadly pathetic eyes, [an] angular lower face, with deep-cut lines about the mouth.”  She had never met the man but was determined to help him improve his looks.  Her suggestion was to cover his face with whiskers because, as she said in the letter, “you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin.”  As to soften the blow of her criticism, Grace made a single compliment to the picture in her letter.  She wrote, “I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty.”  She asked that if the man had no time to reply to her letter, to have his daughter reply in his stead.   She ended the letter with a firm request that he “answer this letter right off.  Good bye. Grace Bedell.”  

Four days later, the thin-faced man read Grace’s letter containing criticisms which would have been a blow to any man’s ego regardless of the age of the criticizer.  He quickly penned the following response to young Grace:  

“My dear little Miss.
Your very agreeable letter of the 15th. is received.  I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughters. I have three sons — one seventeen, one nine, and one seven, years of age. They, with their mother, constitute my whole family.  As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?”

He finished the letter with warm affection, “Your very sincere well-wisher,” and signed his name.

Most people would have quickly discounted the letter and would not have given it a second thought.  However, over the next few days, the man pondered over Grace’s letter.  The debate of whether or not to grow a beard plagued his mind.  Finally, after much consideration, he decided to take Grace’s advice and grew a full beard.

Four months later, the now-bearded man stopped at Westfield, New York, to deliver a speech.  At the end of his speech, the man said, “Last Fall I received a letter from this place—and a very pretty letter it was, too.  It was written by a young girl whose name, if I remember rightly, was Bedell.  Among many other things in that letter was a recommendation that I should let my whiskers grow, and it would improve my appearance.  It was partly from that suggestion that I have done so.  If that young lady is in this crowd I would very much like to see her.”  He noticed that people in the crowd turned their gaze to a specific location.  Grace was present but, due to the size of the crowd, had not seen or heard the man’s speech.  The crowd cleared a path and pushed Grace forward.  The man stepped down from the platform, shook Grace’s hand and gave her a kiss.  He touched his beard and said, “You see, I let these whiskers grow for you, Grace.”  They talked only briefly before the man shook her hand again, stepped into his car, and was whisked away.  Grace never saw the man again.

Grace’s letter was, in part, responsible for the iconic look of a man most of us cannot picture without whiskers, though he wore them for only the last four years of his life.  His bearded portrait graces the $5 bill.  The man whose image so appalled young Grace that she was driven to write a letter of criticism was… Abraham Lincoln.  


1.  Fremont Journal, February 22, 1861.
2.  The Evansville Journal (Evansville, Indiana), November 4, 1878, p.1.
3.  The Advice of a Little Girl Lincoln – Exhibition Confirms a Family Myth, Library of Congress.
4.  The Advice of a Little Girl Lincoln – Exhibition Confirms a Family Myth, Library of Congress.

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Demons add three to round out 2022 coaching staff

Northwestern State’s 2022 football coaching staff is complete.

Fifth-year head coach Brad Laird announced the addition of three offensive assistant coaches Tuesday, wrapping up the most changes to his staff since his arrival ahead of the 2018 season.

Joining the Demon staff are offensive line coach Beau Blair, quarterbacks coach Kyle Washington and inside receivers coach Manny Harris. Their hires are subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which governs Northwestern State University.

“I’m very excited to complete the staff as we move forward into the 2022 season,” Laird said. “These three coaches join the current staff all having the same qualities: A sincere, authentic care for people, outstanding knowledge of their position and a recruiting network skill that will benefit Northwestern State University.”

Both Blair and Harris previously worked with new NSU offensive coordinator Cody Crill at Incarnate Word.

Blair comes to Northwestern State after spending the 2021 season as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at New Mexico Highlands.

In his lone season there, Blair coordinated an offense that produced five all-conference players, including the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year – wide receiver CJ Sims. Under Blair, the Cowboys offense led the RMAC in passing offense and was second in total offense, producing a top-25 season nationally.

Prior to his time at New Mexico Highlands, Blair spent two seasons as an offensive line coach at Incarnate Word under current NSU offensive coordinator Cody Crill. Blair helped mold a Cardinals offensive line into a unit that blocked for a top-20 FCS passing offense while helping UIW average 5.1 yards per carry and record a single-game school record 402 yards rushing.

Blair was a graduate assistant offensive line coach at Houston in 2018, helping the Cougars rank fourth nationally in scoring offense (46.4 ppg) and sixth in total offense (538.6 yards per game) despite ranking 128th of 130 teams in time of possession.

A Gilmer, Texas, native, Blair began his collegiate coaching career at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, coaching tight ends and assisting with the offensive line. The Fire was the No. 1 NAIA scoring offense in 2017 and No. 2 in total offense while producing an all-conference tight end.

Blair spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Jacksonville (Texas) High School where he also was the strength and conditioning coordinator and head powerlifting coach. With Blair on staff, Jacksonville broke an eight-year playoff drought and produced a quarterback who rushed for 2,150 yards. Blair also coached one offensive lineman who continued his career in college.

“Coach Blair comes to NSU having worked with coach Crill at UIW and brings coordinator experience from his time at New Mexico Highlands,” Laird said. “His development of the offensive line at his previous coaching stints excites me as I look forward to watching the growth of the offensive line here at NSU.”

A former quarterback at Arkansas Tech and UTSA, Harris comes to NSU after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Incarnate Word, working alongside current Demon offensive coordinator Cody Crill and offensive line coach Beau Blair.

At UIW, Harris gained a multitude of experience, working with quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and the offensive line.

Harris completed his playing career as a team captain at Arkansas Tech in 2019. Prior to his time in Russellville, he was a second-team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference quarterback at Cisco Junior College where he led the NJCAA in passing yardage before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

While at Arkansas Tech, Harris threw for 1,373 yards and five touchdowns while adding 125 yards and a score on the ground.

Harris began his collegiate playing career at UTSA where he was part of the Roadrunners’ first bowl appearance in program history.

“Coach Harris is very familiar schematically with what coach Crill is implementing as he was an assistant under him at UIW,” Laird said. “He brings continuity and experience to the offensive staff, having worked several different positions over the last few years.”

Like Blair and Harris, Washington is no stranger to the Southland Conference.

Washington spent the 2019 season at McNeese as an offensive quality control coach before spending the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Franklin Pierce.

As Franklin Pierce’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks/running backs coach, Washington’s offense produced an improvement of 148 yards per game, 115 of which came on the ground.

Washington tutored running back EJ Burgess, who ranked fifth nationally in all-purpose yards per game (161.5) and 11th in rushing yards per game (120.4). Burgess earned Northeast-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors and was an All-Super Region One first-team running back.

A 2014 Harlon Hill Award semifinalist at Angelo State, Washington quarterbacked the Rams’ nation-leading offense for three seasons. In 2015, Angelo State led Division II with 560 yards per game after leading the nation with 411.1 yards per game in 2014.

Washington was a two-time All-American, a three-time All-Lone Star Conference selection and two-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He owns 28 Angelo State school records and was the 2014 San Angelo Standard Times Sportsman of the Year. Washington was named the Most Valuable Player on the Standard Times’ All-Decade Team in 2020.

Washington participated in the Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie mini-camp and was in training camp with the CFL’s Saskatchewan RoughRiders in 2016.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Angelo State in 2016, working with the Rams’ running backs.

“Coach Washington’s success on the field as a quarterback has led to his success coaching quarterbacks,” Laird said. “I look forward to watching him grow in this profession and watching our quarterbacks develop under his wings.”

Northwestern State opens the 2022 season at Montana on Sept. 3.

Notice of Death – February 15, 2022

Ezra James Powell
October 30, 1950 – February 11, 2022
Service: Thursday, February 17 at 1 at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Allen Ates
January 10, 1933 – February 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 16 at 10 am at Calvary Baptist Church

Elizabeth Madden
November 13, 1928 – February 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 16 at 9 am at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

John Lewis Keiffer
February 18, 1940 – February 8, 2022
Service: Friday, February 18 at 10 am at Clear Lake Cemetery near Goldonna

Lucille Bedgood
January 21, 1945 – February 13, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 16 at 2 pm at Goldonna Cemetery

Glynda Sue Stansbury
April 11, 1943 – February 13, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 16 a 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel