Jeannine Virginia Marien Ammons
Service: Saturday, August 27 at 11 am with at Hixon Brothers Funeral Home, located at 2701 Military Hwy in Pineville
Interment: McNutt Hill Cemetery in Boyce
Dorothy “Dot” Mae Tullos Robertson
May 16, 1929 – August 10, 2022
Service: Sunday, August 28 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church of Natchitoches
October 16, 1959 – August 19, 2022
Service: Wednesday, August 24 at 12 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Minnie Craft Robertson of Florien, Louisiana
November 15, 1931 – August 23, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 25 at 12 pm at Pine Grove Baptist Church
Steve Gregory Sharbono
February 10, 1964 – August 22, 2022
Service: Friday, August 26 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home
Lester Ray Couch
February 24, 1949 – August 21, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 25 at 11 am in the Summerville Baptist Church, of the Summerville Community
April 22, 1935 – August 21, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 25 at 11 am at Gloryway Church
February 22, 1942 – August 20, 2022
The earthly life of Joe Amos McFerren came to an end Saturday, August 20, at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. He was born to the late Robert Lee and Dezzie Jennings McFerren in Natchitoches on February 22, 1942.
Services will be held Monday, August 22, at Beulah Methodist Church near Marthaville. Visitation is at noon, and the funeral will be at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in Beulah Cemetery with the Rev. Charlotte Birdwell officiating. The Rev. William Jackson (Butch) Bruce will present the obituary, Randall (Fuzzy) Hennigan will share memories, and Caddo Sheriff’s Lieutenant Richard Jennings will deliver the eulogy. Music will be provided by Laurie Gentry and Steve Birdwell.
Joe was a fun-loving guy who had a world of friends and a world of wonderful experiences.
During his life, he lived in Marthaville, Natchitoches and, most recently, Provencal. Joe served one term as Justice of the Peace in Natchitoches Parish, Ward 5, starting in 1964. He held many jobs throughout the years, including working at the Manufactured Home Plant in Natchitoches and at Rebel State Historic Site in Marthaville.
Joe was a strong patriot and was proud of his Southern heritage. He was equally proud of his six years of service with the Louisiana National Guard.
He was one of Rebel Park’s founding committee members and was present for Memorial and Music Festival programs for 50 years, doing whatever was needed to help produce a successful event. Joe met a lot of interesting people there, including many Country, Gospel and Bluegrass legends. Without exception, they all enjoyed spending time with Joe when they came to Louisiana or when he visited Nashville. His favorite star of all time was the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe.
Joe also met many Louisiana politicians at Rebel Park, including the late Gov. Edwin Edwards, who was his favorite. Many elected officials often asked of Joe and were faithful to send their warm regards to him over the years.
Joe was in a serious car wreck on June 7, 1980 that left him in critical condition. He almost died from his injuries but pulled through to survive, carrying the scars of it for the rest of his life. In addition, he survived nine other near-fatal experiences over his eight and one-half decades of life.
Among his many talents was the ability to bray like a donkey. He could sound more like a donkey than the animal itself, and he was always happy to deliver a special custom bray for any occasion.
Joe attended Jennings Chapel Congregational Church as a young person and various other churches throughout his life. In the last season of his life, he was faithful to attend services at St. Anne Church (Spanish Lake) and churches in Provencal until health and mobility issues prevented participation.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Walter and sister-in-law Gladys McFerren, and three half-brothers, James, William and Gerald McFerren.
Survivors include a beloved step-niece, Gloria Kerry, and husband Lucky of Natchitoches, and their family Glori Manshack, Kylie Padgett, Brandon Dobbs and Isabel Manshack; a special longtime friend Geraldine Niette of Provencal, her daughter Roxanne Brian and granddaughter Emma Brian, both of Provencal; and many other devoted friends.
Serving as pallbearers will be Richard Jennings, Lucky Kerry, Butch Bruce, Randall (Fuzzy) Hennigan, Steve Birdwell, Keith Birdwell and Coy Birdwell.
Congratulations to Cally Killingsworth, owner of Dixie Stems by Cally! BOM attended the Sabine Chamber of Commerce Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for her new business! We are proud of our customer!
We have boots on the ground in Memphis where the PGA Tour event finished this weekend as Elvis Week was kicking off.
“The town,” my friend Jay, a bona fide local, reports, “is full of energy.”
Elvis Presley died August 16, 1977 at Graceland, his Memphis home, and has now been gone, at least in theory, for 45 years, which is longer than he was with us in the flesh, a brief but dynamic 42 years.
We say he’s been gone “in theory” because people have, somewhat routinely, reported seeing him here and there. You can Google — something Elvis would be surprised people were doing to him today — and read of Elvis sightings from Kalamazoo to remote islands in seas you’ve never heard of. In the early-1990s, there was a raft of Elvis sightings on Texas Street in downtown Shreveport, seems like every other Thursday. I’d answer the phone at the paper and, “You gotta get down here to the corner of Texas and Market! Guy who looks, I swear, looks just like Ebis is…”
Ebis. As in Presley.
Things were like that then.
This “Elvis Spotting” trend has waned over a nearly half-century, but there was a time when there was gossip or sensational newspapers at the grocery store, and once a month there would be Elvis on the Front Page, of course.
He’d faked his death and was living in Aruba. He’d gotten in too thick with the Mafia and was living in a witness protection program at a location undisclosed. He’d had plastic surgery and burned all his sequined jump suits and was employed as a janitor at The MGM Grand in Vegas.
And, the one I found the most plausible of all, he’s been hiding out in plain sight since 1985 as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association where he goes by the name of “Coach Elvis Presley” but, since it’s Sacramento…
If you were in Memphis this week, you probably enjoyed the live band playing and “backing” Elvis on the big screen, the re-showing of a long-ago live concert. You watched the Elvis Tribute Contest Special and all the pretend Elvises/Elvi perform. Probably paid your respects at the annual candlelight vigil.
And you probably concluded as I have, sad as it is, that Elvis really did die 45 years ago, at age 42. I believe it was Horace Logan, God bless him, the producer and announcer of the Louisiana Hayride all those years ago, who innocently uttered what would become an iconic phrase: “Elvis has left the building.”
Do you remember what you were doing when you found out Elvis had left the planet?
I was mowing the parsonage grass, front yard, in Homer when the new preacher at First Baptist, my own personal dad, came outside gyrating in a manner that suggested I turn off the mower. Something terrible must have happened, I thought, because he never suggested I quit mowing unless I was on fire or bleeding.
“Elvis died,” he said, and offered a murky explanation, he having just found out his own self. We had a moment of silence.
“Well,” he said, “I’m gonna keep unpacking. You keep mowing.”
Life for us rural non-entertainers rolled on.
Would love to go to Graceland, but the closest I ever got was the 7-Eleven across the street. Wonder if it’s still there. I had a long layover and caught a cab just to get within Elvis’ gravitational pull. I picked up a pay phone — that’s how long ago it’s been — to call a Memphis-savvy friend. It was one of those moments you have to share.
“It’s just like you said it’d be,” I told him. “I’ve been here 20 minutes and everybody I’ve seen on this side of town has those Elvis sideburns. Even the women.”
Contact Teddy at email@example.com
BOM was proud to be a sponsor of the Northwestern State University faculty & staff luncheon. Pictured left ti right: BOMFS’ Jennifer Campbell, BOM’s Blaise LaCour and Dustin Dauzat, NSU President Marcus Jones, BOM’s Carrie Hough, Micah Murchison, and Tiffany Woods.
Bossier Parish Community College will host on-campus registration at its Bossier, Natchitoches and Sabine Valley campuses on Tuesday, Aug. 16, and Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 9 am-6 pm.
The Bossier campus is located at 6220 E. Texas Street and will begin in Building F, first floor. The Natchitoches campus is located at 6587 Highway 1 Bypass. The Sabine Valley campus is located at 1255 Fisher Road in Many. Online registration is available now at www.bpcc.edu.
Students who are interested in registering can stop by each campus to meet with BPCC faculty and staff to receive assistance with academic advising, financial aid, and disability services. Students should present valid photo identification and bring copies of ACT, SAT, Accuplacer Test scores and previous college transcripts, if applicable. Appointments are not required, but recommended to streamline the process.
BPCC’s fall semester begins Thursday, August 18th. Students can select classes from a variety of fall sessions:
Start Date End Date
Session A August 24, 2022 December 13, 2022
Session B August 18, 2022 October 12, 2022
Session C October 13, 2022 December 13, 2022
Session D August 18, 2022 September 15, 2022
Session E September 16, 2022 October 12, 2022
Session F October 13, 2022 November 9, 2022
Session G November 10, 2022 December 13, 2022
Session J September 7, 2022 December 13, 2022
Detailed information regarding applying, registration, tuition costs and deadlines can be found online at www.bpcc.edu/admissions or call the BPCC Admissions Office at (318) 678-6004.
BPCC offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, Career and Technical Certificates in pathways such as healthcare, computer technology, manufacturing, business, and general studies. For more information on any of the College’s programs, visit www.bpcc.edu.
By Brad Dison
Daniel Lawrence “Dan” Whitney was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska. He grew up in a church-going family. His father, Tom, held many jobs. Tom was a school administrator, entertainer – he played guitar for the Everly Brothers – a preacher, and he raised pigs, horses, and cattle. Tom left for work early each morning and returned home late each night. There was no break on weekends either. Tom preached multiple services at different churches. Every free moment Tom had was spent tending to the never-ending chores required to keep the farm running properly.
Due to Tom’s frequent absences, from an early age, Dan spent most of his time with his grandfather who helped out at the Pawnee City sale barn adjacent to Dan’s family’s pig farm. Dan helped his grandfather load and unload trucks of pigs and cattle. Dan so loved the livestock sale barn that he spent every free moment there. Working at the sale barn with his grandfather, Dan became close friends with his grandfather’s friends despite the differences in ages. They eventually became comfortable enough with Dan that they shared their life stories with him, which he loved hearing. Dan later credited his time at the sale barn as one of the most important experiences that shaped his life.
When Dan was fifteen years old, his family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where his father was offered a job at the fifth largest Christian school in the United States, The King’s Academy. Following high school, Dan worked as a bellhop at the Hyatt Regency hotel in West Palm Beach, a job that “opened the door” for his future career. Dan made the guests feel at ease. They were drawn to Dan’s outgoing nature. He shared funny stories with them and told them jokes.
Dan realized that his best bet was to get a college education. He enrolled in college and majored in drama and speech. During his junior year of college, a few of Dan’s friends convinced him to try standup comedy at a local open mic night. At first, Dan was intimidated when he saw other comedians, all dressed in suits, studying their jokes on note cards. Dan was no quitter. Although he thought he was a novice in a room full of professionals, Dan made it through his first performance. The crowd’s reaction was enough for Dan. He was hooked. He dropped out of college determined to earn a living as a comedian.
Dan performed without pay at open mic nights until he was booked to do a fifteen-minute standup routine as the opening act for the band Chicago. From there, he made guest appearances on radio comedy shows where he began incorporating characters into his repertoire. Dan said later, “I wanted to create an Archie Bunker character that was likeable.” He based the character on a combination of people he knew in Nebraska and Florida, as well as his college roommates who were from Texas and Georgia. To complete the character, Dan jettisoned his Nebraska accent and incorporated a southern accent. The character he created was so likeable that he focused solely on it and dropped the other characters. Eventually, Dan’s fictitious character became so popular that it eclipsed its creator. The character that Daniel Lawrence “Dan” Whitney created is known around the world as … Larry the Cable Guy.
1. Randy York, “For Pig Farmer-Turned Superstar, Life is All About Faith, Family and Football, huskers.com/news/2009/7/6/3759511.aspx
2. CableGuyArchives, “Larry the Cable Guy Documentary (Full) 2021,” December 3, 2021, YouTube video, 53:21, youtu.be/1ei-4qsi_uQ.
Shreveport– United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) has partnered with Entergy Louisiana to offer utility bill payment assistance to qualifying residential customers in Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, and Webster parishes. Qualifying Entergy Louisiana electric customers in these parishes can apply for a one-time $150 credit on their utility bill beginning August 17 at 9 a.m. To qualify, customers must be Entergy electric customers and have a total household income not exceeding 250% of the federal poverty level, which equates to $69,000 for a family of four.
The utility bill payment assistance is part of $10 million in shareholder donations previously announced by Entergy Corporation, with approximately $4.4 million being allocated to United Ways across Louisiana for the benefit of Entergy’s Louisiana customers.
“We know these are difficult times for our communities,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “We want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to lessen the burden our customers may be facing when they receive their bills.”
This emergency assistance will serve individuals and families identified as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). UWNWLA, in partnership with the Louisiana Association of United Ways, releases a study every two years on the financial hardship of ALICE families across UWNWLA’s ten-parish service area (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, Claiborne, Winn, Red River, Desoto, Natchitoches, and Sabine parishes). The latest report, released in 2020, revealed that 55 percent of individuals in Northwest Louisiana qualify as ALICE or households living in poverty.
“By partnering with Entergy, we can assist ALICE families who often do not qualify for other assistance programs,” said UWNWLA president and CEO LaToria Thomas. “Forging partnerships help us to ensure these funds go where they’re needed the most.”
For more information on eligibility requirements and to apply when applications open, please visit https://unitedwaynwla.org/utility-assistance-program-powered-entergy/. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Entergy customers are also encouraged to visit www.entergy.com/answers for the most up-to-date information on bill assistance.
About United Way of Northwest Louisiana:
For more than 100 years, United Way of Northwest Louisiana has improved the lives of individuals in our community. The organization fights for the health, education, financial stability, and essential needs for everyone, while helping those in crisis. United Way of Northwest Louisiana serves agencies throughout a ten-parish region and operates a dozen human service programs of their own. Each United Way organization operates independently of each other and makes decisions by local leaders.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than one million customers in 58 parishes and natural gas service to more than 94,000 customers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Judith Lynne Baker
August 21, 1941 – August 13, 2022
Service: Saturday, August 20 at 1 PM at Little Flock Baptist Church
Doris Bennett Garlington
March 26, 1933 – August 13, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 18 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Carmen Gene Walker
April 23, 1956 – August 15, 2022
Visitation will be Saturday, August 20 from 1-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. A celebration of life will follow at 2 pm at the funeral home, with Bro. Ronny Taylor officiating. Interment will follow at Beulah Cemetery in Marthaville
Marium Joseph “Dude” Vascocu
September 8, 1928 – August 13, 2022
Visitation: Thursday, August 18 from 6-9 pm and Friday, August 19 from 8-10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Friday, August 19 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Weaver Cemetery in Flora
Saydie Maye Smith Johnson
August 14, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 18 at 10:30 am at Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches
Marvin F. “Mickey” Gahagan
August 28, 1932 – August 10, 2022
A private memorial service will be conducted by a personal friend, Very Rev. Craig Scott. Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches on Saturday, August 20, 2022 between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. Burial will be at a later date at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.
Dr. James Otto Brossette
March 23, 1932 – August 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, August 17 at 10:30 am at Calvary Baptist Church, located at 2888 U.S. Hwy. 84 near Winnfield
Ricky Wayne Maloch
December 27, 1955 – August 11, 2022
Service: Wednesday, August 17 at 10 am at Fairview Baptist Church
We couldn’t afford a bicycle then, so I learned early how to stick my thumb out in the wind and hitch a ride in a pickup or on a tractor the two miles into our rural Carolina town for my first-grade classes.
My parents believed in tough love.
They were Old School, even though I was the very definition of New School.
Since they had to walk to school uphill 16 miles and back home, again uphill, for 17, they figured I was getting off easy by having to flag down a ride for just two measly miles. “And FLAT miles at that!” I can hear them say, maybe tough lovingly.
Of course, modern kids have gotten soft now and don’t hitchhike to school as they once did. Don’t get me started. . .
Here’s something else that’s changed, and not for the better.
No matter how “bored” or out of sorts you might have gotten with school back then — and even those of us who actually secretly sort of liked school and realized it was “good for us” wanted to run away now and then – we knew the Start Game and the End Game. And that helped.
The Great State of South Carolina and all us little children there cut a deal with each other: the state-owned us from right after Labor Day until Memorial Day. No questions asked. You’d get a day at Thanksgiving and Easter and a few days at Christmastime, the Super Bowl Week of being a kid, but the rest of the time, your denim-covered butt was in a desk at Lake View Elementary.
BUT … they could not touch us from Memorial Day until Labor Day. No one even SAID “school” during June, July, and August. We were a hands-off, school-free zone.
Summer, with all its bee stings and scraped knees and bologna sandwiches, was ours.
We could play AND we could make all the money, picking cucumbers or driving a tractor or, depending on how low you were to the ground, picking up tobacco sticks at the barn if your leg wasn’t long enough to reach the clutch on a Farmall yet.
Just thinking about it makes me want to kick off my shoes and go run in the grass and step on a nail and have to go get a tetanus shot. (Even summer had its risks. But the risks were worth it.)
Somewhere along the way, it was decided by Grownups that school would start Early, and so children are back at school this week even though it’s just now double-digits in August. (We’re talking dates, not temperature.) There will be “breaks” and the number of days spent in class will be the same now as they were back when I went to school, back when only four vowels and 22 consonants had been invented.
And maybe it’s better that way, but you ask people from our generation, and we’ll tell you being out for three months solid was the way to go, that even the thought of hitching a ride to school in August was a two-thumbs-down deal.
Contact Teddy at email@example.com
By Brad Dison
Bess was the queen of Hollywood. She was born in Sherman, Texas in 1898. After high school, she attended the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha where she often performed on stage. In 1916, she played dual parts or characters in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and another in the “Merchant of Venice.” As this production was staged by a women’s college, all of the parts, male and female, were performed by females. All of the characters Bess portrayed were men, which is a testament to her talent.
Within a few years, Bess made her way to Hollywood where she appeared in her first film, a 1923 silent comedy film entitled “Hollywood.” Her talents were such that she made two more feature films in her first year in the business. Within three years, Bess became the go-to-girl in Hollywood. In addition to her other acting abilities, Bess began to get acting jobs because of her beautiful hands. She had what the First National Productions studios claimed were the most photographed hands in the world. One reporter boasted, “Her hands are her fortune, sir!” When a movie studio needed a closeup of a beautiful feminine hand, Bess was the actress they would call first. Many leading actresses of the time, according to one reporter, “ofttimes subject themselves to exposure and their hands in many cases suffer from the elements. Consequently, when a close-up of the hands is to be made, they are in many cases unable to offer their own hands due to the fact that they have not been properly cared for and ‘groomed,’ as it were, for the particular occasion.”
Bess, on the other hand, (pun intended) kept her hands properly groomed. She kept to a strict set of rules for the care of her hands. When out in public, Bess always wore thin silk gloves to protect her hands. Every night, she rubbed her hands thoroughly with the skin of lemon followed by a special cream concocted by a film studio master make-up artist just for her. She allowed her fingernails to grow abnormally long so they could be easily manicured to fit within the film’s script.
As many actors’ and actresses’ careers floundered with the transition of the movie industry from silent pictures to “talkie” pictures, Bess remained busy. In 1935, parts of Bess appeared in “Star of Midnight,” which starred William Powell and Ginger Rogers. Bess’s character is pivotal in the film because the plot hinges on her character’s disappearance. In the film, the audience glimpses her ankles as she enters a taxicab, she waves from the taxi’s window and speaks a few lines, but no more is seen of her. Her presence in other films varied from a quick view of her waving hand to her speaking a few lines. If you watch a film from the 1920s through the 1960s, you will most likely see all or part of Bess, though you may not realize it.
Although Bess had a lucrative Hollywood career for more than four decades, she thought she was no good at acting. However, Bess became the most prolific actress in the history of motion pictures. She appeared in over 700 films, more than any other actor or actress. She appeared in five films that won Academy Awards for Best Picture, more than any other actor or actress. Those films include “It Happened One Night” (1934), “You Can’t Take It with You” (1938), “All About Eve” (1950), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952), and “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956). She also appeared in twenty other films which were nominated for Best Picture, more than any other actor or actress. It is doubtful that you will have ever heard the name Bess Flowers, but due to Bess’s parts, she became and remains the “Queen of the Hollywood Extras.”
1. The Chickasha Daily Express (Chickasha, Oklahoma), April 20, 1916, p.1.
2. The Minneapolis Star, March 6, 1926, p.23.
3. Palladium-Item (Richmond, Indiana), July 23, 1927, p.13.
4. The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey), March 12, 1935, p.23.
Meagan Campbell is the new Title I Coordinator. Campbell has served as a teacher, instructional coach and most recently Assistant Principal at Many Elementary before transferring to the Central Office. As the Title I Coordinator Meagan will oversee Homeless Education as well as English Language Learners.
Valarie Williams is Many Jr. High’s new Principal. Williams served as the interim principal at MJHS since January before that time she was the assistant principal. Before she transferred to MJHS, she was a teacher at Many High. She has a total of 19 years in education.
Kelly Dye is SPARK’s new Principal. Dye served SPARK as the guidance counselor last year and before transferring to that role, she was a teacher at Negreet School. She has a total of 18 years in education.
Christian Sepulvado is the new Principal at Zwolle Elementary. Sepulvado has served ZES as Assistant Principal for the past couple of years before that time he was a teacher there. Mr. Sepulvado has eight years in education.
Kyle Penfield is the new Assistant Principal at Many Jr. High. Penfield served as the interim Assistant Principal at MJHS since January and has a total of 16 years as an educator. Before that time, he was the Adaptive PE teacher for the district.
Julie Wray is the new Assistant Principal at Many Elementary. Wray has nine years as an educator. Before coming to MES, Wray was the Administrative Assistant at Converse.
Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a fatal crash on Aug. 8 at approximately 3 am on Louisiana Highway 174 near Louisiana Highway 483. This crash claimed the life of 19-year-old Jack B. Dobbs of Converse.
The initial investigation revealed a 2022 Buick Encore, driven by Dobbs, was traveling west on Louisiana Highway 174. For reasons still under investigation, Dobbs’ vehicle traveled off the left side of the roadway, down the ditch embankment, before overturning several times. This action ejected Dobbs from the vehicle.
Dobbs, who was unrestrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.
In 2022, Troop E has investigated 26 fatal crashes, resulting in 28 deaths.