Obit: Brenda Gail Rachal Knight

1963 – 2021

A memorial service is scheduled for Brenda Gail Rachal Knight on May 18, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Christian Worship Center located at 1513 Hwy 494, Natchitoches, LA. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Brenda’s life. Flowers can be sent to the church and donations to help Brenda and her sons can be dropped off at M & M Pharmacy.

Brenda Gail Knight, age 57, died on May 8, 2021, in Natchitoches, LA. Brenda is survived by her two sons Blake Fraij of Arkansas and Shane Knight of Natchitoches, LA. She is also survived by her mother Titia Jo Rachal; three sisters Janice Rachal, Donna Kelly, Kellie Gill and her husband James; and one brother Jessie Rachal and his wife Carol all of Natchitoches, LA. She is preceded in death by her father Newton Rachal and one sister Tammy Rachal.

Brenda was born on December 1, 1963 in Natchitoches, LA. to parents Titia Jo and Newton Rachal. She graduated from Natchitoches Central High School and resided in Natchitoches most of her life.

She was a very loving mother with a big heart and a free spirit. She loved rock-n-roll, especially Jimi Hendrix. She danced to the beat of her own drum and lived life the way she wanted to. She was always down for a laugh and to have a good time. She will be missed by all who loved her.

Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalms 23: 6)

Opportunity: NPSB District Coordinator of Maintenance

POSITION: District Coordinator of Maintenance Department

• High School Diploma (college degree preferred)
• Experience managing teams (general contractor experience preferred)
• Knowledge of plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC and construction blue prints
• Experience in purchasing of construction materials and supplies
• Basic knowledge of operating computer software
• Experience with maintaining vendor relations and processing invoices
• Additional criteria as the Director of Business Affairs may establish

SALARY: According to Natchitoches Parish Salary Schedule


Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
310 Royal St., P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Thursday, May 20, 2021; 4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a resume’, transcripts or diploma, and a letter of reference from former or present employer.

Remember This: Carolyn’s First recipe

By Brad Dison

During World War II, allied forces used naval mines, self-contained underwater explosives, to destroy enemy ships and submarines. Sailors armed and deposited the mines in key areas where enemy ship traffic, especially German submarines known as U-boats, was likely. The slightest nudge ignited the mines. Sharks became an issue in the allied forces’ naval mining operation. Naturally curious, sharks frequently swam up to the naval mines for a closer look. In trying to determine what the mines were, sharks often bumped into the mines which triggered the mines and led to explosions. The military was not as much concerned for the welfare of the sharks as they were for the loss of the mines. Naval mining operations were time consuming, tedious, dangerous, and expensive. They needed some way to repel sharks from the mines.

Soon after the United States entered World War II, Carolyn McWilliams felt drawn to the war effort. She said later in life that “Everybody that I knew was in the Army or the Navy or down in Washington, so that’s where I went.” Carolyn tried to join the Women’s Army Corps (WACS) and the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), but was rejected by both because, they claimed, she was too tall. Carolyn stood 6’2” tall. Undeterred and eager to do her part, Carolyn volunteered to work in the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Carolyn was just one of 4,500 other women who worked for the OSS. She worked as a file secretary and typed up thousands of names on small note cards for a system which was used to keep track of officers’ locations in the era before computers. Carolyn was well-educated and ambitious. Within a short time, she was transferred to the Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section, a top-secret experimental research project.

One of Carolyn’s tasks within the OSS was more suited to a chemist than someone whose previous work was as a file secretary. Carolyn’s job was to develop a chemical shark repellent. Her superiors hoped that in addition to keeping sharks away from naval mines, downed pilots in the ocean could use a shark deterrent to stave off shark attacks while they awaited rescue.

Sharks have a heightened sense of smell, hundreds of times more powerful than a human’s. They have the ability to detect trace amounts of various compounds in millions of gallons of water. During her experiments, Carolyn learned that sharks avoided dead sharks. With this information, Carolyn set out to develop a recipe which smelled like a dead shark.

Carolyn was pampered in an upper-class household. Her father graduated from Princeton University and became wealthy in the real estate business. Her mother was an heiress to a paper company. Her grandfather was a lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Carolyn had no experience with recipes or cooking because the family had hired cooks. Undeterred, Carolyn eagerly accepted the challenge.

Carolyn tried various combinations of putrid-smelling recipes, many of which attracted sharks rather than repelled them. Finally, after numerous attempts, she found one which showed a slight repellence. Carolyn’s recipe was a mixture of copper acetate and black dye made into a cake. Although the CIA eventually released Carolyn’s dead shark cake recipe, its use during World War II remains classified. Some sources claim that Carolyn’s shark repellent “was a critical tool during WWII, and was coated on explosives that were targeting German U-boats.”

Carolyn learned that the OSS was planning to send people overseas. She had always wanted to travel and pushed for overseas duty. In 1944, the OSS transferred Carolyn to Ceylon, present day Sri Lanka, and Kunming, China, where she worked as Chief of the OSS Registry. The Registry served all American intelligence branches, and Carolyn, who had the highest security clearance due to her position, knew every top-secret message that passed into and out of her office.

While abroad, Carolyn met another OSS officer who was well-educated, well-traveled, and loved fine French cuisine. Carolyn and Paul fell in love. In September of 1946, just over a year after the allied victory in World War II, Carolyn and Paul married. With the war over, Carolyn returned to civilian life while Paul continued to work in intelligence. In 1948, Paul was assigned to the U.S. Information Agency in France. Carolyn had always wanted to visit France, but, being the driven person she was, she needed a task, a purpose. She enrolled in one of France’s most prestigious cooking schools, Le Cordon Bleu. Up until this point, the only significant recipe she had experimented with was her shark repellent cakes.

In 1951, Carolyn graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. For most people, graduating from such a prominent school would have been enough. Carolyn, however, knew that there was more that she wanted to learn. She studied under several master chefs in France and continued to experiment in the culinary arts. In that same year, she began working with two authors on a French cookbook for Americans. Ten years later, the trio finally found a publisher who was interested in publishing their 726-page Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book was a best-seller and is still in print.

The book was the first leap in Carolyn’s culinary career. Carolyn became a syndicated author, wrote numerous books which were designed to teach Americans how to cook French cuisine, and became the most widely seen cooking host on television from the 1960s until the 1990s. It is difficult to imagine that Carolyn’s culinary career began during World War II with a recipe for shark repellent. Rather than repel, her recipes have attracted the attention of millions of people around the world. Back in 1948, Julia Carolyn McWilliams married Paul Child, and became Julia Child.

1. News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida), July 10, 2015, p.A13.
2. Naval Aviation Training Division Guide, Shark Sense, March, 1944.
3. “Julia Child Helped Develop Shark Repellant During World War Ii,” the National World War II Museum of New Orleans, accessed April 30, 2021,’s%20and,to%20deter%20sharks%20from%20attacking.
4. “Julia Child: Cooking up Spy Ops for Oss,” Central Intelligence Agency, accessed April 30, 2021,

Massive New Taxes Will Cripple Economic Growth

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

Crushing new taxes on job creators, along with workers staying home because they make more money not working, are harming our very productive economy.

President Reagan once stated, “I believe the best social program is a job.” That simple truth remains, and the Biden Administration would be wise to heed it.

The $2 trillion Biden plan will directly reduce wages, eliminate jobs, and restrict economic growth while decreasing private market investment, ultimately causing the U.S. to become less competitive. Why is that?

Because, among several other reasons, the proposal will increase the tax burden on entrepreneurs who create the very jobs a strong economy needs by raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent. Biden also plans to raise the long-term capital gains tax rate from its current 23.8% to a whopping 43.4%. (Note, the top capital gains tax rate for Chinese investors is only 20%. Yes, that means the U.S. will be punishing investors more than Communist China).

The corporate tax rate is damaging enough but that, unfortunately, is not all the Biden plan does. Among other things, it will also add a new minimum 15% tax on “book income” (income corporations publicly report on their financial statements to shareholders), increase taxes on multinational corporations based in the U.S., and undermine and weaken American competitiveness through a new international agreement between high-tax countries. ( It will also continue hammering the fossil-fuel industry, this time with targeted tax increases. (Recall on his first day in office Pres. Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline and also froze new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and the issuance of new drilling permits).

What does all of this mean? In the simplest terms, if our federal (or state) government too heavily taxes economic activity we will have less economic activity. Taxes create a disincentive to provide or produce goods or services. For this reason, the power to tax is also the power to destroy. (Chief Justice John Marshall). Along these same lines we should also note that one of the most critical elements of job and business creation is the presence of individuals who are willing to take a risk—often a significant financial risk—that their business will succeed. The way you entice these individuals to do that is with affordable financial capital (start-up/investment dollars) to buy the equipment, lease or buy the space and/or location, and hire the people they will need to launch their business. If they cannot afford to borrow this start-up capital the business—and those jobs—will never be created.

Although we never seem to learn it, the lesson never changes when the government dramatically increases spending and significantly raises taxes the result is less economic growth, fewer jobs, and lower wages. Always. And, given that we are still recovering from government mandated Covid shutdowns the last thing we need to do is impose huge new taxes.

Taken together, these plans and the vast new taxes they include serve to put a drag on our increasingly vibrant post-Covid economy. I am hopeful that Congress will reject such harmful tax increases and instead focus on a concrete pro-growth agenda that keeps all taxes low—and job creators and job creation thriving in our economy.

Notice of Death – May 11, 2021

Jo Ann Richards
March 11, 1957 – May 8, 2021
Service: Friday, May 14 at 10 am at Hornbeck Full Gospel Church

Martha C. Foshee
January 19, 1929 – May 9, 2021
Service: Thursday, May 13 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Brenda Gail Rachal Knight
December 01, 1963 – May 08, 2021
Service: Tuesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Christian Worship Center, located at 1513 Hwy. 494 in Natchitoches

Taylor Madison Weaver
April 2, 2002-May 9, 2021
Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, May 13 at the funeral home.
Service: Friday, May 14 at 11 a.m. at Rockett Funeral Home, Ringgold.
Cemetery: Hathorn Cemetery, Ashland, Louisiana.

Spencer Castleberry
August 27, 1972 – May 10, 2021
Service: Wednesday, May 12 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Todd Moore
August 31, 1962 – May 10, 2021
Service: Thursday, May 13 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Robert Hall, Sr
November 7, 1936 – May 4, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Clyde Ray Jackson
October 19, 1951 – May 7, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Willie Carr
May 23, 1945 – May 07, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Phillip Lloyd Gillis
March 13, 1968 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the home of Ryan and Bekah French Home, located at 1615 Williams Ave. in Natchitoches

Ruben Sawyer
September 13, 1959 – May 04, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mom’s Last Email

By Reba Phelps

Some of my newly met friends may not have had the pleasure of meeting my mother face to face before she departed this earth and went on to glory. She was a praying woman who was a talented writer, quick witted and very endearing to anyone who met her. If she had been born in another time I am very certain she would have invented the game of Scrabble. She loved words and was even known to use the four letter variety on occasion. Even though she was a preacher’s wife.

She loved Jesus but she would cuss a little.

If you never met my mother you probably may not have known that she was disabled later in life and was an amputee who was bound to a wheelchair. This wheelchair did not keep her from living her life and fulfilling her many missions. Once she gained access to the internet and email, it opened up a whole new world for her. She loved sending encouraging emails, anecdotal spiritual stories, and Bible studies. I also knew when she was sitting at her laptop. My email alerts would start dinging.

Even though I loved her emails, she would get really testy if I didn’t read them as quick as she sent them. I knew I would be quizzed at some point so I tried my best to always reply so she would know I was keeping current. My dad once explained to me that her being able to call, email and browse the internet was the equivalent of her being able to walk. At this point I tried to boost my mother-daughter customer service response times.

Four days before my mother passed away she emailed me for the very last time. I didn’t see it until after she had passed away. There was a reason I did not see it until after her passing. The Lord knew it would be much more powerful after she was no longer here. The title of the email was, “Shirley and Marcy”, and I will share that story below.

A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him.

She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe.
So she had an idea of how to handle it.

She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, So he probably wouldn’t notice her.

She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew.

She did this for the whole week. As the two walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs,Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.

Finally she said to Timmy,

‘Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week?
Do you know her?’
Timmy nonchalantly replied, ‘Yeah, I know who she is.’
The little girl said, ‘Well, who is she?’
‘That’s just Shirley Goodnest,’ Timmy replied, ‘and her daughter Marcy.’

‘Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us?
‘Well,’ Timmy explained, ‘every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, cuz she worries about me so much.
And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it!’

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.

Some years later I forwarded this email to a dear friend of mine and he told me that this was a message from my mom that was letting me know that she would always be behind me, watching over me along with the Lord. This email has brought me so much comfort every single time that I look at it.

Messages like this make me so grateful that I had a mother who served God with all her heart, soul and her email account. There is not a Mother’s Day that goes by that I don’t think about the legacy of love and serving others that she left behind. There is no doubt in my mind that she is definitely dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.

Happy Mother’s Day, Eva Gail.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:6

BOM congratulates Logan Lambert on promotion to Senior Accountant and Assistant Vice President

BOM is pleased to announce the promotion of Logan Lambert to Senior Accountant and Assistant Vice President. Logan has been with BOM for six years. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a degree in Mathematics, and he will also be attending Graduate School of Banking at LSU this spring. Logan and his wife Mallory have been married for three years, and they have a four year old daughter named Chesleigh. They are members of His Church in Pineville, LA. Logan was recently appointed to the Executive Committee Board for the Natchitoches Young Professionals. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking and hunting. Congrats, Logan!

Angler’s Perspective: Preparing for a Tournament

Wow…where to start? This is a very broad subject and there are a lot of variables. The first thing is “Where’s the tournament?” Let’s start here and work our way through the process. Once I know where I’m headed for my next event, then I start to search for recent tournament results that have taken place and other results that occurred during the same time of the year that I’ll be there. I’ll search the top professional fishing organizations like Major League Fishing (MLF) which has the BFL and Toyota Series results, B.A.S.S. Elite Series and Opens, American Bass Angler or ABA Opens and Top 150 Series results along with anything else I can find from local club tournaments to open events.

Next, I need to try and determine what bait I need and how I’m going to attack the lake, which is mainly determined by the time of year. Is it late winter, early or late spring, early or late summer or is this a fall event? Each of these so-called “times of year” will help you decide what baits you probably need to pack. This is where YouTube videos come in handy as I try to watch and compare how they caught them during the same time of year that I’ll be there. But you can’t always go by this as more often than not, Mother Nature will throw you a curveball with bad weather which changes everything. There are other variables as well, such as is the lake water level on the rise, stable or falling. This has a big influence on where the fish will be set up and will help give you an idea as to how you might catch them.

Next, it’s time to pack and load everything, and I mean everything but the kitchen sink….only because the cabins we stay in already have one of those. Now some guys take the bare minimum while others like me pack heavily. After all, I was a Boy Scout and our motto was, “Always be prepared.” Now depending on, once again “time of year” will determine if you bring clothes for both mild temperature days or the possibility of a major cold front passing through. Also never forget your rain suit as this can be a true lifesaver. It just might be the most important thing you can bring. After this, time to load the truck. Clothes, cooler for cold stuff, computer, snack bag (essential), water, bait tubs (I have three), extra spools of new fishing line in various sizes, dip net, towels and boat cover. I also bring a utility box that has pliers, line conditioner, extra hooks, extra tungsten weights, scissors, extra dipping dye or dye pins which I prefer over bottled dye. And I always have a bottle of one of the greatest inventions of our time….neutralizer that comes in handy when you spill a bottle of dipping dye in your boat. This stuff is amazing at how it will completely breakdown and take out any dye color you spill on your carpet or boat hull.

There’s an old saying when it comes to fishing, “You should have been here yesterday, the fish bit really well!” It never fails that every time I go to a tournament, someone always makes this comment in some form or fashion. That’s why tournament fishing is such a mental game. Just like any other sport, it requires a lot of mental preparation. Some days it seems every decision you make is always the right one and then there are times when you never make the right decision. Which is what tournament bass fishing is all about! Bad decisions allow for doubt to creep into your mental psyche and this can cause an angler to what we call “spin out.” When this happens, you’re pretty much done, and your fishing day is over. Anglers who conquer the “spin out” syndrome, usually do very well on tournament day.

As you can see, there’s a lot to this tournament preparation thing. Sometimes you can over prepare and at other times, you’re never prepared enough and just when you think you have it all figured out; something happens that throws you off your game. Then there are those rare days when it all comes together and believe me, there’s not a better feeling in the world when you know exactly where to go and how you’re going to catch them. So, if you ever get into tournament bass fishing, make sure you’re prepared and do your homework if you want to step into the winner’s circle. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live

Altered schedule, promotion-filled weekend set for Demons’ series against McNeese

NSU 18 Cal Carver

As the Northwestern State baseball team heads down the stretch of Southland Conference play, it is beginning to look like what its head coach envisioned.

The schedule, once again, will not.

The Demons open their penultimate home series of the season with a 3 p.m. doubleheader, hosting longtime rival McNeese in a matchup of the two most recent Southland Conference Tournament champions. The series also includes a 2 p.m. Saturday single game and a 1 p.m. Mother’s Day matinee on Sunday.

The second game of Friday’s doubleheader will not start before 6:30 p.m. as the Demons will host former All-American Danny Bob Turner’s jersey retirement ceremony at 6:15 p.m. between games. Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader will be a seven-inning game while the nightcap will be a traditional nine-inning affair.

“We always say we want to be a team that plays much better at the end of the season than at the beginning,” fifth-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “This team is trending toward that.”

Despite a bumpy weekend series at Central Arkansas this past weekend, Northwestern State (22-20, 16-12) is in firm control of its postseason destiny with 12 conference games remaining.

NSU enters the weekend holding the No. 4 seed in the tournament, which begins May 26 on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University. McNeese (21-23, 14-13) trails the Demons by five points in the Southland standings, which give teams three points per win and a point for a game that is canceled because of COVID-19 issues. The Cowboys played just three games in their Southland-opening series against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi because of COVID issues within the Islanders program.

The slim difference between the Demons and Cowboys is unsurprising given the teams’ recent history.

Each team has taken a pair of 2-1 series victories in the past four matchups while they have split a pair of Southland Conference Tournament matchups since 2016.

“We’ve always played each other tough,” Barbier said. “The games have been tight. We’ve had tournament games that have been tight. (McNeese head coach) Justin (Hill) and I have been close since he coached me here. They have an older team and have had success in this league. They have guys who have won a championship and some who have won more than one. It will be a good test for us.”

The Demons have a handful of players remaining from their 2018 SLC Tournament championship roster, but it has been a relative newcomer who has been a stabilizing force in the NSU rotation.

Left-hander Cal Carver made four appearances – including two starts — in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season after transferring from Wichita State.

In his first full season in a Demon uniform, Carver leads the team in victories (5), innings pitched (64.0) and complete games (3) while standing second in strikeouts (67).

“Cal has been a guy who has improved from the moment he got on campus,” Barbier said. “He competes with four pitches. We’ve talked about how Kirk (catcher Austin Kirkpatrick) does a really good job calling his games. They work really well in the second game of a series. That’s such an important game, because it’s a bounce-back game if you get beat in the first one. If you win, you’ve got a chance to grab two games really quickly and set the tone for a long day of baseball because it’s usually the first game of a doubleheader. He’s been fantastic, and hopefully he can continue to be that way down the stretch.”

The four games at Brown-Stroud Field this weekend will be accompanied by a plethora of promotions.

Any 2021 Northwestern State graduate who attends any game this weekend with their cap can purchase $5 tickets for friends and family members as Brown-Stroud Field is opened to full capacity for the first time this season.

Sunday’s series finale is a Bark in the Park game where fans can bring their dogs to the game. Ahead of the final game of the series, mothers of the current Demon players will throw out the first pitch.

Series Probables
Friday: McNeese RHP Bryson Hudgens (0-1, 4.05) and LHP Will Dion (5-4, 3.88) at Northwestern State RHP Johnathan Harmon (4-2, 4.53) and LHP Cal Carver (5-4, 3.09)
Saturday: McNeese LHP Jonathan Ellison (3-3, 3.47) at Northwestern State RHP Levi David (2-5, 3.91)
Sunday: McNeese RHP Ty Abraham (2-2, 5.31) at Northwestern State RHP Donovan Ohnoutka (2-1, 2.33)

Opportunity: NPSB District Coordinator of Maintenance

POSITION: District Coordinator of Maintenance Department

• High School Diploma (college degree preferred)
• Experience managing teams (general contractor experience preferred)
• Knowledge of plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC and construction blue prints
• Experience in purchasing of construction materials and supplies
• Basic knowledge of operating computer software
• Experience with maintaining vendor relations and processing invoices
• Additional criteria as the Director of Business Affairs may establish

SALARY: According to Natchitoches Parish Salary Schedule


Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
310 Royal St., P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Thursday, May 20, 2021; 4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a resume’, transcripts or diploma, and a letter of reference from former or present employer.