At home in Hattiesburg

Good thing some of the Shreveport boys went with Louisiana Tech’s baseball team this weekend to Hattiesburg, Miss., where the Bulldogs won the CUSA Tournament and some home boys found themselves playing dramatic roles.
Sophomore utility infielder Riggs Easterling, in his first year at Tech after starring at Loyola College Prep and Mississippi Delta Community College, scored his third and most important run of the year, the game-winner in Sunday’s 9-8 championship game victory over UTSA. The speedy Easterling had come on to pinch-run for CUSA Defensive Player of the Year Logan McLeod, who got the winning rally started with an infield single.
Junior lefthander Jonathan Fincher of C.E. Byrd cleverly brought along his left hand and even his left arm and together, the gang combined for 10 innings. He threw three innings and just 36 pitches in relief in the 4-0 win over Charlotte Wednesday; he gave up two hits, struck out two and didn’t walk anybody.
He started Saturday night’s elimination game, pitched seven innings, threw 96 pitches, gave up six hits, five runs, struck out eight, walked one, and left the game with a 5-5 tie; Tech scored two in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 win and its first walk-off victory of the season.
It’s second was Sunday, and the final at-bat starred senior Steele Netterville, Fincher’s high school friend and teammate, part of the future Fincher & Netterville Doctors ’R’ Us duo. But before medical school, the two are trying to get to Omaha, the next hurdle being the Austin Regional that begins when Tech plays Dallas Baptist at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Sunday’s hurdle was Step 1 and provided more drama than any appendicitis case Netterville might face down the road. The stage for Netterville: teammates on second and third, score 8-8, two outs, bottom nine. Righthanded hitter Netterville against righty reliever Braylon Owens.
Swing, foul ball, 0-1.
Outside and high, 1-1.
Called strike, 1-2. Looked outside. Netterville reacted, as did Tech’s Taylor Young, who’d been intentionally walked and was on second; he went semi-nuts and spread his palms to suggest just how outside the zone the pitch had been.
The sophomore Netterville might have been dead meat. Though back then he led the Bulldogs in extra base hits, tied for the lead in homers and was third in RBI, his strikeouts were high and he gave a lot of at-bats away. And batting in the heart of the order, he was going to get pitched tough anyway; he had to learn how not to help the pitcher.
“Three years ago, it was harder for me to flush it and move on to the next pitch,” Netterville said. “I’d have likely swung at the next pitch and still been mad at the umpire. (Hitting) Coach (Mitch) Gaspard really helped me grow as a hitter and as a person, along with (head coach) Lane Burroughs; they’ve been the perfect combination. Then you add in all the positive energy from Coop (pitching coach Cooper Fouts).”
The perfect combination included lots of at-bats, lots of pitching machine sliders, lots of video studying. Work and patience.
“You know him,” Gaspard said of Tech’s 3-hole hitter. “He was going to work at it until he figured it out.”
He’s hitting .311 now for the 42-19 Bulldogs with 45 career homers and a program record 62 career doubles. That and lots of practice waited for the 1-2 pitch Sunday.
Slider outside. Laid off. 2-2.
Then … it appeared Owens balked which, if called, would have ended the game and scored Easterling from third then. Netterville’s reaction was semi-violent. He stepped back. Pointed toward the rubber. Glanced at the dugout. But just as quickly, he stepped back into the box and got ready.
“The umpire told me to focus, and that just made more mad,” Netterville said. “First, he strikes me on a ball, then misses a balk. So, I was a little heated on the 2-2.
“But,” he said, “I cleared my mind. I heard Coach Gaspard in the background telling me to make the pitcher get the ball up, to relax.”
The pitch was worth his wait. Fastball up and away. Netterville might have been a little late with his swing, but a little late was just right. He bounced the ball just inside the first base bag and into the safety of right field to end the at-bat. 
And to end the tournament.
 Contact Teddy at

Erik Eyes Everest

By Brad Dison

Erik Weihenmayer liked to test his limits. He was an angry, rebellious kid who eventually turned his fury into competitiveness and personal achievement. He joined his high school’s wrestling team and, to everyone’s amazement including his own, he became a champion. He became a skydiver, skier, long-distance biker, marathon runner, kayaker, and scuba diver. There seemed to be no limit to what Erik could accomplish.

In 1987, Erik enrolled at Boston College. Four years later, he graduated with a 3.1 grade point average and a degree in English. Unable to land a job, Erik returned to college and earned a masters degree in education. He finally got hired as a grade school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. It was while he was in Arizona that Erik became interested in mountain climbing. In 1995, he joined a team of climbers who were determined to climb Alaska’s 20,310-foot Denali Mountain, also known as Mount McKinley. After months of preparations, arduous training, and a difficult climb, Erik and his team summited Denali. He and his team spent a total of 21 days on the mountain. During that time, three climbers on other teams died while climbing the same mountain.

In the five years that followed, Erik had summited the highest peaks of five of the seven continents, and had climbed the vertical 3,000-foot face of Yosemite’s El Capitan. In the previous fifty years, 170 climbers had lost their lives trying to climb the mountains that Erik had bested. In 2000, Erik set his sights on conquering Earth’s highest mountain, the 29,031-foot Mount Everest. Family and friends tried to persuade Erik not to attempt Mount Everest because of the high number of climbers who had died trying to conquer the mountain. Erik could not be dissuaded.

Finally, after months of training, Erik and his team began their ascent of the world’s highest peak. Climbing Mount Everest took its toll on Erik’s body. He suffered from bouts of dehydration and dysentery, but Erik continued to climb. His confidence grew with each step he took toward the towering peak. At one point, Erik’s climbing partner stumbled and fell into a crevasse. While falling, his partner’s ice ax accidentally cut Erik’s face. After helping his partner regain his footing, the team treated Erik’s cut with the first aid kit they had brought along. They continued to climb.

On May 25, 2001, Erik and his eighteen team members reached the summit of Mount Everest. Erik and his team earned several records upon reaching the summit. Erik’s team was the largest single group of people who had ever reached its peak. 64-year-old team member Sherman Bull, a Connecticut physician, became the oldest person to reach the summit. The team reached the peak with the heaviest piece of equipment climbers had ever lugged up the mountain, a 25-pound high-definition camera used to document the climb.

Erik and his team had little time to celebrate. They spent a mere fifteen minutes at the peak before they began the dangerous task of descending the mountain. When Erik completed his descent from the mountain he said, “I feel great,” and added “my next challenge will be to climb into bed.”

Erik was not the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He was not the first person to complete the Seven Summits—at the time about 150 people had done it before. He was not the first to reach the top of the Carstensz Pyramid, the Eighth Summit. He was not the first to climb up the 3,000-foot Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite, nor was he the first person to ascend Losar, the 2,700-foot vertical ice face in the Himalayas. Although he was not the first to reach these peaks, Erik became something of a superstar among climbers. He even appeared on the June 18, 2001 cover of Time magazine following his reaching the summit of Mount Everest, though he never got to see it. In fact, he never got to take in the view from atop the world at Mount Everest. Erik Weihenmayer is blind.

1. Daily Press (Victorville, California), June 7, 2001, p.6.
2. Time Magazine, June 18, 2001.
3. The Boston Globe, June 27, 2001, p.81.

Notice of Death – May 31, 2022

Randy Sanderson
August 10, 1954 – May 29, 2022
Service: Friday, June 3 at 12 pm at Central Baptist Church in Robeline

Frances Riley Winn
July 30, 1935 – May 29, 2022
Service: Wednesday, June 1 at 2 pm at Westside Baptist Church in Natchitoches

Kathryn Ullrich Meric
September 15, 1940 – May 26, 2022
Service: Thursday, June 2 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church

Leara Rogers
January 9, 1933 – May 27, 2022
Service: Wednesday, June 1 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Sandra Sharlene Bockstanz
June 8, 1966 – May 29, 2022
Service: Friday, June 3 at 10 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Margaret Bierden Downs
July 24, 1928 – May 28, 2022
Service: Saturday, June 4 at 12 pm at Beulah Cemetery, located at 2279 Hwy 487 in Marthaville

Journal offering $3,000 scholarships at NSU for undecided 2022-23 students

Students who aren’t sure where they’ll go to college this fall are encouraged to apply for the Journal Services NSU Scholarships, which will award three new Northwestern State University students up to $3,000 in the next school year.

Applications are being accepted beginning today through midnight June 8. A link to a simple online application form is available at the bottom of this story.

The scholarships are designed to assist Class of 2022 high school students who haven’t settled on a college choice, as well as students currently enrolled at other higher-education institutions who are considering transferring to NSU in Natchitoches.

They are being provided by Journal Services, LLC, the business that serves local and area residents by providing the framework for the Sabine Parish Journal. Journal Services, LLC, is based in Natchitoches and supports 12 journals covering north central and northwest Louisiana.

“We know there are students who haven’t decided yet where they’ll go to college this fall. We know that in many cases, money is a key factor in making college accessible,” said Bill Vance, general manager of Journal Services, LLC. “We are providing three game-changing scholarships bringing eager students to NSU to take advantage of the excellent academic programs here, and to live in a community where there are plenty of opportunities to find part-time jobs and to have a great student experience.”

A successful applicant from Sabine Parish will join 469 other local students who attend Northwestern. Among the university’s 81,000 alumni, 1,626 currently live in Sabine Parish.

Applicants are asked to provide their high school GPA (and college GPA if applicable), and also, report their ACT score along with listing honors, extracurricular activities and other relevant information on the form. That information will provide a basis for selecting the three winners.

The scholarship awards are for $1,500 cash per semester in the 2022-23 academic year. To renew the scholarship for the Spring 2023 semester, winners must post at least a 2.7 Fall semester GPA at NSU.

Scholarship winners must live in Natchitoches Parish during the upcoming school year. They are also required to have in-person, face-to-face instruction for 75 percent of their classes in 2022-23.

Students who have already accepted financial aid awards from Northwestern are not eligible to apply.

APPLICATION:  To Apply – Click Here

East Bound and Up

Louisiana Tech’s baseball team, proud of its “rally trains” that often opportunistically chug across the tracks beyond J.C. Love Field’s outfield fence, found itself last weekend in need of a rally bus.

Or two.

Or more.

The 12-hour one-way trip to play Charlotte in North Carolina in the final three-game series of the regular season began mid-morning Tuesday aboard a pair of busses. This happens at a school Tech’s size many times each season. Few charter flights at mid-majors.

Most people don’t appreciate the grind of sports travel. You just think it’s hard getting to the family reunion and not losing your mind or getting in a fistfight once you’re there. That’s a ride for a quarter on a drugstore pony compared to moving an entire team from Point Home to Point Lord-Help-Us-All.

Flying commercial with a baseball team is stressful for lots of reasons — cost, long layovers or delayed flights, and mainly airport check-in folk who, God love them, are not usually prepared for the amount of equipment a team needs to transport.

You can get through a line faster at the world’s worst DMV. But say what you will about the DMV, they don’t make you take your shoes off to walk inside.

The friendly skies my ass.

But a bus, you can control. Until you can’t.

And that’s what happened.

I was tagging along with the team and, having driven to Carolina and back many times, knew my butt would be numb. Didn’t know my mind would be too.

Tech’s first leg was to Hoover, Alabama. Six hours, practice, sleep, Wednesday ride the next six hours, practice, sleep, play Thursday and Friday, play Saturday morning and ride all night the 12 hours back to Ruston.

It worked out that way and wasn’t bad, most things considered — unless you consider what should have been a Silver Streak-like, stop-at-Cracker-Barrel-for-lunch, Straight Shot to Hoover.

Unfortunately, you do have to consider it, and it was stupefying.

Our drivers stopped in Tallulah for an emergency kidney transplant. (Check that: for a soda pop.) Then we stopped an hour after lunch and only 80 minutes from Hoover because one of the busses needed to rest for 15 minutes or it might “explode.” Something about calibration or restoration but more likely a fabrication, which in this case was driver talk for “I need a heater and another soda pop.”

We were eastbound, but down. Uneasy riders.

Because there were too many hitches in too many git-a-longs, we finally worked out a compromise with the drivers. It was something like, “Can we borrow the keys?” They drove and there were no more unscheduled stops. Probably just a misunderstanding.


The Bulldogs lost to Charlotte’s 49ers, the hottest team in the league at 11-1 against Conference USA opponents in their most recent four series, in Game 1, 11-3. Most things considered, semi-embarrassing. But as they’ve done all season, the ’Dogs rebounded to win the next two, 8-3 and 14-5, making the ride home much less painful.

The busses might have stopped, but they didn’t slow Tech down. Pretty resilient, these Bulldogs.

Funny thing about a baseball team. On the road, they stumble into a restaurant or truck stop and fan out in their street shorts and tees and the people inside don’t know if the carnival is in town, if the roadies for Motley Crue are hungry, or if the church men’s group is stopping for gas and a Peanut Pattie on the way to help clean up after a hurricane. All shapes and sizes, these baseball guys.

But on the field, if you’ve watched them play, who they’ve become is easy to recognize. Tech bussed to Hattiesburg, Miss., Tuesday — you get the feeling they’d have walked if necessary, so eager are they to play — to begin the Conference USA tournament today. They’re 38-18 overall, 20-10, and second place in the league. A tournament title is on the line, maybe a berth in next week’s regionals.

Their coach says his guys are just ready to get the show back on the road.

“This time of year, you need to be playing loose, having fun, and we seem to be doing that,” Lane Burroughs said. “I don’t know how we’ll do this week. But I can assure you of this: these guys aren’t ready for the season to end.”

They don’t want to stop anymore.

Contact Teddy at

NRMC’s New Retail Pharmacy Features an Easy-to-Use Mobile App

NRMC’s new retail pharmacy makes filling prescriptions easy. The hospital has teamed up with PioneerRx, a pharmacy software company, to offer NRMC Pharmacy customers access to a convenient mobile app, RxLocal.

After filling your first prescription at NRMC’s new Pharmacy, you can register for RxLocal. Simply visit the App store or Google Play and download RxLocal. You’ll be asked to verify your information, validate your account, and create a username and password. It is that easy and takes just a few minutes to complete. From there, ordering refills is fast and super easy to do.

RxLocal Mobile allows you to:

· Message directly to an NRMC pharmacist on the HIPAA Compliant

2-way Messenger which keeps your messages confidential.

· Request refills in just minutes.

· Manage all of your family’s prescriptions straight from your Smart phone.

· Get mobile medication reminders about upcoming refills.

· Keep your prescription information accessible and well organized.

· And more.

NRMC retail Pharmacy is open from 8:30am to 8:30pm, 7 days a week. Conveniently located in the Multispecialty Clinic on the corner of Keyser Avenue and Isadore Drive, community members are encouraged to take advantage of this new NRMC service. The experienced pharmacy team ensures excellent customer service and focuses on exceeding customer expectations while providing the highest standards of care.

For more information about NRMC’s retail Pharmacy and its mobile app, RxLocal, please call 318.214.5777.

A Flight of Fancy

By Brad Dison

Mary and her husband, George, attended a dinner party at Anna’s home. Anna’s husband was away on business so she convinced her brother, Hall, to be her escort at the formal affair. It was a big to-do. All of the men wore dress suits or tuxedos. The women wore “dinner dresses,” which differed from evening party gowns and reception gowns in the kind of fabrics used. Anna wore a white satin dress with matching gloves. The dinner party guests made small talk in the hall until the butler announced, “Dinner is served.”

The men escorted the ladies into the dining room and to their designated seats. The guest list was long, but Anna made sure that Mary sat at her table. Mary and Anna were strong-minded women, and became fast friends when they met the previous year.

As etiquette necessitated, the meal was doled out in multiple courses. No one refused a course regardless of whether or not they intended to eat it. If a course did not suit their fancy, they used their utensils and pretended to eat it while making small talk. Each course lasted a certain number of minutes. The plates or bowls for each course were promptly removed at predetermined times whether or not the guests were finished eating. Everything was done with military precision.

During the multi-course dinner, Anna realized that Mary was becoming impatient with the formalities. Mary, somewhat of a tomboy, always preferred trousers to dresses. Mary enjoyed the freedom of movement trousers provided although she recognized that all of the other females wore dresses. She may have recognized it, but it certainly did not alter her decision to wear trousers. On this occasion, however, Mary wore a fine dinner dress with a mink coat (which she probably borrowed) because she would never have turned down Anna’s dinner invitation.

Mary had had enough. She was enjoying her conversation with George, Anna, and Hall, but the steady stream of servants and all of the rules of etiquette were just too much. The dinner seemed to last forever. Finally, Mary hatched a plan. She suggested to Anna that they sneak out of the party and take a short evening pleasure flight. To Anna, it seemed like the perfect adventure.

To the surprise of the wait staff, Anna, Hall, George, and Mary excused themselves from the dinner party with the simple explanation that they would return shortly. The other guests continued with their dinner as if nothing had happened. The foursome drove to the airport and boarded an Eastern Air Transport’s twin-engine biplane. The pilot and co-pilot taxied the plane onto the runway and took off.

Free from the stuffy dinner party, Mary and Anna were truly enjoying themselves. As the plane leveled out, Mary suggested that they, Mary and Anna, take their adventure to the next level and fly the plane. Anna, not one to back down from a challenge, eagerly agreed. This was her chance to fly. Anna had applied for pilot’s license but her husband persuaded her not to take flying lessons because he dreamed that she had crashed an airplane.

Mary and Anna told the pilot and co-pilot that they were going to fly the airplane for a few minutes. No record exists of George or Hall’s reaction to their decision to commandeer the airplane. Neither Mary nor Anna would take no for an answer, so Mary traded places with the pilot and Anna with the co-pilot. For a few brief minutes, the two ladies, still in dinner gowns and mink coats, flew in the skies between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, before returning to the airport. Elated, the foursome returned to Anna’s dinner party just as the dessert course was being served. The other patrons of the dinner party welcomed them back and continued with their own conversations.

Mary and Anna were thrilled with their flight of fancy. No one would expect the First Lady of the United States, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, to leave a dinner party at the White House and take a flight with Mary. Five years later, Mary and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane. On January 5, 1939, Amelia Mary Earhart was declared dead in absentia.

1. “Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt Flying from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore,” Pioneers of Flight, accessed May 17, 2022,,women’s%20and%20world%20peace%20movements.

2. “Pilots in Evening Gowns: When Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt Took to the Skies,” A Mighty Girl, accessed May 17, 2022,

Notice of Death – May 24, 2022

Janice Farmer Andrus
March 4, 1937 – May 20, 2022
Service: Saturday, May 28 at 11 am at the Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Coralene Riggs
Arrangements TBA

Cedric Wayne Willis
May 5, 1964 – May 22, 2022
Arrangements TBA

NSU Slated to Receive $52 million in Capital Outlay funding

Among a group of bills given final legislative approval by the Louisiana House, House Bill No. 2 presents a comprehensive Capital Outlay budget. This bill has yet to be signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. Once the governor signs the legislation into law, the Section sends agencies letters notifying them of capital outlay appropriations and of the procedures required to initiate funded projects.

Health Performance Center, Planning and Construction – Payable from State General Fund (Direct) Non-Recurring Revenues


Renovation of Roy Hall, Planning and Construction – from General Obligation Bonds (Priority 5)


Replacement of John S. Kyser Hall, Planning and Construction – Payable from General Obligation Bonds

Priority 1 – $3,907,680
Priority 5 – $33,195,000
Total – $37,102,680

A country boy’s music can survive

Conway Twitty was regretfully low-growling to a woman about how she was standing on a bridge that just won’t burn.

Ronnie Milsap was having daydreams about night things in the middle of the afternoon, somebody with not much sense was making Crystal Gayle’s brown eyes blue, and Barbara Mandrell was singing about sleeping single in a double bed, a situation difficult for a boy like me to contemplate, especially if you’ve ever seen Barbara Mandrell in person, which I did several times in the 1980s.

Country musically, it was a simpler time, a time I thought was forgotten until last week’s effort about the mournful passing of the entertaining singer and keyboard wizard Mickey Gilley at 86 prompted grateful mail that I am still answering. I thought the last fan of the Urban Cowboy music era had been stored away in some dusty attic, like the unwanted steel guitar and dobro.

Wrong. There are apparently more out there like me who wonder what happened to “our” music and have a hard time listening to anything past 1985 billed as “country.” Oh, every now and then a Toby Keith has squeaked in an “I’m Just Talkin’ ’Bout Tonight.” Travis Tritt got “Bible Belt” and “10 Feet Tall And Bulletproof” past the guardians of what passes for today’s country.

And thank goodness the new-schoolers weren’t looking when Lee Ann Womack showed up singing about how she should be ashes by now and also that she was a little past Little Rock but a long way from over you, (something “you” should be ashamed of).

It’s like the Statler Brothers sang when they sensed the sands shifting those hard-to-believe 35ish years ago: “I’ll tell you friend/a mandolin/won’t get you on a TV show/…whoa no…”

But there was a magical time, a bit after the Glory Days of George Jones and Johnny Cash, Mighty Merle and Roger Miller and Tammy Whynot (oops; typo?), Loretta Lynn, Jeannie Seely and Marty Robbins, all the fastball pitchers of my pre-driving days. After them came Gilley and the Gang, Country Music’s last stand.

Gene Watson picked the wildwood flower. Rosanne Cash explained the way we make a broken heart, and Rodney Crowell said she was crazy for leaving, a No. 1 song written by the great Guy Clark.

The Judds had to explain to momma that he was crazy. Don Williams was livin’ on Tulsa time, Keith Whitley was no stranger to the rain, all George Strait’s exes lived in Texas, and Emmylou Harris, the female standard bearer in this bureau, said she’d walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham if she just had two more bottles of wine, and thank you Delbert McClinton for writing that.

Alabama. Wow. Nothing quite like old Alabama and old flames and Dixieland delights. The pre-Elvira Oak Ridge Boys in the Y’all Come Back Saloon. Janie Frickie was down to her last broken heart, and Con Hunley (“You Lay A Whole Lotta Love On Me”), Earl Thomas Conley (“Heavenly Bodies”) and John Conlee (“I Don’t Remember Lovin’ You”) had sound-alike names but sound-different-but-top-shelf hits.

The Bellamy Brothers. The dynamic Ricky Skaggs, who begged his girl not to cheat in their hometown or he’d tell Uncle Pen. Juice Newton, the queen of hearts. Vern Gosdin, who just wanted Joe to set ’em up and play “Walkin’ The Floor.” Not too much to ask, right?

Kenny gambling and Dolly warning me that it was going to be a hard candy Christmas unless I worked 9 to 5, and together they were islands in the stream.

Marshall Tucker. Charlie Daniels. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and “An American Dream.” And Sir Edward Rabbitt, who loved him on a rainy night and some rocky mountain music.

Two heavyweights were 1) Willie and the geographically challenging, ever-moving whiskey river, and 2) Waylon warning mommas not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys.

But if they did, well, that was OK too. Because Hank “Bocephus” Jr. said country folk and cowboy folk can survive … back when they were playing our song.

I’ll go punch up the next five tunes. . .Anybody got a quarter? A solid? Anyone?

Contact Teddy at

Various genres of music presented at the 2022 Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival

The organizers of the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival, which is going to be presented on the downtown riverbank stage on May 20th and 21st always like to spotlight the diversity of the music at the event and love to set a “If you can’t find some music at this festival that you like, then you just don’t like music.” This statement is clearly illustrated when you break down the various genres of music presented at the festival and the bands that will be performing music of that genre:


Dave Duplissey’s Sax in the Corner Band
The Nakatosh Rhythm Chiefs
The Dan Sumner Band – Featuring Coco York
The Forsyth Jazz Collective

Note: All Jazz bands will be performing on the Jazz Stage which will now be located at venue on Front Street.


The Commodores
Klockwork Band
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
Deshawn Washington
The Kelli Roberts Band
Josh Hyde and the Lost Parish
The Turn-Ups
Cane River Soul


The Commodores
L.A. Roxx
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
James Burton
The Kelli Roberts Band
The Sundown Band
Jesse Cole
The Turn-Ups
The Comeback Kids
Cane River Soul


Gerard Delafose and the Zydeco Gators
B Cam and the Zydeco Young Bucks


Josh Hyde and the Lost Parish
Klockwork Band
Cane River Soul
The Snake Doctors


Marty Haggard
The Chase Tyler Band
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
The Sundown Band
Armadillo Jackal Band
The Comeback Kids


The Commodores
Klockwork Band
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
Cane River Soul


L.A. Sweet T
Armadillo Jackal Band
Snake Doctors
50 Man Machine


L.A. Sweet T
50 Man Machine

The festival begins on Friday, May 20th at 7 p.m. with Gerard Delafose and the Zydeco Gators followed by L. A. Roxx, then continues all day Saturday, May 21st with over 20 bands on four different stages with The Commodores closing the show.

There will be lots of food and activities for the kids at this family friendly event.

For tickets and more information go to

Thou Shalt Not Steal

By Brad Dison

On the night of April 23, 2006, David Kotkin, Cathy Daly, and Mia Volmut went to dinner after work in West Palm Beach, Florida. David was a multimillionaire and Cathy and Mia were his assistants. At about 11:15 pm, after they had finished dinner, they left the restaurant and walked into the parking lot. They were unaware that they were being watched.

Four teenagers sat in a dark car and watched as David, Cathy and Mia exited the restaurant. When the trio was about halfway between the restaurant and their vehicle, far enough that they would be unable to run to the safety of either, the teenagers jumped from their parked car. Before the trio could react, pistols were pointing at their faces at close range. The teenagers told the trio to give them their money, cell phones, and whatever else of value they had on them. By stealing their phones, the robbers knew they would be long gone by the time the trio could alert police.

Cathy and Mia gave the teenage robbers a purse which contained about 200 euros, $100, a passport, and airline tickets. Cathy and Mia emptied their pockets of about $400. To the robbers, it was looking like it was going to be a good night. In David, however, they were attempting to rob the wrong man.

David, himself, had a habit of making things disappear and could escape pretty much any situation which presented itself. He had made his fortune by making things owned by other people disappear right before their own eyes. At his peak, David cleverly pulled in thousands of dollars per night.

David remained calm. He carefully studied the faces of the teenage hoodlums. At their insistence, David pulled his pockets inside out. He showed the robbers that his pockets contained nothing of value. The teenagers were surprised that he had no money, no wallet, and no cell phone, when they had made such a big score from his companions.

Finally satisfied that they had taken all there was to take from the trio, the teenage robbers ran to their car and sped away. David had outsmarted the four robbers. By using what he referred to as “reverse pickpocketing” aided by the shadows that the night provided, David hid his cell phone and wallet in the palms of his hands. As the robbers were fleeing, David, cell phone already in his hand, dialed 911 and gave the police the license plate number of the robbers’ car.

Within minutes, police arrested the four teenage robbers and recovered the stolen goods. At the police station, David, Cathy, and Mia easily identified the teenage robbers. Police charged the teenagers with armed robbery and held them without bond. Some of officers knew that David had a habit of cutting women into pieces, but none attempted to arrest him. Rather, several of them asked for his autograph. You know David Kotkin by his professional name. He is master illusionist David Copperfield.

Sources: Fromm, Emily. “David Copperfield Robbed at Gunpoint.” Accessed May 9, 2022.

NRMC Wound Center Receives National Recognition

The NRMC Wound Center was recently recognized for receiving the Center of Distinction Award; the prestigious Robert A. Warriner, III Clinical Excellence Award for 2021, and a 2021 President’s Circle Award recipient.

For more than a decade, Healogics has presented the Center of Distinction Award to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and accomplishments of Wound Centers that deliver care, treatment and services in a manner that exceeds the performance of other like Centers. Center of Distinction awards are given to Centers that achieve or exceed outstanding clinical and operational results, including ≥ 92% Patient Satisfaction Rate, ≥ 75% Wound Adjusted Comprehensive Healing Rate and a ≤ 16% Outlier Rate.

To be awarded the Clinical Excellence Award, a Center must score in the top 10 percent of eligible Wound Care Centers for 2021 on the Clinical Excellence measure, which is the Comprehensive Healing Rate weighted by wound mix.

The 2021 President’s Circle Award is based on achieving or exceeding outstanding clinical and operational results in 2021. This award distinguishes winners as the best of the best.

“We are exceptionally proud of our outstanding wound care team,” explained Kirk Soileau, NRMC CEO. “Since opening, they have consistently set high standards of care and customer service and performed their work at the top deciles nationally. Their ability to heal problem wounds is astounding. They improve their patients’ quality of life by successfully treating wounds that impact every aspect of life: physically and emotionally. Most importantly, they are saving lives and limbs. Thank you to every member of the NRMC Wound Care team for your care and commitment to our community.”

For more information on wound care services, please visit

BOM Sponsors the Toledo Bend Lake Association

BOM was a table sponsor for the Toledo Bend Lake Association – Bass Unlimited Banquet. All proceeds raised at the Bass Unlimited Auction are directly invested into projects benefitting the Toledo Bend Lake Area – projects like the Sabine Parish 5th Grade Fishing Clinic, purchasing school supplies for Sabine Parish and Sabine County children, and boat ramp signs around the lake.

Pictured left to right: Ted Dove (TBLA – Sponsor Committee Chairman), and Daniel Bennett (BOM Sabine Parish Market President)

Notice of Death – May 17, 2022

Benedict “Bubba” LaCour, Jr.
December 1, 1945 – May 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, May 21 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle

Marie Guthrie Saucier
January 18, 1926 – May 16, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 18 at 12 pm at Bethel Church of Christ, located at 4793 Highway 501 in Winnfield

Terry Lynn Fields
December 31, 1951 – May 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

A tip of the Urban Cowboy hat

Being raised in Ferriday hardly makes you a city boy. But because he could sing and tickle the ivories, and because he opened a watering hole in Texas the size of a football field, Mickey Gilley, a son of small-town Louisiana, ended up batting leadoff in the Urban Cowboy League, which was no small deal in the rawhide-crazed 1980s.

With the sad weekend news of the passing at age 86 of the keyboard whiz, singer and approachable entertainer, our heart was heavier than a couple of barroom bouncers sitting on top a honkytonk piano.

I sort of got to meet Mickey Gilley (somehow you have to say his whole name — “Mickey” or “Gilley” doesn’t sound right) a half-dozen years ago when he played at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant. I say “got to meet” but really all I did was take a picture of him and my spousal unit, who he was a bit taken by. They talked and hugged and I took some pictures and they carried on and I got out of the way and went looking for a place to sit down. I’m used to this.

He was a nice man and his picture hangs in her office, along with a lot of other pictures of her and other people I almost sort of got to meet until they met her.

Speaking of women, the 1980s were about Urban Cowgirls as much as they were about cowboys. Country was cool. Ropers and hats and belt buckles the size of saucers. Your friends who usually listened to nothing but hard rock suddenly knew all the words to Lookin’ for Love.

It vanished of course, as all good things do, and now what passes for country music is gut bucket drivel. The Urban Cowboy craze was the last great run country music had. We have been lucky that a George Strait or Brad Paisley have surfaced since, but I’m afraid that the days of Mickey Gilley and Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings are gone, lost as a dozen of your old worn out bandanas.

And so, with our felt Stetson over our heart, we salute a time gone by with the Top 10 Mickey Gilley Songs, According To Me.

10. Room Full of Roses: “I just want my arms around you…”

9. Overnight Sensation: “She’s an overnight sensation, she’s an open invitation…” Mickey Gilley could not quite figure this girl out.

8. Window Up Above: Couldn’t figure this one either. Heartbreak City.

7. Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time: EVERYBODY knew the words to this monster hit.

6. Stand By Me: One of Mickey Gilley’s classic covers, along with …

5. True Love Ways, and

4. You Don’t Know Me

3. Object of My Affection: Lots of good bluesy “boogie woogie” piano here.

2. Power of Positive Drinking: And here too.

1. It’s a Headache Tomorrow (Or A Heartache Tonight): “No matter which one you choose, you loose…” Hurts me. One of the best songs of the Urban Cowboy era, a chapter of which closes with the passing of Mickey Gilley.

Contact Teddy at

Tickets on Sale Now for NRMC Foundation’s 2022 Black & White Gala

The NRMC Foundation proudly presents the 34th Annual NRMC Foundation Gala Saturday, May 21st. Join us for an evening of glamour and fine dining with entertainment provided by Limelight – a renowned eleven-piece band experience. The 2022 “Black and White” Gala will be a night to remember. Proceeds from the event will support the mission of the NRMC Foundation. Tickets are on sale for $100 per person, and a few table sponsorships (reserved seating) are also available.

Make a difference for better health in our community and have an amazing night with us.

Saturday, May 21, 2022
Natchitoches Event Center
Cocktails served at 6:30pm

For tickets, table sponsorships or more information, please contact Cathy Jacobs at or call 318.214.4513.

Special thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who make this event possible.

Notice of Death – May 10, 2022

William Manual Stewart
August 6, 1945 – April 25, 2022
Service: Saturday, May 14 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many

Rosalie Alford
December 10, 1928 – May 7, 2022
Service: Thursday, May 12 at 10 AM at First Baptist Church of Florien

Billie Doris Corley Hammond
November 14, 1927 – May 8, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 11 at 10 AM at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

JR Davis
October 13, 1959 – May 9, 2022
Service: Thursday, May 12 from 6-8 pm at the New Life Evangelism Center

Pete Stewart
August 25, 1958 – May 9, 2022
Service: Saturday, May 14 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Dorothy Mobley Weeks
March 27, 1937 – May 7, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 11 at 12 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Many softball goes back-2-back, takes state again

As soon as a team wins a championship, the question gets asked: can you win it again next year?

For the Many High softball team, that answer is an emphatic YES.

The Lady Tigers finally got a test in the state championship game Saturday, but teams that don’t score, don’t win. Port Barre could not solve the arm of tournament MVP Tia Holmes or the Many defense, and could not get on the board.

A 3-0 win was more than enough to end the 2022 season exactly the way the team and coach Keaton Booker planned from when they celebrated their 2021 state title, the first in the softball program’s history.

The 2022 Class 2A champions outscored their playoff opponents 62-4 in five games, including an 11-0 destruction of Doyle in Friday’s semifinals as Many blasted seven home runs to back up Holmes’ perfect game – no runs, no hits, and behind her, no errors.

The Lady Tigers (29-4) got only one over the fence Saturday, a two-run shot by Camryn Ford in the bottom of the third. That came an inning after Kristen Martinez cracked an RBI double to put the champs up 1-0.

Port Barre’s best chance came in the top of the first when the Devils got runners on second and third with one out, but Holmes and the flawless Many defense came up with the outs and kept the losers (23-6) in neutral the rest of the way.

The Lady Tigers have won their first two state championships in the past two seasons. While some outstanding seniors are headed off to college, some to continue softball careers, most of the 18 girls on the 2022 Many team will be back on the diamond next spring, hoping to add to the fast-growing championship tradition.

Booker’s second season ended like the first one. He’s the first to share the credit with his assistant coaches: Josh Jenkins, Dayton Craig, and his wife, the Lady Tigers’ pitching coach, Emma Callie Booker.

Congratulations also should be extended to Sabine Parish’s other state tournament team, the Florien Lady Black Cats. They gave defending state Class B champion Holden all it could handle in Friday’s semifinals, but in a see-saw game, Holden made a late surge and eliminated Florien 10-6.

A touch by the better angels of our nature

In the pre-GoogleMaps days, the late, great Paul Harvey liked to remind us that when people asked for directions, we’d often start by saying, “Well, go down two red lights and…”

“But that light is green,” he’d say in his lyrical, always optimistic voice, “as often as it is red…”

We have a way of coloring things dreary at first glance. Human nature. And while none of us would argue the world is not in dire straits — where to begin? — there is much more good news than bad.

All around and every day.

Each year at the annual springtime Volunteers of America North Louisiana “Cherish the Children” breakfast, I show up saying I won’t cry this year but … I do. A video from the after-school LightHouse program will usually do the trick. A talk from a homeless veteran who’s now employed and helping others in a circumstance similar to his when hope seemed lost. A newlywed couple with learning disabilities but a home and hope and friends who love them as they are and are helping them get to where they wish to be.

Also this spring was the VOA’s annual “thank you” luncheon, and I snuck in (sneaked in?) for selfish reasons: this is the kind of group you want to hang around if you want to feel better Right Then because …

Well, you meet members of the church congregation who’ve basically adopted an elementary school in their area and provide tutoring, books, supplies, and clothes to children with these insecurities;

Or old friends who pair up to help children after school by developing special reading projects for them or taking them to the library;

A group who takes children on an annual Christmas shopping trip;

An empty nester wife and mom who noticed early in the pandemic the increased vulnerability of senior citizens’ health and arranged for phone friends, grocery pickups, and a monthly surprise treat of a delivered meal or snack.

VOA serves more than 7,000 people in north and central Louisiana through 40 or so programs — but “programs” is just a word without volunteers.

I was lucky enough this spring to hit the Volunteer Trifecta since I snuck in (sneaked in?, again?) the United Way of Northeast Louisiana “Celebrating Excellence” breakfast too. More than 300 people, many of them volunteers, packed the Davison Athletics Complex on Louisiana Tech’s campus for inspiration from videos and testimonies, and to celebrate volunteers, another word for “servants.”

During the pandemic, which included a couple of storm disasters, the group realized its most donations ever. Compassion and forward thinking and responsive hearts are winning the day for neighbors who need help.

The light is green for each of us to do our part. No man is an island. And nothing can rob us of the joy of giving.

Today it’s “them” who need a hand. Tomorrow, it could be you and me. The bell tolls for us all.

Contact Teddy at

Reys in the City of Light

Hans Augusto Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1898. Following World War I, in which Hans served, he designed posters for a circus and studied art at Hamburg University. Hans struggled to make a living with the postwar inflation in Germany. In 1924, Hans accepted a job in Brazil where he composed commercial lettering for advertisements and offices and sold bathtubs along the Amazon River.

In 1935, Hans met Margret Elisabeth Waldstein, a fellow artist and Jew who was also from Hamburg. Their similar interests drew them together and they married later the same year. Together, the Reys began a joint career which consisted of magazine work, advertising, and illustrating books. The couple was so busy with work that they delayed their honeymoon. Finally, the Reys planned a honeymoon trip through Europe. They visited their homeland of Hamburg and eventually made their way to Paris, France. The Reys loved Paris so they kept putting off their return to Brazil. Four years later, still in Paris, they found themselves in a precarious situation.

In 1939, Paris began preparing for what they realized was an inevitable war with Germany. Paris underwent a drastic transformation. City workers dug miles of trenches in the city squares and parks that the Reys enjoyed visiting. Signs throughout the city pointed the way to the nearest trench. The city distributed gas masks to its civilians. Children were evacuated from the city into the countryside. The beautiful Parisian lights—Paris is still known as the City of Light—were turned off at night as a precaution against German air raids. Workers removed the stained-glass windows from the Sainte-Chapelle and placed them in storage. Curators at the Louvre, aided by packers, cataloged and transported major works of art in crates which were labelled only with numbers to disguise their contents. The works of art were transported in trucks at night in slow convoys with their headlights off. Historically significant buildings and architectural landmarks were surrounded by walls of sandbags. The city rationed certain foods and gasoline.

After months of waiting, the Germans attacked France on May 10, 1940. With each passing day, the Nazis drew closer to Paris. Eighteen days later, the British realized that France would fall to the Germans and withdrew their soldiers to the beaches of Dunkirk. While retreating British soldiers were being loaded onto ships, Germain airplanes attacked relentlessly. Refugees from the battle zone started pouring into Paris. On June 3, the Germans began bombing Paris and its suburbs. A week later, the French government fled Paris. Fearful Parisians followed their example and fled from the city using any means available including trains, cars, buses, wagons, carts, bicycles, and on foot.

In June of 1940, the Reys knew their honeymoon in Paris had come to an end. With no other means of transportation available, they fashioned bicycles out of discarded broken bicycles. They had no choice but to abandon most of their possessions. As they prepared to flee, Hans grabbed the manuscripts of a children’s book that he and Margret had written and threw them into a bag. Hans grabbed the bag and they pedaled their way through the throngs of people leaving Paris. The Reys eventually made their way to a ship which was heading to America. The Reys were unable to relax because they were aware the German U-boats and warships were targeting ships in the Atlantic Ocean. In the Fall of 1940, the Reys arrived safely in New York.

Within a month of their arrival, American book publisher Houghton Mifflin agreed to publish the Reys’ children’s book. In 1946, after the end of World War II, the Reys became American citizens. People so loved their children’s book, that they eventually wrote a whole series based on the two main characters. By 1997, at the time of Margret’s death and twenty years after Hans’s death, the books had sold more than 20 million copies in more than a dozen languages. The tales have been adapted for television, films, and video games. For the rest of her life, people asked Margret “were you afraid?” She always replied, “you don’t have time to be afraid.” In an interview with The Associated Press, Margret said, “Actually, it was fun.” The manuscript carried by the Reys as they fled Paris on makeshift bicycles told the tale of the man in the yellow hat and his pet monkey,… “Curious George.”

1. The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware), November 19, 1953, p.13.
2. The Springfield News-Leader (Springfield, Missouri), January 17, 1997, p.22.