Originations of Resolutions

According to the History Channel website, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted.

During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions. If the Babylonians kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.

A similar practice occurred in ancient Rome, after the reform-minded emperor Julius Caesar tinkered with the calendar and established January 1 as the beginning of the new year circa 46 B.C. Named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches, January had special significance for the Romans. Believing that Janus symbolically looked backward into the previous year and ahead into the future, the Romans offered sacrifices to the deity and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.

For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, the English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Also known as known as watch night services, they included readings from Scriptures and hymn singing, and served as a spiritual alternative to the raucous celebrations normally held to celebrate the coming of the new year. Now popular within evangelical Protestant churches, especially African American denominations and congregations, watch night services held on New Year’s Eve are often spent praying and making resolutions for the coming year.

Despite the tradition’s religious roots, New Year’s resolutions today are a mostly secular practice. Instead of making promises to the gods, most people make resolutions only to themselves, and focus purely on self-improvement (which may explain why such resolutions seem so hard to follow through on). According to recent research, while as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals. But that dismal record probably won’t stop people from making resolutions anytime soon—after all, we’ve had about 4,000 years of practice.

A birthday salute to Nettles Brown

Kevin’s Gallery

It wasn’t unusual late Thursday afternoon when Nettles Brown got a call from his wife, Glenelle, telling him he needed to run by the First United Methodist Church on Second Street for a brief 5:30 meeting before they went out to supper with friends.

It wasn’t unusual that Brown showed up 15 minutes early.

It wasn’t unusual to see a few of his fellow FUMC members walking in, as he stood outside chatting.

But when a couple of his colleagues from his New York Life office arrived, well before 5:30, that was a bit perplexing.

Then he walked inside the building, trailing them into a darkened Bostick Hall. He was stopped in his tracks as he finally realized this was no church business gathering. “Whoa, look at this!” he exclaimed, to the delight of dozens of admirers gathered to celebrate Brown’s 80th birthday.

Calling him a pillar of the community is understating it. For decades, he has served Natchitoches in a variety of roles, officially and otherwise. Notably, he has been a cornerstone member of the local Kiwanis Club whose leadership skills and passion carried him to a term in the prestigious position of International President of the organization.

A native of Coushatta and holder of bachelor’s (1963) and master’s (1970) degrees from Northwestern State, Brown settled in Natchitoches in 1967. Brown has been supportive of countless local causes, local schools and NSU Athletics and other university activities and programs.

His impact, not only through his service to the Kiwanis Club, extends well past Natchitoches Parish. That was indicated by the range of out-of-town visitors at the surprise party, including business leaders, friends and family from Shreveport, Alexandria and smaller communities, along with a judge from Alexandria and a Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, among others from all age groups and all walks of life.

It was 90 minutes of fellowship celebrating a landmark birthday for a gentleman who is deservedly beloved for a lifetime of friendship and service to all.

A Healthy New Year

As we end 2021 and begin to focus on 2022, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center encourages our community to take care of YOU in 2022. Listen to your body and get the care you need. Timely care and early detection can help prevent serious illnesses.
The path to good health includes staying up-to-date on health screenings and diagnostic exams. Below is a general guide to common recommended health screenings for both men and women and how often they should be repeated. If you have a family history of disease, your physician may recommend screenings earlier than the average age listed or may require more frequent screenings.

Age 18 • Routine Wellness Exam & Labs are recommended for both men and women. Blood sugar levels should also be screened to determine risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Repeat annually.

Age 20 • Cholesterol Screening are recommended for both men and women to assess the risk for cardiovascular disease. In families with a high incidence of cardiovascular disease, screenings may be recommended for children and adolescents as well.
Repeat every 5 years.

Age 21 • A Pap Smear is recommended for women to test for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. OB/GYN physicians provide this screening.
Repeat every 3 years.

Age 40 • Mammogram is recommended for women to screen for breast abnormalities including cancer. No doctor’s order is needed for an annual screening mammogram.
Repeat every 1 to 2 years depending on family history.

Age 45 • Colonoscopy Screening is recommended for both men and women to detect any abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum as well as colon cancer.
Repeat as determined by your physician based on initial screening and family history.

Age 45 • Diabetes Screening is recommended for both men and women by the American Diabetes Association to identify disease risk. Repeat every 3 years or as recommended by physician.

Age 50 • PSA Screening or prostate screening is recommended for men to help detect prostate cancer. This screening is performed by a urologist and includes a physical exam and blood work to measure prostate-specific antigen (PSA) present in the blood.
Repeat annually.

Age 60 • DEXA Scan for Bone Density is recommended for both men and women. This scan can help determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis.
Repeat as determined by physician.

It is important for you to speak with your primary care physician for a comprehensive list of screenings you need to stay healthy and on the path to good health! NRMC and our clinics are here to help you achieve optimum health. For a complete list of NRMC Clinics and the services we provide, please visit NRMChospital.org.

Time To Sign Up For Basketball

The winter basketball program at First Baptist Coushatta is getting close.  First games are January 22nd.  Games will be played on Saturdays through February 26th in the Family Life Center gym.

Registration is $35 which covers the uniform shirt, trophy, 6 games and 6 practices.  There are teams for children ages 4 years through 6th grade.

For information, call Julie at 932-4023.  Registration runs through January 7th.

4-H Glow Camp

The Red River 4-H clubs are offering seventh and eighth graders Challenge Camp 2022.  The motto is “Let’s Glow Crazy With 4-H.”

Save the date!  This very fun camp is for 7/8th grade students, but 10-12th graders can go as teen chaperones.  Sign up at the following: forms.gle/1HYJG31GetdxDdeX6

The camp costs $65 and will be held at Clara Springs Camp. Deadline to sign up and pay is January 21st.

The Division of Professional Bass Fishing

By Steve Graf

In my lifetime, I can’t remember there being such division among the American people. Whether it’s a moral or political point of view, we just can’t seem to come to common ground. Likewise, three years ago there was a split in the professional bass fishing ranks. Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society known as B.A.S.S. and its members (professional anglers) had a parting of ways due to differences of opinion on several topics. The powers that be at B.A.S.S. have done things a certain way since the beginning of time and were not willing to compromise on many of these topics. I’ll now give you my perspective as to what happened and what gave birth to an organization now known as MLF or Major League Fishing.

Pretty much all sports have people that think they know a better way to do things. Professional athletes just might have the biggest egos on the planet. Professional bass fishermen are no different, as egos abound, and many think they are the next greatest angler to ever grace the front deck of a boat. Not all professional anglers have one of these super egos, but there are many that do and some of these guys have their own idea as to how an organization should be run. Basically, what happened three years ago is that tour anglers got together (semi-unionized) and decided to approach B.A.S.S. with their ideas on what changes they would like to see made to accommodate the pro’s better.

Over the years, B.A.S.S. has set the schedule and determined when and where the anglers would fish. They set the rules and regulations for all B.A.S.S. events. Professional anglers wanted a bigger say, especially when it came to the scheduled dates. B.A.S.S. over the years has never taken into consideration special dates like Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, or any other holidays. They said when and where the events were set and expected all anglers to be there no matter what. It was not negotiable! Anglers also wanted more input in some of the rules and how they were applied… like the “no information” rule which is where anglers can’t seek, barter, or retrieve information about a body of water during the dead water period. This has been a controversial topic for years with all professional bass fishing circuits.

So, after the anglers met with B.A.S.S. officials, it was determined that the officials were not willing to give the anglers a say on scheduling events, nor were they receptive to any other suggestions the anglers had. Therefore, 80 anglers decided to venture out and start their own tournament organization where they had a say as to how things were done. They would determine the schedule, set the dates, and make the rules for what they thought would work better. This is what we know today as MLF or Major League Fishing. This idea had actually been in the works for two or three years prior to 80 anglers leaving B.A.S.S. to be a part of the MLF Pro Tour. Now this was a blow for B.A.S.S., but in truth has not really phased B.A.S.S. at all. They are, and have been, the leader in tournament bass fishing since its inception back in the late 1960’s. B.A.S.S. is also home to the greatest tournament in the world….The Bassmaster Classic! This is the biggest tournament in the world, and it is all anglers dream to win this event. Professional football players have the Super Bowl, baseball has the World Series and bass fishing has the Bassmaster Classic.

So, for the last three years MLF has waged their own war in the bass fishing world and appears to be fairly strong at this time, but there have been a few signs that things may not be as kosher as MLF wants us to think. Each of the last three years, highly popular anglers have left MLF only to return to B.A.S.S. These have included top name pros like Brandon Palaniuk, Gerald Swindle, Jacob Powroznik, Mike Iaconelli, Jason Christie, John Cox, Justin Adkins and Louisiana’s Greg Hackney…guys who have made a name for themselves and are considered some of the best anglers in the world. If this exodus continues, MLF may not survive. They can’t continue to lose top name anglers to B.A.S.S.

In actuality, professional bass fishing needs this organization to be successful. There too many anglers trying to make a living professionally and having only one organization to accommodate them is just not enough. Major League Fishing is also something new and different when it comes to their format of catching as many bass as you can in a day, rather than just your best 5, which has been the standard for all tournament trails since the 1990’s. MLF requires a little different mindset versus going out and catching 5 big ones. Furthermore, it makes for great TV coverage when every fish counts. This is what MLF promised the anglers who left B.A.S.S., more TV exposure not only for themselves, but their sponsors as well.

The jury is still out on MLF, but hopefully they will continue to enhance and attract more anglers who are looking to fish this style of event. While B.A.S.S continues to be the standard that all anglers hope to reach, MLF for now will have to try and keep as many top name pros as they can if they want to survive. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Rebels on MSAIS All Team

Riverdale Academy is excited about the five players named to the All-MSAIS football team.  The school said, “Congratulations to our Rebels who made the All-MSAIS football team!

Named to the Offensive Team are:

Running Back Jake Messenger

Running Back Monroe McCarty

Outside Lineman Chandler Nettles

Named to the Defensive Team are:

Linebacker Ty Jones

Defensive Lineman Denver Williams

CLECO Offers Scholarships

Applications are still being accepted for the 2022 Cleco Power of a Promise Scholarship! This scholarship was established in 2020 in partnership with Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC).

Recipients of the scholarship can use it to help fund training, curriculum development and scholarships. The scholarship includes full tuition, books, a stipend for incidentals and a paid internship at our Brame Energy Center.

Students can apply at spr.ly/6184J2W5e and hand deliver, mail or email their application to CLTCC’s Alexandria Campus. Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2022.

For more information and eligibility requirements, visit spr.ly/6186J2W5g.

We Welcome 2022 With Great Hope and Promise

By Royal Alexander

It is worthwhile to take a moment to evaluate the long and winding road of the year just ended and reflect upon the journey of the New Year upon which we are about to embark.

2021 was difficult in many respects because the nation is still reeling, as much from Covid itself, as from the clumsy and error-filled governmental response to it.  But the resilient U.S. economy continues to find its footing in spite of the damaging economic policies of the Biden Administration which have caused the highest inflation rate in nearly 40 years.  

We continue to battle inflation resulting from so many trillions of tax dollars taken from the paychecks of hard-working taxpayers, or borrowed from China, and pumped by a bureaucratic federal government, often counterproductively and wastefully, into the national economy.  However, the hopeful news includes the fact that the so-called Build Back Better bill—and its actual $5 trillion cost and massive new taxes and regulations—has for now been stopped in the U.S. Senate.  This fact alone is enough to change the trajectory of the American economy in a positive direction.

In our beloved Louisiana, the fact that the Biden Administration’s ban on oil and gas leases has been stopped by a federal court is a boon to our state economy given how critical that industry is to our state.  It is simply insane for the Biden Administration to literally beg nations who hate us to provide us with energy so we can send these hostile powers more hard-earned U.S. dollars to be used for terrorism and other anti-American activities all over the world.  

This policy of begging for energy represents a special kind of clinical governmental madness given that it is the Biden Administration’s very own domestic anti-energy policies that have caused this problem and have ended America’s energy independence, as well as contributing greatly to America’s surging inflation rate by raising the costs of production and transportation of goods.   With the enormous energy capacity in our country, it is simple lunacy to ever rely on foreign oil in that it creates a national security weakness.  (For the same reason, we should rely on American farmers—including family-owned farms—and never on foreign food sources.)

 Here at home in the Shreveport-Bossier metropolitan area, we are greatly blessed to be—and other states no doubt envy this fact—at the intersection of two federal interstates and alongside the Red River, all providing enormous economic assets to our region.  This has contributed, no doubt, to the recent news of at least three major new projects in North Louisiana, either already confirmed or likely to be.  The powerful local economic impact this portends is truly encouraging.

Ternium USA plans to invest $98 million in expansion of its Shreveport facility when it adds a second coil coating paint line with an annual capacity of 120,000 tons at its Port of Caddo-Bossier facility.  In so doing, the company is retaining 157 jobs while the project creates 35 new direct jobs with an average salary of $69,000, plus benefits.  It is also estimated the project will result in 98 indirect jobs, for a total of 133 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest Region.

Two other business entities—with over $600 million in investment—are also considering building new facilities in Caddo and Bossier parishes.  This includes Bia Energy Operating Company which announced it is evaluating a $550 million blue methanol production plant that would be located at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport.  If the plant becomes operational, it is estimated the company would create 75 direct new jobs, with an average annual salary of $80,000, plus benefits.  The plant’s impact is also expected to include 390 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs in Louisiana’s northwest region.  Nearly 350 construction jobs would also be created at peak construction for the project.

In Bossier Parish, Teal Jones Group owners Tom and Dick Jones announced that the company is evaluating Plain Dealing, Louisiana for a planned $110.5 million southern yellow pine lumber plant.  The new sawmill would support 125 new direct jobs, with average annual salaries of $47,000, plus benefits.  This is expected to also support at least 369 indirect jobs, for a total of 494 prospective new jobs in Louisiana’s northwest region.  The construction of the facility would also generate up to 120 construction jobs.

We should not neglect to recall the announcement several months ago of Amazon’s first robotics fulfillment center in Shreveport bringing an estimated 1,000 jobs and a $200 million capital investment to the Hunter Industrial Park near Interstates 20, 49 and 220 and providing ideal access for Amazon’s logistics operations.

While I realize that our region might not ultimately win all of these projects (however, we might!), the fact that our area is being so seriously considered is a very hopeful sign for Northwest Louisiana.

We should never forget that we still possess so many great assets in and across Louisiana and locally—not least our natural resources, our people, and our faith and hope. 

As President Reagan encouraged Americans, “Let us thank God for life and the blessings He’s put before us.  High among them are our families, our freedom, and the opportunities of a new year …. I’ve always thought New Year’s Day was an especially American tradition, full of the optimism and hope we’re famous for in our daily lives — an energy and confidence we call the American spirit.  Perhaps because we know we control our own destiny, we believe deep down inside that working together we can make each new year better than the old.”

Let’s all continue to fight the good fight, to keep the faith and to finish the race as we move together into a New Year of hope and possibility!

Happy New Year!

Notice of Death – December 31, 2021

Holly Norred Opperman

June 25, 1971 to December 28, 2021

Graveside Services Friday December 31, 2021 at 10:00 am at Mt. Zion Cemetery

Josephine Brown McCain

July 4, 1938 to December 23, 2021

Funeral was Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm at Aulds Funeral Home in Shreveport.

Willie Grant

January 22, 1960 to December 26, 2021

Service: December 30, 2021, Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel. – 601 Franklin Street – Mansfield, LA 2:30 P. M.

Burial: Brown Cemetery – Coushatta, LA

ETC… For Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year everyone from the Journal.  It has been our pleasure to bring local parish news, sports and happenings for 2021.  We’re looking to giving you even better coverage of local news, delivered twice a week to your favorite device in the coming year.  Have a safe and happy weekend and for weeks to come.

From Bro Richard Kaufman at Martin Baptist Church:

A blood drive will be held at Martin Baptist Church on 1-2-2022(Sunday) from 9 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Christmas Greetings

Over Christmas, The residents of Louisiana received a greeting from Governor John Bel Edwards.  Edwards said, “Merry Christmas, Louisiana!”

There were many messages noted on social media for our area.  Some of them include “Merry Christmas” from Red River Parish 4-H!

From Elizabeth Full Gospel Baptist Church, “Merry Christmas to you and your family, from the EFGBC Youth Department.

From Clara Springs Camp, “From our Camp Family to your family, Merry Christmas!”

Red River Academic Academy said, “Merry Christmas from RRAA.  May God continue blessing you and your family always.”

Quality Ford would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!! #LivingTheQUALITYLife.

Merry Christmas from LifeShare Blood Center! Hope this season finds you all wrapped up in happy!

Merry Christmas from Sheriff Glen Edwards and the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office!

Merry Christmas, Magnolia Bend Academy! We hope you all have a blessed day with your families and celebrating our Savior’s birth! Miss you all and looking forward to seeing you in 2022!

Severe Weather Is Possible

From the Shreveport office of the National Weather Service:

**New Year’s Severe Threat**

A strong cold front will approach from the northwest late on Friday and cross the area on Saturday.  This will bring a severe threat to the area late Friday night into the day on Saturday.  Large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are possible.

Here is our local forecast through Sunday night:

Friday-A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Friday Night-A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64.

New Year’s Day-Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 74. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday Night-A 30 percent chance of showers before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 33.

Sunday-Mostly sunny, with a high near 47.

Sunday Night-Mostly clear, with a low around 28.

Riverdale FCA Holiday Project

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at Riverdale Academy held a Christmas project.  It benefited the Clara Springs Camp and Samaritan’s Purse.

Riverdale’s Hunter Brown posted, “Merry Christmas and thank you to all who gave to the Riverdale FCA Christmas project!  Your giving resulted in $250 for Clara Springs and $135 for Samaritan’s Purse.”

The Clara Springs Camp donation will fund scholarships to summer camp.  The donation to Samaritan’s Purse went towards orphan care, providing hot meals for children, blankets and bedding for war refugees, honeybees and chickens for villagers, and the distribution of Bibles and Christian literature. 

Brown said, “Thank you again for your generosity!”

Blood Drives

LifeShare has scheduled three blood drives in Red River Parish during January.  Note these dates on your calendar.

Red River Parish drives

Sunday, January 2 – Martin Baptist Church, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Saturday, January 8 – Fairview Baptist Church, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 25 – Magnolia Bend Academy, 8:00 am to 12:00pm (Open to the public).

‘Oh, Think of the Places You’ll (Hopefully) Go!’

By Teddy Allen

As we wrap 2021, which will go down in history as no one’s favorite year ever, especially if you who won the lottery but couldn’t collect it because you didn’t wear a mask to the presentation of the Big Fake Check and therefore were executed on site, probably by being beaten to death with the Big Fake Check, we must stress this:

Everything is going to be OK. Eventually. (I think? I’m pretty sure. Maybe … )

But — and the “but” is important here because the longer you live, the more you realize there is always a “but” (literally) or a “butt” (figuratively) that can mess things up. For everybody.

 And by “mess things up,” I mean turn the world upside down. When grownups get involved — especially grownups with egos the size of any hemisphere you wish to choose — it is never a good thing.

Never never ever.

The hair-pulling-out frustration of the past two years has been that the people who have titles and are supposed to be “in charge” of such things and advising us — WE are paying them, for goodness’ sake — keep contradicting themselves with their scientific instructions, then them blaming US for not following orders.

I don’t mind “following the science” if they can tell me what the actual science is. I just don’t want to follow THEM. If science could speak for itself, then we’d be getting somewhere.

But it can’t, so we are stuck with the usual suspects, regular people in high places — remember, they are regular, make-mistakes people — who keep changing their minds. I realize we live in the most fluid situation ever; it would just be nice if once in a while, these Important People who act they Know Everything would be less dramatic in their relaying of information and would, now and then, say something like, “Uh, I was wrong.” We’d even settle for, “I could possibly be wrong.”

Or if they would laugh once in a while … either at themselves or at this sometimes-happy, sometimes-heartbreaking situation. At least then we could tell whether or not they’re robots.

Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

All that to say I am glad Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 at the rich old age of 87 and is not around to see this. He was a man of few words because he wrote for children. The Cat in the Hat, which I have read at least 2,457 times, and I still have my original, colored-in copy to prove it; GREAT book — is 1,626 words long. (That’s roughly two Teddy columns.) It uses just 236 different words, and the two longest words are only two syllables.

Like me, it is almost 65 years old, having been published in March of 1957. (I am only three or four syllables/years behind.) Unlike me, it is still a source of rich joy.

But Dr. Seuss could not have explained the past two years with just 236 words. Though he was a working man’s genius, he’d have needed to invent a whole other alphabet to sum up 2021, which, to quote an old Christmastime favorite, Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like 2020.

His final book was published by Random House in 1990. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! repeats his constant theme of encouragement to young people (and their parents?), a message to inspire and find the success that lies within. Dr. Seuss was always trying.

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself

Any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Except not so much in these pandemic times, which are now endemic times, which the higher-ups are having trouble admitting. Sigh … Been a tough time for everyone. But as we’ve nervous-laughed our way through it, together, though brow-beaten most every day, here we are on the brink of a New Year.

So far, so good. Pretty shaky!, but so far, so good.

And no matter what the smarty pants people too proud to check their egos at the door say, Dr. Seuss was right:

You’re off to great places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So … get on your way!

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

ALERT-COVID-19 Hospitalizations Double In One Week Amid Omicron Surge

Louisiana Department of Health urges everyone take safety precautions ahead of New Year’s Eve.  The Louisiana Department of Health announces that 449 people in Louisiana are hospitalized with COVID-19 – a figure that has doubled in the last week. The last time we reported this many COVID-19 hospitalizations was mid-October, as we came down from our third and then-worst COVID-19 surge. Eighty percent of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated.

A total of 9,545 new COVID-19 cases out of 59,139 new tests have been reported to the state since December 23. The testing data do not include results from at-home tests. The Louisiana Department of Health will resume updating the COVID-19 dashboard on Monday, December 27.

Another 1,231 people in Louisiana have been reinfected with COVID-19 in the same time frame. LDH does not include reinfections on its dashboard. Information is still emerging, but Omicron includes multiple mutations across the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Emerging data show this new variant is more transmissible than previous strains and that Omicron may carry an increased risk of reinfection compared to other variants of concern.

Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. The Omicron surge further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

In light of this rapidly evolving situation and because we know families may be traveling and gathering ahead of New Year’s Eve, LDH is urging everyone to follow public health guidance to stay safe:

To reduce transmission, regardless of vaccination status, mask in all indoor public spaces; mask in all indoor private spaces with people who are not in your immediate household; and mask outdoors when not able to social distance. Masks are effective in protecting against infection for all of the currently circulating variants.

Work remotely if feasible.

Limit exposure to individuals outside your everyday household.

Get tested for COVID-19 before and after traveling or gathering with individuals outside your everyday household. LDH recommends testing one to two days before travel and three to five days after travel.

If you have questions about vaccines, you can speak to a medical professional and learn about vaccination sites near you by calling Louisiana’s vaccine hotline at 855-453-0774. For a list of locations near you, visit ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.

Fighting Kids’ Holiday Doldrums

Since Christmas has come and gone, you may now be beginning to hear complaints of boredom, “nothing to do” from your children, especially if they’re not yet driving age. Here is a suggestion from Red River Schools

Try this: Make a time capsule. Have each person make a list of their life in 2021. Create a list that includes such information as “What I like most about myself, how my friends would describe me, something new I learned this year, my biggest challenge, the thing I’m most grateful for, how I like to spend my free time, the things I’d like to change about myself, the thing I’m most proud of accomplishing this year, what I hope to do next year,” etc.

Have them also include favorite foods, electronic games, activities, TV shows, music and movies, closest friends, school classes and events, etc. Include photos, pictures or drawings, if you can.

When all are finished to their satisfaction, enclose the lists/photos into a sealed container and bury or hide it in a secure place to be unsealed and read at a far future time. (For future reference, be sure to make note of where it’s hidden, so you can find it at a later time.) Rediscovering it in years to come can be fun and stir sweet memories.

Christmas Giveaway

By Tangela Maxwell

Red River Restoration Center is a non- profitable organization which provides shoes, clothing, toys, books, Purses, make overs and job ready skills to local residents. We work towards rescuing, restoring and revamping lives.

The 2nd annual Christmas Give away was based on income and needs of residents in Red River Parish. RRRC worked with Ms. Brenda Iverson, School Counselor -Red River Elementary School and Ms. Katherine Smith, Homeless Liaison – Red River Parish School Board. The give Away included parents and kids 1-17 years of age who were qualified.

For more information call Tangela Maxwell at (318) 271-3203-Office or  (318) 426-6954-  Cell.

A list of sponsors and volunteers is below.  Click to expand to the full list.

Pat’s Proof

By Brad Dison

45-year-old A.R. “Pat” Patterson was a successful businessman from Fairfax, Virginia.  In his spare time, he and Findall Marbury, a naval architect and friend, designed a small motorboat.  As the design process neared completion, they hatched a plan.  They wanted to build the boat and take it on a 1,000-mile trip from Washington D.C. to Jacksonville, Florida.  For two weeks, they shaped ¼ inch boards and glued them to a light wooden frame.  They used a special glue to seal the boards together to prevent leaks.  They installed a lightweight awning to protect them from the sun’s rays.  When the boat was finished, it was 15 feet in length, and weighed 150 pounds.  Pat, alone, weighed 160 pounds.  They mounted a used 10-horsepower outboard motor to the boat and made arrangements for the 1,000-mile maiden voyage.  Pat’s total investment in the boat was about $35.  Just before they were to begin their trip, Marbury was transferred away from the Washington D.C. area.  Pat’s 10-year-old son, Tommy, begged to take Marbury’s place, but Pat decided to make the trip alone.

On Wednesday, June 22, 1960, Pat loaded the boat with a pump, some extra glue and cotton wadding, a folding chair, and began his journey.  He set off near the Francis Scott Key Bridge on the Potomac River in Washington D.C. at full speed.  Pat’s route would take him down the Potomac River, through Chesapeake Bay, and through various inland waterways which allowed him to stay in sight of land most of the way.  He expected the trip to take about three weeks.

On Thursday, June 30, eight days after he began his trip, Pat reached Hampton, Virginia.  The trip was taking longer than he had expected.  On several occasions, Pat’s boat struck objects in the water and sprung leaks.  “I started out full speed and with not too much caution,” Pat said, “but when I hit a stake in the Chesapeake Bay—well, I was careful from then on.  The hull split like an innertube.”  Pat patched the leaks with glue and wadding, sometimes without ever taking the boat to shore, and continued on his journey.  He usually spent about 12 hours on the water before making port.  At one port, a reporter asked him how he dealt with the loneliness.  Pat responded that he was too busy to become lonely.

Pat’s closest call on his journey did not come from leaks or fear of sinking, but from something he had not anticipated.  Pat reached Fernandina Beach, Florida, just a few miles from his journey’s end at Jacksonville, and pulled his boat out of the water.  He left his 10-horsepower “kicker” on the boat.  Just a few feet away was another boat in the water.  Some convicts had escaped and made their way to Fernandina Beach in search of a boat to steal.  They looked at Pat’s beached boat and motor and looked at the one in the water.  They quickly decided to take the one in the water to save time.  They paddled away and left Pat’s boat on the beach.

On Thursday, August 11, 1960, Pat finally made it to Jacksonville, Florida.  The trip he thought would take him three weeks took him 50 days.  Part of the time was spent fixing leaks.  Much of his time on shore dealt with newspaper reporters and curiosity seekers.  When Pat beached the boat in Jacksonville, a reporter asked him if he was planning to return in the boat.  Pat replied that he planned to return home after a few days’ rest, but not by boat.  He made it clear that he had no plans for another boat trip anytime soon.

Pat became somewhat of a celebrity because of his journey.  On February 15, 1961, Pat was a guest on I’ve Got a Secret.  In this show’s format, guests shared a secret with the show’s host Gary Moore.  A four-person panel had a limited time to ask the guests questions to try to uncover their secret.  What was Pat’s secret?  The ¼ inch boards used in the construction of his boat were waterproof …cardboard.  Pat made the trip in his cardboard boat as part of a promotion for his company to prove that the cardboard boxes his company produced were truly waterproof.


  1. The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, South Carolina) June 23, 1960, p.10.
  2. The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), June 23, 1960, p.8.
  3. The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), June 23, 1960, p.8.
  4. Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia) July 1, 1960, p.3.
  5. The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Florida), August 12, 1960, p.3.
  6. The Pensacola News (Pensacola, Florida) August 12, 1960, p.2.
  7. “I’ve Got a Secret,” Airdate February 15, 1961.]

Bulldogs At Doc Edwards

The big holiday basketball tournament of the year in northwest Louisiana is the Doc Edwards Invitational.  The schedule for the first day, Monday had the Lady Bulldogs vs. Benton at 7:00 pm and the Bulldogs vs. Woodlawn at 8:30 pm.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to Benton 55 to 19.

The Bulldogs squeaked out a 3-point victory 70 to 67.  Coach Dadrian Harris called it, “A Good win over a tough Woodlawn team!”  Harris said several players set career high marks, “Career highs happened Monday night.  D’Evin McDonald scored 38 points and Shaylon Newton scored 19 points.”

Tuesday was Day 2 of the Doc Edwards Invitational the Bulldogs faced Captain Shreve at Airline High School.  Tip-off time was 4:00 pm.  The 2A Bulldogs were no match for 5A Captain Shreve.  Final score was Shreve 51 and Red River 29.  Coach Harris said, “Tough loss to Capt. Shreve.  We’ll be back at it tomorrow.”  Red River plays in the third place game at 4:30 on December 29th.

OPPORTUNITY: Talented Teacher-Instrumental Music / Voice

JOB VACANCIES: Talented Teacher: Instrumental Music / Voice

QUALIFICATIONS: Certification according to State Department of Education as a teacher of talented music.

SALARY: Starting salary: According to parish school salary schedule.

DEADLINE: Friday, January 7, 2022, 4:00 p. m.


Linda G. Page, Personnel Director

Natchitoches Parish School Board

P.O. Box 16

Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016

(318) 352-2358

Notice of Death – December 29, 2021

Brenda Louise Bonnette

December 30, 1956 to December 24, 2021

Graveside service will be held Thursday December 30, 2021 at Bethany Cemetery.

Glen L. Lawson

August 13, 1941 to December 22, 2021
Funeral 11:00 am Monday, December 27, 2021 at Rocket-Nettles Chapel

David Glenn Colson

December 18, 1963 to December 22, 2021

Visitation Tuesday December 28, 2021 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Rocket-Nettles Chapel