Notice of Death – Sunday, February 27, 2022

Kenneth Earl Warren

May 22, 1934 to February 22, 2022

View full obituary here:

Brenda Carol Jones

December 19, 1944 to February 23, 2022

Funeral service 2:00 pm Monday, February 28, 2020 at Rocket Nettles Chapel.

Elizabeth Jean Higgins

January 4, 1933 to February 25, 2020

Funeral Service will be 2:00 pm Sunday, February 27, 2022 at Bethel Baptist Church.

James Winfred Bumgardner

March 10, 1937 to February 23, 2022

Funeral Service 2:00 pm Sunday, February 27, 2022 at Ashland Baptist Church.

Kenneth Earl Warren

In the evening of February 22, 2022, Kenneth Earl Warren, of Castor, Louisiana, went home to be with his Lord and Savior.  He is walking those streets of gold and singing in the heavenly choir, with that voice that God bestowed upon him to use for his glory. 

Kenneth Earl Warren was born on May 22, 1934 and passed away on February 22, 2022.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Lonnie and Allie Warren; two brothers, Melvin Warren (and Beverly), and Thomas Warren; three sisters, Bessie Bowen, Jessie Carr (and D.T.); and Lucille Hadwin (and Rusty); one brother-in-law, Billy C. Wallace, Sr. 

Left here on this earth to cherish his memory is his wife of 64 years, Joanne Bedsole Warren; one daughter, Debbie Cook (and William); one son, Donnie Warren (and Terri);  four grandsons, Kenny Martin (and Amber), Timmy Martin (and Amanda), Matt Warren (and Britiney) and Jason Warren (and Haley); seven great grandchildren, Jaden Womack, Alanna Womack, Audrey Martin, Marybeth Warren, Elijah Warren, Samuel Warren, and Claragrace Warren; one sister, Margorie Wallace; and one sister-in-law, Sue Warren; nephews and nieces; and six step-grandchildren and their families. 

Visitation for Kenneth Earl, as people in the community called him, will be Friday night, February 25, 2022, 6-9 p.m. The funeral will be Saturday, February 26, 2022, 3 p.m.  Both of these events will take place at Foster Arbor Assembly of God Church, Kenneth’s home church. 

Officiating the funeral will be Bro. James Nailes and Bro. Greg Patten.  Tresha Stanfill will be singing and playing the piano. Pallbearers will be Uncle Kenny’s nephews:  Larry Carr, Terry Carr, Ronnie Warren, Randy Warren, Rick Warren, and Bill Wallace, Jr.   

Dawgs Get First Playoff Victory

It was a fast-paced game against a scrappy team from Lecompte Thursday night when the Rapides High Mustangs rolled into the Dawg Pound.  Your Bulldogs took the lead early and kept it to bring home the victory 80 to 64.  Red River advances to the second round of the playoffs.

Antron Williams was on fire for Red River.  He put in a total of 31 points.  He was followed by Trey Smith with 18 and D’Evin McDonald with 17.  Other contributors to the cause were Calhoun with 10 and Demery with 4.

So, it is on to the second round.  Their opponent will be determined tomorrow night when number 3 Rayville hosts number 30 Vinton at 6:00 pm Friday night.  Talk around the Dawg Pound was that Rayville is the favorite in that match.  If Rayville wins tonight, the Bulldogs will travel to Rayville for a game on Tuesday night.

Rebels, Lady Rebels Reach Quarterfinals at Class AA State Tournament

By Molly Seales

On Sunday, February 13, 2022, the Rebels and Lady Rebels traveled to Marks, MS, to begin their quest for a state title. Unfortunately, the Rebels and Lady Rebels both came up short in their quarterfinal match-ups. Their season did not end like they had hoped for, but they still made their Rebel fans proud!

In the first round on Tuesday, the girls easily defeated Sharkey Issaquena 53-38. Sophomore Sky McMullan had an explosive game with 26 points, 14 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 deflections, and took a charge. 8th grader Mary Claire Jones scored in double figures with 13 points. She also had 3 assists, 3 deflections, 2 steals, a rebound, and a blocked shot. Senior Kenley Loftin added 6 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, had 3 assists, 3 deflections, 2 steals, and a blocked shot. Junior Jessie Kate Cobb added 5 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 deflections, and 1 steal. Freshman Jadyn King had 2 points, 3 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Senior Renee Prosperie added a freethrow, 9 rebounds, 4 deflections, 3 steals, 2 assists, and a blocked shot. In the quarterfinals the Lady Rebels held their own against #1 seed Regents of Oxford. In the end, Regents narrowly edged out the Lady Rebels 55-48, ending their wonderful season. Mary Claire Jones had 22 points, 5 deflections, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and a blocked shot. Kenley Loftin added 12 points, 7 rebounds, and had an assist, a steal, a deflection, a blocked shot, and took a charge. Sky McMullan had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. She also had 4 steals, 3 deflections, and an assist. Jessie Kate Cobb and Renee Prosperie had 2 points each and were both huge on the boards, with Cobb pulling down 11 rebounds and Prosperie pulling down 10 rebounds.

On the boys side, the Rebels defeated Prentiss Christian 58-43 in the first round. Senior Ty Jones had 24 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1 deflection. Senior Denver Williams added 9 points, 14 rebounds, 2 deflections, a steal, and a blocked shot. Junior Ben Almond had 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Senior Reagan Huddleston added 7 points, 7 rebounds, 5 deflections, an assist, and took a charge. Senior Caden Long had 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 deflection, while junior Thad Bates had 5 points and 3 rebounds. The Rebels knew going into the quarterfinals it was going to be a battle since they played Delta on their home court, and they were right. Delta defeated the Rebels 60-46 to end their amazing season. Ty Jones had 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 deflections, and took a charge. Caden Long added 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 deflection, and 1 blocked shot. Ben Almond added 9 points, 3 deflections, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist. Reagan Huddleston added 2 points, 3 steals, and one each of deflections, assists, and rebounds. Denver Williams did not score, but he pulled down 6 rebounds and had 9 deflections in his last basketball game as a Rebel.

The Rebel Nation is so proud of Coach Ty Hester, Coach Rebecca Prosperie, and all of our Rebels and Lady Rebels for their dedication to the sport of basketball. Thanks for a wonderful year!

Podcast: Louie Bernard talks about re-drawing the Senate and House of Representative Maps

Senator Louie Bernard joins Billy West Live to discuss the recent Legislative Session regarding re-drawing the Senate and House of Representative Maps

Senator Bernard updates the public regarding his new Senatorial District and the process of how the lines for not only his district was redrawn but also how Natchitoches Parish was divided into 3 separate House of Representative Districts

Part 2…Things Anglers Should or Should Never Do

By Steve Graf

Let’s continue our conversation from last week on what anglers should and should not do. Some of these topics we’re talking about are things the younger generation of anglers coming up have not been taught. As great as high school bass fishing is for the sport, this group of anglers needs some undivided attention on things that are important, like boat management and fishing etiquette on tournament day.

First let’s talk about things you should never do with your boat. With so many anglers on the water today, which has increased by the hundreds over the last 15 years, confrontations are occurring at an alarming rate. Just like road rage, now you have water rage. It’s only a matter of time before someone takes matters into their own hands and hurts someone who is basically innocent due to the fact they’ve never been taught boating etiquette. You should always respect another angler’s area that he’s fishing by idling past or around him. So many times, I see anglers get on plane way too soon which creates a 3-foot wake, which can result in throwing another angler out of his boat. Always idle past or out of an area slowly if it is being fished by other anglers. This is called respect and all anglers appreciate this jester. To add to this, never run too close to another angler either. I’ve seen several near misses with boats traveling 60 MPH or faster within 10 feet of another boat.

No one is impressed with your ability to run a bass boat like you’re in the Daytona 500. Always navigate your boat at a safe distance away (at least 20 yards) from other boats fishing that area. Now obviously there are times when this may not be possible, such as when anglers are fishing in a marina or a narrow creek channel. Even when you’re running in a creek channel and you come upon a boat that is fishing, shut down before you get to them. This eliminates a big wake that can throw the other boat up on the bank or into a dock or tree line.  For the most part, just be respectful…it’s really just common sense or common courtesy. 

The next issue I see all too often is the lack of respect for the area or a stretch another angler is fishing. Every day I see someone pull up on another angler, shut off their motor (way too close) and create a 3-foot wake! Then they jump up on the front deck and start fishing on the same side of the pocket (or stretch) within 20 feet of another angler going in the same direction!  It’s as if they are wearing blinders like a horse in the Kentucky Derby! This is becoming a major problem today with guys competing for the areas that have proven to be productive over time. Every lake has popular areas that anglers know hold good quality fish. Not all areas on a lake or river are created equal, and good anglers who do their homework know where these are. If you’re going to fish the same area or stretch, fish away from me in the opposite direction. DO NOT go in front of me twenty yards and start fishing. This is called “cutting someone off” and it’s not right. It’s another one of those unwritten rules of bass fishing…. never cut someone off by fishing in front of them.

Now there is another situation that can occur, especially out on the open lake. All over most lakes there are brush piles that other anglers have put out in order to attract bass. With today’s electronic fish finders and forward-facing sonars, it’s easy to find these brush piles. This is where anglers get a little confused and frustrated. You have to understand that when you sink brush on a public body of water, it’s now considered community property and anyone can fish it. Unfortunately, the angler that has worked hard to put out that brush pile does not always see it that way and will go to extraordinary lengths to protect it. Many a feud has occurred on the water over who is entitled to fish it. The best advice I can give you on this…ask permission to share this area with the other angler if he got there first.  If he says “no”, then move on to another area to fish.

I hope you gained some knowledge and understanding today on some of the hot topics we are experiencing on our lakes and waterways. Again, as our lakes and waterways become overcrowded, we need more anglers to step up and try to educate the next generation on the ethics of bass fishing and how to conduct themselves. So, if you’re on the water and see youngsters doing things that aren’t right, exercise patience and feel free to educate them on the unwritten rules of fishing. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

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


Food Service Worker

  • Responsible for routine food service tasks in the kitchen, cafeteria, dining room, dish room and special function areas.
  • Duties of this position include preparing, serving, and distributing food and may require working in various areas of the department.
  • The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and customer skills. Prior food service experience is preferred.


  • Responsible for performing food preparation and production tasks efficiently and accurately while following safe food handling policies, procedures, and recipes.
  • Duties of this position include, ensuring portion control, temperature, and appearance of food items is per standard.
  • The ideal candidate will have prior cooking experience preferably in an institutional setting with an emphasis on scratch and high quantity cooking.
  • The ability to read, write and understand directions and to work both independently and as part of a team is also required.


  • Position requires standing, walking, and bending throughout the entire workday
  • Ability to lift, stack and maneuver objects that may weigh 30 to 50 pounds.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned by management.

To view and apply to these openings, please visit:

Capitol Briefing

By District 22 Representative Gabe Firment

The 2022 Special Redistricting Session of the Louisiana Legislature adjourned Friday, February 18th with new maps drawn for Congressional districts, state legislative seats, the Public Service Commission, and BESE districts. The separate bills now head to the desk of Governor Edwards who can veto the legislation or allow them to become law. Even if the governor allows the bills to become law, it appears likely that lawsuits will be filed on the assertion that minority populations are not properly represented in the new district maps. Although it is difficult to predict if the governor will veto any of the maps, in my opinion the map most likely to be vetoed by the governor is the congressional map which included only one majority black district.    

Due to significant population loss in North Louisiana, there were substantial changes to the state House of Representatives and state Senate districts in our area. My House of Representatives seat, District 22, will look very different when elections are held in the Fall of 2023. District 22 currently consists of all of Grant Parish, most of LaSalle Parish, large portions of north Natchitoches Parish, most of Red River Parish except the town of Coushatta, and one precinct in Winn Parish. Under the new map District 22 will consist of all of Grant Parish(approximately 52% of the district population), most of the city of Natchitoches and precinct 4-9 south of the city(approximately 34% of the district population), and a large portion of LaSalle Parish, including Olla, Tullos, Urania, Searcy, and Rogers(approximately 14% of the district population).   

The most notable change to area legislative districts was the moving of House District 23, currently occupied by term-limited representative Kenny Cox, from its current location in Natchitoches, Red River, and Desoto parishes to the New Orleans area. Unfortunately, North Louisiana had to lose at least one House of Representatives seat and one state Senate in North Louisiana due to the extreme population loss in the Shreveport area. The District 37 state Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Barrow Peacock was moved from Caddo, Bossier, and Desoto parishes to South Louisiana. Based upon 2020 reported census data, House District 23 lost over 4,000 residents over the past 10 years making it a logical choice to be absorbed by neighboring districts. Colonel Cox is a good man who has nobly served his country, state, and community for many years, and it has been a great privilege for me to work with him and befriend him my first 2 years in the state legislature. I look forward to working with him until our current terms end and hopefully we can work together in some capacity in coming years as well. 

The new House of Representatives map has most of northern Natchitoches Parish, including Goldonna, Ashland, Creston, Fairview Alpha, Clarence, and Campti represented by District 13 currently occupied by Rep. Jack McFarland of Winnfield. Under the new proposal House District 25 currently held by Rep. Lance Harris would extend from west Rapides Parish into rural Natchitoches Parish, taking in the communities of Natchez, Provencal, Robeline, and Marthaville. As previously mentioned, District 22 would include the great majority of the city of Natchitoches, with the exception of a few precincts on the north and west sides of the city. All of Red River Parish will be represented by District 5 which also includes portions of south Caddo and south Bossier parishes.

My biggest disappointment throughout the redistricting process has been District 22 losing rural communities I currently represent in Natchitoches, Red River, and LaSalle parishes. I have worked hard to establish relationships and work with mayors, council members, police jurors, and citizens to make their communities better places to live and raise families. Of course, I will continue to fight for these communities until my current term ends and beyond if I am fortunate enough to be re-elected. I sincerely believe that we are on the verge of transforming rural North Louisiana through investments in broadband and badly needed infrastructure.

Although I am saddened to lose these rural communities, I am extremely excited about District 22 representing the historic City of Natchitoches for the next 10 years. I have already started making contact with leaders in Natchitoches to form relationships and determine priorities. Should the voters of District 22 see fit to re-elect me in 2023, it will be a tremendous honor for me to work with local stakeholders to see that the City of Natchitoches – “The South’s Best Small Town” – continues to thrive and prosper for many years to come. I sincerely believe that there is unlimited potential for the city that can be realized with vision and a unified effort to succeed.

Of course, the future of Natchitoches and several area parishes relies in large part on our willingness to invest in the future of Northwestern State University. Northwestern is extremely important to me personally – my wife and several family members are NSU grads – and I recognize that the university is the economic engine that drives not only Natchitoches but our entire region.  NSU’s impact on the region economically exceeds over $400 million annually, and supports thousands of jobs critical to the citizens in Natchitoches and surrounding parishes. My commitment to Northwestern State University is absolute and unwavering.

There will also be substantial changes to the area state Senate districts for the next 10 years, with Natchitoches Parish being split between District 31 currently held by Sen. Louie Bernard (23,452 Natchitoches population), and District 29 presently occupied by Sen. Jay Luneau (14,063 Natchitoches population). The major changes to the District 31 map include losing a small portion of Grant Parish, a smaller footprint in Rapides Parish, and adding significant population in new parishes such as Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, and Desoto. All of Red River Parish will continue to be represented by District 31.

Residents of Natchitoches and Red River Parish will see very little change to the Congressional, PSC, and BESE maps. Both parishes remain in the 4th Congressional District held by Congressman Mike Johnson, PSC District 5 held by Foster Campbell, and BESE District 4 held by Michael Melerine.  In closing, I would like to say that I am extremely excited about the future of District 22. I have a great relationship with our current area state representatives and senators, and I know that we are all committed to seeing our region thrive and prosper in the coming years.  If you have any questions about redistricting or about the upcoming regular session, please contact me at (318)765-9606 or at Thank you and God Bless.  

Activities This Week

Red River 4-H members have been very busy.  A few of their projects include making goodie bags for foster kids and learning to relax their minds by stretching with 4-H Yoga.

As you can see by the pictures, they have been working in their school gardens.  Some students practiced for 4-H Chef Challenge, or learned about recycled gardening, and crushed the competition in shooting sports and livestock! 

Xander Loftin also competed this weekend at the FBRC Cherry Pie Extravaganza, placing in several categories!  He will compete at the LSU State Rabbit show March 5th in Alexandria. Great job, Xander!

Canadian Trucker Standoff Reflects the American Spirit

By Royal Alexander

As the Canadian government takes increasingly authoritarian steps, it is learning that at a certain point, people are no longer going to tolerate their liberty being denied and stifled.

I have been fascinated to watch over the last several weeks the development of the situation involving Canadian truckers who resolutely refuse to be told what to do by their government.  This coalition of truckers and their supporters, the Freedom Convoy, have vowed to stay in place until Canada drops all of its harsh Covid-19 mandates including a mandate that requires cross-border truckers to either get vaccinated or quarantine for two weeks upon returning to Canada.  This standoff is definitely making a statement given that the bridge being blocked, one of the busiest border crossings in North America, supports roughly 30% of yearly two-way U.S.-Canada trade.

The gist of the issue is that the Freedom Convoy is comprised of people who may lose or be banned from their jobs because they haven’t complied with draconian vaccine mandates.  Individuals who have been fired include volunteer firefighters, trash cleaners, and manual laborers because they wouldn’t show their vaccine cards even though most of them are vaccinated!  It is clearly the principle of the matter to these truckers whose collective attitude is “we may choose to be vaccinated but you aren’t going to force us to.”

This resistance, we should note, comes on the heels of two years of daily life in Canada that’s had severe Covid restrictions imposed upon it—including curfews, heavy fines, total shutdowns of gyms and theaters, as well as restrictions on international travel.  Canadian psychologist, writer, and professor, Jordan Peterson, recently called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “open the damn country back up,” stating that his country is “becoming increasingly authoritarian.”

Now, in what many worldwide are deeming a vast overreaction to a peaceful protest, Prime Minister Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act (typically used in wartime) to silence this resistance to the COVID mandates.  By invoking these powers against his own people, he has granted himself and his government broad power to shut down political speech in his own nation.  Among other powers, it provides the Canadian government authority to force private companies to perform services, freeze bank accounts, and fine and incarcerate those in violation of its orders.

Trudeau has apparently refused to meet with the protesters, who have asked him to repeal the vaccine mandates and other harsh restrictions. 

However, doing just the opposite, to block the efforts of this resistance, the Canadian government has employed several tactics, including confiscating the truckers’ fuel and directing GoFundMe to withhold nearly $10 million raised to support the Freedom Convoy.  Further, news reports state that this past week an Ontario court ordered the U.S.-based Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo to freeze all access to the millions raised on its platform.

There are also reports that Canadian banks will receive the names of people involved in “Freedom Convoy” protests, serving as a first step in a promised financial crackdown on demonstrators.  Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has indicated that some accounts have already been frozen.

As the situation continues to escalate and the crackdown ramps up, there are news reports that Ottawa Police are clashing with truckers as they make mass arrests, including smashing in windows to forcefully remove individuals from vehicles.  There are also reports of police snipers on rooftops.  In one instance, dozens of brave peaceful protesters, many of whom are apparently veterans, stood their ground and refused to move as the wave of police officers bore down on them.

What we are seeing here is a classic and timeless example of people finally standing up and saying, “that’s enough.”  It is a stark but necessary reminder that the final authority in a nation remains in the exact place it has always been—with the people. 

What President Reagan warned about regarding America applies equally to the Leftist Canadian government of Trudeau: “America stands on four main values: Faith in God, Freedom of Speech, Family and Economic Freedom.  If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism.”

The regular, everyday people of Canada clearly cherish their freedoms and liberty and are simply not going to give them up.  This incident reminds us yet again of the 10,000-year-old lesson that government must be tightly restrained, otherwise, by its inexorable nature, it usurps and crushes.

Reading Fair

Riverdale instructor Bethany Seales posted details of the recent Reading Fair.  She said, “We had a great day at the Riverdale Academy Reading fair. All of the projects were excellent!”

The school showed their gratitude.  “Thank you, Mrs. Bethany Seales for all of your hard work organizing the Reading Fair. Congratulations to all our students who are moving on to the next level!”

Tryouts Scheduled by Blue Diamonds

ITS THAT TIME AGAIN!! Blue Diamonds tryouts. We’ve had a phenomenal dance season that wouldn’t have been possible without the girl’s hard work, schools support and the parents commitment for the team.

Coach Rytrice Martin said, “Let’s have a bigger, better year next year.  Right now,  we need any and all girls interested to try out grades 6th through 12th so spread the word.”

Tryouts are held on March 7th through the 10th.  Judging will be on the 11th.

Rytrice Martin is the coach of the Blue Diamonds at Red River High.  Wendy Harris coaches them at Red River Junior High.

Lock-In at Abundant Life

Calling all youth ages 12 to 21.  What better plans could you have for Friday night?

Abundant Life Worship Center is having a Youth Lock In.  Drop off is at 6:00 pm Friday night and pickup is 8:00 am Saturday morning.  They are working on the youth room.  And there will also be food, games, food, watching movies and food.  Maybe a little sleep.

ETC… For Friday, February 25, 2022

2022 Mardi Gras Break for Red River schools is next Monday (2/28) through Wednesday (3/2).  Students return to school on Thursday (3/3).

The deadline for registering to vote in the March 26th election has passed except for online registration.  That deadline is March 5th.  Early voting begins Saturday, March 12.

Red River Boys Begin Championship Journey

Thursday night begins the quest for a state championship by the Red River Bulldogs.  And they will begin at home at 6:00 pm.

The Dawgs go into the playoffs 14-14 on the season, 3 and 3 in district.  Their first opponent is Rapides High School from Lecompte.  The Journal asked Coach Dadrian Harris how important this first playoff game is?  “Playing the 1st playoff game at home is huge for us. The way the bracket is set up this will be our last game at home even if we win out,” said Harris.  He invited everyone to the game, “I’d love to see a packed house; we definitely need the positive energy and support from the fans.”

We asked Harris for his assessment of Rapides High.  He said, “Rapides is a team we cannot take lightly which no team is at this point of the season. They thrive off of their scrappiness, and they don’t give up easily. We’re a bit bigger than them as far as matchups. All in all, we have to match and exceed their intensity.”

So, how are you preparing the players for the game Thursday night?  Harris said, “Approaching practice every day with the win or go home mindset. As far as what we do, nothing has changed. We’re breaking down their strengths and weaknesses and locking in on the execution of the game plan.

Tip-off is 6:00 pm at the Dawg Pound Thursday night.  Come early and get a great seat.

High School Cooks at High Level

Got to love Mrs. Lemione’s Pro-Start class.  Today the students used their knife skills, fruit selection, and presentation skills to create an Edible Arrangement. 

They finished the lesson with figuring the cost of each piece of fruit they used to come up with an estimated cost to determine a sale price and profit margin.  And these students completed all these task in less than an hour. 

Great job Pro-Start program.  When we move into our new commercial kitchen in June expect a lot more of these awesome projects.

A Red River First

Red River High congratulated Junior Andre Cole.  Andre has qualified for the State Powerlifting meet in the SHW division.  He is the first qualifier from Red River in a decade. 

Red River High started powerlifting back up this year and we are so glad to have Andre be our first qualifier in our first year back. 

Andre will be competing in the state competition on March 24, 2022 at ULM which happens to also be his 17th Birthday. Good Luck and represent RRHS well.

Juveniles Busted on Drug Charges

The Police Department at Hall Summit reports last Wednesday, February 16th there was a traffic stop that led to the arrest of three juveniles.  They face various drug charges.

Seized in the vehicle were 76.64 grams of Sch 1 (Marijuana), two digital scales, two pre-rolled THC cigarettes, two glass smoking devices, 1 THC vape, and THC lip balm.

The MVPs of Mardi Gras

By Teddy Allen

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

Those were archaic and tawdry times.

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

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

Most Valuable Potties.

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

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

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

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

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

Poetic justice is served.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Teddy at

Advance With ADVANCE

Northwestern State University’s ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE), now celebrating its 34th year, will host its traditional residential program for academically motivated students July 10 – 30.  

Students currently in grades 7 – 11 enroll in and complete one course during the three-week program. They attend 108.5 hours of class and cover an entire year’s worth of high school material or a semester of college level material. Course offerings include the humanities, mathematics, natural sciences with laboratory components and computer programming.

All applicants must provide a copy of their most recent report card and state standardized test scores to determine their eligibility. If scores have been misplaced, many schools provide that information on school transcripts, and transcripts may be submitted to ADVANCE. If applicants have taken an ACT or SAT, those scores may be submitted with their applications.

While the academic program at ADVANCE is top-notch, the residential program sets ADVANCE apart from other similar summer programs. The residential staff offers a wide variety of social and recreational activities to assist students in forming lasting friendships, strengthen the ADVANCE community and help all students have a great time when not in class. Dr. Chris Hynes, director of ADVANCE, states that “ADVANCE combines the need to improve academically with the desire to spend summer break in the traditional way – having fun!”

A $250 discount will be granted to families with two or more students attending the program or to applicants who are dependents of NSU employees or students.

Applications are now being accepted. For more information visit, call (318) 357-4500, or email